Anatole France Quotes


In order that knowledge be properly digested it must have been swallowed with a good appetite.

The dog is a religious animal. In his savage state he worships the moon and the lights that float upon the waters. These are his gods to whom he appeals at night with long-drawn howls.

Armenia is dying but it will survive. The little blood that it still has left is precious blood that will give birth to a heroic generation. A nation that does not want to die does not die.

In art as in love instinct is enough.

The Arab who built himself a hut with marbles from the temple of Palmyra is more philosophical than all the curators of the museums of London Paris and Munich.

Good angels are fallible ... they sin every day and fall from Heaven like flies.

Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

Until you have loved an animal part of your soul will have remained dormant.

Man is a rational animal. He can think up a reason for anything he wants to believe.

One thing above all gives charm to men's thoughts and this is unrest. A mind that is not uneasy irritates and bores me.

Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.

For the majority of people though they do not know what to do with this life long for another that shall have no end.

It is human nature to think wisely and act in an absurd fashion.

An old philosopher said to Monsieur Coignard a Reverend Father: 'You are a pig!' To which Abad Coignard answered: 'You flatter me sir. But unfortunately I'm only a man.'

We thank God for having created this world and praise Him for having made another quite different one where the wrongs of this one are corrected.

All the good writers of confessions from Augustine onwards are men who are still a little in love with their sins.

The Kingdom of Heaven is a military autocracy and there is no public opinion in it.

To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream; not only plan but also believe.

Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds do not overload them. Put there just a spark.

I thank fate for having made me born poor. Poverty taught me the true value of the gifts useful to life.

If the path be beautiful let us not ask where it leads.

Of all the sexual aberrations chastity is the strangest.

People who have no weaknesses are terrible; there is no way of taking advantage of them.

A good critic is the man who describes his adventures among masterpieces.

The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.

The power of love itself weakens and gradually becomes lost with age like all the other energies of man.

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of the mind for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.

We do not know what to do with this short life yet we want another which will be eternal.

The mania of thinking renders one unfit for every activity.

War will disappear only when men shall take no part whatever in violence and shall be ready to suffer every persecution that their abstention will bring them. It is the only way to abolish war.

Human affairs inspire in noble hearts only two feelings-admiration or pity.

The books that everybody admires are those that nobody reads.

It is by acts and not by ideas that people ensure the bar down the street cannot have a patio.

It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't.

A simple style is like white light. Although complex it does not appear to be so.

Custom alone regulates morals.

Dictionary: The universe in alphabetical order.

A dictionary is merely the universe arranged in alphabetical order.

There is a certain impertinence in allowing oneself to be burned for an opinion.

It's not by amusing oneself that one learns.

The average man does not know what to do with this life yet wants another one which will last forever.

The law in its majestic equality forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges to beg in the streets and to steal their bread.

The law in its majesty prohibits rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges.

Of all the ways of defining man the worst is the one which makes him out to be a rational animal.

The truth is that life is delicious horrible charming frightful sweet bitter and that is everything.

It is good to collect things but it is better to go on walks.

The faculty of doubting is rare among men. A few choice spirits carry the germs of it in them but these do not develop without training.

What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth could come by chance when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster!

There are very honest people who do not think that they have had a bargain unless they have cheated a merchant.

What men call civilization is the condition of present customs; what they call barbarism the condition of past ones.

Never lend books for no one ever returns them

Never lend books for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have left me.

I do not know any reading more easy more fascinating more delightful than a catalogue.

Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom.

The law ... allows rich as well as poor to sleep under bridges.

What we call strategy is mainly just crossing rivers on bridges and passing mountains though cols.

For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free.

Ignorance and error are necessary to life like bread and water.

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.

A writer is rarely so well inspired as when he talks about himself.

The best sentence? The shortest.

We reproach people for talking about themselves; but it is the subject they treat best.

It is by believing in roses that you make them bloom.

Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one.

A woman without breasts is like a bed without pillows.

Universal peace will be realized not because man will become better but because a new order of things a new science new economic necessities will impose peace.

All changes even the most longed for have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

He flattered himself on being a man without any prejudices; and this pretension itself is a very great prejudice.

The poor have to labour in the face of the majestic equality of the law which forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges to beg in the streets and to steal bread.

It is only the poor who are forbidden to beg.

A tale without love is like beef without mustard: insipid.

The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges to beg in the streets and to steal bread.

Caress your phrase tenderly; it will end by smiling at you.

Word-carpentry is like any other kind of carpentry: you must join your sentences smoothly.

It is only the poor who pay cash and that not from virtue but because they are refused credit.

What we call happiness is what we do not know.

It is not easy to be a pretty woman without causing mischief.

It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel.

Change is the essence of life.

We chase dreams and embrace shadows.

Christianity has done a great deal for love by making a sin of it.

