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281 Inspiring Quotes by Honore de Balzac

  • Last updated Jul 26 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Honore de Balzac.

Wikipedia Summary for Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac ( BAL-zak, more commonly US: BAWL-, French: [ɔnɔʁe d(ə) balzak]; born Honoré Balzac; 20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. The novel sequence La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life, is generally viewed as his magnum opus.

Owing to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well; the city of Paris, a backdrop for much of his writing, takes on many human qualities. His writing influenced many famous writers, including the novelists Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, and Henry James, filmmaker François Truffaut, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films and continue to inspire other writers.

An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed in a law office, but he turned his back on the study of law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician; he failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.

Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly owing to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal drama, and he lost more than one friend over critical reviews. In 1850, Balzac married Ewelina Hańska, a Polish aristocrat and his longtime love; he died in Paris five months later.

pet dog sitting down on snow

Pity is woman's sweetest charm.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

We flew back home like swallows. 'Is it happiness that makes us so light?' Agathe asked.

--Honoré de Balzac

water droplets on green leaf

Do you know what is the hardest thing in life? To make a choice.

--Honoré de Balzac

rock mountain during starry night

Events are never absolute, their outcome depends entirely upon the individual.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

Grief ennobles the commonest people because it has its own essential grandeur. To shine with the luster of grief, a person need only be sincere.

--Honoré de Balzac

rainbow desert

Love passes quickly, and passes like a street Arab, anxious to mark his way with mischief.

--Honoré de Balzac

bokeh photography

Society proceeds like the ocean. After a disaster, it resume its wonted level and rhythms; its devouring interests efface all traces of damage.

--Honoré de Balzac

white rose enclosed photograph

Bankers are lynxes. To expect any gratitude from them is equivalent to attempting to move the wolves of the Ukraine to pity in the middle of winter.

--Honoré de Balzac

full moon during day

Children, dear and loving children, can alone console a woman for the loss of her beauty.

--Honoré de Balzac

fawn pug in close up photography

You may imitate, but never counterfeit.

--Honoré de Balzac

sunset

Thought is the only treasure that God sets outside all power and keeps to serve as a secret link among the unhappy.

--Honoré de Balzac


None

Gratitude is a fool's word; we find it in the dictionary, but it is not in the heart of man.

--Honoré de Balzac

purple textile with white line

Poverty is a divine stepmother who does for youths what their own mothers were unable to do. It introduces them to frugality, to the world and to life.

--Honoré de Balzac

body of water during daytime

Gentleness in the gait is what simplicity is in the dress. Violent gestures or quick movements inspire involuntary disrespect.

--Honoré de Balzac

adobe wall

Materialism and spirituality are two pretty racquets with which charlatans in cap and gown make the same ball fly.

--Honoré de Balzac


silhouette of mountain under starry night

Those who spend too fast never grow rich.

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow bee beside purple petaled flower during daytime

God reveals Himself, unfailingly, to the solitary, thoughtful seeker.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of flower during sunset

When she lives at his palace, the maiden niece of a bishop can pass for a respectable woman because, if she has a love affair, she is obliged to hoodwink her uncle.

--Honoré de Balzac

green trees beside body of water during daytime

First love is a kind of vaccination which saves a man from catching the complaint the second time.

--Honoré de Balzac

blue, yellow, and purple starry sky during nighttime

I should like one of these days to be so well known, so popular, so celebrated, so famous, that it would permit me ... to break wind in society, and society would think it a most natural thing.

--Honoré de Balzac

red textile in close up photography

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


snow covered brown mountain

The first thing necessary to win the heart of a woman is opportunity.

--Honoré de Balzac

green water in close up photography

To lese-majeste and contempt of court, we must add the crime of lese-million, that fearful indignity we visit on the rich when we expose the impotence of gold.

--Honoré de Balzac

purple textile in close up photography

Though your vulgarian does not readily admit that feelings can change overnight, certainly two lovers often part far more abruptly than they came together.

