From The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas:

“Silence is the last joy of the unhappy.”

“Athos believed that everyone should be left to his own free will. He never gave advice but when it was asked, and even then he required to be asked twice. ‘People, in general,’ he said, ‘only ask advice not to follow it; or if they do follow it, it is for the sake of having someone to blame for having given it.'”

From Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:

“The pun is the dung of the mind which soars. The jest falls, no matter where; and the mind after producing a piece of stupidity plunges into the azure depths.”

“Indigestion is charged by the good God with preaching morality to stomachs.”

“[He] knew how to do a little of everything, and badly.”

“There is a spectacle more grand than the sea; it is heaven: there is a spectacle more grand than heaven; it is the inmost recesses of the soul.”

“…[To] do nothing, in short, was to do everything!”

“He was a fine talker. He allowed it to be thought that he was an educated man. Nevertheless, the schoolmaster had noticed that he pronounced improperly.”

“He decided that the moment had arrived for proceeding straightforward, and quickly at that. He did as great leaders do at the decisive moment, which they know that they alone recognize; he abruptly unmasked his batteries.”

“An interesting and picturesque peculiarity of this sort of dwelling is the enormous size of the spiders.”

“Nothing oppresses the heart like symmetry. It is because symmetry is ennui, and ennui is at the very foundation of grief. Despair yawns. Something more terrible than a hell where one suffers may be imagined, and that is a hell where one is bored.”

“Children accept joy and happiness instantly and familiarly, being themselves by nature joy and happiness.”

“All extreme situations have their lightning flashes which sometimes dazzle, sometimes illuminate us.”

“The greatest follies are often composed, like the largest ropes, of a multitude of strands.”

“As for us, we respect the past here and there, and we spare it, above all, provided that it consents to be dead. If it insists on being alive, we attack it, and we try to kill it.”

“In the cloister, one suffers in order to enjoy. One draws a bill of exchange on death. One discounts in terrestrial gloom celestial light. In the cloister, hell is accepted in advance as a post obit on paradise. The taking of the veil or the frock is a suicide paid for with eternity.”

“Those cherubs are devils.”

“That one is not listened to is no reason for preserving silence.”

“…[Public] order had no doubt been deeply disturbed thereby, but no one was aware of it.”

“A smile is the same as sunshine; it banishes winter from the human countenance.”

“To dare; that is the price of progress.”

“Theodule was the favorite of Aunt Gillenormand, who preferred him because she did not see him. Not seeing people permits one to attribute to them all possible perfections.”

“I do not know whether I no longer understand French, or whether you no longer speak it; but the fact is that I do not understand.”

From The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith:

“Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni knew that when another driver did something dangerous it was best to allow him to finish what he was doing and get out of the way…. The other driver knew what he had done was wrong; there was no need to engage in an abusive exchange which would lead nowhere, and would certainly not change that driver’s ways. ‘You do not change people by shouting at them,’ Mma Ramotswe had once observed. And she was right: sounding one’s horn, shouting–these were much the same things, and achieved equally little.”