Nicolas Chamfort was born 6 April 1741, and died 13 April 1794.
- Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.
- There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.
- Intelligent people make many mistakes because they cannot believe the world is really as foolish as it is.
- There are certain times when public opinion is the worst of all opinions.
- Happiness is not easy to find. It’s very difficult to find it in yourself — and impossible to find anywhere else.
- To enjoy and give enjoyment, without injury to yourself or others; this is true morality.
- In order not to find life unbearable, you must accept two things: the ravages of time and the injustices of man.
- Every day I add to the list of things I refuse to discuss. The wiser the man, the longer the list.
- Most books today seemed to have been written overnight from books read the day before.
- Anyone whose needs are small seems threatening to the rich, because he’s always ready to escape their control.
- There are more people who wish to be loved than there are who are willing to love.
- He who leaves the game wins it.
Nicolas Chamfort, born Sébastien-Roch Nicolas, was a French writer known for his witty epigrams and aphorisms. He was secretary to Louis XVI’s sister, and of the Jacobin club. A selection of hos writings is available in Chamfort: Reflections on Life, Love & Society.
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