Jonathan Swift Quotes

Most popular Jonathan Swift Quotes

Books, the children of the brain.

books

Don't set your wit against a child.
— Jonathan Swift

parenting

No wise man ever wished to be younger.
— Jonathan Swift
Books [are] the children of the brain.
— Jonathan Swift
Money is the life blood of the nation.
— Jonathan Swift
May you live all the days of your life.
— Jonathan Swift

good wishes life Goodness

He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
— Jonathan Swift

courage

In oratory, the greatest art is to hide art.

oratory

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

vision

In oratory the greatest art is to hide the art.
— Jonathan Swift

oratory

I shall live till all my friends are weary of me.
— Jonathan Swift
A wise man is never less alone than when he is alone.
— Jonathan Swift
Style may be defined, 'proper words in proper places.'
— Jonathan Swift
Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.

falsehood lies

There is nothing in this world constant but inconstancy.
— Jonathan Swift
Every one desires to live long, but no one would be old.
— Jonathan Swift
Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age.
— Jonathan Swift
A wise man should have money in his head, not in his heart.
— Jonathan Swift
Whoe'er excels in what we prize,
Appears a hero in our eyes.
— Jonathan Swift

heroism

Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.
We are so fond on one another because our ailments are the same.
— Jonathan Swift
We are so fond of one another, because our ailments are the same.
— Jonathan Swift

health friendship

She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on with a pitchfork.
— Jonathan Swift

fashion

Some people take more care to hide their wisdom than their folly.
— Jonathan Swift
Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of a style.

style

Proper words in the proper places, make the true definition of a style.
— Jonathan Swift
Gold defiles with frequent touch;
There's nothing fouls the hand so much.
— Jonathan Swift

gold

I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.
— Jonathan Swift

embarrassment

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
— Jonathan Swift
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
— Jonathan Swift

religion

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

religion

Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.
Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
— Jonathan Swift
Nothing is so hard for those, who abound in riches, as to conceive how others can be in want.

understanding others

Reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion, which by reasoning he never acquired.

opinions

When I am reading a book, whether wise or silly, it seems to me to be alive and talking to me.

reading

No man will take counsel, but every man will take money. Therefore, money is better than counsel.
— Jonathan Swift
Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.

satire

How is it possible to expect that mankind will take advice, when they will not so much as take warning?

advice

Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.
— Jonathan Swift
Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same position with creeping.

ambition

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

fate

Argument, as usually managed, is the worst sort of conversation; as it is generally in books the worst sort of reading.

conversation arguments

Our passions are like convulsion fits, which, though they make us stronger for the time, leave us the weaker ever after.
— Jonathan Swift
Interest is the spur of the people, but glory that of great souls. Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age.
— Jonathan Swift

invention judgment glory self-interest age youth

Some modern zealots appear to have no better knowledge of truth, nor better manner of judging it, than by counting noses.
— Jonathan Swift
It is with wits as with razors, which are never so apt to cut those they are employed on as when they have lost their edge.

wit

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

genius

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
— Jonathan Swift

genius

When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
— Jonathan Swift
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

holding your tongue conversation

The greatest advantage I know of being thought a wit by the world is, that it gives one the greater freedom of playing the fool.
— Jonathan Swift

humor

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires is like cutting off our feet when we want [i.e., lack] shoes.

abstinence

'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
That flattery's the food of fools;
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit.

flattery

All fits of pleasure are balanced by an equal degree of pain or languor; 'tis like spending this year part of the next year's revenue.
— Jonathan Swift
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
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.
— Jonathan Swift

manners

Laws are like spider's webs, which hold firm when any light, yielding object falls upon them, while a larger thing breaks through them and escapes.

law

Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse; whoever makes the fewest people uneasy, is the best bred man in company.
— Jonathan Swift
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.

manners

If a man should register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth, and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last.