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

Ninon de Lenclos

A cunning woman is her own mistress because she confides in no one. She who deceives others anticipates deceit, and guards herself.

A woman is more influenced by what she divines than by what she is told.

Alas, for the treachery of opportunity!

Awkwardness in full dress.

Ennui, the parent of expensive and ruinous vices.

Equality is the share of every one at their advent upon earth, and equality is also theirs when placed beneath it.

Firmness is great; persistency is greater.

Friendship should be in the singular; it can be no more plural than love.

Gentleness! more powerful than Hercules.

Glances are the first billets-doux of love.

Gossip, like ennui, is born of idleness.

Hatred is nearly always honest—rarely, if ever, assumed. So much cannot be said for love.

How is it that even castaways can give such good advice?

Inconstancy is the child of satiety.

Indiscretion and wickedness, be it known, are first cousins.

Love never dies of starvation, but often of indigestion.

Memory is ever active, ever true. Alas, if it were only as easy to forget!

Novelty is the storehouse of pleasure.

Oaths are the counterfeit money with which we pay the sacrifice of love.

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful.

The blossom of love.

The less heart, the more comfort.

The passions do not die out; they burn out.

The secret known to two is no longer a secret.

There are no perfect women in the world; only hypocrites exhibit no defects.

There are other things besides beauty with which to captivate the hearts of men. The Italians have a saying: “Fair is not fair, but that which pleaseth.”

There is always a moment in the pyramid of our lives when the apex is reached.

What is death, after all? We leave only mortals behind us.

When our desires are fulfilled, we never fail to realize the wealth of imagination and the paucity of reality.

Who has not raised a tombstone, here and there, over buried hopes and dead joys, on the road of life? Like the scars of the heart, they are not to be obliterated.

Women and flowers are made to be loved for their beauty and sweetness, rather than themselves to love.