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HONORE DE BALZAC
French novelist
(1799 - 1850)
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Admiration bestowed upon any one but ourselves is always tedious.
      - [Admiration]

After all, our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation.
      - [Misfortune]

Ah! the soft starlight of virgin eyes.
      - [Eyes]

Alas, two men are often necessary to provide a woman with a perfect lover, just as in literature a writer composes a type only by employing the singularities of several similar characters.
      - [Lovers]

All genuinely noble women prefer truth to falsehood. As the Russians with their Czar, they are unwilling to see their idol degraded; they want to be proud of the domination they accept.
      - [Falsehood]

All men can bear a familiar, definite misfortune better than the cruel alternations of a fate which, from one moment to another, brings excessive joy or sorrow.
      - [Misfortune]

Among even the happiest married couples there are always moments of regret.
      - [Happiness : Marriage]

Among fifty percent of your married couples, the husband worries very little about what his wife is doing, provided she is doing all he wishes.
      - [Wives]

An ounce of courage will go farther with women than a pound of timidity.
      - [Timidity]

An ugly woman, married to King Henry VIII, would have defied the axe and daunted her husband's infidelities.
      - [Wives]

Any man, however blase or depraved, finds his love kindled anew when he sees himself threatened by a rival.
      - [Love]

Are not poets men who fulfill their hopes prematurely?
      - [Poets]

Art's greatest efforts are invariably a timid counterfeit of Nature.
      - [Art]

As a rule, only the poor are generous. Rich people can always find excellent reasons for not handing over twenty thousand francs to a relative.
      - [Generosity]

As soon as man seeks to penetrate the secrets of Nature--in which nothing is secret and it is but a question of seeing--he realizes that the simple produces the supernatural.
      - [Secrecy]

At fifteen, neither beauty nor talent exist: a woman is all promise.
      - [Potential]

Authentic love always assumes the mystery of modesty, even in its expression, because actions speak louder than words. Unlike a feigned love, it feels no need to set a conflagration.
      - [Love]

Bankers are lynxes. To expect any gratitude from them is equivalent to attempting to move the wolves of the Ukraine to pity in the middle of winter.
      - [Bankers]

Beauty is the greatest of human powers. Any power without counterbalance or control becomes autocratic and leads to abuse and to folly. Despotism in a government is insanity; in woman, fantasy.
      - [Beauty : Despotism : Power]

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
      - [Fortune]

By and large, women have a faith and a morality peculiar to themselves; they believe in the reality of everything that serves their interest and their passions.
      - [Women]

By dint of making sacrifices, a man grows interested in the person who exacts them. Great ladies, like courtesans, know this truth by instinct.
      - [Sacrifice]

By resorting to self-resignation, the unfortunate consummate.
      - [Self-resignation]

Can you find a man who loves the occupation that provides him with a livelihood? Professions are like marriages; we end by feeling only their inconveniences.
      - [Marriage : Occupations]

Charity is not one of the virtues practiced on the stock market. The heart of a bank is but one of many viscera.
      - [Charity]


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