Nature never said to me: Do not be poor; still less did she say: Be rich; her cry to me was always: Be independent.

[La Nature ne m’a point dit: ne sois point pauvre; encore moins: sois riche; mais elle me crie: sois indépendant.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 4, ¶ 281 (1795) [tr. Mathers (1926)]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Nature has not said to me: Be not poor; still less: Be rich. But she cries out to me: Be independent.
[tr. Hutchinson (1902)]

Nature did not say to me, “Do not be poor”; still less, “Be rich”; but she cried out to me, “Be independent.”
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

Nature did not tell me, "Do not be poor"; still less did it say "Be rich"; but it does cry to me: "Be independent."
[tr. Pearson (1973)]

Nature never urged me, "Be not poor," much less, "Be rich." Instead, she shouts: "Be independent."
[tr. Dusinberre (1992)]

Nature didn't tell me, "Don't be poor!"; and certainly didn't say: "Get rich!"; but she did shout: "Always be independent!"
[tr. Parmée (2003), ¶174]

Nature didn't say to me "Never be poor."; still less "Be rich."; but it cried "Be independant."
[tr. Sinicalchi]

Added on 18-Sep-23 | Last updated 18-Sep-23
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