Blaise Pascal Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 307 quotes)
Nobody is publicly accepted as an expert on poetry unless he displays the sign of poet, mathematician, etc., but universal men want no sign and make hardly any distinction between the crafts of poet and embroiderer.Universal men are not called poets or mathematicians, etc. But they are all these things and judges of them too. No one could guess what they are, and they will talk about whatever was being talked about when they came in. One quality is not more noticeable in them than another, unless it becomes necessary to put it into practice, and then we remember it.
We never keep to the present. We recall the past; we anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and were trying to hurry it up, or we recall the past as if to stay its too rapid flight. We are so unwise that we wander about in times that do not belong to us, and do not think of the only one that does; so vain that we dream of times that are not and blindly flee the only one that is. The fact is the present usually hurts.
Vanity is so firmly anchored in man's heart that a soldier, a camp follower, a cook or a porter will boast and expect admirers, and even philosophers want them; those who write against them want to enjoy the prestige of having written well, those who read them want the prestige of having read them, and perhaps I who write this want the same thing.
If we dreamed the same thing every night, it would affect us as much as the objects we see every day. And if an artisan was sure of dreaming for twelve hours every night that he was king, I believe he would be almost as happy as a king who dreamed for twelve hours every night that he was an artisan....But because dreams are all different, and there is a variety even within each one, what we see in them affects us much less than what we see when we are awake, because of the continuity. This, however, is not so continuous and even that it does not change too, though less abruptly, except on rare occasions, as on a journey, when we say: 'It seems like a dream.' For life is a dream, but somewhat less changeable.
When I consider the small span of my life absorbed in the eternity of all time, or the small part of space which I can touch or see engulfed by the infinite immensity of spaces that I know not and that know me not, I am frightened and astonished to see myself here instead of there? now instead of then.