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There is in some minds a nucleus of error which attracts and assimilates everything to itself.
They only employ words to disguise their thoughts.
This is faith: it is nothing more than obedience.
Those who have affirmed self-love to be the basis of all our sentiments and all our actions are much in the right. There is no occasion to demonstrate that men have a face; as little need is there of proving to them, that they are actuated by self-love.
Those who lament for fortune do not often lament for themselves.
Titles are of no value to posterity; the name of a man who has achieved great deeds imposes more respect than any or all epithets.
Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
Vacillation is the prominent feature of weakness of character.
Virtue is everywhere the same, because it comes from God, while everything else is of men.
Virtuous men alone possess friends.
We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder clean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign.
Dress changes the manners.
What unknown power governs men! On what feeble causes do their destinies hinge!
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, this is Metaphysics.
[Fr., Quand celui a qui l'on parle ne comprend pas et celui parle ne se comprend pas, c'est de la metaphysique.]
Whoever is suspicious invites treason.
Whoever serves his country well has no need of ancestors.
Your Majesty may think me an impatient sick man, and that the Turks are even sicker.
- to Catherine II, see the "Rundschau", Apr., 1878
Chance is a world void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
- A Philosophical Dictionary [Chance]
If the bookseller happens to desire a privilege for his merchandise, whether he is selling Rabelais or the Fathers of the Church, the magistrate grants the privilege without answering for the contents of the book.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Books (sec. 1)
The little may contrast with the great, in painting, but cannot be said to be contrary to it. Oppositions of colors contrast; but there are also colors contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Essay--Contrast
How inexpressible is the meanness of being a hypocrite! how horrible is it to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Philosopher
(sec. I) [Hypocrisy]
But nothing is more estimable than a physician who, having studied nature from his youth, knows the properties of the human body, the diseases which assail it, the remedies which will benefit it, exercises his art with caution, and pays equal attention to the rich and the poor.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Physicians
In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Poets
One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Poets [Poetry]
The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Rivers [Error]
What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking.
- A Philosophical Dictionary--Soul [Soul]
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