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Charles de Montesquieu Quotes

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Charles de Montesquieu
January 18, 1689 - February 10, 1755
Nationality: French
Category: Philosopher
Subcategory: French Philosopher

Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.


Laws undertake to punish only overt acts.


To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.


In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state.


It is not the young people that degenerate; they are not spoiled till those of mature age are already sunk into corruption.


Luxury ruins republics; poverty, monarchies.


An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.


The sublimity of administration consists in knowing the proper degree of power that should be exerted on different occasions.


We should weep for men at their birth, not at their death.


Peace is a natural effect of trade.


No kingdom has shed more blood than the kingdom of Christ.


The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.


I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve.


What orators lack in depth they make up for in length.


The less men think, the more they talk.


Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half.


False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared.


There is no one, says another, whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door, and flies out at the window.


To love to read is to exchange hours of ennui for hours of delight.


Success in the majority of circumstances depends on knowing how long it takes to succeed.


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