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 :: 1667-1745, Anglo-Irish Satirist

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But you think that it is time for me to have done with the world, and so I would if I could get into a better before I was called into the best, and not die here in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a hole.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Self-improvement]

 

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Human brutes, like other beasts, find snares and poison in the provision of life, and are allured by their appetites to their destruction.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Sensuality]

 

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I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Shame]

 

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Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Strength]

 

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The proper words in the proper places are the true definition of style.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Style]

 

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A footman may swear; but he cannot swear like a lord. He can swear as often: but can he swear with equal delicacy, propriety, and judgment?
~ Jonathan Swift - [Swearing]

 

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Where I am not understood, it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Understanding]

 

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Vanity is a mark of humility rather than of pride.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Vanity]

 

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It is as hard to satirize well a man of distinguished vices, as to praise well a man of distinguished virtues.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Virtue]

 

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Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Vision]

 

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In the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained, the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses; which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favorites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services, of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive; and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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The two maxims of any great man at court are, always to keep his countenance and never to keep his work.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Power]

 

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It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Precedents]

 

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Promises and pie crusts are made to be broken.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Promises]

 

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It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Public Opinion]

 

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Reason is a very light rider, and easily shook off.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Reason]

 

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If Heaven had looked upon riches to be a valuable thing, it would not have given them to such a scoundrel.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Riches]

 

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It was a bold person that first ate an oyster.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Risk]

 

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Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.
~ Jonathan Swift - [Sarcasm]

 

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