Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

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The greatest weakness of all weaknesses is to fear too much to appear weak.

Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (September 27, 1627April 12, 1704) was a French bishop, theologian, and court preacher. Bossuet was one of the first to advocate the theory of political absolutism; he made the argument that government was divine and that kings received their power from God.


  • The inexorable boredom that is at the core of life.
    • As quoted in A Book of French Quotations (1963) edited by Norbert Guterman.
  • Honor is like the eye, which cannot suffer the least impurity without damage. It is a precious stone, the price of which is lessened by a single flaw.
    • Quoted in "The Forbes Book of Business Quotations" (1997) by Edward C. Goodman, Ted Goodman , p. 411.
  • Only great souls know the grandeur there is in charity.
    • Quoted in Quote Unquote : A Handbook of Quotations (2007) by M. P. Singh, p. 96.
  • Nature, or to speak in more Christian fashion, God, the common Father of men, from the outset gave equal rights to all his children to all the things they needed to preserve their lives. None of us can boast of being more privileged than the rest by nature; but through the insatiable desire to amass wealth, it became impossible for this beautiful brotherhood to endure for long in the world. Men had to resort to division and possession, which resulted in constant quarrels and litigation; of this were born the words 'mine' and 'thine'—such cold terms, as the admirable St. John Chrysostom remarks—of this, too, was born the great diversity of conditions, some living in affluence in every respect, others languishing in penury.

Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture (1709)[edit]

Politique tirée de l'Écriture sainte (1709)
  • The greatest weakness of all weaknesses is to fear too much to appear weak.

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