Quotations > J. De Finod, comp. > French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness
J. De Finod, comp.  A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness.  1886.
Nos. 400–799
ABSENCE is a cosmetic that softens or disguises the greatest defects.  400
  The complement of love is passion.
George Sand.    
  He who prays and bites has not a little of the devil in him.
  When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves that we are leaving them.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Women are an aristocracy.
  The energies of the soul slumber in the vague reveries of hope.
Mme. Guizot.    
  Remorse is the last sigh of expiring virtue.
La Beaumelle.    
  Between two beings susceptible to love, the duration of love depends upon the first resistance of the woman, or the obstacles that society puts in their way.
  The whisper of a beautiful woman can be heard farther than the loudest call of duty.  408
  To scoff at philosophy is to act as a true philosopher.
  Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
  Youth and Will may resist excess, but Nature takes revenge in silence.
A. de Musset.    
  If there is a fruit that can be eaten raw, it is beauty.
A. Karr.    
  Devotion is the last love of women.
  Conviction is the conscience of the mind.
  Dress changes the manners.
  It’s better to love to-day than to-morrow. A pleasure postponed is a pleasure lost.
A. Ricard.    
  It is better to sacrifice one’s love of sarcasm than to indulge it at the expense of a friend.  417
  O poets! what injury you have done us, and how right Plato was to banish you from his republic! How your ambrosia has rendered more bitter our absinth! How have we found our lives more barren and more desolate, after having turned our eyes toward the sublime perspectives which your dreams have opened in the infinite!
T. Gautier.    
  Love, that sometimes corrupts pure bodies, often purifies corrupt hearts.
  The anger of a woman is the greatest evil with which one can threaten his enemies.
  There is a magic in the word duty, something I know not what, which sustains magistrates, inflames warriors, and cools married people.
H. Dupuy.    
  The heart of a coquette is like a rose, of which the lovers pluck the leaves, leaving only the thorns for the husband.  422
  Old age is a tyrant that forbids the pleasures of youth on pain of death.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Let us respect white hair—especially our own.
  Illusions ruin all those whom they blind.
E. de Girardin.    
  Knowledge, wit, and courage alone excite our admiration; and thou, sweet and modest Virtue, remainest without honors.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Jealousy is the homage that inferiority pays to merit.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  To profess one thing and to do another occurs very often, especially with those who continually boast of their virtue.
T. Gautier.    
  Little things console us, because little things afflict us.
  There are people who are almost in love, almost famous, and almost happy.
Mme. de Krudener.    
  The more an idea is developed, the more concise becomes its expression: the more a tree is pruned, the better is the fruit.
Alfred Bougeart.    
  The unfortunate who prays is already consoled.
  Women of the world never use harsh expressions when condemning their rivals. Like the savage, they hurl elegant arrows, ornamented with feathers of purple and azure, but with poisoned points.  433
  Madame X. is a woman of too much wit and cleverness to be ever despised as much as some women less despicable.
  Men are so accustomed to lie, that one can not take too many precautions before trusting them—if they are to be trusted at all.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  Women are too imaginative and sensitive to have much logic.
Mme. du Deffand.    
  A man who lives in indifference is one who has never seen the woman he could love.
La Bruyère.    
  Every philosopher is cousin to an atheist.
A. de Musset.    
  Nothing proves better the necessity of an indissoluble marriage than the instability of passion.
  We need the friendship of a man in great trials; of a woman in the affairs of every-day life.
A. L. Thomas.    
  There are beautiful flowers that are scentless, and beautiful women that are unlovable.
  The only rose without thorns is friendship.
Mlle. de Scudéri.    
  It is to woman that the heart appeals when it needs consolation.
  Oh! woe to him who first had the cruelty to ridicule the name of old maid, a name which recalls so many sorrowful deceptions, so many sufferings, so much destitution! Woe to him who finds a target for his sarcasm in an involuntary misfortune, and who crowns white hair with thorns!
E. Souvestre.    
  A flattered woman is always indulgent.
  Nowadays we no longer laugh: we only smile, and our pleasures come very near ennui.
De Bernis.    
