A man is not hurt so much by what happens, as by his opinion of what happens.
There is little less trouble in governing a private family than a whole kingdom.
Persons of mean understandings, not so inquisitive, nor so well instructed, are made good Christians, and by reverence and obedience, implicity believe, and abide by their belief.
It is the part of cowardice, not of courage, to go and crouch in a hole under a massive tomb, to avoid the blows of fortune.
I moreover affirm that our wisdom itself, and wisest consultations, for the most part commit themselves to the conduct of chance.
We are nearer neighbours to ourselves than whiteness to snow, or weight to stones.
All is a-swarm with commentaries: of authors there is a dearth.
Only the fools are certain and assured.
It is an injustice that an old, broken, half-dead father should enjoy alone, in a corner of his hearth, possessions that would suffice for the advancement and maintenance of many children.
Whatever can be done another day can be done today.
Confidence in others' honesty is no light testimony of one's own integrity.
If I were of the trade, I should naturalize art as much as they "artialize" nature.
No spiritual mind remains within itself; it is always aspiring and going beyond its own strength.
We cannot do without it, and yet we disgrace and vilify the same. It may be compared to a cage, the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair to get out.
A man should keep for himself a little back shop, all his own, quite unadulterated, in which he establishes his true freedom and chief place of seclusion and solitude.
When I am attached by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.
My errors are by now natural and incorrigible; but the good that worthy men do the public by making themselves imitable, I shall perhaps do by making myself evitable.
Man is quite insane. He wouldn?t know how to create a maggot, and he creates Gods by the dozen.
I love a gay and sociable wisdom, and shun harshness and austerity in behaviour, holding every surly countenance suspect.
There never were, in the world, two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.
Rather a mind well-shaped than well-full.
Between ourselves, there are two things that I have always observed to be in singular accord: supercelestial thoughts and subterranean conduct.
Man is the sole animal whose nudities offend his own companions, and the only one who, in his natural actions, withdraws and hides himself from his own kind.
Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.
I study myself more than any other subject. That is my metaphysics, that is my physics.
If people must be talking about me, I would have it to be truthfully and justly. I would willingly return from the next world to contradict any person who described me other than I was, although he did it to honour me.
I want death to find me planting my cabbages.
Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.
To distract myself from tiresome thoughts, I have only to resort to books; they easily draw my mind to themselves and away from other things.
Other people do not see you at all, but guess at you by uncertain conjectures.
Fortune, seeing that she could not make fools wise, has made them lucky.
Pride and curiosity are the two scourges of our souls. The latter prompts us to poke our noses into everything, and the former forbids us to leave anything unresolved and undecided.
A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
If not for that of conscience, yet at least for ambition's sake, let us reject ambition, let us disdain that thirst of honor and renown, so low and mendicant; that it makes us beg it of all sorts of people.
I aim here only at revealing myself, who will perhaps be different tomorrow, if I learn something new which changes me.
A young man ought to cross his own rules, to awake his vigor, and to keep it from growing faint and rusty. And there is no course of life so weak and sottish as that which is carried on by rule and discipline.
A man may by custom fortify himself against pain, shame, and suchlike accidents; but as to death, we can experience it but once, and are all apprentices when we come to it.
Every one rushes elsewhere and into the future, because no one wants to face one's own inner self.
Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think.
O human creature,you are the investigator without knowledge, the magistrate without jurisdiction, and all in all, the fool of the farce.
There are truths on this side of the Pyrenees which are falsehoods on the other.
The confidence in another man's virtue is no light evidence of a man's own, and God willingly favors such a confidence.
I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
I look upon the too good opinion that man has of himself, as the nursing mother of all false opinions, both public and private.
Plenty and indigence depend upon the opinion every one has of them; and riches, like glory of health, have no more beauty or pleasure than their possessor is pleaded to lend them.
Det er en kjedelig uvane som særlig går ut over damene, å måtte låne ut leppene til hvem som helst som har tre tjenere på slep, uansett hvor frastøtende han er.
Dreams are faithful interpreters of our inclinations; but there is art required to sort and understand them.
We are all lumps, and of so various and inform a contexture, that every piece plays, every moment, its own game, and there is as much difference betwixt us and ourselves as betwixt us and others.
And I loathe people who find it harder to put up with a gown askew than with a soul askew and who judge a man by his bow, his bearing and his boots.
