October 13, 2016

André Maurois Quotes

“A blend of admiration and compassion is one of the surest recipes for love.”

“A friend loves you for your intelligence, a mistress for your charm, but your family’s love is unreasoning; you were born into it and are of its flesh and blood. Nevertheless it can irritate you more than any group of people in the world.”

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”

“A man cannot free himself from the past more easily than he can from his own body.”

“A man who is trying sincerely to disentangle the web of human affairs is greatly helped by the nearness of a woman’s mind, vigilant, clever, discreet, lucid, which lights up that shadowy half of his world: women’s thoughts.”

“A marriage without conflicts is almost as inconceivable as a nation without crises.”

“A mixture of admiration and pity is one of the surest recipes for affection.”

“A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”

“A true woman loves a strong man because she knows his weaknesses. She protects as much as she is protected.”

“An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along.”

“An unsatisfied woman requires luxury, but a woman who is in love with a man will lie on a board.”

“Auguste Comte defines the feminine sex as the affective or emotional sex, and the male sex as the effective or active sex. This must be understood as meaning that with women there is a much close connection between mind and body. Woman’s thought are less abstract than man’s.”

“Balzac says that many young husbands are so ignorant of women that they make him think of orang-outagns trying to play the violin.”

“Business is a combination of war and sport.”

“Byron says that it is easier to die for the woman one loves that to live with her.”

“Civilizations founded upon polygamy have always given way to those founded upon monogamy. Polygamy weakens men and diminishes the charm of the community in which it is practiced; and in any case it is foreign to the tastes and requirements of our modern women.”

“Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: I do not know.”

“Genius consists of equal parts of natural aptitude and hard work.”

“Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.”

“Happiness flourishes where there is happiness, and love withers quickly in an atmosphere of constraint and gloom.”

“Human beings are lazy and it very often happens that one wearies of a new-born emotion for no valid reason unless there is some restraint to stimulate and stabilize it.”

“Human nature is such that the spectacle of another’s weakness awakens even in the best of us a feeling of power which contains, along with the sincerest pity, an almost imperceptible mingling of pleasure.”

“If men could regard the events of their own lives with more open minds, they would frequently discover that they did not really desire the things they failed to obtain.”

“If you create an act, you create a habit. If you create a habit, you create a character. If you create a character, you create a destiny.”

“If you value a man’s regard, strive with him. As to liking, you like your newspaper – and despise it.”

“In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.”

“In restaurants, the duration of silence between couples is too often proportionate to the length of their life together.”

“It is a great joy to admire someone without reserve; love which is founded upon admiration oft he mind as well as the body of the chosen person undoubtedly affords the keenest delight.”

“It is easy to be admired when one remains inaccessible.”

“It only requires a glance at the advertisements in American magazines to understand how strong and how continuous is woman’s preoccupation with her conquest of man.”

“Lost Illusion is the undisclosed title of every novel.”

“Love born of anxiety resembles a thorn shaped so that efforts to pull it out of one’s flesh merely cause it to penetrate more deeply therein.”

“Marriage makes a man more vulnerable by doubling the expanse of sail exposed to the tempests of social life.”

“Memory is a great artist. For every man and for every woman it makes the recollection of his or her life a work of art and an unfaithful record.”

“Men and women are not born inconstant: they are made so by their early amorous experiences.”

“Modesty and unselfishness – these are the virtues which men praise – and pass by.”

“Most of us have to conquer and ceaselessly reconquer the person whom we desire. It is therefore necessary to arouse love in that person.”

“No great amount of experience is required to discover that the greedy search for money or success will almost always lead men into unhappiness. Why? Because that kind of life makes them depend upon things outside themselves.”

“No one can be profoundly original who does not avoid eccentricity.”

“Novelty, the most potent of all attractions, is also the most perishable.”

“Old age diminishes our strength; it takes away our pleasures one after the other; it withers the soul as well as the body; it renders adventure and friendship difficult; and finally it is shadowed by thoughts of death.”

“Old age is far more than white hair, wrinkles, the feeling that it is too late and the game finished, that the stage belongs to the rising generations. The true evil is not the weakening of the body, but the indifference of the soul.”

“One has very little influence upon one’s children. Their characters are what they are and one can do nothing to change them.”

“Passionate love produces distorted visions of actual people. Men who are too much in love expect such extraordinary happiness from marriage that they are frequently disappointed.”

“People are what you make them. A scornful look turns into a complete fool a man of average intelligence. A contemptuous indifference turns into an enemy a woman who, well treated, might have been an angel.”

“Revolt against a tyrant is legitimate; it can succeed. Revolt against human nature is doomed to failure.”

“Self-pity comes so naturally to all of us. The most solid happiness can be shaken by the compassion of a fool.”

“Smile, for everyone lacks self-confidence and more than any other one thing a smile reassures them.”

“Style is the hallmark of a temperament stamped upon the material at hand.”

“The clear and simple words of common usage are always better than those of erudition. The jargon of the philosophers not seldom conceals an absence of thought.”

“The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one’s opinion but rather to know it.”

“The effectiveness of work increases according to geometric progression if there are no interruptions.”

“The first recipe for happiness is: Avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”

“The life of a couple is lived on the mental level of the more mediocre of the two beings who compose it.”

“The longer the road to love, the keener is the pleasure to be experienced by the sensitive lover.”

“The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such. All leaders whose fitness is questioned are clearly lacking in force.”

“The truth seems to be that monogamous marriage, mitigated in certain countries by divorce and in certain other by tolerance of infidelity, persists in our Western civilization as the solution which entails the least suffering for the greatest number of people.”

“There are certain persons for whom pure Truth is a poison.”

“There are more love marriages in the United States than in any other country, but Americans are also given to quick and frequent divorces.”

“There is no happiness without forgetfulness. I have never known a real man of action to be unhappy during action. How could he be? Like a child at play, he stops thinking of himself.”

“To be witty is not enough. One must possess sufficient wit to avoid having too much of it.”

“To feminine eyes a man’s prestige, or his fame, envelops him in a luminous haze which obscures his faults. The triumphs of an aviator, an actor, a football player, an orator are often responsible for the beginning of a love affair.”

“Two world wars have destroyed in a few years the material and spiritual capital accumulated by centuries of work. The nineteenth century had hoped to turn man, by virtue of education, into a reasoning being: a half-century of ferocity has proved that a cruel, primitive beast still resides in him.”

“We appreciate frankness from those who like us. Frankness from others is called insolence.”

“We console ourselves with several friends for not having found one real one.”

“We owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity – romantic love and gunpowder.”

“Well fitted for friendship is he whom men have not disgusted with mankind, and who, believing and knowing that there are a few noble men, a few great minds, a few delightful souls scattered through the crowd, never tires of searching for them, and loves them even before he has found them.”

“What men call friendship is only social intercourse, an exchange of favours and good offices; it comes down to a commercial dealing in which self-esteem always expects to profit.”

“Without a family, man, alone in the world, trembles with the cold.”

“Woman’s great strength lies in being late or absent. Presence immediately reveals the weak points of our beloved; when she is absent she become one of the sylph-like figures our adolescence whom we endowed with perfection.”