  Men speak of what they know; women of what pleases them.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Virtue: a word easy to pronounce, difficult to understand.
  There is a greater distance between some men and others, than between some men and the beasts.
  All who suffer are full of hatred; all who live drag a remorse: the dead alone have broken their chains.
Victor Hugo.    
  There is a wide difference between the knowledge of men and the knowledge of man. To know man, it suffices to study one’s self.
  What we call a gentleman is no longer the man of nature.
  Fine eyes are to the face what eloquence is to speech.  453
  We can not always oblige, but we can always speak obligingly.
  Sensitive souls live more than others.
  An injustice to one is a menace to all.
  Virtue is so praiseworthy that wicked people practice it from self-interest.
  The only conquests that cause no regrets, are those made over ignorance.
Napoleon I.    
  Gold is the sovereign of sovereigns.
  Happy he who finds a friend; without that second self one lives but half of life.
  There are people so sensitive that they afflict us with our own sorrows.
C. Jordan.    
  Justice is the bread of nations: they are always famishing for it.
  O future ages, what will be your fate? Glory, like a shadow, has returned to heaven; Love no longer exists; life is devastated; and man, left alone, believes but in Death.
A. de Musset.    
  Fools form a numerous people.
  Coquetry is the revenge of weakness.  465
  One of the most seductive illusions of love is to imagine that we contribute to the happiness of those we love.
Bernardin de St. Pierre.    
  We are easily persuaded of what pleases us.
Mme. de Fontaines.    
  Love is a game at which one always cheats.
  However talkative a woman may be, love teaches her silence.
  The hand of the poor is the purse of God.
Du Vair.    
  A pious man said: “If I ignored the existence of God, I would adore the sun and women.”  471
  Man is nothing but insincerity, falsehood, and hypocrisy. He does not like to hear the truth, and he shuns telling it.
  Love places a genius and a fool on a level.
  The egotism of woman is always for two.
Mme. de Staël.    
  Love is everything; love is the great fact. What matters the lover? What matters the flagon, provided one has the intoxication?
A. de Musset.    
  O youth! thou often tearest thy wings against the thorns of voluptuousness!
Victor Hugo.    
  It is easier for a woman to defend her virtue against men, than her reputation against women.
  Beauty is often but a splendid cloak which conceals the imperfections of the soul.
T. Gautier.    
  To love is the least of the faults of a loving woman.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  In retailing slander, we name the originator, in order to enjoy a pleasure without danger.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  We like those to whom we do good better than those who do us good.
De Saint-Réal.    
  Happiness is the shadow of man: remembrance of it follows him; hope of it precedes him.
J. Petit-Senn.    
  Poetry has been the guardian angel of humanity in all ages.
  Utopia! such is the name with which ignorance, folly, and incredulity have always characterized the great conceptions, discoveries, enterprises, and ideas which have illustrated the ages, and marked eras in human progress.
E. de Girardin.    
  The only thing that has been taught successfully to women is to wear becomingly the fig-leaf they received from their first mother. Everything that is said and repeated for the first eighteen or twenty years of a woman’s life is reduced to this: “My daughter, take care of your fig-leaf;” “your fig-leaf becomes you”; “your fig-leaf does not become you.”
  Imperious Venus is less potent than caressing Venus.  486
  Love is a beggar, who still begs when one has given him everything.
  Wrinkles disfigure a woman less than ill nature.
  To a wounded heart, silence and shadow.
  Women should despise slander, and fear to provoke it.
Mlle. de Scudéri.    
  The life of a woman is a long dissimulation. Candor, beauty, freshness, virginity, modesty—a woman has each of these but once. When lost, she must simulate them the rest of her life.
Rétif de la Bretonne.    
  There are two sorts of ruins: one is the work of time, the other of men.
  Men call physicians only when they suffer; women, when they are merely afflicted with ennui.
Mme. de Genlis.    
  Whatever the world may say, there are some mortal sorrows; and our lives ebb away less through our blood than through our tears.
P. Juillerat.    
  Reason has never mastered an ardent passion.
  A small number of men and women think for the million; through them the million speak and act.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Man, I tell you, is a vicious animal.
