Jean Jacques Rousseau Quotes

  • A feeble body weakens the mind.
  • Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.
  • All of my misfortunes come from having thought too well of my fellows.
  • Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil.
  • Base souls have no faith in great individuals.
  • Childhood is the sleep of reason.
  • Do I dare set forth here the most important, the most useful rule of all education? It is not to save time, but to squander it.
  • Every man has a right to risk his own life for the preservation of it.
  • Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape from a fire is guilty of suicide?
  • Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.
  • Fame is but the breath of people, and that often unwholesome.
  • Force does not constitute right... obedience is due only to legitimate powers.
  • Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.
  • God made me and broke the mold.
  • Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.
  • Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and a good digestion.
  • Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.
  • How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?
  • However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.
  • I hate books; they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about.
  • I have always said and felt that true enjoyment can not be described.
  • I have resolved on an enterprise that has no precedent and will have no imitator. I want to set before my fellow human beings a man in every way true to nature; and that man will be myself.
  • I long remained a child, and I am still one in many respects.
  • I may be no better, but at least I am different.
  • I only see clearly what I remember.
  • I undertake the same project as Montaigne, but with an aim contrary to his own: for he wrote his Essays only for others, and I write my reveries only for myself.
  • Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.
  • It is a mania shared by philosophers of all ages to deny what exists and to explain what does not exist.
  • It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.
  • It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can.
  • Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.
  • Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.
  • Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million.
  • Most nations, as well as people are impossible only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow older.
  • Nature never deceives us; it is we who deceive ourselves.
  • No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.
  • No true believer could be intolerant or a persecutor. If I were a magistrate and the law carried the death penalty against atheists, I would begin by sending to the stake whoever denounced another.
  • Love, if I regret the age when one savors you, it is not for the hour of pleasure, but for the one that follows it.
  • Ordinary readers, forgive my paradoxes: one must make them when one reflects; and whatever you may say, I prefer being a man with paradoxes than a man with prejudices.
  • Our affections as well as our bodies are in perpetual flux.
  • Our greatest evils flow from ourselves.
  • Our will is always for our own good, but we do not always see what that is.
  • Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
  • People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.
  • Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.
  • Reading, solitude, idleness, a soft and sedentary life, intercourse with women and young people, these are perilous paths for a young man, and these lead him constantly into danger.
  • Religious persecutors are not believers, they are rascals.
  • Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes bitter consciousness during adversity.
  • Take from the philosopher the pleasure of being heard and his desire for knowledge ceases.
  • Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well.
  • The body politic, as well as the human body, begins to die as soon as it is born, and carries itself the causes of its destruction.
  • The English are predisposed to pride, the French to vanity.
  • The English think they are free. They are free only during the election of members of parliament.
  • The first step towards vice is to shroud innocent actions in mystery, and whoever likes to conceal something sooner or later has reason to conceal it.
  • The person who has lived the most is not the one with the most years but the one with the richest experiences.
  • The training of children is a profession, where we must know how to waste time in order to save it.
  • The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
  • Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.
  • To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know.
  • Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.
  • We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man's estate, is the gift of education.
  • We are born, so to speak, twice over; born into existence, and born into life; born a human being, and born a man.
  • We do not know what is really good or bad fortune.
  • We pity in others only the those evils which we ourselves have experienced.
  • We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.
  • What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
  • When something an affliction happens to you, you either let it defeat you, or you defeat it.
  • Whoever blushes is already guilty; true innocence is ashamed of nothing.
  • You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.