--Honoré de Balzac


white petaled flower bloom during daytime

Economized love is never real love.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette photography of trees and sky

Imagination helps the realism of every detail, and only sees the beauties of the work.

--Honoré de Balzac

toddlers standing outdoors

The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.

--Honoré de Balzac

old cowboy boots

True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure.

--Honoré de Balzac

long exposure photography of lights

When an intelligent man reaches the point of inviting self-explanation and offers surrendering the key to his heart, he is assuredly riding a drunken horse.

--Honoré de Balzac


white brick wall planning

Sometimes, one gesture comprises an entire drama, the accent of one word ruins an entire existence, and the indifference of one glance kills the happiest passion.

--Honoré de Balzac

aerial view of green lake surrounded by green trees during daytime

We must certainly acknowledge that solitude is a fine thing; but it is a pleasure to have some one who can answer, and to whom we can say, from time to time, that solitude is a fine thing.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of kneeling man

A girl fresh from a boarding school may perhaps be a virgin but no! she is never chaste.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

Kindness steers no easy course. Attributing it to character, we seldom recognize the secret efforts of a noble heart, whereas we reward really wicked people for the evil they refrain from committing.

--Honoré de Balzac


assorted-colored cactus

Beauty is the greatest of human powers. Any power without counterbalance or control becomes autocratic and leads to abuse and to folly. Despotism in a government is insanity; in woman, fantasy.

--Honoré de Balzac


brown and gray brick wall

Man judges of nature in relation to itself; the angelic spirit judges of it in relation to heaven. In short, to the spirits everything speaks.

--Honoré de Balzac


man in cowboy hat

Nature makes only dumb animals. We owe the fools to society.

--Honoré de Balzac

photo of giraffe

A husband can commit no greater blunder than to discuss his wife, if she is virtuous, with his mistress; unless it be to mention his mistress, if she is beautiful, to his wife.

--Honoré de Balzac

snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

When there is an old maid in the house, a watchdog is unnecessary.

--Honoré de Balzac


pink and white flower in close up photography

Modern reformers offer nebulous theories or write philanthropic novels. But your thief acts! He is as clear as a fact and as logical as a punch on the nose! And what a style he has!

--Honoré de Balzac

selective focus photography of pink petaled flower

All human beings go through a previous life... Who knows how many fleshly forms the heir of heaven occupies before he can be brought to understand the value of that silence and solitude of spiritual worlds?

--Honoré de Balzac

bonfire at night

As a rule, only the poor are generous.

--Honoré de Balzac

Longer Version:

As a rule, only the poor are generous. Rich people can always find excellent reasons for not handing over twenty thousand francs to a relative.


brown tree on surrounded by brown grass during golden hour

A married woman is a slave you must know how to seat upon a throne.

--Honoré de Balzac

black bird

When chaste people need body or mind to resort to action or thought, they find steel in their muscles or knowledge in their intelligence. Theirs the diabolic vigor or the black magic of will power.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

Old men are prone to invest the futures of young men with their own past sorrows.

--Honoré de Balzac

blue and black butterfly on pink and yellow flower

To get a traveling salesman drunk is the height of impossibility.

--Honoré de Balzac

grassland landscape

Death unites as well as separates; it silences all paltry feeling.

--Honoré de Balzac

rainbow desert

Virtually all men of action incline to Fatality just as most thinkers incline to Providence.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

Envy is the most stupid of vices, for there is no single advantage to be gained from it.

--Honoré de Balzac

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Art's greatest efforts are invariably a timid counterfeit of Nature.

--Honoré de Balzac

horse

Our happiness often depends upon social hypocrisies to which we will never stoop.

--Honoré de Balzac

white flowers

What makes friendship indissolute and what doubles its charms is a feeling we find lacking in love: I mean certitude.

--Honoré de Balzac

selective photography of green leaf plant

Vocations which we wanted to pursue, but didn't, bleed, like colors, on the whole of our existence.

