Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (April 2, 1725 -June 4, 1798) was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
As for myself, I always willingly acknowledge my own self as the principal cause of every good and of every evil which may befall me; therefore I have always found myself capable of being my own pupil, and ready to love my teacher.
Beauty without wit offers nothing but the enjoyment of its material charms, whilst witty ugliness captivates by the charms of the mind, and at last fulfils all the desires of the man it has captivated.
Economy in pleasure is not to my taste.
Enjoy the present, bid defiance to the future, laugh at all those reasonable beings who exercise their reason to avoid the misfortunes which they fear, destroying at the same time the pleasure that they might enjoy.
Hatred, in the course of time, kills the unhappy wretch who delights in nursing it in his bosom.
Heart and head are the constituent parts of character; temperament has almost nothing to do with it, and, therefore, character is dependent upon education, and is susceptible of being corrected and improved.
I don't conquer, I submit.
I hate death; for, happy or miserable, life is the only blessing which man possesses, and those who do not love it are unworthy of it.
I have always loved truth so passionately that I have often resorted to lying as a way of first introducing it into minds which were ignorant of its charms.
I have met with some of them- very honest fellows, who, with all their stupidity, had a kind of intelligence and an upright good sense, which cannot be the characteristics of fools.
I saw that everything famous and beautiful in the world, if we judge by the descriptions and drawings of writers and artists, always loses when we go to see it and examine it closely.
If I had married a woman intelligent enough to guide me, to rule me without my feeling that I was ruled, I should have taken good care of my money, I should have had children, and I should not be, as now I am, alone in the world and possessing nothing.
If you have not done things worthy of being written about, at least write things worthy of being read.
Love is three quarters curiosity.
Man is free; yet we must not suppose that he is at liberty to do everything he pleases, for he becomes a slave the moment he allows his actions to be ruled by passion.
Marriage is the tomb of love.
My success and my misfortunes, the bright and the dark days I have gone through, everything has proved to me that in this world, either physical or moral, good comes out of evil just as well as evil comes out of good.
Nothing is so catching as the plague; now, fanaticism, no matter of what nature, is only the plague of the human mind.
One of the advantages of a great sorrow is that nothing else seems painful.
The man who forgets does not forgive, he only loses the remembrance of the harm inflicted on him...
The man who has sufficient power over himself to wait until his nature has recovered its even balance is the truly wise man, but such beings are seldom met with.
The mind of a human being is formed only of comparisons made in order to examine analogies, and therefore cannot precede the existence of memory.
The spirit of rebellion is present in every great city, and the great task of wise government is to keep it dormant, for if it wakes it is a torrent which no dam can hold back.
The sweetest pleasures are those which are hardest to be won.
We avenge intellect when we dupe a fool, and it is a victory not to be despised for a fool is covered with steel and it is often very hard to find his vulnerable part.
We ourselves are the authors of almost all our woes and griefs, of which we so unreasonably complain.
When a man is in love very little is enough to throw him into despair and as little to enhance his joy to the utmost.