The person who has lived the most is not the one with the most years but the one with the richest experiences.
People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.
Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.
Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.
O love, if I regret the age when one savors you, it is not for the hour of pleasure, but for the one that follows it.
Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.
We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man's estate, is the gift of education.
Force does not constitute right... obedience is due only to legitimate powers.
Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.
A feeble body weakens the mind.
How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?
Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.
The training of children is a profession, where we must know how to waste time in order to save it.
Nature never deceives us; it is we who deceive ourselves.
Base souls have no faith in great individuals.
Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape from a fire is guilty of suicide?
No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.
I have always said and felt that true enjoyment can not be described.
Whoever blushes is already guilty; true innocence is ashamed of nothing.
When something an affliction happens to you, you either let it defeat you, or you defeat it.
I only see clearly what I remember.
No true believer could be intolerant or a persecutor. If I were a magistrate and the law carried the death penalty against atheists, I would begin by sending to the stake whoever denounced another.
The first step towards vice is to shroud innocent actions in mystery, and whoever likes to conceal something sooner or later has reason to conceal it.
Ordinary readers, forgive my paradoxes: one must make them when one reflects; and whatever you may say, I prefer being a man with paradoxes than a man with prejudices.
I have resolved on an enterprise that has no precedent and will have no imitator. I want to set before my fellow human beings a man in every way true to nature; and that man will be myself.
We pity in others only the those evils which we ourselves have experienced.
To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
We are born, so to speak, twice over; born into existence, and born into life; born a human being, and born a man.
Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and a good digestion.
I undertake the same project as Montaigne, but with an aim contrary to his own: for he wrote his Essays only for others, and I write my reveries only for myself.
I hate books; they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about.
The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
Do I dare set forth here the most important, the most useful rule of all education? It is not to save time, but to squander it.
All of my misfortunes come from having thought too well of my fellows.
We do not know what is really good or bad fortune.
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.
We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.
However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.
Our affections as well as our bodies are in perpetual flux.
Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.
Religious persecutors are not believers, they are rascals.
Our greatest evils flow from ourselves.
You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.
Reading, solitude, idleness, a soft and sedentary life, intercourse with women and young people, these are perilous paths for a young man, and these lead him constantly into danger.
Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.
The English think they are free. They are free only during the election of members of parliament.
I may be no better, but at least I am different.
Most nations, as well as people are impossible only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow older.