Explore the most impactful and insightful quotes and sayings by Jonathan Swift, and enrich your perspective with the wisdom. Share these inspiring Jonathan Swift quotes pictures with your friends on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or your personal blogs, completely free. Here are the top 457 Jonathan Swift quotes for you to read and share.

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Conscience signifies that knowledge which a man hath of his own thoughts and actions; and because, if a man judgeth fairly of his actions by comparing them with the law of God, his mind will approve or condemn him; this knowledge or conscience may be both an accuser and a judge. -- Jonathan Swift
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I with borrow'd silver shine,
What you see is none of mine.
First I show you but a quarter,
Like the bow that guards the Tartar:
Then the half, and then the whole,
Ever dancing round the pole. -- Jonathan Swift
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You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. -- Jonathan Swift
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I likewise felt several slender ligatures across my body, from my arm-pits to my thighs. I could only look upwards; the sun began to grow hot, and the light offended my eyes. I heard a confused noise about me; but in the posture I lay, could see nothing except the sky. -- Jonathan Swift
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Every age might perhaps produce one or two geniuses, if they were not sunk under the censure and obloquy of plodding, servile, imitating pedants. -- Jonathan Swift
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A wise man is never less alone than when he is alone. -- Jonathan Swift
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His features are strong and masculine, with an Austrian lip and arched nose, his complexion olive, his countenance erect, his body and limbs well proportioned, all his motions graceful, and his deportment majestic. He -- Jonathan Swift
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beholders. His features are strong and masculine, with an Austrian lip and arched nose, his complexion olive, his countenance erect, his body and limbs well proportioned, all his motions graceful, and his deportment majestic. -- Jonathan Swift
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What we call the Irish Brogue is no sooner discovered, than it makes the deliverer, in the last degree, ridiculous and despised; and, from such a mouth, an Englishman expects nothing but bulls, blunders, and follies. -- Jonathan Swift
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I always love to begin a journey on Sundays, because I shall have the prayers of the church to preserve all that travel by land, or water. -- Jonathan Swift
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Careful observers may foretell the hour
(By sure prognostics) when to dread a show'r.
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more. -- Jonathan Swift
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I have now lost my barrier between me and death; God grant I may live to be as well prepared for it, as I confidently believe her to have been! If the way to Heaven be through piety, truth, justice and charity, she is there. -- Jonathan Swift
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He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw, inclement summers. -- Jonathan Swift
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Readers may be divided into three classes - the superficial, the ignorant, and the learned, and I have with much felicity fitted my pen to the genius and advantage of each. -- Jonathan Swift
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To acknowledge you were wrong yesterday is simply to let the world know that you are wiser today than you were then. -- Jonathan Swift
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They say fingers were made before forks, and hands before knives. -- Jonathan Swift
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Observation is an old man's memory. -- Jonathan Swift
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The preaching of divines helps to preserve well-inclined men in the course of virtue, but seldom or ever reclaims the vicious. -- Jonathan Swift
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If they would, for Example, praise the Beauty of a Woman, or any other Animal, they describe it by Rhombs, Circles, Parallelograms, Ellipses, and other geometrical terms ... -- Jonathan Swift
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Oh how our neighbour lifts his nose,
To tell what every schoolboy knows. -- Jonathan Swift
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Ay, do despise me, I'm the prouder for it; I like to be despised. -- Jonathan Swift
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Old men and comets have been reverenced for the same reason: their long beards, and pretences to foretell events. -- Jonathan Swift
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Venus, a beautiful, good-natured lady, was the goddess of love; Juno, a terrible shrew, the goddess of marriage: and they were always mortal enemies. -- Jonathan Swift
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An English tongue, if refined to a certain standard, might perhaps be fixed forever. -- Jonathan Swift
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One enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good. -- Jonathan Swift
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Usually speaking, the worst-bred person in company is a young traveller just returned from abroad. -- Jonathan Swift
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A forward critic often dupes us With sham quotations peri hupsos, And if we have not read Longinus, Will magisterially outshine us. Then, lest with Greek he over-run ye, Procure the book for love or money, Translated from Boileau's translation, And quote quotation on quotation. -- Jonathan Swift
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Sweeping from butcher's stalls, dung, guts, and blood,
Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd in mud,
Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down the flood. -- Jonathan Swift
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Yet, Malice never was his Aim;
He lash'd the Vice but spar'd the Name.
No individual could resent,
Where thousands equally were meant.
His Satry points at no Defect,
But what all Mortals may correct...

Verses on the death of Dr Swift -- Jonathan Swift
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He said, "my discourse was all very strange, but especially the last part; for he could not understand, why nature should teach us to conceal what nature had given; that neither himself nor family were ashamed of any parts of their bodies; but, however, I might do as I pleased." -- Jonathan Swift
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A fig for partridges and quails, ye dainties I know nothing of ye; But on the highest mount in Wales Would choose in peace to drink my coffee. -- Jonathan Swift
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Swift has sailed into his rest;
Savage indignation there
Cannot lacerate his Breast.
Imitate him if you dare,
World-Besotted Traveler; he
Served human liberty. -- Jonathan Swift
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For poetry, he's past his prime,
He takes an hour to find a rhyme;
His fire is out, his wit decayed,
His fancy sunk, his muse a jade.