--Honoré de Balzac

couple sitting near trees during golden hour

In the medical profession a horse and carriage are more necessary than any scientific knowledge.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

Authentic love always assumes the mystery of modesty, even in its expression, because actions speak louder than words. Unlike a feigned love, it feels no need to set a conflagration.

--Honoré de Balzac

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

Small natures require despotism to exercise their sinews, as great souls thirst for equality to give play to their heart.

--Honoré de Balzac

closeup photography of brown and gray concrete bricks

The greater a man's talents, the more marked his idiosyncracies. Yet in the provinces originality is considered perilously close to lunacy.

--Honoré de Balzac

closeup photo of lounger chairs and beach umbrellas

A mother's life, you see, is one long succession of dramas, now soft and tender, now terrible. Not an hour but has its joys and fears.

--Honoré de Balzac

sunset

It's not enough to be a good person. You also have to show it.

--Honoré de Balzac

woman in black and white jacket standing on brown sand during daytime

Carelessness in dressing is moral suicide.

--Honoré de Balzac

leafless tree on body of water during daytime

The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.

--Honoré de Balzac

pink and blue sky with moon

By dint of making sacrifices, a man grows interested in the person who exacts them. Great ladies, like courtesans, know this truth by instinct.

--Honoré de Balzac

four handheld gardening tools on rack

There is no such thing as a great talent without great will power.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

Men who pay their tailors never amount to anything, they never even become Cabinet ministers.

--Honoré de Balzac

tilt shift lens pink fetal flowers

Little minds find satisfaction for their feelings, good or bad, in little things.

--Honoré de Balzac

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

Journalism is a giant catapult set in motion by pigmy hatreds.

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow and white abstract painting

The causes that govern the heart appear to be wholly alien to the results achieved. Are the forces that moved a desperate criminal the same that fill a martyr with pride, as both mount the scaffold?

--Honoré de Balzac

woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

Religious ecstasy is a madness of thought freed of its bodily bonds, whereas in the ecstasy of love, the forces of twin natures unite, blend and embrace one another.

--Honoré de Balzac

sunflower field during daytime

No navigator has yet traced lines of latitude and longitude on the conjugal sea.

--Honoré de Balzac

brown grass field near gray rocky mountain during daytime

Several sorts of memory exist in us; body and mind each possesses one peculiar to itself. Nostalgia, for instance, is a malady of the physical memory.

--Honoré de Balzac

sunset

Prostitution and robbery are two living protests, respectively female and male, made by the natural state against the social state.

--Honoré de Balzac


common sunflower

Even beauty cannot always palliate eccentricity.

--Honoré de Balzac

green ceramic mug on wooden desk

Give to a wounded heart seclusion; consolation nor reason ever effected anything in such a case.

--Honoré de Balzac

red flower in shallow focus lens

All genuinely noble women prefer truth to falsehood. As the Russians with their Czar, they are unwilling to see their idol degraded; they want to be proud of the domination they accept.

--Honoré de Balzac

cat with flower

Study lends a kind of enchantment to all our surroundings.

--Honoré de Balzac

blue and white striped textile

Some troubles, like a protested note of a solvent debtor, bear interest.

--Honoré de Balzac

wormeye view photo of milky way

As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move…similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle.

--Honoré de Balzac



withered tree surrounded with snow during daytime

The national budget is not a safe-deposit box. It is a spray can.

--Honoré de Balzac

pink-petaled rose flower

Evasion is unworthy of us, and is always the intimate of equivocation.

--Honoré de Balzac

sunset

With monuments as with men, position means everything.

--Honoré de Balzac

red strawberry fruit on red surface

Squeeze marriage as much as you like, you will never extract anything from it but fun for bachelors and boredom for husbands.

--Honoré de Balzac

white and blue building under clear sky

Woman is a delightful instrument of pleasure, but it is necessary to know its trembling strings, to study the position of them, the timid keyboard, the fingering so changeful and capricious which befits it.

--Honoré de Balzac

men running toward beach

It would be curious to know what leads a man to become a stationer rather than a baker, when he is no longer compelled, as among the Egyptians, to succeed to his father's craft.

