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Jonathon Swift
1667 - 1745

Irish author, satirist, clergyman, author of Gulliver's Travels (1726) and other works


Small causes are sufficient to make a man uneasy when great ones are not in the way. For want of a block he will stumble at a straw.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
I am apt to think that, in the day of Judgment, there will be small allowance given to the wise for their want of morals, nor to the ignorant for their want of faith, because both are without excuse.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Law, in a free country, is, or ought to be, the determination of the majority of those who have property in land.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age; so that our judgment grows harder to please, when we have fewer things to offer it: this goes through the whole commerce of life.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Politics ... are nothing but corruptions...

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Man is not rational - merely capable of it.

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"