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HONORE DE BALZAC
French novelist
(1799 - 1850)
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In France everything is a matter for jest. People make quips about the scaffold, about Napoleon's defeat on the banks of The Beresina, and about the barricades of our revolutions. So, at the assizes of the Last Judgment, there will always be a Frenchmen to crack a joke.
      - [France]

In France we can cauterize wounds but we do not yet know any remedy for the injuries inflicted by a bon mot.
      - [Remedies]

In intimate family life, there comes a moment when children, willingly or no, become the judges of their parents.
      - [Family]

In love, what a woman mistakes for disgust is actually clearsightedness. If she does not admire a man, she scorns him.
      - [Love]

In Paris every man must have had a love affair. What woman wants something that no other woman ever wanted.
      - [Jealousy]

In Paris, the greatest expression of personal satisfaction known to man is the smirk on the face of a male, highly pleased with himself as he leaves the boudoir of a lady.
      - [Self-satisfaction]

In smart society men are jealous of one another after the fashion of women.
      - [Jealousy]

In the first woman we love, we love everything. Growing older, we love the woman only.
      - [Love]

In the medical profession a horse and carriage are more necessary than any scientific knowledge.
      - [Knowledge : Medicine]

In the silence of their studios, busied for days at a time with works which leave the mind relatively free, painters become like women; their thoughts can revolve around the minor facts of life and penetrate their hidden meaning.
      - [Painters]

Incurable wounds are those inflicted by tongue and eye, by mockery and disdain.
      - [Wounds]

Innocence alone dares commit certain acts of audacity. Virtue, when tutored, is as calculating as vice.
      - [Innocence]

It is a singular fact that most men of action incline to the theory of fatalism, while the greater part of men of thought believe in providence.
      - [Belief]

It is easier for a woman to be a good wife than a good mother. A widow has two duties with contrary obligations: she is a mother and she must exercise paternal authority. Few woman are strong enough to understand and to play this role.
      - [Wives]

It is no sin to be tempted; the wickedness lies in being overcome.
      - [Wickedness]

It is not hope but despair that gives us the measure of our ambitions. We may yield secretly to beautiful poems of hope but grief looms start and stripped of all veils.
      - [Despair]

It is very difficult to pass from pleasure to work. Accordingly more poems have been swallowed up by sorrow than ever happiness caused to blaze forth in unparalleled radiance.
      - [Poetry]

Jealousy, an eminently credulous and suspicious passion, allows fancy the greatest possible play. But it does not bestow wit, it banishes all sense.
      - [Jealousy]

Journalism is a giant catapult set in motion by pigmy hatreds.
      - [Journalism]

Journalists grow accustomed to seeing evil and they let it pass; they proceed to approve it, and they end by committing it themselves.
      - [Evil : Journalists]

Kindness steers no easy course. Attributing it to character, we seldom recognize the secret efforts of a noble heart, whereas we reward really wicked people for the evil they refrain from committing.
      - [Kindness]

Let nothing dupe you! Such is the horrible maxim that acts as a solvent upon every noble feeling man experiences.
      - [Stupidity]

Let passion reach a catastrophe and it submits us to an intoxicating force far more powerful than the niggardly irritation of wine or of opium. The lucidity our ideas then achieve, and the delicacy of our overly exalted sensations, produce the strangest and most unexpected effects.
      - [Passion]

Let us leave the cure of public evils to those quacks, the statesmen.
      - [Statesmen]

Liberty begets anarchy, anarchy leads to despotism, and despotism brings about liberty once again. Millions of human beings have perished without being able to make any of these systems triumph.
      - [Liberty]


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