Pierre Cornielle


French Playwright, Dramatist, Founder of French Tragedy

Author Quotes

The secret of giving affectionately is great and rare; it requires address to do it well; otherwise we lose instead of deriving benefit from it. This man gives lavishly in a way that obliges no one; the manner of giving is worth more than the gift. Another loses intentionally at a game, thus disguising his present; another forgets a jewel, which would have been refused as a gift. A generous booby seems to be giving alms to his mistress when he is making a present.

When a woman has the gift of silence she possesses a quality above the vulgar. It is a gift of Heaven seldom bestowed; without a little miracle it cannot be accomplished; and Nature suffers violence when Heaven puts a woman in the humor of observing silence.

He who has resolved to conquer or die is seldom conquered; such noble despair perishes with difficulty.

The subject of a good tragedy must not be realistic.

When heaven half opens its arms, he who is faint-hearted, deserves not anything. - It is this want of faith that often keeps heaven from bestowing its blessings; and even when they come clown, it is apt to send them away.

Heaven often regulates effects by their causes, and pays the wicked what they have deserved.

The wrinkles on his forehead are the marks which his mighty deeds have engraved there, and still indicate what he was in former days.

When there is no peril in the fight there is no glory in the triumph.

Here honor binds me, and I wish to satisfy it.

There are secret ties, there are sympathies, by the sweet relationship of which souls that are well matched attach themselves to each other, and are affected by I know not what, which cannot be explained.

When we conquer without danger our triumph is without glory.

I agree to, or rather aspire to, my doom.

These flattering mirrors reflect imperfectly what is within; the countenance is often a gay deceiver. What defects of mind lie hidden under its beauty! What fair exteriors conceal base souls!

Who is all powerful should fear everything.

I am young, it is true; but in noble souls valor does not wait for years.

This dark brightness that falls from the stars.

Who pardons easily invites offense.

I don't know how to defend myself: surprised innocence cannot imagine being under suspicion.

Time is a great manager: it arranges things well.

Whoever can do as he pleases, commands when he entreats.

It is a flame which sinks for lack of fuel.

To die for one's country is such a worthy fate that all compete for so beautiful a death.

A true king is neither husband nor father; he considers his throne and nothing else.

A Victory without danger is a triumph without glory.

After having won a scepter, few are so generous as to disdain the pleasures of ruling.

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French Playwright, Dramatist, Founder of French Tragedy