Père Goriot Quotes

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Père Goriot Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
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Père Goriot Quotes (showing 1-30 of 61)
“Women are always true, even in the midst of their greatest falsities, because they are always influenced by some natural feeling.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“It is always assumed by the empty-headed, who chatter about themselves for want of something better, that people who do not discuss their affairs openly must have something to hide.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another's happiness than in your own.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Ah! What pleasure it must be to a woman to suffer for the one she loves!”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“A letter is a soul, so faithful an echo of the speaking voice that to the sensitive it is among the richest treasures of love.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Who is to decide which is the grimmer sight: withered hearts, or empty skulls?”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“I'm a great poet. I don't put my poems on paper: they consist of actions and feelings.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, or indifference, or sheer helplessness.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Holding this book in your hand, sinking back in your soft armchair, you will say to yourself: perhaps it will amuse me. And after you have read this story of great misfortunes, you will no doubt dine well, blaming the author for your own insensitivity, accusing him of wild exaggeration and flights of fancy. But rest assured: this tragedy is not a fiction. All is true.”
Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot
“Our heart is a treasury; if you pour out all its wealth at once, you are bankrupt.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“If the human heart sometimes finds moments of pause as it ascends the slopes of affection, it rarely halts on the way down.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“However gross a man may be, the minute he expresses a strong and genuine affection, some inner secretion alters his features, animates his gestures, and colors his voice. The stupidest man will often, under the stress of passion, achieve heights of eloquence, in thought if not in language, and seem to move in some luminous sphere. Goriot's voice and gesture had at this moment the power of communication that characterizes the great actor. Are not our finer feelings the poems of the human will?”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Such is life. It is no cleaner than a kitchen; it reeks like a kitchen; and if you mean to cook your dinner, you must expect to soil your hands; the real art is in getting them clean again, and therein lies the whole morality of our epoch.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“You're a fine fastidious young man, as proud as a lion, as gentle as a girl. You'd make a good catch for the devil.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Do you know how a man makes his way here? By brilliant genius or by skilful corruption. You must either cut your way through these masses of men like a cannon ball, or steal among them like a plague.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Mais Paris est un véritable océan. Jetez-y la sonde, vous n'en connaîtrez jamais la profondeur. Parcourez-le, décrivez-le : quelque soin que vous mettiez à le parcourir, à le décrire ; quelques nombreux et intéressés que soient les explorateurs de cette mer, il s'y rencontrera toujours un lieu vierge, un antre inconnu, des fleurs, des perles, des monstres, quelque chose d'inouï, oublié par les plongeurs littéraires.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
tags: paris
“But also remember: if you have any genuine feelings, hide them like treasure; never let anyone so much as suspect them, or you're lost. Instead of being the executioner, you'll be the victim. And if you ever fall in love, keep that absolutely secret! Never breathe a word until you're completely sure of the person to whom you open your heart. And to protect that love, even before you feel it, learn to despise the world.”
Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot
“Women themselves are so happy, and so beautiful, when they're strong, that they naturally choose powerful men, even if that power's so enermous there's a real risk it could shatter them.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Good befalls us while we sleep, sometimes.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Love is a religion, and its rituals cost more than those of other religions. It goes by quickly and, like a street urchin, it likes to mark its passage by a trail of devastation.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Le bonheur est la poésie des femmes.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“He hesitated till the last moment, but finally dropped them in the box, saying, "I shall win!"--the cry of a gambler, the cry of the great general, the compulsive cry that has ruined more men than it has ever saved.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“How did you get back?' asked Vautrin.
'I walked,' replied Eugene.
'I wouldn't like half-pleasures, myself,' observed the tempter. 'I'd want to go there in my own carriage, have my own box, and come back in comfort. All or nothing, that's my motto.'
'And a very good one,' said Madame Vauquer.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“No one ought even to desert a woman after throwing her a heap of gold in her distress! He ought to love her forever! You are young, only twenty-one, and kind and upright and fine. You'll ask me how a woman can take money from a man. Oh, God, isn't it natural to share everything with the one we owe all our happiness to? When one has given everything, how can one quibble about a mere portion of it? Money is important only when feeling has ceased. Isn't one bound for life? How can you foresee separation when you think someone loves you? When a man swears eternal love--how can there be any separate concerns in that case?”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“If youth were not ignorant and timid, civilization would be impossible.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
tags: youth
“We flew back home like swallows. 'Is it happiness that makes us so light?' Agathe asked.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“What moralists describe as the mysteries of the human heart are solely the deceiving thoughts, the spontaneous impulses of self-regard. The sudden changes in character, about which so much has been said, are instinctive calculations for the furtherance of our own pleasures. Seeing himself now in his fine clothes, his new gloves and shoes, Eugène de Rastignac forgot his noble resolve. Youth, when it swerves toward wrong, dares not look in the mirror of conscience; maturity has already seen itself there. That is the whole difference between the two phases of life.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Is there any instinct more deeply implanted in the heart of man than the pride of protection, a protection which is constantly exerted for a fragile and defenceless creature?”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“The duchess turned on Eugène with one of those insolent stares that envelop a man from head to foot, flatten him out, and leave him at zero.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
“Here comes Mamma Vauquerr, fair as a starrr; and strung up like a bunch of carrots. Aren't we suffocating ourselves a wee bit?' he asked, placing a hand on the top of her corset. 'A bit of a crush in the vestibule, here, Mamma! If we start crying, there'll be an explosion. Never mind, I'll be there to collect the bits--just like an antiquary.'
'Now, there's the language of true French gallantry,' murmured Madame Vauquer in an aside to Madame Couture.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot

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