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George Sand (120 items)

  • You may impose silence upon me, but you can not prevent me from thinking.

  • But that is just like the stupid jealousy of the ordinary husband! They imagine everything and understand nothing.

  • ... nothing resembles selfishness more closely than self-respect.

  • I know that I am a slave, and you are my lord. The law of this country has made you my master. You can bind my body, tie my hands, govern my actions: you are the strongest, and society adds to your power, but with my will, sir, you can do nothing.

  • The marriage vow is an absurdity imposed by society.

  • No human being can control love, and no one is to blame either for feeling it or for losing it. What alone degrades a woman is falsehood.

  • ... honesty dies in selling itself.

  • We cannot blot out one page of our lives, but we can throw the book in the fire.

  • Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.

  • ... years do not always make age.

  • ... love might have consoled him by taking him by surprise; for that is the only way in which love does console. One cannot find it when one seeks it; it comes to us when we do not expect it.

  • One knows what one has lost, but not what one may find.

  • Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth ...

  • ... death must no longer be either the penalty for prosperity or the consolation of misery. God did not destine it to be either the punishment or the compensation for life ...

  • He who draws noble delights from the sentiment of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.

  • No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions, especially in the arts, which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand.

  • ... what is there over which the incomparable beauty of childhood would not triumph?

  • ... the progress of the language has caused us to lose many old treasures. It is thus with all progress, and one must make the best of it.

  • One never knows how much a family may grow; and when a hive is too full, and it is necessary to form a new swarm, each one thinks of carrying away his own honey.

  • ... almost all novels are love stories.

    • George Sand,
    • The Story of My Life, vol. 1 ()
  • The more you lose the right to be jealous, the more so you become!

    • George Sand,
    • The Story of My Life, vol. 1 ()
  • ... art speaks only to the mind, whereas nature speaks to all the faculties ...

    • George Sand,
    • The Story of My Life, vol. 1 ()
  • The brain is a tool that gets rusty without constant, albeit moderate, exercise.

    • George Sand,
    • The Story of My Life, vol. 1 ()
  • It is extraordinary how music sends one back into memories of the past ...

    • George Sand,
    • The Story of My Life, vol. 1 ()
  • Simplicity, a delicate silence about oneself, increases their worth and makes one love those whom one admires.

    • George Sand,
    • The Story of My Life, vol. 1 ()
  • ... faith is like love; when you want it you can't find it, and you find it when you least expect it.

    • George Sand,
    • The Story of My Life, vol. 1 ()
  • ... better is the enemy of good.

  • Laurent was very sincere. When he lied, he was the first person deceived.

  • He talked to her of himself, always of himself. Why not? He talked so well!

  • ... a woman, when she is heroic, is not heroic by halves.

  • These tears do me good, they have watered the parched place; perhaps my heart will grow again there!

  • To eat together is one of the greatest promoters of intimacy. It is the satisfaction in common of a material necessity of existence, and if you seek a loftier meaning in it, it is a communion ...

  • ... love is too delicate a flower to rise again when one has trampled it under foot.

  • ... a woman's heart has no wrinkles.

  • My strength has not equaled my mad ambition. I have remained obscure; I have done worse — I have touched success, and allowed it to escape me.

  • The whole secret of the study of nature lies in learning how to use one's eyes ...

    • George Sand,
    • Nouvelles Lettres d'un Voyageur ()
  • Happiness lies in the consciousness we have of it.

  • Discouragement seizes us only when we can no longer rely on chance.

  • Punctuation has its own philosophy, just as style does, although not as language does. Style is a good understanding of language, punctuation is a good understanding of style.

  • Where there is no longer love, there is no longer anything.

  • I would rather believe that God did not exist than believe that he was indifferent.

  • I have no enthusiasm for nature which the slightest chill will not instantly destroy.

    • George Sand,
    • in Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims ()
  • Faith is an excitement and an enthusiasm, a state of intellectual magnificence which we must safeguard like a treasure, not squander on our way through life in the small coin of empty words and inexact, pedantic arguments.

    • George Sand,
    • 1866, Correspondance, vol. 5 ()
  • One wastes so much time, one is so prodigal of life, at twenty! Our days of winter count for double. That is the compensation of the old.

    • George Sand,
    • 1868, Correspondance, vol. 5 ()
  • We must have a passion in life.

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • ... the profession of writing is nothing else but a violent, indestructible passion. When it has once entered people's heads it never leaves them.

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • We do not precisely enjoy liberty at the Figaro. M. de Latouche, our worthy director (ah! you should know the fellow), is always hanging over us, cutting, pruning, right or wrong, imposing upon us his whims, his aberrations, his fancies, and we have to write as he bids ...

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • If people were not wicked I should not mind their being stupid; but, to our misfortune, they are both.

