Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck (29 August 1862 – 6 May 1949), also known as Count (or Comte) Maeterlinck from 1932, was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who was Flemish but wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911 "in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations". The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. He was a leading member of La Jeune Belgique group and his plays form an important part of the Symbolist movement.
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The decent moderation of today will be the least of human things tomorrow. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the opinion of good sense . . . was that people ought not to burn too large a number of heretics; extreme and unreasonable opinion demanded that they should burn none at all.