Order is to arrangement what the soul is to the body, and what mind is to matter.
History needs distance, perspective. Facts and events which are too well attested cease, in some sort, to be malleable.
Never cut what you can untie.
Lenity is a part of mercy, but she must not speak too loud for fear of waking justice.
Imagination is the eye of the soul.
God multiplies intelligence, which communicates itself like fire, infinitely.—Light a thousand torches at one torch, and the flame of the latter remains the same.
Tenderness is the rest of passion.
Haughty people seem to me to have, like the dwarfs, the statures of a child and the face of a man.
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.
Eyes raised toward heaven are always beautiful, whatever they may be.
Superstition is the only religion of which base souls are capable.
Politeness is to goodness what words are to thought. It tells not only on the manners, but on the mind and the heart; it renders the feelings, the opinions, the words, moderate and gentle.
Justice without strength, or strength without justice—fearful misfortunes!
Today there are no more irreconcilable enmities, because there are no more disinterested emotions: that’s a good thing born from a bad thing.
How many people make themselves abstract to appear profound. The most useful part of abstract terms are the shadows they create to hide a vacuum.
We find little in a book but what we put there. But in great books, the mind finds room to put many things.
All gardeners live in beautiful places, because they make them so.
Maxims are to the intellect what laws are to actions: they do not enlighten, but guide and direct, and though themselves blind, are protecting.
Politeness smoothes wrinkles.
We know God easily, if we do not constrain ourselves to define him.
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