I'd have him throw away his pen,
But there's no talking to some men. -- Jonathan Swift
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I have known some men possessed of good qualities which were very serviceable to others, but useless to themselves; like a sun-dial on the front of a house, to inform the neighbours and passengers, but not the owner within. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by providence as an evil to mankind. -- Jonathan Swift
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Pride, ill nature, and want of sense are the three great sources of ill manners; without some one of these defects, no man will behave himself ill for want of experience, or what, in the language of fools, is called knowing the world. -- Jonathan Swift
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Kitchen Physic is the best Physic. -- Jonathan Swift
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Apollo was held the god of physic and sender of disease. Both were originally the same trade, and still continue. -- Jonathan Swift
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Real vision is the ability to see the invisible. -- Jonathan Swift
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Books, the children of the brain. -- Jonathan Swift
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Lose no time to contradict her, Nor endeavor to convict her; Only take this rule along, Always to advise her wrong, And reprove her when she's right; She may then grow wise for spite. -- Jonathan Swift
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When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
[Thoughts on Various Subjects] -- Jonathan Swift
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Blot out, correct, insert, refine, enlarge, diminish, interline. Be mindful, when invention fails. To scratch your head and bite your nails. -- Jonathan Swift
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Exploding many things under the name of trifles is a very false proof either of wisdom or magnanimity, and a great check to virtuous actions with regard to fame. -- Jonathan Swift
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When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office. -- Jonathan Swift
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They all agreed, that I could not be produced according to the regular laws of nature; because I was not framed with a capacity of preserving my life, either by swiftness, or climbing of trees, or digging holes in the earth. -- Jonathan Swift
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For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery. -- Jonathan Swift
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Nothing is so great an example of bad manners as flattery. If you flatter all the company, you please none; If you flatter only one or two, you offend the rest. -- Jonathan Swift
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So that, upon the whole, there must be some kind of subjection due from every man to every man, which cannot be made void by any power, pre-eminence, or authority whatsoever. -- Jonathan Swift
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I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning. -- Jonathan Swift
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Tis nothing when you are used to it. -- Jonathan Swift
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War: that mad game the world so loves to play. -- Jonathan Swift
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Daphne knows, with equal ease, How to vex and how to please; But the folly of her sex Makes her sole delight to vex. -- Jonathan Swift
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A traveler's chief aim should be to make men wiser and better, and to improve their minds by the bad-as well as good example of what they deliver concerning foreign places. -- Jonathan Swift
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And surely one of the best rules in conversation is, never to say a thing which any of the company can reasonably wish had been left unsaid ... -- Jonathan Swift
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is a very kingly, honourable, and frequent practice, when one prince desires the assistance of another, to secure him against an invasion, that the assistant, when he has driven out the invader, should seize on the dominions himself, and kill, imprison, or banish, the prince he came to relieve. -- Jonathan Swift
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As love without esteem is capricious and volatile; esteem without love is languid and cold. -- Jonathan Swift
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No man of honor, as the word is usually understood, did ever pretend that his honor obliged him to be chaste or temperate, to pay his creditors, to be useful to his country, to do good to mankind, to endeavor to be wise or learned, to regard his word, his promise, or his oath. -- Jonathan Swift
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Whoever makes the fewest persons uneasy, is the best bred man in company. -- Jonathan Swift
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Men who possess all the advantages of life are in a state where there are many accidents to disorder and discompose, but few to please them. -- Jonathan Swift
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I was in the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud that they all ran back in a fright; and some of them, as I was afterwards told, were hurt with the falls they got by leaping from my sides upon the ground. However, they soon returned, -- Jonathan Swift
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And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together. -- Jonathan Swift
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This made me reflect, how vain an attempt it is for a man to endeavor to do himself honor among those who are out of all degree of equality or comparison with him. -- Jonathan Swift
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Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is remarkable with what Christian fortitude and resignation we can bear the suffering of other folks. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is pleasant to observe how free the present age is in laying taxes on the next. "Future ages shall talk of this; they shall be famous to all posterity;" whereas their time and thoughts will be taken up about present things, as ours are now. -- Jonathan Swift
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Quotations are best brought in to confirm some opinion controverted. -- Jonathan Swift
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Time is painted with a lock before, and bald behind, signifying thereby that we must take time by the forelock; for, when it is once past, there is no recalling it. -- Jonathan Swift
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Very few men, properly speaking, live at present, but are providing to live another time. -- Jonathan Swift
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By the laws of God, of nature, of nations, and of your country you are and ought to be as free a people as your brethren in England. -- Jonathan Swift
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The tucked-up sempstress walks with hasty strides, While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides. -- Jonathan Swift
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When we desire or solicit anything, our minds run wholly on the good side or circumstances of it; when it is obtained, our minds run wholly on the bad ones. -- Jonathan Swift
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He likewise directed, that every senator in the great council of a nation, after he had delivered his opinion, and argued in the defence of it, should be obliged to give his vote directly contrary; because if that were done, the result would infallibly terminate in the good of the public. -- Jonathan Swift
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whereof one was a page that held up his train, and -- Jonathan Swift
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Whence proceeds this weight we lay
On what detracting people say?
Their utmost malice cannot make
Your head, or tooth, or finger ache;
Nor spoil your shapes, distort your face,
Or put one feature out of place. -- Jonathan Swift
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Polite Conversation 'Tis happy for him, that his father was before him. -- Jonathan Swift
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The greatest Inventions were produced in Times of Ignorance; as the Use of the Compass, Gunpowder, and Printing; and by the dullest Nation, as the Germans. -- Jonathan Swift
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When any one person or body of men seize into their hands the power in the last resort, there is properly no longer a government, but what Aristotle and his followers call the abuse and corruption of one. -- Jonathan Swift
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Simplicity, without which no human performance can arrive at perfection. -- Jonathan Swift
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Gulliver describes a royal personage inspiring awe among the tiny Lilliputians because he was taller than his brethren by the breadth of a human fingernail. -- Jonathan Swift
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Satire, being levelled at all, is never resented for an offence by any. -- Jonathan Swift
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I desired that the Senate of Rome might appear before me in one large chamber, and a modern representative, in counterview, in another. The first seemed to be an assembly of heroes and demi-gods; the other, a knot of pedlars, pick-pockets, highwaymen, and bullies. -- Jonathan Swift
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In all assemblies, though you wedge them ever so close, we may observe this peculiar property, that over their heads there is room enough; but how to reach it is the difficult point. To this end the philosopher's way in all ages has been by erecting certain edifices in the air. -- Jonathan Swift
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"Lawyers Are": Those whose interests and abilities lie in perverting, confounding and eluding the law. -- Jonathan Swift
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and the first words I learnt, were to express my desire "that he would please give me my liberty;" which I every day repeated on my knees. His -- Jonathan Swift
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I can discover no political evil in suffering bullies, sharpers, and rakes, to rid the world of each other by a method of their own; where the law hath not been able to find an expedient. -- Jonathan Swift
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A prince, the moment he is crown'd,
Inherits every virtue sound,
As emblems of the sovereign power,
Like other baubles in the Tower:
Is generous, valiant, just, and wise,
And so continues till he dies. -- Jonathan Swift
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Patience alleviates, as impatience augments, pain; thus persons of strong will suffer less than those who give way to irritation. -- Jonathan Swift
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Lilliputians think nothing can be more unjust, than for people, in subservience to their own appetites, to bring children into the world, and leave the burthen of supporting them on the public. As -- Jonathan Swift
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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