--Honoré de Balzac

orange abstract painting

What is motherhood save Nature in her most gladsome mood?

--Honoré de Balzac

orange and white stone fragment

The human heart may find here and there a resting-place short of the highest height of affection, but we seldom stop in the steep, downward slope of hatred.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.

--Honoré de Balzac


sunset dirt road

All human power is a compound of time and patience.

--Honoré de Balzac

green and black hummingbird

Genuine sorrows are very tranquil in appearance in the deep bed they have dug for themselves. But, seeming to slumber, they corrode the soul like that frightful acid which penetrates crystal.

--Honoré de Balzac

rock formation in body of water

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.

--Honoré de Balzac

white brick wall

Believe everything you hear said of the world; nothing is too impossibly bad.

--Honoré de Balzac

purple textile in close up photography

She who is really a wife, one in heart, flesh, and bone, must follow wherever he leads, in whom her life, her strength, her pride, and happiness are centered.

--Honoré de Balzac



silver round analog wall clock

Who shall ever tell how much an unmerited disfavor crushes a shy person? Who can ever depict the misfortunes of timidity?

--Honoré de Balzac

lights pattern swirls

The endless legacy of the past to the present is the secret source of human genius.

--Honoré de Balzac

forest trees photograph

My further advice on your relations to women is based upon that other motto of chivalry, "Serve all, love one."

--Honoré de Balzac

rocky mountain under starry night

To have one's mother-in-law in the country when one lives in Paris, and vice versa, is one of those strokes of luck that one encounters only too rarely.

--Honoré de Balzac

brown and white dog in close-up photography

Novelty is both delightful and deceptive.

--Honoré de Balzac

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

Rich women need not fear old age; their gold can always create about them any feelings necessary to their happiness.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

Self-love is as protective as the Deity; Disenchantment is as perspicacious as a surgeon; Experience is as provident as a mother. Such are the theologic virtues of marriage.

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow and white color illustration

True love is mixed up with birdlike squabbles, in which the disputants wound each other to the quick; but a quarrel without animus is, on the contrary, apiece of flattery to the dupe's conceit.

--Honoré de Balzac

green trees near lake under cloudy sky during daytime

When Religion and Royalty are swept away, the people will attack the great, and after the great, they will fall upon the rich.

--Honoré de Balzac

black pug puppy on white and pink textile

When one has no particular talent for anything, one takes to the pen.

--Honoré de Balzac

close shot of yellow flowers

Virtue in women is perhaps a question of temperament.

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow painted wall

Cruelty and fear shake hands together.

--Honoré de Balzac

purple and blue light illustration

The prodigality of millionaires is comparable only to their greed of gain. Let some whim or passion seize them and money is of no account. In fact these Croesuses find whims and passions harder to come by than gold.

--Honoré de Balzac

pink petaled flower field

Only when one has learned to acknowledge that wiser minds have made better words to come out of our mouths may we truly, then, begin to speak them.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

Unintelligent persons are like weeds that thrive in good ground; they love to be amused in proportion to the degree in which they weary themselves.

--Honoré de Balzac

pen on brown board

A knowledge of mankind and of things that surround us gives us that second education which proves far move valuable than our first because it alone turns out a truly accomplished man.

--Honoré de Balzac

snowflake

Doubt follows white-winged hope with trembling steps.

--Honoré de Balzac

photo of giraffe

As soon as man seeks to penetrate the secrets of Nature -- in which nothing is secret and it is but a question of seeing -- he realizes that the simple produces the supernatural.

--Honoré de Balzac

green trees on brown dried leaves during daytime

Power does not consist in striking with force or with frequency, but in striking true.

--Honoré de Balzac


low-light photo of forest

I do not regard a broker as a member of the human race.

--Honoré de Balzac

man skiing on land

Clouds signify the veil of the Most High.

