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

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.

Knowledge is an excellent drug; but no drug has virtue enough to preserve itself from corruption and decay, if the vessel be tainted and impure wherein it is put to keep.

Other passions have objects to flatter the, and seem to content and satisfy them for a while; there is power in ambition, pleasure in luxury, and pelf in covetousness; but envy can gain nothing but vexation.

The virtue of the soul does not consist in flying high, but walking orderly; its grandeur does not exercise itself in grandeur, but in mediocrity.

Valor has its limits like the other virtues, and these limits once transgressed, we find ourselves on the path of vice; so that we may pass through valor to temerity, obstinacy, and madness, unless we know its limits well - and they are truly hard to discern near the borderlines.

Knowledge is the mother of all virtue; all vice proceeds from ignorance.

Petty vexations may at times be petty, but still they are vexations. The smallest and most inconsiderable annoyances are the most piercing. As small letters weary the eye most, so also the smallest affairs disturb us most.

The virtue of the soul does not insist in flying high, but in walking orderly.

Valor is stability, not of arms and of legs, but of courage and the soul.

Learning is not to be tacked to the mind, but we must fuse and blend them together, not merely giving the mind a slight tincture, but a thorough and perfect dye. and if we perceive no evident change and improvement, it would be better to leave it alone; learning is a dangerous weapon, and apt to wound its master if it be wielded by a feeble hand, and by one not well acquainted with its use.

The height and value of true virtue consists in the facility, utility, and pleasure of its exercise.

The want of goods is easily repaired, but the poverty of the soul is irreparable.

Vice leaves repentance in the soul like an ulcer in the flesh, which is always scratching and lacerating itself; for reason effaces all other griefs and sorrows, but it begets that of repentance, which is so much the more grievous, by reason it springs within, as the cold and hot of fevers are more sharp than those that only strike upon the outward skin.

Love hates people to be attached to each other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is. Connections and means have, with reason, as much weight in it as graces and beauty, or more. We do not marry for ourselves, whatever we say; we marry must as much or more for our posterity, for our family. The practice and benefit of marriage concerns our race very far beyond us. Therefore I like this fashion of arranging it rather by a third hand than by our own, and by the sense of other rather than by our own. How opposite is all this to the conventions of love!

The lack of wealth is easily repaired; but the poverty of the soul is irreparable.

The way of the world is to make laws, but follow customs.

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