What we dignify with the name of peace is really only a short truce, in accordance with which the weaker party renounces his claims, whether just or unjust, until such time as he can find an opportunity of asserting them with the sword.
With kings, nations, and private individuals, the strongest assume to themselves rights over the weakest, and the same rule is followed by animals, by matter, by the elements, so that everything is performed in the universe by violence. And that order which we blame with some appearance of justice is the most universal, most absolute, most unchangeable, and most ancient law of nature.
To accomplish great things we must live as though we had never to die.
We are too inattentive or too much occupied with ourselves to understand each other. Whoever has seen masks at a ball dance amicably together, and hold hands without knowing each other, to part the moment after to see each other no more, nor to regret each other, can form some idea of society.