Moliere Quotes

We die only once, and for such a long time!

Moliere (Le Dépit Amoureux - Act 5, 1656)

One must eat to live, and not live to eat.

Moliere (L'Avare - Act III, 1668)

He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe, 1666)

He's a wonderful talker, who has the art
Of telling you nothing in a great harangue.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act II, 1666)

A woman always has her revenge ready.

Moliere (Tartuffe - Act II, 1664)

Nearly all men die of their remedies, and not of their illnesses.

Moliere (Le Malade Imaginaire - Act III, 1673)

The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.

Moliere (Le Malade Imaginaire - Act II, 1673)

Solitude terrifies the soul at twenty.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act V, 1666)

Rest assured that there is nothing which wounds the heart of a noble man more deeply than the thought his honour is assailed.


Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.


I feed on good soup, not beautiful language.

Moliere (Les Femmes Savantes - Act II, 1672)

No matter what everybody says, ultimately these things can harm us only by the way we react to them.

Moliere (L'École des Femmes- Act IV, 1662)

I want people to be sincere; a man of honor shouldn't speak a single word that doesn't come straight from his heart.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act II, 1666)

The absence of the beloved, short though it may last, always lasts too long.

Moliere (Amphitryon - Act II, 1666)

Those whose conduct gives room for talk
Are always the first to attack their neighbors.

Moliere (Tartuffe - Act I, 1664)

If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe, 1666)

On some preference esteem is based;
To esteem everything is to esteem nothing.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act I, 1666)

Perfect reason avoids all extreme, and would have us wise with sobriety.
Variant: Perfect reason flees all extremity, and leads one to be wise with sobriety.

Moliere (Quoted in Comedies, 1890)

The more we love our friends, the less we flatter them;
It is by excusing nothing that pure love shows itself.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act II, 1666)

Reason is not what decides love.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act I, 1666)

Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.


Slow-growing trees are the ones which produce the best fruit. It is harder to engrave upon marble than upon sand, but what is inscribed thereon lasts much longer.
Variant: Slow-growing trees produce the best fruit. Marble is more hard to carve than sand ; but the things we mark upon it are preserved much longer uneffaced.

Moliere (Le Malade Imaginaire - Act II, 1673)

Unreasonable haste is the direct road to error.


What! Would you make no distinction between hypocrisy and devotion? Would you give them the same names, and respect the mask as you do the face? Would you equate artifice and sincerity? Confound appearance with truth? Regard the phantom as the very person? Value counterfeit as cash?

Moliere (Tartuffe - Act I, 1666)

It is fine for a woman to know a lot; but I don't want her to have this shocking desire to be learned for learnedness sake. When I ask a woman a question, I like her to pretend to ignore what she really knows.

Moliere (Les Femmes Savantes - Act I, 1672)

Age brings about everything; but it is not the time, Madam, as we know, to be a prude at twenty.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act III, 1666)

I hate all men, the ones because they are mean and vicious, and the others for being complaisant with the vicious ones.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act I, 1666)

To find oneself jilted is a blow to one'spride. One must do one's best to forget it and if one doesn't succeed.
Variant: To find yourself jilted is a blow to your pride. Do your best to forget it and if you don't succeed, at least pretend to.

Moliere (Tartuffe, 1664)

One is easily fooled by that which one loves.

Moliere (Tartuffe, 1664)

A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one.

Moliere (Les Femmes Savantes - Act IV, 1672)

As the purpose of comedy is to correct the vices of men, I see no reason why anyone should be exempt. 

Moliere (Preface to the new version of Tartuffe, 1669)

There are pretenders to piety as well as to courage.

Moliere (Tartuffe - Act I, 1664)

I have the fault of being a little more sincere than is proper.

Moliere (Le Misantrophe - Act I, 1666)

The envious will die, but envy never.

Moliere (Tartuffe, 1664)

A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation.


The world, dear Agnes, is a strange affair.

Moliere (L'École des Femmes- Act II, 1662)

Moliere Biography

Born: January 15, 1622
Died: February 17, 1673

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known as Moliere was a French playwright and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature.

Notable Works

Tartuffe (1664)
Le Misantrophe
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1670)
Les Femmes Savantes (1672)