Quotations > J. De Finod, comp. > French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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.    
  401
 
  He who prays and bites has not a little of the devil in him.
Lavater.    
  402
 
  When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves that we are leaving them.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  403
 
  Women are an aristocracy.
Michelet.    
  404
 
  The energies of the soul slumber in the vague reveries of hope.
Mme. Guizot.    
  405
 
  Remorse is the last sigh of expiring virtue.
La Beaumelle.    
  406
 
  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.
Balzac.    
  407
 
  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.
Pascal.    
  409
 
  Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
Massieu.    
  410
 
  Youth and Will may resist excess, but Nature takes revenge in silence.
A. de Musset.    
  411
 
  If there is a fruit that can be eaten raw, it is beauty.
A. Karr.    
  412
 
  Devotion is the last love of women.
Saint-Evremond.    
  413
 
  Conviction is the conscience of the mind.
Chamfort.    
  414
 
  Dress changes the manners.
Voltaire.    
  415
 
  It’s better to love to-day than to-morrow. A pleasure postponed is a pleasure lost.
A. Ricard.    
  416
 
  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.    
  418
 
  Love, that sometimes corrupts pure bodies, often purifies corrupt hearts.
Laténa.    
  419
 
  The anger of a woman is the greatest evil with which one can threaten his enemies.
Chillon.    
  420
 
  There is a magic in the word duty, something I know not what, which sustains magistrates, inflames warriors, and cools married people.
H. Dupuy.    
  421
 
  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.    
  423
 
  Let us respect white hair—especially our own.
Petit-Senn.    
  424
 
  Illusions ruin all those whom they blind.
E. de Girardin.    
  425
 
  Knowledge, wit, and courage alone excite our admiration; and thou, sweet and modest Virtue, remainest without honors.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  426
 
  Jealousy is the homage that inferiority pays to merit.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  427
 
  To profess one thing and to do another occurs very often, especially with those who continually boast of their virtue.
T. Gautier.    
  428
 
  Little things console us, because little things afflict us.
Pascal.    
  429
 
  There are people who are almost in love, almost famous, and almost happy.
Mme. de Krudener.    
  430
 
  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.    
  431
 
  The unfortunate who prays is already consoled.
Millevoye.    
  432
 
  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.
Chamfort.    
  434
 
  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.    
  435
 
  Women are too imaginative and sensitive to have much logic.
Mme. du Deffand.    
  436
 
  A man who lives in indifference is one who has never seen the woman he could love.
La Bruyère.    
  437
 
  Every philosopher is cousin to an atheist.
A. de Musset.    
  438
 
  Nothing proves better the necessity of an indissoluble marriage than the instability of passion.
Balzac.    
  439
 
  We need the friendship of a man in great trials; of a woman in the affairs of every-day life.
A. L. Thomas.    
  440
 
  There are beautiful flowers that are scentless, and beautiful women that are unlovable.
Houellé.    
  441
 
  The only rose without thorns is friendship.
Mlle. de Scudéri.    
  442
 
  It is to woman that the heart appeals when it needs consolation.
Demoustier.    
  443
 
  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.    
  444
 
  A flattered woman is always indulgent.
Chénier.    
  445
 
  Nowadays we no longer laugh: we only smile, and our pleasures come very near ennui.
De Bernis.    
  446
 
  Men speak of what they know; women of what pleases them.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  447
 
  Virtue: a word easy to pronounce, difficult to understand.
Voltaire.    
  448
 
  There is a greater distance between some men and others, than between some men and the beasts.
Montaigne.    
  449
 
  All who suffer are full of hatred; all who live drag a remorse: the dead alone have broken their chains.
Victor Hugo.    
  450
 
  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.
Duclos.    
  451
 
  What we call a gentleman is no longer the man of nature.
Diderot.    
  452
 
  Fine eyes are to the face what eloquence is to speech.  453
 
  We can not always oblige, but we can always speak obligingly.
Voltaire.    
  454
 
  Sensitive souls live more than others.
Duclos.    
  455
 
  An injustice to one is a menace to all.
Montesquieu.    
  456
 
  Virtue is so praiseworthy that wicked people practice it from self-interest.
Vauvenargues.    
  457
 
  The only conquests that cause no regrets, are those made over ignorance.
Napoleon I.    
  458
 
