Literary Quotations
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ALEXANDRE DUMAS QUOTES


The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)

Believe me, to seek a quarrel with a man is a bad method of pleasing the woman who loves that man.

--Chapter 3

Drunk, if you like; so much the worse for those who fear wine, for it is because they have some bad thoughts which they are afraid the liquor will extract from their hearts.

--Chapter 4

Upon my soul! These women would puzzle the very devil to read them aright.

--Chapter 34

Look, look!... Here is a man who had resigned himself to his fate, who was going to the scaffold to die--like a coward, it is true, but he was about to die without resistance. Do you know what gave him strength?--do you know what consoled him? It was, that another partook of his punishment--that another partook of his anguish--that another was to die before him! Lead two sheep to the butcher's, two oxen to the slaughterhouse, and make one of them understand his companion will not die: the sheep will bleet for pleasure, the ox will bellow with joy. But man--man, whom God created in his own image--man, upon whom God has laid his first, his sole commandment, to love his neighbour--man, to whom God has given a voice to express his thoughts--what is his first cry when he hears his fellow-man is saved? A blasphemy! Honour to man, this masterpiece of nature, this king of creation!

--Chapter 35

I maintain my pride before men--serpents always ready to erect themselves against every one who may pass without crushing them. But I lay aside my pride before God, who has taken me from nothing to make me what I am.

--Chapter 48

I wish to be Providence myself, for I feel that the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing in the world, is to recompense and punish.

--Chapter 49

Those born to wealth, and who have the means of gratifying every wish ... know not what is the real happiness of life: just as those who have been tossed on the stormy waters of the ocean on a few frail planks can alone estimate the value of a clear and serene sky.

--Chapter 50

Certainly, women alone know how to dissimulate.

--Chapter 62

Women ... are rarely tormented with remorse; for the decision does not come from you; your misfortunes are generally imposed upon you, and your faults the result of other's crimes.

--Chapter 67

Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.

--Chapter 73

Love lends wings to our desires.

--Chapter 79

The crowd moved to and fro in these rooms like an ebb and flow of turquoises, rubies, emeralds, opals, and diamonds. As usual, the oldest women were the most decorated, and the ugliest the most conspicuous. If there was a beautiful lily, or a sweet rose, you had to search for it, concealed in some corner behind a mother with a turban, or an aunt with a bird-of-paradise.

--Chapter 96

I hate this life of the fashionable world, always ordered, measured, ruled, like our music-paper. What I have always wished for, desired, and coveted, is the life of an artist, free and independent, relying only on my own resources, and accountable only to myself.

--Chapter 97

Tell the angel who will watch over your life to pray now and then for a man who, like Satan, believed himself for an instant to be equal to God, but who realized in all humility that supreme power and wisdom are in the hands of God alone.

--Chapter 117

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.

--Chapter 117

Until the day when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words,—‘Wait and hope.’

--Chapter 117

The Three Musketeers (1844)

Understand that it is by his courage and his courage alone that a gentleman can make his way nowadays. Whoever hesitates for even one second may lose the chance offered him by fortune during that very second.

--Chapter 1

Fight duels on all occasions, the more so because duels are forbidden and consequently it takes twice as much courage to fight them.

--Chapter 1

All for one; one for all.

--Chapter 9

The invention of the mousetrap does not date from our days; as soon as societies, in forming, had invented any kind of police, that police invented mousetraps.

--Chapter 10

Love is the most selfish of all the passions.

--Chapter 11

Affluence allows for many aristocratic indulgences and caprices that are highly becoming to beauty. A fine white stocking, a silk dress, a lace chemisette, a pretty slipper on the foot, a tasteful ribbon on the head, do not make an ugly woman pretty, but they make a pretty woman beautiful--and the hands, too, gain by all this because hands, among women particularly, must be idle to be beautiful.

--Chapter 11

When one loves, one always believes in love.

--Chapter 12

Oh, women, women!... They all have a romantic imagination--everything that savors of mystery charms them.

--Chapter 23

I prefer traveling alone to having a companion who feels the least fear.

--Chapter 23

A man cannot have everything. You know the proverb 'Unlucky at gambling, lucky in love.' Well, you are too fortunate in love for gambling not to take its revenge.

--Chapter 25

We always feel superior to those whose lives we know better than they think we do.

--Chapter 26

Nothing makes time pass more quickly or more shortens a journey than a thought that absorbs all the faculties of the one who thinks. External existence then resembles a sleep of which this thought is the dream. By its influence, time has no measure, space no distance. We depart from one place and arrive at another--that is all. Of the interval between the two, nothing remains in the memory but a vague mist in which a thousand confused images of trees, mountains, and landscapes are merged.

--Chapter 26

Love is a lottery in which he who wins, wins death! You are fortunate to have lost, believe me.

--Chapter 27

Isn't fantasy the basis of all love and jealousy?

--Chapter 29

I do not trust women, particularly fair women. Can it be otherwise? I bought my experience dearly.

--Chapter 31

Behind all present happiness is concealed a fear for the future.

--Chapter 39

There were monks who wore their robes so awkwardly that it was easy to see they belonged to the church militant; there were women who were inconvenienced by their pages' costumes and whose loose trousers could not entirely conceal their curves; and there were peasants who had dirty hands but whose fine limbs proclaimed the nobleman a league away.

--Chapter 43

We must consider people's faults, not their virtues.

--Chapter 48

A Puritan adores only virgins, and he adores them by praying to them. A Musketeer loves women, and he loves them by taking them in his arms.

--Chapter 55

It was easy to conquer, as she so often had, men who were used to the gallantries and intrigues of life at court and who were quick to let themselves be seduced. She was beautiful enough not to find much resistance on the part of the flesh, and clever enough to prevail over any obstacles of the mind.

--Chapter 56

We will not pay for our freedom with a single promise of silence.

--Chapter 56