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Necessity is a violent school-mistress.
[Fr., C'est une violente maistresse d'eschole que la necessite.]
- Essays (bk. I, 47) [Necessity]
Death, they say, acquits us of all obligations.
[Fr., La mort (dict on) nous acquitte de toutes nos obligations.]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. 7) [Death]
Pity and commiseration are mixed with some regard for the thing which one pities.
[Fr., La plaincte et la commiseration sont meslees a quelque estimation de la chose qu'on plaind.]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. I) [Pity]
He who should teach men to die, would at the same time teach them to live.
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XIX) [Example]
"Of the unreasoning humours of mankind it seems that (fame) is the one of which the philosophers themselves have disengaged themselves from last and with the most reluctance: it is the most intractable and obstinate; for [as St. Augustine says] it persists in tempting even minds nobly inclined."
[Fr., "Des humeurs desraisonnables des hommes, il semble que les philosophes mesmes se desfacent plus tard et plus envy de cette cy que de nulle autre; c'est la plus revesche et opiniastre; quia etiam bene proficientes animos tentare non cessat."]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XLI) [Fame]
It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.
[Fr., Il est bon de frotter et limer notre cervelle contre celle d'autrui.]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXIV) [Wisdom]
When we see a man with bad shoes, we say it is no wonder, if he is a shoemaker.
[Fr., Quand nous veoyons un homme mal chausse, nous disons que ce n'est pas merveille, s'il est chausstier.]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXIV) [Shoemaking]
The bees pillage the flowers here and there but they make honey of them which is all their own; it is no longer thyme or marjolaine: so the pieces borrowed from others he will transform and mix up into a work all his own.
[Fr., Les abeilles pillotent deca dela les fleurs; mais elles en font aprez le miel, qui est tout leur; ce n'est plus thym, ny marjolaine: ainsi les pieces empruntees d'aultruy, il les transformera et confondra pour en faire un ouvrage tout sien.]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXV) [Plagiarism]
The most manifest sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness: her state is like that of things in the regions above the moon, always clear and serene.
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXV) [Wisdom]
He that had never seen a river imagined the first he met to be the sea; and the greatest things that have fallen within our knowledge we conclude the extremes that nature makes of the kind.
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXVI) [Extremes]
How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith, which to-day are fables to us!
[Fr., Combien de choses nous servoient heir d'articles de foy, qui nous sont fables aujourd'hui!]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXVI) [Faith]
If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him, I find it could no otherwise be expressed than by making answer, Because it was he; because it was I. There is beyond all that I am able to say, I know not what inexplicable and fated power that brought on this union.
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXVII) [Love]
He loves little who loves by rule.
[Fr., Celuy ayme peu qui ayme a la mesure.]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXVIII) [Love]
One must draw back in order to leap better.
[Fr., Il faut reculer pour mieux sauter.]
- Essays (bk. I, ch. XXXVIII)
[Proverbs : Prudence]
A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
[Fr., Le sage vit tant qu'il doibt, non pas tant qu'il peut.]
- Essays (bk. II, ch. III) [Wisdom]
All things, said an ancient saw, may be hoped for by a man as long as he lives.
[Fr., Toutes choses, disoit un mot ancien, sont esperables a un homme, pendant qu'il vit.]
- Essays (bk. II, ch. III) [Hope]
How many quarrels, and how important, has the doubt as to the meaning of this syllable "Hoc" produced for the world!
- Essays (bk. II, ch. XII),
(referring to the controversies on transubstantiation--"Hoc est corpus meum.")
"Oh! what a vile and abject thing is man unless he can erect himself above humanity." Here is a bon mot and a useful desire, but equally absurd. For to make the handful bigger than the hand, the armful bigger then the arm, and to hope to stride further than the stretch of our legs, is impossible and monstrous. . . . He may lift himself if God lend him His hand of special grace; he may lift himself . . . by means wholly celestial. It is for our Christian religion, and not for his Stoic virtue, to pretend to this divine and miraculous metamorphosis.
- Essays (bk. II, ch. XII) [Growth]
Plato holds that there is some vice of impiety in enquiring too curiously about God and the world.
[Fr., Platon estime qu'il y ait quelque vice d'impiete a trop curieusement s'enquerir de Dieu et du monde.]
- Essays (bk. II, ch. XII) [Curiosity]
We are nearer neighbours to ourselves than whiteness to snow, or weight to stone.
- Essays (bk. II, ch. XII) [Comparison]
Adrian, the Emperor, exclaimed incessantly, when dying, "That the crowd of physicians had killed him."
- Essays (bk. II, ch. XXXVII) [Medicine]
No one is exempt from taking nonsense; the misfortune is to do it solemnly.
- Essays (bk. III, ch. I) [Nonsense]
Such an one has been, as it were, miraculous in the world, in whom his wife and valet have seen nothing even remarkable; few men have been admired by their servants.
[Fr., Tel a este miraculeux au monde, auquel sa femme et son valet n'ont rien veu seulement de remarquable; peu d'hommes ont este admirez par leur domestiques.]
- Essays (bk. III, ch. II) [Heroes]
The world is but a perpetual see-saw.
[Lat., Le monde n'est qu'une bransloire perenne.]
- Essays (bk. III, ch. II) [World]
Time is the sovereign physician of our passions.
[Fr., Le temps . . . souverain medecin de nos passions.]
- Essays (bk. III, ch. IV) [Time]
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