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For as health is but one thing, and has been always the same, whereas diseases are by thousands, besides new and daily additions, so all the virtues that have been ever in mankind are to be counted upon a few fingers, but his follies and vices are innumerable, and time adds hourly to the heap. -- Jonathan Swift
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Two days after this adventure, the emperor, having ordered that part of his army which quarters in and about his metropolis, to be in readiness, took a fancy of diverting himself in a very singular manner. He desired I would stand like a Colossus, with my legs as far asunder as I conveniently could. -- Jonathan Swift
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Complaint is the largest tribute heaven receives and the sincerest part of our devotion. -- Jonathan Swift
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Let a man be ne'er so wise, he may be caught with sober lies. -- Jonathan Swift
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Neither is it safe to count upon the weakness of any man's understanding, who is thoroughly possessed of the spirit of revenge to sharpen his invention. -- Jonathan Swift
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This is every cook's opinion -
no savory dish without an onion,
but lest your kissing should be spoiled
your onions must be fully boiled. -- Jonathan Swift
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Love of flattery, in most men, proceeds from the mean opinion they have of themselves; in women, from the contrary. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. -- Jonathan Swift
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All fits of pleasure are balanced by an equal degree of pain and languor; it's like spending this year part of next year's revenue. -- Jonathan Swift
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She 's no chicken; she 's on the wrong side of thirty, if she be a day. -- Jonathan Swift
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Positiveness is a good quality for preachers and speakers because, whoever shares his thoughts with the public will convince them as he himself appears convinced. -- Jonathan Swift
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The translators of the Bible were masters of an English style much fitter for that work than any we see in our present writings; the which is owing to the simplicity that runs through the whole. -- Jonathan Swift
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The latter part of a wise person's life is occupied with curing the follies, prejudices and false opinions they contracted earlier. -- Jonathan Swift
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Story-telling is subject to two unavoidable defects,
frequent repetition and being soon exhausted; so that, whoever values this gift in himself, has need of a good memory, and ought frequently to shift his company. -- Jonathan Swift
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When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore. -- Jonathan Swift
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So endless and exorbitant are the desires of men that they will grasp at all, and can form no scheme of perfect happiness with less. -- Jonathan Swift
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Would a writer know how to behave himself with relation td posterity? Let him consider in old books what he finds that he is glad to know, and what omissions he most laments. -- Jonathan Swift
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Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. -- Jonathan Swift
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One principal object of good-breeding is to suit our behaviour to the three several degrees of men, our superiors, our equals, and those below us. -- Jonathan Swift
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Who can deny that all men are violent lovers of the truth, when we see them so positive in their errors, which they will maintain out of their zeal for truth, although they contradict themselves every day of their lives. -- Jonathan Swift
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This Day, whate'er the Fates decree;
Shall still be kept with Joy by me:
This Day then, let us not be told,
That you are sick, and I grown old -- Jonathan Swift
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I swam as fortune directed me, and -- Jonathan Swift
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It is in disputes as in armies, where the weaker side sets up false lights, and makes a great noise, to make the enemy believe them more numerous and strong than they really are. -- Jonathan Swift
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In church your grandsire cut his throat; to do the job too long he tarried: he should have had my hearty vote to cut his throat before he married. -- Jonathan Swift
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Nor do they trust their tongue alone, but speak a language of their own; can read a nod, a shrug, a look, far better than a printed book; convey a libel in a frown, and wink a reputation down. -- Jonathan Swift
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What religion is he of?
Why, he is an Anythingarian. -- Jonathan Swift
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I slept about eight hours, as I was afterwards assured; and it was no wonder, for the physicians, by the emperor's order, had mingled a sleepy potion in the hogsheads of wine. -- Jonathan Swift
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So, naturalists observe, a flea; Hath smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller fleas to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum. -- Jonathan Swift
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I love good creditable acquaintance; I love to be the worst of the company. -- Jonathan Swift
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I have heard of a man who had a mind to sell his house, and therefore carried a piece of brick in his pocket, which he shewed as a pattern to encourage purchasers. -- Jonathan Swift
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A Child will make two Dishes at an Entertainment for Friends; and when the Family dines alone, the fore or hind Quarter will makea reasonable Dish; and seasoned with a little Pepper or Salt, will be very good Boiled on the fourth Day, especially in Winter. -- Jonathan Swift
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Orators inflame the people, whose anger is really but a short fit of madness. -- Jonathan Swift
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I shall be like that tree-I shall die at the top. -- Jonathan Swift
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The chameleon, who is said to feed upon nothing but air, has of all animals the nimblest tongue. -- Jonathan Swift
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No preacher is listened to but time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that elder people have in vain tried to put into our heads before. -- Jonathan Swift
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Such a man, truly wise, creams off Nature leaving the sour and the dregs for philosophy and reason to lap up. -- Jonathan Swift
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I forget whether advice be among the lost things which Ariosto says are to be found in the moon: that and time ought to have been there. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is with wits as with razors, which are never so apt to cut those they are employed on as when they have lost their edge. -- Jonathan Swift
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Live every day as your last, because one of these days, it will be. -- Jonathan Swift
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There are few wild beasts more to be dreaded than a talking man having nothing to say. -- Jonathan Swift
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I won't quarrel with my bread and butter. -- Jonathan Swift
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Abstracts, abridgments, summaries, etc., have the same use with burning-glasses,
to collect the diffused light rays of wit and learning in authors, and make them point with warmth and quickness upon the reader's imagination. -- Jonathan Swift
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I would rather be a freeman among slaves than a slave among freemen. -- Jonathan Swift
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The reason why so few marriages are happy is because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages. -- Jonathan Swift
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Most sorts of diversion in men, children and other animals, are in imitation of fighting. -- Jonathan Swift
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If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning etc., beginning from his youth, and so go to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last. -- Jonathan Swift
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The proper words in the proper places are the true definition of style. -- Jonathan Swift
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For they have no conception how a rational creature can be compelled, but only advised, or exhorted; because no person can disobey reason, without giving up his claim to be a rational creature. -- Jonathan Swift
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The worst mark you can recieve is a promise, especially when it is confirmed with an oath; after which every man retires, and gives over all hopes. (referring to Chief Minister of State) -- Jonathan Swift
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The ruin of a State is generally preceded by an universal degeneracy of manners and contempt of religion. -- Jonathan Swift
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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 reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it. -- Jonathan Swift
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In men desire begets love, and in women love begets desire. -- Jonathan Swift
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My Lawyer being practiced almost from his Cradle in defending Falsehood; is quite out of his Element when he would be an Advocate for Justice, which as an Office unnatural, he always attempts with great Awkwardness if not with Ill-will. -- Jonathan Swift
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truth, justice, temperance, and -- Jonathan Swift
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There never appear more than five or six men of genius in an age, but if they were united the world could not stand before them. -- Jonathan Swift
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Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. -- Jonathan Swift
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Where I am not understood, it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath. -- Jonathan Swift
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A lie is an excuse guarded -- Jonathan Swift
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Lord, Madame, I have fed like a farmer; I shall grow as fat as a porpoise. -- Jonathan Swift
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Difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives: for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine. -- Jonathan Swift
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All panegyrics are mingled with an infusion of poppy. -- Jonathan Swift
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An idle reason lessens the weight of the good ones you gave before. -- Jonathan Swift
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In all I wish, how happy should I be,
Thou grand Deluder, were it not for thee?
