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French philosopher, physicist, geometer and writer
(1623 - 1662)
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The last thing that we discover in writing a book is to know what to put at the beginning.
      - [Books]

The last thing we decide in writing a book is what to put first.
      - [Books]

The main object of the gospel is to establish two principles--the corruption of nature, and the redemption by Jess Christ.
      - [Gospel]

The mind has its arrangement; it proceeds from principles to demonstrations. The heart has a different mode of proceeding.
      - [Mind]

The mind naturally makes progress, and the will naturally clings to objects; so that for want of right objects, it will attach itself to wrong ones.
      - [Progress]

The mind of the greatest man on earth is not so independent of circumstances as not to feel inconvenienced by the merest buzzing noise about him; it does not need the report of a cannon to disturb his thoughts. The creaking of a vane or a pully is quite enough. Do not wonder that he reasons ill just now; a fly is buzzing by his ear; it is quite enough to unfit him for giving good counsel.
      - [Trifles]

The more enlarged is our own mind, the greater number we discover of men of originality. Your commonplace people see no difference between one man and another.
      - [Appreciation]

The most powerful cause of error is the war existing between the senses and reason.
      - [Error]

The multitude which does not reduce itself to unity is confusion exemplified.
      - [Unanimity : Unity]

The present is never the mark of our designs. We use both past and present as our means and instruments, but the future only as our object and aim.
      - [Future]

The sensibility of man to trifles, and his insensibility to great things, are the marks of a strange inversion.
      - [Sensibility]

The sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.
      - [Unhappiness]

The statements of atheists ought to be perfectly clear of doubt. Now it is not perfectly clear that the soul is material.
      - [Atheism]

The sweetness of glory is so great that, join it to what we will, even to death, we love it.
      - [Glory]

The virtue of a man ought to be measured not by his extraordinary exertions, but by his every-day conduct.
      - [Virtue]

The weakness of human reason appears more evidently in those who know it not than in those who know it.
      - [Reason]

The world is content with words; few think of searching into the nature of things.
      - [Words]

There are people who lie simply for the sake of lying.
      - [Lying]

There are three means of believing--by inspiration, by reason, and by custom. Christianity, which is the only rational institution, does yet admit none for its sons who do not believe by inspiration. Nor does it injure reason or custom, or debar them of their proper force; on the contrary, it directs us to open our minds by the proofs of the former, and to confirm our minds by the authority of the latter.
      - [Faith]

There are vices which have no hold upon us, but in connection with others; and which, when you cut down the trunk, fall like the branches.
      - [Vice]

There is a virtuous fear which is the effect of faith; and there is a vicious fear, which is the product of doubt. The former leads to hope, as relying on God, in whom we believe; the latter inclines to despair, as not relying on God, in whom we do not believe. Persons of the one character fear to lose God; persons of the other character fear to find Him.
      - [Fear]

There is no arena in which vanity displays itself under such a variety of forms as in conversation.
      - [Conversation]

There is nothing so insupportable to man as to be in entire repose, without passion, occupation, amusement, or application. Then it is that he feels his own nothingness, isolation, insignificance, dependent nature, powerless, emptiness. Immediately there issue from his soul ennui, sadness, chagrin, vexation, despair.
      - [Ennui]

There should be in eloquence that which is pleasing and that which is real; but that which is pleasing should itself be real.
      - [Eloquence]

Those we call the ancients were really new in everything.
      - [Antiquity]

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