  Gold is the sovereign of sovereigns.
Rivarol.    
  459
 
  Happy he who finds a friend; without that second self one lives but half of life.
Chènedollé.    
  460
 
  There are people so sensitive that they afflict us with our own sorrows.
C. Jordan.    
  461
 
  Justice is the bread of nations: they are always famishing for it.
Chateaubriand.    
  462
 
  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.    
  463
 
  Fools form a numerous people.
Florian.    
  464
 
  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.    
  466
 
  We are easily persuaded of what pleases us.
Mme. de Fontaines.    
  467
 
  Love is a game at which one always cheats.
Balzac.    
  468
 
  However talkative a woman may be, love teaches her silence.
Rochebrune.    
  469
 
  The hand of the poor is the purse of God.
Du Vair.    
  470
 
  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.
Pascal.    
  472
 
  Love places a genius and a fool on a level.
Gresset.    
  473
 
  The egotism of woman is always for two.
Mme. de Staël.    
  474
 
  Love is everything; love is the great fact. What matters the lover? What matters the flagon, provided one has the intoxication?
A. de Musset.    
  475
 
  O youth! thou often tearest thy wings against the thorns of voluptuousness!
Victor Hugo.    
  476
 
  It is easier for a woman to defend her virtue against men, than her reputation against women.
Rochebrune.    
  477
 
  Beauty is often but a splendid cloak which conceals the imperfections of the soul.
T. Gautier.    
  478
 
  To love is the least of the faults of a loving woman.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  479
 
  In retailing slander, we name the originator, in order to enjoy a pleasure without danger.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  480
 
  We like those to whom we do good better than those who do us good.
De Saint-Réal.    
  481
 
  Happiness is the shadow of man: remembrance of it follows him; hope of it precedes him.
J. Petit-Senn.    
  482
 
  Poetry has been the guardian angel of humanity in all ages.
Lamartine.    
  483
 
  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.    
  484
 
  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.”
Diderot.    
  485
 
  Imperious Venus is less potent than caressing Venus.  486
 
  Love is a beggar, who still begs when one has given him everything.
Rochepèdre.    
  487
 
  Wrinkles disfigure a woman less than ill nature.
Dupuy.    
  488
 
  To a wounded heart, silence and shadow.
Balzac.    
  489
 
  Women should despise slander, and fear to provoke it.
Mlle. de Scudéri.    
  490
 
  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.    
  491
 
  There are two sorts of ruins: one is the work of time, the other of men.
Chateaubriand.    
  492
 
  Men call physicians only when they suffer; women, when they are merely afflicted with ennui.
Mme. de Genlis.    
  493
 
  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.    
  494
 
  Reason has never mastered an ardent passion.
Régnier.    
  495
 
  A small number of men and women think for the million; through them the million speak and act.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  496
 
  Man, I tell you, is a vicious animal.
Molière.    
  497
 
  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.
Chateaubriand.    
  499
 
  The more honest a man is, the less he affects the air of a saint.
Lavater.    
  500
 
  Modesty is the grace of the soul.
Delille.    
  501
 
  It is as difficult to condemn illicit loves by the laws of nature, as it is easy by human laws.
Montaigne.    
  502
 
  The best written book is a receipt for a pottage.
Voltaire.    
  503
 
  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.    
  504
 
  Silence has been given to woman to better express her thoughts.
Desnoyers.    
  505
 
  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.    
  507
 
  He who knows his incapacity, knows something.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  508
 
  Without love, it would be sad to be a man.
Mme. du Châtelet.    
  509
 
  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.    
  510
 
  A short absence quickens love, a long absence kills it.
Mirabeau.    
  511
 
  No one wishes to be pitied on account of his errors.
Vauvenargues.    
  512
 
  How long seems the night to the sorrow that wakes!
Saurin.    
  513
 
  Imagination is a libertine that disrobes everything it covets.
A. Ricard.    
  514
 
  Pity often gives birth to love.
Mme. de Sartory.    
  515
 
  Modesty is the chastity of merit, the virginity of noble souls.
E. de Girardin.    
  516
 
  One seeks new friends only when too well known by old ones.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  517
 
  We are never as happy, nor as unhappy, as we fancy.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  518
 