--Honoré de Balzac

green plants beside brown wooden door

I'm a great poet. I don't put my poems on paper: they consist of actions and feelings.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of people riding bicycle

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

pink petaled flowers under trees at daytime

Rare is the man who suffers no remorse as he passes from the state of confidant to that of rival.

--Honoré de Balzac

clear wine glass with red wine

Conscience is a cudgel which all men pick up in order to thwack their neighbors instead of applying it to their own shoulders.

--Honoré de Balzac

snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

Equality may be a right, but no power on earth can convert it into fact.

--Honoré de Balzac

green trees on brown soil

The world will avenge itself upon all happiness in which it has no share.

--Honoré de Balzac

bonfire in forest

The most virtuous women have something within them, something that is never chaste.

--Honoré de Balzac

blue and white light digital wallpaper

Love may be the fairest gem which Society has filched from Nature; but what is motherhood save Nature in her most gladsome mood? A smile has dried my tears.

--Honoré de Balzac


yellow bee beside purple petaled flower during daytime

Few men are raised in our estimation by being too closely examined.

--Honoré de Balzac

aerial photography of forest

Innocence alone dares commit certain acts of audacity. Virtue, when tutored, is as calculating as vice.

--Honoré de Balzac

depth photography of purple petaled flowers

A rent in your clothes is a mishap, a stain on them is a vice.

--Honoré de Balzac

fire near trees

Temperament is the thermometer of character.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

It is a singular fact that most men of action incline to the theory of fatalism, while the greater part of men of thought believe in providence.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

Misfortune makes of certain souls a vast desert through which rings the voice of God.

--Honoré de Balzac

gray cactus plant on white pot

The innocence of virgins is like milk which turns when exposed to a clap of thunder, to a tart smell, to a hot day, to the merest nothing.

--Honoré de Balzac

close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

To promote laughter without joining in it greatly heightens the effect.

--Honoré de Balzac

seashore at daytime

Our greatest fears lie in anticipation.

--Honoré de Balzac



body of water

Loyalty in time of need is possibly one of the noblest of victories a courtier can win over himself.

--Honoré de Balzac

red textile on brown wooden table

The duration of a couple's passion is in proportion to the woman's original resistance or to the obstacles that social hazards have placed in the way of her happiness.

--Honoré de Balzac

white brick wall planning

Thought is a key to all treasures; the miser's gains are ours without his cares. Thus I have soared above this world, where my enjoyment have been intellectual joys.

--Honoré de Balzac

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

A naked woman is less dangerous than one who spreads her skirt skillfully to cover and exhibit everything at once.

--Honoré de Balzac


silhouette of kneeling man

It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action.

--Honoré de Balzac

city lights from hill

Danger arouses interest. Where death is involved, the vilest criminal invariably stirs a little compassion.

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

In a husband, there is only a man; in a married woman, there is a man, a father, a mother and a woman.

--Honoré de Balzac

black bird flying on white background

Society bristles with enigmas which look hard to solve. It is a perfect maze of intrigue.

--Honoré de Balzac

forest trees photograph

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.

--Honoré de Balzac


man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

The man as he converses is the lover; silent, he is the husband.

--Honoré de Balzac

aerial photography of beach

Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane.

--Honoré de Balzac

man jumping on hill during golden hour

Lovers have a way of using this word, nothing, which implies exactly the opposite.

--Honoré de Balzac

sunset dirt road

A jealous husband doesnt doubt his wife, but himself.

--Honoré de Balzac

green leafed trees during daytime

Chance, my dear, is the sovereign deity in child-bearing.

--Honoré de Balzac

rock formation surrounding by body of water

And he, like many jaded people, had few pleasures left in life save good food and drink.

--Honoré de Balzac


mixed paints in a plate

Virtue, perhaps, is nothing more than politeness of soul.

--Honoré de Balzac

blue and black butterfly on pink and yellow flower

When law becomes despotic, morals are relaxed, and vice versa.

--Honoré de Balzac

red roses on book

No frozen-hearted woman ever I laid eyes on but has made duty her religion.