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • People write because it is a calling; but they do not think because they cannot afford the time. Events pass too quickly and leave us dazzled. 'Writers (says that sublime De Latouche) are tools. In our days, they are not men; they are pens!' And, when uttering their twaddle, other people must go into fits of admiration and pretend to be quite taken aback for fear of being looked upon as asses.

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • Gossiping is the plague of little towns.

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • Heavens! whatever possesses us, here below, that we mutually torment ourselves, sourly reproach our mutual faults, and mercilessly condemn all that is not cut according to our pattern?

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • That small newspaper goes in both for opposition and defamation. The great point is not to take the one for the other.

    • George Sand,
    • 1831, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 1 ()
  • ... the mind has no sex ...

    • George Sand,
    • 1848, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • The masses are still ungrateful or ignorant. They prefer murder, poisonings, and crimes generally to a literature possessed of style and feeling.

    • George Sand,
    • 1851, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • ... time is always wanting to me, and I cannot meet with a single day when I am not hurried along, driven to my wits'-end by urgent work, business to attend to, or some service to render.

    • George Sand,
    • 1852, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • You see what stupid folk my publishers are; but they are all alike.

    • George Sand,
    • 1855, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • Let us accept truth, even when it surprises us and alters our views.

    • George Sand,
    • 1863, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • It is high time that we had lights that are not incendiary torches.

    • George Sand,
    • 1863, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • Art belongs to all times and to all countries; its special benefit is precisely to be still living when everything else seems dying; that is why Providence shields it from too personal or too general passions, and grants it a patient and persevering organization, durable sensibility, and the contemplative sense in which lies invincible faith.

    • George Sand,
    • 1863, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • Ah! that Senate is a world of ice and darkness! It votes the destruction of peoples as the simplest and wisest thing; for its members themselves are moribund.

    • George Sand,
    • 1863, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • To be made evident, truth must be sought for; for of itself it is slow to appear, and between ourselves and God the obstacles are so many!

    • George Sand,
    • 1865, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 2 ()
  • Every historian discloses a new horizon.

    • George Sand,
    • 1871, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 3 ()
  • Art, for the sake of art itself, is an idle sentence. Art, for the sake of truth, for the sake of what is beautiful and good, that is the creed I seek ...

    • George Sand,
    • 1872, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 3 ()
  • The publication of a book only brings very paltry results to its author.

    • George Sand,
    • 1872, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 3 ()
  • Life is a succession of afflictions for the heart.

    • George Sand,
    • 1875, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 3 ()
  • Party politics is now a real farce.

    • George Sand,
    • 1875, in Raphaël Ledos de Beaufort, ed., Letters of George Sand, vol. 3 ()
  • Life is a slate where all our sins are written; from time to time we rub the sponge of repentance over it so we can begin sinning again.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • Whoever has loved knows all that life contains of sorrow and of joy.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • Sorrow makes us very good or very bad.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • I have a horror of vanity; it is the quicksand of reason.

  • Oblivion is the flower that grows best on graves.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • The greatest evidence of demoralization is the respect paid to wealth.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • The life of great geniuses is nothing but a sublime storm.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • There are no more thorough prudes than those women who have some little secret to hide.

    • George Sand,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • There is only one sex. A man and a woman are so entirely the same thing that one can scarcely understand the subtle reasons for sex distinctions with which our minds are filled.

    • George Sand,
    • in Marie Jenney Howe, George Sand and the Search for Love ()
  • It is love, not faith, that moves mountains.

    • George Sand,
    • 1832, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • As far as I am concerned I would rather spend the rest of my life in prison than marry again.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • Liszt said to me to-day that God alone deserves to be loved. It may be true, but when one has loved a man it is very difficult to love God. It is so different.

    • George Sand,
    • 1834, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • The capacity for passion is both cruel and divine.

    • George Sand,
    • 1834, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • Buloz sleeps at the opera as comfortably as in his own bed. People tread on his coat-tails, they step on his hat, on his feet. He awakes long enough to exclaim, 'Good Lord!' then goes back to sleep again.

    • George Sand,
    • 1834, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • ... we do not die of anguish, we live on. We continue to suffer. We drink the cup drop by drop.

    • George Sand,
    • 1834, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • Nowadays it seems that moral education is no longer considered necessary. Attention is wholly centered on intelligence, while the heart life is ignored.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • A child motivated by competitive ideals will grow into a man without conscience, shame, or true dignity.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • Nature distributes her favors unequally.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • When mental sickness increases until it reaches the danger point, do not exhaust yourself by efforts to trace back to original causes. Better accept them as inevitable and save your strength to fight against the effects.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • Writing a journal means that facing your ocean you are afraid to swim across it, so you attempt to drink it drop by drop.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • You, stupid one, who believe in laws which punish murder by murder ...

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older one climbs with surprising strides.

