Baron De Montesquieu Quotes
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It is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power.
The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
We receive three educations, one from our parents, one from our school-masters, and one from the world. The third contradicts all that the first two teach us.
There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
Every man who has power is impelled to abuse it.
In the state of nature... all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the law.
A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.
For a country, everything will be lost when the jobs of an economist and a banker become highly respected professions.
Liberty... is there only when there is no abuse of power.
Knowledge humanizes mankind, and reason inclines to mildness; but prejudices eradicate every tender disposition.
Democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of equality is corrupted, but likewise when they fall into a spirit of extreme equality.
That anyone who possesses power has a tendency to abuse it is an eternal truth. They tend to go as far as the barriers will allow.
An injustice committed against anyone is a threat to everyone.
Law should be like death, which spares no one.
Solemnity is the shield of idiots
The Ottoman Empire whose sick body was not supported by a mild and regular diet, but by a powerful treatment, which continually exhausted it.
To succeed in the world we must look foolish but be wise.
Do you think that God will punish them for not practicing a religion which he did not reveal to them?
The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.
There is only one thing that can form a bond between men, and that is gratitude... we cannot give someone else greater power over us than we have ourselves.
The harshest tyranny is that which acts under the protection of legality and the banner of justice.
Never create by law what can be accomplished by morality.
There are countries where a man is worth nothing; there are others where he is worth less than nothing.
When a government lasts a long while, it deteriorates by insensible degrees. Republics end through luxury, monarchies through poverty.
I like peasants-they are not sophisticated enough to reason speciously.
An injustice to one is a threat made to all
The false notion of miracles comes of our vanity, which makes us believe we are important enough for the Supreme Being to upset nature on our behalf.
I shall be obliged to wander to the right and to the left, that I may investigate and discover the truth.
In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing.
It is rare to find learned men who are clean, do not stink and have a sense of humour.
The incomparable stupidity of life teaches us to love our parents; divine philosophy teaches us to forgive them.
If the triangles made a god, they would give him three sides.
If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, and that is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.
I have ever held it as a maxim never to do that through another which it was impossible for me to execute myself
To love to read is to exchange hours of ennui for hours of delight.
Love of reading enables a man to exchange the weary hours, which come to every one, for hours of delight.
Virtue in a republic is the love of one's country, that is the love of equality.
In bodies moved, the motion is received, increased, diminished, or lost, according to the relations of the quantity of matter and velocity; each diversity is uniformity, each change is constancy.
There is a very good saying that if triangles invented a god, they would make him three-sided.
The state of slavery is in its own nature bad.
Study has been for me the sovereign remedy against all the disappointments of life. I have never known any trouble that an hour's reading would not dissipate.
The reason the Romans built their great paved highways was because they had such inconvenient footwear.
Passion makes us feel, but never see clearly.
The less luxury there is in a republic, the more it is perfect.
Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half.
...when the laws have ceased to be executed, as this can only come from the corruption of the republic, the state is already lost.
I should like to abolish funerals; the time to mourn a person is at his birth, not his death.
Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.
Slavery, properly so called, is the establishment of a right which gives to one man such a power over another as renders him absolute master of his life and fortune.
When one wants to change manners and customs, one should not do so by changing the laws.