Nature has made all her truths independent of one another. Our art makes one dependent on the other. But this is not natural. Each keeps its own place.
Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary.
We cannot endure being despised, or not being esteemed by any soul; and all the happiness of men consists in this esteem.
Men often take their imagination for their heart; and they believe they are converted as soon as they think of being converted.
As men are not able to fight against death, misery, ignorance, they have taken it into their heads, in order to be happy, not to think of them at all.
To make a man a saint, it must indeed be by grace; and whoever doubts this does not know what a saint is, or a man.
All the principles of skeptics, stoics, atheists, etc., are true. But their conclusions are false, because the opposite principles are also true.
Equality of possessions is no doubt right, but, as men could not make might obey right, they have made right obey might. 299
Man must not think that he is on a level either with the brutes or with the angels, nor must he be ignorant of both sides of his nature; but he must know both.
I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
It is natural for the mind to believe and for the will to love; so that, for want of true objects, they must attach themselves to false.
Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them.
All the miseries of mankind come from one thing, not knowing how to remain alone.
Habit is a second nature that destroys the first. But what is nature? Why is habit not natural? I am very much afraid that nature itself is only a first habit, just as habit is a second nature.
To be happy man would have to make himself immortal; but, not being able to do so, it has occurred to him to prevent himself from thinking of death.
Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it.
Evil is easy, and has infinite forms.
As nature is an image of grace, he has done in the bounties of nature what he would do in those of grace, in order that we might judge that he could make the invisible, since he made the visible excellently.
It is to judgment that perception belongs, as science belongs to intellect. Intuition is the part of judgment, mathematics of intellect.
Atheism shows strength of mind, but only to a certain degree.