Top 85 Quotes & Sayings by Guy de Maupassant

Explore popular quotes and sayings by a French writer Guy de Maupassant.
Guy de Maupassant

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was a 19th-century French author, remembered as a master of the short story form, as well as a representative of the Naturalist school, who depicted human lives, destinies and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms.

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Abstinence Accustomed Acoustic Admiration Afraid Algebra Amazing Amuse Ancestors Anguish Hide All Animal Annihilate Answer Appalling Apparent Apprehension Approach Army Arrival Artists Arts Asleep Assassin Astonishing Attempt Attracted Attracts Author Avoid Back Bank Bare Beats Beautiful Beer Beings Believes Beneath Betray Bewildered Birth Bitterness Black Blackness Blood Blossom Blue Blue Sky Body Bored Boredom Born Bought Brains Brandy Breathe Breathing Broad Brother Brown Brush Captain Care Carrying Caught Cease Cease To Exist Century Certainty Challenge Champagne Change Charm Cherish Cigarette Clear Close Comfort Coming Complete Composed Concern Confronted Considered Consumption Content Contest Conversation Coquetry Corner Cosmic Country Countryside Covering Create Creatures Cunning Customs Daily Damnation Dangerous Dark Darkness Daylight Dazzle Dear Death Deceive Deep Deepest Deepest Feelings Delightful Delights Delusions Dense Describe Describing Desire Desires Despised Destroys Determine Developed Devour Dictionary Died Difficult Difficulty Dilemmas Dinner Direction Disappeared Discovered Distant Dodge Door Doubtful Downhill Draw Dread Dream Dreaming Dreams Dress Drink Drinking Drown Duty Dying Ears Earth East Easy Easygoing Eating Elbows Elect Emptiness Empty Encounter Encourage Encouraged End Of Life Enemies English Enjoyable Entered Entire Entity Essence Essence Of Life Eternal Eternal Youth Eternally Events Executioner Exist Existence Exists Experience Experiences Express Eyes Face Fact Facts Fairly Fall False Familiar Fancy Fascinating Fearful Feeble Feel Feeling Feelings Female Fever Fifty Find Finding Finds Finished Firm First Time Flavor Flesh Flies Flowers Fond Fond Memories Food Fools Force Forced Forest Forgotten Form Fought Found France Free Fresh Friend Friends Fright Full Furious Future Garner Genius Geniuses Gentleman Girl Give Glass Glasses Glory Good Good Thing Government Governments Great Great Art Great Artist Great Minds Grew Groups Guests Guide Half Half Full Hand Happiness Happy Happy Day Happy-Go-Lucky Hatched Hated Head Health Healthy Heart Heart Beat Hearts Hesitation Hidden Hills History Hold Honest Honest Man Hoot Horror Hour Human Human Being Humanity Idleness Ignorance Illusions Imagination Imagine Imagined Immediately Immense Immensity Immortal Impartial Impose Impossible In Fact Incomprehensible Inferior Inquisition Instinctive Instincts Intelligence Intelligent Interest Intoxicating Killing Kind King Kings Kiss Kisses Knowledge Labor Lady Laid Landscape Laugh Lawful Leave Leaving Legs Letters Liars Lies Life Life Is Life Is A Life Worth Living Light Limitless Linked Literary Live Lived Lives Living Lock Long Long Time Long Time Ago Longer Love Love Always Love Is Love Me Love Means Loves Loving Lucid Lucky Made Madness Majority Make Make Me Laugh Makes Male Manage Maneuver Mark Market Marriage Matter Means Meant Meet Meeting Memories Memory Men And Women Meteor Microcosm Military Mind Minds Minute Mirror Mistress Misunderstand Mobility Modified Moment Money Monstrous Morning Morning Light Morrow Movement Multitude Music My Friends My Heart Mysteries Mysterious Mystery Nature Nature Love Night Noun Numerous Object Obstacles Odious Offer Old Lady One Love One Word Open Opens Orchard Order Originality Our Thoughts Page Panic Passage Passage Of Time Passes Passing Passing Through Passion Passionately Passions Past Patriotism People Perdition Perfect Perfect World Perfectly Personal Personal Vision Perversion Pewter Phantoms Phenomena Physical Pieces Places Pleasing Pleasure Poetic Point Ponds Pool Power Power Of Thought Powerless Powers Precious Precise Preoccupation Present Preserved Pretty Price Problem Proclaim Produces Profoundly Protected Prowling Public Qualification Qualify Quick Quickly Rare Reach Readily Real Real World Realistic Realized Really Pretty Reflect Refuse Regular Religion Remaining Remains Render Renewed Report Resemble Resort Respectable Rest River Road Roaming Robbing Rough Round Sacrament Satisfying Savages Save Search Secret Seduce Seize Senses Sensual Shackles Shadow Ship Shipwreck Shiver Short Shout Shut Sicily Sick Side Sights Silence Silhouettes Simplest Sing Single Sinister Sketch Skill Skylarks Sleep Sleeping Slightly Slope Slow Small Smile Solemn Solitude Some People Sorcery Sort Soul Soul And Body Sound Space Speak Speaking Spend Spoil Spot Springs Stagnant Stagnant Water State Stolen Stop Strange Strokes Struggle Sublime Suddenly Sunshine Superiority Supernatural Supernatural Powers Surrounded Suspect Suspense Swamped Sweet Sweet Girl Taking Temperament Temptress Terrible Terrified The Only Thing The Problem With The Real World Thicker Thief Thing Things This World Thought Thoughts Thousand Throws Till Time Times To Love Tomorrow Touch Touched Touching Transformed Travel Travels Treat Tremble Trickery Trifles Turn Turns Two People Unbalanced Unconscious Understand Unfeeling Unhappy Universe Unknown Unknown Things Unnatural Unreliable Vague Vanquish Veins Verb Vision Void Wait Walls Wandering Warm Warmth Wars Watching Water Weak Weep Weight White Whole Life Wine Wines Wishes Woman Women Women Are Wonderful Woods Word Words Work Working World Worst Worth Worth Living Worthy Writers Wrong Yellow Young Young Girl Young Men Youth Less More Hide All See All
