Honoré de Balzac

France
20 May 1799 // 18 Aug 1850
Writer

Quotes

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When a woman wants to betray her husband, her actions are almost invariably studied but they are never reasoned
Your women of fashion ceases to be a woman. She is neither mother, nor wife, nor lover. She is, medically speaking, sex on the brain
Would they could sell us experience, though at diamond prices, but then no one would use the article second-hand
Women are as they are; they necessarily have the defects of their virtues
Woman is stronger by virtue of her feelings than man by virtue of his power
What makes friendship indissolute and what doubles its charms is a feeling we find lacking in love: I mean certitude
What is art? Nature concentrated
Vulgar souls look hastily and superficially at the sea and accuse it of monotony; other more privileged beings could spend a lifetime admiring it and discovering new and changing phenomena that delight them. So it is with love
Virtue is always too much of a piece and too ignorant of those shades of feeling and of temperament that enable us to squint when we are placed in a false position
Vice is perhaps a desire to learn everything
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays