Samuel Butler

1613 // 25 Sep 1680
Poet / Author


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When you've told someone that you've left them a legacy the only decent thing to do is to die at once
When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence
We all like to forgive, and love best not those who offend us least, nor who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them
Virtue knows that it is impossible to get on without compromise, and tunes herself, as it were, a trifle sharp to allow for an inevitable fall in playing
To live is like to love - all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it
To give pain is the tyranny; to make happy, the true empire of beauty
Think of and look at your work as though it were done by your enemy. If you look at it to admire it, you are lost
There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought
There is no such source of error as the pursuit of truth
There are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."