Stefan Zweig · 496 pages
Rating: (3K votes)
“Lightly, caressingly, Marie Antoinette picked up the crown as a gift. She was still too young to know that life never gives anything for nothing, and that a price is always exacted for what fate bestows. She did not think she would have to pay a price. She simply accepted the rights of her royal position and performed no duties in exchange. She wanted to combine two things which are, in actual human experience, incompatible; she wanted to reign and at the same time to enjoy.”
“Lightly, caressingly, Marie Antoinette picked up the crown as a gift. She was still too young to know that life never gives anything for nothing, and that a price is always exacted for what fate bestows. She did not think she would have to pay a price.”
“Not one of the European rulers would put himself about in the attempt to save Marie Antoinette, so that Mercy scornfully declared: “They would not have tried to save her even if they had with their own eyes seen her mounting the steps to the guillotine.”
“The woman who had been born in an imperial palace, and then, as Queen of France, had had hundreds of rooms in her dwelling house, was now imprisoned in a tiny basement cell, its walls streaming with damp, and its grated window half occluded.”
“The desire to ascend in the social scale does not make itself felt until the intellect awakens. Up to the tenth, and often up to the fifteenth year, almost every child belonging to a well-to-do family envies its proletarian schoolmates, to whom so many things are permissible which for the “respectable” are placed under taboo.”
“She did what is the most dangerous thing anyone can do in politics; she discoursed without having the most remote acquaintance with the subject; she amateurishly thrust her fingers into every pie, interfering in matters of the utmost moment; she used her overwhelming influence with the King exclusively on behalf of her favorites.”
“But this first installation was by no means the last. Every year the Queen had some new fancy for beautifying her miniature kingdom with more highly artificial and more “natural” additions and alterations.”
“Persistently trying to hoodwink one another, the Emperor, the kings, the princes, and the revolutionaries created an atmosphere of general distrust (like that which poisons the world today); and, in the end, though they had not directly purposed anything of the kind, they involved twenty-five million men in the cataract or a war which lasted for twenty-five years.”
“she was never to be allowed to exchange a word with him; and that she was forbidden to pay him a visit even when he was ailing. He was quarantined from her as if she had been suffering from the plague. She was actually forbidden to converse with Simon the shoemaker, the boy’s tutor, from whom she might have gleaned a little information about her son. His seclusion from her was to be unconditional and absolute.”
“el derecho impone también deberes y que el amor más puro acaba por fatigarse si no se siente correspondido.”
“по наследство се предава единствено кралската корона, но не и свързаните с нея могъщество и величие.”
“Pero el tiempo es un aliado oportunista a incierto; se colocó siempre en el bando de los fuertes y deja despreciativamente en el atolladero al que confía en él sin moverse,”
“were uproariously demanding relief from their intolerable miseries — in this Potemkin sideshow there prevailed a preposterous and mendacious comfort.”
“Tutto a te mi guida - Totul ma duce spre tine - cuvinte mai adevarate ca oricand, in acele zile cand Maria Antoaneta se afla la un pas de moarte. Fersen stia ca inima ei a batut pentru dansul pana in ultima clipa. Cu cele cinci cuvinte - ultim salut de despartire in pragul vesniciei, dar si juramant al dragostei statornice in curgerea vremelniciei pamantene - s-a incheiat aceasta incomparabila tragedie in umbra ghilotinei.”
“Come talvolta un artista, per dar prova delle proprie energie creative, cerca di proposito un soggetto esteriormente modesto invece di uno patetico e universale, così di tanto in tanto il destino cerca un eroe insignificante per dimostrare come anche da una materia scadente possa svilupparsi la più alta tensione, da un’anima debole e mal disposta una grandiosa tragedia.”
“Since that time, I've had many similar moments, and I can never hear the words "family" and "home" without feeling that they sound strange, never simply hear them and let them go. When I stop to examine them, though, the words seem hollow, seem to rattle at my feet like empty cans.”
“He stood looking down at her for a moment, then walked to the window and raised it. "Let's let the storm in," he said, and then it was with them, filling the half-dark room with sound and vibration. The rain-chilled air washed over her, cool and fresh on her heated skin. She sighed, the small sound drowned out by the din of thunder and rain.
There by the window, with the dim grey light outlining the bulge and plane of powerful muscle, Wolf removed his wet clothing.”
“Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job... And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another... Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.”
“Eve: "Was that like a cookie?"
Eve: "You know, have a cookie. You'll feel better. Were you making me feel better?"
Roarke: "I certainly hope so, it worked for me. I wanted you. I always do."
Eve: "It's funny how men can wake up with their brains in their cocks."
Roarke: "It makes us what we are. Let's take a shower. I'll give you another cookie.”
“Visually Agincourt is a pre-Raphaelite, perhaps better a Medici Gallery print battle - a composition of strong verticals and horizontals and a conflict of rich dark reds and Lincoln greens against fishscale greys and arctic blues.”
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