Quotes from Penguin Island

Anatole France ·  308 pages

Rating: (1.1K votes)


“«Signori, i pinguini sono malcontenti del nuovo regime, perché, anche se ne traggono profitto, è naturale per gli uomini lamentarsi della propria condizione.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“«Non vedi, figliolo» esclamò, «quel pazzo furioso che sta strappando a morsi il naso dell’avversario, e quell’altro che schiaccia sotto un masso enorme la testa di una donna?» «Vedo», replicò Bulloch. «Stanno creando il diritto; fondano la proprietà; stabiliscono i princìpi della civiltà, le basi della società e le assise dello Stato.» «In che modo?» domandò il vegliardo. «Delimitando il proprio campo. Tale è l’origine di ogni sistema di disciplina. I vostri pinguini, maestro, stanno compiendo la più augusta delle funzioni: la loro opera sarà celebrata nei secoli dai legislatori, protetta e confermata dai magistrati.»”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“all ought to be common among friends.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“«I morti non hanno altra vita all’infuori di quella che i vivi attribuiscono loro»”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“«Ho udito bene?» chiese il professor Obnubile. «Un popolo industrioso come il vostro è impegnato in così tante guerre?» «Certo», rispose l’interprete. «Sono guerre industriali. I popoli che non hanno né commercio né industrie non sono costretti a fare la guerra, mentre per un popolo industrioso una politica di conquiste è indispensabile. Il numero delle nostre guerre aumenta necessariamente con l’attività produttiva. Quando una delle industrie non trova da smerciare i suoi prodotti, deve iniziare una guerra per aprirsi nuovi sbocchi. Quest’anno abbiamo avuto una guerra per il carbone, una per il rame, una per il cotone. Nella Terza Zelanda abbiamo ucciso i due terzi degli abitanti allo scopo di costringere gli altri ad acquistare i nostri ombrelli e le nostre bretelle.»”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island



“He left Penguinia impoverished and depopulated. The flower of the insula perished in his wars. At the time of his fall there were left in our country none but the hunchbacks and cripples from whom we are descended. But he gave us glory." "He made you pay dearly for it!" "Glory never costs too much," replied my guide.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“When it does not yield to the rudder," said he to them, "the ship yields to the rock.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“No," answered the Lord. "The remedy would be worse than the disease. It would be the ruin of the priesthood if essence prevailed over form in the laws of salvation." "Alas! Lord," sighed the humble Probus. "Be persuaded by my humble experience; as long as you reduce your sacraments to formulas your justice will meet with terrible obstacles.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“The Christian state," said St. Cornelius, "is not without serious inconveniences for a penguin. In it the birds are obliged to work out their own salvation. How can they succeed? The habits of birds are, in many points, contrary to the commandments of the Church, and the penguins have no reason for changing theirs. I mean that they are not intelligent enough to give up their present habits and assume better.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“I see only one solution," said St. Augustine. "The penguins will go to hell." "But they have no soul," observed St. Irenaeus. "It is a pity"" sighed Tertullian.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island



“But my foreknowledge must not encroach upon their free will. "In order not to impair human liberty, I will be ignorant of what I know, I will thicken upon my eyes the veils I have pierced, and in my blind clearsightedness I will let myself be surprised by what I have foreseen.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“To clothe the penguins is a very serious business. At present when a penguin desires a penguin he knows precisely what he desires and his lust is limited by an exact knowledge of its object. At this moment two or three couples of penguins are making love on the beach. See with what simplicity! No one pays any attention and the actors themselves do not seem to be greatly preoccupied. But when the female penguins are clothed, the male penguin will not form so exact a notion of what it is that attracts him to them. His indeterminate desires will fly out into all sorts of dreams and illusions; in short, father, he will know love and its mad torments. And all the time the female penguins will cast down their eyes and bite their lips, and take on airs as if they kept a treasure under their clothes! . . . what a pity!”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“Take care, father," said Bulloch gently, "that what you call murder and robbery may not really be war and conquest, those sacred foundations of empires, those sources of all human virtues and all human greatness.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“Is there a more odious crime, is there a graver offence against thy justice, O Lord, than this murder and this robbery?" "Take care, father," said Bulloch gently, "that what you call murder and robbery may not really be war and conquest, those sacred foundations of empires, those sources of all human virtues and all human greatness.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“as regards ownership the right of the first occupier is uncertain and badly founded. The right of conquest, on the other hand, rests on more solid foundations. It is the only right that receives respect since it is the only one that makes itself respected.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island



“V kazdom civilizovanom state je bohatstvo posvatne, v demokracii je vsak jedinou posvatnou vecou. Nuz a tucniacky stat bol demokraticky; tri ci styri financne spolocnosti tu mali rozsiahlejsiu, a najma ucinnejsiu a stalejsiu moc nez ministri republiky, mali pani, ktorych tieto spolocnosti tajne riadili a zastrasovanim ci korupciou nutili, aby ich zvyhodnovali na ukor statu -, pokial ministri ostali cestni, ohovarackami ich v tlaci znicili!”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“Cercando di istruirlo, non farà altro che umiliarlo e affaticarlo. Non tenti d’illuminare la sua ignoranza, se non vuole che l’accusi d’insultare le sue convinzioni.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“«Chiedo una guerra contro il governo della repubblica di Smeraldo», disse, «che ostacola insolentemente l’egemonia dei nostri salami e dei nostri prosciutti su tutti i mercati dell’universo.» «Chi è quel deputato?», chiese il dottor Obnubile. «È un salumiere.» «Ci sono obiezioni?» chiese il presidente. «Metto la proposta ai voti.» La guerra contro la repubblica di Smeraldo fu votata per alzata di mano a grande maggioranza. «Come?», esclamò Obnubile rivolto all’interprete. «Hanno approvato una guerra con tanta rapidità e indifferenza?» «Oh! È una guerra di poca importanza che costerà solo otto milioni di dollari.» «Ma le perdite...» «Le perdite sono comprese negli otto milioni di dollari.» Allora il dottor Obnubile si prese la testa fra le mani e pensò amaramente: «Visto che la ricchezza e la civiltà sono fonti di guerre, non meno della povertà e della barbarie, visto che la follia e la cattiveria degli uomini sono inguaribili, rimane solo una buona azione da compiere. Il saggio ammucchierà tanta dinamite quanto basta a far saltare in aria questo pianeta. Quando volerà in pezzi nello spazio, un miglioramento impercettibile si sarà verificato nell’universo e sarà concessa una soddisfazione alla coscienza universale, che d’altra parte non esiste».”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


“For all armies are the finest in the world. The second finest army, if one could exist, would be in a notoriously inferior position; it would be certain to be beaten. It ought to be disbanded at once. Therefore, all armies are the finest in the world.”
― Anatole France, quote from Penguin Island


About the author

Anatole France
Born place: in Paris, France
Born date April 16, 1844
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