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73 Top Michel De Montaigne Quotes That Are Life Changing

Famous As: One of the Most Significant Philosophers of the French Renaissance
Born On: February 8, 1533
Died On: September 3, 1592
Born In: Château de Montaigne, France
Died At Age: 59
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne was a French philosopher who lived during the French Renaissance in the 16th century. He is counted among the most important philosophers of that era that witnessed far reaching developments in the field of philosophy. Montaigne was born in a wealthy family and was educated privately, before attending some of the premier educational institutions in France. He became a member of the legal system in Toulouse and eventually a nobleman for Charles IX, . He is however, known for his considerable work as a philosopher during the French Renaissance. At the same time it is also worthwhile pointing out that when he was alive, he was more famous as a formidable statesman than as a philosopher. Montaigne is particularly well-known for having taken the humble essay to a different level and turning it into a legitimate literary genre, many of which were autobiographical or anecdotal in nature. Some of his better known theories and contributions include ‘Renaissance humanism’, ‘Renaissance skepticism’ and ‘Montaigne’s wheel argument’. Montaigne was a man of rare intellect and talent who left behind a vast work on philosophy, education, wisdom, politics, life and much more. His works highlight his thoughts on these subjects. We have excerpted his thoughts and quotes from his work. Here is a collection of thoughts, sayings and quotations by Michel de Montaigne on friendship, philosophy, essays, books, education, fear, wisdom love and death.
The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.

The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.

Michel de Montaigne
On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.

On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.

Michel de Montaigne
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

Michel de Montaigne
I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.

I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.

Michel de Montaigne
I quote others only in order the better to express myself.

I quote others only in order the better to express myself.

Michel de Montaigne
When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.

When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.

Michel de Montaigne
He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.

Michel de Montaigne
If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.

If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.

Michel de Montaigne
Learned we may be with another man's learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.

Learned we may be with another man's learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.

Michel de Montaigne
If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.

If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.

Michel de Montaigne
Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.

Michel de Montaigne
There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.

There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.

Michel de Montaigne
I am afraid that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and that we have more curiosity than understanding. We grasp at everything, but catch nothing except wind.

I am afraid that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and that we have more curiosity than understanding. We grasp at everything, but catch nothing except wind.

Michel de Montaigne
Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.

Michel de Montaigne
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

Michel de Montaigne
To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it.

To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it.

Michel de Montaigne
Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.

Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.

Michel de Montaigne
I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.

I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.

Michel de Montaigne
Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness.

Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness.

Michel de Montaigne
If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.

If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.

Michel de Montaigne
Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.

Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.

Michel de Montaigne
My art and profession is to live.

My art and profession is to live.

Michel de Montaigne
I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older.

I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older.

Michel de Montaigne
Off I go, rummaging about in books for sayings which please me.

Off I go, rummaging about in books for sayings which please me.

Michel de Montaigne
Confidence in others' honesty is no light testimony of one's own integrity.

Confidence in others' honesty is no light testimony of one's own integrity.

Michel de Montaigne
The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.

The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.

Michel de Montaigne
The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.

The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.

Michel de Montaigne
Every man has within himself the entire human condition

Every man has within himself the entire human condition

Michel de Montaigne
I do not believe, from what I have been told about this people, that there is anything barbarous or savage about them, except that we all call barbarous anything that is contrary to our own habits.

I do not believe, from what I have been told about this people, that there is anything barbarous or savage about them, except that we all call barbarous anything that is contrary to our own habits.

Michel de Montaigne
Que sais-je?

Que sais-je?" (What do I know?)

Michel de Montaigne
There were many terrible things in my life and most of them never happened.

There were many terrible things in my life and most of them never happened.

Michel de Montaigne
[Marriage] happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.

[Marriage] happens as with cages: the birds without despair to get in, and those within despair of getting out.

Michel de Montaigne
There is no knowledge so hard to acquire as the knowledge of how to live this life well and naturally.

There is no knowledge so hard to acquire as the knowledge of how to live this life well and naturally.

Michel de Montaigne
Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head

Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head

Michel de Montaigne
He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.

He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.

Michel de Montaigne
I know that the arms of friendship are long enough to reach from the one end of the world to the other

I know that the arms of friendship are long enough to reach from the one end of the world to the other

Michel de Montaigne
I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.

I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.

Michel de Montaigne
No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly.

No-one is exempt from speaking nonsense – the only misfortune is to do it solemnly.

Michel de Montaigne
Every movement reveals us.

Every movement reveals us.

Michel de Montaigne
No wind favors he who has no destined port.

No wind favors he who has no destined port.

Michel de Montaigne
Saying is one thing and doing is another

Saying is one thing and doing is another

Michel de Montaigne
Why do people respect the package rather than the man?

Why do people respect the package rather than the man?

Michel de Montaigne
There is as much difference between us and ourselves as there is between us and others.

There is as much difference between us and ourselves as there is between us and others.

