Quotes from The Leopard

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa ·  319 pages

Rating: (16.4K votes)


“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Love. Of course, love. Flames for a year, ashes for thirty.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Noi fummo i Gattopardi, i Leoni; quelli che ci sostituiranno saranno gli sciacalletti, le iene; e tutti quanti gattopardi, sciacalli e pecore, continueremo a crederci il sale della terra."

("We were the Leopards, the Lions; those who'll take our place will be little jackals, hyenas; and the whole lot of us, Leopards, jackals, and sheep, we'll all go on thinking ourselves the salt of the earth.")
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“For over twenty-five centuries we’ve been bearing the weight of superb and heterogeneous civilizations, all from outside, none made by ourselves, none that we could call our own.

This violence of landscape, this cruelty of climate, this continual tension in everything, and even these monuments of the past, magnificent yet incomprehensible because not built by us and yet standing round us like lovely mute ghosts; all those rulers who landed by main force from every direction who were at once obeyed, soon detested, and always misunderstood, their only expressions works of art we couldn't understand and taxes which we understood only too well and which they spent elsewhere: all these things have formed our character, which is thus conditioned by events outside our control as well as by a terrifying insularity of mind.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“To rage and mock is gentlemanly, to grumble and whine is not.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“A house of which one knew every room wasn't worth living in.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“As always the thought of his own death calmed him as much as that of others disturbed him: was it perhaps because, when all was said and done, his own death would in the first place mean that of the whole world?”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Y mientras descendían hasta el camino habría sido difícil decir cuál de los dos eran don Quijote y quién Sancho”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Those were the best days in the life of Tancredi and Angelica, lives later to be so variegated, so erring, against the inevitable background of sorrow. But that they did not know then; and they were pursuing a future which they deemed more concrete than it turned out to be, made of nothing but smoke and wind. When they were old and uselessly wise their thoughts would go back to those days with insistent regret; they had been days when desire was always present because it was always overcome, when many beds had been offered and refused, when the sensual urge, because restrained, had for one second been sublimated in renunciation, that is into real love.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“...waking at very early dawn amid all that sweat and stink, he had found himself comparing this ghastly journey with his own life, which had first moved over smiling level ground, then clambered up rocky mountains, slid over threatening passes, to emerge eventually into a landscape of interminable undulations, all of the same color, all bare as despair. These early morning fantasies were the very worst that could happen to a man of middle age; and although the Prince knew that they would vanish with the day's activities, he suffered acutely all the same, as he was used enough to them by now to realize that deep inside him they left a sediment of grief which, accumulating day by day, would in the end be the real cause of his death.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Porque morir por alguien o por algo, está bien, entra en el orden de las cosas; pero conviene saber, o por lo menos estar seguros de que alguien sabe por quiën o por qué se muere”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Death, oh yes, it existed of course, but it was something that happened to others. The thought occurred to Don Fabrizio that it was ignorance of this supreme consolation that made the young feel sorrows much more sharply than the old; the latter are nearer the safety exit.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“and she loved him still; but the pleasure of shouting “It’s your fault” being the strongest any human being can enjoy, all truths and all feelings were swept along in its wake.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“L’amore. Certo, l’amore. Fuoco e fiamme per un anno, cenere per trenta.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Tancredi, in an attempt to link gallantry with greed, tried to imagine himself tasting, in the aromatic forkfuls, the kisses of his neighbour Angelica, but he realised at once that the experiment was disgusting and suspended it, with a mental reserve about reviving this fantasy with the pudding”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Good manners apart, though, the appearance of those monumental dishes of macaroni was worthy of the quivers of admiration they evoked. The burnished gold of the crusts, the fragrance of sugar and cinnamon they exuded, were but preludes to the delights released from the interior when the knife broke the crust; first came a mist laden with aromas, then chicken livers, hard-boiled eggs, sliced ham, chicken, and truffles in masses of piping hot, glistening macaroni, to which the meat juice gave an exquisite hue of suède.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“A man of forty-five can consider himself still young till the moment comes when he realises that he has children old enough to fall in love.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Later the brothers had quarrelled, one of those family quarrels we all know with deeply entangled roots, impossible to cure because neither side speaks out clearly, each having much to hide.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“La eternidad amorosa dura pocos años.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“She found herself even without the solace of being able to blame her own unhappiness on others, a solace which is the last deceiving philter of the desperate.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Lovers want to be alone, or at least with strangers; never with older people, or worst of all with relatives.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Si queremos que todo siga como está, es preciso que todo cambie”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“[…] Milano, un paesaccio dove per mangiare un piatto di maccheroni bisogna pensarci una settimana prima!”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Now you need young men, bright young men, with minds asking ‘how’ rather than ‘why,’ and who are good at masking, at blending, I should say, their personal interests with vague public ideals.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“The wealth of many centuries had been transmitted into ornament, luxury, pleasure; no more; the abolition of feudal rights had swept away duties as well as privileges; wealth, like an old wine, had let the dregs of greed, even of care and prudence, fall to the bottom of the barrel, leaving only verve and color.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Un hombre de cuarenta y cinco años puede creerse joven todavía hasta el momento en que se da cuenta de que tiene hijas en edad de amar. El príncipe se sintió súbitamente envejecido. Olvidó las millas que recorría cazando, los «Jesús María» que sabía provocar, la propia lozanía actual al final de un largo y penoso viaje. De pronto se vio a sí mismo como una persona canosa que acompaña un cortejo de nietos a caballo en las cabras de Villa Giulia.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“In context this is funny:
"Tancredi, we passed a beam of wood lying in front of Ginestra's house.Go and fetch it, it'll get you in all the quicker" (Concetta)”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


“Kunigaikštis vėl susidūrė su viena Sicilijos mįsle; šioje paslapčių saloje, kur namai aklinai uždarinėti, o valstiečiai tvirtina, kad jie nežino, kaip patekti į jų kaimą, kuris matyti kalvoje, už penkių minučių kelio, - čia, šioje saloje, nors ir labai atkakliai stengiamasi parodyti, kad paslapčių labai daug, neįmanoma ką nors išlaikyti paslaptyje.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, quote from The Leopard


About the author

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Born place: in Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Born date December 23, 1896
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