  In witnessing the satisfaction with which some people depreciate us, one would think that their virtues fatten on our vices.
Pichot.    
  519
 
  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.    
  520
 
  If we should leave out of conversation scandal, gossip, commonplaces, fatuity—what silence!
Mme. Bachi.    
  521
 
  Great souls love, weak souls desire.
Mme. de Krudener.    
  522
 
  Most men are like plants: they possess properties which chance discovers.
De Saint-Réal.    
  523
 
  Reflection increases the vigor of the mind, as exercise does the strength of the body.
Lévis.    
  524
 
  Women enjoy more the pleasure they give than the pleasure they feel.
Rochepèdre.    
  525
 
  The quarrels of lovers are like summer showers that leave the country more verdant and beautiful.
Mme. Necker.    
  526
 
  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.    
  527
 
  Who ceases to be a friend, never was a friend.  528
 
  If thou canst not suffer—die!
A. de Musset.    
  529
 
  A lover has all the virtues and all the defects that a husband has not.
Balzac.    
  530
 
  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.    
  531
 
  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.    
  533
 
  There are three things that women throw away: their time, their money, and their health.
Mme. Geoffrin.    
  534
 
  God put in man thought; society, action; Nature, revery.
Victor Hugo.    
  535
 
  There is not a love, however violent it may be, to which ambition and interest do not add something.
La Bruyère.    
  536
 
  The good is but the beautiful in action.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  537
 
  It is difficult for a woman to keep a secret: and I know more than one man who is a woman.
La Fontaine.    
  538
 
  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.
Voltaire.    
  540
 
  It is not death, it is dying that alarms me.
Montaigne.    
  541
 
  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.    
  542
 
  Lovers have in their language an infinite number of words, in which each syllable is a caress.
Rochepèdre.    
  543
 
  Wine colors the face, to prevent the appearance of modesty.
A. de Musset.    
  544
 
  It is the merit of those who praise that makes the value of the commendation.
Mlle. de Lespinasse.    
  545
 
  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.
Raison.    
  546
 
  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.    
  548
 
  Who despises all that is despicable, is made to be impressed with all that is grand.
Lavater.    
  549
 
  The misanthropist is to be pitied when his despair proceeds from an ardent love for the good, the beautiful, and the true.
George Sand.    
  550
 
  Love renders women discreet.
Barthe.    
  551
 
  There is nothing that fear or hope does not make men believe.
Vauvenargues.    
  552
 
  Servility is to devotion what hypocrisy is to virtue.
E. de Girardin.    
  553
 
  Men are so unjust that to be unhappy is to be wrong.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  554
 
  How can we expect another to keep our secret, when it is more than we can do ourselves?
La Rochefoucauld.    
  555
 
  Every man has in his heart a slumbering hog.
A. Préault.    
  556
 
  In love, too much of it is not enough.
Beaumarchais.    
  557
 
  A man philosophizes better than a woman on the human heart, but she reads the hearts of men better than he.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  558
 
  The affectation of virtue which characterizes this century would be very ludicrous, if it were not very tiresome.
T. Gautier.    
  559
 
  Marriage often unites for life two people who scarcely know each other.
Balzac.    
  560
 
  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.
Romainville.    
  562
 
  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.    
  564
 
  Our country is that spot to which our heart is attached.
Voltaire.    
  565
 
  A woman who writes commits two sins: she increases the number of books, and decreases the number of women.
A. Karr.    
  566
 
  An idle man in the community is a thief.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  567
 
  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.
Chamfort.    
  568
 
  Bad examples may be as profitable to virtue as good ones.
Montaigne.    
  569
 
  Extreme concupiscence may be found under an extreme austerity.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  570
 
  Codes are treacherous seas in which the poor barks of smugglers perish, while big corsairs traverse them under full sail.
E. Souvestre.    
  571
 
  We meet in society many attractive women whom we would fear to make our wives.
D’Harleville.    
  572
 
  The world takes, from even the most candid heart, the freshness of faith and generosity.
George Sand.    
  573
 
  Love is a tyrant that spares no one.
Corneille.    
  574
 
  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.    
  575
 
  Life is a carnival.
Souvestre.    
  576
 
  A man who can love deeply is never utterly contemptible.
Balzac.    
  577
 
  The heart of a woman never grows old: when it has ceased to love, it has ceased to live.
Rochepèdre.    
  578
 
