nothing is so firmly believed, as what we least know;
 Michel de Montaigne, The Essays of Michel de Montaigne (1580). copy citation

Author Michel de Montaigne
Source The Essays of Michel de Montaigne
Topic ignorance knowledge belief intensity
Date 1580
Language English
Note Translated by Charles Cotton


“—it is much more easy to satisfy the hearers, when speaking of the nature of the gods than of the nature of men, because the ignorance of the auditory affords a fair and large career and all manner of liberty in the handling of abstruse things. Thence it comes to pass, that nothing is so firmly believed, as what we least know; nor any people so confident, as those who entertain us with fables, such as your alchemists, judicial astrologers, fortune-tellers, and physicians,
«Id genus omne.» [«All that sort of people.» —Horace, Sat., i. 2, 2.]
To which I would willingly, if I durst, join a pack of people that take upon them to interpret and control the designs of God Himself, pretending to find out the cause of every accident, and to pry into the secrets of the divine will, there to discover the incomprehensible motive, of His works; and although the variety, and the continual discordance of events, throw them from corner to corner, and toss them from east to west, yet do they still persist in their vain inquisition, and with the same pencil to paint black and white.” source
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