Quotes from The Complete Essays of Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne ·  908 pages

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“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne



“If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Learned we may be with another man's learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“I am afraid that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and that we have more curiosity than understanding. We grasp at everything, but catch nothing except wind.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne



“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


Combien de choses nous servoyent hier d’articles de foy, qui nous sont fables aujourd’huy?

How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith, which today are fables for us?”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“I find I am much prouder of the victory I obtain over myself, when, in the very ardor of dispute, I make myself submit to my adversary’s force of reason, than I am pleased with the victory I obtain over him through his weakness.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Off I go, rummaging about in books for sayings which please me.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne



“The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“I do not believe, from what I have been told about this people, that there is anything barbarous or savage about them, except that we all call barbarous anything that is contrary to our own habits.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“[Marriage] happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Why do people respect the package rather than the man?”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“No wind favors he who has no destined port.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne



“No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“It is a disaster that wisdom forbids you to be satisfied with yourself and always sends you away dissatisfied and fearful, whereas stubbornness and foolhardiness fill their hosts with joy and assurance.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Other people do not see you at all, but guess at you by uncertain conjectures.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“The thing I fear most is fear.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Judgement can do without knowledge: but not knowledge without judgement.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne



“The finest souls are those that have the most variety and suppleness.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some men have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Every other knowledge is harmful to him who does not have knowledge of goodness.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


“Stupidity and wisdom meet in the same centre of sentiment and resolution, in the suffering of human accidents.”
― Michel de Montaigne, quote from The Complete Essays of Montaigne


About the author

Michel de Montaigne
Born place: in Guyenne, France
Born date September 11, 1532
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