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de Montaigne, Michel

  • By some might be said of me that here I have but gathered a nosegay of strange flowers, and have put nothing of mine unto it but the thread to bind them.

  • How many things served us but yesterday as articles of faith, which today we deem but fables?

  • For truly it is to be noted, that children's plays are not sports, and should be deemed as their most serious actions.

  • Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think.

  • There is no pleasure to me without communication: there is not so much as a sprightly thought comes into my mind that it does not grieve me to have produced alone, and that I have no one to tell it to.

  • Every abridgement of a good book is a fool abridged.

  • Example is a bright looking-glass, universal and for all shapes to look into.

  • There is not much less vexation in the government of a private family than in the managing of an entire state.

  • If a man urge me to tell wherefore I loved him, I feel it cannot be expressed but by answering: Because it was he, because it was myself.

  • To honor him whom we have made is far from honoring him that hath made us.

  • My art and profession is to live.

  • Marriage: 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.

  • Scratching is one of nature's sweetest gratifications, and the one nearest at hand.

  • The same reason that makes us chide and brawl and fall out with any of our neighbours, causeth a war to follow between Princes.

  • Oh senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm, and yet will make Gods by dozens.

  • My reason is not framed to bend or stoop: my knees are.

  • 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.

  • The greatest thing of the world is for a man to know how to be his own man.

  • Who feareth to suffer suffereth already, because he feareth.

  • A man should ever . . . be ready booted to take his journey.

  • Wisdom hath her excesses, and no less need of moderation than folly.