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Desiderius Erasmus Quotes


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Experience is the common schoolhouse of fools and ill men. Men of wit and honesty be otherwise instructed.
[Experience]
 

Fools are without number.
[Fools]
 

For what is life but a play in which everyone acts a part until the curtain comes down?
 

Fortune favors the audacious.
[Audacity]
 

From hence, no question, has sprung an observation . . . confirmed now into a settled opinion, that some long experienced souls in the world, before their dislodging, arrive to the height of prophetic spirit.
 

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.
 

Great eagerness in the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, or honor, cannot exist without sin.
 

He does good to himself who does good to his friend.
[Friendship]
 

He who allows oppression shares the crime.
 

He who shuns the millstone, shuns the meal.
[Work]
 

His eloquent tongue so well seconds his fertile invention that no one speaks better when suddenly called forth. His attention never languishes; his mind is always before his words; his memory has all its stock so turned into ready money that, without hesitation or delay, it supplies whatever the occasion may require.
 

Human affairs are so obscure and various that nothing can be clearly known.
 

Humility is truth.
 

I am a citizen of the world, known to all and to all a stranger.
 

I am a lover of liberty. I cannot and will not serve parties.
 

I am conquered by truth.
 

I consider as lovers of books not those who keep their books hidden in their store-chests and never handle them, but those who, by nightly as well as daily use thumb them, batter them, wear them out, who fill out all the margins with annotations of many kinds, and who prefer the marks of a fault they have erased to a neat copy full of faults.
 

I don't like your way of conditioning and contracting with the saints. Do this and I'll do that! Here's one for t'other. Save me and I'll give you a taper or go on a pilgrimage.
 

I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.
 

I have turned my entire attention to Greek. The first thing I shall do, as soon as the money arrives, is to buy some Greek authors; after that, I shall buy clothes.
 


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