I've met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
The production of a work of art is determined by the material and intellectual climate in which a man lives and dies.
Four varieties in society: lovers, the ambitious, observers, and fools. The fools are the happiest.
We study ourselves three weeks, we love each other three months, we squabble three years, we tolerate each other thirty years, and then the children start all over again.
Kindly politeness is the slow fruit of advanced reflection; it is a sort of humanity and kindliness applied to small acts and every day discourse: it bids man soften towards others, and forget himself for the sake of others: it constrains genuine nature, which is selfish and gross.
History is nothing but a problem of mechanics applied to psychology.
A fixed idea is like the iron rod which sculptors put in their statues. It impales and sustains.
The search for causes must come after the collection of facts.
To have a true idea of man or of life, one must have stood himself on the brink of suicide, or on the door-sill of insanity, at least once.
Man may be considered as a superior species of animal that produces philosophies and poems in about the same way a silkworm produces their cocoons and bees their hives.
Amid this vast and overwhelming space and in these boundless solar archipelagoes, how small is our own sphere, and the earth, what a grain of sand!
Change a virtue in its circumstances find it becomes a vice; change a vice in its circumstances, and it becomes a virtue. Regard the same quality from two sides; on one it is a fault, on the other a merit. The essential of a man is found concealed far below these moral badges.
The more I study the things of the mind the more mathematical I find them. In them as in mathematics it is a question of quantities; they must be treated with precision. I have never had more satisfaction than in proving this in the realms of art, politics and history.
There are four types of men in the world: lovers, opportunists, lookers-on, and imbeciles. The happiest are the imbeciles.
In the stormy current of life characters are weights or floats which at one time make us glide along the bottom, and at another maintain us on the surface.
For thirty centuries, from her sacred seat the cat looked down, and crouching at her feet, beheld the race of conquering Pharaohs kneel.
His tongue is by turns a sponge, a brush, a comb. He cleans himself, he smooths himself, he knows what is proper.
There are as many kinds of modesty as there are races. To the English woman it is a duty; to the French woman a propriety.
I wish to reproduce things as they are or as they would be even if I myself did not exist.
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