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   Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations.  1989.
 
 
NUMBER:1606
AUTHOR:Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu (1689–1755)
QUOTATION:If I knew something useful to me and harmful to my family, I should put it out of my mind. If I knew something useful to my family and not to my country, I should try to forget it. If I knew something useful to my country and harmful to Europe, or useful to Europe and harmful to the human race, I should consider it a crime.
ATTRIBUTION:MONTESQUIEU.—Robert John Loy, Montesquieu, chapter 3, p. 122 (1968).

  Before giving this translation, Loy says, “Montesquieu was so fond of the passage that he composed it in several forms; it stands as his philosophical emblem.” For the original French, see Montesquieu, Oeuvres Completes, p. 981 (1949).
SUBJECTS:Responsibility
 
 
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