I put forward formless and unresolved notions, as do those who publish doubtful questions to debate in the schools, not to establish the truth but to seek it.
There is a sort of gratification in doing good which makes us rejoice in ourselves.
Is it not a noble farce, wherein kings, republics, and emperors have for so many ages played their parts, and to which the whole vast universe serves for a theatre?
It should be noted that children at play are not playing about; their games should be seen as their most serious-minded activity.
Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will.
There is no knowledge so hard to acquire as the knowledge of how to live this life well and naturally.
Oh these foolish men! They could not create so much as a worm, but they create gods by the dozens.
There is no torture that a woman would not endure to enhance her beauty.
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them if they will not apply themselves to me.
The premeditation of death is the premeditation of liberty; he who has learnt to die has forgot to serve.
Every day I hear stupid people say things that are not stupid.
I am much afraid that we shall have very greatly hastened the decline and ruin of the New World by our contagion, and that we willhave sold it our opinions and our arts very dear.
There are few men who dare to publish to the world the prayers they make to Almighty God.
A lady could not boast of her chastity who was never tempted.
Even in the midst of compassion we feel within I know not what tart sweet titillation of malicious pleasure in seeing others suffer; children have the same feeling.
A straight oar looks bent in the water. It matters not merely that we see a thing, but how we see it.
We cannot be held to promises beyond our power or our means. That is why -- since nothing is really in our power but our will -- it is on the will that all the rules and duties of Man are based and established.
Speech belongs half to the speaker, half to the listener.
Lying is a terrible vice, it testifies that one despises God, but fears men.
That is why Bias jested with those who were going through the perils of a great storm with him and calling on the gods for help: "Shut up," he said, "so that they do not realize that you are here with me."
I do not understand; I pause; I examine.
A man should ever, as much as in him lieth, be ready booted to take his journey, and above all things look he have then nothing to do but with himself.
He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.
There is no passion so much transports the sincerity of judgment as doth anger.
Whom conscience, ne'er asleep, Wounds with incessant strokes, not loud, but deep.
Scratching is one of nature's sweetest gratifications, and nearest at hand.
Obstinacy and contention are common qualities, most appearing in, and best becoming, a mean and illiterate soul.
Man in sooth is a marvellous, vain, fickle, and unstable subject.
We are Christians by the same title as we are natives of Perigord or Germany.
When I was young, beautiful ancient statues were castrated, so that the eye might not be corrupted.... Nothing was gained, unless horses and asses had also been castrated.
Virtue rejects facility to be her companion. She requires a craggy, rough and thorny way.
It is a rare life that remains orderly even in private.
We easily enough confess in others an advantage of courage, strength, experience, activity, and beauty; but an advantage in judgment we yield to none.
Princes give mee sufficiently, if they take nothing from me, and doe me much good, if they doe me no hurt: it is all I require of them.
The bitterness of the potion, and the abhorrence of the patient are necessary circumstances to the operation. It must be something to trouble and disturb the stomach that must purge and cure it.
In true education, anything that comes to our hand is as good as a book: the prank of a page- boy, the blunder of a servant, a bit of table talk -- they are all part of the curriculum.
He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.
Let us a little permit nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.
We are nearer neighbors to ourselves than the whiteness of snow or the weight of stones are to us: if man does not know himself, how should he know his functions and powers?
Excellent memories are often coupled with feeble judgments.
Tis no wonder, says one of the ancients, that chance has so great a dominion over us, since it is by chance we live.
It is a small soul, buried beneath the weight of affairs, that does not know how to get clean away from them, that cannot put them aside and pick them up again.
Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.
Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head.
Tortures are a dangerous invention, and seem to be a test of endurance rather than of truth.
Confidence in the goodness of another is good proof of one's own goodness.
Don't discuss yourself, for you are bound to lose; if you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved.
Wine is the benevolent god, who gives back gaiety to men and restores youth to the old.
The pleasantest things in the world are pleasant thoughts, and the great art of life is to have as many of them as possible.
All other knowledge is hurtful to him who has not the science of honesty and goodness.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.
Fame and tranquility can never be bedfellows.
One must be a little foolish if one does not want to be even more stupid.
It is a disaster that wisdom forbids you to be satisfied with yourself and always sends you away dissatisfied and fearful, whereas stubbornness and foolhardiness fill their hosts with joy and assurance.
There is no so wretched and coarse a soul wherein some particular faculty is not seen to shine.
