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HONORE DE BALZAC
French novelist
(1799 - 1850)
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Nothing is irredeemably ugly but sin.
      - [Ugliness]

Nothing is unimportant to a man plunged in despair. He is as credulous as a criminal sentenced to death who listens to a lunatic raving to him about how he can escape through the keyhole.
      - [Despair]

Novelty is both delightful and deceptive.
      - [Novelty]

Nowhere but in France are people so strictly observant of great matters and so disdainfully indulgent about small ones.
      - [France]

Numbers are intellectual witnesses that belong only to mankind.
      - [Numbers]

Of all emotions, pity is the hardest to endure, especially when it is deserved. Hatred is a tonic, it quickens the spirit, it inspires vengeance; but pity kills the spirit, it intensifies our weaknesses, it cripples us.
      - [Hatred : Pity]

Old maids claw as cats do. They not only inflict wounds but experience pleasure in doing so. Nor will they fail to remind their victims of the blood drawn.
      - [Rivalry : Spinsters]

Old men are prone to invest the futures of young men with their own past sorrows.
      - [Investment]

On the moral plane, true friends enjoy the same protection as the sense of smell confers upon dogs. They scent the sorrow of their friends, they divine its causes, and they clasp it to their minds and hearts.
      - [Friends]

Once she has committed sin, there is nothing left for the Protestant woman, whereas the Catholic Church, hope of forgiveness makes a woman sublime.
      - [Sin]

One admirable trait in women is their lack of illusions about themselves. They never reason about their most blameworthy actions; their feelings carry them away. Even their dissimulation comes naturally to them, and in them crime is free of all baseness. Most of the time they simply do not know how it happened.
      - [Women]

One of the glories of society is to have created woman where Nature had made only a female; to have created a continuity of desire where Nature thought only of perpetuating the species; and, in fine, to have invented love.
      - [Women]

Our energies are often stimulated by the necessity of supporting a being weaker than ourselves.
      - [Charity]

Our happiness often depends upon social hypocrisies to which we will never stoop.
      - [Happiness]

Our most natural feelings are those we are loath to confess, and fatuity is among them.
      - [Feeling]

Our souls possess the unknown power of extending as well as contracting space.
      - [Soul]

Paris, like every pretty woman, is subject to inexplicable whims of beauty and ugliness.
      - [Paris]

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.
      - [Passion]

Passions are no more forgiving than human laws and they reason more justly. Are they not based on a conscience of their own, infallible as an instinct?
      - [Passion]

People who are in love suspect nothing or everything.
      - [Love : Suspicion]

People who climb from one rung of society to another can never do anything simply.
      - [Society]

Pity is woman's sweetest charm.
      - [Pity]

Poetry is only born after painful journeys into the vast regions of thought.
      - [Poetry]

Poets and men of action differ: the former yield to their feelings in order to reproduce them in lively colors, and therefore judge only ex post facto; the latter feel and judge at one and the same time.
      - [Action : Poets]

Poles offer a mobility like that of the wind that blows over the immense plains and marches of Poland. Show a Pole a precipice, and he will leap headlong over it.
      - [Poland]


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