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"An excellent precept for writers: have a clear idea of all the phrases and expressions you need, and you will find them."
"Everything without tells the individual that he is nothing; everything within persuades him that he is everything."
"The man of letters properly so called is a rather singular being: he does not look at things exactly with his own eyes, he has not impressions of his own, we could not discover the imagination with which he started. 'Tis a tree on which have been grafted Homer, Virgil, Milton, Dante, Petrarch; hence have grown peculiar flowers which are not natural, and yet which are not artificial. Study has given to the man of letters something of the reverie of René; with Homer he has looked upon the plain of Troy, and there has remained in his brain some of the light of the Grecian sky; he has taken a little of the pensive lustre of Virgil, as he wanders by his side on the slopes of the Aventine; he sees the world as Milton saw it, through the grey mists of England, as Dante saw it, through the clear and glowing light of Italy. Of all these colours he composes for himself a colour that is unique and his own; from all these glasses by which his life passes on its journey to the real world, there is formed a special tint, and that is what makes the imagination of men of letters."
"The doubts of an honest man contain more moral truth than the profession of faith of people under a worldly yoke."