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by Jonathan Swift
A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday.
Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of a style.
Every man desires to live long; but no man would be old.
How haughtily he lifts his nose,
To tell what every schoolboy knows.
Hated by fools and fools to hate,
Be that my motto and my fate.
Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's faces but their own.—The Battle of the Books
We have just religion enough to makes us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.—Thoughts on Various Subjects
She wears he clothes as if they were thrown on her with a pitchfork.
That's as well said, as if I had said it myself.
Good God! What a genius I had when I wrote that book [A Tale of a Tub].
Argument is the worst sort of conversation.
Eloquence, smooth and cutting, is like a razor whetted with oil.
about Jonathan Swift
When people ask me how I governed Ireland, I say that I pleased Dr. Swift.—Lord Carteret, Letter to Swift, 1737
Swift was anima Rabelaisii habitans in sicco — the soul of Rabelais dwelling in a dry place.—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk
He possessed the Talents of a Lucian, a Rabelais, and a Cervantes, and in his Works exceeded them all.—Henry Fielding, Obituary notice in True Patriot
His character seems to me a parallel with that of Caligula, and had he had the same power, would have made the same use of it.—Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
We are right to think of Swift as a rebel and iconoclast, but except in certain secondary matters, such as his insistence that women should receive the same education as men, he cannot be labeled 'left'. He is a Tory anarchist, despising authority while disbelieving in liberty, and preserving the aristocratic outlook while seeing clearly that the existing aristocracy is degenerate and contemptible.—George Orwell, Politics vs Literature
Sources for Quotations
I use various sources for quotations on this site. Below are the most common sources I use. I also draw from my own collection of quotes and from primary sources.
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th edition. John Bartlett, Justin Kaplan, editors. Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1992.
The Dictionary of Biographical Quotation. Richard Kenin and Justin Wintle, editors. Dorset Press, New York, 1978
The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, fourth edition. Angela Partington, editor. Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1992
Peter's Quotations by Laurence J. Peter. Bantam Books, New York, 1980
The Quotations Page. <http://www.quotationspage.com/>