Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux, sometimes Nicholas Desperaux or Nicolas Boileau

Nicholas
Boileau-Despréaux, sometimes Nicholas Desperaux or Nicolas Boileau
1636
1711

French Poet and Critic

Author Quotes

A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.

He who cannot limit himself will never know how to write [or paint or sculpt, etc.].

Silence is the understanding of fools, and one of the virtues of the wise.

A fop sometimes gives important advice.

Honor is like a steep island without a shore: one cannot return once one is outside.

Some excel in rhyme who reason foolishly.

A warmed-up dinner was never worth much.

Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach; once we have left it, we can never return.

Sometimes a fool makes a good suggestion.

And the words to say it with arrive with ease.

However big the fool, there is always a bigger fool to admire him.

The terrible burden of having nothing to do.

At last came Malherbe, and he was the first in France to give poetry a proper flow.

I can call nothing by name if that is not his name. I call a cat a cat, and Rollet a rogue.

There is but one road to lead us to God - humility; all other ways would only lead astray, even were they fenced in with all virtues.

At last came Malherbe, and made verse run smoothly - the first in France to do so.

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure.

Though you be sprung in direct line from Hercules, if you show a lowborn meanness, that long succession of ancestors whom you disgrace are so many witnesses against you; and this grand display of their tarnished glory but serves to make your ignominy more evident.

Brimful of learning, see the pedant stride, bristling with horrid Greek, and puffed with pride! - A thousand authors he in vain has read, and with their maxims stuffed his empty head; and thinks that without Aristotle's rules, reason is blind, and common sense a fool!

Ignorance is always ready to admire itself,

Trouble rides behind and gallops with him.

Bring your work back to the workshop twenty times. Polish it continuously, and polish it again.

It is in vain a daring author thinks of attaining to the heights of Parnassus if he does not feel the secret influence of heaven and if his natal star has not formed him to be a poet.

What is conceived well is expressed clearly.

But even trough you be sprung in direct line from Hercules, if you show a low-born meanness, that long succession of ancestors whom you disgrace are so many witnesses against you; and this grand display of their tarnished glory but serves to make your ignominy more evident.

Author Picture
First Name
Nicholas
Last Name
Boileau-Despréaux, sometimes Nicholas Desperaux or Nicolas Boileau
Birth Date
1636
Death Date
1711
Bio

French Poet and Critic