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Jonathan Swift Quotes

About Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift

Life: 1667 - 1745

Country: ireland flag Ireland

Profession: Poet; Writer;

Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 - October 19, 1745) was an Anglo-Irish cleric, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift published all of his works under pseudonyms - such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M.B. Drapier - or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire; the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.

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Quotations

Argument is the worst sort of conversation.

~ Jonathan Swift

Every man desires to live long, but no man would be old.

~ Jonathan Swift

Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices: so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.

~ Jonathan Swift

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

~ Jonathan Swift

There's none so blind as they that won't see.

~ Jonathan Swift

As blushing will sometimes make a whore pass for a virtuous woman, so modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense.

~ Jonathan Swift

Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.

~ Jonathan Swift

Complaint is the largest tribute Heaven receives.

~ Jonathan Swift

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

~ Jonathan Swift

What some invent, the rest enlarge.

~ Jonathan Swift

Whatever we have got has been by infinite labor, and search, and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.

~ Jonathan Swift

Happiness is a perpetual possession of being well-deceived.

~ Jonathan Swift

The greatest inventions were produced in the times of ignorance, as the use of the compass, gunpowder, and printing.

~ Jonathan Swift

Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age.

~ Jonathan Swift
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