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 only thing wealth does for some people is to make them worry about losing it.
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.
What isn’t clear, isn’t French.
Memory always obeys the commands of the heart.
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.
Ideas are a capital that bears interest only in the hands of talent.
Of every ten persons who talk about you, nine will say something bad, and the tenth will say something good in a bad way.
If poverty makes man groan, he yawns in opulence. When fortune exempts us from labor, nature overwhelms us with time.
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.
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.
Gold like the sun, which melts wax, but hardens clay, expands great souls.
To lose one's self in reverie, one must be either very happy, or very unhappy. Reverie is the child of extremes.
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.
The mischief of children is seldom actuated by malice; that of grown-up people always is.
Generally speaking, there is more wit than talent in the world. Society swarms with witty people who lack talent.
There are men who gain from their wealth only the fear of losing it.
That which happens to the soil when it ceases to be cultivated by the social man happens to man himself when he foolishly forsakes society for solitude; the brambles grow up in his desert heart.
Women read each other at a single glance.
The methods that help a man acquire a fortune are the very ones that keep him from enjoying it.
History is only time furnished with dates and rich with events.
Tenderness is the infancy of love.
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