44 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from the Witty Honore de Balzac

“The more one judges, the less one loves.” ~ Honore de Balzac

Honore de Balzac

From Honore de Balzac, the author of The Human Comedy, many surprising and life-changing lessons have come. And even though his words may seem a bit heavier at times, and even sarcastic, they carry a lot of wisdom.

44 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from the Witty Honore de Balzac

On Happiness

1. “Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another’s happiness than in your own.”~ Honore de Balzac

2. “Every moment of happiness requires a great amount of Ignorance”~ Honore de Balzac

3. “Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others than being ill at ease with yourself.”~ Honore de Balzac

4. “Excess of joy is harder to bear than any amount of sorrow.”

5. “Our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation.”~ Honore de Balzac

On Passion in Life

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6. “It is the mark of a great man that he puts to flight all ordinary calculations. He is at once sublime and touching, childlike and of the race of giants.”~ Honore de Balzac

7. “It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.”~ Honore de Balzac

8. “For passion, be it observed, brings insight with it; it can give a sort of intelligence to simpletons, fools, and idiots, especially during youth.”~

9. “Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.”~ Honore de Balzac

10. “Vocations which we wanted to pursue, but didn’t, bleed, like colors, on the whole of our existence.”~ Honore de Balzac

11. “When Religion and Royalty are swept away, the people will attack the great, and after the great, they will fall upon the rich.”~ Honore de Balzac

12. “An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man’s entire existence.”

On Love and Marriage

13. “Love is the reduction of the universe to the single being, and the expansion of a single being, even to God”~ Honore de Balzac

14. “Love has its own instinct, finding the way to the heart, as the feeblest insect finds the way to its flower, with a will which nothing can dismay nor turn aside.”

15. “Nobody loves a woman because she is handsome or ugly, stupid or intelligent. We love because we love.”~ Honore de Balzac

16. “To live in the presence of great truths and eternal laws, to be led by permanent ideals – that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him, and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him.”

17. “The more one judges, the less one loves.”

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18. “True love is eternal, infinite and always like itself. It’s always equal and pure. Without violent demonstrations: It is seen with white hairs and is always young at heart.”~ Honore de Balzac

19. “It is absurd to pretend that one cannot love the same woman always, as to pretend that a good artist needs several violins to execute a piece of music.”

20. “No man has ever yet discovered the way to give friendly advice to any woman, not even to his own wife.”~ Honore de Balzac

21. “For a woman knows the face of the man she loves like a sailor knows the open sea.”~ Honore de Balzac

22. “When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.”

23. “Marriage must fight constantly against a monster which devours everything: routine.”~ Honore de Balzac

24. “It is easier to be a lover than a husband for the simple reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than to say pretty things from time to time.”

25. “A good husband is never the first to go to sleep at night or the last to awake in the morning.”~ Honore de Balzac

On Family

26. “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”~ Honore de Balzac

27. “A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.”

28. “The art of motherhood involves much silent, unobtrusive self-denial, an hourly devotion which finds no detail too minute.”

29. “Our heart is a treasury; if you pour out all its wealth at once, you are bankrupt.”~ Honore de Balzac

On Life

30. “When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”~ Honore de Balzac

31. “Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.”~ Honore de Balzac

32. “Unintelligent persons are like weeds that thrive in good ground; they love to be amused in proportion to the degree in which they weary themselves.”

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33. “The life of a man who deliberately runs through his fortune often becomes a business speculation; his friends, his pleasures, patrons, and acquaintances are his capital.”

34. “We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are.”~ Honore de Balzac

35. “He has great tranquility of heart who cares neither for the praises nor the fault-finding of men.”~ Honore de Balzac

36. “Hatred is the vice of narrow souls; they feed it with all their littleness, and make it the pretext of base tyrannies.”~ Honore de Balzac

37. “The good we do to others is spoilt unless we efface ourselves so completely that those we help have no sense of inferiority.”

38. “A beautiful book is a victory won in all the battlefields of human thought.”~ Honore de Balzac

39. “If we all said to people’s faces what we say behind one another’s backs, society would be impossible.”

40. “Where poverty ceases, avarice begins.”

41. “Do you know how a man makes his way here? By brilliant genius or by skilful corruption. You must either cut your way through these masses of men like a cannon ball, or steal among them like a plague.”~ Honore de Balzac

42. “How natural it is to destroy what we cannot possess, to deny what we do not understand, and to insult what we envy!”

43. It is easy to sit up and take notice, what is difficult is getting up and taking action.”~ Honore de Balzac

44. “Do you know what is the hardest thing in life? To make a choice.”


“Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, or indifference, or sheer helplessness.”

Trust no one until you are very sure of the heart to which you open your heart. Learn to mistrust every one; take every precaution for the sake of the love which does not exist as yet.”

“A man like you is a god, not just a machine covered with skin, but a theater where fine feelings sprout and grow-and feelings are all that matters, as far as I’m concerned. Is a feeling anything but an entire world poured into a thought?”

“Though the human heart may have to pause for rest when climbing the heights of affection it rarely stops on the slippery slope of hatred.”

“Events which seem to us dramatic are nothing more than subjects which our souls convert into tragedy or comedy according to the bent of our characters.”


E. F.

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