Michel de Montaigne
I listen with attention to the judgment of all men;
but so far as I can remember,
I have followed none but my own.

I listen with attention to the judgment of all men; but so far as I can remember, I have followed none but my own.

Michel de Montaigne
If ordinary people complain that I speak too much of myself, I complain that they do not even think of themselves.

If ordinary people complain that I speak too much of myself, I complain that they do not even think of themselves.

Michel de Montaigne
It is a disaster that wisdom forbids you to be satisfied with yourself and always sends you away dissatisfied and fearful, whereas stubbornness and foolhardiness fill their hosts with joy and assurance.

It is a disaster that wisdom forbids you to be satisfied with yourself and always sends you away dissatisfied and fearful, whereas stubbornness and foolhardiness fill their hosts with joy and assurance.

Michel de Montaigne
We trouble our life by thoughts about death, and our death by thoughts about life.

We trouble our life by thoughts about death, and our death by thoughts about life.

Michel de Montaigne
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself

Not being able to govern events, I govern myself

Michel de Montaigne
No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.

No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.

Michel de Montaigne
I enjoy books as misers enjoy treasures, because I know I can enjoy them whenever I please.

I enjoy books as misers enjoy treasures, because I know I can enjoy them whenever I please.

Michel de Montaigne
Other people do not see you at all, but guess at you by uncertain conjectures.

Other people do not see you at all, but guess at you by uncertain conjectures.

Michel de Montaigne
Judgement can do without knowledge: but not knowledge without judgement.

Judgement can do without knowledge: but not knowledge without judgement.

Michel de Montaigne
The thing I fear most is fear.

The thing I fear most is fear.

Michel de Montaigne
Valor is strength, not of legs and arms, but of heart and soul; it consists not in the worth of our horse or our weapons, but in our own.

Valor is strength, not of legs and arms, but of heart and soul; it consists not in the worth of our horse or our weapons, but in our own.

Michel de Montaigne
Life itself is neither a good nor an evil: life is where good or evil find a place, depending on how you make it for them.

Life itself is neither a good nor an evil: life is where good or evil find a place, depending on how you make it for them.

Michel de Montaigne
Let every foot have its own shoe.

Let every foot have its own shoe.

Michel de Montaigne
When I express my opinions it is so as to reveal the measure of my sight not the measure of the thing.

When I express my opinions it is so as to reveal the measure of my sight not the measure of the thing.

Michel de Montaigne
To distract myself from tiresome thoughts, I have only to resort to books; they easily draw my mind to themselves and away from other things.

To distract myself from tiresome thoughts, I have only to resort to books; they easily draw my mind to themselves and away from other things.

Michel de Montaigne
I had rather fashion my mind than furnish it.

I had rather fashion my mind than furnish it.

Michel de Montaigne
There are no truths, only moments of claryty passing for answers.

There are no truths, only moments of claryty passing for answers.

Michel de Montaigne
Don't discuss yourself, for you are bound to lose; if you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved.

Don't discuss yourself, for you are bound to lose; if you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved.

Michel de Montaigne
The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to live with purpose.

The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to live with purpose.

Michel de Montaigne
Pride and curiosity are the two scourges of our souls. The latter prompts us to poke our noses into everything, and the former forbids us to leave anything unresolved and undecided.

Pride and curiosity are the two scourges of our souls. The latter prompts us to poke our noses into everything, and the former forbids us to leave anything unresolved and undecided.

Michel de Montaigne
A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.

Michel de Montaigne
One must be a little foolish if one does not want to be even more stupid.

One must be a little foolish if one does not want to be even more stupid.

Michel de Montaigne
Every other knowledge is harmful to him who does not have knowledge of goodness.

Every other knowledge is harmful to him who does not have knowledge of goodness.

Michel de Montaigne
The finest souls are those that have the most variety and suppleness.

The finest souls are those that have the most variety and suppleness.

Michel de Montaigne
Excellent memories are often coupled with feeble judgments.

Excellent memories are often coupled with feeble judgments.

Michel de Montaigne
The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mold. The same reason that makes us wrangle with a neighbor creates a war betwixt princes.

The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mold. The same reason that makes us wrangle with a neighbor creates a war betwixt princes.

Michel de Montaigne
Kings and philosophers defecate, and so do ladies.

Kings and philosophers defecate, and so do ladies.

Michel de Montaigne
Man (in good earnest) is a marvellous vain, fickle, and unstable subject, and on whom it is very hard to form any certain and uniform judgment.

Man (in good earnest) is a marvellous vain, fickle, and unstable subject, and on whom it is very hard to form any certain and uniform judgment.

Michel de Montaigne
Experience has further taught me this, that we ruin ourselves by impatience.

Experience has further taught me this, that we ruin ourselves by impatience.

Michel de Montaigne
There is no more expensive thing than a free gift.

There is no more expensive thing than a free gift.

Michel de Montaigne