Michel de Montaigne

(28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592)

Michel de Montaigne Quotes

  • ''If I were of the trade, I should naturalize art as much as they "artialize" nature.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "On Some Verses of Virgil," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 5, Abel Langelier, Paris (1595).
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  • ''I want Death to find me planting my cabbages, neither worrying about it nor the unfinished gardening.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. Essays, bk. 1, ch. 20 (1580).
  • ''Socrates, who was a perfect model in all great qualities, ... hit on a body and face so ugly and so incongruous with the beauty of his soul, he who was so madly in love with beauty.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Physiognomy," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 12, Abel Langelier, Paris (1588).
  • ''In the examples that I here bring in of what I have [read], heard, done or said, I have refrained from daring to alter even the smallest and most indifferent circumstances. My conscience falsifies not an iota; for my knowledge I cannot answer.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Power of the Imagination," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. I, ch. 20, Abel Langelier, Paris (1595).
  • ''Those who have likened our life to a dream were more right, by chance, than they realized. We are awake while sleeping, and waking sleep.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. Essays, bk. 2, ch. 12 (1588). See Poe on dreams, Calderón on life.
  • ''If my intentions were not to be read in my eyes and voice, I should not have survived so long without quarrels and without harm, seeing the indiscreet freedom with which I say, right or wrong, whatever comes into my head.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Physiognomy," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 12, Abel Langelier, Paris (1588).
  • ''It is probable that the principal credit of miracles, visions, enchantments, and such extraordinary occurrences comes from the power of imagination, acting principally upon the minds of the common people, which are softer.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Power of the Imagination," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. I, ch. 21, Simon Millanges, Bordeaux, first edition (1580).
  • ''Saying is one thing and doing is another.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. Essays, bk. 2, ch. 31 (1580).
  • ''If I can, I shall keep my death from saying anything that my life has not already said.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "That intention is judge of our actions," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. I, ch. 7, Simon Millanges, Bordeaux, first edition (1580).
  • ''Few men have been admired of their familiars.''
    Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. Essays, bk. 3, ch. 2 (1595), trans. by John Florio (1603). Madame de Corneul (1605-1694) is attributed with the saying, "No man is a hero to his valet."

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