So weak thou art that fools thy power despise;
And yet so strong, thou triumph'st o'er the wise. -- Jonathan Swift
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Love why do we one passion call,
When 'tis a compound of them all?
Where hot and cold, where sharp and sweet,
In all their equipages meet;
Where pleasures mix'd with pains appear,
Sorrow with joy, and hope with fear. -- Jonathan Swift
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In like manner, the disbelief of a Divine Providence renders a man uncapable of holding any public station; for, since kings avow themselves to be the deputies of Providence. -- Jonathan Swift
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Strange an astrologer should die, without one wonder in the sky. -- Jonathan Swift
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A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart. -- Jonathan Swift
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I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is likewise to be observed that this society hath a peculiar chant and jargon of their own, that no other mortal can understand, and wherein all their laws are written, which they take special care to multiply. -- Jonathan Swift
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O Grub Street! how do I bemoan thee, whose graceless children scorn to own thee! . Yet thou hast greater cause to be ashamed of them, than they of thee. -- Jonathan Swift
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You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday -- Jonathan Swift
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That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy. -- Jonathan Swift
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The chains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me not only the liberty of walking backwards and forwards in a semicircle, but, being fixed within four inches of the gate, allowed me to creep in, and lie at my full length in the temple. , -- Jonathan Swift
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Everyone desires long life, not one old age. -- Jonathan Swift
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I have always a sacred veneration for anyone I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher. -- Jonathan Swift
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Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent. -- Jonathan Swift
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Frequently exercised in my sight, to accustom themselves to me. -- Jonathan Swift
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I must complain the cards are ill shuffled till I have a good hand. -- Jonathan Swift
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When a man is made a spiritual peer he loses his surname; when a temporal, his Christian name. -- Jonathan Swift
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So geographers, in Africa maps, With savage pictures fill their gaps, And o'er uninhabitable downs Place elephants for want of towns -- Jonathan Swift
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She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on with a pitchfork. -- Jonathan Swift
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Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived. -- Jonathan Swift
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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
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When I am reading a book, whether wise or silly, it seems to me to be alive and talking to me. -- Jonathan Swift
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The most ignorant person, at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, might write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, laws, mathematics, and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study. -- Jonathan Swift
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Dignity, high station, or great riches, are in some sort necessary to old men, in order to keep the younger at a distance, who are otherwise too apt to insult them upon the score of their age. -- Jonathan Swift
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Rhetoric in serious discourses is like the flowers in corn; pleasing to those who come only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap profit from it. -- Jonathan Swift
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Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison. -- Jonathan Swift
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Fine words! I wonder where you stole them. -- Jonathan Swift
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Great abilities, when employed as God directs, do but make the owners of them greater and more painful servants to their neighbors. -- Jonathan Swift
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I'm up and down and round about, Yet all the world can't find me out; Though hundreds have employed their leisure, They never yet could find my measure. -- Jonathan Swift
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She watches him as a cat would watch a mouse. -- Jonathan Swift
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Where Young must torture his invention To flatter knaves, or lose his pension. -- Jonathan Swift
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I remember it was with extreme difficulty that I could bring my master to understand the meaning of the word opinion, or how a point could be disputable; because reason taught us to affirm or deny only where we are certain; and beyond our knowledge we cannot do either. -- Jonathan Swift
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A maxim in law has more weight in the world than an article of faith. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is a miserable thing to live in suspense; it is the life of the spider. -- Jonathan Swift
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When we are old, our friends find it difficult to please us, and are less concerned whether we be pleased or not. -- Jonathan Swift
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Nothing is so great an instance of ill-manners as flattery. -- Jonathan Swift
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The atheists, libertines, despisers of religion ... that is to say all those who usually pass under the name of Free-thinkers. -- Jonathan Swift
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Just get the right syllable in the proper place. -- Jonathan Swift
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Opium is not so stupefying to many persons as an afternoon sermon. -- Jonathan Swift
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The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver's watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting. -- Jonathan Swift
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Many hundred large volumes have been published upon this controversy: but the books of the Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party rendered incapable by law of holding employments. -- Jonathan Swift
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Big-endians and small-endians. -- Jonathan Swift
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There were many times my pants were so thin I could sit on a dime and tell if it was heads or tails. -- Jonathan Swift
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The two maxims of any great man at court are, always to keep his countenance, and never to keep his word. -- Jonathan Swift
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Unjustly poets we asperse: Truth shines the brighter clad in verse, And all the fictions they pursue Do but insinuate what is true. -- Jonathan Swift
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There are but three ways for a man to revenge himself of the censure of the world,
to despise it, to return the like, or to endeavor to live so as to avoid it; the first of these is usually pretended, the last is almost impossible, the universal practice is for the second. -- Jonathan Swift
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Flattery is the worst and fastest way of showing our esteem -- Jonathan Swift
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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
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All Pretences of foretelling by Astrology, are Deceits; for this manifest Reason, because the Wise and Learned, who can only judge whether there be any Truth in this Science, do all unanimously agree to laugh at and despise it; and none but the poor ignorant Vulgar give it any Credit. -- Jonathan Swift
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Caesar freely confessed to me, that the greatest actions of his own life were not equal, by many degrees, to the glory of taking it away. -- Jonathan Swift
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Although the devil be the father of lies, he seems, like other great inventors, to have lost much of his reputation by the continual improvements that have been made upon him. -- Jonathan Swift
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There is no vice or folly that requires so much nicety and skill to manage as vanity; nor any which by ill management makes so contemptible a figure. -- Jonathan Swift
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I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout. -- Jonathan Swift
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Those dreams that on the silent night intrude, and with false flitting shapes our minds delude ... are mere productions of the brain. And fools consult interpreters in vain. -- Jonathan Swift
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Reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion, which by reasoning he never acquired -- Jonathan Swift
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Religion supposed Heaven and Hell, the word of God, and sacraments, and twenty other circumstances which, taken seriously, are a wonderful check to wit and humour. -- Jonathan Swift
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There is no vice which humankind carries to such wild extremes as that of avarice. -- Jonathan Swift
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She has more goodness in her little finger than he has in his whole body. -- Jonathan Swift
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The various opinions of philosophers have scattered through the world as many plagues of the mind as Pandora's box did those of the body; only with this difference, that they have not left hope at the bottom. -- Jonathan Swift
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Good manners is the art of making people comfortable. Whoever makes the fewest people uncomfortable has the best manners. -- Jonathan Swift
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May you live every day of your life. -- Jonathan Swift
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With a whirl of thought oppressed
I sink from reverie to rest.
