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

There is no existence that is constant, either of our being or of that of objects. And we, and our judgment, and all mortal things go on flowing and rolling unceasingly. Thus nothing certain can be established about one thing by another, both the judging and the judged being in continual change and motion.

I quote others [in order to better express my own self] only the better to express myself.

Nothing so deeply imprints anything in our memory as the desire to forget it.

The recognition of virtue is not less valuable from the lips of the man who hates it, since truth forces him to acknowledge it; and though he may be unwilling to take it into his inmost soul, he at least decks himself out in its trappings.

There is no passion that so much transports men from their right judgments as anger. No one would demur upon punishing a judge with death who should condemn a criminal upon the account of his own choler; why then should fathers and pedants be any more allowed to whip and chastise children in their anger? It is then no longer correction but revenge. Chastisement is instead of physic to children; an should we suffer a physician who should be animated against and enraged at his patient?

Idleness, the mother of corruption.

Obstinacy and contention are common qualities, most appearing in, and best becoming a mean and illiterate soul.

The soul [that] has no established aim loses itself.

There is still more intelligence needed to teach others than to be taught.

In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. But yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, like Herillus the philosopher, who placed in it the sovereign good, and held that it was in its power to make us wise and content. That I do not believe, nor what others have said, that knowledge is the mother of all virtue, and all vice is produced by ignorance. If that is true, it is subject to a long interpretation.

Obstinacy and dogmatism are the surest signs of stupidity. Is there anything more confident, resolute, disdainful, grave and serious than an ass?

The thing [of which I have most fear] I fear most is fear.

To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and province, but order and tranquillity in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately. All other things, to rule, to lay up treasure, to build, are at most but little appendices and props.

It is an absolute perfection to know how to get the very most out of one's individuality.

Obstinacy and heat in argument are surest proofs of folly. Is there anything so stubborn, obstinate, disdainful, contemplative, grave, or serious, as an ass?

The things are most dear to us which have cost us most.

To forbid anything is the way to make us [have a mind] long for it.

It is easier to sacrifice great than little things.

Old age puts more wrinkles in our minds than on our faces; and we never, or rarely, see a soul that in growing old does not come to smell sour and musty. Man grows and dwindles in his entirety.

The truth is that it is contrary to the nature of love if it is not violent, and contrary to the nature of violence if it is constant.

True freedom is to have power over oneself for everything.

It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.

One must learn to endure what can't be escaped.

The truth of these days is not that which really is, but what ever man persuades another man to believe.

Truth is the first and fundamental part of virtue. We must love it for itself.

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