  Certain importunities always please women—even when the importuner does not please.  498
  That two men may be real friends, they must have opposite opinions, similar principles, and different loves and hatreds.
  The more honest a man is, the less he affects the air of a saint.
  Modesty is the grace of the soul.
  It is as difficult to condemn illicit loves by the laws of nature, as it is easy by human laws.
  The best written book is a receipt for a pottage.
  Love works miracles every day: such as weakening the strong, and strengthening the weak; making fools of the wise, and wise men of fools; favoring the passions, destroying reason, and, in a word, turning everything topsy-turvy.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  Silence has been given to woman to better express her thoughts.
  The weakness of woman gives to some men a victory that their merit would never gain.  506
  Human reason may cure illusions, but it can not cure sufferings.
A. de Musset.    
  He who knows his incapacity, knows something.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  Without love, it would be sad to be a man.
Mme. du Châtelet.    
  It is to teach us early in life how to think, and to excite our infantile imagination, that prudent Nature has given to women so much chit-chat.
La Bruyère.    
  A short absence quickens love, a long absence kills it.
  No one wishes to be pitied on account of his errors.
  How long seems the night to the sorrow that wakes!
  Imagination is a libertine that disrobes everything it covets.
A. Ricard.    
  Pity often gives birth to love.
Mme. de Sartory.    
  Modesty is the chastity of merit, the virginity of noble souls.
E. de Girardin.    
  One seeks new friends only when too well known by old ones.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  We are never as happy, nor as unhappy, as we fancy.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  In witnessing the satisfaction with which some people depreciate us, one would think that their virtues fatten on our vices.
  We know the value of a fortune when we have gained it, and that of a friend when we have lost it.
J. Petit-Senn.    
  If we should leave out of conversation scandal, gossip, commonplaces, fatuity—what silence!
Mme. Bachi.    
  Great souls love, weak souls desire.
Mme. de Krudener.    
  Most men are like plants: they possess properties which chance discovers.
De Saint-Réal.    
  Reflection increases the vigor of the mind, as exercise does the strength of the body.
  Women enjoy more the pleasure they give than the pleasure they feel.
  The quarrels of lovers are like summer showers that leave the country more verdant and beautiful.
Mme. Necker.    
  The woman who does not choose to love should cut the matter short at once, by holding out no hopes to her suitor.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  Who ceases to be a friend, never was a friend.  528
  If thou canst not suffer—die!
A. de Musset.    
  A lover has all the virtues and all the defects that a husband has not.
  The world is divided into two armies. Men make offensive war, women defensive. Love exalts and excites the two parties. They meet hand to hand. Love throws himself into their midst, agitating his torch. But the struggle differs from other battles: instead of destroying, it multiplies the combatants.
S. Maréchal.    
  Women love always: when earth slips from them, they take refuge in heaven.  532
  Solitude is the voice of Nature that speaks to us.
George Sand.    
  There are three things that women throw away: their time, their money, and their health.
Mme. Geoffrin.    
  God put in man thought; society, action; Nature, revery.
Victor Hugo.    
  There is not a love, however violent it may be, to which ambition and interest do not add something.
La Bruyère.    
  The good is but the beautiful in action.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  It is difficult for a woman to keep a secret: and I know more than one man who is a woman.
La Fontaine.    
  Would you console yourself when you die for parting from those with whom you liked to live? Think that they will be soon consoled for your death.  539
  Paradise was made for tender hearts; hell, for loveless hearts.
  It is not death, it is dying that alarms me.
  Women have the genius of charity. A man gives but his gold, a woman adds to it her sympathy. A small sum in the hands of a woman does more good than a hundred times as much in the hands of a man. Feminine charity renews every day the miracle of Christ feeding a multitude with a few loaves and fishes.
E. Legouvé.    
  Lovers have in their language an infinite number of words, in which each syllable is a caress.
  Wine colors the face, to prevent the appearance of modesty.
A. de Musset.    
  It is the merit of those who praise that makes the value of the commendation.
Mlle. de Lespinasse.    
