Talk:Joseph Joubert

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Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Joseph Joubert. --Antiquary 21:24, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

  • A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.
    • Variant: Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.
  • A work is perfectly finished only when nothing can be added to it and nothing taken away.
  • All are born to observe order, but few are born to establish it.
  • All beings come from little, and little is needed for them to come to nothing.
  • All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.
  • All that is good in man lies in youthful feeling and mature thought.
  • Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.
  • Ask the young. They know everything.
  • Be charitable and indulgent to everyone but thyself.
  • Chance generally favors the prudent.
  • Children have more need of models than of critics.
    • Variants: Children need models more than they need critics.
      Children need models rather than critics.
  • Do not choose for your wife any woman you would not choose as your friend if she were a man.
  • Does talent have any need of passions? Yes, of many passions— repressed.
  • Drawing is speaking to the eye; talking is painting to the ear.
  • Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.
    • Variant: Beautiful works. Genius begins them, but labor alone finishes them.
  • Genius is the ability to see things invisible, to manipulate things intangible, to paint things that have no features.
  • Genuinely good remarks surprise their author as well as his audience.
    • Variant: Genuine bon mots surprise those from whose lips they fall, no less than they do those who listen to them.
  • God has commanded Time to console the unhappy.
  • God is the place where I do not remember the rest.
  • Grace is in garments, in movements, in manners; beauty in the nude, and in forms. This is true of bodies; but when we speak of feelings, beauty is in their spirituality, and grace in their moderation.
  • He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet.
    • Variants: One who has imagination without learning has wings without feet.
      The man of imagination who is untrained [unlearned, uneducated, undisciplined] has wings and no feet.
  • He who has not the weakness of friendship has not the strength.
  • How many people make themselves abstract to appear profound. The most useful part of abstract terms are the shadows they create to hide a vacuum.
  • Imagination is the eye of the soul.
  • In bringing up a child, think of its old age.
  • In order to be happy, think of the ills you have been spared.
  • Innocence is always unsuspicious.
  • It is an aspect of all happiness to suppose that we deserve it.
  • It is better to debate a question without deciding it than to decide it without debate.
    • Variants: It is better to stir up a question without deciding it, than to decide it without stirring it up.
      It is better to debate a question without deciding it than to decide it without debating it.
      It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.
      It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle it without debate.
  • It is easy to understand God as long as you don't try to explain him.
  • Justice is the truth in action.
  • Liberty! Liberty! In all things let us have justice, and then we shall have enough liberty.
  • Life is a country that the old have seen, and lived in. Those who have to travel through it can only learn from them.
  • Logic works; metaphysics contemplates.
  • Love and fear. Everything the father of a family says must inspire one or the other.
  • Mediocrity is excellent to the eyes of mediocre people.
  • Misery is almost always the result of thinking.
  • Monuments are the grappling-irons that bind one generation to another.
  • Necessity may render a doubtful act innocent, but it cannot make it praiseworthy.
  • Never cut what you can untie.
  • Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure. Emotion is easily transferred from the writer to the reader.
  • Old age deprives the intelligent man only of qualities useless to wisdom.
  • Only choose in marriage a woman whom you would choose as a friend if she were a man.
  • Ornaments were invented by modesty.
  • Our ideals, like pictures, are made from lights and shadows.
  • Our life is of woven wind.
  • Perhaps, for worldly success, we need virtues that make us loved and faults that make us feared.
  • Politeness is the flower of humanity.
  • Professional critics are incapable of distinguishing and appreciating either diamonds in the rough or gold in bars. They are traders, and in literature know only the coins that are current. Their critical lab has scales and weights, but neither crucible or touchstone.
  • Questions show the mind's range, and answers, its subtlety
  • Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.
  • Space is the stature of God.
  • Space is to place as eternity is to time.
  • Style is the thought itself.
  • Superstition is the only religion of which base souls are capable.
  • Taste has never been corrupted by simplicity.
  • Taste is the literary conscience of the soul.
  • Tenderness is the repose of Passion
    • Variant: Tenderness is the rest of passion.
  • The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.
  • The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.
  • The Bible remained for me a book of books, still divine— but divine in the sense that all great books are divine which teach men how to live righteously.
  • The direction of the mind is more important than its progress.
    • Variant: The mind's direction is more important than its progress.
  • The essential thing is not that there be many truths in a work, but that no truth be abused.
  • The evening of a well-spent life brings its lamps with it.
  • The mind conceives with pain, but it brings forth with delight.
  • The pain of dispute exceeds by much its utility. All disputation makes the mind deaf; and when people are deaf I am dumb.
  • The passions of the young are vices in the old.
  • The purpose of a liberal education is to make one's mind a pleasant place to spend one's leisure.
  • The talkative man speaks from his mouth, the eloquent man speaks from his heart.
  • The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.
  • There are single thoughts that contain the essence of the whole volume, single sentences that have the beauties of large work.
  • There are some minds like either convex or concave mirrors, which represent objects such as they receive them, but never receive them as they are.
  • There is a physical weakness which stems from mental ability, and a mental weakness which comes from physical ability.
  • There is always some frivolity in excellent minds; they have wings to rise, but also stray.
  • There is an admiration which is the daughter of knowledge.
  • There was a time when the world acted on books; now books act on the world.
  • They are like the clue in the labyrinth, or the compass in the night.
  • Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.
    • Variant: Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love the truth.
  • Through memory we travel against time, through forgetfulness we follow its course.
  • Time and truth are friends, though there are many moments hostile to truth.
  • To be an agreeable guest one need only enjoy oneself.
  • To be capable of respect is almost as rare as to be worthy of it.
  • To see the world is to judge the judges.
  • To teach is to learn twice.
  • True religion is the poetry of the heart; it has enchantments useful to our manners; it gives us both happiness and virtue.
  • Virtue by calculation is the virtue of vice.
  • We always believe God is like ourselves, the indulgent think him indulgent and the stern, terrible.
  • We are afraid of having and showing a small mind and we are not afraid of having and showing a small heart.
  • We do not do well except when we know where the best is and when we are assured that we have touched it and hold its power within us.
  • We may convince others by our arguments; but we can only persuade them by their own.
  • We must respect the past, and mistrust the present, if we wish to provide for the safety of the future.
  • We shall always keep a spare corner in our heads to give passing hospitality to our friends' opinion.
  • What can you possibly add to a mind that's full, especially one that's full of itself.
  • What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight.
  • When a nation gives birth to a man who is able to produce a great thought, another is born who is able to understand and admire it.
  • When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees.
  • Who ever has no fixed opinions has no constant feelings.
  • Without duty, life is soft and boneless; it cannot hold itself together.
  • Without the spiritual world the material world is a disheartening enigma.
  • Words become luminous when the poet's finger has passed over them its phosphorescence.
  • Words, like glasses, obscure everything which they do not make clear.
    • Variants: Words, like eyeglasses, blur everything that they do not make clear
      Words, like eyeglasses, blur everything that they do not make more clear.
      Words, like glass, obscure when they do not aid vision.
  • You arrive at truth through poetry; I arrive at poetry through truth.
  • You will not find poetry anywhere unless you bring some of it with you.
    • Variants: You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.
      You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some with you.

Original French : Broken Link[edit]

IMHO, it would be a Good Thing to add the original French text for these quotes. Please note that the link listed on the main page is currently broken, and returns a 404 error. Anyone know of a better source? CononOfSamos (talk) 17:25, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Figured out how to fix link to the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Added a link for the Chateaubriand text of 1838 as well. Have not made any attempt to find French source text for individual quotes as yet. CononOfSamos (talk) 18:04, 20 April 2011 (UTC)