I first heard of one of Nicholas de Chamfort's on a BBC Radio 4 programme. The quotation mentioned was: "Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day." I thought that it was such a glorious quote that I went looking for others on the Net. I found that no one site had them all so I have collected as many as I could find and here they are.
Sébastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort
French journalist, playwright, litterateur and aphorist (1741 - 1794)
The most completely lost of all days is that on which one has not laughed.
The public! the public! how many fools does it require to make the public?
Paris, a city of gaieties and pleasures, where four-fifths of the inhabitants die of grief.
It is commonly supposed that the art of pleasing is a wonderful aid in the pursuit of fortune; but the art of being bored is infinitely more successful.
Eminence without merit earns deference without esteem.
A man is not necessarily intelligent because he has plenty of ideas, any more than he is a good general because he has plenty of soldiers.
Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.
There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.
The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless.
The person is always happy who is in the presence of something they cannot know in full. A person as advanced far in the study of morals who has mastered the difference between pride and vanity.
There are more people who wish to be loved than there are who are willing to love.
There are two things that one must get used to or one will find life unendurable: the damages of time and injustices of men.
When a man and a woman have an overwhelming passion for each other, it seems to me, in spite of such obstacles dividing them as parents or husband, that they belong to each other in the name of Nature, and are lovers by Divine right, in spite of human convention or the laws.
The contemplative life is often miserable. One must act more, think less, and not watch oneself live.
Real worth requires no interpreter: its everyday deeds form its emblem.
Some things are easier to legalize than to legitimate.
Sometimes apparent resemblance of character will bring two men together and for a certain time unite them. But their mistake gradually becomes evident, and they are astonished to find themselves not only far apart, but even repelled, in some sort, at all their points of contact.
Man arrives as a novice at each age of his life.
There are certain times when public opinion is the worst of all opinions.
The best philosophical attitude to adopt towards the world is a union of the sarcasm of gaiety with the indulgence of contempt.
All passions exaggerate; and they are passions only because they do exaggerate.
Celebrity is the advantage of being known to people who we don't know, and who don't know us.
Change of fashion is the tax levied by the industry of the poor on the vanity of the rich.
Education must have two foundations - morality as a support for virtue, prudence as a defense for self against the vices of others. By letting the balance incline to the side of morality, you only make dupes or martyrs; by letting it incline to the other, you make calculating egoists.
Society is composed of two great classes, those that have more dinners than appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners.
Society is divided into two classes, the shearers and the shorn.
Living is an illness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. It's a palliative. The remedy is death.
Love, in the form in which it exists in society, is nothing by the exchange of two fantasies and the superficial contact of two bodies.
Pleasure may come from illusion, but happiness can come only of reality.
People are governed with the head; kindness of heart is little use in chess.
The person of intellect is lost unless they unite with energy of character. When we have the lantern of Diogenese we must also have his staff.
Nature never said to me: Do not be poor; still less did she say: Be rich; her cry to me was always: Be independent.
Conviction is the conscience of the mind.
An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living.
In great affairs men show themselves as they wish to be seen; in small things they show themselves as they are.