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JONATHAN SWIFT
Irish satirist and man of letters
(1667 - 1745)
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The man who can make two ears of corn or two blades of grass grow on the spot where only one grew before, world deserve better of mankind and render more essential service to the country than the whole race of politicians put together.
      - [Politics]

The most accomplished way of using books at present is to serve them as some do lords, learn their titles, and then boast of their acquaintance.
      - [Pretension]

The motives of the best actions will not bear too strict an inquiry. It is allowed that the cause of most actions, good or bad, may be resolved into the love of ourselves; but the self-love of some men inclines them to please others, and the self-love of others is wholly employed in pleasing themselves. This makes the great distinction between virtue and vice.
      - [Motive]

The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable; for the happy impute all their success to prudence and merit.
      - [Wealth]

The ruin of a State is generally preceded by an universal degeneracy of manners and contempt of religion.
      - [States]

The scholars of Ireland seem not to have the least conception of style, but run on in a flat phraseology, often mingled with barbarous terms.
      - [Style]

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.
      - [Want]

The system of morality to be gathered from the ancient sages falls very short of that delivered in the gospel.
      - [Morality]

The translators of the Bible were masters of an English style much fitter for that work than any we see in our present writings; the which is owing to the simplicity that runs through the whole.
      - [Bible]

The two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.
      - [Sweetness]

The want of belief is a defect which ought to be concealed where it cannot be overcome.
      - [Belief]

The worthiest people are the most injured by slander, as is the best fruit which the birds have been pecking at.
      - [Slander]

There are but three ways for a man to revenge himself of the censure of the world,--to despise it, to return the like, or to endeavor to live so as to avoid it; the first of these is usually pretended, the last is almost impossible, the universal practice is for the second.
      - [Censure]

There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake.
      - [Error : Obstinacy]

There is no quality so contrary to any nature which one cannot affect, and put on upon occasion, in order to serve an interest.
      - [Deceit]

There is no vice or folly that requires so much nicety and skill to manage as vanity; nor any which by ill management makes so contemptible a figure.
      - [Vanity]

There is none so blind as they that won't see.
      - [Sight]

There never appear more than five or six men of genius in an age, but if they were united the world could not stand before them.
      - [Genius]

There seems to be no part of knowledge in fewer hands than that of discerning when to have done.
      - [Discernment]

Though Diogenes lived in a tub, there might be, for aught I know, as much pride under his rags, as in the fine-spun garments of the divine Plato.
      - [Pride]

Though fear should lend him pinions like the wind, yet swifter fate will seize him from behind.
      - [Fate]

Time is painted with a lock before, and bald behind, signifying thereby, that we must take time (as we say) by the forelock, for when it is once passed there is no recalling it.
      - [Time]

To be vain is rather a mark of humility than pride.
      - [Vanity]

Two women seldom grow intimate but at the expense of a third person.
      - [Women]

Usually speaking, the worst bred person in company is a young traveler just returned from abroad.
      - [Travelers]


Displaying page 7 of 12 for this author:   << Prev  Next >>  1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12

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