Anatole France Quotes | Quotes by Anatole France

1God forbids suicide, and is unwilling that his creatures should destroy themselves.

2If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.

3A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reform. It does not haggle over expenditures for armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.

4What we call happiness is what we do not know.

5Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

6In art as in love, instinct is enough.

7It is in the ability to deceive oneself that the greatest talent is shown.

8The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming, frightful, sweet, bitter, and that is everything.

9What frightens us most in a madman is his sane conversation.

10In truth man is made rather to eat ices than to pore over old texts.

Anatole France Quotes

11Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil.

12What we call strategy is mainly just crossing rivers on bridges and passing mountains though cols.

13The man of science multiples the points of contact between man and nature.

14One thing above all gives charm to men's thoughts, and this is unrest. A mind that is not uneasy irritates and bores me.

15The impotence of God is infinite.

16Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire.

17There are very honest people who do not think that they have had a bargain unless they have cheated a merchant.

18We live between two dense clouds; the forgetting of what was and the uncertainty of what will be.

19The mania of thinking renders one unfit for every activity.

20Word-carpentry is like any other kind of carpentry: you must join your sentences smoothly.

Anatole France Quotes

21The Kingdom of Heaven is a military autocracy and there is no public opinion in it.

22Good angels are fallible ... they sin every day and fall from Heaven like flies.

23That child whose mother has never smiled upon him is worthy neither of the table of the gods nor the couch of the goddesses.

24You think you are dying for your country; you die for the industrialists.

25That man is prudent who neither hopes nor fears anything from the uncertain events of the future.

26Until you have loved an animal, part of your soul will have remained dormant.

27It is better to understand little than to misunderstand a lot.

28For a man鈥檚 life would become intolerable, if he knew what was going to happen to him. He would be made aware of future evils, and would suffer their agonies in advance, while he would get no joy of present blessings since he would know how they would end. Ignorance is the necessary condition of human happiness, and it has to be admitted that on the whole mankind observes that condition well. We are almost entirely ignorant of ourselves; absolutely of others. In ignorance, we find our bliss; in illusions, our happiness.

29Chance is perhaps the pseudonym of God when he did not want to sign.

30Without the Utopians of other times, men would still live in caves, miserable and naked. It was Utopians who traced the lines of the first City.....Out of generous dreams come beneficial realities. Utopia is the principle of all progress, and the essay into a better future.

Anatole France Quotes

31If it were absolutely necessary to choose, I would rather be guilty of an immoral act than of a cruel one.

32Nothing spoils a confession like repentance.

33The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.

34Religion has done love a great service by making it a sin.

35No 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.

36It is well for the heart to be naive and for the mind not to be.

37We have never heard the devil's side of the story, God wrote all the book.

38It is not easy to be a pretty woman without causing mischief.

39Ugly women may be naturally quite as capricious as pretty ones; but as they are never petted and spoiled, and as no allowances are made for them, they soon find themselves obliged either to suppress their whims or to hide them.

40Justice is the sanction of established injustice.

Anatole France Quotes

41If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

42The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which will last forever.

43Stupidity is far more dangerous than evil, for evil takes a break from time to time, stupidity does not.

44God, conquered, will become Satan; Satan, conquering, will become God. May the fates spare me this terrible lot; I love the Hell which formed my genius. I love the Earth where I have done some good, if it be possible to do any good in this fearful world where beings live but by rapine.

45You 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.

46The best sentence? The shortest.

47Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.

48To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

49When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.

50Those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbors very miserable.

Anatole France Quotes

51Lack of understanding is a great power. Sometimes it enables men to conquer the world.

52Irony and pity are two good counselors: one, in smiling, makes life pleasurable; the other, who cries, makes it sacred.

53When a history book contains no lies it is always tedious.

54The first virtue of all really great men is that they are sincere. They eradicate hypocrisy from their hearts.

55What men call civilization is the condition of present customs; what they call barbarism, the condition of past ones.

56A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.

57You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences.

58Men are not created to know, men are not created to understand ... and our illusions increase with our knowledge.

59It is only the poor who pay cash, and that not from virtue, but because they are refused credit.

60The 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.