Michel De Montaigne Quotes

Michel De Montaigne Quotes

I quote others only in order the better to express myself.

The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.

All is a-swarm with commentaries: of authors there is a dearth.

Handling and use by able minds give value to a language, not so much by innovating as by filling it out with more vigorous and varied services, by stretching and bending it.

No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.

The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.

Can anything be imagined so ridiculous, that this miserable and wretched creature [man], who is not so much as master of himself, but subject to the injuries of all things, should call himself master and emperor of the world, of which he has not power to know the least part, much less to command the whole?

If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.

Why do people respect the package rather than the man?

Learned we may be with another man's learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.

There were many terrible things in my life and most of them never happened.

It is a disaster that wisdom forbids you to be satisfied with yourself and always sends you away dissatisfied and fearful, whereas stubbornness and foolhardiness fill their hosts with joy and assurance.

I listen with attention to the judgment of all men;
but so far as I can remember,
I have followed none but my own.

Stupidity and wisdom meet in the same centre of sentiment and resolution, in the suffering of human accidents.

There is indeed a certain sense of gratification when we do a good deed that gives us inward satisfaction, and a generous pride that accompanies a good conscience…These testimonies of a good conscience are pleasant; and such a natural pleasure is very beneficial to us; it is the only payment that can never fail. “On Repentance

We need but little learning to live happily.

Though the ancient poet in Plutarch tells us we must not trouble the gods with our affairs because they take no heed of our angers and disputes, we can never enough decry the disorderly sallies of our minds.

Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

Judgement can do without knowledge: but not knowledge without judgement.

We must not attach knowledge to the mind, we have to incorporate it there.

Every other knowledge is harmful to him who does not have knowledge of goodness.

We can be knowledgeable with another man's knowledge, but we can't be wise with another man's wisdom.

There is hardly less torment in running a family than in running a country.

[Marriage] happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.

Confidence in others' honesty is no light testimony of one's own integrity.

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.

I enjoy books as misers enjoy treasures, because I know I can enjoy them whenever I please.

The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some men have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough.

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.

The thing I fear most is fear.

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.

It is not reasonable that art should win the place of honor over our great and powerful mother Nature. We have so overloaded the beauty and richness of her works by our inventions that we have quite smothered her.

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.

If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.

Whether we are running our home or studying or hunting or following any other sport, we should go to the very boundaries of pleasure but take good care not to be involved beyond the point where it begins to be mingled with pain.

We should tend our freedom wisely.

I know not what quintessence of all this mixture, which, seizing my whole will, carried it to plunge and lose itself in his, and that having seized his whole will, brought it back with equal concurrence and appetite to plunge and lose itself in mine.

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.

No passion disturbs the soundness of our judgement as anger does.

If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God and a coward towards men.

The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.

Share Page

Michel De Montaigne Wiki

Michel De Montaigne At Amazon