--Honoré de Balzac

woman standing on forest

In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls.

--Honoré de Balzac

person holding sunflower

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

elephants on green grass field during daytime

One should believe in marriage as in the immortality of the soul.

--Honoré de Balzac

cloudy sky

The more illegal a profit, the more tenaciously a man clings to it.

--Honoré de Balzac

starry night in Texas

If those who are the enemies of innocent amusements had the direction of the world, they would take away the spring, and youth, the former from the year, the latter from human life.

--Honoré de Balzac


None

If you are to judge a man, you must know his secret thoughts, sorrows, and feelings; to know merely the outward events of a man's life would only serve to make a chronological table-a fool's notion of history.

--Honoré de Balzac

sea of white clouds

The best painters, as they progress in reputation and towards perfection, are found to dispense more and more with the technique of the art, for simpler methods. Simplicity never fails to charm.

--Honoré de Balzac


A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

Death is as unexpected in his caprice as a courtesan in her disdain; but death is truer -- Death has never forsaken any man.

--Honoré de Balzac

galaxy wallpaper

The winter's frost must rend the burr of the nut before the fruit is seen. So adversity tempers the human heart, to discover its real worth.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

Who is to decide which is the grimmer sight: withered hearts, or empty skulls?

--Honoré de Balzac

man on running field

Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another's happiness than in your own.

--Honoré de Balzac

three boys running on field

If we study Nature attentively in its great evolutions as in its minutest works, we cannot fail to recognize the possibility of enchantment -- giving to that word its exact significance.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

The country is provincial; it becomes ridiculous when it tries to ape Paris.

--Honoré de Balzac

purple petaled flower on gray surface

Everything is bilateral in the domain of thought. Ideas are binary. Janus is the myth of criticism and the symbol of genius. Only God is triangular!

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of elephant on brown sand during sunset

Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.

--Honoré de Balzac



green leafed trees

Solitude is fine, but you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine.

--Honoré de Balzac

black bare tree under blue sky

If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye.

--Honoré de Balzac

purple flower field during daytime

Men die in despair, while spirits die in ecstasy.

--Honoré de Balzac

photo of brown parquet

Possibly the words materialism and spirituality express two sides of one and the same fact.

--Honoré de Balzac

white paint palette with black paint beside ink bottle and paint brush

One hour of love has a whole life in it.

--Honoré de Balzac



aerial photography of forest

Nobody loves a woman because she is handsome or ugly, stupid or intelligent. We love because we love.

--Honoré de Balzac

green pine trees near mountain under blue sky during daytime

In a world of hunchbacks, a fine figure becomes a monstrosity.

--Honoré de Balzac

man in orange jacket and black pants doing snow ski during daytime

Forgetting is the great secret of strong and creative lives.

--Honoré de Balzac

A stack of thick folders on a white surface

Vice is perhaps a desire to learn everything.

--Honoré de Balzac

sea during daytime

Nature knows nothing but solid bodies; your science deals only with combinations of surfaces. And so nature constantly gives the lie to all your laws; can you name one to which no fact makes an exception?

--Honoré de Balzac

body of water

A young bride is like a plucked flower; but a guilty wife is like a flower that had been walked over.

--Honoré de Balzac

sunset

Every moment of happiness requires a great amount of Ignorance.

--Honoré de Balzac

gray satellite disc on field

Clouds symbolize the veils that shroud God.

--Honoré de Balzac

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

Many people claim coffee inspires them, but, as everybody knows, coffee only makes boring people even more boring.

--Honoré de Balzac

green leafed trees

Reproach is usually honest, which is more than can be said of praise.

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

Tradesmen regard an author with a mixed feeling of terror, compassion and curiosity.

--Honoré de Balzac

green ceramic mug on wooden desk

All humanity is passion; without passion, religion, history, novels, art would be ineffectual.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette of people riding bicycle

It is very difficult to pass from pleasure to work. Accordingly more poems have been swallowed up by sorrow than ever happiness caused to blaze forth in unparalleled radiance.

