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The 80 best phrases of Jonathan Swift

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Jonathan Swift, a man of Irish origin with a difficult step and who later would become a legend in the world of classical literature. He was orphaned at an early age and it was in books that he found refuge and soon a livelihood, in addition he was known in his adulthood for his tough and somewhat cynical critiques of society, such as 'Gulliver's Travels', a wonderful story about the unexpected things in life and the immense capacity of the imagination.

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Best Jonathan Swift quotes

In this article we bring a list with the best quotes from Jonathan Swift about life in general and phrases from his stories.

1. No wise name has ever wanted to be younger.

They say that wisdom comes when we get older.

2. Sir, I would like to know who was the madman who invented the kiss.

We are all addicted to kisses, especially the one we love.

3. A people long accustomed to a harsh regime gradually loses the very notion of freedom.

An oppressed people learn to survive and call their situation life.

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4. When a true genius appears in the world, he can be recognized by this sign: all fools conspire against him.

Geniuses have enemies who want to silence them.

5. Happy is he who does not expect anything because he will always be satisfied.

People who expect nothing find pleasure in everything.

6. A man should never be ashamed to admit that he has been wrong, which is to say that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

A coward is one who blames others for his mistakes or tries to deny them.

7. May you live all the days of your life!

The best way to live is to enjoy each day.

8. Most people are like pins: their heads are not the most important thing.

The harmony of the exterior and interior of a person is what makes him attractive.

9. Venus, a beautiful lady of good character, was the goddess of Love; Juno, a terrible harpy, the goddess of Matrimony; both were always mortal enemies.

A statement that marriage is not always an institution for love.

10. The best doctors in the world are: the diet doctor, the rest doctor and the joy doctor.

The keys to having a healthy body.

11. Apollo, the god of medicine, used to send disease. In the beginning, the two trades were one, and it still is.

For one to exist, the other must remain.

12. I've always believed that no matter how many shots I miss... I'll hit the next one.

This is the way to see the falls, you always have to get up and try again.

13. Perhaps, for the reader, this happens more because of a European or English history than not of such a remote country.

There is always that waiting to read a European environment in a classic story.

14. Everybody wants to live long, but nobody wants to be old.

For many, old age is a condemnation, rather than a natural part of life.

15. Promises and bread crust were made to break

Not all promises are kept.

16. Nobles are like potatoes: they have everything good underground.

A harsh criticism of people of power.

17. Philosophers are undoubtedly correct when they tell us that nothing is great or small except by comparison.

Things have the (subjective) importance that we give them.

18. We have enough religion to hate each other, but not enough to love each other.

Many times it is religious fanaticism that separates us.

19. The best way to handle books today has two procedures; the first is to do with them what is done with great lords, learn exactly their titles and then boast that they are known; the second, which, in truth, is the most excellent, profound and correct, consists in directing a searching glance at the index, by which the whole book is governed and moves, like the fish by the tail.

His way of seeing the procedure behind literature in his time.

20. But you must stop to meditate that the whims of women are not limited by border or climate, and are more uniform than could easily be imagined.

Feminine whims are not all the time vanities.

21. Reason alone is sufficient to govern a rational creature.

The reason is what makes us integral beings of society, since it allows us to discern good from evil.

22. Books: the children of the brain.

Books are the most impressive result of our creative ability.

23. Nothing is constant in this world but inconstancy.

Everything is in constant motion, that's why we can't put changes to one side.

24. Laws are like cobwebs that catch poor flies and let wasps and bumblebees pass.

Not all laws apply equally to those who can put a price on it, who are willing to pay.

25. Differences of opinion have cost millions of lives; For example, if the meat is bread or meat bread; If the juice of a certain berry is blood or wine; If whistling is a virtue or a vice; If it is better to kiss a tree or throw it into the fire ...

Instead of respecting the opinions of others, many tend to create conflict over them.

26. Freedom of conscience is understood today, not only as the freedom to believe what one wants, but also to be able to propagate that belief.

One of the primary freedoms that we must always defend.

27. Because entering the palace of wisdom through the main door requires a very considerable expenditure of time and ceremonies, for which people who are in a great hurry and little desire for ceremonial content are content to go inside through the door rear.

Not all are willing to invest in knowledge and therefore remain perpetually ignorant.

28. It is impossible that something so natural, so necessary and so universal as death could have been created by providence as an evil for humanity.

Death is another step in life and, instead of being afraid of it, you have to learn to respect and accept it.

29. I discovered how prostituted writers have misled the world to the point that they attribute the greatest feats of war to cowards, the wise counsel to fools, sincerity to flatterers, Roman virtue to traitors to his country, mercy to atheists, truthfulness to spies.

For Swift, not all writers were worthy of this title.

30. If a man keeps me at a distance, it consoles me that he also keeps

Whoever takes you away from his side, he is doing you a favor because he is a person who will only hinder your life.

31. A single enemy can do more harm than good that ten friends can do together.

That is why you must be careful with the people around you.

32. Ambition often leads people to perform the vilest tasks. For this reason, to climb, the same posture is adopted as to crawl.

We must avoid that ambition consumes us instead of being a motivation.

33. Who could get two ears of wheat or two blades of grass from a piece of soil that he had hitherto given only one, deserved more from the human race, and did more essential service to his country, than the entire race of politicians together.

For the writer, those who make the earth grow were more valuable than those who promote conflicts in a country.

34. When the devil is satisfied, he is a good person.

There are those who show kindness only when they see an opportunity to explode.

35. No man will take advice, but everyone will take money. From which it follows that money is worth more than advice.

A harsh phrase that has a great truth.

36. All moments of pleasure are balanced by an equal degree of pain or sadness.

Life is full of joyous moments and painful moments alike.

