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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.


  • [Pierre Paul Royer-Collard, a French philosopher and statesman; born at Sompuis, June 21, 1763; supported the Revolution, but retired during the Terror; professor in the University of France, 1810; founded the school of the Doctrinaires; member of the Chamber of Deputies, 1815; of the French Academy; protested against the arbitrary measures of Charles X.; died September, 1845.]
  • France is Left-Centre (La France est Centre-gauche).

  • In the old division of the French Chamber, the governmental party occupied the right of the House from the tribune, the opposition the left: at the present time conservatives sit on the president’s right hand, the radicals on the left. The centre is taken by the moderates; those tending to conservatism being called the Right-Centre, the more liberal half the Left-Centre. Royer-Collard’s mot was intended to indicate that the French people are always inclined to a moderate opposition to the government of the day.
  • So much the worse for the texts.

  • The expression, “So much the worse for the facts,” is attributed to Voltaire; but Royer-Collard, writing against the opinions of the Jansenists of Port Royal on Grace, said, “The texts are on their side, but I pity the texts” (Ils ont les textes pour eux, mais j’en suis faché pour les textes).
  • Respect is vanishing in France (En France le respect s’en va).

  • “The reproach,” says Sainte-Beuve, “which the new generation inspired by its forgetfulness of the sentiments of the past age, and which seemed like a menace of the future.” Royer-Collard’s last words were: “There is nothing solid and substantial in this world but religious ideas.”