63 Stendhal Quotes On Success In Life

Marie-Henri Beyle better known by his pen name Stendhal was a 19th-century French writer. Best known for the novels Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black, 1830) and La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma, 1839), he is highly regarded for the acute analysis of his characters’ psychology and considered one of the early and foremost practitioners of realism. These Stendhal quotes will motivate you.

Best Stendhal Quotes

  1. “One can acquire everything in solitude except character.” ~ Stendhal
  2. “The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.” ~ Stendhal
  3. “Love is a well from which we can drink only as much as we have put in, and the stars that shine from it are only our eyes looking in.” ~ Stendhal
  4. “Life is very short, and it ought not to be spent crawling at the feet of miserable scoundrels.” ~ Stendhal
  5. “Only great minds can afford a simple style.” ~ Stendhal

  6. “All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.” ~ Stendhal
  7. “Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness.” ~ Stendhal
  8. “Almost all our misfortunes in life come from the wrong notions we have about the things that happen to us.” ~ Stendhal
  9. “To describe happiness is to diminish it.” ~ Stendhal
  10. “A woman of generous character will sacrifice her life a thousand times over for her lover, but will break with him for ever over a question of pride.” ~ Stendhal
  11. “I love her beauty, but I fear her mind.” ~ Stendhal

  12. “The sight of anything extremely beautiful, in nature or in art, brings back the memory of what one loves, with the speed of lightning.” ~ Stendhal
  13. “The boredom of married life inevitable destroys love, when love has preceded marriage.” ~ Stendhal
  14. “I see but one rule: to be clear.” ~ Stendhal
  15. “A novel is like a bow, and the violin that produces the sound is the reader’s soul.” ~ Stendhal
  16. “A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love.” ~ Stendhal
  17. “The idea which tyrants find most useful is the idea of God.” ~ Stendhal

  18. “Love is like fever; it comes and goes without the will having any part of the process.” ~ Stendhal
  19. “Logic is neither an art nor a science but a dodge.” ~ Stendhal
  20. “If you don’t love me, it does not matter, anyway I can love for both of us.” ~ Stendhal
  21. “God’s only excuse is that he does not exist.” ~ Stendhal
  22. “An English traveler relates how he lived upon intimate terms with a tiger; he had reared it and used to play with it, but always kept a loaded pistol on the table.” ~ Stendhal
  23. “A good book is an event in my life.” ~ Stendhal

  24. “In our calling, we have to choose; we must make our fortune either in this world or in the next, there is no middle way.” ~ Stendhal
  25. “When you want to court a woman, court her sister first” ~ Stendhal
  26. “Any man who talks about his love affairs thereby proves he is ignorant of love and is moved only by vanity.” ~ Stendhal
  27. “A forty-year-old woman is only something to men who have loved her in her youth.” ~ Stendhal
  28. “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.” ~ Stendhal
  29. “Life is too short, and the time we waste in yawning never can be regained.” ~ Stendhal
  30. “People happy in love have an air of intensity.” ~ Stendhal

  31. “The first qualification for a historian is to have no ability to invent.” ~ Stendhal
  32. “I do not feel I have wisdom enough yet to love what is ugly.” ~ Stendhal
  33. “People who have been made to suffer by certain things cannot be reminded of them without a horror which paralyzes every other pleasure, even that to be found in reading a story.” ~ Stendhal
  34. “Faith, I am no such fool; everyone for himself in this desert of selfishness which is called life.” ~ Stendhal
  35. “Love has always been the most important business in my life; I should say the only one.” ~ Stendhal
  36. “What is really beautiful must always be true.” ~ Stendhal

  37. “A man who is half an idiot, but who keeps a sharp lookout and acts prudently all his life, often enjoys the pleasure of triumphing over men of more imagination than he” ~ Stendhal
  38. “Power, after love, is the first source of happiness.” ~ Stendhal
  39. “Women prefer emotions to reasoning.” ~ Stendhal
  40. “There are as many styles of beauty as there are visions of happiness.” ~ Stendhal

  41. “Man is not free to refuse to do the thing which gives him more pleasure than any other conceivable action.” ~ Stendhal
  42. “If you think of paying court to the men in power, your eternal ruin is assured.” ~ Stendhal
  43. “…one of the traits of genius is not to drag its thought through the rut worn by vulgar minds.” ~ Stendhal
  44. “In matters of sentiment, the public has very crude ideas; and the most shocking fault of women is that they make the public the supreme judge of their lives.” ~ Stendhal
  45. “Our true passions are selfish.” ~ Stendhal

  46. “The difference breeds hatred.” ~ Stendhal
  47. “A melancholy air can never be the right thing; what you want is a bored air. If you are melancholy, it must be because you want something, there is something in which you have not succeeded.
    It is shewing your inferiority. If you are bored, on the other hand, it is the person who has tried in vain to please you who is inferior.” ~ Stendhal
  48. “A novel is a mirror which passes over a highway. Sometimes it reflects to your eyes the blue of the skies, at others the churned-up mud of the road.” ~ Stendhal
  49. “The man of genius is he and he alone who finds such joy in his art that he will work at it come hell or high water.” ~ Stendhal
  50. “Friendship has its illusions no less than love.” ~ Stendhal

  51. “Every true passion thinks only of itself.” ~ Stendhal
  52. “But, if I sample this pleasure so prudently and circumspectly, it will no longer be a pleasure.” ~ Stendhal
  53. “The more one pleases everybody, the less one pleases profoundly.” ~ Stendhal
  54. “If you want to be witty, work on your character and say what you think on every occasion.” ~ Stendhal
  55. “I see but one rule: to be clear. If I am not clear, all my world crumbles to nothing.” ~ Stendhal quotes
  56. “A strange effect of marriage, such as the nineteenth century has made it! The boredom of married life inevitably destroys love, when love has preceded marriage. And yet, as a philosopher has observed, it speedily brings about, among people who are rich enough not to have to work, an intense boredom with all quiet forms of enjoyment. And it is only dried up hearts, among women, that it does not predispose to love.” ~ Stendhal
  57. “It is from cowardice and not from want of enlightenment that we do not read in our own hearts.” ~ Stendhal

  58. “I no longer find such pleasure in that preeminently good society, of which I was once so fond. It seems to me that beneath a cloak of clever talk it proscribes all energy, all originality. If you are not a copy, people accuse you of being ill-mannered.” ~ Stendhal
  59. “There is no such thing as “natural law”: this expression is nothing but old nonsense… Prior to laws, what is natural is only the strength of the lion, or the need of the creature suffering from hunger or cold, in short, need.” ~ Stendhal
  60. “One-half, the finest half, of life is hidden from the man who does not love with passion.” ~ Stendhal

  61. “Love is like a fever which comes and goes quite independently of the will. … there are no age limits for love.” ~ Stendhal
  62. “Conversation is like the table of contents of a dull book…. All the greatest subjects of human thought are proudly displayed in it. Listen to it for three minutes, and you ask yourself which is more striking, the emphasis of the speaker or his shocking ignorance.” ~ Stendhal
  63. “Pleasure is often spoiled by describing it.” ~ Stendhal

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