Intemperance is the plaque of sensuality, and temperance is not its bane but its seasoning.
We must learn to suffer whatever we cannot avoid. Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of discords as well as different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud.
My home...It is my retreat and resting place from wars, I try to keep this corner as a haven against the tempest outside, as I do another corner in my soul.
The great and glorious masterpiece of humanity is to know how to live with a purpose.
The soul which has no fixed purpose in life is lost; to be everywhere, is to be nowhere.
There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.
Getting married is very much like going to a restaurant with friends. You order what you want then when you see what the other person has, you wish you had ordered that.
Tis the taste of effeminacy that disrelishes ordinary and accustomed things.
The most useful and honorable science and occupation for a woman is the science of housekeeping. I know some that are miserly, very few that are good managers.
Philosophical discussions habitually make men happy and joyful not frowning and sad.
Diogenes was asked what wine he liked best; and he answered as I would have done when he said, "Somebody else's."
The time is now proper for us to reform backward; more by dissenting than by agreeing; by differing more than by consent.
Satiety comes of too frequent repetition and he who will not give himself leisure to be thirsty can never find the true pleasure of drinking.
The sage says that all that is under heaven incurs the same law and the same fate.
All other knowledge is hurtful to him who has not honesty and good-nature.
Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.
I have a vocabulary all my own. I "pass the time" when it is wet and disagreeable. When it is fine I do not wish to pass it; I ruminate it and hold on to it. We should hasten over the bad, and settle upon the good.
If I can, I shall keep my death from saying anything that my life has not already said.
Decency, not to dare to do that in public which it is decent enough to do in private.
The finest souls are those that have the most variety and suppleness.
Some men seem remarkable to the world in whom neither their wives nor their valets saw anything extraordinary. Few men have been admired by their servants.
Health is a precious thing, and the only one, in truth, meriting that a man should lay out not only his time, sweat, labor and goods, but also life itself to obtain it.
'Tis the sharpness of our mind that gives the edge to our pains and pleasures.
Thus we should beware of clinging to vulgar opinions, and judge things by reason's way, not by popular say.
Venus is not so beautiful all naked, alive, and panting, as she is here in Virgil.
The most regular and most perfect soul in the world has but too much to do to keep itself upright from being overthrown by its own weakness.
Women are more susceptible to pain than to pleasure.
Sometimes it is a good choice not to choose at all.
My trade and art is to live.
To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquillity in our conduct.
I do not speak the minds of others except to speak my own mind better.
It is not death, it is dying that alarms me.
Whoever will imagine a perpetual confession of ignorance, a judgment without leaning or inclination, on any occasion whatever, hasa conception of Pyrrhonism.
If you don't know how to die, don't worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don't bother your head about it.
If you have known how to compose your life, you have done a great deal more than the person who knows how to compose a book. You have done more than the one who has taken cities and empires.
I agree that we should work and prolong the functions of life as far as we can, and hope that Death may find me planting my cabbages, but indifferent to him and still more to the unfinished state of my garden.
We are all of us richer than we think we are; but we are taught to borrow and to beg, and brought up more to make use of what is another's than of our own.
The receipts of cookery are swelled to a volume, but a good stomach excels them all; to which nothing contributes more than industry and temperance.
The land of marriage has this peculiarity: that strangers are desirous of inhabiting it, while its natural inhabitants would willingly be banished from thence.
I speak to the paper, as I speak to the first person I meet.
Though we may be learned by another's knowledge, we can never be wise but by our own experience.
Even opinion is of force enough to make itself to be espoused at the expense of life.
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Every man may speak truly, but to speak methodically, prudently, and fully is a talent that few men have.
It is for little souls, that truckle under the weight of affairs, not to know how clearly to disengage themselves, and not to know how to lay them aside and take them up again.
Tis well for old age that it is always accompanied with want of perception, ignorance, and a facility of being deceived. For should we see how we are used and would not acquiesce, what would become of us?
If faces were not alike, we could not distinguish men from beasts; if they were not different, we could not tell one man from another.
And if nobody reads me, shall I have wasted my time, when I have beguiled so many idle hours with such pleasant and profitable reflections?
Make your educational laws strict and your criminal ones can be gentle; but if you leave youth its liberty you will have to dig dungeons for ages.
The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them .
It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.
An orator of past times declared that his calling was to make small things appear to be grand.
Vexations may be petty, but they are vexations still.
He who is not very strong in memory should not meddle with lying.
