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Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

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

  • Even a stopped clock is right twice every day. After some years, it can boast of a long series of successes.

  • It's bad enough when married people bore one another, but it's much worse when only one of them bores the other.

  • I regret nothing, says arrogance; I will regret nothing, says inexperience.

  • When curiosity turns to serious matters, it's called research.

  • How happy are the pessimists! What joy is theirs when they have proved that there is no joy.

  • Exceptions are not always the proof of the old rule; they can also be the harbinger of a new one.

  • The mediocre always feel as if they're fighting for their lives when confronted by the excellent.

  • Distrust your judgment the moment you can discern the shadow of a personal motive in it.

  • The little bit of truth contained in many a lie is what makes them so terrible.

  • One can acquire some virtues by feigning them for a long time.

  • Those who understand only what can be explained understand very little.

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

  • Be the first to say what is self-evident, and you are immortal.

  • What delights us in visible beauty is the invisible.

  • Conquer, but never triumph.

  • Accident is veiled necessity.

  • Have patience with the quarrelsomeness of the stupid. It is not easy to comprehend that one does not comprehend.

  • Our greatest indulgence towards a man springs from our despair of him.

  • The simplest and most familiar truth seems new and wonderful the instant we ourselves experience it for the first time.

  • Never strive, O artist, to create what you are not irresistibly impelled to create!

  • Nothing is so often irrevocably neglected as an opportunity we encounter every day.

  • We usually learn to wait only when we have no longer anything to wait for.

  • If there be a faith that can remove mountains, it is faith in our own power.

  • Pity is love in undress.

  • Those who believe in the freedom of the will have never loved, and never hated.

  • Most imitators attempt the inimitable.

  • To have and not to give is often worse than to steal.

  • The poor never estimate as a virtue the generosity of the rich.

  • Those who cannot remember clearly their own childhood are poor educators.

  • The incurable ills are the imaginary ills.

  • When art finds no temple open, it takes refuge in the workshop.

  • Hatred is a prolific vice; envy, a barren vice.

  • What you wish to do you are apt to think you ought to do.

  • Only the thinking man lives his life, the thoughtless man's life passes him by.

  • Age transfigures, or petrifies.

  • There are more truths in a good book than its author meant to put in it.

  • Do not fear the ones who argue, but rather those who are evasive.

  • When two good men contend about principles, both are always right.

  • There are times when to be reasonable is to be cowardly.

  • To be content with little is difficult; to be content with much, impossible.

  • There is only one proof of ability — action.

  • In youth we learn, in age we understand.

  • He who has trusted where he ought not will surely mistrust where he ought not.

  • But little evil would be done in the world if evil never could be done in the name of good.

  • All that is due to us will be paid, although not perhaps by those to whom we have lent.

  • Those whom we support hold us up in life.

  • We are so vain that we care even for the opinion of those we don't care for.

  • The believer who has never doubted will hardly convert a doubter.

  • 'It is impossible to help all,' says the miser, and — helps none.

  • Those who know nothing must believe everything.

  • We are not always even what we are most.

  • Many think they have good hearts who have only weak nerves.

  • Morals refine manners, as manners refine morals.

  • New happiness too must be learned to bear.

  • Authors from whom others steal should not complain, but rejoice. Where there is no game there are no poachers.

  • To be young is delightful; to be old is comfortable.

  • We are valued either too highly or not highly enough. We are never taken at our real worth.

  • Many a truth is the result of an error.

  • Whoso appears before the public should expect no consideration and demand none.

  • A man with lofty ideas is an uncomfortable neighbor.

  • Privilege is the greatest enemy of justice.

  • Many think that when they have confessed a fault there is no need of correcting it.

  • In meeting again after a separation, acquaintances ask after our outward life, friends after our inner life.

  • Hobbies protect us from passions. One hobby becomes a passion.

  • We don't believe in rheumatism or true love until we have been attacked by them.

  • Consider once before you give, twice before you receive, and a thousand times before you ask.

  • So soon as a fashion is universal, it is out of date.

  • Do your duty until it becomes your joy.

  • None are so eager to gain new experience as those who don't know how to make use of the old ones.

  • In this world, all power rests upon force.

  • You stay young as long as you can learn, acquire new habits and suffer contradiction.

  • Nobody knows enough, but many too much.

  • If you have one good idea, people will lend you twenty.

  • As far as your self-control goes, as far goes your freedom.

  • Runners are poor walkers.

  • Without imagination, there is no goodness, no wisdom.

  • The poor man wishes to conceal his poverty, and the rich man his wealth: the former fears lest he be despised, the latter lest he be plundered.

  • With our parents we bury our past, with our children our future.

  • We ask the poet: 'What subject have you chosen?' instead of: 'What subject has chosen you?'

  • A book cannot easily be too bad for the general public, but may easily be too good.

  • We can be wise from goodness and good from wisdom.

  • The manuscript in the drawer either rots or ripens.

  • Origins are of the greatest importance. We are almost reconciled to having a cold when we remember where we caught it.

  • Many priceless things can be bought.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian writer

(1830 - 1916)

Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach was born Countess Dubsky.