Michel de Montaigne Quotes
Most popular Michel de Montaigne Quotes
I quote others only to better express myself.
Habit is second nature.
Pleasure chews and grinds us.
One may be humble out of pride.
Cowardice is the mother of cruelty.
The world is but a school of inquiry.
Ambition is not a vice of little people.
No noble thing can be done without risk.
Saying is one thing, and doing is another.
Poetry is the original language of the gods.
Fame and tranquility can never be bedfellows.
No wind favors them who have no destined port.
There is no reply so sharp as silent contempt.
There is no reply so sharp as silence contempt.
The beauty of stature is the only beauty of men.
There are defeats more triumphant than victories.
A wise man never loses anything if he has himself.
The soul which has no fixed purpose in life is lost.
Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.
Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known.
What do I know? I do not understand; I pause; I examine.
Soldiers ought to fear their general more than the enemy.
The way of the world is to make laws, but follow customs.
Friendship is the highest degree of perfection in society.
The most manifest sign of wisdom is continued cheerfulness.
I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.
We should spread joy, but, as far as we can, repress sorrow.
Silence, along with modesty, is a great aid to conversation.
The most manifest sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness.
Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of soul, impossible.
The most profound joy has more of gravity than of gaiety in it.
It is good to rub and polish our brains against that of others.
Speech belongs half to him who speaks and half to him who hears.
Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face.
A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.
To philosophize is nothing else than to prepare oneself for death.
How many worthy men have we known to survive their own reputation!
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
Wisdom hath her excesses, and no less need of moderation than folly.
All the fame you should look for in life is to have lived it quietly.
Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of the mind is irreparable.
A man's accusations of himself are always believed, his praises never.
The perpetual work of your life is but to lay the foundation of death.
We should not ask who is the most learned, but who is the best learned.
I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself.
All other knowledge is hurtful to him who has not the science of goodness.
The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose.
Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity.
The poverty of goods is easily cured; the poverty of the soul is irreparable.
Men are not agreed about any one thing, not even that heaven is over our heads.
We are not sensible of the most perfect health as we are of the least sickness.
I will follow the right side even to the fire, but excluding the fire if I can.
Men are all alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ.
There is a little less trouble in governing a private family than a whole kingdom.
He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.
There is a sort of gratification in doing good which makes us rejoice in ourselves.
Wonder is the foundation of all philosophy, inquiry the progress, ignorance the end.
Since we cannot attain to greatness, let us revenge ourselves by railing against it.
The laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, proceed from custom.
Shame on all eloquence which leaves us with a taste for itself and not for its substance.
There is another sort of glory, which is the having too good an opinion of our own worth.
When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not more of a pastime to her than she is to me?
When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?
Wit is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not how to use it discreetly.
Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.
The dispersing and scattering of our names into many mouths, we call this making us greater?
Wisdom is a solid and entire building, of which every piece keeps its place and bears its mark.
Man is quite insane. He wouldn't know how to create a maggot, and he created gods by the dozen.
We can be Knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.
Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.
The births of all things are weak and tender, and therefore we should have our eyes intent on beginnings.
There is no course of life so weak and scottish as that which is managed by orders, method, and discipline.
Dreams are the true interpreters of our inclinations; but there is art required to sort and understand them.
Marriage may be compared to a cage: the birds outside frantic to get in and those inside frantic to get out.
I speak the truth, not quite my fill of it, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little more as I grow older.
I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more, as I grow older.
The honor we receive from those that fear us is not honor; those respects are paid to royalty and not to me.
Confidence in the goodness of others is no slight testimony to one's own goodness; and so God gladly favors it.
When the soul is without a definite aim, she gets lost; for, as they say, if you are everywhere you are nowhere.
I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more, as I grow older.
Some, either from being glued to vice by a natural attachment, or from long habit, no longer recognize its ugliness.
I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself. I want to be rich my myself, not by borrowing.
A learned man is not learned in everything; but the capable man is capable in everything, even in what he is ignorant of.
When I the most strictly and religiously confess myself, I find that the best virtue I have has in it some tincture of vice.
There never was in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains. The most universal quality is diversity.
Virtue requires a rough and stormy passage; she will have either outward difficulties to wrestle with, or internal difficulties.
In the education of children there is nothing like alluring the interest and affection; otherwise you only make so many asses laden with books.
The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mould ... The same reason that makes us wrangle with a neighbour causes a war betwixt princes.
Women are not entirely wrong when they reject the rules of life prescribed for the world, for they were established by men only, without their consent.
A father is very miserable who has no other hold on his children's affection than the need they have of his assistance, if that can be called affection.
There is . . . a certain respect, and a general duty of humanity, that ties us, not only to beasts that have life and sense, but even to trees and plants.
There is no pleasure to me without communication; there is not so much as a sprightly thought comes into my mind but I grieve that I have no one to tell it to.
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.
The corruption of the age is made up by the particular contribution of every individual; some contribute treachery, others injustice, irreligious, tyranny, avarice, cruelty, according to their power.
To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately.
Zeuzidamus, to one who asked him why the Lacedemonians did not commit their constitutions of chivalry to writing, and deliver them to their young people to read, made answer that it was because they would inure them to action and not to words.
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.