Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) quotes


  • A good portion of speaking will consist in knowing how to lie.
  • A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.
  • By burning Luther's books you may rid your bookshelves of him, but you will not rid men's minds of him.
  • Concealed talent brings no reputation.
  • Don't give advice before you are called upon.
  • Everybody hates a prodigy, detests an old head on young shoulders.
  • Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.
  • Great abundance of riches cannot be gathered and kept by any man without sin.
  • He who allows oppresion shares the crime.
  • If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don't do it, and it won't happen.
  • In the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.
  • Luther was guilty of two great crimes; he struck the Pope in his crown, and the monks in their belly.
  • Nowadays the rage for possession has got to such a pitch that there is nothing in the realm of nature, whether sacred or profane, out of which profit cannot be squeezed.
  • The entire world is my temple, and a very fine one too, if I'm not mistaken, and I'll never lack priests to serve it as long as there are men.
  • Time takes away the grief of men.
  • When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

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