At the street corner, a one-storey house built of freestone, but repulsively decrepit and filthy, seemed to command the entrance, like a gaol. And here, indeed, lived La Méchain, like a vigilant proprietess, ever on the watch, exploiting in person her little population of starving tenants.
He [Eugène Rougon] believed exclusively in himself; where another saw reasons, Rougon possessed convictions; he subordinated everything to the incessant aggrandisement of his own ego. Despite being utterly devoid of real self-indulgence, he nevertheless indulged in secret orgies of supreme power.
The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.
The thought is a deed. Of all deeds she fertilizes the world most.