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French philosopher, physicist, geometer and writer
(1623 - 1662)
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In a great soul everything is great.
      - [Greatness]

Is it courage in a dying man to go, in weakness and in agony, to affront an almighty and eternal God?
      - [Death]

It is a dangerous experiment to call in gratitude as an ally to love. Love is a debt which inclination always pays, obligation never.
      - [Gratitude]

It is certain that the soul is either mortal or immortal. The decision of this question must make a total difference in the principles of morals. Yet philosophers have arranged their moral system entirely independent of this. What an extraordinary blindness!
      - [Soul]

It is not certain that everything is uncertain.
      - [Certainty]

It is not only old and early impressions that deceive us; the charms of novelty have the same power.
      - [Deception]

It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness. It is more dangerous yet to leave him ignorant of either; but very beneficial that he should be made sensible of both.
      - [Man]

It is the contest that delights us, and not the victory.
      - [Victory]

It is the fight alone that pleases us, not the victory.
      - [Fighting]

Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.
      - [Justice : Power]

Kind words produce their own image in men's souls, and a beautiful image it is. They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.
      - [Kindness]

Let a man choose what condition he will, and let him accumulate around him all the goods and all the ratifications seemingly calculated to make him happy in it--if that man is left at any time without occupation or amusement, and reflects on what he is, the meager, languid felicity of big present lot will not bear him up. He will turn necessarily to gloomy anticipations of the future; and except, therefore, his occupation calls him out of himself, he is inevitably wretched.
      - [Occupations]

Let any man examine his thoughts, and he will find them ever occupied with the past or the future. We scarcely think at all of the present; or if we do, it is only to borrow the light which it gives, for regulating the future. The present is never our object; the past and the present we use as means; the future only is our end. Thus, we never live, we only hope to live.
      - [Present]

Let it not he imagined that the life of a good Christian must necessarily be a life of melancholy and gloominess; for he only resigns some pleasures, to enjoy others infinitely greater.
      - [Piety]

Little things console us, because little things afflict us.
      - [Trifles]

Love has no age, as it is always renewing itself.
      - [Love]

Man is nothing but insincerity, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in regard to himself and in regard to others. He does not wish that he should be told the truth, he shuns saying it to others; and all these moods, so inconsistent with justice and reason, have their roots in his heart.
      - [Deceit]

Man is so great that his greatness appears even in the consciousness of his misery. A tree does not know itself to be miserable. It is true that it is misery indeed to know one's self to be miserable; but then it is greatness also. In this way, all man's miseries go to prove his greatness. They are the miseries of a mighty potentate, of a dethroned monarch.
      - [Misery]

Mediocrity makes the most of its native possessions.
      - [Mediocrity]

Men are of necessity so mad, that not to be mad were madness in another form.
      - [Eccentricity]

Men are so completely fools by necessity that he is but a fool in a higher strain of folly who does not confess his foolishness.
      - [Fools]

Men are so necessarily fools that it would be being a fool in a higher strain of folly, not to be a fool.
      - [Fools]

Nature confuses the skeptics and reason confutes the dogmatists.
      - [Nature]

Nature has perfections, in order to show that she is the image of God; and defects, in order to show that she is only His image.
      - [Nature]

Nature imitates herself. A grain thrown into good ground brings forth fruit; a principle thrown into a good mind brings forth fruit. Everything is created and conducted by the same Master; the root, the branch, the fruits,--the principles, the consequences.
      - [Nature]

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