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Quotes of the day: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Published Friday, September 12, 2014 @ 8:05 PM EDT
Sep 12 2014

Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (September 13, 1830 – March 12, 1916) was an Austrian writer. Noted for her excellent psychological novels, she is regarded as one of the most important German-language writers of the latter portion of the 19th century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A defeat borne with pride is also a victory.

A poor, charitable person can sometimes feel rich, a miserly Croesus never.

An aphorism is the last link in a long chain of thought.

An apparent contradiction of a natural law is only the rarely occurring proof of another natural law.

An understanding of beauty and enthusiasm for it are one and the same.

Be patient with the belligerence of the stupid. It is not easy to comprehend that one does not comprehend.

Be the first to say something obvious and achieve immortality.

Believe flatterers and you're lost; believe your enemies- and you despair.

Blessed is trust, for it blesses both those who have it to give and those who receive it.

Chance is necessity hidden behind a veil.

Consider well before you immerse yourself in solitude whether your own company will be good for you.

Do not consider yourself deprived because your dreams were not fulfilled; the truly deprived have never dreamed.

Enthusiasm does not always speak for those who arouse it, but always for those who experience it.

Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.

Happy slaves are the bitterest enemies of freedom.

Hate only injustice and not those who commit it.

However much you paid for a beautiful illusion, you got a bargain.

If there is a faith which can move mountains, then it is a faith in one’s own strength.

If you walk down a well-trodden path long enough, you eventually end up alone.

Imaginary evils are incurable.

In misfortune we usually regain the peace that we were robbed of through fear of that very misfortune.

In youth we learn; in age we understand.

Indifference and contempt will always be able to take on an aura of intellectual superiority over sympathy and love for others.

Indifference of every kind is reprehensible, even indifference towards one's self.

It is a characteristic of the great that they demand far less of other people than of themselves.

It is difficult to see the person who admires us as stupid.

It is not those who argue who are to be feared but those who evade argument.

It is unfortunate that a good talent and a good man seldom come together.

Like body and soul theory and practice are one, and like body and soul they are for the most part at loggerheads.

Misanthropy is a suit of armor lined with thorns.

No one is so keen to gather ever newer impressions as those who do not know how to process the old ones.

None are so inconsiderate as those who demand nothing of life other than their own personal comfort.

Nothing is less promising than precociousness; the young thistle looks much more like a future tree than the young oak.

Nothing is so often and so irrevocably missed as the opportunity which crops up daily.

Nothing makes us more cowardly and unconscionable than the desire to be loved by everyone.

Nowadays people are born to find fault. When they look at Achilles, they see only his heel.

Old age either transfigures or stultifies.

One has to do good in order for it to exist in the world.

One of the main goals of self-education is to eradicate that vanity in us without which we would never have been educated.

One should be selfish enough to be selfless up to a certain point.

Only those few people who practice it believe in goodness.

People who chase after ever greater wealth without taking the time to enjoy it are like hungry people who are forever cooking but never sit down to eat.

People who read only the classics are sure to remain up-to-date.

Prejudice supports thrones, ignorance altars.

Public opinion is the whore among opinions.

Rational beings despise nothing so much as that magnanimity that they themselves feel incapable of.

Silly people say stupid things, clever people do them.

Spoiled children... already get to know in early years the sufferings of the tyrant.

Spurned pity can turn into cruelty just as spurned love turns into hate.

That bad manners are so prevalent in the world is the fault of good manners.

The greatest leveler is politeness; it removes all class distinctions.

The insignificant labor, the great create.

The intellect and the heart are on good terms with one another. One often represents the other so perfectly, that it is hard to determine which of the two was at work.

The moral code which was good enough for our fathers is not good enough for our children.

The scale we measure things by is the measure of our own mind.

The simplest and commonest truth seems new and miraculous the very moment we first experience it in ourselves.

The vain and weak see a judge in everyone; the proud and strong know no judge other than themselves.

The world belongs to those who possess it, and is scorned by those to whom it should belong.

The world would be in better shape if people would take the same pains in the practice of the simplest moral laws as they exert in intellectualizing over the most subtle moral questions.

There are a host of bad habits and inconsiderate acts which mean nothing in themselves but which are terrible as indicators of the true composition of a soul.

There are intellects that shine and there are those that sparkle. The former illuminate matters, the latter obscure them.

There are very few honest friends- the demand is not particularly great.

Those who trusted at the wrong time and place will in turn mistrust at the wrong time and place.

To accept reason is impossible if you don’t already possess it.

Two very different virtues can attack one another long and viciously. But the time will come when they recognize that they are sisters.

Vanity rejects all healthy nourishment and lives exclusively on the poison of flattery.

Wags are beggars in the realm of the intellect; they live on alms tossed to them by fortune- on flashes of wit.

We are so vain that we value the opinion even of those whose opinions we find worthless.

We don't believe in rheumatism and true love until after the first attack.

We should always forgive. We should forgive the repentant for their sake, the unrepentant for our sake.

When your absolutely only choice is between an untruth and rudeness, then choose rudeness; if, however, your choice is between an untruth and cruelty, then choose untruth.

Whoever prefers the material comforts of life over intellectual wealth is like the owner of a palace who moves into the servants' quarters and leaves the sumptuous rooms empty.

Whoever shows both charm and pleasure in explaining to people things that they already know soon gets a reputation as an intelligent individual.

Wishes which cannot be fulfilled are said to be 'pious.' It is assumed, apparently, that only profane wishes are fulfilled.

You can sink so fast that you think you're flying.

Categories: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Quotes of the day


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