Pierre Corneille

(1606-1684 / France)

Pierre Corneille Quotes

  • ''Oh! how many actions, how many fabulous exploits remain without glory in the midst of the night.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Don Diègue, in The Cid, act 4, sc. 3 (1637). Don Diègue in despair at being too old to fight a duel.
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  • ''It is only blood that can wash away such an outrage; die or kill.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Don Diègue, in The Cid, act 1, sc. 5 (1637). Don Diègue tells his son to avenge him.
  • ''Treachery is noble when aimed at tyranny.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Emilia, in Cinna, act 3, sc. 4 (1641).
  • ''A monarch must sometimes rule even himself: he who wants everything must risk very little.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Emperor Titus, in Titus and Berenice (Tite et Bérénice), act 4, sc. 5 (1670).
  • ''To die for one's country is such a worthy fate that all compete for so beautiful a death.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Horace, in Horace, act 2, sc. 3 (1641).
  • ''The subject of a good tragedy must not be realistic.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. Héraclius, preface (1647).
  • ''One doesn't wish to see those to whom one owes so much.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. King Prusias, in Nicomède, act 2, sc. 1 (1651). The king speaks of his rebellious son.
  • ''He has served me too well; by increasing my power he has stolen it away: he is now my subject only so long as he pleases.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. King Prusias, in Nicomède, act 2, sc. 1 (1651). The king speaks of his rebellious son, who has won battles on the king's behalf.
  • ''He who allows me to rule is in fact my master.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. King Prusias, in Nicomède, act 2, sc. 1 (1651).
  • ''He who wearies of a king can weary of a father.''
    Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French playwright. King Prusias, in Nicomède, act 2, sc. 1 (1651). The king speaks of his rebellious son.

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Best Poem of Pierre Corneille

Sur La Mort Du Roi Louis Xiii

Sous ce marbre repose un monarque sans vice,
Dont la seule bonté déplut aux bons François,
Et qui pour tout péché ne fit qu'un mauvais choix
Dont il fut trop longtemps innocemment complice.

L'ambition, l'orgueil, l'audace, l'avarice,
Saisis de son pouvoir, nous donnèrent des lois ;
Et bien qu'il fût en soi le plus juste des rois,
Son règne fut pourtant celui de l'injustice.

Vainqueur de toutes parts, esclave dans sa cour,
Son tyran et le nôtre à peine perd le jour,
Que jusque dans la tombe il le force à le suivre.

Jamais de tels malheurs ...

Read the full of Sur La Mort Du Roi Louis Xiii

Au Roy

Est-il vrai, grand Monarque, et puis-je me vanter
Que tu prennes plaisir à me ressusciter ;
Qu'au bout de quarante ans Cinna, Pompée, Horace,
Reviennent à la mode et retrouvent leur place,
Et que l'heureux brillant de mes jeunes rivaux
N'ôte point leur vieux lustre à mes premiers travaux ?
Achève. Les derniers n'ont rien qui dégénère.
Rien qui les fasse croire enfants d'un autre père ;
Ce sont des malheureux, étouffés au berceau,

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