Quotes by Michel de Montaigne

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The beautiful souls are they that are universal, open, and ready for all things.

Old age puts more wrinkles in our minds than on our faces; and we never, or rarely, see a soul that in growing old does not come to smell sour and musty.
A good marriage, if there be such, rejects the company and conditions of love. It tries to reproduce those of friendship. It is a sweet association in life, full of constancy, trust, and an infinite number of useful and solid services and mutual obligations.
I find it much easier to bear a suit of armor all one's life than a virginity; and the vow of virginity is the most noble of all vows, as being the hardest.
Boldness in sinning is somewhat compensated and bridled by boldness in confession. Whoever would oblige himself to tell all, would oblige himself not to do anything about which we are constrained to keep silent.
Whoever is a good man only because people will know it, and because they will esteem him better for it after knowing it, whoever will do well only on condition that his virtue will come to the knowledge of men, that man is not one from whom one can derive much service.
It might perhaps be excusable for a painter or another artisan, or even for a rhetorician or a grammarian, to toil to acquire a name by his works; but the actions of virtue are too noble in themselves to seek any other reward than from their own worth, and especially to seek it in the vanity of human judgments.
I should be inclined to say that as plants are stifled with too much moisture, and lamps with too much oil, so too much study and matter stifles the action of the mind, which, being caught and entangled in a great variety of things, may lose the ability to break loose, and be kept bent and huddled down by its burden.
Weakness and incapacity legitimately break up a marriage.
A rhetorician of times past said that his trade was to make little things appear and be thought great. That's a shoemaker who can make big shoes for a small foot. They would have had him whipped in Sparta for professing a deceitful and lying art. . . . Those who mask and make up women do less harm, for it is a matter of small loss not to see them in their natural state; whereas the other men make a profession of deceiving not our eyes but our judgment, and of adulterating and corrupting the essence of things.
Poverty of goods is easy to cure, poverty of soul impossible.
The commonest way of softening the hearts of those we have offended, when, vengeance in hand, they hold us at their mercy, is by submission to move them to commiseration and pity. However, audacity and steadfastness--entirely contrary means--have sometimes served to produce the same effect.