Nicolas Chamfort,fully Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort, also spelled Nicholas

Nicolas
Chamfort,fully Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort, also spelled Nicholas
1741
1794

French Writer known for his Epigrams and Aphorisms

Author Quotes

Someone described Providence as the baptismal name of chance; no doubt some pious person will retort that chance is the nickname of Providence.

There is no history worthy attention save that of free nations; the history of nations under the sway of despotism is no more than a collection of anecdotes.

Someone has said that to plagiarize from the ancients is to play the pirate beyond the Equator, but that to steal from the moderns is to pick pockets at street corners.

There is something is common between literary, and above all theatrical, reputations and the fortunes which used of old to be made in the West Indies. In the early days it was almost sufficient to reach those islands to return with incalculable riches; but the very vastness of the fortunes thus obtained was prejudicial to those of the following generation, since the exhausted earth could yield no more.

Someone was talking about the respect we owe the public. ?Yes,? said M?., ?It's a question of prudence. Nobody has a high opinion of fishwives but who would dare offend them while walking through the fish market.?

Thought consoles us for all, and heals all. If at times it does you ill, ask it for the remedy for that ill and it will give it to you.

Speaking of women's favors, M. de ? used to say: It is an auction room business, and neither feeling nor merit are ever successful bidders.

'Tis easier to make certain things legal than to make them legitimate.

Stupidity would not be absolute stupidity did it not fear intelligence.

To help a man suffering from dropsy, it's far better to cure his thirst than to offer him a barrel of wine. Apply this principle to the wealthy.

Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.

Vain is equivalent to empty; thus vanity is so miserable a thing, that one cannot give it a worse name than its own. It proclaims itself for what it is.

The best philosophical attitude to adopt towards the world is a union of the sarcasm of gaiety with the indulgence of contempt.

We leave unmolested those who set the fire to the house, and prosecute those who sound the alarm.

Paris: a city of pleasures and amusements where four-fifths of the people die of grief.

The contemplative life is often miserable. One must act more, think less, and not watch oneself live.

We ought to be able to combine opposites: the love of goodness with indifference to other people's opinions, a liking for work with indifference to fame, concern for our health with indifference to life.

Pleasure can be supported by an illusion; but happiness rests upon truth.

The great always sell their society to the vanity of the little.

What I learned I no longer know; the little I still know, I guessed.

Pleasure may come from illusion, but happiness can come only of reality.

The majority of the books of our time give one the impression of having been manufactured in a day out of books read the day before.

What makes the success of many books consists in the affinity there is between the mediocrity of the author's ideas and those of the public.

Poets, orators, even philosophes, say the same things about fame we were told as boys to encourage us to win prizes. What they tell children to make them prefer being praised to eating jam tarts is the same idea constantly drummed into us to encourage us to sacrifice our real interests in the hope of being praised by our contemporaries or by posterity.

The new friends whom we make after attaining a certain age and by whom we would fain replace those whom we have lost, are to our old friends what glass eyes, false teeth and wooden legs are to real eyes, natrual teeth and legs of flesh and bone.

Author Picture
First Name
Nicolas
Last Name
Chamfort,fully Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort, also spelled Nicholas
Birth Date
1741
Death Date
1794
Bio

French Writer known for his Epigrams and Aphorisms