An horrid vision seized my head,
I saw the graves give up their dead. -- Jonathan Swift
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Nature has left every man a capacity of being agreeable, though not of shining in company; and there are a hundred men sufficiently qualified for both who, by a very few faults, that they might correct in half an hour, are not so much as tolerable. -- Jonathan Swift
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What they do in heaven we are ignorant of; what they do not do we are told expressly. -- Jonathan Swift
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Say, Britain, could you ever boast, Three poets in an age at most? Our chilling climate hardly bears A sprig of bays in fifty years. -- Jonathan Swift
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Coffee makes us severe, and grave and philosophical. -- Jonathan Swift
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Politics, as the word is commonly understood, are nothing but corruptions. -- Jonathan Swift
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In oratory the greatest art is to hide art. -- Jonathan Swift
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Though fear should lend him pinions like the wind, yet swifter fate will seize him from behind. -- Jonathan Swift
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Bachelor's fare: bread and cheese, and kisses. -- Jonathan Swift
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The scholars of Ireland seem not to have the least conception of style, but run on in a flat phraseology, often mingled with barbarous terms. -- Jonathan Swift
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Seamen have a custom, when they meet a whale, to fling him out an empty tub by way of amusement, to divert him from laying violent hands upon the ship. -- Jonathan Swift
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Few are qualified to shine in company, but it is in most men's power to be agreeable. -- Jonathan Swift
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Proper words in proper places make the true definition of style. -- Jonathan Swift
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No man was ever so completely skilled in the conduct of life, as not to receive new information from age and experience. -- Jonathan Swift
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As blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense. -- Jonathan Swift
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Everybody wants to live forever, but nobody wants to grow old. -- Jonathan Swift
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My horses understand me tolerably well; I converse with them at least four hours every day. They are strangers to bridle or saddle; they live in great amity with me, and friendship of each other. -- Jonathan Swift
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But a Broom-stick, perhaps you will say, is an Emblem of a Tree standing on its Head; and pray what is Man but a topsy-turvy Creature? His Animal Faculties perpetually mounted on his Rational; his Head where his Heels should be, groveling on the Earth. -- Jonathan Swift
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Ah, a German and a genius ! A prodigy, admit him ! -- Jonathan Swift
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Take a strict view of their excrements, and, from the colour, the odour, the taste, the consistence, the crudeness or maturity of digestion, form a judgment of their thoughts and designs; because men are never so serious, thoughtful, and intent, as when they are at stool ... -- Jonathan Swift
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They have a notion, that when people are met together, a short silence does much improve conversation: this I found to be true; for during those little intermissions of talk, new ideas would arise in their minds, which very much enlivened the discourse. -- Jonathan Swift
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This wine should be eaten, it is too good to be drunk. -- Jonathan Swift
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I winked at my own littleness, as people do at their own faults. -- Jonathan Swift
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When dunces are satiric, I take it for a panegyric. -- Jonathan Swift
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However, in my thoughts I could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who durst venture to mount and walk upon my body, while one of my hands was at liberty, without trembling at the very sight of so prodigious a creature as I must appear to them. -- Jonathan Swift
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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
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A poor spirit is poorer than a poor purse. A very few pounds a year would ease a man of the scandal of avarice. -- Jonathan Swift
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If a lump of soot falls into the soup and you cannot conveniently get it out, stir it well in and it will give the soup a French taste. -- Jonathan Swift
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The sight of you is good for sore eyes. -- Jonathan Swift
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He was a fiddler, and consequently a rogue. -- Jonathan Swift
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There is nothing in this world constant, but inconstancy. -- Jonathan Swift
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When men grow virtuous in their old age, they only make a sacrifice to God of the devil's leavings. -- Jonathan Swift
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Poor Nations are hungry, and rich Nations are proud, and Pride and Hunger will ever be at Variance. -- Jonathan Swift
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The example alone of a vicious prince will corrupt an age; but that of a good one will not reform it. -- Jonathan Swift
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Hail fellow, well met. -- Jonathan Swift
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A fig for your bill of fare; show me your bill of company. -- Jonathan Swift
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Some dire misfortune to portend, no enemy can match a friend. -- Jonathan Swift
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Desponding Phyllis was endu'd
With ev'ry Talent of a Prude,
She trembled when a Man drew near;
Salute her, and she turn'd her Ear:
If o'er against her you were plac'd
She durst not look above your Waist -- Jonathan Swift
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Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe, how much it altered her person for the worse. -- Jonathan Swift
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I know Sir John will go, though he was sure it would rain cats and dogs. -- Jonathan Swift
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Men of great parts are often unfortunate in the management of public business, because they are apt to go out of the common road by the quickness of their imagination. -- Jonathan Swift
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Words are the clothing of our thoughts. -- Jonathan Swift
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Two friendships in two breasts requires The same aversions and desires. -- Jonathan Swift
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Many a truth is told in jest. -- Jonathan Swift
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A nice man is a man of nasty ideas. -- Jonathan Swift
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I am of the level with common Astrologers; who, with an old paltry cant, and a few pot-hooks for planets to amuse the vulgar, have too long been suffered to abuse the world. -- Jonathan Swift
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If you were not reasoned into your beliefs, you cannot be reasoned out of them. -- Jonathan Swift
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By candle-light nobody would have taken you for above five-and-twenty. -- Jonathan Swift
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When a real genius appeares in this world, you'll know him by the fact that all the fools have allied against him. -- Jonathan Swift
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The bulk of mankind is as well equipped for flying as thinking. -- Jonathan Swift
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Faith, that's as well said as if I had said it myself. -- Jonathan Swift
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...I hid myself between two leaves of sorrel, and there discharged the necessities of nature. -- Jonathan Swift
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Brisk talkers are usually slow thinkers. There is, indeed, no wild beast more to be dreaded than a communicative man having nothing to communicate. If you are civil to the voluble they will abuse your patience; if brusque, your character. -- Jonathan Swift
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The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.
