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C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.

Madame de Sévigné

Ah! as you say, we should slip over many thoughts and act as though we did not perceive them.

Faith creates the virtues in which it believes.

Fortune is always on the side of the largest battalions.

Gloom and sadness are poison to us, and the origin of hysterics. You are right in thinking that this disease is in the imagination; you have defined it perfectly; it is vexation which causes it to spring up, and fear that supports it.

I cannot tell how much I esteem and admire your good and happy temperament. What folly not to take advantage of circumstances, and enjoy gratefully the consolations which God sends us after the afflictive dispensations which He sometimes sees proper to make us feel! It seems to me to be a proof of great wisdom to submit with resignation to the storm, and enjoy the calm when it pleases Him to give it us again.

I dislike clocks with second-hands; they cut up life into too small pieces.

I fear nothing so much as a man who is witty all day long.

Ideal beauty is a fugitive which is never located.

If we could have a little patience, we should escape much mortification; time takes away as much as it gives.

In all nations truth is the most sublime, the most simple, the most difficult, and yet the most natural thing.

Ingratitude calls forth reproaches as gratitude brings renewed kindnesses.

It is thus that we walk through the world like the blind, not knowing whither we are going, regarding as bad what is good, regarding as good what is bad, and ever in entire ignorance.

Nothing is more certain of destroying any good feeling that may be cherished towards us than to show distrust. To be suspected as an enemy is often enough to make a man become so; the whole matter is over, there is no farther use of guarding against it. On the contrary, confidence leads us naturally to act kindly, we are affected by the good opinion which others entertain of us, and we are not easily induced to lose it.

Occupation is the best safeguard for women under all circumstances—mental or physical, or both. Cupid extinguishes his torch in the atmosphere of industry.

Racine will pass away like the taste for coffee.

Reason bears disgrace, courage combats it, patience surmounts it.

The world has no long injustices.

There is no person who is not dangerous for some one.

Thicken your religion a little. It is evaporating altogether by being subtilized.

We like so much to talk of ourselves that we are never weary of those private interviews with a lover during the course of whole years, and for the same reason the devout like to spend much time with their confessor; it is the pleasure of talking of themselves, even though it be to talk ill.

We satisfied ourselves the other day that there was no real ill in life except severe bodily pain; everything else is the child of the imagination, and depends on our thoughts; all other ills find a remedy, either from time or moderation, or strength of mind.

Why do we discover faults so much more readily than perfections?