To the very last, he [Napoleon] had a kind of idea; that, namely, of la carrière ouverte aux talents—the tools to him that can handle them.
A Traveller at Sparta, standing long upon one leg, said to a Lacedæmonian, "I do not believe you can do as much." "True," said he, "but every goose can."
Illud tamen in primis testandum est, nihil præcepta atque artes valere nisi adjuvante natura.
One thing, however, I must premise, that without the assistance of natural capacity, rules and precepts are of no efficacy.
Die Menschen gehen wie Schiesskugeln weiter, wenn sie abgeglättet sind.
Men, like bullets, go farthest when they are smoothest.
Parvus pumilio, licet in monte constiterit; colossus magnitudinem suam servabit, etiam si steterit in puteo.
A dwarf is small even if he stands on a mountain; a colossus keeps his height, even if he stands in a well.
The world is like a board with holes in it, and the square men have got into the round holes.
We shall generally find that the triangular person has got into the square hole, the oblong into the triangular, and a square person has squeezed himself into the round hole.
Read my little fable:
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.
Les méchants sont toujours surpris de trouver de l’habileté dans les bons.
The wicked are always surprised to find ability in the good.
Possunt quia posse videntur.
They are able because they think they are able.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Wives in their husbands’ absences grow subtler,
And daughters sometimes run off with the butler.
Absent in body, but present in spirit.
Where’er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart untravelled, fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
Achilles absent, was Achilles still.
In the hope to meet
Shortly again, and make our absence sweet.
Ever absent, ever near;
Still I see thee, still I hear;
Yet I cannot reach thee, dear!
What shall I do with all the days and hours
That must be counted ere I see thy face?
How shall I charm the interval that lowers
Between this time and that sweet time of grace?
Cum autem sublatus fuerit ab oculis, etiam cito transit a mente.
But when he (man) shall have been taken from sight, he quickly goes also out of mind.
Your absence of mind we have borne, till your presence of body came to be called in question by it.
For with G. D., to be absent from the body is sometimes (not to speak it profanely) to be present with the Lord.
L'absence diminue les médiocres passions et augmente les grandes, comme le vent éteint les bougies et allume le feu.
Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire.
Oft in the tranquil hour of night,
When stars illume the sky,
I gaze upon each orb of light,
And wish that thou wert by.
Thou art gone from my gaze like a beautiful dream,
And I seek thee in vain by the meadow and stream.
For there’s nae luck about the house;
There’s nae luck at aw;
There’s little pleasure in the house
When our gudeman's awa.