-- Jonathan Swift
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The reader may remember, that when I signed those articles upon which I recovered my liberty, there were some which I disliked, upon account of their being too servile; neither -- Jonathan Swift
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Pedantry is properly the over-rating of any kind of knowledge we pretend to. -- Jonathan Swift
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Life is a tragedy wherein we sit as spectators for a while and then act our part in it. -- Jonathan Swift
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I could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who -- Jonathan Swift
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Possession, they say, is eleven points of the law. -- Jonathan Swift
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The first springs of great events, like those of great rivers, are often mean and little. -- Jonathan Swift
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Physicians ought not to give their judgment of religion, for the same reason that butchers are not admitted to be jurors upon life and death. -- Jonathan Swift
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Don't set your wit against a child. -- Jonathan Swift
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Brutes find out where their talents lie; a bear will not attempt to fly. -- Jonathan Swift
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But he may please to consider, that the caprices of womankind are not limited by any climate or nation; and that they are much more uniform than can be easily imagined. -- Jonathan Swift
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If the world had but a dozen Arbuthnots I would burn my [Gulliver's] Travels. -- Jonathan Swift
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Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it. -- Jonathan Swift
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I row after health like a waterman ... -- Jonathan Swift
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There is nothing constant in this world but inconsistency. -- Jonathan Swift
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They say fish should swim thrice * * * first it should swim in the sea (do you mind me?) then it should swim in butter, and at last, sirrah, it should swim in good claret. -- Jonathan Swift
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That was excellently observed', say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken. -- Jonathan Swift
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Let that be as it will, thus much is certain, that, however spiritual intrigues begin, they generally conclude like all others; they may branch upward toward heaven, but the root is in the earth. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is an uncontrolled truth, that no man ever made an ill figure who understood his own talents, nor a good one who mistook them. -- Jonathan Swift
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Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through. -- Jonathan Swift
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The system of morality to be gathered from the ancient sages falls very short of that delivered in the gospel. -- Jonathan Swift
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I cannot but conclude that the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth. -- Jonathan Swift
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I hate nobody: I am in charity with the world. -- Jonathan Swift
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Every dog must have his day. -- Jonathan Swift
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For though, in nature, depth and height
Are equally held infinite:
In poetry, the height we know;
'Tis only infinite below. -- Jonathan Swift
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What some people invent the rest enlarge. -- Jonathan Swift
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A ridiculous passion which hath no being but in play-books and romances. -- Jonathan Swift
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Pray steal me not, I'm Mrs. Dingley's, Whose heart in this four-footed thing lies. -- Jonathan Swift
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We have chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light. -- Jonathan Swift
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Though Diogenes lived in a tub, there might be, for aught I know, as much pride under his rags, as in the fine-spun garments of the divine Plato. -- Jonathan Swift
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Perverseness is your whole defence. -- Jonathan Swift
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Men always grow vicious before they become unbelievers. -- Jonathan Swift
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If a man will observe as he walks the streets, I believe he will find the merriest countenances in mourning coaches. -- Jonathan Swift
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111 company is like a dog, who dirts those most whom he loves best. -- Jonathan Swift
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Come, agree, the law's costly. -- Jonathan Swift
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For to enter the palace of learning at the great gate requires an expense of time and forms, therefore men of much haste and little ceremony are content to get in by the back-door -- Jonathan Swift
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Promises and pie-crust are made to be broken. -- Jonathan Swift
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Religion seems to have grown an infant with age, and requires miracles to nurse it, as it had in its infancy. -- Jonathan Swift
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The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable, for the happy impute all their success to prudence or merit. -- Jonathan Swift
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Whoe'er excels in what we prize,
Appears a hero in our eyes;
Each girl, when pleased with what is taught,
Will have the teacher in her thought.
...
A blockhead with melodious voice,
In boarding-schools may have his choice. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is a maxim, that those, to whom everybody allows the second place, have an undoubted title to the first. -- Jonathan Swift
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The more careless, the more modish. -- Jonathan Swift
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Surely mortal man is a broomstick! -- Jonathan Swift
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Of so little weight are the greatest services to princes, when put into the balance with a refusal to gratify their passions. -- Jonathan Swift
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No man will take counsel, but every man will take money. Therefore, money is better than counsel. -- Jonathan Swift
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Brisk talkers are generally slow thinkers. -- Jonathan Swift
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Conversation is but carving! Give no more to every guest Than he's able to digest. -- Jonathan Swift
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Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want. -- Jonathan Swift
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A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart. -- Jonathan Swift
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Words are but wind; and learning is nothing but words; ergo, learning is nothing but wind. -- Jonathan Swift
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A pleasant companion is as good as a coach. -- Jonathan Swift
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What poet would not grieve to see
His brother write as well as he?