    • George Sand,
    • 1868, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • It seems to me that the earth belongs to God who made it and entrusted it to men as a perpetual home. But it cannot have been part of His plan that some men should be ill with overfeeding and that others should die of starvation. No matter what anyone can say they cannot prevent me from feeling sad and angry when I see a beggar crying at a rich man's door.

    • George Sand,
    • in Veronica Lucas, ed., Letters of George Sand ()
  • It is always the best friends who are neglected and ignored.

    • George Sand,
    • 1867, in Veronica Lucas, ed., Letters of George Sand ()
  • Anything we destroy in ourselves we destroy in others. Our falls lower others and throw them down; we owe it to our fellows to keep upright, in order that they too may keep their feet.

    • George Sand,
    • to Gustave Flaubert (1876), in Wallace Brockway and Bart Keith Winer, eds., A Second Treasury of the World's Great Letters ()
  • There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

    • George Sand,
    • 1862, Correspondance de George Sand, vol. 16 ()
  • ... everyone's free to embark on either a great clipper or a little fishing boat. An artist is an explorer who oughtn't to shrink from anything: it doesn't matter whether he goes to the left or the right — his goal sanctifies all.

    • George Sand,
    • 1866, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • Age continually alters the faces of those who think or study, and so their portraits differ from one another and don't even resemble them for very long. I dream so much and live so little that I'm sometimes only three years old. But the next day I'm three hundred, if the dream has been sombre.

    • George Sand,
    • 1866, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • You don't have to write to me if you don't feel like it. There's no real friendship without absolute freedom.

    • George Sand,
    • 1866, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • Travelling is like a novel: it's what happens that counts.

    • George Sand,
    • 1867, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • ... fretting at trouble only doubles it.

    • George Sand,
    • 1870, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • The lessons of experience are always learned too late.

    • George Sand,
    • 1871, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • ... living for oneself is a bad thing. The keenest intellectual pleasure comes from being able to return to the self after being absent from it for a spell. But living all the time inside the self, that most tyrannical, demanding and capricious of companions — no, one shouldn't do it.

    • George Sand,
    • 1872, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • Experience is always a trustworthy guide; it may not tell you everything, but it never lies.

    • George Sand,
    • 1873, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • I needn't tell you that success and failure prove nothing — the whole thing is a lottery. It's pleasant to succeed; but for a philosophic mind it oughtn't to be very upsetting to fail.

    • George Sand,
    • 1874, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • Ever since time began the world has seemed stupid to those who aren't stupid themselves. It was to avoid that annoyance that I became stupid myself, as fast as ever I could. Sheer egoism, no doubt.

    • George Sand,
    • 1874, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • All your trouble comes from lack of exercise. A man of your strength and constitution ought always to have kept physically active. So don't jibe at the very wise advice that sentences you to one hour's walk a day. You imagine the work of the mind takes place only in the brain; but you're much mistaken. It takes place in the legs as well.

    • George Sand,
    • 1875, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • ... when we are misunderstood it is always our own fault. What the reader wants most of all is to be able to grasp what we think; but you loftily refuse to comply.

    • George Sand,
    • 1876, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • Our work can never be better than we are ourselves.

    • George Sand,
    • 1876, in Francis Steegmuller and Barbara Bray, eds., Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence ()
  • ... one changes from day to day ... every few years one becomes a new being.

    • George Sand
  • Genius, whether locked up in a cell or roaming at large, is always solitary ...

    • George Sand
  • Humanity is outraged in me and with me. We must not dissimulate nor try to forget this indignation which is one of the most passionate forms of love.

    • George Sand
  • The beauty that addresses itself to the eyes is only the spell of the moment; the eye of the body is not always that of the soul.

    • George Sand
  • Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.

    • George Sand
  • Admiration and familiarity are strangers.

    • George Sand
  • Sex is the most respectable and holy thing in all creation, the most serious act in life.

    • George Sand
  • No human being can give orders to love.

    • George Sand
  • No religion can be built on force ...

    • George Sand
  • The old woman I shall become will be quite different from the woman I am now. Another I is beginning, and so far I have not had to complain of her.

    • George Sand
  • ... nature has not changed. The night is still unsullied, the stars still twinkle, and the wild thyme smells as sweetly now as it did then ... We may be afflicted and unhappy, but no one can take from us the sweet delight which is nature's gift to those who love her and her poetry.

    • George Sand,
    • in André Maurois, Lelia: The Life of George Sand ()
  • Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.

    • George Sand
  • Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age, and imagine right up to the brink of death that life is only beginning. I think that is the only way to keep adding to one's talent, to one's affections, and one's inner happiness.

    • George Sand
  • ... nothing resembles selfishness more closely than self-respect.

  • One is happy as a result of one's own efforts once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness — simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.

    • George Sand

George Sand, French novelist, essayist

(1804 - 1876)

Actual name:Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin Dudevant.