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MICHEL EYQUEM DE MONTAIGNE
French philosopher and essayist
(1533 - 1592)
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A liar would be brave toward God, while he is a coward toward men; for a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.
      - [Falsehood]

A man must become wise at his own expense.
      - [Wisdom]

A tutor should not be continually thundering instruction into the ears of his pupil, as if he were pouring it through a funnel, but, after having put the lad, like a young horse, on a trot, before him, to observe his paces, and see what he is able to perform, should, according to the extent of his capacity, induce him to taste, to distinguish, and to find out things for himself; sometimes opening the way, at other times leaving it for him to open; and by abating or increasing his own pace, accommodate his precepts to the capacity of his pupil.
      - [Teaching]

A well-bred man is always sociable and complaisant.
      - [Manners]

A young man ought to cross his own rules, to awake his vigor, and to keep it from growing faint and rusty. And there is no course of life so weak and sottish as that which is carried on by rule and discipline.
      - [Habit]

After a tongue has once got the knack of lying, it is not to be imagined how impossible almost it is to reclaim it. Whence it comes to pass, that we see some men, who are otherwise very honest, so subject to this vice.
      - [Lying]

Age imprints more wrinkles a in the mind, than it does in the face, and souls are never, or very rarely seen, that in growing old do not smell sour and musty. Man moves all together, both towards his perfection and decay.
      - [Age]

All other knowledge is hurtful to him who has not honesty and good-nature.
      - [Honesty]

All our days travel toward death, and the last one reaches it.
      - [Death]

Ambition is not a vice of little people.
      - [Ambition]

Ambition is, of all other, the most contrary humor to solitude; and glory and repose are so inconsistent that they cannot possibly inhabit one and the same place; and for so much as I understand, those have only their arms and legs disengaged from the crowd, their mind and intention remain engaged behind more than ever.
      - [Ambition]

Ambition sufficiently plagues her proselytes, by keeping themselves always in show, like the statue of a public place.
      - [Ambition]

An orator of past times declared that his calling was to make small things appear to be grand.
      - [Eloquence]

As great enmities spring from great friendships, and mortal distempers from vigorous health, so do the most surprising and the wildest frenzies from the high and lively agitations of our souls.
      - [Extremes]

As soon as a woman becomes ours, we are no longer theirs.
      - [Wedlock]

As soon as women become ours we are no longer theirs.
      - [Possession]

Beauty is the true prerogative of women, and so peculiarly their own, that our sex, though naturally requiring another sort of feature, is never in its lustre but when puerile and beardless, confused and mixed with theirs.
      - [Beauty]

Books are a languid pleasure.
      - [Books]

Business in a certain sort of men is a mark of understanding, and they are honored for it. Their souls seek repose in agitation, as children do by being rocked in a cradle. They may pronounce themselves as serviceable to their friends as troublesome to themselves. No one distributes his money to others, but every one therein distributes his time and his life. There is nothing of which we are so prodigal as of those two things, of which to be thrifty would be both commendable and useful.
      - [Business]

Can anything be imagined so ridiculous that this miserable and wretched creature, who is not so much as master of himself, but subject to the injuries of all things, should call himself master and emperor of the world, of which he has not power to know the least part, much less to command the whole?
      - [Man]

Confidence in another man's virtue is no slight evidence of a man's own.
      - [Confidence]

Courtesy is a science of the highest importance. It is, like grace and beauty in the body, which charm at first sight, and lead on to further intimacy and friendship, opening a door that we way derive instruction from the example of others, and at the same time enabling us to benefit them by our example, if there be anything in our character worthy of imitation.
      - [Courtesy]

Courtesy, like grace and beauty, that which begets liking and inclination to love one another at the first sight, and in the very beginning of our acquaintance and familiarity; and, consequently, that which first opens the door for us to better ourselves by the example of others, if there be anything in the society worth notice.
      - [Courtesy]

Custom is a violent and treacherous school mistress. She, by little and lithe, slyly and unperceived, slips in the foot of her authority; but having by this gentle and humble beginning, with the benefit of time, fixed and established it, she then unmasks a furious and tyrannic countenance, against which we have no more the courage or the power so much as to lift up our eyes.
      - [Custom]

Eloquence is an engine invented to manage and wield at will the fierce democracy, and, like medicine to the sick, is only employed in the paroxysms of a disordered state.
      - [Eloquence]


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