From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.
Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.
Only a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things.
The decisions of law courts should never be printed: in the long run, they form a counter authority to the law.
To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly. What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!
We are far more liable to catch the vices than the virtues of our associates.
Morals are in all countries the result of legislation and government; they are not African or Asian or European: they are good or bad.
In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.
Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.
The infant runs toward it with its eyes closed, the adult is stationary, the old man approaches it with his back turned.
The God of the Christians is a father who makes much of his apples, and very little of his children.
We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
Although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully; and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure; and if he does not hurt any living being, he is a holy man.
The general interest of the masses might take the place of the insight of genius if it were allowed freedom of action.
When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.
The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.
Genius is present in every age, but the men carrying it within them remain benumbed unless extraordinary events occur to heat up and melt the mass so that it flows forth.
There are things I can't force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.
The best mannered people make the most absurd lovers.
All abstract sciences are nothing but the study of relations between signs.