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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Chamfort
 
  A fool who has a flash of wit creates astonishment and scandal, like hack-horses setting out to gallop.  1
  A man of intellect is lost unless he unites energy of character to intellect. When we have the lantern of Diogenes we must have his staff.  2
  A modicum of discord is the very spice of courtship.  3
  A monarchy tempered by songs.  4
  All passions exaggerate; and they are passions only because they do exaggerate.  5
  Anticipation leads the way to victory, and is the spur to conquest.  6
  Calumny is like the wasp which worries you, and which it is not best to try to get rid of unless you are sure of slaying it; for otherwise it returns to the charge more furious than ever.  7
  Celebrity is the chastisement of merit and the punishment of talent.  8
  Chance is a nickname for Providence.  9
  Change of fashions is the tax which industry imposes on the vanity of the rich.  10
  Change, change,—we all covet change.  11
  Contact with the world either breaks or hardens the heart.  12
  Contemptuous people are sure to be contemptible.  13
  Conviction is the conscience of the mind.  14
  Covetousness is a sort of mental gluttony, not confined to money, but craving honor, and feeding on selfishness.  15
  Do not suppose opportunity will knock twice at your door.  16
  Egotism is the tongue of vanity.  17
  False modesty is the most decent of all falsehoods.  18
  He who disguises tyranny, protection, or even benefits under the air and name of friendship reminds me of the guilty priest who poisoned the sacramental breads.  19
  If a woman were about to proceed to her execution, she would demand a little time to perfect her toilet.  20
 
 
  In the fine arts, as in many other things, we know well only what we have not learned.  21
  It is among uneducated women that we may look for the most confirmed gossips. Goethe tells us there is nothing more frightful than bustling ignorance.  22
  It is children only who enjoy the present; their elders either live on the memory of the past or the hope of the future.  23
  It is inconceivable how much wit it requires to avoid being ridiculous.  24
  It is not with the living that we should live, but with the dead.  25
  Knowledge is boundless,—human capacity, limited.  26
  Life is a malady in which sleep soothes us every sixteen hours; it is a palliation; death is the remedy.  27
  Love is more pleasing than marriage, because romances are more amusing than history.  28
  Many men and many women enjoy popular esteem, not because they are known, but because they are not.  29
  Men are nearly as capricious as women.  30
  Men’s hearts and faces are always wide asunder; women’s are not only in close connection, but are mirror-like in the instant power of reflection.  31
  Mile-stones on the road of time.  32
  Narrow waists and narrow minds go together.  33
  No law reaches it, but all right-minded people observe it.  34
  Obscurity and Innocence, twin sisters, escape temptations which would pierce their gossamer armor, in contact with the world.  35
  Our kindred first.  36
  Pleasure can be supported by illusion, but happiness rests upon truth.  37
  Real worth requires no interpreter; its everyday deeds form its blazonry.  38
  Remorse turns us against ourselves.  39
  Satire is the disease of art.  40
  Secrecy is best taught by commencing with ourselves.  41
  She commands who is blest with indifference.  42
  Slander is the balm of malignity.  43
  Society is composed of two great classes—those who have more dinners than appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners.  44
  Spero Speroni explains admirably how an author who writes very clearly for himself is often obscure to his readers. “It is,” he says, “because the author proceeds from the thought to the expression, and the reader from the expression to the thought.”  45
  Success makes success, as money makes money.  46
  The most completely lost of all days is that on which one has not laughed.  47
  The public! the public! how many fools does it require to make the public?  48
  The success of many works is found in the relation between the mediocrity of the authors’ ideas and that of the ideas of the public.  49
  The sunset glow of self-possession.  50
  The world either breaks or hardens the heart.  51
  There are well-dressed follies, as there are well-clothed fools.  52
  There is as much expression in the feet as in the hands.  53
  There is no history worthy of attention but that of a free people; the history of a people subjected to despotism is only a collection of anecdotes.  54
  There some trifles well habited, as there are some fools well clothed.  55
  Though we best know and cannot deny our imperfections, it is not for us to lose our self-reliance and true manhood.  56
  To possess a good cognomen is a long way on the road of success in life.  57
  Too elevated qualities often unfit a man for society. We do not go to market with ingots, but with silver and small change.  58
  Tragedy has the great moral defect of giving too much importance to life and death.  59
  We gild our medicines with sweets; why not clothe truth and morals in pleasant garments as well?  60
  We justly consider women to be weaker than ourselves, and yet we are governed by them.  61
  We take our colors, chameleon-like, from each other.  62
  Where violence reigns, reason is weak.  63
  Woman’s weakness, not man’s merit, oftenest gains the suitor’s victory.  64
  Women bestow on friendship only what they borrow from love.  65
  Women of the world crave excitement.  66
  Women see faults much more readily in each other than they can discover perfections.  67
  Wrinkles and ill-nature together made a woman hideous.  68
 
 
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