Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Michel de
Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
1533
1592

French Renaissance Writer, Moralist, Essayist, Father of Modern Skepticism

Author Quotes

Undertake coldly, but pursue hotly.

Unhappy is the man, in my opinion, who has not a spot at home where he can be at home to himself - to court himself and hide away.

We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere. To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.

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

We wake sleeping, and sleep waking, I do not see so clearly in my sleep; but as to my being awake, I never found it clear enough and free from clouds.

The mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not discreetly how to use it.

What really is? That which is eternal: that is to say, what never had birth, nor will ever have an end; to which time never brings any change. For time is a mobile thing, which appears as in a shadow, together with matter, which is ever running and flowing, without ever remaining stable or permanent... Wherefore we must conclude that God is - not at all according to any measure of time, but according to an eternity immutable and immobile, not measured by time or subject to any decline.

The only good histories are those that have been written by the very men who were in command in the affairs, or who were participants in the conduct of them or who at least have had the fortune to conduct others of the same sort... What can you expect of a doctor discussing war, or a schoolboy discussing the intentions of princes?

What we commonly call friendships are nothing but acquaintance and familiarities, either occasionally contracted or upon some design, by means of which there happens some little intercourse between our souls.

The remembrance of pleasure doubles our pain.

When all is summed up, a man never speaks of himself without loss; his accusations of himself are always believed, his praises never.

There is a sort of gratification in doing good which makes us rejoice in ourselves.

Wisdom has its excesses, and is in no less need of moderation than folly.

There are few men who dare publish to the world the prayers they make to Almighty God.

Wit is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not how to use it discreetly.

There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.

Wonder - which is the seed of knowledge.

There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws, would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.

Wonder is the foundation of all philosophy, inquiry the progress, ignorance the end... It's a sign of contraction of the mind when it is content or of weariness.

There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.

Zeal and curiosity are the twin scourges of the soul: the latter prompts us to poke our noses into everything; the former prevents our leaving anything in doubt or undecided.

Every one's true worship was that which he found in use in the place where he chanced to be.

Satiety comes of too frequent repetition; and he who will not give himself leisure to be thirsty can never find the true pleasure of drinking.

Health is a precious thing, and the only one, in truth, which deserves that we employ in its pursuit not only time, sweat, trouble, and worldly goods, but even life; inasmuch as without it life comes to be painful and oppressive to us. Pleasure, wisdom, knowledge, and virtue, without it, grow tarnished and vanish away.

Silence and modesty are very valuable qualities in the art of conversation.

Author Picture
First Name
Michel de
Last Name
Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
Birth Date
1533
Death Date
1592
Bio

French Renaissance Writer, Moralist, Essayist, Father of Modern Skepticism