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CHARLES DE MONTESQUIEU (CHARLES-LOUIS DE SECONDAT)
French author
(1689 - 1755)
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A good writer does not write as people write, but as he writes.
      - [Style]

A love of the republic in a democracy is a love of the democracy, as the latter is that of equality. A love of the democracy is likewise that of frugality. Since every individual ought here to enjoy the same happiness, and the same advantages, they should consequently taste the same pleasures and form the same hopes, which cannot be expected but from a general frugality.
      - [Democracy]

A man who writes well writes not as others write, but as he himself writes; it is often in speaking badly that he speaks well.
      - [Writing]

A prince who loves and fears religion is a lion who stoops to the hand that strokes or to the voice that appeases him. He who fears and hates religion is like the savage beast that growls and bites the chain, which prevents his flying on the passenger. He who has no religion at all is that terrible animal who perceives his liberty only when he tears in pieces, and when he devours.
      - [Religion]

All beings have their laws; the Deity has His laws, the material world has its laws, superior intelligences have their laws, the beasts have their laws, and man his laws.
      - [Law]

As men are affected in all ages by the same passions, the occasions which bring about great changes are different, but the causes are always the same.
      - [Revolution]

As virtue is necessary in a republic, and honor in a monarchy, fear is what is required in a despotism. As for virtue, it is not at all necessary, and honor would be dangerous there.
      - [Despotism]

Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.
      - [Freedom]

Experience constantly proves that every man who has power is impelled to abuse it; he goes on till he is pulled up by some limits. Who would say it! virtue even has need of limits.
      - [Power]

Happy the people whose annals are tiresome.
      - [History]

Honor is unknown in despotic states.
      - [Despotism]

Human laws made to direct the will ought to give precepts, and not counsels.
      - [Precepts]

I consider that the spirit of politeness is a certain desire to bring it about, that, by our words and manners, others may be pleased with us and with themselves.
      - [Politeness]

I have ever held it as a maxim never to do that through another which it was possible for me to execute myself.
      - [Self-reliance]

I have heard Cardinal Imperiali say: "There is no man whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door, and flies out at the window."
      - [Fortune]

I never listen to calumnies, because if they are untrue I run the risk of being deceived, and if they be true, of hating persons not worth thinking about.
      - [Calumny]

In the matter of dress one should always keep below one's ability.
      - [Dress]

Law should be like death, which spares no one.
      - [Law]

Liberty is the right to do whatever the law permits.
      - [Liberty]

Man is a social animal formed to please in society.
      - [Society]

Men in excess of happiness or misery are equally inclined to severity. Witness conquerors and monks! It is mediocrity alone, and a mixture of prosperous and adverse fortune that inspire us with lenity and pity.
      - [Toleration]

Nature is just to all mankind, and repays them for their industry. She renders them industrious by annexing rewards in proportion to their labor.
      - [Nature]

Now this is how I define talent; it is a gift God has given us in secret, which we reveal without knowing it.
      - [Talent]

Passion makes us feel, but never see clearly.
      - [Passion]

Power ought to serve as a check to power.
      - [Power]


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