Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Madame de Gasparin, Valérie Boissier de Gasparin

French Poet, Author, Founder of first endowed school of nursing

"Doubt is hell in the human soul."

"The saddest thing under the sky is a soul incapable of sadness."

"The supreme fall of falls is this, the first doubt of one’s self."

"An old man once said, "When I was young, I was poor; when old, I became rich; but in each condition I found disappointment. - When I had the faculties for enjoyment, I had not the means; when the means came, the faculties were gone.""

"Be thou like the bird perched upon some frail thing, although he feels the branch bending beneath him, yet loudly sings, knowing full well that he has wings."

"Everything dies, and on this spring morning, if I lay my ear to the ground, I seem to hear from every point of the compass the heavy step of men who carry a corpse to its burial."

"In the life to come, at the first ray of its light our true characters, purified but preserving their identity, will more fully expand, and the result of the infinite diversity will be a complete unity."

"It is difficult for power to avoid despotism. The possessors of rude health; the individualities cut out by a few strokes, solid for the very reason that they are all of a piece; the complete characters whose fibers have never been strained by a doubt; the minds that no questions disturb and no aspirations put out of breath?these, the strong, are also the tyrants."

"Take my word for it, the saddest thing under the sky is a soul incapable of sadness."

"There are flowers which only yield their fragrance to the night; there are faces whose beauty only fully opens out in death. No more wrinkles; no drawn, distorted lineaments; an expression of extreme humility, blended with gladness of hope; a serene brightness, and an ideal straightening of the outline, as if the Divine finger, source of supreme beauty, had been laid there."

"Grief is a flower as delicate and prompt to fade as happiness. Still, it does not wholly die. Like the magic rose, dried and unrecognizable, a warm air breathed on it will suffice to renew its bloom."

"God dwells far off from us, but prayer brings him down to our earth, and links his power with our efforts."

"Self-reliance is demanded in woman; the supreme fall of falls is the first doubt of one?s self."