Peoples nurtured on freedom and self-government judge any other form of polity to be deformed and unnatural. Those who are used to monarchy do the same .
And to bring in a new word by the head and shoulders, they leave out the old one.
Opinion is a powerful party, bold, and without measure.
You have your face bare; I am all face.
The most evident token and apparent sign of true wisdom is a constant and unconstrained rejoicing.
Shame on all eloquence which leaves us with a taste for itself and not for its substance.
Lovers are angry, reconciled, entreat, thank, appoint, and finally speak all things, by their.
The judgment is an utensil proper for all subjects, and will have an oar in everything.
This idea is more surely understood by interrogation; what do I know? which I bear as my motto with the emblem of a pair of scales.
True freedom is to have power over oneself for everything.
An honest man is not accountable for the vice and folly of his trade, and therefore ought not to refuse the exercise of it.
The public weal requires that men should betray, and lie, and massacre.
The daughter-in-law of Pythagoras said that a woman who goes to bed with a man ought to lay aside her modesty with her skirt, and put it on again with her petticoat.
An unattempted lady could not vaunt of her chastity.
Livet består av en del galskap, og en del visdom; den som bare skriver ærbødig og konvensjonelt, utelater mer enn halvparten.
Arts and sciences are not cast in a mould, but are found and perfected by degrees, by often handling and polishing.
I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind -- and to work some of those contradictions out for myself.
Make use of life while you have it. Whether you have lived enough depends upon yourself, not on the number of your years.
There are no truths, only moments of clarity passing for answers.
To make judgements about great and lofty things, a soul of the same stature is needed; otherwise we ascribe to them that vice which is our own.
We can be knowledgable with other men's knowledge but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.
The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mold...The same reason that makes us wrangle with a neighbor creates a war betwixt princes.
If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.
The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure; neither the greatest captains nor the greatest philosophers have disdained the use or science of eating well.
Have you known how to take rest? You have done more than he who hath taken empires and cities.
The beautiful souls are they that are universal, open, and ready for all things.
There is as much difference between us and ourselves as there is between us and others.
Our truth of nowadays is not what is, but what others can be convinced of; just as we call "money" not only that which is legal, but also any counterfeit that will pass.
A good marriage needs a blind wife and a deaf husband.
The memory represents to us not what we choose but what it pleases.
Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.
There are few things on which we can pass a sincere judgement, because there are few things in which we have not, in one way or another, a particular interest.
The world is but a perpetual see-saw.
Every place swarms with commentaries; of authors there is great scarcity.
I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.
No two men ever judged alike of the same thing, and it is impossible to find two opinions exactly similar, not only in different men but in the same men at different times.
A man must live in the world and make the best of it, such as it is.
No passion disturbs the soundness of our judgement as anger does.
I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.
Covetousness is both the beginning and the end of the devil's alphabet -- the first vice in corrupt nature that moves, and the last which dies.
Experience stands on its own dunghill in medicine, and reason yields it place. Medicine has always professed experience to be the touchstone of its operations.
Since philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it?
We are all patchwork, and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each bit, each moment, plays its own game.
We must reserve a back shop all our own entirely free, in which to establish our real liberty and our principal retreat and solitude.
I may indeed very well happen to contradict myself; but truth, as Demades said, I do not contradict.
We ought to love temperance for itself, and in obedience to God who has commanded it and chastity; but what I am forced to by catarrhs, or owe to the stone, is neither chastity nor temperance.
I consider myself an average man, except in the fact that I consider myself an average man.
Why dost thou complain of this world? It detains thee not; thy own cowardice is the cause, if thou livest in pain.
A man must either imitate the vicious or hate them.
I neither complain of the past, nor do I fear the future.
An untempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.
Nothing prints more lively in our minds than something we wish to forget.
I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing.
It is not without good reason, that he who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.
Socrates thought and so do I that the wisest theory about the gods is no theory at all.
My business is only to keep myself in motion, whilst motion pleases me; I only walk for the walk's sake.
The world is but a perennial movement. All things in it are in constant motion-the earth, the rocks of the Caucasus, the pyramids of Egypt-both with the common motion and with their own.
Wisdom has its excesses, and has no less need of moderation than folly.
Those who give the first shock to a state are the first overwhelmed in its ruin; the fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by him who was the first mover; he only beats the water for another's net.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
I see this evident, that we willingly accord to piety only the services that flatter our passions.
