1667-1745, Anglo-Irish Satirist
Human brutes, like other beasts, find snares and poison in the provision of life, and are allured by their appetites to their destruction.
Jonathan Swift – [Sensuality]
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child, well nursed, is at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.
Jonathan Swift – [Children]
I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning.
Jonathan Swift – [Greatness]
I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.
Jonathan Swift – [Churches]
I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.
Jonathan Swift – [Shame]
I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are as slaves.
Jonathan Swift – [Law and Lawyers]
I will venture to affirm, that the three seasons wherein our corn has miscarried did no more contribute to our present misery, than one spoonful of water thrown upon a rat already drowned would contribute to his death; and that the present plentiful harvest, although it should be followed by a dozen ensuing, would no more restore us, than it would the rat aforesaid to put him near the fire, which might indeed warm his fur-coat, but never bring him back to life.
Jonathan Swift – [Famine]
I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.
Jonathan Swift – [Kisses and Kissing]
If Heaven had looked upon riches to be a valuable thing, it would not have given them to such a scoundrel.
Jonathan Swift – [Riches]
In church your grandsire cut his throat; to do the job too long he tarried: he should have had my hearty vote to cut his throat before he married.
Jonathan Swift – [Ancestry]
In the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained, the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses; which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favorites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services, of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive; and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.
Jonathan Swift – [Politicians and Politics]
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 and Inventor]
Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age.
Jonathan Swift – [Invention and Inventor]
It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.
Jonathan Swift – [Precedents]
It is as hard to satirize well a man of distinguished vices, as to praise well a man of distinguished virtues.
Jonathan Swift – [Virtue]
It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by providence as an evil to mankind.
Jonathan Swift – [Death and Dying]
It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.
Jonathan Swift – [Public Opinion]
It was a bold person that first ate an oyster.
Jonathan Swift – [Risk]
May you live all the days of your life.
Jonathan Swift – [Life and Living]
Men are happy to be laughed at for their humor, but not for their folly.
Jonathan Swift – [Men]