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CHARLES DE MONTESQUIEU (CHARLES-LOUIS DE SECONDAT)
French author
(1689 - 1755)
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The culminating point of administration is to know well how much power, great or small, we ought to use in all circumstances.
      - [Government]

The general rule always holds good. In constitutional states liberty is a compensation of the heaviness of taxation. In despotic states the equivalent for liberty is the lightness of taxation.
      - [Taxes]

The less men think, the more they talk.
      - [Conversation]

The love of democracy is that of equality.
      - [Democracy]

The love of reading enables a man to exchange the wearisome hours of life which come to every one for hours of delight.
      - [Reading]

The love of study is in us the only lasting passion. All the others quit us in proportion as this miserable machine which holds them approaches its ruins.
      - [Study]

The pagan religion, which prohibited only some of the grosser crimes, and which stopped the hand but meddled not with the heart, might have crimes that were inexplicable.
      - [Pagan]

The sacred books of the ancient Persians say, "If you would be holy, instruct your children, because all the good acts they perform will be imputed to you."
      - [Children]

The severity of laws prevents their execution. When the penalty is excessive, one is forced to prefer impunity.
      - [Punishment]

The state is the association of men, and not men themselves; the citizen may perish, and the man remain.
      - [Society]

There are bad examples which are worse than crimes; and more states have perished from the violation of morality than from the violation of law.
      - [Example]

There is still another inconvenieney in conquests made by democracies; their government is ever odious to the conquered states. It is apparently monarchical, but in reality it is more oppressive than monarchy, as the experience of all ages and countries evinces.
      - [Democracy]

Those who have few affairs to attend to are great speakers. The less men think, the more they talk.
      - [Loquacity : Talking]

To succeed in the world, we must be foolish in appearance, but really wise.
      - [Appearance]

Vanity and pride of nations; vanity is as advantageous to a government as pride is dangerous.
      - [Vanity]

Virtue is necessary to a republic.
      - [Virtue]

What the orators want in depth, they give you in length.
      - [Oratory]

When a government is arrived to that degree of corruption as to be incapable of reforming itself, it would not lose much by being new moulded.
      - [Government]

When God endowed human beings with brains, He did not intend to guarantee them.
      - [Brain]

When the savages of Louisiana wish to have fruit, they cut the tree at the bottom and gather the fruit. That is exactly a despotic government.
      - [Despotism]

When we seek after wit, we discover only foolishness.
      - [Wit]

Wonderful! that the Christian religion, which seems to have no other object than the felicity of another life, should also constitute the happiness of this.
      - [Religion]

Republics end through luxury; monarchies through poverty.
  [Fr., Les republiques finissent par le luxe; les monarchies, par la pauvrete.]
      - De l'Esprit (VII, ch. IV)
        [Government : Republic]

The deterioration of a government begins almost always by the decay of its principles.
  [Fr., La corruption de chaque gouvernement commence presque toujours par celle des principes.]
      - De l'Esprit (VIII, ch. I) [Government]

Society is the union of men and not the men themselves.
  [Fr., La Societe est l'union des hommes, et non pas les hommes.]
      - De l'Esprit (X, 3) [Society]


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