If by being overstudious, we impair our health and spoil our good humor, let us give it up.
Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.
To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it.
It is no hard matter to get children; but after they are born, then begins the trouble, solicitude, and care rightly to train, principle, and bring them up.
It would be better to have no laws at all, than to have too many.
A man must not always tell all, for that were folly; but what a man says should be what he thinks.
Is there a polity better ordered, the offices better distributed, and more inviolably observed and maintained, than that of bees?
Nature has made us a present of a broad capacity for entertaining ourselves apart, and often calls us to do so, to teach us that we owe ourselves in part to society, but in the best part to ourselves.
Difficulty is a coin the learned make use of like jugglers, to conceal the inanity of their art.
In my youth I studied for ostentation; later, a little to gain wisdom; now, for recreation; never for gain.
Obstinacy and dogmatism are the surest signs of stupidity. Is there anything more confident, resolute, disdainful, grave and serious than an ass?
To know much is often the cause of doubting more.
Have you been able to think out and manage your own life? You have done the greatest task of all.... All other things, ruling, hoarding, building, are only little appendages and props, at most.
To speak less of oneself than what one really is, is folly, not modesty; and to take that for current pay which is under a man's value, is pusillanimity and cowardice.
If a man urge me to tell wherefore I loved him, I feel it cannot be expressed but by answering: Because it was he, because it was myself.
The most beautiful lives, to my mind, are those that conform to the common human pattern, with order, but without miracle and without eccentricity.
We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.
It is not reasonable that art should win the place of honor over our great and powerful mother Nature. We have so overloaded the beauty and richness of her works by our inventions that we have quite smothered her.
Greatness of soul consists not so much in soaring high and in pressing forward, as in knowing how to adapt and limit oneself.
What a wonderful thing it is that drop of seed, from which we are produced, bears in itself the impressions, not only of the bodily shape, but of the thoughts and inclinations of our fathers!
Other passions have objects to flatter them, and seem to content and satisfy them for a while; there is power in ambition, pleasure in luxury, and pelf in covetousness; but envy can gain nothing but vexation.
We only labor to stuff the memory, and leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void.
Indeed, there is no such thing as an altogether ugly woman -- or altogether beautiful.
I am not so shocked by savages who roast and eat the bodies of their dead as by those who torture and persecute the living.
I do myself a greater injury in lying than I do him of whom I tell a lie.
I want death to find me planting my cabbages, but careless of death, and still more of my unfinished garden.
The share we have in the knowledge of truth, such as it is, has not been acquired by our own powers. God has taught ushis wonderful secrets; our faith is not of our acquiring, it is purely the gift of another's bounty.
Now there cannot be first principles for men, unless the Divinity has revealed them; all the rest -- beginning, middle, and end -- isnothing but dreams and smoke.
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.
I have never observed other effects of whipping than to render boys more cowardly, or more willfully obstinate.
The beauty of stature is the only beauty of men.
True it is that she who escapeth safe and unpolluted from out the school of freedom, giveth more confidence of herself than she who comet sound out of the school of severity and restraint.
Repentance is but a denying of our will, and an opposition of our fantasies.
I am one of those who hold that poetry is never so blithe as in a wanton and irregular subject.
The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.
The plague of man is the opinion of knowledge. That is why ignorance is so recommended by our religion as a quality suitable to belief and obedience.
The most universal quality is diversity.
Obstinacy and heat in argument are surest proofs of folly. Is there anything so stubborn, obstinate, disdainful, contemplative, grave, or serious, as an ass?
If I am to serve as an instrument of deceit, at least let it be with a clear conscience. I do not want to be considered either so affectionate or so loyal a servant as to be found fit to betray anyone.
A wise man never loses anything, if he has himself.
All general judgments are loose and imperfect.
A hair shirt does not always render those chaste who wear it.
The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.
The knowledge of courtesy and good manners is a very necessary study. It is like grace and beauty, that which begets liking and an inclination to love one another at the first sight.
No pleasure has any savor for me without communication.
Most men are rich in borrowed sufficiency: a man may very well say a good thing, give a good answer, cite a good sentence, without at all seeing the force of either the one or the other.
I am disgusted with innovation, in whatever guise, and with reason, for I have seen very harmful effects of it.
We must reserve a little back-shop, all our own, entirely free, wherein to establish our true liberty and principal retreat and solitude.
