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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Montesquieu
 
  A good writer does not write as people write, but as he writes.  1
  A love of the republic in a democracy is a love of the democracy, as the latter is that of equality. A love of the democracy is likewise that of frugality. Since every individual ought here to enjoy the same happiness, and the same advantages, they should consequently taste the same pleasures and form the same hopes, which cannot be expected but from a general frugality.  2
  A man who writes well writes not as others write, but as he himself writes; it is often in speaking badly that he speaks well.  3
  A prince who loves and fears religion is a lion who stoops to the hand that strokes or to the voice that appeases him. He who fears and hates religion is like the savage beast that growls and bites the chain, which prevents his flying on the passenger. He who has no religion at all is that terrible animal who perceives his liberty only when he tears in pieces, and when he devours.  4
  All beings have their laws; the Deity has His laws, the material world has its laws, superior intelligences have their laws, the beasts have their laws, and man his laws.  5
  As men are affected in all ages by the same passions, the occasions which bring about great changes are different, but the causes are always the same.  6
  As virtue is necessary in a republic, and honor in a monarchy, fear is what is required in a despotism. As for virtue, it is not at all necessary, and honor would be dangerous there.  7
  Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.  8
  Experience constantly proves that every man who has power is impelled to abuse it; he goes on till he is pulled up by some limits. Who would say it! virtue even has need of limits.  9
  Honor is unknown in despotic states.  10
  Human laws made to direct the will ought to give precepts, and not counsels.  11
  I consider that the spirit of politeness is a certain desire to bring it about, that, by our words and manners, others may be pleased with us and with themselves.  12
  I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise.  13
  I have ever held it as a maxim never to do that through another which it was possible for me to execute myself.  14
  I have heard Cardinal Imperiali say: “There is no man whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door, and flies out at the window.”  15
  I never listen to calumnies, because if they are untrue I run the risk of being deceived, and if they be true, of hating persons not worth thinking about.  16
  In the matter of dress one should always keep below one’s ability.  17
  Law should be like death, which spares no one.  18
  Man is a social animal formed to please in society.  19
  Men in excess of happiness or misery are equally inclined to severity. Witness conquerors and monks! It is mediocrity alone, and a mixture of prosperous and adverse fortune that inspire us with lenity and pity.  20
 
 
  Men, who are knaves individually, are in the mass very honorable people.  21
  Nature is just to all mankind, and repays them for their industry. She renders them industrious by annexing rewards in proportion to their labor.  22
  Now this is how I define talent; it is a gift God has given us in secret, which we reveal without knowing it.  23
  Passion makes us feel, but never see clearly.  24
  Raillery is a mode of speaking in favor of one’s wit at the expense of one’s better nature.  25
  Republics come to an end by luxurious habits; monarchies, by poverty.  26
  Society is the union of men and not the men themselves.  27
  The culminating point of administration is to know well how much power, great or small, we ought to use in all circumstances.  28
  The deterioration of a government begins almost always by the decay of its principles.  29
  The general rule always holds good. In constitutional states liberty is a compensation of the heaviness of taxation. In despotic states the equivalent for liberty is the lightness of taxation.  30
  The less men think, the more they talk.  31
  The love of democracy is that of equality.  32
  The love of reading enables a man to exchange the wearisome hours of life which come to every one for hours of delight.  33
  The love of study is in us the only lasting passion. All the others quit us in proportion as this miserable machine which holds them approaches its ruins.  34
  The pagan religion, which prohibited only some of the grosser crimes, and which stopped the hand but meddled not with the heart, might have crimes that were inexplicable.  35
  The sacred books of the ancient Persians say, “If you would be holy, instruct your children, because all the good acts they perform will be imputed to you.”  36
  The severity of laws prevents their execution. When the penalty is excessive, one is forced to prefer impunity.  37
  The state is the association of men, and not men themselves; the citizen may perish, and the man remain.  38
  The success of most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed.  39
  There are bad examples which are worse than crimes; and more states have perished from the violation of morality than from the violation of law.  40
  Those who have few affairs to attend to are great speakers. The less men think, the more they talk.  41
  To succeed in the world, we must be foolish in appearance, but really wise.  42
  Vanity and pride of nations; vanity is as advantageous to a government as pride is dangerous.  43
  Virtue is necessary to a republic.  44
  What the orators want in depth, they give you in length.  45
  When a government is arrived to that degree of corruption as to be incapable of reforming itself, it would not lose much by being new moulded.  46
  When God endowed human beings with brains. He did not intend to guarantee them.  47
  When the savages of Louisiana wish to have fruit, they cut the tree at the bottom and gather the fruit. That is exactly a despotic government.  48
  When we seek after wit, we discover only foolishness.  49
  Wonderful! that the Christian religion, which seems to have no other object than the felicity of another life, should also constitute the happiness of this.  50
 
 
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