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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Balzac
 
  A vocation is born to us all; happily most of us meet promptly our twin,—occupation.  1
  A woman filled with faith in the one she loves is the creation of a novelist’s imagination.  2
  A woman must be a genius to create a good husband.  3
  After all, our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation.  4
  Ah! the soft starlight of virgin eyes.  5
  An ounce of courage will go farther with women than a pound of timidity.  6
  Cruelty and fear shake hands together.  7
  Doubt follows white-winged hope with trembling steps.  8
  Emulation admires and strives to imitate great actions; envy is only moved to malice.  9
  Emulation is not rivalry. Emulation is the child of ambition; rivalry is the unlovable daughter of envy.  10
  Envy lurks at the bottom of the human heart, like a viper in its hole.  11
  Evasion is unworthy of us, and is always the intimate of equivocation.  12
  Even beauty cannot always palliate eccentricity.  13
  Few men are raised in our estimation by being too closely examined.  14
  Foppery, being the chronic condition of women, is not so much noticed as it is when it breaks out on the person of the male bird.  15
  Genius is intensity.  16
  Gentleness in the gait is what simplicity is in the dress. Violent gesture or quick movement inspires involuntary disrespect. One looks for a moment at a cascade; but one sits for hours, lost in thought, and gazing upon the still water of a lake. A deliberate gait, gentle manners, and a gracious tone of voice—all of which may be acquired—give a mediocre man an immense advantage over those vastly superior to him. To be bodily tranquil, to speak little, and to digest without effort are absolutely necessary to grandeur of mind or of presence, or to proper development of genius.  17
  Give to a wounded heart seclusion; consolation nor reason ever effected anything in such a case.  18
  Glory is a poison, good to be taken in small doses.  19
  God is the author, men are only the players. These grand pieces which are played upon earth have been composed in heaven.  20
 
 
  God is the poet; men are but the actors. The great dramas of earth were written in heaven.  21
  Handsome widows, after a twelvemonth, enjoy a latitude and longitude without limit.  22
  Happiness lends poetic charms to woman, and dress adorns her like a delicate tinge of rouge.  23
  Hatred is the vice of narrow souls; they feed it with all their littlenesses, and make it the pretext of base tyrannies.  24
  He who best knows the world will love it least.  25
  Heaven should be kind to stupid people, for no one else can be consistently.  26
  Hope is a light diet, but very stimulating.  27
  How can we explain the perpetuity of envy—a vice which yields no return?  28
  If those who are the enemies of innocent amusements had the direction of the world, they would take away the spring, and youth, the former from the year, the latter from human life.  29
  If we could but paint with the hand as we see with the eye!  30
  It is a singular fact that most men of action incline to the theory of fatalism, while the greater part of men of thought believe in providence.  31
  It is no sin to be tempted; the wickedness lies in being overcome.  32
  Love is precisely to the moral nature what the sun is to the earth.  33
  Man is no match for woman where mischief reigns.  34
  Marriage should combat without respite or mercy that monster which devours everything,—habit.  35
  Men are such dupes by choice, that he who would impose upon others never need be at a loss to find ready victims.  36
  Misfortune makes of certain souls a vast desert through which rings the voice of God.  37
  Modesty is the conscience of the body.  38
  Necessity is often the spur to genius.  39
  No navigator has yet traced lines of latitude and longitude on the conjugal sea.  40
  Nothing is irredeemably ugly but sin.  41
  Novelty is both delightful and deceptive.  42
  Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.  43
  Pity is woman’s sweetest charm.  44
  Poetry is only born after painful journeys into the vast regions of thought.  45
  Reproach is usually honest, which is more than can be said of praise.  46
  Resignation is a daily suicide.  47
  Sects differ more in name than tenets.  48
  Sensuality is the death of the soul.  49
  Some one speaks admirably of “the well-ripened fruit of sage delay.”  50
  Temperament is the thermometer of character.  51
  The best painters, as they progress in reputation and towards perfection, are found to dispense more and more with the technique of the art, for simpler methods. Simplicity never fails to charm.  52
  The errors of women spring almost always from her faith in the good or her confidence in the true.  53
  The first thing necessary to win the heart of a woman is opportunity.  54
  The greatest tyranny is to love where we are not loved again.  55
  The mistakes committed by women are almost always the result of her faith in the good and her confidence in the truth.  56
  The more one judges, the less one loves.  57
  The motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all and love but one.  58
  The winter’s frost must rend the burr of the nut before the fruit is seen. So adversity tempers the human heart, to discover its real worth.  59
  There are no little events with the heart. It magnifies everything; it places in the same scales the fall of an empire of fourteen years and the dropping of a woman’s glove, and almost always the glove weighs more than the empire.  60
  There are words which cut like steel.  61
  There is nothing original; all is reflected light.  62
  To feel, to love, to suffer, to devote herself, will always be the text of the life of woman.  63
  To have fame follow us is well, but it is not a desirable avant-courier.  64
  To provoke laughter without joining in it greatly heightens the effect.  65
  Too great a display of delicacy can and does sometimes infringe upon decency.  66
  Virtue is not a thing you can have by halves; it is or it is not.  67
  Vivacity is the health of the spirit.  68
  We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never either so wretched or so happy as we say we are.  69
  We must certainly acknowledge that solitude is a fine thing; but it is a pleasure to have some one who can answer, and to whom we can say, from time to time, that solitude is a fine thing.  70
  We must have books for recreation and entertainment, as well as books for instruction and for business; the former are agreeable, the latter useful, and the human mind requires both. The cannon law and the codes of Justinian shall have due honor, and reign at the universities; but Homer and Virgil need not therefore be banished. We will cultivate the olive and the vine, but without eradicating the myrtle and the rose.  71
  What is art? Nature concentrated.  72
  What saves the virtue of many a woman is that protecting god, the impossible.  73
  When women love us they forgive everything.  74
  With every one, the expectation of a misfortune constitutes a dreadful punishment. Suffering then assumes the proportions of the unknown, which is the soul’s infinite.  75
  Woman has this in common with angels, that suffering beings belong especially to her.  76
  Woman is a most charming creature, who changes her heart as easily as she does her gloves.  77
  Women are ever the dupes or the victims of their extreme sensitiveness.  78
  Women are ever the dupes or victims of their extreme sensitiveness.  79
  Would they could sell us though at diamond prices, but then no one would use the article second-hand!  80
  You may imitate, but never counterfeit.  81
 
 
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