Born Sunday 21 November 1694, died Saturday 30 May 1778
Professions: Historian, Philosopher, Writer
Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.
The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.
Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable.
Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.
What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking.
What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.
Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.
We cannot wish for that we know not.
The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice.
The little may contrast with the great, in painting, but cannot be said to be contrary to it. Oppositions of colors contrast; but there are also colors contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it.
The flowery style is not unsuitable to public speeches or addresses, which amount only to compliment. The lighter beauties are in their place when there is nothing more solid to say; but the flowery style ought to be banished from a pleading, a sermon, or a didactic work.
The ancients recommended us to sacrifice to the Graces, but Milton sacrificed to the Devil.
Society therefore is an ancient as the world.
Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die.
Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound.
Nature has always had more force than education.
It is vain for the coward to flee; death follows close behind; it is only by defying it that the brave escape.
It is the flash which appears, the thunderbolt will follow.
In every author let us distinguish the man from his works.
He shines in the second rank, who is eclipsed in the first.