Nicolas Chamfort quotes
Birthdate: 6. April 1741
Date of death: 13. April 1794
Other names: Nicolas-Sébastien de Chamfort, Nicholas Chamfort
Sébastien-Roch Nicolas, known in his adult life as Nicolas Chamfort and as Sébastien Nicolas de Chamfort , was a French writer, best known for his witty epigrams and aphorisms. He was secretary to Louis XVI's sister, and of the Jacobin club. Wikipedia
Quotes Nicolas Chamfort
„People are always annoyed by men of letters who retreat from the world; they expect them to continue to show interest in society even though they gain little benefit from it. They would like to force them be present when lots are being drawn in a lottery for which they have no tickets.“
On se fâche souvent contre les Gens de Lettres qui se retirent du monde. On veut qu'ils prennent intérêt à la Société dont ils ne tirent presque point d'avantage. On veut les forcer d'assister éternellement aux tirages d'une loterie où ils n'ont point de billet.
Maximes et Pensées (Van Bever, Paris :1923), #447
As quoted in The Cynic's Breviary : Maxims and Anecdotes from Nicolas de Chamfort (1902) as translated by William G. Hutchison, p. 37
„In the world you have three sorts of friends: your friends who love you, your friends who do not care about you and your friends who hate you.“
Proverbs of all nations. (1859)
„A devout and naïve Christian was admonishing those who questioned the articles of faith. “A true Christian must never examine the things he's told to believe, gentlemen,” he said. “It's like taking a pill: if you chew it, it's so bitter you'll never get it down.”“
„Men whose only concern is other people's opinion of them are like actors who put on a poor performance to win the applause of people of poor taste; some of them would be capable of good acting in front of a good audience. A decent man plays his part to the best of his ability, regardless of the taste of the gallery.“
Maximes et pensées (1805)
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Les vieillards, dans les capitales, sont plus corrompus que les jeunes gens.
Maximes et Pensées, #585
Maxims and Considerations
„We must start human society from scratch; as Francis Bacon said, we must recreate human understanding.“
"Reflections and Anecdotes", nr. 264 (Douglas Parmée translation)
„Having lots of ideas doesn't mean you're clever, any more than having lots of soldiers means you're a good general.“
On n'est point un homme d'esprit pour avoir beaucoup d'idées, comme on n'est pas un bon général pour avoir beaucoup de soldats.
Maximes et Pensées (Van Bever, Paris :1923), #446
Il avait, par grandeur d'âme, fait quelques pas vers la fortune, et par grandeur d'âme il la méprisa.
Maxims and Considerations, #548
„The public is governed as it reasons; its own prerogative is foolish speech and that of its governors is foolish action.“
Le public est gouverné comme il raisonne. Son droit est de dire des sottises, comme celui des ministres est d'en faire.
Maximes et Pensées, #503