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Montesquieu Montesquieu > Quotes


Montesquieu quotes (showing 1-30 of 121)

“I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.”
Montesquieu
“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.”
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
“Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.”
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
“If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.”
Montesquieu
“What unhappy beings men are! They constantly waver between false hopes and silly fears, and instead of relying on reason they create monsters to frighten themselves with, and phantoms which lead them astray.”
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
“An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.”
Montesquieu
“They who love to inform themselves, are never idle. Though I have no business of consequence to take care of, I am nevertheless continually employed. I spend my life in examining things: I write down in the evening whatever I have remarked, what I have seen, and what I have heard in the day: every thing engages my attention, and every thing excites my wonder: I am like an infant, whose organs, as yet tender, are strongly affected by the slightest objects.”
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
“I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise.”
Montesquieu
“If I knew of something that could serve my nation but would ruin another, I would not propose it to my prince, for I am first a man and only then a Frenchman...because I am necessarily a man, and only accidentally am I French.”
Montesquieu
“I can assure you that no kingdom has ever had as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ.”
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
“...when the laws have ceased to be executed, as this can only come from the corruption of the republic, the state is already lost.”
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
“Solemnity is the shield of idiots”
Montesquieu
“The Tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy
is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”
Montesquieu
“Do you think that God will punish them for not practicing a religion which he did not reveal to them?”
Montesquieu
“Very good laws may be ill timed.”
Montesquieu
“We receive three educations, one from our parents, one from our school masters, and one from the world. The third contradicts all that the first two teach us.”
Montesquieu
“If triangles made a god, they would give him three sides.”
Montesquieu
“La liberté est le droit de faire ce que les lois permettent.”
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
“The success of most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed.”
Montesquieu
“History is full of religious wars; but, we must take care to observe, it was not the multiplicity of religions that produced these wars, it was the intolerating spirit which animated that one which thought she had the power of governing.”
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
“One more organ or one less in our body would give us a different intelligence. In fact, all the established laws as to why our body is a certain way would be different if our body were not that way.”
Montesquieu
“If only we wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is difficult, since we think them happier than they are.”
Montesquieu
“With truths of a certain kind, it is not enough to make them appear convincing: one must also make them felt. Of such kind are moral truths.”
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
“A truly virtuous man would come to the aid of the most distant stranger as quickly as to his own friend.
If men were perfectly virtuous, they wouldn’t have friends.”
Montesquieu
“I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve”
Montesquieu
“In vain do we seek tranquility in the desert; temptations are always with us; our passions, represented by the demons, never let us alone: those monsters created by the heart, those illusions produced by the mind, those vain specters that are our errors and our lies always appear before us to seduce us; they attack us even in our fasting or our mortifications, in other words, in our very strength.”
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
“Aimer à lire, c'est faire un échange des heures d'ennui que l'on doit avoir dans sa vie, contre des heures délicieuses.”
Montesquieu, Pensieri
“Mediocrity is a hand-rail.”
Montesquieu
“Nature, in her wisdom, seems to have arranged it so that men's stupidity should be ephemeral, and books make them immortal. A fool ought to be content having exacerbated everyone around him, but he insists tormenting future generations.”
Montesquieu, Persian Letters
“Democratic and aristocratic states are not in their own nature free. Political liberty is to be found only in moderate governments; and even in these it is not always found. It is there only when there is no abuse of power. But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go.”
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
tags: power

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