Blaise Pascal, quoted by Rebecca West in BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON: A JOURNEY THROUGH YUGOSLAVIA, 1940

French mathematician, physicist (1623 - 1662)

"Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapour, a drop of water, suffices to kill him. But if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this."