ROUSSEAU, Jean Jacques Quotes
(1712-1778), Swiss philosopher
Accent is the soul of language; it gives to it both feeling and truth.
Temperance and labor are the two best physicians of man; labor sharpens the appetite, and temperance prevents from indulging to excess.
Peruse the works of our philosophers; with all their pomp of diction, how mean, how contemptible, are they, compared with the Scriptures! Is it possible that a book at once so simple and sublime should be merely the work of man? The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality contained in the Gospel, the marks of whose truths are so striking and inimitable that the inventor would be a more astonishing character than the hero.
Whoever blushes, is already guilty; true innocence is ashamed of nothing.
The training of children is a profession, where we must know how to lose time in order to gain it.
It is not our wrong actions which it requires courage to confess, so much as those which are ridiculous and foolish.
Conscience is the voice of the soul, as the passions are the voice of the body.—No wonder they often contradict each other.
Consolation, indiscreetly pressed upon us when we are suffering under affliction, only serves to increase our pain and to render our grief more poignant.
The tone of good conversation is brilliant and natural.—It is neither tedious nor frivolous.—It is instructive without pedantry; gay, without tumultuousness; polished, without affectation; gallant, without insipidity; waggish, without equivocation.
If Socrates died like a philosopher, Jesus Christ died like a God.
If there were a people consisting of gods, they would be governed democratically; so perfect a government is not suitable to men.
A loose and easy dress contributes much to give to both sexes those fine proportions of body that are observable in the Grecian statues, and which serve as models to our present artists.
That which renders life burdensome to us, generally arises from the abuse of it.
Physical evils destroy themselves, or they destroy us.
Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.
We do not know what is really good or bad fortune.
Great men never make bad use of their superiority; they see it, and feel it, and are not less modest. The more they have, the more they know their own deficiencies.
Nothing is less in our power than the heart, and far from commanding we are forced to obey it.
Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.
The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.—Not being able to enlarge the one, let us contract the other; for it is from their difference that all the evils arise which render us unhappy.
Not all the subtilties of metaphysics can make me doubt a moment of the immortality of the soul, and of a beneficent providence. I feel it, I believe it, I desire it, I hope it, and will defend it to my last breath.
Brains well prepared are the monuments where human knowledge is most surely engraved.
An honest man nearly always thinks justly.
Kings wish to be absolute, and they are sometimes told that their best way to become so is to make themselves beloved by the people. This maxim is doubtless a very admirable one, and in some respects true; but unhappily it is laughed at in court.
To write a good love-letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written.
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.
To live is not merely to breathe, it is to act; it is to make use of our organs, senses, faculties, of all those parts of ourselves which give us the feeling of existence. The man who has lived longest is not the man who has counted most years, but he who has enjoyed life most. Such a one was buried a hundred years old, but he was dead from his birth. He would have gained by dying young; at least he would have lived till that time.
There is a deportment which suits the figure and talents of each person; it is always lost when we quit it to assume that of another.
The mind grows narrow in proportion as the soul grows corrupt.
The want of occupation is no less the plague of society, than of solitude.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
The features come insensibly to be formed and assume their shape from the frequent and habitual expression of certain affections of the soul. These affections are marked on the countenance; nothing is more certain than this; and when they turn into habits, they must leave on it durable impressions.
He who is most slow in making a promise is the most faithful in its performance.
When my reason is afloat, my faith cannot long remain in suspense, and I believe in God as firmly as in any other truth whatever; in short, a thousand motives draw me to the consolatory side, and add the weight of hope to the equilibrium of reason.
Philosophy can do nothing which religion cannot do better than she; and religion can do a great many other things which philosophy cannot do at all.
It is not just when a villainous act has been committed that it torments us; it is when we think of it afterward, for the remembrance of it lasts forever.
Self-love is an instrument useful but dangerous: it often wounds the hand which makes use of it, and seldom does good without doing harm.
Had I no other proof of the immortality of the soul than the oppression of the just and the triumph of the wicked in this world, this alone would prevent my having the least doubt of it. So shocking a discord amidst a general harmony of things would make me naturally look for a cause; I should say to myself we do not cease to exist with this life; everything reassumes its order after death.
It is a great mistake of many ardent students that they trust too much to their books, and do not draw from their own resources—forgetting that of all sophists our own reason is that which abuses us least.
I think we cannot too strongly attack superstition, which is the disturber of society; nor too highly respect genuine religion, which is the support of it.
Taste is, so to speak, the microscope of the judgment.
Temperance and labor are the two best physicians; the one sharpens the appetite—the other prevents indulgence to excess.
All that time is lost which might be better employed.
General, abstract truth is the most precious of all blessings; without it man is blind, it is the eye of reason.
There is no folly of which a man who is not a fool cannot get rid except vanity; of this nothing cures a man except experience of its bad consequences, if indeed anything can cure it.
Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.
The hatred of the wicked is only roused the more from the impossibility of finding any just grounds on which it can rest; and the very consciousness of their own injustice is only a grievance the more against him who is the object of it.
Her pleasures are in the happiness of her family.
The dignity of woman consists in being unknown to the world.—Her glory is the esteem of her husband; her pleasure the happiness of her family.
The world is the book of women. Whatever knowledge they may possess is more commonly acquired by observation than by reading.