Josh Billings

Josh Billings

Josh Billings was the pen name of 19th-century American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw (April 21, 1818 – October 14, 1885). He was a famous humor writer and lecturer in the United States, perhaps second only to Mark Twain, during the latter half of the 19th century.

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There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared: twins.

Life is short but it's long enough to ruin any man who wants to be ruined.

Laughter is the fireworks of the soul.

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.

Reason often makes mistakes, but conscience never does.

To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.

Don't ever prophesy, for if you prophesy wrong nobody will forget it, and if you prophesy right nobody will remember it.

Man was created a little lower than the angels, and has been getting a little lower ever since.

About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.

Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.

Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt not swallowed.

A puppy plays with every pup he meets, but an old dog has few associates.

There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.

Love is said to be blind but I know some fellows in love who can see twice as much in their sweethearts as I do.

There are some people so addicted to exaggeration that they can't tell the truth without lying.

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.

If a man should happen to reach perfection in this world he would have to die immediately to enjoy himself.

Learning sleeps and snores in libraries but wisdom is everywhere wide awake on tiptoe.

Every man has his follies - and often they are the most interesting thing he has got.

If there was no faith there would be no living in this world. We could not even eat hash with any safety.

Be kind to your mother-in-law but pay for her board at some good hotel.

Love looks through a telescope, envy through a microscope.

Most people repent their sins by thanking God they ain't so wicked as their neighbors.

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.

It is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so.

I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.

It is a very delicate job to forgive a man without lowering him in his own estimation, and yours too.

Wisdom has never made a bigot but learning has.

Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.

Men mourn for what they have lost, women for what they ain't got.

The best medicine I know for rheumatism is to thank the Lord that it ain't gout.

About the only difference between the poor and the rich is this the poor suffer misery while the rich have to enjoy it.

If you ever find happiness by hunting for it you will find it as the old woman did her lost spectacles safe on her own nose all the time.

It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those that we intend to commit.

The trouble with people is not that they don't know but that they know so much that ain't so.

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are and doing things as they ought to be done.

There is no greater evidence of superior intelligence than to be surprised at nothing.

The thinner the ice the more anxious is everyone to see whether it will bear.

Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.

Words are often seen hunting for an idea but ideas are never seen hunting for words.

Most people when they come to you for advice come to have their own opinions strengthened not corrected.

It ain't often that a man's reputation outlasts his money.

I haven't got as much money as some folks but I've got as much impudence as any of them and that's the next thing to money.

A good way I know to find happiness is to not bore a hole to fit the plug.

One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.

Woman's influence is powerful especially when she wants something.

The man whose only pleasure in life is making money weighs less on the moral scale than an angleworm.

I think when the full horror of being fifty hits you you should stay home and have a good cry.

Genius ain't anything more than elegant common sense.

Common sense is instinct and enough of it is genius.

The road to ruin is always in good repair and the travellers pay the expense of it.

Old maids sweeten their tea with scandal.

As scarce as truth is the supply has always been in excess of the demand.

I have never known a person to live to be one hundred and be remarkable for anything else.

Knowledge is like money: the more he gets the more he craves.

There are people who are always anticipating trouble and in this way they manage to enjoy many sorrows that never really happen to them.

When a man comes to me for advice I find out the kind of advice he wants and I give it to him.

One of the best temporary cures for pride and affectation is seasickness, a man who wants to vomit never puts on airs.

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.

Time is like money the less we have of it to spare the further we make it go.

There's a great power in words if you don't hitch too many of them together.

Remember the poor it costs nothing.

Advice is like castor oil easy enough to give but dreadful uneasy to take.

One of the rarest things that a man ever does is to do the best he can.

Take all the fools out of this world and there wouldn't be any fun living in it or profit.

Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.

Confess your sins to the Lord and you will be forgiven, confess them to man and you will be laughed at.

Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess and yet all the honesty in the world ain't lawful tender for a loaf of bread.

It's not only the most difficult thing to know one's self but the most inconvenient.

Economy is a savings-bank into which men drop pennies and get dollars in return.

There are two kinds of fools: those who can't change their opinions and those who won't.

As a general thing when a woman wears the pants in a family she has a good right to them.

There is nothing so easy to learn as experience and nothing so hard to apply.

The wheel that squeaks the loudest is the one that gets the grease.

It is not all bad this getting old ripening. After the fruit has got its growth it should juice up and mellow. God forbid I should live long enough to ferment and rot and fall to the ground in a squash.

There's a lot of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it.

The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way.

Marrying for love may be a bit risky but it is so honest that God can't help but smile on it.

Threescore years and ten is enough, if a man can't suffer all the misery he wants in that time he must be numb.

The best time for you to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust.

No one can disgrace us but ourselves.