  It is easier to be good for everybody, than to be good for somebody.
A. Dumas fils.    
  579
 
  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.    
  581
 
  Contrasts make more intimate unions than similarity of disposition.
Mme. de Graffigny.    
  582
 
  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.
Chateaubriand.    
  583
 
  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.    
  584
 
  The beauty of a young girl should speak to the imagination, and not to the senses.
A. Karr.    
  585
 
  Features betray the temperament and character, but the mien indicates the degrees of fortune.
La Bruyère.    
  586
 
  He who lives but for himself lives but for a little thing.
Barjaud.    
  587
 
  With audacity, one can undertake anything, but one can not accomplish everything.
Napoleon I.    
  588
 
  It does not depend upon us to avoid poverty, but it does depend upon us to make that poverty respected.
Voltaire.    
  589
 
  Truth is the sun of the intelligence.
Vauvenargues.    
  590
 
  Ideas are a capital that bears interest only in the hands of talent.
Rivarol.    
  591
 
  Study is the apprenticeship of life.
Fleury.    
  592
 
  Jealousy is a secret avowal of our inferiority.
Massillon.    
  593
 
  That happiness may enter the soul, we must first sweep it clean of all imaginary evils.
Fontenelle.    
  594
 
  A mediocre speech can never be too short.
Mme. de Lambert.    
  595
 
  We are no longer happy as soon as we wish to be happier.
Lamotte.    
  596
 
  A woman repents sincerely of her fault, only after being weaned from her infatuation for the one who induced her to commit it.
Laténa.    
  597
 
  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.
Chamfort.    
  598
 
  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.
Balzac.    
  599
 
  Nature has said to woman: Be fair if thou canst, be virtuous if thou wilt; but, considerate, thou must be.
Beaumarchais.    
  600
 
  Constraint is the mother of desires.
D’Argens.    
  601
 
  An asp would render its sting more venomous by dipping it into the heart of a coquette.
Poincelot.    
  602
 
  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.    
  603
 
  Every great passion is but a prolonged hope.
Feuchères.    
  604
 
  Labor is often the father of pleasure.
Voltaire.    
  605
 
  Not to enjoy one’s youth, when one is young, is to imitate the miser who starves beside his treasures.
Mme. Louise Colet.    
  606
 
  Hypocrites are wicked: they hide their defects with so much care, that their hearts are poisoned by them.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  607
 
  A happy jest often gives birth to another; but the child is seldom worth the mother.
Alfred Bougeart.    
  608
 
  Beauty, in woman, is power.
Rotrou.    
  609
 
  Destiny: sinister burst of laughter!
Victor Hugo.    
  610
 
  There is no man easier to deceive than he who hopes; for he aids in his own deceit.
Bossuet.    
  611
 
  We have but one instant to live, and we have hopes for years.
Fléchier.    
  612
 
  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.    
  614
 
  Delicacy is to affection what grace is to beauty.
Mme. de Maintenon.    
  615
 
  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.    
  616
 
  The more idle a woman’s hand, the more occupied her heart.
S. Dubay.    
  617
 
  The ear is the last resort of chastity: after it is expelled from the heart, it takes refuge there.
Rétif de la Bretonne.    
  618
 
  Modesty is sometimes an exalted pride.
George Sand.    
  619
 
  If happiness could be prolonged from love into marriage, we should have paradise on earth.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  620
 
  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.
Voltaire.    
  622
 
  Woman is made of tongue, as fox of tail.
Proverb.    
  623
 
  Prudery is the hypocrisy of modesty.
Massias.    
  624
 
  The error of certain women is to imagine that, to acquire distinction, they must imitate the manners of men.
J. de Maistre.    
  625
 
  Time is the sovereign physician of all passions.
Montaigne.    
  626
 
  Superstition excites storms; philosophy appeases them.
Voltaire.    
  627
 
  Wounds given to honor never heal.
Corneille.    
  628
 
  Obstacles usually stimulate passion, but sometimes they kill it.
George Sand.    
  629
 
  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.    
  630
 
  We are by no means aware how much we are influenced by our passions.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  631
 
  To envy anybody is to confess ourselves his inferior.
Mlle. de Lespinasse.    
  632
 