But rather than they should excel,
He'd wish his rivals all in Hell. -- Jonathan Swift
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But as human happiness is of a very short duration, so in those days were human fashions upon which it entirely depends. -- Jonathan Swift
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Under this window in stormy weather I marry this man and woman together; Let none but Him who rules the thunder Put this man and woman asunder. -- Jonathan Swift
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A little grain of the romance is no ill ingredient to preserve and exalt the dignity of human nature, without which it is apt to degenerate into everything that is sordid, vicious and low. -- Jonathan Swift
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Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse. Whoever makes the fewest people uneasy is the best bred in the room. -- Jonathan Swift
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A true critic, in the perusal of a book, is like a dog at a feast, whose thoughts and stomach are wholly set upon what the guests fling away, and consequently is apt to snarl most when there are the fewest bones. -- Jonathan Swift
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The affectation of some late authors to introduce and multiply cant words is the most ruinous corruption in any language. -- Jonathan Swift
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The emperor, and all his court, came out to meet us; but his great officers would by no means suffer his majesty to endanger his person by mounting on my body. At -- Jonathan Swift
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My father had a small Estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the Third of five Sons. -- Jonathan Swift
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How often do we contradict the right rules of reason in the whole course of our lives! Reason itself is true and just, but the reason of every particular man is weak and wavering, perpetually swayed and turned by his interests, his passions, and his vices. -- Jonathan Swift
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I used to wonder how a man of birth and spirit could endure to be wholly insignificant and obscure in a foreign country, when he might live with lustre in his own. -- Jonathan Swift
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There are few, very few, that will own themselves in a mistake. -- Jonathan Swift
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Ever eating, never cloying, All-devouring, all-destroying Never finding full repast, Till I eat the world at last. -- Jonathan Swift
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My nose itched, and I knew I should drink wine or kiss a fool. -- Jonathan Swift
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Fond of those hives where folly reigns,
And cards and scandal are the chains,
Where the pert virgin slights a name,
And scorns to redden into shame. -- Jonathan Swift
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Vanity is a mark of humility rather than of pride. -- Jonathan Swift
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If the men of wit and genius would resolve never to complain in their works of critics and detractors, the next age would not know that they ever had any. -- Jonathan Swift
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Wise people are never less alone than when they are alone. -- Jonathan Swift
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Interest is the spur of the people, but glory that of great souls. Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age. -- Jonathan Swift
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Some men, under the notion of weeding out prejudice, eradicate virtue, honesty and religion. -- Jonathan Swift
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I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing. -- Jonathan Swift
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Tell truth, and shame the devil. -- Jonathan Swift
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I am convinced that if the virtuosi could once find out a world in the moon, with a passage to it, our women would wear nothing but what directly came from thence. -- Jonathan Swift
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Besides, I now considered myself as bound by the laws of hospitality, to a people who had treated me with so much expense and magnificence. -- Jonathan Swift
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When I gave that free censure of the country and its inhabitants, he made no further answer than by telling me, that I had not been long enough among them to form a judgment; and that the different nations of the world had different customs; -- Jonathan Swift
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Once kick the world, and the world and you will live together at a reasonably good understanding. -- Jonathan Swift
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Triumphant Tories, and desponding Whigs,
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs. -- Jonathan Swift
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When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
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The common fluency of speech in many men, and most women, is owing to a scarcity of matter and a scarcity of words; for whosoever is a master of language, and hath a mind full of ideas, will be apt, in speaking, to hesitate upon the choice of both. -- Jonathan Swift
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For, what though his Head be empty, provided his Common place-Book be full ... -- Jonathan Swift
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Punning is an art of harmonious jingling upon words, which, passing in at the ears, excites a titillary motion in those parts; and this, being conveyed by the animal spirits into the muscles of the face, raises the cockles of the heart. -- Jonathan Swift
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Punning is a talent which no man affects to despise but he that is without it. -- Jonathan Swift
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A college joke to cure the dumps. -- Jonathan Swift
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Better belly burst than good liquor be lost. -- Jonathan Swift
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I love white Portugal wine better than claret, champagne, or burgundy. I have a sad vulgar appetite. -- Jonathan Swift
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A stander-by may sometimes, perhaps, see more of the game than he that plays it. -- Jonathan Swift
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All disgracers of the press in prose and verse condemned to eat nothing but their own cotton, and quench their thirst with their own ink. -- Jonathan Swift
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I should perhaps like others have astonished you with strange improbable tales; but I rather chose to relate plain matter of fact in the simplest manner and style; because my principal design was to inform you, and not to amuse you. -- Jonathan Swift
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Vision is seeing the invisible. -- Jonathan Swift
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Books, like men their authors, have no more than one way of coming into the world, but there are ten thousand to go out of it, and return no more. -- Jonathan Swift
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Silks, velvets, calicoes, and the whole lexicon of female fopperies. -- Jonathan Swift
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Rebukes are easy from our betters,
From men of quality and letters;
But when low dunces will affront,
What man alive can stand the brunt? -- Jonathan Swift
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Truth shines the brighter clad in verse. -- Jonathan Swift
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Hail, follow, well met, All dirty and wet: Find out, if you can, Who's master, who's man. -- Jonathan Swift
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Do you think I was born in a wood to be afraid of an owl? -- Jonathan Swift
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Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age. -- Jonathan Swift
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If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is, he keeps his at the same time. -- Jonathan Swift
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Perpetual aiming at wit is a very bad part of conversation. It is done to support a character: it generally fails; it is a sort of insult on the company, and a restraint upon the speaker. -- Jonathan Swift
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Arbitrary power is but the first natural step from anarchy, or the savage life. -- Jonathan Swift
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There's none so blind as they that won't see. -- Jonathan Swift
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When I am in danger of bursting, I will go and whisper among the reeds. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is in men as in soils where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not. -- Jonathan Swift
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Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old. -- Jonathan Swift
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Fools are apt to imitate only the defects of their betters. -- Jonathan Swift
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Your onions should be thoroughly boiled. -- Jonathan Swift
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An atheist has got one point beyond the devil. -- Jonathan Swift
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When a man of genius appears in the world, it is immediately recognized by the fact that all the blockheads join forces against him. -- Jonathan Swift
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He that calls a man ungrateful sums up all the veil that a man can be guilty of. -- Jonathan Swift
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Have you not observed that there is a lower kind of discretion and regularity, which seldom fails of raising men to the highest station in the court, the church, and the law? -- Jonathan Swift
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Principally I hate and detest that animal called man; although I heartily love John, Peter, Thomas, and so forth. -- Jonathan Swift
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Cruel people are ever cowards in emergency. -- Jonathan Swift
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Their education is of little consequence to the public; but the old and diseased among them are supported by hospitals: for begging is a trade unknown in this Empire -- Jonathan Swift
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A wise man will find us to be rogues by our faces. -- Jonathan Swift
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I never knew any man cured of inattention. -- Jonathan Swift
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We have an intuitive sense of our duty. -- Jonathan Swift
