IdleHearts / Samuel Butler
All dogs know what most humans don’t that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not be rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases, though not often.
People are lucky and unlucky according to the ratio between what they get and what they have been led to expect.
Youth is like spring, an overpraised season.
There are two great rules in life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that every one can in the end get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less of an exception to the rule.
Silence is not always tact, and it is tact that is golden – not silence.
Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.
Don’t learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world.
Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence.
He has spent his life best who has enjoyed it most. God will take care that we do not enjoy it any more than is good for us.
He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still.
Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.
I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.
I never knew a writer yet who took the smallest pains with his style and was at the same time readable.
I really do not see much use in exalting the humble and meek; they do not remain humble and meek long when they are exalted.
If I die prematurely I shall be saved from being bored to death at my own success.
If people would dare to speak to one another unreservedly, there would be a good deal less sorrow in the world a hundred years hence.
If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.
In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
In old times people used to try and square the circle; now they try and devise schemes for satisfying the Irish nation.
Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.
In the midst of vice we are in virtue, and vice versa.
Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo not for a man.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.
It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy – but he who has shown the better temper.