My reason is not framed to bend or stoop: my knees are.
Stupidity and wisdom meet in the same centre of sentiment and resolution, in the suffering of human accidents.
Glory and repose are things that cannot possibly inhabit in one and the same place.
I, who am king of the matter I treat, and who owe an accounting for it to no one, do not for all that believe myself in all I write. I often hazard sallies of my mind which I mistrust.
Those that will combat use and custom by the strict rules of grammar do but jest.
Oh, a friend! How true is that old saying, that the enjoyment of one is sweeter and more necessary than that of the elements of water and fire!
He that had never seen a river imagined the first he met to be the sea; and the greatest things that have fallen within our knowledge we conclude the extremes that nature makes of the kind.
Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately.
Habit is a second nature.
As far as physicians go, chance is more valuable than knowledge.
Report followeth not all goodness, except difficulty and rarity be joined thereto.
How many valiant men we have seen to survive their own reputation!
To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind to 't.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
The strangest, most generous, and proudest of all virtues is true courage.
The worth of the mind consisteth not in going high, but in marching orderly.
He whose mouth is out of taste says the wine is flat.
Petty vexations may at times be petty, but still they are vexations. The smallest and most inconsiderable annoyances are the most piercing. As small letters weary the eye most, so the smallest affairs disturb us most.
I love a friendship that flatters itself in the sharpness and vigor of its communications.
How many quarrels, and how important, has the doubt as to the meaning of this syllable "Hoc" produced for the world!
A good marriage (if any there be) refuses the conditions of love and endeavors to present those of amity.
The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.
There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.
A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.
We should be similarly wary of accepting common opinions; we should judge them by the ways of reason not by popular vote.
Whatever the Benefits of Fortune are , they yet require a Palate fit to relish and taste them; 'Tis Fruition, and not Possession, that renders us Happy.
To an atheist all writings tend to atheism: he corrupts the most innocent matter with his own venom.
It is a monstrous thing that I will say, but I will say it all the same: I find in many things more restraint and order in my morals than in my opinions, and my lust less depraved than my reason.
There is not much less vexation in the government of a private family than in the managing of an entire state.
No one but yourself knows whether you are cowardly and cruel, or loyal and devout; others do not see you; they surmise you by uncertain conjectures; they perceive not so much your nature as your art.
What harm cause not those huge draughts or pictures which wanton youth with chalk or coals draw in each passage, wall or stairs of our great houses, whence a cruel contempt of our natural store is bred in them?
The truth of these days is not that which really is, but what every man persuades another man to believe.
The worst of my actions or conditions seem not so ugly unto me as I find it both ugly and base not to dare to avouch for them.
The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mould.
Not only does the wind of accidents stir me according to its blowing, but I am also stirred and troubled by the instability of my attitude.
There is no doubt that Greek and Latin are great and handsome ornaments, but we buy them too dear.
Not because Socrates said so,... I look upon all men as my compatriots.
Laws are often made by fools, and even more often by men who fail in equity because they hate equality: but always by men, vain authorities who can resolve nothing.
Every one's true worship was that which he found in use in the place where he chanced to be.
Oh senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm or a flea and yet will create Gods by the dozen!
We call comeliness a mischance in the first respect, which belongs principally to the face.
Socrates, who was a perfect model in all great qualities, ... hit on a body and face so ugly and so incongruous with the beauty of his soul, he who was so madly in love with beauty.
Each person calls barbarism whatever is not his or her own practice.... We may call Cannibals barbarians, in respect to the rulesof reason, but not in respect to ourselves, who surpass them in every kind of barbarity.
I enjoy books as misers enjoy treasures, because I know I can enjoy them whenever I please.
Marriage happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.
But the touch or company of any man whatsoever stirreth up their heat, which in their solitude was hushed and quiet, and lay as cinders raked up in ashes.
A man should think less of what he eats and more with whom he eats because no food is so satisfying as good company.
There is no man so good that if he placed all his actions and thoughts under the scrutiny of the laws, he would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.
There is, nevertheless, a certain respect and a general duty of humanity that ties us, not only to beasts that have life and sense, but even to trees and plants.
How often our involuntary facial motions testify to the thoughts we were keeping secret, and betray us to those around!
We owe subjection and obedience to all our kings, whether good or bad, alike, for that has respect unto their office; but as to esteem and affection, these are only due to their virtue.
