What is more immoral than war?
In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
Between understanding and faith immediate connections must subsist.
Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.
Happiness is ideal, it is the work of the imagination.
Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue; but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make pursuant to our individual organization.
I've already told you: the only way to a woman's heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure.
All universal moral principles are idle fancies.
All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost - the most legitimate - passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one.
Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.
Are wars anything but the means whereby a nation is nourished, whereby it is strengthened, whereby it is buttressed?
It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.
It is not my mode of thought that has caused my misfortunes, but the mode of thought of others.
Lust is to the other passions what the nervous fluid is to life; it supports them all, lends strength to them all ambition, cruelty, avarice, revenge, are all founded on lust.
Lust's passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.
Man's natural character is to imitate; that of the sensitive man is to resemble as closely as possible the person whom he loves. It is only by imitating the vices of others that I have earned my misfortunes.
My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!
Nature has not got two voices, you know, one of them condemning all day what the other commands.
Nature, who for the perfect maintenance of the laws of her general equilibrium, has sometimes need of vices and sometimes of virtues, inspires now this impulse, now that one, in accordance with what she requires.
Never lose sight of the fact that all human felicity lies in man's imagination, and that he cannot think to attain it unless he heeds all his caprices. The most fortunate of persons is he who has the most means to satisfy his vagaries.
No lover, if he be of good faith, and sincere, will deny he would prefer to see his mistress dead than unfaithful.
One is never so dangerous when one has no shame, than when one has grown too old to blush.
One weeps not save when one is afraid, and that is why kings are tyrants.
Religions are the cradles of despotism.
Sensual excess drives out pity in man.