Quotations From JOSEPH DE MAISTRE

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  • 1.
    It is one of man's curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). Study on Sovereignty, bk. 1, ch. 2 (1884).
  • 2.
    Man is so muddled, so dependent on the things immediately before his eyes, that every day even the most submissive believer can be seen to risk the torments of the afterlife for the smallest pleasure.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). The senator, in "First Dialogue," Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg (1821).
  • 3.
    All pain is a punishment, and every punishment is inflicted for love as much as for justice.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). The Senator, in "Fifth Dialogue," Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg (1821).

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  • 4.
    Wherever an altar is found, there civilization exists.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). The count, in "Second Dialogue," Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg (1821).
  • 5.
    There is no philosophy without the art of ignoring objections.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). The Count, in "Fifth Dialogue," Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg (1821).
  • 6.
    If there was no moral evil upon earth, there would be no physical evil.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). The Count, in "First Dialogue," Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg (1821).

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  • 7.
    False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. the Count, in Les Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg, "First Dialogue," (1821), repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965).

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  • 8.
    Man in general, if reduced to himself, is too wicked to be free.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. Quoted in Isaiah Berlin, The Crooked Timber of Humanity (1990). Four Chapters on Russia, ch. 1 (1859).
  • 9.
    Every country has the government it deserves.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. letter, Aug. 15, 1811. Lettres et Opuscules Inedits, vol. 1, no. 53 (1851). Thomas Carlyle, in Past and Present, bk. 4, ch. 4 (1843), wrote: "In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government."
  • 10.
    A constitution that is made for all nations is made for none.
    Joseph De Maistre (1753-1821), French diplomat, philosopher. repr. In The Works of Joseph de Maistre, ed. Jack Lively (1965). Considerations on France, ch. 6 (1796).
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