  Do good to-day, since thou still livest.
Villefré.    
  633
 
  No one is happy unless he respects himself.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  634
 
  There is in things a resistance superior to ideas, but for which the world would not exist six months.
Lamennais.    
  635
 
  Glory is a shroud that posterity often tears from the shoulders of those who wore it, when living.
Béranger.    
  636
 
  The most dangerous flattery is the inferiority of those who surround us.
Mme. Swetchine.    
  637
 
  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.    
  638
 
  Philosophy writes treatises on old age and friendship; Nature makes those on youth and love.
D’Alembert.    
  639
 
  O nude truth! O true truth! how difficult thou art to find, and how difficult to utter!
Sainte-Beuve.    
  640
 
  Mankind is born a fool, and is led by knaves.
Benjamin Constant.    
  641
 
  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.
Massias.    
  642
 
  The head is always the dupe of the heart.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  643
 
  O women! you are very extraordinary children!
Diderot.    
  644
 
  There are different kinds of love, but they have all the same aim: possession.
N. Roqueplan.    
  645
 
  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?
Balzac.    
  646
 
  Women distrust men too much in general, and not enough in particular.
Commerson.    
  647
 
  If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent one.
Voltaire.    
  648
 
  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.    
  649
 
  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.
Chamfort.    
  651
 
  We confess small faults in order to insinuate that we have no great ones.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  652
 
  A great name without merit is like an epitaph on a coffin.
Mme. de Puisieux.    
  653
 
  One can journey with delight in the ideal, but one reposes well only in the reality.
Vieillard.    
  654
 
  There is pleasure in meeting the eyes of those to whom we have done good.
La Bruyère.    
  655
 
  To speak, but say nothing, is for three people out of four to express all they think.
O. Commettant.    
  656
 
  One is rich when one is sure of the morrow.
Chevalier.    
  657
 
  It is more difficult to dissimulate the sentiments we have, than to simulate those we have not.
De Saint-Réal.    
  658
 
  Without the ideal, this inexhaustible source of all progress, what would man be? and what would society be?
E. de Girardin.    
  659
 
  Every man has three characters: that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.
A. Karr.    
  660
 
  Who takes an eel by the tail, or a woman at her word, soon finds he holds nothing.
Proverb.    
  661
 
  High positions are like the summit of high, steep rocks: eagles and reptiles alone can reach them.
Mme. Necker.    
  662
 
  Women are right to crave beauty at any price, since beauty is the only merit that men do not contest with them.
A. Dupuy.    
  663
 
  The soul, ray of Heaven, invisible prisoner, suffers in its dungeon cruel sorrows.
A. de Musset.    
  664
 
  The profession of woman is very hard.
Mme. d’Epinay.    
  665
 
  Happy love counts lost moments.
Diderot.    
  666
 
  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.    
  667
 
  Men do nothing excellent but by imitation of nature.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  668
 
  Love is like medical science, the art of assisting nature.
Dr. Lallemand.    
  669
 
  The man who has taken one wife deserves a crown of patience; the man who has taken two deserves two crowns of folly.
Proverb.    
  670
 
  The cleverest of all devils is opportunity.
Vieland.    
  671
 
  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!…
Balzac.    
  672
 
  Love is a canvas furnished by Nature, and embroidered by imagination.
Voltaire.    
  673
 
  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.    
  674
 
  Marriage is the true road to Paradise.
De la Ferrière.    
  675
 
  Few are they who have been spared by calumny.
George Sand.    
  676
 
  A great name is like an eternal epitaph engraved by the admiration of men on the road of time.
E. Souvestre.    
  677
 
  To philosophize is to doubt.
Montaigne.    
  678
 
  Love—sweet misery!
A. de Musset.    
  679
 
  The scandal of the world is what makes the offense: it is not sinful to sin in silence.
Molière (“Tartufe”).    
  680
 
  With women, the desire to bedeck themselves is always the desire to please.
Marmontel.    
  681
 
  True modesty protects a woman better than her garments.  682
 
  Conscience is the most enlightened of all philosophers.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  683
 
  Respect your wife. Heap earth around that flower, but never drop any in the chalice.
A. de Musset.    
  684
 
  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.    
  685
 
  What is a philosopher? One who opposes nature to law, reason to usage, conscience to opinion, and his judgment to error.
Chamfort.    
  686
 