37. You have clearly proven that ignorance, laziness, and hatred are the proper ingredients to form a legislator; that those who best explain, interpret, and apply laws are those whose interests and abilities lie in perverting, confusing, and eluding them.

A satire that works as a criticism of the judicial system.

38. Vision is the art of seeing invisible things.

We don't always appreciate things beyond superficiality.

39. Most of the entertainment given by men, boys, and other animals are imitations of fighting.

Many find entertainment in fights.

40. Whoever walks attentively through the streets will undoubtedly see the happiest faces in the mourning carriages.

Happiness has nothing to do with financial position.

41. Criticism is the tax a man pays the public for being eminent.

There will always be someone who criticizes you no matter what you do.

42. Arbitrary power is a natural temptation for a prince, like wine or women for a young man, or bribery for a judge, or greed for the old, or vanity for woman.

Power is always an almost inevitable temptation to resist.

43. Beware of the flattering. He is feeding you with an empty spoon.

There are people who seem humble, but they just want to depend on you.

44. If heaven had considered wealth valuable, it would not have given it to a scoundrel.

Money does not make us have value as humans.

45. Now I am trying a very common experiment among modern authors, that is, to write about nothing.

A harsh criticism of the writers of his time.

46. Although lying is a universal practice, I do not remember having heard three good lies in my entire life or even in those who were most celebrated by this faculty.

The lies always end up being discovered.

47. It is an axiom that the one to whom everyone gives second place, has unquestionable merits to occupy the first.

Those who finish first are not always the fittest.

48. Life is a tragedy that we watch as spectators for a while, and then play our part in it.

A slightly fatalistic view of life.

49. Leisure time is the time to do something useful.

Especially if it is something that we are passionate about.

50. There are many who do not know their weakness, but there are many others who do not know their strength.

Do you know your weaknesses and strengths?

51. Nature is satisfied with very little and that necessity is the mother of invention.

All the discoveries have arisen out of human necessity.

52. When men become virtuous in old age they only sacrifice the devil's legacies to God.

An interesting reflection on acts in old age.

53. Happiness is the privilege of being well deceived.

Unfortunately, there are those who prefer to live deceived.

54. Censorship is the tribute a man pays the public to be eminent.

Censorship is the means of not wanting to hear the truth.

55. Elders and comets have been revered for the same reason: their long beards and their claims to predict events.

A somewhat ironic comparison.

56. It is often said that kings have long hands; I wish their ears were equally long.

It is useless to have all the power in the world if that makes us selfish.

57. It is not conceived that a rational creature can be compelled, but rather advised or exhorted, because no one can disobey reason without giving up the right to be considered a rational creature.

Reason is not an imposition, but a natural state of humans.

58. Power is not a blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.

The true use that power should have.

59. Satire is a kind of mirror in which those who observe generally discover the faces of everyone except her own, the main reason why she is well received in the world and why so few take offense at her.

Analysis of what a satire is and what it produces.

60. A wise man must have money in his head, but not in his heart.

Money shouldn't change our goodness.

61. It is an old school maxim that flattery is the food of fools. However, talented men also gladly accept a small portion from time to time.

A phrase that shows us that what is praised is not always the best.

62. Invention is the talent of young people, as judgment is older.

All the young have an inventive nature and the older ones a wise nature.

63. The best preacher is time, which causes us to have those same thoughts that older people tried in vain to get into our heads.

A beautiful insight into time and its benefits.

64. The stoic scheme of satisfying our needs by lowering our desires is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.

The writer fervently believed that we must fulfill both our needs and wants.

65. The reason there are so few happy marriages is that marriageable girls spend their time weaving nets rather than building cages.

A strange conclusion about the unhappiness of marriages.

66. The lust for flattery, in most men, comes from the petty opinion in which they hold themselves; in women, quite the opposite.

A proof of the machismo present in the past.

67. I love good reputable acquaintances; I love being the worst in the company.

Sometimes the 'best' are those who can buy your position.

68. Venus, a beautiful lady of good character, was the goddess of Love; Juno, a terrible harpy, the goddess of Matrimony; both were always mortal enemies.

Again another phrase that tells us his opinion on marriage.

69. What some invent, the rest enlarge.

Inventions tend to be more for others than for the inventor himself.

70. The old Slavic proverb said well what happens with men as with donkeys: whoever wants to hold them well will find a good grip on their ears.

Is this true?

71. Bad company is like a dog, which stains those it loves the most.

Bad company will do everything to ruin you.

72. One man knows how to play, another can make a town a great city, and he who cannot do one thing or another deserves to be kicked out of the world; Avoiding this punishment has undoubtedly been what has given rise to the reign of critics.

A person must always aspire to contribute something, otherwise he will become a parasite.

73. Do you want to lose your enemy? Compliment him.

Flattery is sometimes tiring.

74. Naturalists have observed that a flea carries other smaller fleas on its body, which in turn feed smaller fleas. And so on to infinity.

An example of teamwork and cooperation.

75. Sometimes I read a book with pleasure and hate the author.

Has this ever happened to you?

76. The two maxims of every important man at court are: always keep your composure and never keep his word.

You never have to shut up the truth, or lose your sanity.

77. The writer who wants to know how he should conduct himself in relation to posterity has only to examine in the old books what he likes and what omissions he most regrets.

The search for books is the main tool of every good writer.

78. A wife must always be a sensible and pleasant companion, because she will not always be young.

Beauty, over time, ceases to have the same value in a person.

79. How haughtily he blows his nose to tell us things any schoolboy knows!

The ignorant are proud of their 'knowledge'.

80. As love without self-love is capricious and volatile, esteem without love is languid and cold.

You cannot hope for someone to offer you eternal love if you don't love yourself.

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