N. 1. The land of everyday, commonplace things; 2. The online compendium of 383 public-domain essays.
(1672–1719) / 6 essays
Wit and humor, as have a tendency to expose vice and folly, furnish useful diversions.
(1561–1626) / 6 essays
There be so many false points of praise, that a man may justly hold it a suspect.
(1889–1919) / 3 essays
My life [is a] struggle with ill-health and ambition, and I have mastered neither.
(1870–1953) / 8 essays
Time can take only what is ripe, but Death comes always too soon.
(1862–1925) / 3 essays
The worth of experience is not measured by what is called success, but rather resides in a fullness of life
(1831–1904) / 1 essays
I have found a dream of beauty at which one might look all one’s life and sigh.
(1864–1922) / 2 essays
It is only after one is in trouble that one realizes how little sympathy and kindness there are in the world.
(1605–1682) / 5 essays
Where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live.
(1752–1840) / 4 essays
What strange ideas are taken from mere book-reading.
(1623–1673) / 5 essays
If tranquility lives in an honest mind the mind dwells in peace.
(1874–1936) / 3 essays
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
(1656–1710) / 1 essays
The fear of death is the occasional cause of the greatest part of…mean dishonorable actions.
(1575–1638) / 1 essays
The mothers then that refuse to nurse their owne children, doe they not despise God’s providence?
(1780–1832) / 3 essays
We owe almost all of our knowledge not to those who have agreed, but to those who have differed.
(1858–1964) / 1 essays
Nothing natural can be wholly unworthy.
(1813–1894) / 2 essays
Of the infinite variety of fruits which spring from the bosom of the earth, the trees of the wood are the greatest in dignity.
(1579–1614) / 2 essays
It is easier to think well than to do well; and no trial to have handsome dapper conceits run invisibly in a brain.
(1618–1667) / 4 essays
It is a hard and nice subject for a man to write of himself.
(1731–1800) / 4 essays
Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.
(1626–1697) / 1 essays
Though [essays] may gather some honey from the best flowers of wit and learning, they have a limitation from none.
(1785–1859) / 8 essays
All is finite in the present; and even that finite is infinite in its velocity of flight towards death.
(1767–1849) / 0 essays
Some people talk of morality, and some of religion, but give me a little snug property.
(1888–1965) / 1 essays
Knowledge is invariably a matter of degree: you cannot put your finger upon even the simplest datum and say this we know.
(1803–1882) / 4 essays
Our being is descending into us from we know not whence.
(1865–1914) / 1 essays
I have no nationality and am not anxious to claim any. Individuality is more than nationality.
(1602–1668) / 2 essays
We begin to be miserable, when we are totally bent on some one temporal object.
(1856–1939) / 1 essays
My main object is to collect everyday material and utilize it scientifically.
(1810–1850) / 1 essays
None can sympathize with thoughts like mine, who are permanently ensnared in the meshes of sect or party.
(1860–1935) / 2 essays
There is nothing in maternity, nothing in the natural relation of the sexes which should make the female the servant of the male.
(1735–1774) / 3 essays
From the highest to the lowest, this people seem fond of sights and monsters.
(1861–1920) / 12 essays
It is diverting to study…how many indispensables man can live without.
(1838–1896) / 5 essays
Manhood discovers what childhood can never divine,—that the sorrows of life are superficial, and the happiness…structural.
(1850–1928) / 2 essays
Anyone who cares passionately for abstract discussion, be his hair never so gray,…is in spirit young.
(1693–1756) / 3 essays
To know ourselves, is agreed by all to be the most useful Learning.
(1778–1830) / 28 essays
In art, in taste, in life, in speech, you decide from feeling, and not from reason.
(1594–1666) / 2 essays
Excuse me that I trouble you thus with these rambling meditations.
(1837–1920) / 1 essays
The soul… is the supernal criticism of the deeds done in the body.
(1711–1776) / 1 essays
Learning has been as great a Loser by being shut up in Colleges and Cells, and secluded from the World.
(1784–1859) / 13 essays
The test of seeing and hearing… is in the ideas we realize, and the pleasure we derive.
(1825–1895) / 2 essays
A small beginning has led us to a great ending.
(1609–1674) / 1 essays
There is nothing worthier of an honest man than to have contention with nobody.
(1860–1955) / 1 essays
The richest and most significant experiences of man…are the least patient of verbal reproduction.
(1813–1897) / 2 essays
There are wrongs which even the grave does not bury.
(1859–1927) / 4 essays
One we discover how to appreciate the timeless values in our daily experiences, we can enjoy the best things in life.
