Quotes by Michel Eyquem De Montaigne

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There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.
If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.
I know what I am fleeing from, but not what I am in search of.
Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face.
Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of the mind is irreparable.
The thing I fear most is fear.
The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.
He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.
Oh senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm, and yet will make Gods by dozens.
I do myself a greater injury in lying than I do him of whom I tell a lie.
No wind favors him who has no destined port.
All the fame you should look for in life is to have lived it quietly.
We only labor to stuff the memory, and leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void.
There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.
Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think.
Those things that are dearest to us have cost us the most.
A man should ever be ready booted to take his journey.
When I am attacked 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 life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.
The soul which has no fixed purpose in life is lost; to be everywhere, is to be nowhere.
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.
Of all the infirmities we have, the most savage is to despise our being.
We need very strong ears to hear ourselves judged frankly, and because there are few who can endure frank criticism without being stung by it, those who venture to criticize us perform a remarkable act of friendship, for to undertake to wound or offend a man for his own good is to have a healthy love for him.
The most profound joy has more of gravity than of gaiety in it.
Man is stark mad; he cannot make a flea, and yet he will be making gods by the dozens.
No wind serves him who addresses his voyage to no certain port.
Fortune, seeing that she could not make fools wise, has made them lucky.
There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.
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.
The strangest, most generous, and proudest of all virtues is true courage.
There is no pleasure to me without communication: there is not so much as a sprightly thought comes into my mind that it does not grieve me to have produced alone, and that I have no one to tell it to.
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.
When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her.
We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.
Wise people are foolish if they cannot adapt to foolish people.
Socrates thought and so do I that the wisest theory about the gods is no theory at all.
The most unhappy and frail creatures are men and yet they are the proudest.
I care not so much what I am in the opinion of others, as what I am in my own; I would be rich of myself and not by borrowing.
Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.
There are few men who dare to publish to the world the prayers they make to Almighty God.
The great and glorious masterpiece of man is how to live with purpose.
Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will.
My reason is not framed to bend or stoop: my knees are.
Even on the most exalted throne in the world we are only sitting on our own bottom.
Who feareth to suffer suffereth already, because he feareth.
He who is not very strong in memory should not meddle with lying.
Who does not in some sort live to others, does not live much to himself.
It should be noted that children's games are not merely games. One should regard them as their most serious activities.
It is very easy to accuse a government of imperfection, for all mortal things are full of it.
Ambition is not a vice of little people.
Nothing fixes a thing so intensly in the memory as the wish to forget it.
All the world knows me in my book, and my book in me.
The honor of the conquest is rated by the difficulty.
I tell the truth, not as much as I would like to, but as much as I dare. I dare more and more as I grow older.
My art and profession is to live.
The finest lives in my opinion are the common model, without miracle and without extravagance.
The word is half his that speaks, and half his that hears it.
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.
Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out.
A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.
I was not long since in a company where I was not who of my fraternity brought news of a kind of pills, by true account, composed of a hundred and odd several ingredients; whereat we laughed very heartily, and made ourselves good sport; for what rock so hard were able to resist the shock or withstand the force of so thick and numerous a battery?
The memory represents to us not what we choose but what it pleases.
He who has not a good memory should never take upon himself the trade of lying.
It is much more easy to accuse the one sex than to excuse the other.
I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.
Taking it all in all, I find it is more trouble to watch after money than to get it.
Let Nature have her way; she understands her business better than we do.
There never was in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains. The most universal quality is diversity.
It happens as one sees in cages: the birds who are outside despair of ever getting in, and those within are equally desirous of getting out
There is no course of life so weak and Scottish as that which is ordered by orders, method, and discipline.
Scratching is one of nature's sweetest gratifications, and the one nearest at hand.
I conceive that pleasures are to be avoided if greater pains be the consequence, and pains to be coveted that will terminate in greater pleasures.
It is easier to write an indifferent poem than to understand a good one.
Once you have decided to keep a certain pile, it is no longer yours; for you can't spend it.
A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
The worthiest man to be known, and for a pattern to be presented to the world, he is the man of whom we have most certain knowledge. He hath been declared and enlightened by the most clear-seeing men that ever were; the testimonies we have of him are in faithfulness and sufficiency most admirable.
