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Pierre Charron Quotes


A French 16th-century philosopher, and a close friend and contemporary of Michel Montaigne.
(1541 - 1603)

As full ears load and lay down corn, so does too much fortune bend and break the mind. It deserves to be considered, too, as another disadvantage, that affliction moves pity, and reconciles our very enemies, but prosperity provokes envy, and loses us our very friends.
[Prosperity]
 

Despair is like froward children, who, when you take away one of their play­things, throw the rest into the fire for madness. It grows angry with itself, turns its own executioner, and revenges its misfortunes on its own head.
[Despair]
 

God, Nature, the wise, the world, preach man, exhort him both by word and deed to the study of himself.
 

He who receives a benefit should never forget it; he who bestows should never remember it.
[Gratitude]
 

In company it is a very great fault to be more forward in setting off one's self, and talking to show one's parts, than to learn the worth, and be truly acquainted with the abilities of men. - He that makes it his business not to know, but to be known, is like a foolish tradesman, who makes all the haste he can to sell off his old stock, but takes no thought of laying in any new.
[Conversation]
 

In the country, a man's mind is free and easy, and at his own disposal; but in the city, the persons of friends and acquaintance, one's own and other people's business, foolish quarrels, ceremonies, visits, impertinent discourses, and a thousand other fopperies and diversions steal away the greatest part of our time, and leave no leisure for better and more necessary employment. Great towns are but a larger sort of prison to the soul, like cages to birds, or pounds to beasts.
 

Mutability is the badge of infirmity. - It is seldom that a man continues to wish and design the same thing for two days alike.
 

Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite are contrived to be constant companions.
 

Riches should be admitted into our houses, but not into our hearts; we may take them into our possession, but not into our affections.
[Riches]
 

The advice of friends must be received with a judicious reserve: we must not give ourselves up to it and follow it blindly, whether right or wrong.
[Advice]
 

The certain way to be cheated is to fancy one's self more cunning than others.
[Cunning]
 

The most excellent and divine counsel, the best and most profitable advertisement of all others, but the least practiced, is to study and learn how to know ourselves. This is the foundation of wisdom and the highway to whatever is good.
 

The true science and study of man is man.
 

There is need of a sprightly and vigilant soul to discern and to lay hold on favorable junctures; a man must look before him, descry opportunities at a distance, keep his eye constantly upon them, observe all the motions they make toward him, make himself ready for their approach, and when he sees his time, lay fast hold, and not let go again, till he has done his business.
[Opportunity]
 

Those who have nothing else to recommend them to the respect of others but only their blood, cry it up at a great rate, and have their mouths perpetually full of it. - By this mark they commonly distinguish themselves; but you may depend upon it there is no good bottom, nothing of the true worth of their own when they insist so much and set their credit on that of others.
[Birth]
 

To owe an obligation to a worthy friend, is a happiness, and can be no disparagement.
[Obligation]
 

We ought not to judge of men's merits by their qualifications, but by the use they make of them.
[Wisdom]
 

Whatever difference there may appear to be in men's fortunes, there is still a certain compensation of good and ill in all, that makes them equal.
[Equality]
 

Wise men mingle mirth with their cares, as a help either to forget or overcome them; but to resort to intoxication for the ease of one's mind, is to cure melancholy by madness.
[Intemperance]