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BERNARD DE BOVIER DE FONTENELLE
French author
(1657 - 1757)

A beautiful woman is the hell of the soul, the purgatory of the purse, and the paradise of the eyes.
      - [Beauty : Charm]

A man finds no sweeter voice in all the world than that which chants his praise.
      - [Flattery]

A well-cultivated mind is, so to speak, made up of all the minds of preceding ages; it is only one single mind which has been educated during all this time.
      - [Cultivation]

Exactness is the sublimity of fools.
  [Fr., L'exactitude est le sublime des sots.]
      - attributed to, who disclaimed it [Folly]

I hate war, for it spoils conversation.
      - [War]

I have lived one hundred years; and I die with the consolation of never having thrown the slightest ridicule upon the smallest virtue.
      - [Ridicule]

I shall leave the world without regret, for it hardly contains a single good listener.
      - [Silence]

If I held all of truth in my hand I would beware of opening it to men.
  [Fr., Si je tenais toutes les verites dans ma main, je me donnerais bien de garde de l'ouvrir aux hommes.]
      - [Truth]

It is a great obstacle to happiness to expect too much.
      - [Anticipation]

It is beauty that begins to please, and tenderness that completes the cbarm.
      - [Beauty]

Modesty in women has two special advantages,--it enhances beauty and veils uncomeliness.
      - [Modesty]

Nature intends that, at fixed periods, men should succeed each other by the instrumentality of death. We shall never outwit Nature; we shall die as usual.
      - [Death]

Neatness is a crowning grace of womanhood.
      - [Neatness]

Nothing can be more destructive to ambition, and the passion for conquest, than the true system of astronomy. What a poor thing is even the whole globe in comparison of the infinite extent of nature!
      - [Ambition]

The judgment may be compared to a clock or watch, where the most ordinary machine is sufficient to tell the hours; but the most elaborate alone can point out the minutes and seconds, and distinguish the smallest differences of time.
      - [Judgment]

There are three things I have always loved and never understood,--paintings, music, and woman.
      - [Women]

To despise theory is to have the excessively vain pretension to do without knowing what one does, and to speak without knowing what one says.
      - [Theories]

Truth comes home to the mind so naturally that when we learn it for the first time, it seems as though we did no more than recall it to our memory.
      - [Truth]

There is nothing one sees oftener than the ridiculous and magnificent, such close neighbors that they touch.
  [Fr., L'on ne saurait mieux faire voir que le magnifique et le ridicule sont si voisins qu'ils se touchent.]
      - Oeuvres--Dialogues des Morts (IV, 32),
        (ed. 1825) [Ridicule]


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