by Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)
Translation by W. F. Trotter

La seule chose qui nous console
Language: French (Français) 
La seule chose qui nous console 
de nos misères est le divertissement,
et cependant c'est la plus grande de nos misères. 
Car c'est cela qui nous empêche 
principalement de penser à nous,
et qui nous fait perdre insensiblement. 
Sans cela, nous serions dans l'ennui, 
et cet ennui nous pousserait
à chercher un moyen plus solide d'en sortir. 
Mais le divertissement nous amuse 
et nous fait arriver insensiblement à la mort.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2003-10-20
Line count: 11
Word count: 70

The only thing which consoles us
Language: English  after the French (Français) 
The only thing which consoles us 
for our miseries is diversion, 
and yet this is the greatest of our miseries. 
For it is this which principally hinders us 
from reflecting upon ourselves, 
and which makes us insensibly ruin ourselves. 
Without this we should be in a state of weariness, 
and this weariness would spur us 
to seek a more solid means of escaping from it. 
But [diversion amuses us 
and leads]1 us unconsciously to death.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Blaise Pascal, Thoughts, translated by W.F. Trotter, New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, page 64, no. 171.

Note: the line-breaks are arbitrary. This is prose.
1 Eisler: "diversions amuse us and lead"

Authorship

Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Research team for this text: Auditorium du Louvre , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-10-20
Line count: 11
Word count: 75