  We shall all be perfectly virtuous when there is no longer any flesh on our bones.
Marguerite de Valois.    
  687
 
  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.
Balzac.    
  688
 
  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.    
  689
 
  Who has daughters is always a shepherd.
Proverb.    
  690
 
  Life is the preface to the book of eternity.
Loiseleur.    
  691
 
  Enjoy what you have; hope for what you lack.
Lévis.    
  692
 
  Fortune is a divinity in whom there are no disbelievers.
Sénac de Meilhan.    
  693
 
  If we had no defects, we should not take so much pleasure in discovering those of others.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  694
 
  The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.
Mme. Roland.    
  695
 
  Good sense is the master of human life.
Bossuet.    
  696
 
  There are some places that we admire; others that attract us, and where we would like to dwell.
La Bruyère.    
  697
 
  Hope! hope, you miserable! There is no infinite mourning, no incurable evils, no eternal hell!
Victor Hugo.    
  698
 
  Women dress less to be clothed than to be adorned. When alone before their mirrors, they think more of men than of themselves.
Rochebrune.    
  699
 
  Modesty in women has great advantages: it enhances beauty, and serves as a veil to uncomeliness.
Fontenelle.    
  700
 
  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.    
  701
 
  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.    
  703
 
  To give happiness is to deserve happiness.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  704
 
  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.
Rochebrune.    
  706
 
  Catastrophes dispose all strong and intelligent men to philosophize.
Balzac.    
  707
 
  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.
Lavater.    
  708
 
  Society is divided into two classes: the fleecers and the fleeced.
Talleyrand.    
  709
 
  To love is to make a compact with sorrow.
Mlle. de Lespinasse.    
  710
 
  She is the most virtuous woman whom Nature has made the most voluptuous, and reason the coldest.
La Beaumelle.    
  711
 
  Satire lies about men of letters during their life, and eulogy after their death.
Voltaire.    
  712
 
  Gravity is a stratagem invented to conceal the poverty of the mind.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  713
 
  To weep is not always to suffer.
Mme. de Genlis.    
  714
 
  The only true language of love is a kiss.
A. de Musset.    
  715
 
  Many are esteemed, only because they are not known.  716
 
  Patience is the art of hoping.
Vauvenargues.    
  717
 
  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.    
  718
 
  A secret passion defends the heart of a woman better than her moral sense.
Rétif de la Bretonne.    
  719
 
  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.    
  720
 
  We have three kinds of friends: those who love us, those who are indifferent to us, and those who hate us.
Chamfort.    
  721
 
  There is for adversity but one refuge—the tomb.
De Ségoyer.    
  722
 
  Sensitive people wish to be loved; vain people wish only to be preferred.
Lévis.    
  723
 
  I like the laughter that opens the lips and the heart, that shows at the same time pearls and the soul.
Victor Hugo.    
  724
 
  Love, of all tutors, is the one that most advances his pupils.
Florian.    
  725
 
  The life of great geniuses is nothing but a sublime storm.
George Sand.    
  726
 
  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.    
  728
 
  A father is a banker given by nature.  729
 
  Our soil is formed only of human dust.
G. Legouvé.    
  730
 
  Fate gives us parents; choice gives us friends.
Delille.    
  731
 
  Our vices are like our nails: even as we cut them, they grow again.
T. Bernard.    
  732
 
  It is with the mind that we amuse ourselves, but with the heart we never weary.
A. Dumas père.    
  733
 
  Great men undertake great things because they are great, and fools because they think them easy.
Vauvenargues.    
  734
 
  The great aureole encircles only the brow of the dead.
Chasles.    
  735
 
  Memory is the granary of the mind, and of experience.
O. Commettant.    
  736
 
  When flattery is unsuccessful, it is but the fault of the flatterer.
Lévis.    
  737
 
  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.    
  738
 
  Prudery is the caricature of modesty.
Lingrée.    
  739
 
  Reason is the last resort of love.
Helvétius.    
  740
 
  Surely man is a being wonderfully vain, changeable, and vacillating.
Montaigne.    
  741
 
  Resignation—a virgin with golden tears.
Ch. Monselet.    
  742
 
  A woman who pretends to laugh at love is like the child who sings at night when he is afraid.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  743
 