  In order that a love-letter may be what it should be, one should begin it without knowing what he is going to say, and end it without knowing what he has said.
  We think that not to live happily is not to live; then, how little we live!  547
  Before promising a woman to love only her, one should have seen them all, or should see only her.
A. Dupuy.    
  Who despises all that is despicable, is made to be impressed with all that is grand.
  The misanthropist is to be pitied when his despair proceeds from an ardent love for the good, the beautiful, and the true.
George Sand.    
  Love renders women discreet.
  There is nothing that fear or hope does not make men believe.
  Servility is to devotion what hypocrisy is to virtue.
E. de Girardin.    
  Men are so unjust that to be unhappy is to be wrong.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  How can we expect another to keep our secret, when it is more than we can do ourselves?
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Every man has in his heart a slumbering hog.
A. Préault.    
  In love, too much of it is not enough.
  A man philosophizes better than a woman on the human heart, but she reads the hearts of men better than he.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  The affectation of virtue which characterizes this century would be very ludicrous, if it were not very tiresome.
T. Gautier.    
  Marriage often unites for life two people who scarcely know each other.
  A friend is a rare book, of which but one copy is made. We read a page of it every day, till some woman snatches it from our hands, who sometimes peruses it, but more frequently tears it.  561
  After money, ennui makes more marriages than love.
  Remembrance! celestial present, shadow of the blessings which are no longer! Thou art still a pleasure that consoles us for all those we have lost!  563
  Women give themselves to God when the devil wants nothing more to do with them.
Sophie Arnould.    
  Our country is that spot to which our heart is attached.
  A woman who writes commits two sins: she increases the number of books, and decreases the number of women.
A. Karr.    
  An idle man in the community is a thief.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  One is more honest in youth, and to the age of thirty years, than when one has passed it. It is only after that age that one’s illusions are dispelled. Until then, one resembles the dog that defends the dinner of his master against other dogs: after this period, he takes his share of it with the others.
  Bad examples may be as profitable to virtue as good ones.
  Extreme concupiscence may be found under an extreme austerity.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  Codes are treacherous seas in which the poor barks of smugglers perish, while big corsairs traverse them under full sail.
E. Souvestre.    
  We meet in society many attractive women whom we would fear to make our wives.
  The world takes, from even the most candid heart, the freshness of faith and generosity.
George Sand.    
  Love is a tyrant that spares no one.
  None deserve the name of good who have not spirit enough to be bad. Goodness, for the most part, is but indolence, or impotence.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Life is a carnival.
  A man who can love deeply is never utterly contemptible.
  The heart of a woman never grows old: when it has ceased to love, it has ceased to live.
  It is easier to be good for everybody, than to be good for somebody.
A. Dumas fils.    
  It is God himself who speaks to us, when noble thoughts inspire us.  580
  As the dawn precedes the sun, so acquaintance should precede love.
Du Bosc.    
  Contrasts make more intimate unions than similarity of disposition.
Mme. de Graffigny.    
  Without woman, man would be rough, rude, solitary, and would ignore all the graces which are but the smiles of love. Woman weaves about him the flowers of life, as the vines of the forest decorate the trunk of the oak with their fragrant garlands.
  How sweet it would be to live in society if the countenance always reflected the disposition, if decency were virtue, and if our maxims were our rules of action.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  The beauty of a young girl should speak to the imagination, and not to the senses.
A. Karr.    
  Features betray the temperament and character, but the mien indicates the degrees of fortune.
La Bruyère.    
  He who lives but for himself lives but for a little thing.
  With audacity, one can undertake anything, but one can not accomplish everything.
Napoleon I.    
  It does not depend upon us to avoid poverty, but it does depend upon us to make that poverty respected.
  Truth is the sun of the intelligence.
  Ideas are a capital that bears interest only in the hands of talent.
  Study is the apprenticeship of life.
  Jealousy is a secret avowal of our inferiority.
  That happiness may enter the soul, we must first sweep it clean of all imaginary evils.
  A mediocre speech can never be too short.
Mme. de Lambert.    
  We are no longer happy as soon as we wish to be happier.
