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NICOLAS BOILEAU-DESPREAUX
French poet, critic and satirist
(1636 - 1711)
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A burlesque word is often a powerful sermon.
      - [Burlesque]

A proud bigot, who is vain enough to think that he can deceive even God by affected zeal, and throwing the veil of holiness over vices, damns all mankind by the word of his power.
      - [Bigotry]

All men are fools, and with every effort they differ only in the degree.
      - [Fools]

But even trough you be sprung in direct line from Hercules, if you show a low-born meanness, that long succession of ancestors whom you disgrace are so many witnesses against you; and this grand display of their tarnished glory but serves to make your ignominy more evident.
      - [Pedigree]

It is in vain a daring author thinks of attaining to the heights of Parnassus if he does not feel the secret influence of heaven and if his natal star has not formed him to be a poet.
      - [Authorship]

It is the sin which we have not committed which seems the most monstrous.
      - [Sin]

Nature always springs to the surface and manages to show what she is. It is vain to stop or try to drive her back. She breaks through every obstacle, pushes forward, and at last makes for herself a way.
      - [Nature]

Nothing is really beautiful but truth, and truth alone is lovely.
      - [Truth]

Of all the animals which fly in the air, walk on the land, or swim in the sea, from Paris to Peru, from Japan to Rome, the most foolish animal in my opinion is man.
      - [Man]

Something of calumny always sticks.
      - [Calumny]

The fear of one evil often leads us into a worse.
      - [Evil]

The wisest man is generally he who thinks himself the least so.
      - [Wisdom]

Though you be sprung in direct line from Hercules, if you show a lowborn meanness, that long succession of ancestors whom you disgrace are so many witnesses against you; and this grand display of their tarnished glory but serves to make your ignominy more evident.
      - [Ancestry]

Whatever we well understand we express clearly, and words flow with ease.
      - [Understanding]

When we envy another, we make their virtue our vice.
      - [Envy]

Trouble rides behind and gallops with him.
  [Fr., Le chagrin monte en croupe et galope avec lui.]
      - Epitre (V, 44) [Trouble]

Time flies and draws us with it. The moment in which I am speaking is already far from me.
  [Fr., Le temps fuit, et nous traine avec soi:
    Le moment ou je parle est deja loin de moi.]
      - Epitres (III, 47) [Time]

Whatever we conceive well we express clearly, and words flow with ease.
  [Fr., Ce que l'on concoit bien s'enonce clairement,
    Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisement.]
      - L'Art Poetique (I, 153) [Oratory]

Truth has not such an urgent air.
  [Fr., La verite n'a point cet air impetueux.]
      - L'Art Poetique (I, 198) [Truth]

A fool always finds one still more foolish to admire him.
  [Fr., Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l'admire.]
      - L'art Poetique (I, 232) [Folly]

That which is repeated too often becomes insipid and tedious.
  [Fr., Tout ce qu'on dit de trop est fade et rebutant.]
      - L'Art Poetique (I, 61) [Speech]

Often the fear on one evil leads us into a worse.
  [Fr., Souvent la peur d'un mal nous conduit dans un pire.]
      - L'Art Poetique (I, 64) [Evil]

Happy the poet who with ease can steer
  From grave to gay, from lively to severe.
    [Lat., Heureux qui, dans ses vers, sait d'une voix legere
      Passer du grave au doux, du plaisant au severe.]
      - L'Art Poetique (I, 75) [Poets]

At times truth may not seem probable.
  [Fr., Le vrai peut quelquefois n'etre pas vraisemblable.]
      - L'Art Poetique (III, 48) [Truth]

A fop sometimes gives important advice.
  [Fr., Un fat quelquefois ouvre un avis important.]
      - L'Art Poetique (IV, 50) [Advice]


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