Famous Quotes By Honore de Balzac


  1. A good husband is never the first to go to sleep at night or the last to awake in the morning.
  2. A grocer is attracted to his business by a magnetic force as great as the repulsion which renders it odious to artists.
  3. A mother who is really a mother is never free.
  4. A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.
  5. A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.
  6. A young bride is like a plucked flower but a guilty wife is like a flower that had been walked over.
  7. All humanity is passion without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual.
  8. At fifteen, beauty and talent do not exist there can only be promise of the coming woman.
  9. Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.
  10. But reason always cuts a poor figure beside sentiment the one being essentially restricted, like everything that is positive, while the other is infinite.
  11. Children, dear and loving children, can alone console a woman for the loss of her beauty.
  12. Clouds symbolize the veils that shroud God.
  13. Death unites as well as separates it silences all paltry feeling.
  14. Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact.
  15. Finance, like time, devours its own children.
  16. First love is a kind of vaccination which saves a man from catching the complaint the second time.
  17. For passion, be it observed, brings insight with it it can give a sort of intelligence to simpletons, fools, and idiots, especially during youth.
  18. Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane.
  19. I do not regard a broker as a member of the human race.
  20. Ideas devour the ages as men are devoured by their passions. When man is cured, human nature will cure itself perhaps.
  21. If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye.
  22. It is as absurd to say that a man can't love one woman all the time as it is to say that a violinist needs several violins to play the same piece of music.
  23. It is easier to be a lover than a husband for the simple reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than to say pretty things from time to time.
  24. It is only in the act of nursing that a woman realizes her motherhood in visible and tangible fashion it is a joy of every moment.
  25. It is the mark of a great man that he puts to flight all ordinary calculations. He is at once sublime and touching, childlike and of the race of giants.
  26. Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.
  27. Love is the poetry of the senses.
  28. Love may be or it may not, but where it is, it ought to reveal itself in its immensity.
  29. Many men are deeply moved by the mere semblance of suffering in a woman they take the look of pain for a sign of constancy or of love.
  30. Marriage must incessantly contend with a monster that devours everything: familiarity.
  31. Men die in despair, while spirits die in ecstasy.
  32. Nature makes only dumb animals. We owe the fools to society.
  33. No man should marry until he has studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.
  34. Nobody loves a woman because she is handsome or ugly, stupid or intelligent. We love because we love.
  35. Nothing so fortifies a friendship as a belief on the part of one friend that he is superior to the other.
  36. One should believe in marriage as in the immortality of the soul.
  37. Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.
  38. Political liberty, the peace of a nation, and science itself are gifts for which Fate demands a heavy tax in blood!
  39. Power is action the electoral principle is discussion. No political action is possible when discussion is permanently established.
  40. Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.
  41. Small natures require despotism to exercise their sinews, as great souls thirst for equality to give play to their heart.
  42. Society bristles with enigmas which look hard to solve. It is a perfect maze of intrigue.
  43. Suicide, moreover, was at the time in vogue in Paris: what more suitable key to the mystery of life for a skeptical society?
  44. The art of motherhood involves much silent, unobtrusive self-denial, an hourly devotion which finds no detail too minute.
  45. The fact is that love is of two kinds, one which commands, and one which obeys. The two are quite distinct, and the passion to which the one gives rise is not the passion of the other.
  46. The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
  47. The life of a man who deliberately runs through his fortune often becomes a business speculation his friends, his pleasures, patrons, and acquaintances are his capital.
  48. The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.
  49. The most virtuous women have something within them, something that is never chaste.
  50. The motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom to serve all, but love only one.
  51. The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.
  52. There are some women whose pregnancy would make some sly bachelor smile.
  53. There is no such thing as a great talent without great will power.
  54. There is something great and terrible about suicide.
  55. To those who have exhausted politics, nothing remains but abstract thought.
  56. Towns find it as hard as houses of business to rise again from ruin.
  57. True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.
  58. We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.
  59. What is art? Nature concentrated.
  60. When Religion and Royalty are swept away, the people will attack the great, and after the great, they will fall upon the rich.
  61. When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.
  62. Wisdom is that apprehension of heavenly things to which the spirit rises through love.
  63. Women are tenacious, and all of them should be tenacious of respect without esteem they cannot exist esteem is the first demand that they make of love.

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