  Of all men, Adam was the happiest—he had no mother-in-law.
P. Parfait.    
  744
 
  We often weep before we have had time to smile.
Victor Hugo.    
  745
 
  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.    
  747
 
  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.    
  748
 
  To be happy, there are certain sides of our nature that must be entirely stultified.
Chamfort.    
  749
 
  Moderation is the pleasure of the wise.
Voltaire.    
  750
 
  Little girls are won with dolls—big ones with oaths.
A. Ricard.    
  751
 
  Do not take women from the bedside of those who suffer: it is their post of honor.
Mme. Cécile Fée.    
  752
 
  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.    
  753
 
  Reason developed and cultivated will always be the most powerful curb to the passions: this is the compass of all mankind.
J. J. Rousseau.    
  754
 
  Women, cats, and birds are the creatures that waste the most time on their toilets.
Ch. Nodier.    
  755
 
  In love, which is the best rewarded: respect, or certain offenses?
A. de Musset.    
  756
 
  Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: a very stupid daughter of a very wise mother.
Voltaire.    
  757
 
  Ridicule dishonors more than dishonor.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  758
 
  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.
Chamfort.    
  759
 
  Earthly paradise: the parents young, the children small.
Victor Hugo.    
  760
 
  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.    
  761
 
  Kindness is the only charm permitted to the aged: it is the coquetry of white hair.
O. Feuillet.    
  762
 
  We must consider humanity as a man who continually grows old, and always learns.
L. Figuier.    
  763
 
  The worst of enemies are flatterers, and the worst of flatterers are pleasures.
Bossuet.    
  764
 
  The selfish, loving only themselves, are loved by no one: so, selfishness is moral suicide.
De Gaston.    
  765
 
  The cause of our grandeur may become that of our ruin.
Arnault.    
  766
 
  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.    
  767
 
  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.    
  768
 
  What has been sown in the mind of the youth blooms and fructifies in the sun of riper years.
Alfred Mercier.    
  769
 
  There is no better excess in the world than the excess of gratitude.
La Bruyère.    
  770
 
  Youth is a continual intoxication, the fever of reason.
La Rochefoucauld.    
  771
 
  One dies twice: to cease to live is nothing, but to cease to love and to be loved is an insupportable death.
Voltaire.    
  772
 
  One is very near being ungrateful when one weighs a service.
Mme. de Flahaut.    
  773
 
  Friend, beware of fair maidens! When their tenderness begins, our servitude is near.
Victor Hugo.    
  774
 
  Reason bears disgrace, courage combats it, patience surmounts it.
Mme. de Sévigné.    
  775
 
  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.
Jouy.    
  776
 
  There are no fine prisons, nor ugly loves.
Proverb.    
  777
 
  There are principles excellent for certain firm and energetic characters, which would be worth nothing for those of an inferior order.
Chamfort.    
  778
 
  One should believe in marriage as in the immortality of the soul.
Balzac.    
  779
 
  Instinct has a lucidness that surpasses reason.  780
 
  The first rule for speaking well is to think well.
Mme. de Lambert.    
  781
 
  In order to do great things, we should live as though we were never to die.
Vauvenargues.    
  782
 
  It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
Voltaire.    
  783
 
  Woman has a smile for every joy, and a tear for every sorrow.
Sainte-Foix.    
  784
 
  A fool may have his coat embroidered, but it will always be a fool’s coat.
Rivarol.    
  785
 
  Bravery escapes more dangers than cowardice.
Ségur.    
  786
 
  Follies committed by sensible people, extravagances said by clever people, crimes committed by honest people: this is the history of revolutions.
De Bonald.    
  787
 
  Some oblige as others insult. One is tempted to ask reparation of them for their services.
Napoleon I.    
  788
 
  Misery is everywhere, and so is happiness.
Boufflers.    
  789
 
  Speech has been given to man to disguise his thoughts.
Talleyrand.    
  790
 
  It is not enough to forgive: one must forget.
Mme. de Staël.    
  791
 
  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.
Chamfort.    
  793
 
  It is the enjoying, and not merely the possessing, that makes us happy.
Montaigne.    
  794
 
  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.    
  796
 
  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.    
  798
 
  Beauty without modesty is like a flower broken from its stem.  799
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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