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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Francesco Petrarch on humanism, love, little, say, enemy, man, beauty, virtue, dwell, together, Italian and mother.

75 Great Quotes By Francesco Petrarch

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet, Scholar and Humanist

Born On: July 20, 1304

Died On: July 19, 1374

Born In: Arezzo

Died At Age: 69

Francesco Petrarch was an illustrious Italian poet and scholar, and the earliest humanist in Renaissance Italy. He is also regarded as the instigator of Humanism. His rediscovery of Cicero’s letters is considered to have marked the 14th-century Renaissance. Petrarch’s works and thoughts formed the basis of the model for the modern Italian language which was created by Pietro Bembo in the 16th-century. Accademia della Crusca later endorsed Petrarch as a model for Italian style. During the Renaissance, Petrarch’s sonnets were imitated and admired across Europe and they also became a prototype for lyrical poetry. Following is a list of quotes and sayings by Francesco Petrarch, the man who is also known to be the first to enunciate the concept of ‘Dark Ages.' Go through the quotes and thoughts by Francesco Petrarch that will give you a glimpse of his lyrical mind.
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From thought to thought, from mountain peak to mountain. Love leads me on; for I can never still My trouble on the world's well beaten ways.

Francesco Petrarch

Do you suppose there is any living man so unreasonable that if he found himself stricken with a dangerous ailment he would not anxiously desire to regain the blessing of health?

Francesco Petrarch

And tears are heard within the harp I touch.

Francesco Petrarch

How fortune brings to earth the over-sure!

Francesco Petrarch

Events appear sad, pleasant, or painful, not because they are so in reality, but because we believe them to be so and the light in which we look at them depends upon our own judgment.

Francesco Petrarch

I have taken pride in others, never in myself.

Francesco Petrarch

Where are the numerous constructions erected by Agrippa, of which only the Pantheon remains? Where are the splendorous palaces of the emperors?

Francesco Petrarch

I desire that death find me ready and writing, or if it please Christ, praying and intears.

Francesco Petrarch

Reality is always the foe of famous names.

Francesco Petrarch

Wanting is not enough, long and you attain it.

Francesco Petrarch

While life is in your body, you have the rein of all thoughts in your hands.

Francesco Petrarch

When the poet died his cat was put to death and mummified.

Francesco Petrarch

I rejoiced in my progress, mourned my weaknesses, and commiserated the universal instability of human conduct.

Francesco Petrarch

You keep to your own ways and leave mine to me.

Francesco Petrarch

Hope is incredible to the slave of grief.

Francesco Petrarch

There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen.

Francesco Petrarch

How quick the old woe follows a little bliss!

Francesco Petrarch

For death betimes is comfort, not dismay, and who can rightly die needs no delay.

Francesco Petrarch

An equal doom clipp'd Time's blest wings of peace.

Francesco Petrarch

Mere elegance of language can produce at best but an empty renown.

Francesco Petrarch

I saw the tracks of angels in the earth: the beauty of heaven walking by itself on the world.

Francesco Petrarch

It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.

Francesco Petrarch

It may be only glory that we seek here, but I persuade myself that, as long as we remain here, that is right. Another glory awaits us in heaven and he who reaches there will not wish even to think of earthly fame.

Francesco Petrarch

Alack our life, so beautiful to see, With how much ease life losest, in a day, What many years with pain and toil amassed!

Francesco Petrarch

How difficult it is to save the bark of reputation from the rocks of ignorance.

Francesco Petrarch

My flowery and green age was passing away, and I feeling a chill in the fires had been wasting my heart, for I was drawing near the hillside above the grave.

Francesco Petrarch

And I live on, but in grief and self-contempt, Left here without the light I loved so much, In a great tempest and with shrouds unkempt.

Francesco Petrarch

Go, grieving rimes of mine, to that hard stone Whereunder lies my darling, lies my dear, And cry to her to speak from heaven's sphere.

Francesco Petrarch

Life in itself is short enough, but the physicians with their art, know to their amusement, how to make it still shorter.

Francesco Petrarch

The greater I am, the greater shall be my efforts.

Francesco Petrarch

To be able to say how much love, is love but little.

Francesco Petrarch

For virtue only finds eternal Fame.

Francesco Petrarch

Death had his grudge against me, and he got up in the way, like an armed robber, with a pike in his hand.

Francesco Petrarch

I freeze and burn, love is bitter and sweet, my sighs are tempests and my tears are floods, I am in ecstasy and agony, I am possessed by memories of her and I am in exile from myself.

Francesco Petrarch

Who naught suspects is easily deceived.

Francesco Petrarch

Who over-refines his argument brings himself to grief

Francesco Petrarch

Nothing mortal is enduring, and there is nothing sweet which does not presently end in bitterness.

Francesco Petrarch

What name to call thee by, O virgin fair, I know not, for thy looks are not of earth And more than mortal seems thy countenances

Francesco Petrarch

Hitherto your eyes have been darkened and you have looked too much, yes, far too much, upon the things of earth. If these so much delight you what shall be your rapture when you lift your gaze to things eternal!

Francesco Petrarch

Often have I wondered with much curiosity as to our coming into this world and what will follow our departure.

Francesco Petrarch

I looked back at the summit of the mountain, which seemed but a cubit high in comparison with the height of human contemplation, were in not too often merged in the corruptions of the earth.

