Quotations From SÉBASTIEN-ROCH NICOLAS DE CHAMFORT


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  • Preoccupation with money is the great test of small natures, but only a small test of great ones.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 1, no. 164 (1796, trans. 1926).

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  • Conviction is the conscience of intellect.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 1, no. 151 (1796, trans. 1926).
  • Living is a sickness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. It's a palliative. The remedy is death.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 1, no. 113 (1796), trans. by E. Powys Mathers (1926).

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  • Only the history of free peoples is worth our attention; the history of men under a despotism is merely a collection of anecdotes.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 2, no. 487 (1796), trans. by E. Powys Mathers (1926).

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  • Change of fashion is the tax levied by the industry of the poor on the vanity of the rich.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 1, no. 163, trans. by E. Powys Mathers (1926).

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  • People are governed with the head; kindness of heart is little use in chess.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 2, no. 522 (1796, trans. 1926).

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  • Man may aspire to virtue, but he cannot reasonably aspire to truth.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 2, no. 342 (1796, trans. 1926).

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  • A man without nobility cannot have kindliness; he can only have good nature.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 1, no. 116 (1796, trans. 1926).

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  • Most of those who make collections of verse or epigram are like men eating cherries or oysters: they choose out the best at first, and end by eating all.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 1, no. 2 (1796, trans. 1926).
  • There are certain times when public opinion is the worst of all opinions.
    Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, vol. 1, no. 92 (1796).
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