  A woman repents sincerely of her fault, only after being weaned from her infatuation for the one who induced her to commit it.
  To live without bitterness, one must turn his eyes toward the ludicrous side of the world, and accustom himself to look at men only as jumping-jacks, and at society as the board on which they jump.
  It is easier to be a lover than a husband, for the same reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than now and then.
  Nature has said to woman: Be fair if thou canst, be virtuous if thou wilt; but, considerate, thou must be.
  Constraint is the mother of desires.
  An asp would render its sting more venomous by dipping it into the heart of a coquette.
  Most women spend their lives in robbing the old tree from which Eve plucked the first fruit. And such is the attraction of this fruit, that the most honest woman is not content to die without having tasted it.
O. Feuillet.    
  Every great passion is but a prolonged hope.
  Labor is often the father of pleasure.
  Not to enjoy one’s youth, when one is young, is to imitate the miser who starves beside his treasures.
Mme. Louise Colet.    
  Hypocrites are wicked: they hide their defects with so much care, that their hearts are poisoned by them.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  A happy jest often gives birth to another; but the child is seldom worth the mother.
Alfred Bougeart.    
  Beauty, in woman, is power.
  Destiny: sinister burst of laughter!
Victor Hugo.    
  There is no man easier to deceive than he who hopes; for he aids in his own deceit.
  We have but one instant to live, and we have hopes for years.
  Before marriage, woman is a queen; after marriage, a subject.  613
  A woman forgives everything, but the fact that you do not covet her.
A. de Musset.    
  Delicacy is to affection what grace is to beauty.
Mme. de Maintenon.    
  Love is a bird of passage that women await with curiosity in youth, retain with pleasure in maturer years, and allow to escape with regret when old age creeps upon them.
A. Ricard.    
  The more idle a woman’s hand, the more occupied her heart.
S. Dubay.    
  The ear is the last resort of chastity: after it is expelled from the heart, it takes refuge there.
Rétif de la Bretonne.    
  Modesty is sometimes an exalted pride.
George Sand.    
  If happiness could be prolonged from love into marriage, we should have paradise on earth.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Words are the key of the heart.  621
  Love is of all the passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.
  Woman is made of tongue, as fox of tail.
  Prudery is the hypocrisy of modesty.
  The error of certain women is to imagine that, to acquire distinction, they must imitate the manners of men.
J. de Maistre.    
  Time is the sovereign physician of all passions.
  Superstition excites storms; philosophy appeases them.
  Wounds given to honor never heal.
  Obstacles usually stimulate passion, but sometimes they kill it.
George Sand.    
  Man is an eternal mystery, even to himself. His own person is a house which he never enters, and of which he studies but the outside.
E. Souvestre.    
  We are by no means aware how much we are influenced by our passions.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  To envy anybody is to confess ourselves his inferior.
Mlle. de Lespinasse.    
  Do good to-day, since thou still livest.
  No one is happy unless he respects himself.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  There is in things a resistance superior to ideas, but for which the world would not exist six months.
  Glory is a shroud that posterity often tears from the shoulders of those who wore it, when living.
  The most dangerous flattery is the inferiority of those who surround us.
Mme. Swetchine.    
  It does not take twenty years for men to change their opinions of things which had seemed to them the truest, and most certain.
La Bruyère.    
  Philosophy writes treatises on old age and friendship; Nature makes those on youth and love.
  O nude truth! O true truth! how difficult thou art to find, and how difficult to utter!
  Mankind is born a fool, and is led by knaves.
Benjamin Constant.    
  Lover, daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother: in those six words lies what the human heart contains of the sweetest, the most ecstatic, the most sacred, the purest, and the most ineffable.
  The head is always the dupe of the heart.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  O women! you are very extraordinary children!
  There are different kinds of love, but they have all the same aim: possession.
N. Roqueplan.    
  When all that is fond in our nature is most thoroughly awakened, when we feel most deeply and tenderly—even then, love is so conscious of its instability that we are irresistibly prompted to ask: Do you love me? Will you love me always?
  Women distrust men too much in general, and not enough in particular.
  If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent one.