--Honoré de Balzac

white and blue ice in water

How sternly we reproach virtue for its failings, how indulgent we are to the better qualities of vice!

--Honoré de Balzac

white and blue floral textile

Marriage must fight constantly against a monster which devours everything: routine.

--Honoré de Balzac

tilt shift lens pink fetal flowers

Friendships last when each friend thinks he has a slight superiority over the other.

--Honoré de Balzac

three clear glass cups

Remorse is impotence, impotence which sins again. Repentance alone is powerful; it ends all.

--Honoré de Balzac

grayscale photography of pug

Discouragement is of all ages: In youth it is a presentiment, in old age a remembrance.

--Honoré de Balzac

black and yellow wall sconce

But reason always cuts a poor figure beside sentiment; the one being essentially restricted, like everything that is positive, while the other is infinite.

--Honoré de Balzac


yellow sunflower in bloom plantation

Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.

--Honoré de Balzac

body of water surrounded with plants under cloudy sky

A woman filled with faith in the one she loves is the creation of a novelist's imagination.

--Honoré de Balzac

photo of pine trees

How natural it is to destroy what we cannot possess, to deny what we do not understand, and to insult what we envy!

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow sunflower in bloom plantation

The habits of life form the soul, and the soul forms the countenance.

--Honoré de Balzac

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Your modest savant smiles as he says to his admirers: What have I done? Nothing. Man does not invent a force, he directs it.

--Honoré de Balzac

Oak Creek Sedona

The more you judge, the less you love.

--Honoré de Balzac


Arizona landscape

Resignation is a daily suicide.

--Honoré de Balzac


sunset over hill

There is nothing original; all is reflected light.

--Honoré de Balzac

landscape photo of mountains under starry sky at nighttime

There are moments in life when all we can bear is the sense that our friend is near us; our wounds would wince at the touch of consoling words, that would reveal the depths of our pain.

--Honoré de Balzac

person walking on snowfield

There are some women whose pregnancy would make some sly bachelor smile.

--Honoré de Balzac

black bird flying on white background

Love may be or it may not, but where it is, it ought to reveal itself in its immensity.

--Honoré de Balzac

castle surrounded fog

He has great tranquility of heart who cares neither for the praises nor the fault-finding of men.

--Honoré de Balzac

woman in black shirt standing on yellow flower field during daytime

Like evil, sublimity is also contagious.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

For businessmen, the world is a bale of banknotes in circulation; for most young men, it is a woman; for some women, it is a man; and for others it may be a salon, a coterie, a part of town or a whole city.

--Honoré de Balzac


white pendant lamp

Suicide, moreover, was at the time in vogue in Paris: what more suitable key to the mystery of life for a skeptical society?

--Honoré de Balzac

girl and boy figurines

When a woman starts talking about her duty, her regard for appearances, and her respect for religion, she raises so many bulwarks which she delights to see captured by storm.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

A woman in love has full intelligence of her power; the more virtuous she is, the more effective her coquetry.

--Honoré de Balzac

ocean

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

adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

A man who stops at nothing short of the law is very clever indeed!

--Honoré de Balzac

gray and brown hummingbird perching on yellow petaled flower

Where poverty ceases, avarice begins.

--Honoré de Balzac

aerial view of foggy forest

Pure herring oil is the port wine of English cats.

--Honoré de Balzac

pink and white abstract painting

With a woman, always make good use of a secret. She will be proportionally grateful to you, like a scoundrel who grants his respect to an honest man he has been unable to swindle.

--Honoré de Balzac

person wearing red running shoe

Wisdom is that apprehension of heavenly things to which the spirit rises through love.

--Honoré de Balzac


rocky mountain under starry night

A woman, even a prude, is not long at a loss, however dire her plight. She would seen always to have in hand the fig leaf our Mother Eve bequeathed to her.

--Honoré de Balzac


shooting star in night sky

It is no sin to be tempted; the wickedness lies in being overcome.