People of our time are so formed for agitation and ostentation that goodness, moderation, equability, constancy, and such quiet and obscure qualities are no longer felt.
It is in the enjoyment and not in mere possession that makes for happiness.
Were I to live my life over again, I should live it just as I have done. I neither complain of the past, nor do I fear the future.
Among the liberal arts, let us begin with the art that liberates us.
The finest lives in my opinion are the common model, without miracle and without extravagance.
One open way of speaking introduces another open way of speaking, and draws out discoveries, like wine and love.
'As a man who knows how to make his education into a rule of life not a means of showing off; who can control himself and obey his own principles.' The true mirror of our discourse is the course of our lives.
If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.
Hath God obliged himself not to exceed the bounds of our knowledge?
The customs and practices of life in society sweep us along.
The corruption of the age is made up by the particular contribution of every individual man; some contribute treachery, others injustice, atheism, tyranny, avarice, cruelty, according to their power.
It is not a mind, it is not a body that we educate, but it is a man, and we must not make two parts of him.
It has never occurred to me to wish for empire or royalty, nor for the eminence of those high and commanding fortunes. My aim lies not in that direction; I love myself too well.
Is there anything so grave and serious as an ass?
In my opinion it is the happy living, and not, as Antisthenes said, the happy lying, in which human happiness consists.
It is easier to sacrifice great than little things.
As for extraordinary things, all the provision in the world would not suffice.
It is an absolute perfection... to get the very most out of one's individuality.
Friendship is the highest degree of perfection in society.
All permanent decisions are made in a temporary state of mind.
It is a rare life that remains orderly even in private.
There is not one of us that would not be worse than kings, if so continually corrupted as they are with a sort of vermin called flatterers.
To make a crooked stick straight, we bend it the contrary way.
Once conform, once do what others do because they do it, and a kind of lethargy steals over all the finer senses of the soul.
For truly it is to be noted, that children's plays are not sports, and should be deemed as their most serious actions.
A person is bound to lose when he talks about himself; if he belittles himself, he is believed; if he praises himself, he isn't believed.
One should always have one's boots on and be ready to leave.
It is fear that I stand most in fear of, in sharpness it exceeds every other feeling.
We feel a kind of bittersweet pricking of malicious delight in contemplating the misfortunes of others.
The most terrible and violent of our own afflictions is to despise our own beings.
Every period of life has its peculiar prejudices; whoever saw old age, that did not applaud the past, and condemn the present times?
Wickedness sucks in the greater part of its own venom and poisons itself therewith.
It is equally pointless to weep because we won't be alive a hundred years from now as that we were not here a hundred years ago.
For table-talk, I prefer the pleasant and witty before the learned and the grave; in bed, beauty before goodness.
Presumption is our natural and original malady. The most vulnerable and frail of all creatures is man, and at the same time the most arrogant.
I want to be seen here in my simple, natural, ordinary fashion, without straining or artifice; for it is myself that I portray... I am myself the matter of my book.
There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.
God defend me from being an honest man according to the description which every day I see made by each man to his own glorification.
It is not necessity but abundance which produces greed.
We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.
There is no passion so much transports the sincerity of judgement as doth anger.
Rash and incessant scolding runs into custom and renders itself despised.
Lay a beam between these two towers of such width as we need to walk on: there is no philosophical wisdom of such great firmness that it can give us courage to walk on it as we should if it were on the ground.
If ordinary people complain that I speak too much of myself, I complain that they do not even think of themselves.
The plague of man is boasting of his knowledge.
As great enmities spring from great friendships, and mortal distempers from vigorous health, so do the most surprising and the wildest frenzies from the high and lively agitations of our souls.
There is a certain amount of purpose, acquiescence, and satisfaction in nursing one's melancholy.
The curiosity of knowing things has been given to man for a scourge.
Time steals away without any inconvenience.
Pride dwells in the thought; the tongue can have but a very little share in it.
From Obedience and submission comes all our virtues, and all sin is comes from self-opinion.
No wind serves him who addresses his voyage to no certain port.
When all is summed up, a man never speaks of himself without loss; his accusations of himself are always believed; his praises never.
As far as fidelity is concerned, there is no animal in the world as treacherous as man.
I speak the truth, not my fill of it, but as much as I dare speak; and I dare to do so a little more as I grow old.
Gentleness and repose are paramount to everything else in woman.
Who ever saw a doctor use the prescription of his colleague without cutting out or adding something?