BUTLER, Samuel Quotes
(1612-1680), English poet
In books, it is the chief of all perfections to be plain and brief.
The worst of governments are always the most changeable, and cost the people dearest.
In law nothing is certain but the expense.
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
Still his tongue ran on; the less weight it bore with greater ease; and with its everlasting clack, set all men's ears upon the rack.
An obstinate man does not hold opinions, but they hold him; for when he is once possest with an error it is like a devil, only cast out with great difficulty. Whatsoever he lays hold on, like a drowning man, he never loses, though it do but help to sink him the sooner. His ignorance is abrupt and inaccessible, impregnable both by art and nature, and will hold out to the last, though it has nothing but rubbish to defend.
The slighter and more inconsistent the opinions of the obstinate man are, the faster he holds them, otherwise they would fall asunder of themselves: for opinions that are false he holds with more strictness and assurance than those that are true.—He is resolved to understand no man's reason but his own, because he finds no man can understand his but himself. His wits are like a sack, which the proverb says, is tied faster before it is full, than when it is; and his opinions are like plants that grow upon rocks, that stick fast, though they have no rooting. His understanding is hardened like Pharaoh's heart, and is proof against all sorts of judgments whatsoever.
All a rhetorician's rules teach nothing but to name his tools.
Fools for arguments use wagers.