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Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand

Perfect works are rare, because they must be produced at the happy moment when taste and genius unite; and this rare conjuncture, like that of certain planets, appears to occur only after the revolution of several cycles, and only lasts for an instant.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand work
As soon as a true thought has entered our mind, it gives a light which makes us see a crowd of other objects which we have never perceived before.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand mind
exists only through . Take away the art of writing from this world, and you will probably take away its glory.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand writing
I amas a matter of honour, royalist according to reason and conviction, and republican by taste and character.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand character
In living literature no person is a competent judge but of works written in his own language. I have expressed my opinion concerning a number of English writers; it is very possible that I may be mistaken, that my admiration and my censure may be equally misplaced, and that my conclusions may appear impertinent and ridiculous on the other side of the Channel.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand work
Every institution goes through three stages — utility, privilege, and abuse.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand age
The original style is not the style which never borrows of any one, but that which no other person is capable of reproducing.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand person
Though we have not employed the arguments usually advanced by the apologists of , we have arrived by a different chain of reasoning at the same conclusion: Christianity is perfect; men are imperfect. Now, a perfect consequence cannot spring from an imperfect principle. Christianity, therefore, is not the work of men. If Christianity is not the work of man, it can have come from none but God. If it came from God, men cannot have acquired a knowledge of it except by revelation. Therefore, Christianity is a revealed religion.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand religion
[Memoirs from Beyond the Grave]
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand memoir
I have made history, and been able to write it. ... Within and alongside my age, perhaps without wishing or seeking to, I have exerted upon it a triple influence, religious, political and literary.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand history
I have explored the seas of the Old World and the New, and trodden the soil of the four quarters of the Earth. Having camped in the cabins of Iroquois, and beneath the tents of Arabs, in the wigwams of Hurons, in the remains of Athens, Jerusalem, Memphis, Carthage, Granada, among Greeks, Turks and Moors, among forests and ruins; after wearing the bearskin cloak of the savage, and the silk caftan of the Mameluke, after suffering poverty, hunger, thirst, and exile, I have sat, a minister and ambassador, covered with gold lace, gaudy with ribbons and decorations, at the table of kings, the feasts of princes and princesses, only to fall once more into indigence and know imprisonment.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand art
I have borne the musket of a soldier, the traveller’s cane, and the pilgrim’s staff: as a sailor my fate has been as inconstant as the wind: a kingfisher, I have made my nest among the waves. I have been party to peace and war: I have signed treaties, protocols, and along the way published numerous works. I have been made privy to party secrets, of court and state: I have viewed closely the rarest disasters, the greatest good fortune, the highest reputations. I have been present at sieges, congresses, conclaves, at the restoration and demolition of thrones. I have made history, and been able to write it. ... Within and alongside my age, perhaps without wishing or seeking to, I have exerted upon it a triple influence, religious, political and literary.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand war
Memory is often the attribute of stupidity; it generally belongs to heavy spirits whom it makes even heavier by the baggage it loads them down with.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand spirit
It is a long way from Combourg to Berlin, from a youthful dreamer to an old minister. I find among the words preceding these: ‘In how many places have I already continued writing these Memoirs, and in what place will I finish them?'
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand writing
Aristocracy has three successive ages, — the age of superiorities, the age of privileges, and the age of vanities; having passed out of the first, it degenerates in the second, and dies away in the third.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand success
It was not his own destiny that inspired this new species of hero: it was that of his country; he did not allow himself to enjoy what did not belong to him; but from that profound humility what glory emerged!
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand joy
I halt at the beginning of my travels, in Pennsylvania, in order to compareand . I would rather not have concerned myself with them until the point where I had met Napoleon; but if I came to the edge of my grave without having reached the year 1814 in my tale, no one would then know anything of what I would have written concerning these two representatives of Providence. I remember Castelnau: like me Ambassador to England, who wrote like me a narrative of his life in London. On the last page of Book VII, he says to his son: ‘I will deal with this event in Book VIII,’ and Book VIII of Castelnau’s Memoirs does not exist: that warns me to take advantage of being alive.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand life
Washington and Bonaparte emerged from the womb of democracy: both of them born to liberty, the former remained faithful to her, the latter betrayed her.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand faith
I do not expect an imminent outbreak of war: nations and kings are equally weary ... No doubt there will be painful moments: the face of the world cannot change without suffering. But, once again, there will be no separate revolutions; simply the great revolution approaching its end.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand war
One does not learn how to die by killing others.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand learn
My downfall made a great noise: those who appeared most satisfied criticized the manner of it.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand man
How small man is on this little atom where he dies! But how great his intelligence! He knows when the face of the stars must be masked in darkness, when the comets will return after thousands of years, he who lasts only an instant! A microscopic insect lost in a fold of the heavenly robe, the orbs cannot hide from him a single one of their movements in the depth of space. What destinies will those stars, new to us, light? Is their revelation bound up with some new phase of humanity? You will know, race to be born; I know not, and I am departing.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand intelligence
I behold the light of a dawn whose sunrise I shall never see. It only remains for me to sit down at the edge of my grave; then I shall descend boldly, crucifix in hand, into eternity.
Fran§ois Ren© de Chateaubriand light

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