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Quotes » Baron (Charles) de Montesquieu
is famous for having said the following quotes:
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Famous Quotes from Lettres Persanes (1721) [Persian Letters]
- Charles de Montesquieu
- Not to be loved is a misfortune, but
it is an insult to be loved no longer.
- [The Ottoman Empire] whose sick body was not supported by a mild and regular
diet, but by a powerful treatment, which continually exhausted it.
- [The Pope] will make the king believe that three
are only one, that the bread he eats is not bread...and a thousand other things
of the same kind.
- I can assure you
that no kingdom has ever had as many civil wars as the kingdom of Christ.
- Do you think that God will punish them
for not practicing a religion which he did not reveal to them?
- A man should be mourned at his birth, not at his
- People here argue about religion
interminably, but it appears that they are competing at the same time to see who
can be the least devout.
- Oh, how
empty is praise when it reflects back to its origin!
- Life was given to me as a favor, so I may abandon it when it is one no longer.
- Religious wars are not caused by
the fact that there is more than one religion, but by the spirit of intolerance...the
spread of which can only be regarded as the total eclipse of human reason.
- There are only two cases in which war
is just: first, in order to resist the aggression of an enemy, and second, in
order to help an ally who has been attacked.
- There is only one thing that can form a bond between men, and that is gratitude...we
cannot give someone else greater power over us than we have ourselves.
- I have read descriptions of Paradise that would
make any sensible person stop wanting to go there.
Quotes from De l'Esprit des Lois (1748) [The Spirit of the Laws] - Charles
- Les republiques finissent par le luxe; les monarchies,
par la pauvrete.
- Translation: Republics end through
luxury; monarchies through poverty.
- VII, ch. IV
corruption de chaque gouvernement commence presque toujours par celle des principes.
- Translation: The deterioration of a government begins
almost always by the decay of its principles.
- VIII, ch. I
- La Societe est l'union des hommes, et non pas les hommes.
- Translation: Society is the union of men and not the men themselves.
- Liberty is the right of doing whatever the
- But constant experience
shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his
authority as far as it will go.
the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the
same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise,
lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them
in a tyrannical manner.
is] a nation that may be justly called a republic, disguised under the form of
- Les hommes, fripons
en detail, sont en gros de tres-honnetes gens.
Men, who are rogues individually, are in the mass very honorable people.
- Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.
Famous Quotes from Pensees
Diverses - Charles de Montesquieu
- La raillerie est un discours
en faveur de son esprit contre son bon naturel.
- Translation: Raillery
is a mode of speaking in favor of one's wit at the expense of one's better nature.
- Le succes de la plupart des choses depend de savoir
combien il faut de temps pour reussir.
- Translation: The success of
most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed.
- J'ai toujours vu que, pour reussir dans le monde, il fallait avoir l'air
fou et etre sage.
- Translation: I have always observed that to succeed
in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise.
Quotes from Pensées et Fragments Inédits de Montesquieu (1899) - Charles de
- If I knew of something that could serve my nation
but would ruin another, I would not propose it to my prince, for I am first a
man and only then a Frenchman...because I am necessarily a man, and only accidentally
am I French.
- You have to study a great
deal to know a little.
also said the following quotes:
- Happy the people whose annals are
- Power ought to serve as a check to power.
- There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield
of the law and in the name of justice.
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