Nicolas Chamfort Quotes

Most popular Nicolas Chamfort Quotes

To despise money is to dethrone a king.
— Nicolas Chamfort
A day without laughter is a day wasted.


Of lies, false modesty is the most decent.
— Nicolas Chamfort

lies modesty

Eminence without merit earns deference without esteem.
— Nicolas Chamfort


The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed.
— Nicolas Chamfort


There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.

foolishness ideas

People are governed with the head; kindness of heart is little use in chess.

kindness head and heart

The most utterly lost of all days is that in which you have not once laughed.
— Nicolas Chamfort
All passions exaggerate; and they are passions only because they do exaggerate.

exaggeration passion

Change of fashion is the tax levied by the industry of the poor on the vanity of the rich.
— Nicolas Chamfort


Philosophy, like medicine, has plenty of drugs, few good remedies, and hardly any specific cures.


Love is more pleasant than marriage for the same reason that novels are more amusing than history.

marriage love

Having lots of ideas doesn't mean you're clever, any more than having lots of soldiers means you're a good general.


Society is composed of two great classes: those who have more dinners than appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners.
— Nicolas Chamfort
History is the sole consolation left to the people, for it shows them that their ancestors were as unhappy as they are, or even more so.
— Nicolas Chamfort

history unhappiness

What is responsible for the success of many works is the rapport between the mediocrity of the author's ideas and the mediocrity of the public's.


Most of those who make collections of verse or epigrams are like men eating cherries or oysters: they choose out the best at first, and end by eating all.


A writer's form of expression may seem quite clear to him, yet obscure to the reader. Why? Because the reader is advancing from language to thought, the writer from thought to language.
— Nicolas Chamfort

words language writing

Our gratitude to most benefactors is the same as our feeling for dentists who have pulled our teeth.  We acknowledge the good they have done and the evil from which they have delivered us, but we remember the pain they occasioned and do not love them very much.