Michel de Montaigne Quotations

Michel de Montaigne

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and deaf husband.

Ambition is not a vice of little people.

Don't be afraid to say what you are not afraid to think.

Experience teaches that a strong memory is generally joined to a weak judgment.

He who fears he will suffer, already suffers because of his fear.

He who would teach men to die would teach them to live.

I consider myself an average man, except in the fact that I consider myself an average man.

If falsehood, like truth, had but one face, we would be more on equal terms. For we would consider the contrary of what the liar said to be certain. But the opposite of truth has a hundred thousand faces and an infinite field.

I quote others only the better to express myself.

It is not the time now for what I can do; and I can not do that for which it is the time.

I will follow the good side right to the fire, but not into it if I can help it.

Marriage, a market which has nothing free but the entrance.

Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside equally desperate to get out.

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.

Nothing is so firmly believed as when we least know.

Once you have decided to keep a certain pile, it is no longer yours; for you can't spend it.
-- Michel De Montaigne

On the most exalted throne in the world, we are still seated only on our ass.

O senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm and yet will make Gods by the dozen!

Our zeal works wonders when it seconds our propensity to hatred, cruelty, ambition, avarice, detraction, rebellion.

Riches, like glory or heath, have no more beauty or pleasure than their possessor is pleased to lend them.

Sift everything and lodge nothing on trust.

Strong memory is usually coupled with infirm judgment.

Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity.

The plainest sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness: her state is like that of things in the regions above the moon, always clear and serene.

There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.

There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.

The world is but a school of inquiry.

To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately. All other things, ruling, hoarding, building, are only little appendages and props, at most.

To understand via the heart is not to understand

We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.

When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her.

Wise men have more to learn of fools than fools of wise men.