The simplest of women are wonderful liars who can extricate themselves from the most difficult dilemmas with a skill bordering on genius.
The essence of life is the smile of round female bottoms, under the shadow of cosmic boredom.
Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched. — © Guy de Maupassant
Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
It is the lives we encounter that make life worth living.
Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship's captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
It is better to be unhappy in love than unhappy in marriage, but some people manage to be both.
A human being - what is a human being? Everything and nothing. Through the power of thought it can mirror everything it experiences. Through memory and knowledge it becomes a microcosm, carrying the world within itself. A mirror of things, a mirror of facts. Each human being becomes a little universe within the universe!
...A strange art – music – the most poetic and precise of all the arts, vague as a dream and precise as algebra.
Life is a slope. As long as you're going up you're always looking towards the top and you feel happy, but when you reach it, suddenly you can see the road going downhill and death at the end of it all. It's slow going up and quick going down.
The public is composed of numerous groups whose cry to us writers is: 'Comfort me.' 'Amuse me.' 'Touch my sympathies.' 'Make me sad.' 'Make me dream.' 'Make me laugh.' 'Make me shiver.' 'Make me weep.' 'Make me think.'
The secret is not to betray your ignorance. Just maneuver, avoid the quicksands and obstacles, and the rest can be found in a dictionary.
To love very much is to love inadequately; we love-that is all. Love cannot be modified without being nullified. Love is a short word but it contains everything. Love means the body, the soul, the life, the entire being. We feel love as we feel the warmth of our blood, we breathe love as we breathe the air, we hold it in ourselves as we hold our thoughts. Nothing more exists for us. Love is not a word; it is a wordless state indicated by four letters.
I entered literary life as a meteor, and I shall leave it like a thunderbolt. — © Guy de Maupassant
I entered literary life as a meteor, and I shall leave it like a thunderbolt.
Abstinence is the worst form of perversion.
You must render: never report.
She was a sweet girl but not really pretty, a rough sketch of a woman with a little of everything in her, one of those silhouettes which artists draw in three strokes on the tablecloth in a café after dinner, between a glass of brandy and a cigarette. Nature sometimes turns out creatures like that.
Sometimes our thoughts turn back toward a corner in a forest, or the end of a bank, or an orchard powdered with flowers, seen but a single time on some happy day, yet remaining in our hearts and leaving in soul and body an unappeased desire which is not to be forgotten, a feeling that we have just rubbed elbows with happiness.
Whether we are describing a king, an assassin, a thief, an honest man, a prostitute, a nun, a young girl, or a stallholder in a market, it is always ourselves that we are describing.
I know nothing more enjoyable than that happy-go-lucky wandering life, in which you are perfectly free; without shackles of any kind, without care, without preoccupation, without thought even of to-morrow. You go in any direction you please, without any guide save your fancy.
The English have only three sauces - a white one, a brown one and a yellow one, and none of them have any flavor whatever.
She realized for the first time that two people can never reach each others deepest feelings and instincts, that they spend their lives side by side, linked it may be, but not mingled, and that each one's inmost being must go through life eternally alone.
There is only one good thing in life, and that is love. And how you misunderstand it! how you spoil it! You treat it as something solemn like a sacrament, or something to be bought, like a dress.
Since governments take the right of death over their people, it is not astonishing if the people should sometimes take the right of death over governments.
Were a man to spend only one day in Sicily and ask, "What must one see?" I would answer him without hesitation, "Taormina." It is only a landscape, but a landscape where you find everything on earth that seems made to seduce the eyes, the mind and the imagination.