I cling to my imperfection as the very essence of my being.

It is remarkable how great an influence our clothes have on our moral state.

We live between two dense clouds; the forgetting of what was and the uncertainty of what will be.

The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you can't understand them. The best sentence? The shortest.

America where thanks to Congress there are forty million laws to enforce the Ten Commandments.

Those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbors very miserable.

Nothing spoils a confession like repentance.

If a million people say a foolish thing it is still a foolish thing.

To die for an idea is to set a rather high price upon conjecture.

Lack of understanding is a great power. Sometimes it enables men to conquer the world.

I am a physician. I keep a drug-shop of lies. I give relief consolation. Can one console and relieve without lying? ... Only women and doctors know how necessary and how helpful lies are to men.

The man of science multiples the points of contact between man and nature.

History books that contain no lies are extremely dull.

When a history book contains no lies it is always tedious.

The future is a convenient place for dreams.

What frightens us most in a madman is his sane conversation.

When a thing has been said and said well have no scruple. Take it and copy it.

When a thing has been said and well have no scruple. Take it and copy it.

That child whose mother has never smiled upon him is worthy neither of the table of the gods nor the couch of the goddesses.

Irony and pity are two good counselors: one in smiling makes life pleasurable; the other who cries makes it sacred.

People who don't count won't count.

Suffering! We owe to it all that is good in us all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity we owe to it courage we owe to it all the virtues.

God forbids suicide and is unwilling that his creatures should destroy themselves.

If it were absolutely necessary to choose I would rather be guilty of an immoral act than of a cruel one.

An education which does not cultivate the will is an education that depraves the mind.

Unhappiness does make people look stupid.

True education is the ability to discern the difference between what you do know and what you don't.

Nature has no principles. She makes no distinction between good and evil.

We have drugs to make women speak but none to keep them silent.

Time deals gently only with those who take it gently.

You think you are dying for your country; you die for the industrialists.

The fool doth think he is wise but the wise man knows himself a fool.

Sometimes one day in a difference place gives you more than ten years of a life at home.

Jealousy is a virtue of democracies which preserves them from tyrants.

In every well-governed state wealth is a sacred thing; in democracies it is the only sacred thing.

It is in the ability to deceive oneself that the greatest talent is shown.

A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.

Justice is the sanction of established injustice.

Justice is the means by which established injustices are sanctioned

That man is prudent who neither hopes nor fears anything from the uncertain events of the future.

Existence would be intolerable if we were never to dream.

Play is hand-to-hand encounter with Fate.

Nine tenths of education is encouragement.

I never go into the country for a change of air and a holiday. I always go instead into the eighteenth century.

I prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.

The first virtue of all really great men is that they are sincere. They eradicate hypocrisy from their hearts.

The heart errs like the head; its errors are not any the less fatal and we have more trouble getting free of them because of their sweetness.

So long as society is founded on injustice the function of the laws will be to defend injustice. And the more unjust they are the more respectable they will seem.

Innocence most often is a good fortune and not a virtue.

Intelligent women always marry fools

Silence is the wit of fools.

The future is hidden even from those who make it.

Stupidity is far more dangerous than evil for evil takes a break from time to time stupidity does not.

I ought not to fear to survive my own people so long as there are men in the world; for there are always some whom one can love.

Dog! When we first met on the highway of life we came from the two poles of creation.... What can be the meaning of the obscure love for me that has sprung up in your heart?

The wonder is not that the field of stars is so vast but that man has measured it.

Religion has done love a great service by making it a sin.

You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences.

The greatest virtue of man is perhaps curiosity.

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom.

We have never heard the devil's side of the story God wrote all the book.

Chance is the pseudonym God uses when He'd rather not sign His own name.

Lovers who love truly do not write down their happiness.

Desear con ímpetu casi es poseer; pudiera decirse que un deseo impetuoso es tanto como la posesión sin sufrimiento y sin hastío.

It is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be.

It is not customary to love what one has.

Men are not created to know men are not created to understand ... and our illusions increase with our knowledge.

To imagine is everything to know is nothing at all.

The impotence of God is infinite.

You learn to speak by speaking to study by studying to run by running to work by working; in just the same way you learn to love by loving.

There is only one science love one riches love only one policy love. To make love is all the law and the prophets.

The more you say the less they remember.

The duty of literature is to note what counts and to light up what is suited to the light. If it ceases to choose and to love it becomes like a woman who gives herself without preference.

It is better to understand little than to misunderstand a lot.

In truth man is made rather to eat ices than to pore over old texts.

Only men who are not interested in women are interested in women's clothes. Men who like women never notice what they wear.

No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will. Chance is the pseudonym of God when he did not want to sign.

Our passions are ourselves.

Chance is perhaps the pseudonym of God when he did not want to sign.

There are no bad books any more than there are ugly women.