Quotes and Images From The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau
by Jean Jacques Rousseau
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By Jean Jacques Rousseau

A feeling heart the foundation of all my misfortunes

A religion preached by such missionaries must lead to paradise!

A subject not even fit to make a priest of

A man, on being questioned, is immediately on his guard

Adopted the jargon of books, than the knowledge they contained

All animals are distrustful of man, and with reason

All your evils proceed from yourselves!

An author must be independent of success

Ardor for learning became so far a madness

Aversion to singularity

Avoid putting our interests in competition with our duty

Being beat like a slave, I judged I had a right to all vices


Catholic must content himself with the decisions of others

Caution is needless after the evil has happened

Cemented by reciprocal esteem

Considering this want of decency as an act of courage

Conversations were more serviceable than his prescriptions

Degree of sensuality had mingled with the smart and shame

Die without the aid of physicians

Difficult to think nobly when we think for a livelihood

Dine at the hour of supper; sup when I should have been asleep

Disgusted with the idle trifling of a convent

Dissembler, though, in fact, I was only courteous

Dying for love without an object

Endeavoring to hide my incapacity, I rarely fail to show it

Endeavoring to rise too high we are in danger of falling

Ever appearing to feel as little for others as herself

Finding in every disease symptoms similar to mine

First instance of violence and oppression is so deeply engraved

First time in my life, of saying, "I merit my own esteem"

Flattery, or rather condescension, is not always a vice

Force me to be happy in the manner they should point out

Foresight with me has always embittered enjoyment

Hastening on to death without having lived

Hat, only fit to be carried under his arm

Have the pleasure of seeing an ass ride on horseback

Have ever preferred suffering to owing

Her excessive admiration or dislike of everything

Hold fast to aught that I have, and yet covet nothing more

Hopes, in which self-love was by no means a loser

How many wrongs are effaced by the embraces of a friend!

I never much regretted sleep

I strove to flatter my idleness

I never heard her speak ill of persons who were absent

I loved her too well to wish to possess her

I felt no dread but that of being detected

I was long a child, and am so yet in many particulars

I am charged with the care of myself only

I only wished to avoid giving offence

I did not fear punishment, but I dreaded shame

I had a numerous acquaintance, yet no more than two friends

Idea of my not being everything to her

Idleness is as much the pest of society as of solitude

If you have nothing to do, you must absolutely speak continually

In the course of their lives frequently unlike themselves

In company I suffer cruelly by inaction

In a nation of blind men, those with one eye are kings

Indolence, negligence and delay in little duties to be fulfilled

Indolence of company is burdensome because it is forced

Injustice of mankind which embitters both life and death

Insignificant trash that has obtained the name of education

Instead of being delighted with the journey only wished arrival

Is it possible to dissimulate with persons whom we love?

Jean Bapiste Rousseau

Knew how to complain, but not how to act

Law that the accuser should be confined at the same time

Left to nature the whole care of my own instruction

Less degree of repugnance in divulging what is really criminal

Letters illustrious in proportion as it was less a trade

Loaded with words and redundancies

Looking on each day as the last of my life

Love of the marvellous is natural to the human heart

Make men like himself, instead of taking them as they were

Making their knowledge the measure of possibilities

Making me sensible of every deficiency

Manoeuvres of an author to the care of publishing a good book

Men, in general, make God like themselves

Men of learning more tenaciously retain their prejudices

Mistake wit for sense

Moment I acquired literary fame, I had no longer a friend

Money that we possess is the instrument of liberty

Money we lack and strive to obtain is the instrument of slavery

More stunned than flattered by the trumpet of fame

More folly than candor in the declaration without necessity

Multiplying persons and adventures

My greatest faults have been omissions

Myself the principal object

Necessity, the parent of industry, suggested an invention

Neither the victim nor witness of any violent emotions

No sooner had lost sight of men than I ceased to despise them

No longer permitted to let old people remain out of Paris

Not so easy to quit her house as to enter it

Not knowing how to spend their time, daily breaking in upon me

Nothing absurd appears to them incredible

Obliged to pay attention to every foolish thing uttered

Obtain their wishes, without permitting or promising anything

One of those affronts which women scarcely ever forgive

Only prayer consisted in the single interjection "Oh!"

Painful to an honest man to resist desires already formed

Passed my days in languishing in silence for those I most admire

Piety was too sincere to give way to any affectation of it

Placing unbounded confidence in myself and others

Prescriptions serve to flatter the hopes of the patient

Priests ought never to have children— except by married women

Proportioned rather to her ideas than abilities

Protestants, in general, are better instructed

Rather bashful than modest

Rather appeared to study with than to instruct me

Read the hearts of others by endeavoring to conceal our own

Read description of any malady without thinking it mine

Read without studying

Remorse wakes amid the storms of adversity

Remorse sleeps in the calm sunshine of prosperity

Reproach me with so many contradictions

Return of spring seemed to me like rising from the grave

Rogues know how to save themselves at the expense of the feeble

Satisfaction of weeping together

Seeking, by fresh offences, a return of the same chastisement

Sin consisted only in the scandal

Slighting her favors, if within your reach, a unpardonable crime

Sometimes encourage hopes they never mean to realize

Substituting cunning to knowledge

Supposed that certain, which I only knew to be probable

Taught me it was not so terrible to thieve as I had imagined

That which neither women nor authors ever pardon

The malediction of knaves is the glory of an honest man

The conscience of the guilty would revenge the innocent

There is nothing in this world but time and misfortune

There is no clapping of hands before the king

This continued desire to control me in all my wishes

Though not a fool, I have frequently passed for one

To make him my apologies for the offence he had given me

True happiness is indescribable, it is only to be felt

Trusting too implicitly to their own innocence

Tyranny of persons who called themselves my friends

Virtuous minds, which vice never attacks openly

Voltaire was formed never to be (happy)

We learned to dissemble, to rebel, to lie

What facility everything which favors the malignity of man

When once we make a secret of anything to the person we love

When everyone is busy, you may continue silent

Whence comes it that even a child can intimidate a man

Where merit consists in belief, and not in virtue

Whole universe would be interested in my concerns

Whose discourses began by a distribution of millions

Wish thus to be revenged of me for their humiliation

Without the least scruple, freely disposing of my time

Writing for bread would soon have extinguished my genius

Yielded him the victory, or rather declined the contest

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