Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de


… whatever is remote assumes the right of imposing on us.

– Fontenelle, Plurality of Worlds (1686), p. 150

Behold a universe so immense that I am lost in it. I no longer know where I am. I am just nothing at all. Our world is terrifying in its insignificance.

– Bernard de Fontenelle quoted in Edward Robert Harrison. Masks of the Universe: Changing Ideas on the Nature of the Cosmos. 2nd ed ed. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003: 101.

The art of flying is hardly yet born. It will be perfected and some day people will fly up to the moon. Do we pretend to have discovered everything, or to have brought our knowledge to a point where nothing can be added to it? Oh, for mercy’s sake, let us agree that there is still something left for the ages to come!

Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle quoted by Emanuel Swedenborg in 1714. See: Flying Machine (Swedenborg) in Wikipedia.