Francesco Petrarch

Books have led some to learning and others to madness.

Francesco Petrarch

Where you are is of no moment, but only what you are doing there. It is not the place that ennobles you, but you the place, and this only by doing that which is great and noble.

Francesco Petrarch

Continued work and application form my soul's nourishment. So soon as I commenced to rest and relax I should cease to live.

Francesco Petrarch

Man has no greater enemy than himself. I have acted contrary to my sentiments and inclination; throughout our whole lives we do what we never intended, and what we proposed to do, we leave undone.

Francesco Petrarch

Ruthless striving, overcomes everything.

Francesco Petrarch

Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure.

Francesco Petrarch

Great errors seldom originate but with men of great minds.

Francesco Petrarch

A short cut to riches is to subtract from our desires.

Francesco Petrarch

I would have preferred to have been born in any other time than our own.

Francesco Petrarch

Suspicion is the cancer of friendship.

Francesco Petrarch

All pleasure in the world is a passing dream.

Francesco Petrarch

Rarely do great beauty and great virtue dwell together.

Francesco Petrarch

Virtue is health, vice is sickness.

Francesco Petrarch

It is better to will the good than to know the truth,

Francesco Petrarch

Death is a sleep that ends our dreaming. Oh, that we may be allowed to wake before death wakes us.

Francesco Petrarch

Man has not a greater enemy than himself.

Francesco Petrarch

The aged love what is practical while impetuous youth longs only for what is dazzling.

Francesco Petrarch

Five enemies of peace inhabit with us - avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.

Francesco Petrarch

For though I am a body of this earth, my firm desire is born from the stars.

Francesco Petrarch

Books can warm the heart with friendly words and counsel, entering into a close relationship with us which is articulate and alive

Francesco Petrarch

And men go about to wonder at the heights of the mountains, and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers, and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of the stars, but themselves they consider not.

Francesco Petrarch

Perhaps out there, somewhere, someone is sighing for your absence; and with this thought, my soul begins to breathe.

Francesco Petrarch

Love is the crowning grace of humanity.

Francesco Petrarch

Gold, silver, jewels, purple garments, houses built of marble, groomed estates, pious paintings, caparisoned steeds, and other things of this kind offer a mutable and superficial pleasure; books give delight to the very marrow of one's bones. They speak to us, consult with us, and join with us in a living and intense intimacy.

Francesco Petrarch

Each famous author of antiquity whom I recover places a new offence and another cause of dishonor to the charge of earlier generations, who, not satisfied with their own disgraceful barrenness, permitted the fruit of other minds, and the writings that their ancestors had produced by toil and application, to perish through insufferable neglect. Although they had nothing of their own to hand down to those who were to come after, they robbed posterity of its ancestral heritage.

Francesco Petrarch

If a hundred or a thousand people, all of the same age, of the same constitution and habits, were suddenly seized by the same illness, and one half of them were to place themselves under the care of doctors, such as they are in our time, whilst the other half entrusted themselves to Nature and to their own discretion, I have not the slightest doubt that there would be more cases of death amongst the former, and more cases of recovery among the latter.

Francesco Petrarch

The time will come when every change shall cease, This quick revolving wheel shall rest in peace: No summer then shall glow, not winter freeze; Nothing shall be to come, and nothing past, But an eternal now shall ever last.

Francesco Petrarch

Books come at my call and return when I desire them; they are never out of humor and they answer all my questions with readiness. Some present in review before me the events of past ages; others reveal to me the secrets of Nature. These teach me how to live, and those how to die; these dispel my melancholy by their mirth, and amuse me by their sallies of wit. Some there are who prepare my soul to suffer everything, to desire nothing, and to become thoroughly acquainted with itself. In a word, they open the door to all the arts and sciences.

Francesco Petrarch

Books never pall on me. They discourse with us, they take counsel with us, and are united to us by a certain living chatty familiarity. And not only does each book inspire the sense that it belongs to its readers, but it also suggests the name of others, and one begets the desire of the other.

Francesco Petrarch

Whyle I was abowte to chaunge myn olde lyff-- What sorowe I suffred, dyseese, angre and stryff, Cracchynge myn here, my chekys all totare, Wrythynge my fyngres for angwysshe and care, Watrynge the erthe with my byttre salte teres That the crye of my syghes ascended to Goddys eres, My knees with myn handys grasped togedyre soore, And yitt I stode the same man I was afore Tyl a depe profounde remembraunce att the laste Hadd all my wrecchednesse afore myn eyn caste

Francesco Petrarch

To begin with myself, then, the utterances of men concerning me will differ widely, since in passing judgment almost every one is influenced not so much by truth as by preference, and good and evil report alike know no bounds.

Francesco Petrarch

There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen. Other pleasures fail us or wound us while they charm, but the pen we take up rejoicing and lay down with satisfaction, for it has the power to advantage not only its lord and master, but many others as well, even though they be far away - sometimes, indeed, though they be not born for thousands of years to come.

Francesco Petrarch

Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good.

Francesco Petrarch

I had got this far, and was thinking of what to say next, and as my habit is, I was pricking the paper idly with my pen. And I thought how, between one dip of the pen and the next, time goes on, and I hurry, drive myself, and speed toward death. We are always dying. I while I write, you while you read, and others while they listen or stop their ears, they are all dying.

Francesco Petrarch