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 :: 1612-1680, British Poet, Satirist

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The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.
~ Samuel Butler - [Seriousness]

 

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It is tact that is golden, not silence.
~ Samuel Butler - [Tact and Tactfulness]

 

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Silence is not always tact, but it is tact that is golden, not silence.
~ Samuel Butler - [Tact and Tactfulness]

 

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People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever or amiable.
~ Samuel Butler - [Taste]

 

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There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.
~ Samuel Butler - [Thoughts and Thinking]

 

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For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
~ Samuel Butler - [Truth]

 

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There is no such source of error as the pursuit of truth.
~ Samuel Butler - [Truth]

 

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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 - [Understanding]

 

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The three most important things a man has are, briefly, his private parts, his money, and his religious opinions.
~ Samuel Butler - [Value]

 

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Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderated use rather than total abstinence.
~ Samuel Butler - [Vice]

 

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The function of vice is to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.
~ Samuel Butler - [Vice]

 

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A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold, be alloyed with some commoner, but more durable alloy.
~ Samuel Butler - [Virtue]

 

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Rare virtues are like rare plants or animals, things that have not been able to hold their own in the world. A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold, be alloyed with some commoner but more durable metal.
~ Samuel Butler - [Virtue]

 

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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.
~ Samuel Butler - [Virtue]

 

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Everyone should keep a mental wastepaper basket, and the older he grows, the more things will he promptly consign to it.
~ Samuel Butler - [Waste]

 

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When the water of a place is bad it is safest to drink none that has not been filtered through either the berry of a grape, or else a tub of malt. These are the most reliable filters yet invented.
~ Samuel Butler - [Water]

 

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All philosophies, if you ride them home, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others.
~ Samuel Butler - [Philosophers and Philosophy]

 

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For most men, and most circumstances, pleasure --tangible material prosperity in this world --is the safest test of virtue. Progress has ever been through the pleasures rather than through the extreme sharp virtues, and the most virtuous have leaned to excess rather than to asceticism.
~ Samuel Butler - [Pleasure]

 

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The advantage of doing one's praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.
~ Samuel Butler - [Praise]

 

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The clergyman is expected to be a kind of human Sunday.
~ Samuel Butler - [Preachers and Preaching]

 

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