Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne (28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592) was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with serious intellectual insight.

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Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.

Unless a man feels he has a good enough memory, he should never venture to lie.

In nine lifetimes you'll never know as much about your cat as your cat knows about you.

When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her.

Any person of honor chooses rather to lose his honor than to lose his conscience.

We only labor to stuff the memory and leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void.

Make your educational laws strict and your criminal ones can be gentle, but if you leave youth its liberty you will have to dig dungeons for ages.

One may be humble out of pride.

A straight oar looks bent in the water. What matters is not merely that we see things, but how we see them.

Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity.

'Tis the sharpness of our mind that gives the edge to our pains and pleasures.

Wit is a dangerous weapon even to the possessor, if he knows not how to use it discreetly.

There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.

I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself.

It is a monstrous thing that I will say but I will say it all the same: I find in many things more restraint and order in my morals than in my opinions and my lust less depraved than my reason.

I put forward formless and unresolved notions as do those who publish doubtful questions to debate in the schools not to establish the truth but to seek it.

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.

Every man bears the whole stamp of the human condition.

We are Christians by the same title as we are natives of Perigord or Germany.

I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.

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