Pierre Beaumarchais

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If censorship reigns, there cannot be sincere flattery, and only small men are afraid of small writings.

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (24 January 173218 May 1799) was a French playwright, arms dealer, inventor, and social satirist.

Quotes[edit]

Le Barbier de Séville (1773)[edit]

  • Ce qui ne vaut pas la peine d'être dit, on le chante.
    • That which is not worth speaking they sing.
    • Act I, scene i. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 712-13.
  • Que les gens d'esprit sont bêtes.
    • What silly people wits are!
    • Act I, scene i. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 883-86.
  • Aujourd'hui, ce qui ne vaut pas la peine d'être dit, on le chante.
    • Nowadays what isn't worth saying is sung.
    • Act I, scene ii
  • Je me presse de rire de tout, de peur d'être obligé d'en pleurer.
    • I hasten to laugh at everything, for fear of being obliged to weep.
    • Act I, scene ii
    • Variant translations:
      • I quickly laugh at everything, for fear of having to cry.
      • I force myself to laugh at everything, for fear of having to cry.
  • Médiocre et rampant, et l'on arrive à tout.
    • Be commonplace and creeping, and you attain all things.
    • Act III, scene vii. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 759-62.
  • Calomniez, calomniez; il en reste toujours quelque chose.
    • Calumniate, calumniate; there will always be something which sticks.
    • Act III, scene xiii
  • Il n'est pas nécessaire de tenir les choses pour en raisonner.
    • It is not necessary to retain facts that we may reason concerning them.
    • Act V, scene iv. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 658-59.

The Marriage of Figaro (1778)[edit]

  • De toutes les choses sérieuses, le mariage étant la plus bouffonne.
    • Of all serious things, marriage is the most ludicrous.
    • Act I, scene ix
  • Boire sans soif et faire l'amour en tout temps, madame, il n'y a que ça qui nous distingue des autres bêtes.
    • Drinking when not thirsty and making love all the time, madam, is all that distinguishes us from other animals.
    • Act II, scene ii
  • Parce que vous êtes un grand seigneur, vous vous croyez un grand génie! … vous vous êtes donné la peine de naître, et rien de plus. Du reste homme assez ordinaire!
    • Because you are a great lord, you believe that you are a great genius! You took the trouble to be born, no more. You remain an ordinary enough man!
    • Act II, scene ii
  • Sans la liberté de blâmer, il n'est point d'éloge flatteur; et qu'il n'y a que les petits hommes qui redoutent les petits écrits.
    • If censorship reigns, there cannot be sincere flattery, and none but little men are afraid of little writings.
    • Act V, scene iii
  • Tout finit par des chansons.
    • Everything ends with songs.
    • Mariage de Figaro, End. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 732-33.

External links[edit]

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