Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, in fearing future.
It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit.
The absolute ruler may be a Nero, but he is sometimes a Titus or Marc Aurelius; the people is often Nero, but never Marc Aurelius.
The only thing wealth does for some people is to make them worry about losing it.
Of every ten persons who talk about you, nine will say something bad, and the tenth will say something good in a bad way.
What isn’t clear, isn’t French.
The most civilized people are as near to barbarism as the most polished steel is to rust. Nations, like metals, have only a superficial brilliancy.
Ideas are a capital that bears interest only in the hands of talent.
The world is governed by love,--self-love.
The despotism of will in ideas is styled plan, project, character, obstinacy; its despotism in desires is called passion.
The modest man has everything to gain, and the arrogant man everything to lose; for modesty has always to deal with generosity, and arrogance with envy.
A fool may have his coat embroidered with gold, but it is a fool's coat still.
Gold like the sun, which melts wax, but hardens clay, expands great souls.
The mischief of children is seldom actuated by malice; that of grown-up people always is.
Extremes produce reaction. Beware that our boasted civilization does not lapse into barbarism.
Generally speaking, there is more wit than talent in the world. Society swarms with witty people who lack talent.
Memory always obeys the commands of the heart.
Opinions, theories, and systems pass by turns over the grindstone of time, which at first gives them brilliancy and sharpness, but finally wears them out.
Poverty treads close upon the heels of great and unexpected wealth.
It is not he who searches for praise who finds it.
There are men who gain from their wealth only the fear of losing it.
History is only time furnished with dates and rich with events.
To lose one's self in reverie, one must be either very happy, or very unhappy. Reverie is the child of extremes.
Reason is the historian, but passions are the actors.
The methods that help a man acquire a fortune are the very ones that keep him from enjoying it.
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