The Little Prince

1943 novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Le Petit Prince (1943) is a novel by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, translated into English as The Little Prince. The story follows a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss. Despite its style as a children's book, The Little Prince makes observations about life and human nature.


Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.

  • 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.
      • Chapter I
  • Dessine-moi un mouton!
    • Draw me a sheep!
      • Chapter II
  • Quand on veut un mouton, c'est la preuve qu'on existe.
    • If somebody wants a sheep, that is proof that somebody exists.
      • Chapter IV
  • Quand on a terminé sa toilette du matin, il faut faire soigneusement la toilette de la planète.
    • When he has finished getting himself ready in the morning, he must go get the planet ready.
      • Chapter V
  • J'aime bien les couchers de soleil. Allons voir un coucher de soleil...
    • I am very fond of sunsets. Come, let us go look at a sunset...
      • Chapter VI
  • J'aurais dû ne pas l'écouter, me confia-t-il un jour, il ne faut jamais écouter les fleurs. Il faut les regarder et les respirer.
    • "I should never have listened to her," he confided to me one day, "One should never listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance."
      • Chapter VIII
  • Tu te jugeras donc toi-même, lui répondit le roi. C'est le plus difficile. Il est bien plus difficile de se juger soi-même que de juger autrui. Si tu réussis à bien te juger, c'est que tu es un véritable sage.
    • "Then you shall judge yourself," the king answered. "That is the most difficult thing of all. It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom.
      • Chapter X
  • On ne sait jamais!
    • "One never knows!"
      • Chapter XV
  • Il faut exiger de chacun ce que chacun peut donner, reprit le roi. L'autorité repose d'abord sur la raison. Si tu ordonnes à ton peuple d'aller se jeter à la mer, il fera la révolution. J'ai le droit d'exiger l'obéissance parce que mes ordres sont raisonnables.
    Alors mon coucher de soleil ? rappela le petit prince qui jamais n'oubliait une question une fois qu'il l'avait posée.
    Ton coucher de soleil, tu l'auras. Je l'exigerai. Mais j'attendrai, dans ma science du gouvernement, que les conditions soient favorables.
    • "One must command from each what each can perform," the king went on. "Authority is based first of all upon reason. If you command your subjects to jump into the ocean, there will be a revolution. I am entitled to command obedience because my orders are reasonable."
      "Then my sunset?" insisted the little prince, who never let go of a question once he had asked it.
      "You shall have your sunset. I shall command it. But I shall wait, according to my science of government, until conditions are favorable."
      • Chapter X
  • C'est véritablement utile puisque c'est joli.
    • It is truly useful since it is beautiful.
      • Chapter XIV
  • 'Où sont les hommes ?' reprit enfin le petit prince. 'On est un peu seul dans le désert.'
    'On est seul aussi chez les hommes', dit le serpent.
    • "Where are the people?" resumed the little prince at last. "It's a little lonely in the desert..."
      "It is lonely when you're among people, too," said the snake.
      • Chapter XVII
  • Le langage est source de malentendus.
    • Language is the source of misunderstandings.
      • Chapter XXI
  • Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
    • Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
    • Variants: "Here is my secret. It is very simple: one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes."
      "The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart."
      "One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."
      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye."
      • Chapter XXI
  • Vous êtes belles, mais vous êtes vides.... On ne peut pas mourir pour vous.
    • You're beautiful, but you're empty.... No one could die for you.
    • Variant: You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you.
      • Chapter XXI
  • Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité, dit le renard. Mais tu ne dois pas l’oublier. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
    • "Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
      • Chapter XXI
  • Les enfants seuls savent ce qu'ils cherchent.
    • Only children know what they are looking for.
      • Chapter XXII
  • 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."
      • Chapter XXV
  • Mais les yeux sont aveugles. Il faut chercher avec le cœur.
    • But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart...
      • Chapter XXV
  • "Were you so sad, then?" I asked, "on the day of the forty-four sunsets?"
    But the little prince made no reply.
  • Si vous voulez vous la fabrication, doivent assumer les risques
    • If you want to make a bond, you are to take the risk of tearing.
  • “…the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612. This asteroid has only once been seen through a telescope. That was by a Turkish astronomer, in 1909. On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration. But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said. …Fortunately, however, for the reputation of Asteroid B-612, a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume. So in 1920 the astronomer gave his demonstration all over again, dressed with impressive style and elegance. And this time everybody accepted his report.”
    • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (translated by Katherine Woods), Piccolo Books in association with Heinemann, Pan Books, London, 1974 (first 1945). Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

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