Faith is an excitement and an enthusiasm: it is a condition of intellectual magnificence to which we must cling as to a treasure, and not squander on our way through life in the small coin of empty words, or in exact and priggish argument.
It is sad, no doubt, to exhaust one's strength and one's days in cleaving the bosom of this jealous earth, which compels us to wring from it the treasures of its fertility, when a bit of the blackest and coarsest bread is, at the end of the day's work, the sole recompense and the sole profit attaching to so arduous a toil.
If they are ignorant, they are despised, if learned, mocked. In love they are reduced to the status of courtesans. As wives they are treated more as servants than as companions. Men do not love them: they make use of them, they exploit them, and expect, in that way, to make them subject to the law of fidelity.
... 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.
Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age, and to 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, and one's inner happiness.
I regard as a mortal sin not only the lying of the senses in matters of love, but also the illusion which the senses seek to create where love is only partial. I say, I believe, that one must love with all of one's being, or else live, come what may, a life of complete chastity.
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.
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.
I'm beginning to believe that there are angels disguised as men who pass themselves off as such and who inhabit the earth for a while to console and lift up with them toward heaven the poor, exhausted and saddened souls who were ready to perish here below.
One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows of 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.
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.
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.
Once my heart was captured, reason was shown the door, deliberately and with a sort of frantic joy. I accepted everything, I believed everything, without struggle, without suffering, without regret, without false shame. How can one blush for what one adores?