Michel De Montaigne, The Complete Essays Quotes
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The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.
I quote others only in order the better to express myself.
Learned we may be with another man's learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.
If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.
Why do people respect the package rather than the man?
The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.
[Marriage] happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.
I am afraid that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and that we have more curiosity than understanding. We grasp at everything, but catch nothing except wind.
The thing I fear most is fear.
Judgement can do without knowledge: but not knowledge without judgement.
Every other knowledge is harmful to him who does not have knowledge of goodness.
We must not attach knowledge to the mind, we have to incorporate it there.
Meditation is a powerful and full study as can effectually taste and employ themselves.
Certainly, if he still has himself, a man of understanding has lost nothing.
All we do is to look after the opinions and learning of others: we ought to make them our own.
Our zeal works wonders, whenever it supports our inclination toward hatred, cruelty, ambition.
I do not believe, from what I have been told about this people, that there is anything barbarous or savage about them, except that we all call barbarous anything that is contrary to our own habits.
Stupidity and wisdom meet in the same centre of sentiment and resolution, in the suffering of human accidents.
J'accuse toute violence en l'education d'une ame tendre, qu'on dresse pour l'honneur, et la liberté.
Difficulty is a coin which the learned conjure with so as not to reveal the vanity of their studies and which human stupidity is keen to accept in payment
L'utilité du vivre n'est pas en l'espace: elle est en l'usage.
Tis no wonder, says one of the ancients, that chance has so great a dominion over us, since it is by chance we live.
Between ourselves, there are two things that I have always observed to be in singular accord: supercelestial thoughts and subterranean conduct.
Heureuse la mort qui oste le loisir aux apprests de tel equipage.
This emperor was arbiter of the whole world at nineteen, and yet would have a man to be thirty before he could be fit to determine a dispute about a gutter.
What a prodigious conscience must that be that can be at quiet within itself whilst it harbors under thesame roof, with so agreeing and so calm a society, both the crime and the judge?
D'autant que nous avons cher, estre, et estre consiste en mouvement et action.
To an atheist all writings tend to atheism: he corrupts the most innocent matter with his own venom.
L'honneste est stable et permanent.
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.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.
Je hay entre autres vices, cruellement la cruauté, et par nature et par jugement, comme l'extreme de tous les vices.
Il n'est rien qui tente mes larmes que les larmes.
Les naturels sanguinaires à l'endroit des bestes, tesmoignent une propension naturelle à la cruauté.
He lives happy and master of himself who can say as each day passes on, "I have lived.
We should tend our freedom wisely.
Nature a, (ce crains-je) elle mesme attaché à l'homme quelque instinct à l'inhumanité
He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.
If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.
All is a-swarm with commentaries: of authors there is a dearth.