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HONORE DE BALZAC
French novelist
(1799 - 1850)
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A careful observation of Nature will disclose pleasantries of superb irony. She has for instance placed toads close to flowers.
      - [Irony : Nature]

A Creole woman is like a child, she wants to possess everything immediately; like a child, she would set fire to a house in order to fry an egg. In her languor, she thinks of nothing; when passionately aroused, she thinks of any act possible or impossible.
      - [Women]

A deist is an atheist with an eye cocked for the off-chance of some advantage.
      - [Deists]

A girl fresh from a boarding school may perhaps be a virgin but no! she is never chaste.
      - [Virginity]

A grass blade believes that men build palaces for it to grow in. Grass wedges its way between the closest blocks of marble and it brings them down. This power of feeble life which can creep in anywhere is greater than that of the mighty behind their cannons.
      - [Feebleness : Power]

A great love is a credit opened in favor of a power so consuming that the moment of bankruptcy must inevitably occur.
      - [Love]

A husband can commit no greater blunder than to discuss his wife, if she is virtuous, with his mistress; unless it be to mention his mistress, if she is beautiful, to his wife.
      - [Husbands : Mistake]

A knowledge of mankind and of things that surround us gives us that second education which proves far move valuable than our first because it alone turns out a truly accomplished man.
      - [Knowledge]

A lover teaches a wife all her husband has kept from her.
      - [Lovers]

A man wastes his time going to hear some of our eloquent modern preachers; they may change his opinions, but never his conduct.
      - [Clergy]

A man who stops at nothing short of the law is very clever indeed!
      - [Cleverness]

A man's own vanity is a swindler that never lacks for a dupe.
      - [Vanity]

A married woman is a slave you must know how to seat upon a throne.
      - [Wives]

A naked woman is less dangerous than one who spreads her skirt skillfully to cover and exhibit everything at once.
      - [Nudity]

A rent in your clothes is a mishap, a stain on them is a vice.
      - [Clothes]

A vocation is born to us all; happily most of us meet promptly our twin,--occupation.
      - [Vocations]

A woman filled with faith in the one she loves is the creation of a novelist's imagination.
      - [Frailty]

A woman in love has full intelligence of her power; the more virtuous she is, the more effective her coquetry.
      - [Love]

A woman in the depths of despair proves so persuasive that she wrenches the forgiveness lurking deep in the heart of her lover. This is all the more true when that woman is young, pretty, and so decollete as to emerge from the neck of her gown in the costume of Eve.
      - [Despair : Lovers]

A woman must be a genius to create a good husband.
      - [Genius]

A woman questions the man who loves exactly as a judge questions a criminal. This being so, a flash of the eye, a mere word, an inflection of the voice or a moment's hesitation suffice to expose the fact, betrayal or crime he is attempting to conceal.
      - [Questions]

A woman's greatest charm consists in a constant appeal to a man's generosity by a gracious declaration of helplessness which fills him with pride and awakens the most magnificent feelings in his heart.
      - [Helplessness]

A woman's sentimental monkeyshines will always deceive her lover, who invariably waxes ecstatic where her husband necessarily shrugs his shoulders.
      - [Deceit]

A woman, even a prude, is not long at a loss, however dire her plight. She would seen always to have in hand the fig leaf our Mother Eve bequeathed to her.
      - [Prudery]

According to man's environment, society has made as many different types of men as there are varieties in zoology. The differences between a soldier, a workman, a statesman, a tradesman, a sailor, a poet, a pauper and a priest, are more difficult to seize, but quite considerable as the differences between a wolf, a lion, an ass, a crow, a sea-calf, a sheep, and so on.
      - [Society]


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