Animals do not admire each other. A horse does not admire its companion.
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Beauty is a harmonious relation between something in our nature and the quality of the object which delights us.
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Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
View quote | Quotes about Belief

If we let ourselves believe that man began with divine grace, that he forfeited this by sin, and that he can be redeemed only by divine grace through the crucified Christ, then we shall find peace of mind never granted to philosophers. He who cannot believe is cursed, for he reveals by his unbelief that God has not chosen to give him grace.
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The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.
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Man finds nothing so intolerable as to be in a state of complete rest, without passions, without occupation, without diversion, without effort. Then he feels his nullity, loneliness, inadequacy, dependence, helplessness, emptiness.
View quote | Quotes about Bores and Boredom

It is superstitious to put one's hopes in formalities, but arrogant to refuse to submit to them.
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The highest order of mind is accused of folly, as well as the lowest. Nothing is thoroughly approved but mediocrity. The majority has established this, and it fixes its fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way.
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We are only falsehood, duplicity, contradiction; we both conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves.
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The war existing between the senses and reason.
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Men never do evil so fully and cheerfully as when we do it out of conscience.
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Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.
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We like to be deceived.
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Ugly deeds are most estimable when hidden.
View quote | Quotes about Deeds and Good Deeds

Desire and force between them are responsible for all our actions; desire causes our voluntary acts, force our involuntary.
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The struggle alone pleases us, not the victory.
View quote | Quotes about Effort

Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.
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Evil is easy, and has infinite forms.
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I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still and quiet in a room alone.
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Two things control men's nature, instinct and experience.
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Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God.
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Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each other.
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Faith certainly tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see; it is above, not against them.
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It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason.
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The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death.
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Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them.
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It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants.
View quote | Quotes about Freedom

If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation, that He exists.
View quote | Quotes about God

The gospel to me is simply irresistible.
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If all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.
View quote | Quotes about Gossip

I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world.
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Habit is the second nature which destroys the first.
View quote | Quotes about Habit

Habit is a second nature that destroys the first. But what is nature? Why is habit not natural? I am very much afraid that nature itself is only a first habit, just as habit is a second nature.
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The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing: we know this in countless ways.
View quote | Quotes about Heart

If you would have people speak well of you, then do not speak well of yourself.
View quote | Quotes about Humility

Imagination decides everything.
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Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which is everything in this world.
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We like security: we like the pope to be infallible in matters of faith, and grave doctors to be so in moral questions so that we can feel reassured.
View quote | Quotes about Infallibility

The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
View quote | Quotes about Influence

Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.
View quote | Quotes about Jesus Christ

Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
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Law, without force, is impotent.
View quote | Quotes about Law and Lawyers

We never live, but we hope to live; and as we are always arranging to be happy, it must be that we never are so.
View quote | Quotes about Life and Living

Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world.
View quote | Quotes about Life and Living

We only consult the ear because the heart is wanting.
View quote | Quotes about Listening

When we are in love we seem to ourselves quite different from what we were before.
View quote | Quotes about Love

Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way.
View quote | Quotes about Mediocrity

All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.
View quote | Quotes about Misers and Misery

To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity.
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It is right that what is just should be obeyed. It is necessary that what is strongest should be obeyed.
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The more intelligent one is, the more men of originality one finds. Ordinary people find no difference between men.
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What a strange vanity painting is; it attracts admiration by resembling the original, we do not admire.
View quote | Quotes about Painters and Painting

Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care.
View quote | Quotes about Passion

There are only three types of people; those who have found God and serve him; those who have not found God and seek him, and those who live not seeking, or finding him. The first are rational and happy; the second unhappy and rational, and the third foolish and unhappy.
View quote | Quotes about People

People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found out by others.
View quote | Quotes about Persuasion

To have no time for philosophy is to be a true philosopher.
View quote | Quotes about Philosophers and Philosophy

The origins of disputes between philosophers is, that one class of them have undertaken to raise man by displaying his greatness, and the other to debase him by showing his miseries.
View quote | Quotes about Philosophers and Philosophy

To find recreation in amusement is not happiness.
View quote | Quotes about Pleasure

We must learn our limits. We are all something but none of us are everything.
View quote | Quotes about Possibilities

The property of power is to protect.
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Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true.
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Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.
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Our nature consist in motion; complete rest is death.
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Vanity of science. Knowledge of physical science will not console me for ignorance of morality in time of affliction, but knowledge of morality will always console me for ignorance of physical science.
View quote | Quotes about Science and Scientists

One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.
View quote | Quotes about self-discovery

There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous.
View quote | Quotes about Sin

The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.
View quote | Quotes about Space

Do you wish people to think well of you? Don't speak well of yourself.
View quote | Quotes about Speakers and Speaking

When we see a natural style, we are astonished and charmed; for we expected to see an author, and we find a person.
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Man's greatness lies in his power of thought.
View quote | Quotes about Thoughts and Thinking

If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future.
View quote | Quotes about Thoughts and Thinking

Man is obviously made for thinking. Therein lies all his dignity and his merit; and his whole duty is to think as he ought.
View quote | Quotes about Thoughts and Thinking

Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature; but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him. But even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. The universe knows nothing of this.
View quote | Quotes about Thoughts and Thinking

Those are weaklings who know the truth and uphold it as long as it suits their purpose, and then abandon it.
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The multitude which is not brought to act as a unity, is confusion. That unity which has not its origin in the multitude is tyranny.
View quote | Quotes about Unity

Any unity which doesn't have its origin in the multitudes is tyranny.
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I have made this letter a rather long one, only because I didn't have the leisure to make it shorter.
View quote | Quotes about Wordiness

If I had more time I would write a shorter letter.
View quote | Quotes about Writers and Writing

The last thing we decide in writing a book is what to put first.
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Pascal, Blaise

No biography at present.

79 quotations