Friday, June 23, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Anne Louise Germaine de Stael (1766 – 1817)


Commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a French-speaking Swiss author living in Paris and abroad who determined literary tastes of Europe at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Beauty is one in the universe, and, whatever form it assumes, it always arouses a religious feeling in the hearts of mankind.
de Stael quotes
The evil arising from mental improvement can be corrected only by a still further progress in that very improvement. Either morality is a fable, or the more enlightened we are, the more attached to it we become.
de Stael
The sense of this word among the Greeks affords the noblest definition of it; enthusiasm signifies God in us.




Frivolity, under whatever form it appears, deprives attention of its power, thought of its originality, and sentiment of its depth.
O Earth! all bathed with blood and tears, yet never
Hast thou ceased putting forth thy fruit and flowers.
The human mind always makes progress, but it is a progress in spirals.
L'amour est l'histoire de la vie des femmes; c'est un épisode dans celle des hommes.
A religious life is a struggle and not a hymn.
de Stael
Tout ce qui est naturel est varié.
It seems to me that life's circumstances, being ephemeral, teach us less about durable truths than the fictions based on those truths; and that the best lessons of delicacy and self-respect are to be found in novels where the feelings are so naturally portrayed that you fancy you are witnessing real life as you read.
L'esprit consiste ? connaître la ressemblance des choses diverses et la différence des choses semblables.




When men do wrong, it is out of hardness; when women do wrong, it is out of weakness.
In matters of the heart, nothing is true except the improbable.
de Stael quotes
On cesse de s'aimer si quelqu'un ne nous aime.
La vue d'un tel monument est comme une musique continuelle et fixée, qui vous attend pour vous faire du bien quand vous vous en approchez.
Men do not change; they unmask themselves.
If we would succeed in works of the imagination, we must offer a mild morality in the midst of rigid manners; but where the manners are corrupt, we must consistently hold up to view an austere morality.
Be happy, but be so by piety.
You do not reach the sublime by degrees; the distance between it and the merely beautiful is infinite.
Superstition attaches to this life, and religion to the next; superstition is allied to fatality, and religion to virtue; it is from the vivacity of earthly desires that we become superstitious, and it is, on the contrary, by the sacrifice of these same desires that we are religious.


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