Un sot savant est sot plus qu'un sot ignorant.
Act IV, sc. iii
Les Femmes Savantes (1672)
Birthdate: 15. January 1622
Date of death: 17. February 1673
Other names: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière , was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among Molière's best known works are The Misanthrope, The School for Wives, Tartuffe, The Miser, The Imaginary Invalid, and The Bourgeois Gentleman.
Born into a prosperous family and having studied at the Collège de Clermont , Molière was well suited to begin a life in the theatre. Thirteen years as an itinerant actor helped him polish his comic abilities while he began writing, combining Commedia dell'arte elements with the more refined French comedy.
Through the patronage of aristocrats including Philippe I, Duke of Orléans—the brother of Louis XIV—Molière procured a command performance before the King at the Louvre. Performing a classic play by Pierre Corneille and a farce of his own, The Doctor in Love, Molière was granted the use of salle du Petit-Bourbon near the Louvre, a spacious room appointed for theatrical performances. Later, Molière was granted the use of the theatre in the Palais-Royal. In both locations he found success among Parisians with plays such as The Affected Ladies, The School for Husbands and The School for Wives. This royal favour brought a royal pension to his troupe and the title Troupe du Roi . Molière continued as the official author of court entertainments.
Though he received the adulation of the court and Parisians, Molière's satires attracted criticism from moralists and the Catholic Church. Tartuffe and its attack on perceived religious hypocrisy roundly received condemnations from the Church, while Don Juan was banned from performance. Molière's hard work in so many theatrical capacities took its toll on his health and, by 1667, he was forced to take a break from the stage. In 1673, during a production of his final play, The Imaginary Invalid, Molière, who suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis, was seized by a coughing fit and a haemorrhage while playing the hypochondriac Argan. He finished the performance but collapsed again and died a few hours later.
Un sot savant est sot plus qu'un sot ignorant.
„The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them;
It is by excusing nothing that pure love shows itself.“
Plus on aime quelqu'un, moins il faut qu'on le flatte:
À rien pardonner le pur amour éclate.
Act II, sc. iv
Le Misanthrope (1666)
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Source: The Misanthrope
Il faut manger pour vivre, et non pas vivre pour manger.
L'Avare (1668), Act III, sc. i.
Firstly, an inaccurate sourcing: in Act III, yes—but in Scene I, no: rather, in Scene V—HARPAGON, VALÈRE, MASTER JACQUES (see, e.g., the Project Gutenberg HTML version of the English translation: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/6923/6923-h/6923-h.htm). Secondly, a misattribution made clear by the Molière text—the character in the play, VAL, obviously points out that the quote refers to a "saying of one of the ancients" (and the quote is precisely written in quotation marks as well), in the full line of dialogue below:
Know, Master Jacques, you and people like you, that a table overloaded with eatables is a real cut-throat; that, to be the true friends of those we invite, frugality should reign throughout the repast we give, and that according to the saying of one of the ancients, "We must eat to live, and not live to eat."
The "ancients" to which VAL/Molière refers is Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, and the oldest known attribution, Socrates (whom Laertius explicitly attributes—and Cicero presumably invokes). Various books of quotations document this—e.g., Elizabeth Knowles' 2006 The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (http://books.google.com/books?id=r2KIvsLi-2kC&dq=%22one+must+eat+to+live+not+live+to+eat%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s) and Jennifer Speake's 1982 A Dictionary of Proverbs (http://books.google.com/books?id=-IpkOkM3IfEC&dq=%22one+must+eat+to+live+not+live+to+eat%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s): the former lists the quote as "a proverbial saying, late 14th century, distinguishing between necessity and indulgence; Diogenes Laertius says of Socrates, 'he said that other men live to eat, but eats to live.' A similar idea is found in the Latin of Cicero, 'one must eat to live, not live to eat'"; the latter, reiterates this. Moreover, in William Shepard Walsh's 1909 Handy-book of Literary Curiosities, he adds that "According to Plutarch, what Socrates said was, 'Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.'" He also adds that Atheneus quotes similarly to Laertius, as well as explores other later variations (http://books.google.com/books?id=hrJkAAAAMAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s).