Baron de Montesquieu (January 18, 1689 – February 10 1755), was a French historian, judge, and political philosopher. He originated the theory of separation of powers, fought against despotism, and greatly influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was the most frequently quoted authority on politics and government in pre-revolutionary British America, cited more by the Founding Fathers than any other source, besides the Bible. One of Montesquieu’s main philosophies was "government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another."

Below we list some words of wisdom from Baron de Montesquieu.

“I should like to abolish funerals; the time to mourn a person is at his birth, not his death.”

“We receive three educations, one from our parents, one from our school-masters, and one from the world. The third contradicts all that the first two teach us.”

“You have to study a great deal to know a little.”

“If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, and that is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.”

“To succeed in the world we must look foolish but be wise.”

“The less men think, the more they talk.”

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

“It is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power.”

“There is a very good saying that if triangles invented a god, they would make him three-sided.”

“Religious wars are not caused by the fact that there is more than one religion, but by the spirit of intolerance... the spread of which can only be regarded as the total eclipse of human reason.”

“It is not the young people that degenerate; they are not spoiled till those of mature age are already sunk into corruption.”

“Wonderful maxim: not to talk of things any more after they are done.”

“Liberty... is there only when there is no abuse of power.”

“Never create by law what can be accomplished by morality.”

“It is always the adventurous who accomplish great things.”

“The life of man is but a succession of vain hopes and groundless fears.”

“They who love to inform themselves, are never idle. Though I have no business of consequence to take care of, I am nevertheless continually employed. I spend my life in examining things: I write down in the evening whatever I have remarked, what I have seen, and what I have heard in the day: every thing engages my attention, and every thing excites my wonder: I am like an infant, whose organs, as yet tender, are strongly affected by the slightest objects.”

“Not to be loved is a misfortune, but it is an insult to be loved no longer.”

“This punishment of death is the remedy, as it were, of a sick society.”

“Trade is the best cure for prejudice.”

“There is no one, says another, whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door, and flies out at the window.”

“Talent is a gift which God has given us secretly, and which we reveal without perceiving it.”

“Laws, in their most general signification, are the necessary relations arising from the nature of things. In this sense all beings have their laws: the Deity His laws, the material world its laws, the intelligences superior to man their laws, the beasts their laws, man his laws.”

“False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared.”

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