A novel is a mirror travelling down the road.

Stendhal

Stendhal

Profession: Author
Nationality: French

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The great drawback of being witty is that you have to keep your eyes fixed on the semi-idiots around you, and absorb their worthless sensations.

Love of the head has doubtless more intelligence than true love, but it only has moments of enthusiasm. It knows itself too well, it sits in judgement on itself incessantly; far from distracting thought, it is made by sheer force of thought.

The more one pleases generally, the less one pleases profoundly.

The tyranny of public opinion (and what an opinion!) is as fatuous in the small towns of France as it is in the United States of America.

After moral poisoning, one requires physical remedies and a bottle of champagne.

A forty-year-old woman is only something to men who have loved her in her youth.

Without patience, without absence of anger, no one can be called a politician.

Could anything possibly be more humorous than believing in the depth or in the depravity of the Parisian character?

It seemed to Julian that there was far too much hair in his wig.

What is the use of a love that makes one yawn? One might as well take to religion.

The lover thinks oftener of reaching his mistress than the husband thinks of guarding his wife; the prisoner thinks more often of escape than the jailer thinks of locking the doors. Therefore, in spite of every obstacle, the lover and the prisoner are certain to succeed.

The pleasures of love are always in proportion to our fears.

The great majority of men, especially in France, both desire and possess a fashionable woman, much in the way one might own a fine horse - as a luxury befitting a young man.

I cannot provide the reality of events, I can only convey their shadow.