Archive

Quotes

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.

—Samuel Butler, c. 1890

I do not mean to call an elephant a vulgar animal, but if you think about him carefully, you will find that his nonvulgarity consists in such gentleness as is possible to elephantine nature—not in his insensitive hide, nor in his clumsy foot, but in the way he will lift his foot if a child lies in his way; and in his sensitive trunk, and still more sensitive mind, and capability of pique on points of honor.

—John Ruskin, 1860

A good dog, sir, deserves a good bone.

—Ben Jonson, 1633

The elephant, although a gross beast, is yet the most decent and most sensible of any other upon earth. Although he never changes his female, and hath so tender a love for her whom he hath chosen, yet he never couples with her but at the end of every three years, and then only for the space of five days.

—St. Francis de Sales, 1609

Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise.

—Book of Proverbs, c. 350 BC

Men, my dear, are very queer animals—a mixture of horse nervousness, ass stubbornness, and camel malice.

—T. H. Huxley, 1895

Man is merely a more perfect animal than the rest. He reasons better.

—Napoleon Bonaparte, 1816

There are some who, if a cat accidentally comes into the room, though they neither see it nor are told of it, will presently be in a sweat and ready to die away.

—Increase Mather, 1684

Man is no man, but a wolf, to a stranger.

—Plautus, c. 200 BC

Animals, in their generation, are wiser than the sons of men, but their wisdom is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass.

—Joseph Addison, 1711

Cows are among the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them—and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.

—Thomas De Quincey, 1821

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

—Winston Churchill, 1945

Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals—except the weasel.

—The Simpsons, 1993