Samuel Butler Quotes

The extremes of vice and virtue are alike detestable; absolute virtue is as sure to kill a man as absolute vice is, let alone the dullnesses of it and the pomposities of it.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Ed. Henry Festing Jones (originally published 1912). The Notebooks of Samuel Butler, ch. 2, E.P. Dutton (1917).
There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 154 (1951). In a later entry, Butler wrote, "Thought pure and simple is as near to God as we can get, it is through this that we are linked with God."
Critics generally come to be critics not by reason of their fitness for this, but of their unfitness for anything else. Books should be tried by a judge and jury as though they were a crime, and counsel should be heard on both sides.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 111, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 223 (1951).
A lawyer's dream of Heaven: Every man reclaimed his own property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 58, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 61, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
To know whether you are enjoying a piece of music or not you must see whether you find yourself looking at the advertisements of Pears' soap at the end of the libretto.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 229, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
Union may be strength, but it is mere blind brute strength unless wisely directed.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 197 (1951).
Logic is like the sword—those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks (1951).
I said in my novel that the clergyman is a kind of human Sunday. Jones and I settled that my sister May was a kind of human Good Friday and Mrs. Bovill an Easter Monday or some other Bank Holiday.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 34, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951). The novel to which Butler refers is Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh.