Joseph Louis Lagrange on Antoine Lavoisier

“[Remark the day after the guillotining of the great chemist Antoine Lavoisier on 8 May 1794]: ‘Il ne leur a fallu qu’un moment pour faire tomber cette tete, et cent annees, peut-etre, ne suffiront pas pour en reproduire une semblable.’

It took them only an instant to cut off that head, but it is unlikely that a hundred years will suffice to reproduce a similar one.”

Joseph Louis Lagrange

Quoted int J.B. Delambre, “Eloge de Lagrange,” Memoires de l’Institut (1812)

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

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