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Michel de Montaigne quotes (108)

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.
Michel de Montaigne   Category: Marriage

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
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A straight oar looks bent in the water. What matters is not merely that we see things but how we see them.
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A wise man never loses anything, if he has himself.
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A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
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Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face.
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Ambition is not a vice of little people.
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An unattempted lady could not vaunt of her chastity.
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An untempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.
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Any person of honor chooses rather to lose his honor than to lose his conscience.
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Confidence in others' honesty is no light testimony of one's own integrity.
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Confidence in the goodness of another is good proof of one's own goodness.
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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.
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Death, they say, acquits us of all obligations.
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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.
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Every man bears the whole stamp of the human condition.
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Every one rushes elsewhere and into the future, because no one wants to face one's own inner self.
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Fame and tranquility can never be bedfellows.
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Few men have been admired of their familiars.
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For truly it is to be noted, that children's plays are not sports, and should be deemed as their most serious actions.
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Fortune, seeing that she could not make fools wise, has made them lucky.
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He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.
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He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.
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How many condemnations I have witnessed more criminal than the crime!
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How many things we held yesterday as articles of faith which today we tell as fables.
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I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing.
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I do myself a greater injury in lying than I do him of whom I tell a lie.
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I do not speak the minds of others except to speak my own mind better.
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I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself.
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I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy.
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I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of.
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I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
Michel de Montaigne   Category: Education

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.
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I quote others only in order the better to express myself.
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I set forth a humble and inglorious life; that does not matter. You can tie up all moral philosophy with a common and private life just as well as with a life of richer stuff. Each man bears the entire form of man's estate.
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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.
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I study myself more than any other subject. That is my metaphysics, that is my physics.
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I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind - and to work some of those contradictions out for myself.
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If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him, I find it could no otherwise be expressed, than by making answer: because it was he, because it was I.
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If a man urge me to tell wherefore I loved him, I feel it cannot be expressed but by answering: Because it was he, because it was myself.
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If ordinary people complain that I speak too much of myself, I complain that they do not even think of themselves.
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If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.
Michel de Montaigne   Category: Marriage

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.
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If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.
Michel de Montaigne   Category: Love

Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head.
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In nine lifetimes, you'll never know as much about your cat as your cat knows about you.
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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.
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It is a monstrous thing that I will say, but I will say it all the same: I find in many things more restraint and order in my morals than in my opinions, and my lust less depraved than my reason.
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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.
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It is an absolute and virtually divine perfection to know how to enjoy our being rightfully.
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It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.
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It is not death, it is dying that alarms me.
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It is the mind that maketh good or ill, That maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.
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It should be noted that children at play are not playing about; their games should be seen as their most serious-minded activity.
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Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.
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Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think.
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Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
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Love to his soul gave eyes; he knew things are not as they seem. The dream is his real life; the world around him is the dream.
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Make your educational laws strict and your criminal ones can be gentle; but if you leave youth its liberty you will have to dig dungeons for ages.
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Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside equally desperate to get out.
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Marriage, a market which has nothing free but the entrance.
Michel de Montaigne   Category: Marriage

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.
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My trade and art is to live.
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No pleasure has any savor for me without communication.
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No wind serves him who addresses his voyage to no certain port.
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Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.
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Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.
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Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.
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Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being.
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Once conform, once do what others do because they do it, and a kind of lethargy steals over all the finer senses of the soul.
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