Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Swift is remembered for works such as A Tale of a Tub (1704), An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity (1712), Gulliver's Travels (1726), and A Modest Proposal (1729).

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May you live every day of your life.

May you live all the days of your life.

Books - the children of the brain.

My nose itched and I knew I should drink wine or kiss a fool.

Vanity is a mark of humility, rather than of pride.

Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.

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.

Every dog must have his day.

Invention is the talent of youth as judgment is of age.

I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.

Poor nations are hungry and rich nations are proud, and pride and hunger will ever be at variance.

The want of belief is a defect that ought to be concealed when it cannot be overcome.

We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning.

It is in men, as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not.

Observation is an old man's memory.

The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.

Don't set your wit against a child.

It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.

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

When a true genius appears you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

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.

There were many times my pants were so thin I could sit on a dime and tell if it was heads or tails.

A tavern is a place where madness is sold by the bottle.

Once kick the world and the world and you will live together at a reasonably good understanding.

Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.

Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.

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.

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.

Human brutes like other beasts find snares and poison in the provision of life and are allured by their appetites to their destruction.

Most sorts of diversion in men children and other animals are in imitation of fighting.

Promises and pie-crust are made to be broken.

Interest is the spur of the people but glory that of great souls. Invention is the talent of youth and judgment of age.

The latter part of a wise person's life is occupied with curing the follies prejudices and false opinions they contracted earlier.

Men are happy to be laughed at for their humor but not for their folly.

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.

He was a fiddler and consequently a rogue.

Where I am not understood it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath.

Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.

Politics as the word is commonly understood are nothing but corruptions.

A wise person should have money in their head but not in their heart.

One enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good.

Laws are like cobwebs which may catch small flies but let wasps and hornets break through.

We are so fond on one another because our ailments are the same.

I never wonder to see men wicked but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

Better belly burst than good liquor be lost.

Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall never be disappointed.

Principally I hate and detest that animal called man, although I heartily love John Peter Thomas and so forth.

He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.

If Heaven had looked upon riches to be a valuable thing it would not have given them to such a scoundrel.

The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable for the happy impute all their success to prudence or merit.

Where there are large powers with little ambition... nature may be said to have fallen short of her purposes.

There is nothing constant in this world but inconsistency.

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.

No wise man ever wished to be younger.

What they do in heaven we are ignorant of, what they do not do we are told expressly.

No man was ever so completely skilled in the conduct of life as not to receive new information from age and experience.

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.

As love without esteem is capricious and volatile, esteem without love is languid and cold.

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.

A wise man should have money in his head but not in his heart.

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.

There are few very few that will own themselves in a mistake.

Words are but wind, and learning is nothing but words, ergo learning is nothing but wind.

For in reason all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery.

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.

The proper words in the proper places are the true definition of style.

Power is no blessing in itself except when it is used to protect the innocent.

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