There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.
The contemplative life is often miserable. One must act more, think less, and not watch oneself live.
Man arrives as a novice at each age of his life.
Conviction is the conscience of the mind.
Society is composed of two great classes those who have more dinners than appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners.
There are certain times when public opinion is the worst of all opinions.
I only study the things I like; I apply my mind only to matters that interest me. They'll be useful-or useless-to me or to others in due course, I'll be given-or not given-the opportunity of benefiting from what I've learned. In any case, I'll have enjoyed the inestimable advantage of doing things I like doing and following my own inclinations.
Do you think that revolutions are made with rose water?
Love is more pleasant than marriage for the same reason that novels are more amusing than history.
We need to be just before we are generous, as we need shirts before ruffles.
Conscience is a dog that does not stop us from passing but that we cannot prevent from barking.
Pleasure may come from illusion, but happiness can come only of reality.
Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.
The philosopher who would fain extinguish his passions resembles the chemist who would like to let his furnace go out.
Pleasure can be supported by an illusion; but happiness rests upon truth.
There are two things that one must get used to or one will find life unendurable: the damages of time and injustices of men.
It is children only who enjoy the present; their elders either live on the memory of the past or the hope of the future.
It must be admitted that there are some parts of the soul which we must entirely paralyse before we can live happily in this world.
Bachelors' wives and old maids' children are always perfect.
Marriage, as practised by high society, is arranged indecency.
Intelligent people make many mistakes because they cannot believe the world is really as foolish as it is.
It is passion that makes man live; wisdom makes one only last.
Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.
Of lies, false modesty is the most decent.
Society is divided into two classes, the shearers and the shorn.
One can be certain that every generally held idea, every received notion, will be idiocy because it has been able to appeal to the majority
The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed.
There are more people who wish to be loved than there are who are willing to love.
Every day I add to the list of things I refuse to discuss. The wiser the man, the longer the list.
Obscurity and Innocence, twin sisters, escape temptations which would pierce their gossamer armor, in contact with the world.
The poor are the blacks of Europe.
Running a house should be left to innkeepers.
Men whose only concern is other people's opinion of them are like actors who put on a poor performance to win the applause of people of poor taste; some of them would be capable of good acting in front of a good audience. A decent man plays his part to the best of his ability, regardless of the taste of the gallery.
There is no history worthy attention save that of free nations; the history of nations under the sway of despotism is no more than a collection of anecdotes.
We must start human society from scratch; as Francis Bacon said, we must recreate human understanding.
Satire is the disease of art.
Nearly all men are slaves for the same reason that the Spartans assigned for the servitude of the Persians - lack of power to pronounce the syllable, "No." To be able to utter that word and live alone, are the only means to preserve one's freedom and one's character.
In order to forgive reason for the evil it has wrought on the majority of men, we must imagine for ourselves what man would be without his reason. 'Tis a necessary evil.
We justly consider women to be weaker than ourselves, and yet we are governed by them.
Woman's weakness, not man's merit, oftenest gains the suitor's victory.