Montesquieu Quotes


Best 34 Quotes by Montesquieu – Page 1 of 2

“A man who writes well writes not as others write, but as he himself writes; it is often in speaking badly that he speaks well.”

“A truly virtuous man would come to the aid of the most distant stranger as quickly as to his own friend. If men were perfectly virtuous, they wouldn’t have friends.”

“An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.”

“Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.”

“Do you think that God will punish them for not practicing a religion which he did not reveal to them?”

“Government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another.”

“Happy the people whose annals are boring to read.”

“I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise.”

“I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.”

“If I knew of something that could serve my nation but would ruin another, I would not propose it to my prince, for I am first a man and only then a Frenchman. Because I am necessarily a man, and only accidentally am I French.”

“If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.”

“If triangles made a god, they would give him three sides.”

“One more organ or one less in our body would give us a different intelligence. In fact, all the established laws as to why our body is a certain way would be different if our body were not that way.”

“Solemnity is the shield of idiots.”

“Talent is a gift which God has given us secretly, and which we reveal without perceiving it.”

“The history of commerce is that of the communication of the people.”

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“The success of most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed.”

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”

“Virtue has need of limits.”

“We receive three educations, one from our parents, one from our school masters, and one from the world. The third contradicts all that the first two teach us.”

Persian Letters Quotes

“History is full of religious wars; but, we must take care to observe, it was not the multiplicity of religions that produced these wars, it was the intolerant spirit which animated that one which thought she had the power of governing.”

Persian Letters

“I can assure you that no kingdom has ever had as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ.”

Persian Letters

“I have read descriptions of Paradise that would make any sensible person stop wanting to go there.”

Persian Letters

“In large and populous cities they wear clothes above their rank, and consequently, have the pleasure of being esteemed by a vast majority, not as what they are, but what they appear to be.”

Persian Letters

“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.”

Persian Letters

“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.”

Persian Letters

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

Persian Letters

“The desire for glory is no different from that instinct for preservation that is common to all creatures. It is as if we enhance our being if we can gain a place in the memory of others; it is a new life that we acquire, which becomes as precious to us as the one we received from Heaven.”

Persian Letters

“They who love to inform themselves, are never idle. Though I have no business of consequence to take care of, I am nevertheless continually employed. I spend my life in examining things: I write down in the evening whatever I have remarked, what I have seen, and what I have heard in the day: every thing engages my attention, and every thing excites my wonder: I am like an infant, whose organs, as yet tender, are strongly affected by the slightest objects.”

Persian Letters

“We are so blind that we know neither when to mourn, nor when to rejoice; our mirth and our sadness are nearly always false.”

Persian Letters

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“Sometimes... it's better for a man just to walk away.
- But if you can't walk away?
I guess that's when it's tough.”

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