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French philosopher and essayist
(1533 - 1592)
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Even in the midst of compassion we feel within I know not what tart sweet titillation of malicious pleasure in seeing others suffer; children have the same feeling.
      - [Malice]

Every one is well or ill at ease, according as he finds himself! not he whom the world believes, but he who believes himself to be so, is content; and in him alone belief gives itself being and reality.
      - [Contentment]

Every period of life has its peculiar prejudices; whoever saw old age, that did not applaud the past, and condemn the present times?
      - [Prejudice]

Examples teach us that in military affairs, and all others of a like nature, study is apt to enervate and relax the courage of man, rather than to give strength and energy to the mind.
      - [Study]

Fear sometimes adds wings to the heels, and sometimes nails them to the ground, and fetters them from moving.
      - [Fear]

Few men are admired by their servants.
      - [Admiration]

For me, who only desire to become wise, not more learned or eloquent, these logical or Aristotelian dispositions of parts are of no use.
      - [Logic]

For there is no air that men so greedily draw in, that diffuses itself so soon, and that penetrates so deep as that of license.
      - [License]

Fortune does us neither good nor hurt; she only presents us the matter, and the seed, which our soul, more powerfully than she, turns and applies as she best pleases; being the sole cause and sovereign mistress of her own happy or unhappy condition.
      - [Fortune]

Fortune, to show us her power in all things, and to abate our presumption, seeing she could not make fools wise, has made them fortunate.
      - [Fortune]

Friendship that possesses the whole soul, and there rules and sways with an absolute sovereignty, can admit of no rival.
      - [Friendship]

Gentleness and repose are paramount to everything else in woman.
      - [Gentleness]

Have you known how to compose your manners? You have done a great deal more than he who has composed books. Have you known how to take repose? You have done more than he who has taken cities and empires.
      - [Repose]

He that first likened glory to a shadow did better than he was aware of. They are both of them things excellently vain. Glory also, like a shadow, goes sometimes before the body, and sometimes in length infinitely exceeds it.
      - [Glory]

He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.
      - [Reason]

He who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.
      - [Lying]

His thoughts have a high aim, though their dwelling be in the vale of a humble heart.
      - [Thought]

Human wisdom makes as ill use of her talent when she exercises it in rescinding from the number and sweetness of those pleasures that are naturally our due, as she employs it favorably and well in artificially disguising and tricking out the ills of life to alleviate the sense of them.
      - [Wisdom]

I care not so much what I am in the opinion of others as what I am in my own; I would be rich of myself and not by borrowing.
      - [Self-respect]

I find no quality so easy for a man to counterfeit as devotion, though his life and manner are not conformable to it; the essence of it is abstruse and occult, but the appearances easy and showy.
      - [Devotion]

I have here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the thread that ties them.
      - [Quotations]

I look upon, the too good opinion that man has of himself to be the nursing-mother of all the false opinions, both public and private.
      - [Self-esteem]

I love a friendship that flatters itself in the sharpness and vigor of its communications.
      - [Friendship]

I quote others only in order the better to express myself.
      - [Quotations]

I seek in the reading of my books only to please myself by an irreproachable diversion; or if I study it is for no other science than that which treats of the knowledge of myself, and instructs me how to die and live well.
      - [Reading]

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