--Honoré de Balzac

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Let nothing dupe you! Such is the horrible maxim that acts as a solvent upon every noble feeling man experiences.

--Honoré de Balzac



silhouette photo of mountain during night time

A man wastes his time going to hear some of our eloquent modern preachers; they may change his opinions, but never his conduct.

--Honoré de Balzac

black wooden louver door window

The most real of all splendors are not in outward things, they are within us.

--Honoré de Balzac


red and white led lighted heart decor

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.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

Nothing is unimportant to a man plunged in despair. He is as credulous as a criminal sentenced to death who listens to a lunatic raving to him about how he can escape through the keyhole.

--Honoré de Balzac


red and blue light digital wallpaper

Among fifty percent of your married couples, the husband worries very little about what his wife is doing, provided she is doing all he wishes.

--Honoré de Balzac

black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

Thanks to the toleration preached by the encyclopedists of the eighteenth century, the sorcerer is exempt from torture.

--Honoré de Balzac

red and black floral textile

A husband and wife who are in the habit of occupying separate rooms are either beings apart, or they have found happiness. Either they hate or they adore each other.

--Honoré de Balzac


silhouette of stones during golden hour

The sanctity of womanhood is incompatible with social liberty and social claims; and for a woman emancipation means corruption.

--Honoré de Balzac

forest at daytime

Memories beautify life, but the capacity to forget makes it bearable.

--Honoré de Balzac

red rose

Virginity, like all monstrosities, possesses special riches and its own absorbing grandeur. Among the chaste, life forces are economized and thus gain in resistance and durability.

--Honoré de Balzac

leafless tree under gray sky

Creole women take after Europe in their intelligence, after the Tropics in the illogical violence of their passions, and after the Indies in the apathetic indolence with which they commit or suffer good and evil.

--Honoré de Balzac


tall green flowering grasses under blue and white cloudy sky

Nothing about me surprises me.

--Honoré de Balzac

time lapse photography body of water

One can imagine the look the two lovers exchanged; it was like a flame, for virtuous lovers have not a shred of hypocrisy.

--Honoré de Balzac

desert under blue skies

Most geometricians, chemists, mathematicians, and great scientists submit religion to reason only to discover a problem as unsolvable as that of squaring a circle.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

The weakest being on earth can accomplish feats of strength. The frailest urchin will ring every doorbell on the street in arctic weather or hoist himself aloft to inscribe his name on a virgin monument.

--Honoré de Balzac

man holding brown violin

Priests, magistrates and ladies never quite take off their gowns.

--Honoré de Balzac

yellow background

With every one, the expectation of a misfortune constitutes a dreadful, punishment. Suffering then assumes the proportions of the unknown, which is the soul's infinite.

--Honoré de Balzac

red moon at night

Narrow minds can develop as well through persecution as through benevolence; they can assure themselves of their power by tyrannizing cruelly or beneficially over others.

--Honoré de Balzac

Bryce Canyon National Park Sunrise Point at Utah

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.

--Honoré de Balzac

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

The Police and the Society of Jesus posses in common the virtue of never forsaking their enemies as friends.

--Honoré de Balzac

blue and white abstract painting

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.

--Honoré de Balzac

photo of brown parquet

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.

--Honoré de Balzac

autumn leaves on body of water

The more one judges, the less one loves.

--Honoré de Balzac

close up photography of moon

Love is a game in which one always cheats.

--Honoré de Balzac

person wearing black leather shoe

Towns find it as hard as houses of business to rise again from ruin.

--Honoré de Balzac

person cooking on seashore

The union of a want and a sentiment.

--Honoré de Balzac

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

In the first woman we love, we love everything. Growing older, we love the woman only.

--Honoré de Balzac

four white balloons on white wall

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.

--Honoré de Balzac

None

Paris, like every pretty woman, is subject to inexplicable whims of beauty and ugliness.

--Honoré de Balzac

landscape photography of waves and clouds

When attempted self-destruction does not cure a man of life, it cures him of voluntary death.

--Honoré de Balzac

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