Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.
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.
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.
Ingratitude is amongst them a capital crime, as we read it to have been in some other countries: for they reason thus; that whoever makes ill-returns to his benefactor, must needs be a common enemy to the rest of the mankind, from where he has received no obligations and therefore such man is not fit to live.
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.
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.
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.
And I remember in frequent discourses with my master concerning the nature of manhood, in other parts of the world, having occasion to talk of lying and false representationà For he argued thus; that the use of speech was to make us understand one another, and to receive information of facts; now if any one said the thing which was not, these ends were defeatedà àhe leaves me worse than in ignorance, for I am led to believe a thing black when it is white, and short when it is long.
Reason is a very light rider, and easily shook off.
If a proud man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is that he keeps his at the same time
Words are but wind; and learning is nothing but words; ergo, learning is nothing but wind.
As blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.
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.
It was a bold person that first ate an oyster.
Do you think I was born in a wood to be afraid of an owl.
Ambition is a vice which often puts men upon doing the meanest offices so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.
Style may defined as the proper words in the proper places.
For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery.
Dreams are mere productions of the brain, And fools consult interpreters in vain.
Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.
Monday is parson's holiday.
Once kick the world, and the world and you will live together at a reasonably good understanding.
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 w
Pretense is the overrating of any kind of knowledge we pretend to.
I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.
Every dog must have his day.
Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.
I won't quarrel with my bread and butter.
May you live every day of your life.
It is a maxim, that those to whom everybody allows the second place have an undoubted title to the first.
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More Jonathan Swift Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Gulliver's Travels
Voltaire - Thomas Paine - Rudyard Kipling - Herbert Kaufman - Henry Lawson - Dr. Seuss - Charles Caleb Colton - Catherine Crowe - Bram Stoker - Arthur C. Clarke