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My hunger serves me instead of a clock. -- Jonathan Swift
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In all distresses of our friends We first consult our private ends; While Nature, kindly bent to ease us, Points out some circumstance to please us. -- Jonathan Swift
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You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. -- Jonathan Swift
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A soldier is a "Yahoo" hired to kill in cold blood as many of his own Species, who have never offended him, as possibly he can. -- Jonathan Swift
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I'll give you leave to call me anything, if you don't call me spade. -- Jonathan Swift
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For want of a block, man will stumble at a straw. -- Jonathan Swift
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Small causes are sufficient to make a man uneasy, when great ones are not in the way: for want of a block he will stumble at a straw. -- Jonathan Swift
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Had Windham possessed discretion in debate, or Sheridan in conduct, they might have ruled their age. -- Jonathan Swift
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Men of wit, learning and virtue might strike out every offensive or unbecoming passage from plays. -- Jonathan Swift
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No wise man ever wished to be younger. -- Jonathan Swift
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The axe of intemperance has lopped off his green boughs and left him a withered trunk. -- Jonathan Swift
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Leagues, till we were able to work no longer, being already spent with labour while we were in the ship. -- Jonathan Swift
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The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet, when we want shoes. -- Jonathan Swift
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Reason is a very light rider, and easily shook off. -- Jonathan Swift
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Ale is meat, drink and cloth; it will make a cat speak and a wise man dumb. -- Jonathan Swift
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How is it possible to expect that mankind will take advice when they will not so much as take warning. -- Jonathan Swift
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A carpenter is known by his chips. -- Jonathan Swift
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Praise is the daughter of present power. -- Jonathan Swift
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It often happens that, if a lie be believed only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no further occasion for it. -- Jonathan Swift
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All human race would be wits. And millions miss, for one that hits. -- Jonathan Swift
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Flattery is the worst and falsest way of showing our esteem. -- Jonathan Swift
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Hobbes clearly proves, that every creature Lives in a state of war by nature. -- Jonathan Swift
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The worthiest people are the most injured by slander, as is the best fruit which the birds have been pecking at. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is the first rule in oratory that a man must appear such as he would persuade others to be: and that can be accomplished only by the force of his life. -- Jonathan Swift
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I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed. -- Jonathan Swift
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There seems to be no part of knowledge in fewer hands than that of discerning when to have done. -- Jonathan Swift
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Argument is the worst sort of conversation. -- Jonathan Swift
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I've often wish'd that I had clear, For life, six hundred pounds a year; A handsome house to lodge a friend; A river at my garden's end; A terrace walk, and half a rood Of land set out to plant a wood. -- Jonathan Swift
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Bread is the staff of life. -- Jonathan Swift
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Common fluency of speech in many men and most women is owing to a scarcity of matter. -- Jonathan Swift
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Arbitrary power is the natural object of temptation to a prince, as wine and women to a young fellow, or a bribe to a judge, or avarice to old age ... -- Jonathan Swift
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Under the rose, since here are none but friends, To own the truth we have some private ends. -- Jonathan Swift
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A tavern is a place where madness is sold by the bottle. -- Jonathan Swift
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A chuck under the chin is worth two kisses. -- Jonathan Swift
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Men are happy to be laughed at for their humor, but not for their folly. -- Jonathan Swift
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Vanity is a natural object of temptation to a woman. -- Jonathan Swift
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THE AUTHOR GIVES SOME ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF AND FAMILY: -- Jonathan Swift
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Walls have tongues, and hedges ears. -- Jonathan Swift
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A secret is seldom safe in more than one breast. -- Jonathan Swift
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We are so fond on one another because our ailments are the same. -- Jonathan Swift
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That his majesty gave many marks of his great lenity, often -- Jonathan Swift
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that Providence never intended to make the management of public affairs a mystery to be comprehended only by a few persons of sublime genius, of -- Jonathan Swift
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He was a bold man that first ate an oyster. -- Jonathan Swift
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Nothing more unqualified the man to act with prudence than a misfortune that is attended with shame and guilt. -- Jonathan Swift
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... he never tells a truth, but with an intent that you should take it for a lye; nor a lye, but with the design that you should take it for a truth... -- Jonathan Swift
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'T is an old maxim in the schools, That flattery 's the food of fools; Yet now and then your men of wit Will condescend to take a bit. -- Jonathan Swift
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That incessant envy wherewith the common rate of mankind pursues all superior natures to their own. -- Jonathan Swift
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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
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T is as cheap sitting as standing. -- Jonathan Swift
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We of this age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent method to become scholars and wits, without the fatigue of reading or of thinking. -- Jonathan Swift
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There is no quality so contrary to any nature which one cannot affect, and put on upon occasion, in order to serve an interest. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is the talent of human nature to run from one extreme to another. -- Jonathan Swift
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Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent. -- Jonathan Swift
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If a lie be believed only for an hour, it hath done its work. -- Jonathan Swift
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Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation, as in books it is generally the worst sort of reading. -- Jonathan Swift
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Polite Conversation Why, everyone one as they like; as the good woman said when she kissed her cow. -- Jonathan Swift
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From not the gravest of Divines,
Accept for once some serious Lines. -- Jonathan Swift
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It is very unfair in any writer to employ ignorance and malice together, because it gives his answerer double work. -- Jonathan Swift
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God hath intended our passions to prevail over reason. -- Jonathan Swift
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An excuse is a lie guarded. -- Jonathan Swift
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Old sciences are unraveled like old stockings, by beginning at the foot. -- Jonathan Swift
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Liberty of conscience is nowadays only understood to be the liberty of believing what men please, but also of endeavoring to propagate that belief as much as they can. -- Jonathan Swift
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An intelligent person should put money in the beginning, but not in heart -- Jonathan Swift
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Hereditary right should be kept sacred, not from any inalienable right in a particular family, but to avoid the consequences that usually attend the ambition of competitors. -- Jonathan Swift
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I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours. -- Jonathan Swift
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It may pass for a maxim in State, that the administration cannot be placed in too few hands, nor the legislature in too many. -- Jonathan Swift
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Philosophy! the lumber of the schools. -- Jonathan Swift
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And, is not Virtue in Mankind
The Nutriment that feeds the Mind? -- Jonathan Swift
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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
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A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbour. -- Jonathan Swift
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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
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You must take the will for the deed. -- Jonathan Swift
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You cannot reason a person out of something they were not reasoned into. -- Jonathan Swift
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A favor is half granted, when graciously refused. -- Jonathan Swift
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A wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because she cannot always be young. -- Jonathan Swift