  To protect one’s self against the storms of passion, marriage with a good woman is a harbor in the tempest; but with a bad woman, it proves a tempest in the harbor.
J. Petit-Senn.    
  We should all be perfect if we were neither men nor women.  650
  Society would be a charming thing if we were only interested in one another.
  We confess small faults in order to insinuate that we have no great ones.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  A great name without merit is like an epitaph on a coffin.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  One can journey with delight in the ideal, but one reposes well only in the reality.
  There is pleasure in meeting the eyes of those to whom we have done good.
La Bruyère.    
  To speak, but say nothing, is for three people out of four to express all they think.
O. Commettant.    
  One is rich when one is sure of the morrow.
  It is more difficult to dissimulate the sentiments we have, than to simulate those we have not.
De Saint-Réal.    
  Without the ideal, this inexhaustible source of all progress, what would man be? and what would society be?
E. de Girardin.    
  Every man has three characters: that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.
A. Karr.    
  Who takes an eel by the tail, or a woman at her word, soon finds he holds nothing.
  High positions are like the summit of high, steep rocks: eagles and reptiles alone can reach them.
Mme. Necker.    
  Women are right to crave beauty at any price, since beauty is the only merit that men do not contest with them.
A. Dupuy.    
  The soul, ray of Heaven, invisible prisoner, suffers in its dungeon cruel sorrows.
A. de Musset.    
  The profession of woman is very hard.
Mme. d’Epinay.    
  Happy love counts lost moments.
  To see each other, to profess to love each other, to prove it, to quarrel, to hate, then to separate, that one may seek a new love: this is the history of a moment, and of every day in the comedy of the world.
De Varennes.    
  Men do nothing excellent but by imitation of nature.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Love is like medical science, the art of assisting nature.
Dr. Lallemand.    
  The man who has taken one wife deserves a crown of patience; the man who has taken two deserves two crowns of folly.
  The cleverest of all devils is opportunity.
  When a woman pronounces the name of a man but twice a day, there may be some doubt as to the nature of her sentiments; but three times!…
  Love is a canvas furnished by Nature, and embroidered by imagination.
  We live only on debris; instead of despair, we have indifference; love itself is treated as an ancient illusion. Where has the soul of the world taken refuge?
Mme. Louise Colet.    
  Marriage is the true road to Paradise.
De la Ferrière.    
  Few are they who have been spared by calumny.
George Sand.    
  A great name is like an eternal epitaph engraved by the admiration of men on the road of time.
E. Souvestre.    
  To philosophize is to doubt.
  Love—sweet misery!
A. de Musset.    
  The scandal of the world is what makes the offense: it is not sinful to sin in silence.
Molière (“Tartufe”).    
  With women, the desire to bedeck themselves is always the desire to please.
  True modesty protects a woman better than her garments.  682
  Conscience is the most enlightened of all philosophers.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Respect your wife. Heap earth around that flower, but never drop any in the chalice.
A. de Musset.    
  To continue love in marriage is a science. It requires so little to kill those sweet emotions, those precious illusions, which form the charm of life; and it is so difficult to maintain a man at the height on which an exalted passion has placed him, especially when that man is one’s husband!
Mme. Reybaud.    
  What is a philosopher? One who opposes nature to law, reason to usage, conscience to opinion, and his judgment to error.
  We shall all be perfectly virtuous when there is no longer any flesh on our bones.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  It is as absurd to pretend that one can not love the same woman always, as to pretend that a good artist needs several violins to execute a piece of music.
  To give you nothing and to make you expect everything, to dawdle on the threshold of love, while the doors are closed: this is all the science of a coquette.
De Bernard.    
  Who has daughters is always a shepherd.
  Life is the preface to the book of eternity.
  Enjoy what you have; hope for what you lack.
  Fortune is a divinity in whom there are no disbelievers.
Sénac de Meilhan.    
  If we had no defects, we should not take so much pleasure in discovering those of others.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.
Mme. Roland.    
  Good sense is the master of human life.
  There are some places that we admire; others that attract us, and where we would like to dwell.
La Bruyère.    
  Hope! hope, you miserable! There is no infinite mourning, no incurable evils, no eternal hell!
