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French philosopher, physicist, geometer and writer
(1623 - 1662)
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A trifle consoles us because a trifle upsets us.
      - [Trifles]

All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room.
      - [Evil]

All men naturally hate one another. I hold it a fact, that if men knew exactly what one says of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.
      - [Hate]

All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.
      - [Intuition]

All our dignity lies in our thoughts.
      - [Thought]

All the good maxims which are in the world fail when applied to one's self.
      - [Selfishness]

Amusement allures and deceives us and leads us down imperceptibly in thoughtlessness to the grave.
      - [Amusements]

Brave deeds are most estimable when hidden.
      - [Bravery]

Brave deeds are wasted when hidden.
      - [Bravery]

By a peculiar prerogative, not only each individual is making daily advances in the sciences, and may make advances in morality (which is the science, by way of eminence, of living well and being happy), but all mankind together are making a continual progress in proportion as the universe grows older; so that the whole human race, during the course of so many ages, may be considered as one man, who never ceases to live and learn.
      - [Progress]

Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should have the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has a quarrel with mine.
      - [War]

Christian piety annihilates the egoism of the heart; worldly politeness veils and represses it.
      - [Egotism]

Civil wars are the greatest of evils. They are inevitable, if we wish to reward merit, for all will say that they are meritorious.
      - [War]

Continued eloquence is wearisome.
      - [Eloquence]

Continuous eloquence wearies.
      - [Eloquence]

Curiosity is but vanity. Oftenest one wishes to know but to talk of it. Otherwise one would not go to sea if he were never to say anything about it, and for the sole pleasure of seeing, without hope of ever communicating what he has seen.
      - [Curiosity]

Death is easier to bear without thinking of it, than the thought of death without peril.
      - [Death]

Death itself is less painful when it comes upon us unawares than the bare contemplation of it, even when danger is far distant.
      - [Death]

Despite the sight of all the miseries which affect us and hold us by the throat we have an irrepressible instinct which bears us up.
      - [Misery]

Do you wish men to speak well of you? Then never speak well of yourself.
      - [Egotism]

Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.
      - [Earnestness]

Evil is easily discovered; there is an infinite variety; good is almost unique. But some kinds of evil are almost as difficult to discover as that which we call good; and often particular evil of this class passes for good. It needs even a certain greatness of soul to attain to this, as to that which is good.
      - [Evil]

Experience makes us see a wonderful difference between devotion and goodness.
      - [Goodness]

Extremes are for us as if they were not, and as if we were not in regard to them; they escape from us, or we from them.
      - [Extremes]

Faith affirms many things, respecting which the senses are silent, but nothing that they deny. It is superior, but never opposed to their testimony.
      - [Faith]

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