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Thursday Thirteen # 25 - 13 quotes from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Whenever I feel the need to reassess my life, I turn inward and pick up one of my favourite books: The Little Prince. For this week’s Thursday Thirteen, I bring you 13 quotes in French and English from this priceless gem.

1. Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamais rien toutes seules, et c’est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours et toujours leur donner des explications.

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

2. Quand le mystère est trop impressionnant, on n’ose pas désobéir.

When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey.

3. La preuve que le petit prince a existé c’est qu’il était ravissant, qu’il riait, et qu’il voulait un mouton. Quand on veut un mouton, c’est la preuve qu’on existe.

The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists.

4. Mais les graines sont invisibles. Elles dorment dans le secret de la terre jusqu’à ce qu’il prenne fantaisie à l’une d’elles de se réveiller…

But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth’s darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken.

5. Il ne faut jamais écouter les fleures. Il faut les regarder et les respirer. La mienne embaumait ma planète, mais je ne savais pas m’en réjouir.

One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet. But I did not know how to take pleasure in all her grace.

6. Tu as des cheveux couleur d’or. Alors ce sera merveilleux quand tu m’aura apprivoisé! Le blé, qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j’aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé…

You have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…


7. On ne connaît que les choses que l’on apprivoise, dit le renard. Les hommes n’ont plus le temps de rien connaître. Il achètent des choses toutes faites chez les marchands. Mais comme il n’existe point de marchands d’amis, les hommes n’ont plus d’amis. Si tu veux un ami, apprivoise-moi!

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me…”

8. Le langage est source de malentendus.

Words are the source of misunderstandings.

9. Voici mon secret. Il est très simple : on ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

10. C’est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante.

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

11. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé. Tu es responsable de ta rose…

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose…

12. - Les enfants seuls savent ce qu’ils cherchent, fit le petit prince. Ils perdent du temps pour une poupée de chiffons, et elle devient très importante, et si on la leur enlève, ils pleurent…

“Only the children know what they are looking for,” said the little prince. “They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry…”

13. Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c’est qu’il cache un puits quelque part…

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”

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PS Have you read The Velveteen Rabbit?

So full of metaphor and wisdom that applies even more so today. I know I read this before but maybe I need to again. I think it was over my head at the first time.

I've never read the Little Prince. I loved the passages you shared though.

what a great refresher - i haven't read this book since I was 8 or 9... that was a dang long time ago.
I always loved this:
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

What a wonderful book, and what a delight of a TT! I loved every single quote, but my very favorite is #4 -- I love it so much that I'm going to put it on the sidebar of my blog. :)

And wow, I'd heard that JE took 9 years to write Middlesex -- amazing, huh? Never lose hope! :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend. And I'll say again, it's fabulous to see you back blogging! :-D

I love Le Petit Prince. #9 has long been one of my favourite quotes. They're all great though. It's been awhile since I read it last so thanks for taking me back to it today!

Le Petit Prince is one of my favorite books ever. Excellent TT.

#9 is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Great TT! :o)

This brings back fond memories. I think I'll pull it out again and read it to the boys.

Really liked the quotes. :-) happy TT

I've never read that book but I do remember looking at the pictures when I was very young. The one you have in the middle of your list takes me right back!

Someone last week was saying they liked to give this book as a present. It's neat to see someone else talking about it just a week later!

Happy TT! These are great quotes from a fabulous book. The older I get, the more I appreciate it.