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SAMUEL BUTLER (1)
English wit and poet
(1612 - 1680)
  Displaying page 1 of 8    Next Page >> 

A man convinced against his will,
  Is of the some opinion still.
      - [Proverbs]

Ah me! what perils do environ
  The man that meddles with cold iron!
    What plaguy mischiefs and mishaps
      Do dog him still with after-claps.
      - [Dueling]

All our scourging of religion
  Began with tumult and sedition;
    When hurricanes of fierce commotion
      Became strong motives to devotion,
        As carnal seamen, in a storm,
          Turn pious converts and reform.
      - [Religion]

And though all cry down self, none means
  His own self in a literal sense.
      - [Egotism : Self : Selfishness]

And when the fight becomes a chase,
  Those win the day that win the race;
    And that which would not pass in fights,
      Has done the feat with easy flights.
      - [War]

As the ancients wisely say
  Have a care o' th' main chance,
    And look before you ere you leap;
      For as you sow y'are like to reap.
      - [Chance]

Brevity is very good, when we are, or are not, understood.
      - [Brevity]

Can by their pangs and aches find
  All turns and changes of the wind.
      - [Aches]

Compound for sins they are inclined to,
  By damning those they have no mind to.
      - [Proverbs]

Critics are a kind of wild flies, that breed
  In wild fig trees, and when they're grown up feed
    Upon the raw fruit of the nobler kind,
      And by their nibbling on the outer rind,
        Open the pores, and make way for the sun
          To ripen it sooner than he would have done.
      - [Critics]

Do not your juries give their verdict
  As if they felt the cause, not heard it.
      - [Juries]

Drudgery and knowledge are of a kin,
  And both descended from one parent sin.
      - [Sin]

Fools are stubborn in their way,
  As coins are harden'd by th' allay;
    And obstinacy's ne'er so stiff
      As when 'tis in a wrong belief.
      - [Obstinacy]

For as two cheats, that play one game,
  Are both defeated of their aim;
    So those who play a game of state,
      And only cavil in debate,
        Altho' there's nothing lost nor won,
          The public bus'ness is undone,
            Which still the longer 'tis in doing,
              Becomes the surer way to ruin.
      - [Statesmen]

For daring nonsense seldom fails to hit,
  Like scattered shot, and pass with some for wit.
      - [Nonsense]

For he who fights and runs away
  May live to fight another day;
    But he who is in battle slain
      Can never rise and fight again.
      - as misquoted by Goldsmith in a publication of Newbery, the publisher, in "The Art of Poetry on a New Plan", vol. II, p. 147
        [War]

For we are animals no less, although of different species.
      - [Man]

For what is worth in anything,
  But so much money as 'twill bring?
      - [Worth]

Full oft have letters caused the writers
  To curse the day they were inditers.
      - [Letters]

Great actions are not always true sons
  Of great and mighty resolutions.
      - [Proverbs]

He that has but impudence,
  To all things has a fair pretence;
    And put among his wants but shame,
      To all the world may lay his claim.
      - [Impudence]

He that has two strings t' his bow.
      - [Proverbs]

He that would win his dame must do
  As love does when he draws his bow;
    With one hand thrust the lady from,
      And with the other pull her home.
      - [Courtship]

Honor's a lease for life to come.
      - [Honor]

Honour is like that glassy bubble,
  That finds philosophers such trouble,
    Whose least part crack'd, the whole does fly
      And wits are crack'd to find out why.
      - [Honor]


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