Victor Hugo.    
  Women dress less to be clothed than to be adorned. When alone before their mirrors, they think more of men than of themselves.
  Modesty in women has great advantages: it enhances beauty, and serves as a veil to uncomeliness.
  The more mysterious love is, the more strength it has; the more it is secret, the more it increases; the more hidden, the plainer shown.
Mme. de Sartory.    
  Love is a religion of which the great pontiff is Nature.  702
  Three letters! but one syllable! Still less, a single motion of the head, and all is done! one is married for ever! I do not know any breakneck comparable to it.
A. Ricard.    
  To give happiness is to deserve happiness.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  The ear is the road to the heart; and the heart is the road to the rest.  705
  Some women need much adorning, as some meat needs much seasoning to incite appetite.
  Catastrophes dispose all strong and intelligent men to philosophize.
  Thinkers are as scarce as gold; but he whose thought embraces all his subject, who pursues it uninterruptedly and fearless of consequences, is a diamond of enormous size.
  Society is divided into two classes: the fleecers and the fleeced.
  To love is to make a compact with sorrow.
Mlle. de Lespinasse.    
  She is the most virtuous woman whom Nature has made the most voluptuous, and reason the coldest.
La Beaumelle.    
  Satire lies about men of letters during their life, and eulogy after their death.
  Gravity is a stratagem invented to conceal the poverty of the mind.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  To weep is not always to suffer.
Mme. de Genlis.    
  The only true language of love is a kiss.
A. de Musset.    
  Many are esteemed, only because they are not known.  716
  Patience is the art of hoping.
  How many who, after having achieved fame and fortune, recall with regret the time when—ascending the hills of life in the sun of their twentieth year—they had nothing but courage, which is the virtue of the young, and hope, which is the treasure of the poor!
H. Murger.    
  A secret passion defends the heart of a woman better than her moral sense.
Rétif de la Bretonne.    
  If men knew all that women think, they would be twenty times more audacious. If women knew what men think, they would be twenty times more coquettish.
A. Karr.    
  We have three kinds of friends: those who love us, those who are indifferent to us, and those who hate us.
  There is for adversity but one refuge—the tomb.
De Ségoyer.    
  Sensitive people wish to be loved; vain people wish only to be preferred.
  I like the laughter that opens the lips and the heart, that shows at the same time pearls and the soul.
Victor Hugo.    
  Love, of all tutors, is the one that most advances his pupils.
  The life of great geniuses is nothing but a sublime storm.
George Sand.    
  None laugh better, and oftener, than women with fine teeth.  727
  Were we perfectly acquainted with our idol, we should never passionately desire it.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  A father is a banker given by nature.  729
  Our soil is formed only of human dust.
G. Legouvé.    
  Fate gives us parents; choice gives us friends.
  Our vices are like our nails: even as we cut them, they grow again.
T. Bernard.    
  It is with the mind that we amuse ourselves, but with the heart we never weary.
A. Dumas père.    
  Great men undertake great things because they are great, and fools because they think them easy.
  The great aureole encircles only the brow of the dead.
  Memory is the granary of the mind, and of experience.
O. Commettant.    
  When flattery is unsuccessful, it is but the fault of the flatterer.
  Poetry is the sister of Sorrow. Every man that suffers and weeps is a poet; every tear is a verse, and every heart a poem.
Marc André.    
  Prudery is the caricature of modesty.
  Reason is the last resort of love.
  Surely man is a being wonderfully vain, changeable, and vacillating.
  Resignation—a virgin with golden tears.
Ch. Monselet.    
  A woman who pretends to laugh at love is like the child who sings at night when he is afraid.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Of all men, Adam was the happiest—he had no mother-in-law.
P. Parfait.    
  We often weep before we have had time to smile.
Victor Hugo.    
  The first sigh of love is the last of wisdom.  746
  There are some sorrows of which we should never be consoled.
Mme. de Sévigné.    
  It is the violence of their ideas and the blind haste of their passion that make men awkward when with women. A man who has blunted a little his sensations, at first studies to please rather than to be loved.
