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Anatole France (1844-1924)

Nobel Prize-winning French author and critic

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

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.


Justice is the means by which established injustices are sanctioned.

ANATOLE FRANCE, Crainquebille

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Revolt of the Angels

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.


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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Garden of Epicurus

Of all the sexual aberrations, chastity is the strangest.

ANATOLE FRANCE, Heretic's Handbook of Quotations

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, Penguin Island

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Educator's Book of Quotes

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Revolt of the Angels

Custom alone regulates morals.

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Revolt of the Angels

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotations

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


A good critic is one who describes his adventures among masterpieces.

ANATOLE FRANCE, La Vie littéraire

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Revolt of the Angels

Theologians and philosophers, who make God the creator of Nature and the architect of the Universe, reveal Him to us as an illogical and unbalanced Being. They declare He is benevolent because they are afraid of Him, but they are forced to admit the truth that His ways are vicious and beyond understanding. They attribute a malignity to Him seldom to be found in any human being. And that is how they get human beings to worship Him. For our miserable species would never lavish worship on a just and benevolent God from whom they had nothing to fear.

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Gods Will Have Blood

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, La Vie littéraire

Simple style is like white light. It is complex, but its complexity is not obvious.

ANATOLE FRANCE, attributed, Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Gods Are Thirsty

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

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Garden of Epicurus

It is only by amusing oneself that one can learn.

ANATOLE FRANCE, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard


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