Quotes by Michel de Montaigne

“Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face.”

“There is no pleasure to me without communication: there is not so much as a sprightly thought comes into my mind that it does not grieve me to have produced alone, and that I have no one to tell it to.”

“My trade and art is to live.”

“Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity.”

“Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.”

“No pleasure has any savor for me without communication.”

“Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.”

“The strangest, most generous, and proudest of all virtues is true courage.”

“It is not death, it is dying that alarms me.”

“Death, they say, acquits us of all obligations.”

“The ceaseless labour of your life is to build the house of death.”

“Those who have compared our life to a dream were right... we were sleeping wake, and waking sleep.”

“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”

“In true education, anything that comes to our hand is as good as a book: the prank of a page- boy, the blunder of a servant, a bit of table talk - they are all part of the curriculum.”

“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.”

“How many things we held yesterday as articles of faith which today we tell as fables.”

“There is little less trouble in governing a private family than a whole kingdom.”

“There is not much less vexation in the government of a private family than in the managing of an entire state.”

“There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.”

“The thing I fear most is fear.”

“If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.”

“Every one rushes elsewhere and into the future, because no one wants to face one's own inner self.”

“The confidence in another man's virtue is no light evidence of a man's own, and God willingly favors such a confidence.”

“A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.”

“It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.”

“We can be knowledgable with other men's knowledge but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.”

“There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge.”

“Even from their infancy we frame them to the sports of love: their instruction, behavior, attire, grace, learning and all their words azimuth only at love, respects only affection. Their nurses and their keepers imprint no other thing in them.”

“The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them... Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will.”

“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.”

“Marriage is like a cage one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside equally desperate to get out.”

“Marriage, a market which has nothing free but the entrance.”

“If you don't know how to die, don't worry Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you don't bother your head about it.”

“Covetousness is both the beginning and the end of the devil's alphabet - the first vice in corrupt nature that moves, and the last which dies.”

“For truly it is to be noted, that children's plays are not sports, and should be deemed as their most serious actions.”

“It is a sign of contraction of the mind when it is content, or of weariness. A spirited mind never stops within itself it is always aspiring and going beyond its strength.”

“I speak the truth not so much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little more as I grow older.”

“I put forward formless and unresolved notions, as do those who publish doubtful questions to debate in the schools, not to establish the truth but to seek it.”

“The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.”

“I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind - and to work some of those contradictions out for myself.”

Click here to go back to main page.

Learn more about Michel de Montaigne.