Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

French Comic Playwright, Dramatist and Actor, considered one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature

"All is wholesome in the absence of excess."

"A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation."

"Birth is nothing without virtue, and we have no claim to share in the glory of our ancestors unless we strive to resemble them."

"Doubts are more cruel than the worst truths."

"Esteem must be founded on some sort of preference. Bestow it on everybody and it ceases to have any meaning at all."

"I maintain, in truth, that with a smile we should instruct our youth, be very gentle when we have to blame, and not to put them in fear of virtue's name."

"If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows."

"It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable."

"It is not reason that governs love."

"Men are all alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ."

"No one is safe from slander. The best way is to pay no attention to it, but live in innocence and let the world talk."

"One cannot but mistrust a prospect of felicity: one must enjoy it before one can believe in it."

"Perfect reason avoids all extremes."

"Reason at its best shuns all extremes: even in wisdom we must exert restraint."

"The defects of human nature afford us opportunities of exercising our philosophy, the best employment of our virtues. If all men were righteous, all hearts true and frank and loyal, what use would our virtues be?"

"The envious will die, but envy never."

"The greater one's love for a person the less room for flattery. The proof of true love is to be unsparing in criticism."

"The greater the obstacle the more glory in overcoming."

"The more powerful the obstacle, the more glory we have in overcoming it; and the difficulties with which we are met are the maids of honor which set off virtue."

"The most effective way of attacking vice is to expose it to public ridicule. People can put up with rebukes but they cannot bear being laughed at: they are prepared to be wicked but they dislike appearing ridiculous."

"There is no protection against slander."

"Things only have the value that we give them. [Things are only worth what you make them worth.]"

"To live without loving is not really to live."

"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one."

"Love makes people inventive."

"One should look long and carefully at oneself before one considers judging others."

"The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there."

"The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them."

"Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money."

"To live without loving is not really to live."

"Without knowledge, life is no more than the shadow of death."

"People can be induced to swallow anything, provide it is sufficiently seasoned with praise."

"The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them; it is by excusing nothing that pure love shows itself."

"If you suppress grief too much it can well redouble."

"Don't appear so scholarly, pray. Humanize your talk, and speak to be understood."

"Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows."

"Long is the road from conception to completion."

"Nearly all men die of their remedies, and not of their illnesses."

"And wishes to be wise quite soberly."

"Anyone may be an honorable man, and yet write verse badly"

"Doctors pour drugs of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, into patients of whom they know nothing."

"That must be wonderful: I don't understand it at all."

"A husband is a plaster that cures all the ills of girlhood."

"A laudation in Greek is of marvelous efficacy on the title-page of a book."

"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant fool."

"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."

"A lover tries to stand in well with the pet dog of the house."

"A witty woman is a devil at intrigue."

"A woman always has her revenge ready."

"According to the saying of an ancient philosopher, one should eat to live, and not live to eat"