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MICHEL EYQUEM DE MONTAIGNE
French philosopher and essayist
(1533 - 1592)
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Most pleasures embrace us but to strangle.
      - [Pleasure]

Nature has presented as with a large faculty of entertaining ourselves alone, and often calls us to it, to teach us that we owe ourselves in part to society, but chiefly and mostly to ourselves.
      - [Solitude]

Not merely giving the mind a slight tincture but a thorough and perfect dye.
  [Fr., Il ne l'en fault pas arrouser, il l'en fault teindre.]
      - [Learning]

Obstinacy and contention are common qualities, most appearing in, and best becoming, a mean and illiterate soul.
      - [Obstinacy]

Obstinacy and heat in argument are surest proofs of folly. Is there anything so stubborn, obstinate, disdainful, contemplative, grave, or serious, as an ass?
      - [Obstinacy]

Old age is a lease nature only signs as a particular favor, and it may be, to one, only in the space of two or three ages; and then with a pass to boot, to carry him through, all the traverses and difficulties she has strewed in the way of his long career.
      - [Age]

Other passions have objects to flatter them, and seem to content and satisfy them for a while; there is power in ambition, pleasure in luxury, and pelf in covetousness; but envy can gain nothing but vexation.
      - [Envy]

Petty vexations may at times be petty, but still they are vexations. The smallest and most inconsiderable annoyances are the most piercing. As small letters weary the eye most, so the smallest affairs disturb us most.
      - [Trouble]

Pleasure itself is painful at the bottom.
      - [Pleasure]

Plenty and indigence depend upon the opinion every one has of them; and riches, no more than glory or health, have no more beauty or pleasure than their possessor is pleased to lend them.
      - [Riches]

Plutarch would rather we should applaud his judgment than commend his knowledge, and would rather leave us with an appetite to read more than glutted with that we have already read.
      - [Style]

Profound joy has more of severity than gayety in it.
      - [Joy]

Repentance is no other than a recanting of the will, and opposition to our fancies, which lead us which way they please.
      - [Repentance]

Satiety comes of too frequent repetition; and he who will not give himself leisure to be thirsty can never find the true pleasure of drinking.
      - [Satiety]

Since we cannot attain to greatness, let us revenge ourselves by railing at it.
      - [Greatness]

Such as are in immediate fear of losing their estates, of banishment, or of slavery, live in perpetual anguish, and lose all appetite and repose; whereas such as are actually poor slaves and exiles oftentimes live as merrily as men in a better condition; and so many people who, impatient of the perpetual alarms of fear, have hanged and drowned themselves give us sufficiently to understand that it is more importunate and insupportable than death itself.
      - [Fear]

The curiosity of knowing things has been given to man for a scourge.
      - [Curiosity]

The fairest lives, in my opinion, are those which regularly accommodate themselves to the common and human model, without miracle, without extravagance.
      - [Simplicity]

The finest lives, in my opinion, are those who rank in the common model, and with the human race, but without miracle, without extravagance.
      - [Rank]

The first distinction among men, and the first consideration that gave one precedence over another, was doubtless the advantage of beauty.
      - [Beauty]

The first law that ever God gave to man was a law of pure obedience; it was a commandment naked and simple, wherein man had nothing to inquire after, or to dispute, forasmuch as to obey is the proper office of a rational soul, acknowledging a heavenly superior and benefactor. From obedience and submission spring all other virtues, as all sin does from self-opinion.
      - [Obedience]

The good opinion of the vulgar is injurious.
      - [Popularity]

The height and value of true virtue consists in the facility, utility, and pleasure of its exercise; so far from difficulty, that boys, as well as men, and the innocent as well as the subtle, may make it their own; and it is by order and good conduct, and not by force, that it is to be acquired.
      - [Virtue]

The land of marriage has this peculiarity: that strangers are desirous of inhabiting it, while its natural inhabitants would willingly be banished from thence.
      - [Wedlock]

The most regular and most perfect soul in the world has but too much to do to keep itself upright from being overthrown by its own weakness.
      - [Soul]


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