France Quotes

France in Quotations

Sabrina
••• Audrey Hepburn and William Holden in Sabrina. Getty/Archive Photos

France quotes demonstrate how France has captivated the minds of many for centuries. Here are some of the prgreat France quotes about this remarkable nation and its intriguing people.

  • "Paris is always a good idea." - Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina
  • "America is my country and Paris is my hometown." - Gertrude Stein
  • "France has more need of me than I have need of France." - Napoleon Bonaparte
  • "I never rebel so much against France as not to regard Paris with a friendly eye; she has had my heart since my childhood.... I love her tenderly, even to her warts and her spots. I am French only by this great city: the glory of France, and one of the noblest ornaments of the world." - Michel de Montaigne
  • "It's true that the French have a certain obsession with sex, but it's a particularly adult obsession. France is the thriftiest of all nations; to a Frenchman sex provides the most economical way to have fun. The French are a logical race." - Anita Loos
  • "In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, and in Australia you have to explain what a writer is." - Geoffrey Cottrell
  • "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." - Ernest Hemingway
  • "Everything ends this way in France - everything. Weddings, christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs -everything is a pretext for a good dinner." - Jean Anouilh
  • "Other countries drink to get drunk, and this is accepted by everyone; in France, drunkenness is a consequence, never an intention. A drink is felt as the spinning out of a pleasure, not as the necessary cause of an effect which is sought: wine is not only a philtre, it is also the leisurely act of drinking." - Roland Barthes
  • "I have tried to lift France out of the mud. But she will return to her errors and vomitings. I cannot prevent the French from being French." - Charles de Gaulle
  • "The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners."  - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "The Frenchman is first and foremost a man. He is likeable often just because of his weaknesses, which are always thoroughly human, even if despicable." - Henry Miller
  • "I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely." - Josephine Baker
  • "Once upon a time there was an old country, wrapped up in habit and caution... We have to transform our old France into a new country and marry it to its time." - Charles de Gaulle
  • "Boy, those French. They have a different word for everything." - Steve Martin
  • "To err is human. To loaf is Parisian." - Victor Hugo
  • "Quarrels in France strengthen a love affair, in America they end it." - The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem
  • "Now nothing is real except French wine. For absurdity is reality, my loneliness unreal, my mind tired. And I shall die an old Parisian." - Conrad Kent Rivers
  • "Frenchmen are like gunpowder, each by itself smutty and contemptible, but mass them together and they are terrible indeed!" - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save in Paris." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • "One difference between French appeasement and American appeasement is that France pays ransom in cash and gets its hostages back while the United States pays ransom in arms and gets additional hostages taken." - William Saffire
  • "Paris is the city in which one loves to live. Sometimes I think this is because it is the only city in the world where you can step out of a railway station—the Gare D’Orsay—and see, simultaneously, the chief enchantments: the Seine with its bridges and bookstalls, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, the beginning of the Champs Elysees—nearly everything except the Luxembourg Gardens and the Palais Royal. But what other city offers as much as you leave a train?" - Margaret Anderson
  • "The Frenchman, by nature, is sensuous and sensitive. He has intelligence, which makes him tired of life sooner than other kinds of men. He is not athletic: he sees the futility of the pursuit of fame; the climate at times depresses him.-Anais Nin
  • "No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris ... [because] no known motor can run at the requisite speed for four days without stopping." - Orville Wright
  • "When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold." - Metternich
  • "You can't escape the past in Paris, and yet what's so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn't seem to burden." - Allen Ginsberg
  • "France is the only country where the money falls apart and you can't tear the toilet paper." - Billy Wilder
  • "In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language." - Mark Twain

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