Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre

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Bernardin de Saint-Pierre by Ernst Hader

Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (19 January 1737 - 21 January 1814) was a French writer and botanist. He is most famous for his 1788 novel Paul et Virginie, which in the 19th century was a very popular children's book.

Quotes[edit]

  • The charity of the Gospel must extend to all religions and the French hospitality to all people.
    • Original: la charité de l'Evangile doit s'étendre à toutes les religions et l'hospitalité française à tous les peuples.
    • As quoted in Œuvres complètes de Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Volume 7 (1828) by Louis Aimé-Martin, Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. Aug. Wahlen. p. 47
  • They [the true instructors of the people] will accustom children to the vegetable régime. The peoples living on vegetable foods, are, of all men, the handsomest, the most vigorous, the least exposed to diseases and to passions, and they whose lives last longest. Such, in Europe, are a large proportion of the Swiss. The greater part of the peasantry who, in every country, form the most vigorous portion of the people, eat very little flesh-meat. The Russians have multiplied periods of fasting and days of abstinence, from which even the soldiers are not exempt; and yet they resist all kinds of fatigues. The negroes, who undergo so many hard blows in our colonies, live upon manioc, potatoes, and maize alone. The Brahmins of India, who frequently reach the age of one hundred years, eat only vegetable foods. It was from the Pythagorean sect that issued Epaminondas, so celebrated by for his virtues, Archytas, by his genius for mathematics and mechanics; Milo of Crotona, by his strength of body. Pythagoras himself was the finest man of his time, and, without dispute, the most enlightened, since he was the father of philosophy amongst the Greeks. Inasmuch as the non-flesh diet introduces with many virtues and excludes none, it will be well to bring up the young upon it, since it has so happy an influence upon the beauty of the body and upon the tranquillity of the mind. This regimen prolongs childhood, and, by consequence, human life.
    • Vœux d'un solitaire, pour servir de suite aux "Études de la nature", as quoted in The Ethics of Diet by Howard Williams (University of Illinois Press, 2003, p. 175)

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