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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Madame de Staël
 
        O Earth! all bathed with blood and tears, yet never
Hast thou ceased putting forth thy fruit and flowers.
  1
        The more we know, the better we forgive;
Whoe’er feels deeply, feels for all who live.
  2
  A happy accident.  3
  A religious life is a struggle, and not a hymn.  4
  And all the bustle of departure—sometimes sad, sometimes intoxicating—just as fear or hope may be inspired by the new chances of coming destiny.  5
  Architecture is frozen music!  6
  As we grow in wisdom, we pardon more freely.  7
  Be happy, but be so by piety.  8
  Conscience is doubtless sufficient to conduct the coldest character into the road of virtue; but enthusiasm is to conscience what honor is to duty; there is in us a superfluity of soul, which it is sweet to consecrate to the beautiful when the good has been accomplished.  9
  Courage of soul is necessary for the triumphs of genius.  10
  Divine wisdom, intending to detain us some time on earth, has done well to cover with a veil the prospect of life to come; for if our sight could clearly distinguish the opposite bank, who would remain on this tempestuous coast?  11
  Doubtless the human face is the grandest of all mysteries; yet fixed on canvas it can hardly tell of more than one sensation; no struggle, no successive contrasts accessible to dramatic art, can painting give, as neither time nor motion exists for her.  12
  Enthusiasm gives life to what is invisible, and interest to what has no immediate action on our comfort in this world.  13
  Frivolity, under whatever form it appears, takes from attention its strength, from thought its originality, from feeling its earnestness.  14
  Gaiety pleases more when we are assured that it does not cover carelessness.  15
  Genius inspires this thirst for fame: there is no blessing undesired by those to whom Heaven gave the means of winning it.  16
  Genius is essentially creative; it bears the stamp of the individual who possesses it.  17
  Glory can be for a woman but the brilliant morning of happiness.  18
  Good taste cannot supply the place of genius in literature, for the best proof of taste, when there is no genius, would be, not to write at all.  19
  Have you not observed that faith is generally strongest in those whose character may be called the weakest?  20
 
 
  How true it is that, sooner or later, the most rebellious must bow beneath the yoke of misfortune!  21
  However old a conjugal union, it still garners some sweetness. Winter has some cloudless days, and under the snow a few flowers still bloom.  22
  I desire no other evidence of the truth of Christianity than the Lord’s Prayer.  23
  I learn life from the poets.  24
  I see that time divided is never long, and that regularity abridges all things.  25
  If it were not for respect for human opinions, I would not open my window to see the Bay of Naples for the first time, whilst I would go five hundred leagues to talk with a man of genius whom I had not seen.  26
  Innocence in genius, and candor in power, are both noble qualities.  27
  It is difficult to grow old gracefully.  28
  It seems to me that we become more dear one to the other, in together admiring works of art, which speak to the soul by their true grandeur.  29
  Life often seems like a long shipwreck, of which the debris are friendship, glory, and love; the shores of existence are strewn with them.  30
  Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.  31
  Love, which is only an episode in the life of man, is the entire history of woman’s life.  32
  Men err from selfishness, women because they are weak.  33
  Men have made of fortune an all-powerful goddess, in order that she may be made responsible for all their blunders.  34
  Mystery such as is given of God is beyond the power of human penetration, yet not in opposition to it.  35
  O memory, thou bitter sweet,—both a joy and a scourge!  36
  Only the refined and delicate pleasures that spring from research and education can build up barriers between different ranks.  37
  Poetry is the apotheosis of sentiment.  38
  Providence protects us in all the details of our lot.  39
  Purity of mind and conduct is the first glory of a woman.  40
  Society develops wit, but its contemplation alone forms genius.  41
  Superstition is related to this life, religion to the next; superstition is allied to fatality, religion to virtue; it is by the vivacity of earthly desires that we become superstitious; it is, on the contrary, by the sacrifice of these desires that we become religious.  42
  Taste is to literature what bon ton is in society.  43
  The education of life perfects the thinking mind, but depraves the frivolous.  44
  The egotism of woman is always for two.  45
  The face of a woman, whatever be the force or extent of her mind, whatever be the importance of the object she pursues, is always an obstacle or a reason in the story of her life.  46
  The language of religion can alone suit every situation and every mode of feeling.  47
  The more we know, the better we forgive; whoe’er feels deeply, feels for all who live.  48
  The most careful reasoning characters are very often the most easily abashed.  49
  The only equitable manner in my opinion, of judging the character of a man is to examine if there are personal calculations in his conduct; if there are not, we may blame his manner of judging, but we are not the less bound to esteem him.  50
  The sense of this word among the Greeks affords the noblest definition of it: enthusiasm signifies God in us.  51
  The soul is a fire that darts its rays through all the senses; it is in this fire that existence consists; all the observations and all the efforts of philosophers ought to turn towards this Me, the centre and moving power of our sentiments and our ideas.  52
  The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.  53
  There are women vain of advantages not connected with their persons, such as birth, rank, and fortune; it is difficult to feel less the dignity of the sex. The origin of all women may be called celestial, for their power is the offspring of the gifts of Nature; by yielding to pride and ambition they soon destroy the magic of their charms.  54
  Thought can never be compared with action, but when it awakens in us the image of truth.  55
  To live beneath sorrow, one must yield to it.  56
  To pray together, in whatever tongue or ritual, is the most tender brotherhood of hope and sympathy that men can contract in this life.  57
  Tombs decked by the arts can scarcely represent death as a formidable enemy; we do not, indeed, like the ancients, carve sports and dances in the sarcophagus, but thought is diverted from the bier by works that tell of immortality, even from the altar of death.  58
  We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.  59
  Whatever is natural admits of variety.  60
  When a noble life has, prepared old age, it is not the decline that it reveals, but the first days of immortality.  61
  When at eve, at the bounding of the landscape, the heavens appear to recline so slowly on the earth, imagination pictures beyond the horizon an asylum of hope—a native land of love; and nature seems silently to repeat that man is immortal.  62
  When once enthusiasm has been turned into ridicule, everything is undone except money and power.  63
  When we destroy an old prejudice, we have need of a new virtue.  64
  When women oppose themselves to the projects and ambition of men, they excite their lively resentment; if in their youth they meddle with political intrigues, their modesty must suffer.  65
  Where no interest is taken in science, literature and liberal pursuits, mere facts and insignificant criticisms necessarily become the themes of discourse; and minds, strangers alike to activity and meditation, become so limited as to render all intercourse with them at once tasteless and oppressive.  66
  Wit consists in knowing the resemblance of things which differ, and the difference of things which are alike.  67
 
 
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