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Study has always been for me the sovereign remedy against life’s unpleasantness, since I have never experienced any sorrow that an hour’s reading did not eliminate.

[L’étude a été pour moi le souverain remède contre les dégoûts de la vie, n’ayant jamais eu de chagrin qu’une heure de lecture n’ait dissipé.]

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Pensées [Thoughts], # 213 (1720-1755) [tr. Clark (2012)]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Study has been my sovereign remedy against the worries of life. I have never had a care that an hour's reading could not dispel.
[Source (1826)]

Study is a sovereign remedy against the troubles of life; there is no vexation which an hour's reading cannot mitigate.
[E.g. (1877)]

Study has been to me a sovereign remedy against the vexations of life, having never had an annoyance that one hour's reading did not dissipate.
[E.g. (1905)]

Study has been my sovereign remedy against life's disappointment; I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve.
[ed. Guterman (1963)]

Added on 1-Jul-24 | Last updated 1-Jul-24
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Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist
Memories, Dreams, Reflections [Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken], ch. 9 “Travels,” sec. 2 (1961; 1973 ed.) [with Aniela Jaffé] [tr. Winton/Winton (1963)]
Added on 18-Sep-19 | Last updated 14-Nov-23
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It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very ‘spiritual’, that he is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rheumatism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards as her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother — the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time, you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife’s or son’s ‘soul’ to beating or insulting the real wife or son without a qualm.

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer, literary scholar, lay theologian [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Screwtape Letters (1942)
Added on 1-Nov-16 | Last updated 1-Nov-16
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There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.

Don Herold (1889-1966) American humorist, cartoonist, author
So Human, “Shetland Ponies vs. Autos,” epigraph (1924)
Added on 23-Feb-10 | Last updated 12-May-20
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Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us?” (1899)
Added on 7-Feb-05 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.

(Other Authors and Sources)
William H. Walton
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-Nov-21
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The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) British-American actress

See Lincoln.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Mar-23
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