Quotes from book
Essays

The Essays of Michel de Montaigne are contained in three books and 107 chapters of varying length. They were originally written in Middle French and were originally published in the Kingdom of France. Montaigne's stated design in writing, publishing and revising the Essays over the period from approximately 1570 to 1592 was to record "some traits of my character and of my humours." The Essays were first published in 1580 and cover a wide range of topics.


Michel De Montaigne photo
Michel De Montaigne photo

„I have seen no more evident monstrosity and miracle in the world than myself.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book III, Ch. 11
Essais (1595), Book III

Michel De Montaigne photo

„Every man has within himself the entire human condition“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book III, Ch. 2
Essais (1595), Book III
Variant: Every man bears the whole stamp of the human condition.

Michel De Montaigne photo

„I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more as I grow older.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book iii. Chap 2. Of Repentance
Essais (1595), Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

Michel De Montaigne photo

„A man must be a little mad if he does not want to be even more stupid.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book III, Ch. 9
Essais (1595), Book III

Michel De Montaigne photo

„Que sçais-je?" (What do I know?)“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

The notion of skepticism is most clearly understood by asking this question.
Book II, Ch. 12
Essais (1595), Book II
Variant: What know I? (or What do I know?)

Michel De Montaigne photo
Michel De Montaigne photo

„There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book II (1580), Ch. 1
Essais (1595), Book II

Michel De Montaigne photo

„My art and profession is to live.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book II, Ch. 6
Essais (1595), Book II
Variant: My trade and my art is living.

Michel De Montaigne photo
Michel De Montaigne photo

„Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Source: Essais (1595), Book III, Chapter X. Of Managing the Will. End of First Paragraph.

Michel De Montaigne photo

„Saying is one thing and doing is another.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book II, Ch. 31
Essais (1595), Book II

Michel De Montaigne photo
Michel De Montaigne photo

„I will follow the good side right to the fire, but not into it if I can help it.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book III (1595), Ch. 1
Essais (1595), Book III

Michel De Montaigne photo

„Man in sooth is a marvellous, vain, fickle, and unstable subject.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book I, Ch. 1. That Men by various Ways arrive at the same End
Essais (1595), Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

Michel De Montaigne photo

„I moreover affirm that our wisdom itself, and wisest consultations, for the most part commit themselves to the conduct of chance.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book III, Ch. 8. Of the Art of Conversation
Essais (1595), Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

Michel De Montaigne photo

„We seek and offer ourselves to be gulled.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book III, Ch. 11. Of Cripples
Essais (1595), Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

Michel De Montaigne photo

„Live as long as you please, you will strike nothing off the time you will have to spend dead.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book I, Ch. 20
Essais (1595), Book I

Michel De Montaigne photo

„In my opinion, every rich man is a miser.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book I, Ch. 14
Essais (1595), Book I

Michel De Montaigne photo

„To an atheist all writings tend to atheism: he corrupts the most innocent matter with his own venom.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book II, Ch. 12
Essais (1595), Book II

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