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Madame de Sévigné

  • I fear nothing so much as a man who is witty all day long.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends ()
  • There is nobody who is not dangerous for someone.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends ()
  • It is sometimes better to slip over thoughts and not go to the bottom of them.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends ()
  • Religious people spend so much time with their confessors because they like to talk about themselves.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends ()
  • We cannot destroy kindred: our chains stretch a little sometimes, but they never break.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1670, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... if I inflict wounds, I heal them.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1670, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... nothing is so capable of overturning a good intention as to show a distrust of it; to be suspected for an enemy, is often sufficient to make a person become one ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1670, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... truth ... carries authority with it; while falsehood and lies skulk under a load of words, without having the power of persuasion; the more they attempt to show themselves, the more they are entangled.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... long journeys are strange things: if we were always to continue in the same mind we are in at the end of a journey, we should never stir from the place we were then in: but Providence in kindness to us causes us to forget it. It is much the same with lying-in women. Heaven permits this forgetfulness that the world may be peopled, and that folks may take journeys to Provence.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • We must always live in hope; without that consolation there would be no living.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... carry yourself safely through your pregnancy; after that, if M. de Grignan really loves you, and is resolved not to kill you outright, I know what he will do, or rather what he will not do.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • to her daughter on her frequent pregnancies (1671), Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • [Condom:] ... an armor against enjoyment and a spider web against danger.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • I am persuaded that the greater part of our complaints arise from want of exercise.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • We are so fond of hearing ourselves spoken of, that, be it good or ill, it is still pleasing.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... we are always on the side of those who speak last ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • Were it not for the amusement of our books, we should be moped to death for want of occupation. It rains incessantly. ... we tickle ourselves in order to laugh; to so low an ebb are we reduced.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... if, after this lying-in, M. de Grignan does not allow you rest, as he would to a piece of good ground, I shall be so far from believing in his affection for you, that I shall imagine, on the contrary, he wishes to get rid of you.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • on her daughter's numerous pregnancies (1671), Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • I love you so passionately, that I hide a great part of my love, not to oppress you with it.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 1 ()
  • ... there are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 2 ()
  • When we reckon without Providence, we must frequently reckon twice.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1672, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 2 ()
  • ... war often breaks out when there is the most talk of peace.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1673, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 2 ()
  • We like no noise unless we make it ourselves.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1674, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 2 ()
  • Long life will sometimes obscure the star of fame.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1675, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 3 ()
  • ... she took a little picture of M. de Turenne from madame d'Elbeuf, who used to wear it on her arm. Madame d'Elbeuf asked her for it several times; she always told her, she had lost it, but we guess it is not lost to every one.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1675, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 3 ()
  • ... good and evil travel on the same road, but they leave different impressions.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1675, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 3 ()
  • ... I know of no sorrow greater than that occasioned by a delay of the post.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1675, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 3 ()
  • I do not like to employ secretaries that have more wit than myself. I am afraid to make them write all my nonsense.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1676, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 4 ()
  • Ah, what a grudge I owe physicians! what mummery is their art!

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1676, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 4 ()
  • He is at present sadly cast down at an accident that has happened to him: you must know he has given his valet a cloak, which he had worn only a year, thinking he had worn it two years: this mistake is grievous, and he is very sensitive upon the subject ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1676, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 4 ()
  • Happiness, like misfortunes, never comes alone.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1676, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 4 ()
  • She takes viper-broth, which has recovered her strength and spirits perceptibly: she thinks it the best thing you can possibly take. The head and tail of the viper are cut off; it is gutted and skinned; yet, even two hours after, it moves. We could not help comparing this tenacity of life to old passions ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1679, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 5 ()
  • ... it is not always sorrow that opens the fountains of the eyes ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1680, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 6 ()
  • There is no real evil in life, except great pain; all the rest is imaginary, and depends on the light in which we view things.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1680, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 6 ()
  • ... those who are happy enough to have a taste for reading, need never be at a loss for amusement.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1684, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 6 ()
  • ... I wish to ask you how you find yourself, on being a grandfather. ... the prospect is worse than the reality ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1687, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 7 ()
  • ... Providence conducts us with so much kindness through the different periods of our life, that we scarcely feel the change; our days glide gently and imperceptibly along, like the motion of the hour-hand, which we cannot discover. ... we advance gradually; we are the same to-day as yesterday, and to-morrow as to-day: thus we go on, without perceiving it, which is a miracle of the Providence I adore.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1687, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 7 ()
  • Coffee is quite in disgrace; the chevalier thinks it heats him, and puts his blood in a ferment; and I, who, you know, always follow the lead, have likewise rejected it ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1688, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 7 ()
  • ... what a pity it is, that the fashion of being in two places at once is not yet introduced! you would be very serviceable here to your family.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1688, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 7 ()
  • ... there are some people who never acknowledge themselves in the wrong; God help them!

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 8 ()
  • I pity those who have no taste for reading ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 8 ()
  • Coulanges climbed upon his chair; this, I think, was a dangerous attempt for a little man, as round as a bowl, and not very alert. I am glad he did not meet with a fall in solemning my health ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 8 ()
  • ... we ought to be astonished at nothing; for what do we not meet with in our journey through life?

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 8 ()
  • ... it is a disgraceful thing to be ignorant ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 8 ()
  • ... matrimony is a very dangerous disorder; I had rather drink.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689 Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 8 ()
  • ... winter is past, and we have a prospect of spring that is superior to spring itself.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1690, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 9 ()
  • ... death makes us all equal ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1690, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 9 ()
  • ... the days, and the months, and the years, pass so swiftly, that I can no longer retain them. Time, in its flight, hurries me away, in spite of myself; in vain I endeavor to stop him, he drags me along: the thought of this alarms me.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1691, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 9 ()
  • True friendship is never tranquil ...

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, in M. Monmerqué, ed., Lettres de Madame de Sévigné, de sa famille et de ses amis, vol. 2 ()
  • Fortune is always on the side of the big battalions.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1673, in M. Monmerqué, ed., Lettres de Madame de Sévigné, de sa famille et de ses amis, vol. 3 ()
  • The heart has no wrinkles.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • We are never satisfied with having done well; and in endeavoring to do better, we do much worse.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1671, in Edward Playfair Anderson, ed., The Best Letters of Madame de Sévigné ()
  • [After being corrected by a grammarian for using the feminine pronoun instead of the pseudogeneric masculine:] As you please, but for my part, if I were to express myself so, I should fancy I had a beard.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • in M. Ph. A. Grouvelle, "Biographical Sketch" (1696), The Letters of Madame de Sévigné, vol. 1 ()
  • It is freezing fit to split a stone.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, in Leonard Tancock, tr., Madame de Sévigné, Selected Letters ()
  • Not to find pleasure in serious reading gives a pastel coloring to the mind.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, in Katharina M. Wilson and Frank J. Warnke, Women Writers of the Seventeenth Century ()
  • Oh Dear! how unfortunate I am not to have anyone to weep with!

    • Madame de Sévigné
  • The more I see of people, the more I like dogs.

    • Madame de Sévigné

Madame de Sévigné, French letterwriter

(1626 - 1696)

Full name: Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné.