Madame de Staël, Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, born Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Madame Necker

de Staël, Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, born Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Madame Necker

French-speaking Swiss Author and Woman of Letters

Author Quotes

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.

Taste is to literature what bon ton is in society.

To be totally understanding makes one very indulgent.

That past which is so presumptuously brought forward as a precedent for the present, was itself founded on some past that went before it.

To pray together, in whatever tongue or ritual, is the most tender brotherhood of hope and sympathy that man can contract in this life.

The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man.

To understand everything makes one very indulgent

The egotism of woman is always for two.

Tombs decked by the arts can scarcely represent death as a formidable enemy; we do not, indeed, like the ancients, carve sports and dances in the sarcophagus, but thought is diverted from the bier by works that tell of immortality, even from the altar of death.

The face of a woman, whatever be the force or extent of her mind, whatever be the importance of the object she pursues, is always an obstacle or a reason in the story of her life.

The greater part of what women write about women is mere sycophancy to man.

The language of religion can alone suit every situation and every mode of feeling.

The more I see of man, the more I like dogs.

The more I see of other countries the more I love my own.

The most careful reasoning characters are very often the most easily abashed.

Prayer is more than meditation. In meditation, the source of strength is one's self. When one prays, he goes to a source of strength greater than his own.

Providence protects us in all the details of our lot.

It was with this sentiment, at least, that I saw him [Napoleon] for the first time at Paris. I could not find words to reply to him when he came to me to say that he had sought my father at Coppet, and that he regretted having passed into Switzerland without seeing him. But, when I was a little recovered from the confusion of admiration, a strongly marked sentiment of fear succeeded. Bonaparte, at that time, had no power; he was even believed to be not a little threatened by the defiant suspicions of the Directory; so that the fear which he inspired was caused only by the singular effect of his person upon nearly all who approached him. I had seen men highly worthy of esteem; I had likewise seen monsters of ferocity: there was nothing in the effect which Bonaparte produced on me that could bring back to my recollection either the one or the other. I soon perceived, in the different opportunities which I had of meeting him during his stay at Paris, that his character could not be defined by the words which we commonly use; he was neither good, nor violent, nor gentle, nor cruel, after the manner of individuals of whom we have any knowledge. Such a being had no fellow, and therefore could neither feel nor excite sympathy: he was more or less than man. His cast of character, his spirit, his language, were stamped with the imprint of an unknown nature?an additional advantage, as we have elsewhere observed, for the subjugation of Frenchmen.

Love is the whole history of a woman's life, it is but an episode in a man's.

Love, which is only an episode in the life of man, is the entire history of woman's life.

Genius has no sex.

Men have made of fortune an all-powerful goddess, in order that she may be made responsible for all their blunder's.

Genius inspires this thirst for fame: there is no blessing undesired by those to whom Heaven gave the means of winning it.

Misfortune had conquered her, how true it is, that sooner or later the most rebellious must bow beneath the same yoke.

Glory can be for a woman but the brilliant morning of happiness.

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de Staël, Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, born Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Madame Necker
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French-speaking Swiss Author and Woman of Letters