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May 12, 2017

Quotations by Jonathan Swift


JONATHAN SWIFT (1667–1745), AN ANGLO-IRISH SATIRIST AND POLITICAL PAMPHLETEER.

“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, The Battle of the Books, preface (1704)


“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, The Battle of the Books, preface (1704)

“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, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“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, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

 “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“Laws are like Cobwebs which may catch small Flies, but let Wasps and Hornets break through. But in Oratory the greatest Art is to hide Art.”
~ Jonathan Swift, A Tritical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind (1707)

“Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of a style.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Letter to a Young Clergyman (January 9, 1720)

“Judges... are picked out from the most dextrous lawyers, who are grown old or lazy, and having been biased all their lives against truth or equity, are under such a fatal necessity of favoring fraud, perjury and oppression, that I have known several of them to refuse a large bribe from the side where justice lay, rather than injure the faculty by doing any thing unbecoming their nature in office.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

 “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, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“For, in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery: but in fact, eleven men well armed will certainly subdue one single man in his shirt.”
~ Jonathan Swift, The Drapier's Letters, letter iv (13 October, 1724)

“... a wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because she cannot always be young.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“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, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“The latter part of a wise man’s life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse. Whoever makes the fewest persons uneasy is the best bred in the company.”
~ Jonathan Swift, A Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding (1754)

“Poor Nations are hungry, and rich Nations are proud, and Pride and Hunger will ever be at Variance.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)
“The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable; for the happy impute all their success to prudence or merit.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“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, Hints Toward an Essay on Conversation (1709)

“A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.”
 ~ Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal (1729)

“It is impossible that any thing so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Religion (1765)

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