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Quotations From MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE


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  • It is an injustice that an old, broken, half-dead father should enjoy alone, in a corner of his hearth, possessions that would suffice for the advancement and maintenance of many children.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of the Affection of Fathers For Their Children," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. II, ch. 8, Simon Millanges, Bordeaux, first edition (1580).

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  • After all, it is putting a very high price on one's conjectures to have a man roasted alive because of them.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Cripples," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 11, Abel Langelier, Paris (1588).
  • I speak truth, not my belly-full, but as much as I dare; and I dare the more the more I grow into years.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist, moralist. "Of Repenting," bk. 3, ch. 2, Essays (1580-1588), trans. by John Florio.

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  • It has never occurred to me to wish for empire or royalty, nor for the eminence of those high and commanding fortunes. My aim lies not in that direction; I love myself too well.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Coaches," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 6, Abel Langelier, Paris (1588).

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  • We imagine much more appropriately an artisan on his toilet seat or on his wife than a great president, venerable by his demeanor and his ability. It seems to us that they do not stoop from their lofty thrones even to live.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Repentance," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 2, Abel Langelier, Paris (1595).

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  • It is much more easy to accuse the one sex than to excuse the other.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Upon Some Verses of Virgil," bk. 3, ch. 5, Essays, trans. by John Florio (1588).
  • ... whoever believes anything esteems that it is a work of charity to persuade another of it.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist and philosopher. "Of Cripples," Complete Essays of Montaigne, trans. by Donald M. Frame (1965).

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  • 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.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Repenting," bk. 3, ch. 2, Essays (1588), trans. by John Florio.
  • Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Upon Some Verses of Virgil," bk. 3, ch. 5, Essays, trans. by John Florio (1588).
  • Tortures are a dangerous invention, and seem to be a test of endurance rather than of truth.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Conscience," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. II, ch. 5, Simon Millanges, Bordeaux, first edition (1580).

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