Jonathan Swift: 13 brilliant quotes from the Irish satirist that are still relevant today
Life & Style

Jonathan Swift: 13 brilliant quotes from the Irish satirist that are still relevant today

Legendary 18th-Century Irish satirist Jonathan Swift may be dead 274 years today, October 19th 2019, but his words have a staying power which is proven by just how relevant they remain today.

English literature students still study his work, and 'A Modern Proposal' remains his most famous piece of satire, particularly in Ireland.

But the literature genius had many more tongue-in-cheek words of wisdom, including some warning against the dangers of fake news!

Here's a roundup of some of Swift's wisest-- and in some cases, precognitive-- words:

1. Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it

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2. A wise man should have money in his head but not in his heart

3. Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies but let wasps and hornets break through

4. May you live every day of your life

5. Discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought

6. Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others could be in want

7. Every dog must have its day

8. Promises and pie-crusts are made to be broken

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9. Invention is the talent of youth, as judgement is of age

10. Better belly burst than good liquor lost

11. Don't set your wit against a child

12. A tavern is a place where madness is sold by the bottle

13. A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes

This last quote is particularly interesting as it is often attributed to the writer Mark Twain, but it was in fact Jonathan Swift who coined the phrase-- perhaps the two writers purposely collaborated to show how true it is!