We endeavor more that men should speak of us, than how and what they speak, and it sufficeth us that our name run in men's mouths, in what manner soever. It stemma that to be known is in some sort to have life and continuance in other men's keeping.
The same reason that makes us chide and brawl and fall out with any of our neighbors, causeth a war to follow between Princes.
I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
Have you known how to take rest? You have done more than he who hath taken empires and cities.
One may disavow and disclaim vices that surprise us, and whereto our passions transport us; but those which by long habits are rooted in a strong and powerful will are not subject to contradiction. Repentance is but a denying of our will, and an opposition of our fantasies.
Princes give me sufficiently if they take nothing from me, and do me much good if they do me no hurt; it is all I require of them.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to be self-sufficient.
Few men have been admired of their familiars.
He who lives not to others, lives little to himself.
After mature deliberation of counsel, the good Queen to establish a rule and immutable example unto all posterity, for the moderation and required modesty in a lawful marriage, ordained the number of six times a day as a lawful, necessary and competent limit.
Obstinacy is the sister of constancy, at least in vigor and stability.
It is the part of cowardliness, and not of virtue, to seek to squat itself in some hollow lurking hole, or to hide herself under some massive tomb, thereby to shun the strokes of fortune.
In the education of children there is nothing like alluring the interest and affection, otherwise you only make so many asses laden with books.
In plain truth, lying is an accursed vice. We are not men, nor have any other tie upon another, but by our word.
Lying is a terrible vice, it testifies that one despises God, but fears men.
It would be better to have no laws at all, than to have too many.
I see men ordinarily more eager to discover a reason for things than to find out whether the things are so.
It is a common seen by experience that excellent memories do often accompany weak judgments.
The weeping of an heir is laughter in disguise.
No man is so exquisitely honest or upright in living, but that ten times in his life he might not lawfully be hanged.
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.
I love those historians that are either very simple or most excellent. Such as are between both (which is the most common fashion), it is they that spoil all; they will needs chew our meat for us and take upon them a law to judge, and by consequence to square and incline the story according to their fantasy.
The smallest annoyances, disturb us the most.
Habit is second nature.
It is not the want, but rather abundance that creates avarice.
To honor him whom we have made is far from honoring him that hath made us..
Even from their infancy we frame them to the sports of love: their instruction, behavior, attire, grace, learning and all their words azimuth only at love, respects only affection. Their nurses and their keepers imprint no other thing in them.
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.
There is not much less vexation in the government of a private family than in the managing of an entire state.
There is little less trouble in governing a private family than a whole kingdom.
Example is a bright looking-glass, universal and for all shapes to look into.
But sure there is need of other remedies than dreaming, a weak contention of art against nature.
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.
Death, they say, acquits us of all obligations.
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.
It is not death that alarms me, but dying.
Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
I want death to find me planting my cabbage
The way of the world is to make laws, but follow custom.
Since we cannot attain unto it, let us revenge ourselves with railing against it.
In my opinion, the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is in conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice. The study of books is a drowsy and feeble exercise which does not warm you up.
Confidence in another person's virtue is no light evidence of your own.
The confidence in another man's virtue is no light evidence of a man's own, and God willingly favors such a confidence.
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.
It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.
For truly it is to be noted, that children's plays are not sports, and should be deemed as their most serious actions.
The most manifest sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness; her state is like that in the regions above the moon, always clear and serene.
An unattempted lady could not vaunt of her chastity.
Every abridgement of a good book is a fool abridged.
How many things served us but yesterday as articles of faith, which today we deem but fables?
The beauty of stature is the only beauty of men.
I consider myself an average man, except in the fact that I consider myself an average man.
No profession or occupation is more pleasing than the military; a profession or exercise both noble in execution (for the strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is true valor) and noble in its cause. No utility either more just or universal than the protection of the repose or defense of the greatness of one's country. The company and daily conversation of so many noble, young and active men cannot but be well-pleasing to you.
Nature should have been pleased to have made this age miserable, without making it also ridiculous.
From Obedience and submission comes all our virtues, and all sin is comes from self-opinion.
Of all the benefits which virtue confers on us, the contempt of death is one of the greatest.
Virtue craves a steep and thorny path.
Virtue rejects facility to be her companion. She requires a craggy, rough and thorny way.
There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws, would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.
Wisdom hath her excesses, and no less need of moderation than folly.