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

Abbé Galiani

  • [Ferdinando Galiani, an Italian political economist, called by Grimm, “Plato, with the verve and antics of Harlequin,” and by Marmontel, “the head of Machiavelli on the shoulders of Harlequin;” born at Chieti, 1728; secretary of legation at Paris, 1759, where be remained many years; returning to Naples, filled administrative offices from 1777–82; died 1787.]
  • Do not buy your house in the Chaussée d’Antin: you must buy it in Philadelphia.

  • Letter to Mme. d’Épinay, 1776. He once, when in poverty, sent a collection of lava to Benedict XIV., with the words: “Make this stone become bread!” He received a canonry.
  • He declared of politics: “Fools make the text, and men of wit the commentaries” (Les sots font le texte, et les hommes d’esprit les commentaires.)
  • When some one said the trees of the park of Versailles were tall, straight, and thin (hauts, droits, et minces); “Like courtiers,” added the abbé.