Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

French Philosopher, Political Thinker and Social Commentator

"If in the interior of a state you do not hear the noise of any conflict, you can be sure that freedom is not there."

"If the laws of the State of the suffering of many religions, it shall be required of these religions tolerance towards each other, and the principles that it becomes every religion snubbed Xaghra, so that if he could get out of the pressure coincidence was soon attacking the religion that pressure from tyranny, not about religion. It is useful, then, to ask the laws of these different religions not troubled some of the purity of some as well as not disturb the purity of the state, and is not a citizen obedient to the laws never Bagtsarh not to disturb the structure of the state, but he must also, not troubled anyone of citizens whatever."

"If the triangles made a god, they would give him three sides."

"If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are."

"If you would be holy instruct your children, because all the good acts they perform will be imputed to you."

"In a democracy the people are in some respects the sovereign, and in others the subject."

"In any judicial, must compensate the greatness of the power by the brevity of its duration."

"In bodies moved, the motion is received, increased, diminished, or lost, according to the relations of the quantity of matter and velocity; each diversity is uniformity, each change is constancy."

"In France there are three kinds of professions: the church, the sword, and the long robe. Each hath a sovereign contempt for the other two. For example, a man who ought to be despised only for being a fool is often so because he is a lawyer."

"In most things success depends on knowing how long it takes to succeed."

"In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state."

"In the matter of dress one should always keep below one's ability."

"In vain do we seek tranquility in the desert; temptations are always with us; our passions, represented by the demons, never let us alone: those monsters created by the heart, those illusions produced by the mind, those vain specters that are our errors and our lies always appear before us to seduce us; they attack us even in our fasting or our mortifications, in other words, in our very strength."

"It is always the adventurers who do great things, not the sovereigns of great empires."

"It is competition that puts a fair price for goods and establishes the true relations between them."

"It is difficult for the United States to be all of equal power and extent."

"It is hardly to be believed that God, who is a wise Being, should place a soul, especially a good soul, in such a black ugly body."

"It is impossible for us to suppose these creatures to be men, because, allowing them to be men, a suspicion would follow that we ourselves are not Christians."

"It is natural for a republic to have only a small territory; otherwise it cannot long subsist."

"It is not the young people that degenerate; they are not spoiled till those of mature age are already sunk into corruption."

"It is requisite the government be so constituted as one man need not be afraid of another."

"It is so natural to look upon color as the criterion of human nature, that the Asiatics, among whom eunuchs are employed, always deprive the blacks of their resemblance to us by a more opprobrious distinction."

"It is the tyrant who m contempt, not one who exercises tyranny."

"Law in general is human reason, inasmuch as it governs all the inhabitants of the earth: the political and civil laws of each nation ought to be only the particular cases in which human reason is applied."

"Law should be like death, which spares no one."

"Laws undertake to punish only overt acts."

"Liberty is the right to do what the law permits."

"Liberty is the right to do what the laws allow; and if a citizen could do what they forbid, it would be no longer liberty, because others would have the same powers."

"Liberty itself has appeared intolerable to those nations who have not been accustomed to enjoy it."

"Life was given to me as a favor, so I may abandon it when it is one no longer."

"Love for the successor is nothing but hatred for the predecessor."

"Loving to read is to exchange hours of ennui that one must have in his life, against delightful hours."

"Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half."

"Luxury ruins republics; poverty, monarchies."

"Man is a social animal formed to please in society."

"Man, as a physical being, is like other bodies governed by invariable laws."

"Mankind by their industry, and by the influence of good laws, have rendered the earth more proper for their abode."

"Mediocrity is a hand-rail."

"Men should be bewailed at their birth, and not at their death."

"Men who have absolutely nothing, such as beggars, have many children."

"Men, who are rogues individually, are in the mass very honorable people."

"Money is a sign which represents the value of all merchandise."

"More states have perished because they had violated the morals because they violated the laws."

"Nature is just to all mankind, and repays them for their industry. She renders them industrious by annexing rewards in proportion to their labor."

"Nature, in her wisdom, seems to have arranged it so that men's stupidity should be ephemeral, and books make them immortal. A fool ought to be content having exacerbated everyone around him, but he insists tormenting future generations."

"No kingdom has shed more blood than the kingdom of Christ."

"Not to be loved is a misfortune, but it is an insult to be loved no longer."

"Nothing is a greater obstacle to our progress in knowledge, then a bad performance of a celebrated author; because, before we instruct we must begin with undeceiving."

"Now this is how I define talent; it is a gift God has given us in secret, which we reveal without knowing it."

"Of all kind of authors there are none I despise more than compilers, who search everywhere for shreds of other men's works, which they join to their own, like so many pieces of green turf in a garden: they are not at all superior to compositors in a printing house, who range the types, which, collected together, make a book, towards which they contribute nothing but the labors of the hand. I would have original writers respected, and it seems to me a kind of profanation to take those pieces from the sanctuary in which they reside, and to expose them to a contempt they do not deserve. When a man hath nothing new to say, why does not he hold his tongue? What business have we with this double employment?"