Think of the ills from which you are exempt.
The pain of dispute exceeds, by much, its utility.—All disputation makes the mind deaf, and when people are deaf I am dumb.
Avoid singularity.—There may often be less vanity in following the new modes, than in adhering to the old ones.—It is true that the foolish invent them, but the wise may conform to, instead of contradicting them.
The spectacle has changed, but our eyes remain the same.
We know God easily, if we do not constrain ourselves to define him.
Chastity enables the soul to breathe a pure air in the foulest places.—Continence makes her strong, no matter in what condition the body may be.—Her sway over the senses makes her queenly: her light and peace render her beautiful.
Grace is in garments, in movements, in manners; beauty in the nude, and in forms. This is true of bodies; but when we speak of feelings, beauty is in their spirituality, and grace in their moderation.
In clothes clean and fresh there is a kind of youth with which age should surround itself.
In the commerce of speech use only coin of gold and silver.
Never cut what you can untie.
It is an aspect of all happiness to suppose that we deserve it.
We are all of us more or less echoes, repeating involuntarily the virtues, the defects, the movements, and the characters of those among whom we live.
Remorse is the punishment of crime; repentance, its expiation. The former appertains to a tormented conscience; the latter to a soul changed for the better.
Imagination is the eye of the soul.
All gardeners live in beautiful places, because they make them so.
Who ever has no fixed opinions has no constant feelings.
The true character of epistolary style is playfulness and urbanity.
Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.
God has commanded time to console the unhappy.
Proverbs may be said to be the abridgments of wisdom.
The lively phraseology of Montesquieu was the result of long meditation. His words, as light as wings, bear on them grave reflections.
History needs distance, perspective. Facts and events which are too well attested cease, in some sort, to be malleable.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle French Man of Letters
- Michel de Montaigne French Essayist
- Andre Gide French Novelist
- Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues French Moralist
- Albert Camus Algerian-born French Philosopher
- Marcel Proust French Novelist
- Ken Kesey American Novelist
- Jorge Luis Borges Argentine Writer
- Giacomo Leopardi Italian Poet
- Miguel de Unamuno Spanish Philosopher, Writer