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French philosopher, physicist, geometer and writer
(1623 - 1662)
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Those who make antitheses by forcing the sense are like men who make false windows for the sake of symmetry. Their rule is not to speak justly, but to make accurate figures.
      - [Style]

Those whom we call ancient were really new in all things, and properly constituted the infancy of mankind.
      - [Ancients]

Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons.
      - [Time]

To doubt is a misfortune, but to seek when in doubt is an indispensable duty. So he who doubts and seeks not is at once unfortunate and unfair.
      - [Doubt]

To find recreation in amusements is not happiness; for this joy springs from alien and extrinsic sources, and is therefore dependent upon and subject to interruption by a thousand accidents, which may minister inevitable affliction.
      - [Amusements]

To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity. The greatness of the human soul is shown by knowing how to keep within proper bounds. So far from greatness consisting in going beyond its limits, it really consists in keeping within it.
      - [Moderation]

To scorn philosophy is truly to philosophize.
      - [Philosophy]

True eloquence scorns eloquence.
      - [Eloquence]

Two similar faces, neither of which alone causes laughter, use laughter when they are together, by their resemblance.
      - [Face]

Voluptuousness, like justice, is blind, but that is the only resemblance between them.
      - [Voluptuousness]

We are so little and vain that the esteem of five or six persons about us is enough to content and amuse us.
      - [Self-esteem]

We are so presumptuous that we wish to be known to all the world, even to those who come after us; and we are so vain that the esteem of five or six persons immediately around us is enough to amuse and satisfy us.
      - [Vanity]

We feel neither extreme heat nor extreme cold; qualities that are in excess are so much at variance with our feelings that they are impalpable: we do not feel them, though we suffer from their effects.
      - [Extremes]

We have so exalted a notion of the human soul that we cannot bear to be despised by it, or even not to be esteemed by it. Man, in fact, places all his happiness in this esteem.
      - [Esteem]

We never do evil so effectually as when we are led to do it by a false principle of conscience.
      - [Conscience]

We never, then, love a person, but only qualities.
      - [Love]

We sometimes learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good; and it is well to accustom ourselves to profit by the evil which is so common, while that which is good is so rare.
      - [Evil]

When malice has reason on its side, it looks forth bravely, and displays that reason in all its luster. When austerity and self-denial have not realized true happiness, and the soul returns to the dictates of nature, the reaction is fearfully extravagant.
      - [Malice]

When the passions become masters, they are vices.
      - [Passion]

When we meet with a natural style, we are surprised and delighted, for we expected to find an author, and we have found a man.
      - [Style]

When we would show any one that he is mistaken, our best course is to observe on what side he considers the subject,--for his view of if is generally right on this side,--and admit to him that he is right so far. He will be satisfied with this acknowledgment, that he was not wrong in his judgment, but only inadvertent in not looking at the whole case.
      - [Argument]

When we would think of God, how many things we find which turn us away from Him, and tempt us to think otherwise. All this is evil, yet it is innate.
      - [God]

Who confers reputation? who gives respect and veneration to persons, to books, to great men? Who but Opinion? How utterly insufficient are all the riches of the world without her approbation!
      - [Opinion]

Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings differently arranged have a different effect.
      - [Words]

Your sayer of smart things has a bad heart.
      - [Ridicule]

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