Man has learned how to challenge both Nature and art to become the incitements to vice! His very cups he has delighted to engrave with libidinous subjects, and he takes pleasure in drinking from vessels of obscene form!

To seek after any shape of God, and to assign a form and image to Him, is a proof of man's folly. For God, whosoever he be (if haply there be any other but the world itself), and in what part soever resident, all sense He is, all sight, all hearing: He is the whole of the life and of the soul, all of Himself.

Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of a waking man.

Our forefathers regarded as a prodigy the passage of the Alps: first by Hannibal and, more recently, by the Cimbri; but at the present day, these very mountains are cut asunder to yield us a thousand different marbles; promontories are thrown open to the sea; and the face of Nature is being everywhere reduced to a level.

The invention of money opened a new field to human avarice by giving rise to usury and the practice of lending money at interest while the owner passes a life of idleness.

Hardly can it be judged whether it be better for mankind to believe that the gods have regard of us, or that they have none, considering that some men have no respect and reverence for the gods, and others so much that their superstition is a shame to them.

We trace out all the veins of the earth, and yet, living upon it, undermined as it is beneath our feet, are astonished that it should occasionally cleave asunder or tremble: as though, forsooth, these signs could be any other than expressions of the indignation felt by our sacred parent!

How innocent, how happy, how truly delightful, even, would life be if we were to desire nothing but what is to be found upon the face of the earth: in a word, nothing but what is provided ready to our hands!

The lust of avarice as so totally seized upon mankind that their wealth seems rather to possess them than they possess their wealth.

Such is the audacity of man, that he hath learned to counterfeit Nature, yea, and is so bold as to challenge her in her work.

There is always something new out of Africa.

The only certainty is that nothing is certain.

Of all wonders, this is among the greatest, that some fresh waters close by the sea spring forth as out of pipes: for the nature of the waters also ceaseth not from miraculous properties.

It is generally much more shameful to lose a good reputation than never to have acquired it.

Truth comes out in wine.

The depth of darkness to which you can descend and still live is an exact measure of the height to which you can aspire to reach.

An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.

With man, most of his misfortunes are occasioned by man.

From the end spring new beginnings.

In comparing various authors with one another, I have discovered that some of the gravest and latest writers have transcribed, word for word, from former works, without making acknowledgment.

The best plan is to profit by the folly of others.

Grief has limits, whereas apprehension has none. For we grieve only for what we know has happened, but we fear all that possibly may happen.

The world and that which, by another name, men have thought good to call Heaven (under the compass of which all things are covered), we ought to believe, in all reason, to be a divine power, eternal, immense, without beginning, and never to perish.

In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain.

No mortal man, moreover is wise at all moments.

What is there more unruly than the sea, with its winds, its tornadoes, and its tempests? And yet in what department of her works has Nature been more seconded by the ingenuity of man than in this, by his inventions of sails and of oars?