(1709–1784) / 5 essays
Every diversity of art or nature…may supply matter to him whose only rule is to avoid uniformity.
(1283–1350) / 1 essays
It is a fine thing when a man who thoroughly understands a subject is unwilling to open his mouth.
(1801–1864) / 2 essays
The wildflowers of Michigan deserve a poet of their own.
(1775–1834) / 19 essays
The mighty future is as nothing, being every thing! The past is every thing, being nothing.
(1775–1864) / 1 essays
A man’s vanity tells him what is honor, a man’s conscience what is justice.
(1856–1935) / 10 essays
I know few things more odious than the chilly, draughty, emptiness of a place without a history.
(1878–1937) / 1 essays
The best good that you can possibly achieve is not good enough if you have to strain yourself all the time to reach it.
(1856–1939) / 1 essays
It does a comfortable sufferer good to get his head out of his conveniences sometimes and complain.
(1802–1876) / 5 essays
My chief object in life shall be the cultivation of my intellectual powers, with a view to the instruction of others.
(1847–1922) / 22 essays
More candid is the author who has no world, but turns that appeal inwards to his own heart.
(1882–1956) / 12 essays
There is a crispness about celery that is of the essence of October.
(1533–1592) / 50 essays
I seek out change indiscriminately and tumultuously. My style and my mind alike go roaming.
(1745–1833) / 7 essays
If all accomplishments could be bought at the price of a single virtue, the purchase would be infinitely dear.
(1890–1957) / 3 essays
The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking.
(1870–1964) / 10 essays
Ground your happiness in a nice dove tailing of eager conviction with tolerant in difference, and you are safe for a lifetime.
(1849–1919) / 1 essays
The strength of a student of men is…to study men, their habits…their vices, virtues, and peculiarities.
(1820–?) / 6 essays
The graves before me…are thickly deposited. The marble that speak the names, bid us prepare for Death.
(1855–1950) / 7 essays
It has been wisely said that we cannot really love anybody at whom we never laugh.
(4–65) / 4 essays
That which was bitter to bear is pleasant to have borne; it is natural to rejoice at the ending of one’s ills.
(1830–1867) / 15 essays
In my book there is little more life than there is in the market-place on the days when there is no market.
(1672–1729) / 3 essays
When a man has no design but to speak plain truth, he may say a great deal in a very narrow compass.
(1891–1942) / 5 essays
My longing for truth was a single prayer.
(1850–1894) / 6 essays
A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note.
(1667–1745) / 4 essays
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
(1628–1699) / 4 essays
The first ingredient in conversation is truth, the next good sense, the third good humor, and the fourth wit.
(1873–1958) / 6 essays
It is better to obey the mysterious direction … when it points to a new road, however strange that road may be.
(1835–1910) / 2 essays
The adoption of cremation would relieve us of a muck of threadbare burial-witticisms.
(1759–1797) / 5 essays
We must have an object to refer our reflections to, or they will seldom go below the surface.
(1876–1938) / 1 essays
To my innermost consciousness the phenomenal universe is a royal mantle, vibrating with His divine breath.
Quotidiana site founder Patrick Madden has just published a book of his own personal essays, including pieces formerly published in the Best American Spiritual Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction anthologies. If you enjoy the classical essays on this site, you'll enjoy these contemporary ruminations as well. Soon there'll be a web page here with further information, but for now, you can find out more (and perhaps purchase a copy) at Amazon.com.
"Patrick Madden is an essayist of verve, passion, wit, and dependable moral compass. Quotidiana drew me in powerfully, from page to page and from pleasure to pleasure." —Ian Frazier
Friend of Quotidiana Kim Dana Kupperman's Welcome Table Press is hosting a one-day symposium at Fordham University on Saturday, October 15th, 2011. In Praise of the Essay: Practice & Form will feature talks and discussions by Phillip Lopate, Robin Hemley, Barbara Hurd, and more.
Changes are happening beneath the hood of Quotidiana. Sign up for our Facebook group to stay up to date on site and essay news.
Michel de Montaigne was born on February 28, 1533. However, this was according to the older Julian calendar. France did not adopt our modern Gregorian calendar until 1582; adjusting to our calendar, Montaigne was born on March 10, 1533
The Condition of the People who lye in i[Westminster Abbey], are apt to fill the Mind with a kind of Melancholy, or rather Thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable.
It is an inexpressible pleasure to know a little of the world, and be of no character or significancy in it.
The weather is like the government—always in the wrong.
It is the brightness, not the darkness, that we see when we look back. The sunshine casts no shadows on the past
There are plenty of lazy people and plenty of slow-coaches, but a genuine idler is a rarity.