George Sand.    
  To be happy, there are certain sides of our nature that must be entirely stultified.
  Moderation is the pleasure of the wise.
  Little girls are won with dolls—big ones with oaths.
A. Ricard.    
  Do not take women from the bedside of those who suffer: it is their post of honor.
Mme. Cécile Fée.    
  One must have a heart to know how to love; senses do not suffice. Temperament led by the mind leads to voluptuousness, but never to love.
De Bernis.    
  Reason developed and cultivated will always be the most powerful curb to the passions: this is the compass of all mankind.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  Women, cats, and birds are the creatures that waste the most time on their toilets.
Ch. Nodier.    
  In love, which is the best rewarded: respect, or certain offenses?
A. de Musset.    
  Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: a very stupid daughter of a very wise mother.
  Ridicule dishonors more than dishonor.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Qualities of a too superior order render a man less adapted to society. One does not go to market with big lumps of gold; one goes with silver or small change.
  Earthly paradise: the parents young, the children small.
Victor Hugo.    
  He who thinks he can do without the world deceives himself; but he who thinks that the world can not do without him is still more in error.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  Kindness is the only charm permitted to the aged: it is the coquetry of white hair.
O. Feuillet.    
  We must consider humanity as a man who continually grows old, and always learns.
L. Figuier.    
  The worst of enemies are flatterers, and the worst of flatterers are pleasures.
  The selfish, loving only themselves, are loved by no one: so, selfishness is moral suicide.
De Gaston.    
  The cause of our grandeur may become that of our ruin.
  We like morality when we are old, because we make of it a merit for the numerous privations which have become for us a necessity.
Mme. de Salm.    
  Mortals, what errors are yours! You have but an instant to live, and that instant is a burden. Man implores Death and digs his grave.
A. L. Thomas.    
  What has been sown in the mind of the youth blooms and fructifies in the sun of riper years.
Alfred Mercier.    
  There is no better excess in the world than the excess of gratitude.
La Bruyère.    
  Youth is a continual intoxication, the fever of reason.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  One dies twice: to cease to live is nothing, but to cease to love and to be loved is an insupportable death.
  One is very near being ungrateful when one weighs a service.
Mme. de Flahaut.    
  Friend, beware of fair maidens! When their tenderness begins, our servitude is near.
Victor Hugo.    
  Reason bears disgrace, courage combats it, patience surmounts it.
Mme. de Sévigné.    
  Of yore, they languished, they burned, they died for love; to-day, they chat about it, they make it, and, more often, they buy it.
  There are no fine prisons, nor ugly loves.
  There are principles excellent for certain firm and energetic characters, which would be worth nothing for those of an inferior order.
  One should believe in marriage as in the immortality of the soul.
  Instinct has a lucidness that surpasses reason.  780
  The first rule for speaking well is to think well.
Mme. de Lambert.    
  In order to do great things, we should live as though we were never to die.
  It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
  Woman has a smile for every joy, and a tear for every sorrow.
  A fool may have his coat embroidered, but it will always be a fool’s coat.
  Bravery escapes more dangers than cowardice.
  Follies committed by sensible people, extravagances said by clever people, crimes committed by honest people: this is the history of revolutions.
De Bonald.    
  Some oblige as others insult. One is tempted to ask reparation of them for their services.
Napoleon I.    
  Misery is everywhere, and so is happiness.
  Speech has been given to man to disguise his thoughts.
  It is not enough to forgive: one must forget.
Mme. de Staël.    
  Love is the sweetest and best of moralists.  792
  In experiencing the ills of nature, one despises death; in learning the evils of society, one despises life.
  It is the enjoying, and not merely the possessing, that makes us happy.
  Friendship that begins between a man and a woman will soon change its name.  795
  Sleep, next to death, is the best thing in life.
T. Gautier.    
  Many a man who has never been able to manage his own fortune, nor his wife, nor his children, has the stupidity to imagine himself capable of managing the affairs of a nation.  797
  The pleasures of thought are remedies for the wounds of the heart.
Mme. de Staël.    
  Beauty without modesty is like a flower broken from its stem.  799

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