Quotes by Samuel Butler

A blind man knows he cannot see, and is glad to be led, though it be by a dog; but he that is blind in his understanding, which is the worst blindness of all, believes he sees as the best, and scorns a guide.
– Samuel Butler
A friend who cannot at a pinch remember a thing or two that never happened is as bad as one who does not know how to forget.
– Samuel Butler
A genius can never expect to have a good time anywhere, if he is a genuine article, but America is about the last place in which life will be endurable at all for an inspired writer of any kind.
– Samuel Butler
A man should be just cultured enough to be able to look with suspicion upon culture at first, not second hand.
– Samuel Butler
A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage - but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.
– Samuel Butler
A skilful leech is better far, than half a hundred men of war.
– Samuel Butler
All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
– Samuel Butler
All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
– Samuel Butler
All truth is not to be told at all times.
– Samuel Butler
Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.
– Samuel Butler
Because they did not see merit where they should have seen it, people, to express their regret, will go and leave a lot of money to the very people who will be the first to throw stones at the next person who has anything to say and finds a difficulty in getting a hearing.
– Samuel Butler
Conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it.
– Samuel Butler
Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.
– Samuel Butler
Don't learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world.
– Samuel Butler
Dullness is so much stronger than genius because there is so much more of it, and it is better organized and more naturally cohesive inter se. So the arctic volcano can do nothing against arctic ice.
– Samuel Butler
Eating is touch carried to the bitter end.
– Samuel Butler
Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.
– Samuel Butler
Every one should keep a mental wastepaper basket and the older he grows the more things he will consign to it - torn up to irrecoverable tatters.
– Samuel Butler
Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.
– Samuel Butler
Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
– Samuel Butler