Love is always love, come whence it may. A heart that beats at your approach, an eye that weeps when you go away are things so rare, so sweet, so precious that they must never be despised.
The kiss itself is immortal. It travels from lip to lip, century to century, from age to age. Men and women garner these kisses, offer them to others and then die in turn.
Of all the passions, the only one that seems respectable to me is the passion for food
The past attracts me, the present frightens me, because the future is death.
A lawful kiss is never worth as much as a stolen one.
Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
I have coveted everything and taken pleasure in nothing
I love the night passionately... I love it with all my senses: I love to see it, I love to breathe it in, I love to open my ears to its silence, I love my whole body to be caressed by its blackness.
You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who have fought for it, life has a flavor the protected shall never know.
There are some delightful places in this world which have a sensual charm for the eyes. One loves them with a physical love. We people who are attracted by the countryside cherish fond memories of certain springs, certain woods, certain ponds, certain hills, which have become familiar sights and can touch our hearts like happy events. Sometimes indeed the memory goes back towards a forest glade, or a spot on a river bank or an orchard in blossom, glimpsed only once on a happy day, but preserved in our heart.
Great minds that are healthy are never considered geniuses, while this sublime qualification is lavished on brains that are often inferior but are slightly touched by madness.
We breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work and then die! The end of life is death. What do you long for? Love? A few kisses and you will be powerless. Money? What for? To gratify your desires. Glory? What coems after it all? Death! Death alone is certain.
The great artists are those who impose their personal vision upon humanity.
One sometimes weeps over one's illusions with as much bitterness as over a death. — © Guy de Maupassant
One sometimes weeps over one's illusions with as much bitterness as over a death.
Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.
And taking her friend’s hand, she put it on her breast, on that firm round covering of a woman’s heart which the male often finds so satisfying that he makes no attempt to find what lies beneath it.
War! When I but think of this word, I feel bewildered, as though they were speaking to me of sorcery, of the Inquisition, of a distant, finished, abominable, monstrous, unnatural thing. When they speak to us of cannibals, we smile proudly, as we proclaim our superiority to these savages. Who are the real savages? Those who struggle in order to eat those whom they vanquish, or those who struggle merely to kill?
We are accustomed to use our eyes only with the memory of what other people before us have thought about the object we are looking at.
Night was a very different matter. It was dense, thicker than the very walls, and it was empty, so black, so immense that within it you could brush against appalling things and feel roaming and prowling around a strange, mysterious horror.
Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.
A sick thought can devour the body's flesh more than fever or consumption.
Travel, like dreams, is a door that opens from the real world into a world that is yet to be discovered
We breathe love as we breathe air; we hold it in ourselves as we hold our thoughts. Nothing more exists for us.
History, that excitable and unreliable old lady. — © Guy de Maupassant
History, that excitable and unreliable old lady.
I have seen mad people, and I have known some who were quite intelligent, lucid, even clear-sighted in every concern of life, except on one point. They could speak clearly, readily, profoundly on everything; till their thoughts were caught in the breakers of their delusions and went to pieces there, were dispersed and swamped in that furious and terrible sea of fogs and squalls which is called MADNESS.
We live always under the weight of the old and odious customs... of our barbarous ancestors.
A man forced to spend his life without ever having the right, without ever finding the time, to shut himself up all alone, no matter where, to think, to reflect, to work, to dream? Ah! my dear boy, a key, the key of a door which one can lock this is happiness, mark you, the only happiness!
Love always has its price, come whence it may.
Everything is false, everything is possible, everything is doubtful.
breathing, sleeping, drinking, eating, working, dreaming, everything we do is dying. to live, in fact, is to die.
How weak our mind is; how quickly it is terrified and unbalanced as soon as we are confronted with a small, incomprehensible fact. Instead of dismissing the problem with: "We do not understand because we cannot find the cause," we immediately imagine terrible mysteries and supernatural powers.
You have the army of mediocrities followed by the multitude of fools. As the mediocrities and the fools always form the immense majority, it is impossible for them to elect an intelligent government.
There is only one good thing in life, and that is love.
Whatever you want to say, there is only one word to express it, only one verb to give it movement, only one adjective to qualify it.
If I could, I would stop the passage of time. But hour follows on hour, minute on minute, each second robbing me of a morsel of myself for the nothing of tomorrow. I shall never experience this moment again.
I go to bed, and I wait for sleep as a man might wait for the executioner. I wait for its coming with dread, and my heart beats and my legs tremble, while my whole body shivers beneath the warmth of the bedclothes, until the moment when I suddenly fall asleep, as a man throws himself into a pool of stagnant water in order to drown. I do not feel this perfidious sleep coming over me as I used to, but a sleep which is close to me and watching me, which is going to seize me by the head, to close my eyes and annihilate me.
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