One of the hardest labours of the just man is to expunge from his soul a malevolence which it is difficult to efface.
Work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
Work almost always has a double aspect: it is a bondage, a wearisome drudgery; but it is also a source of interest, a steadying element, a factor that helps to integrate the worker with society. Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.
What’s important is that you’re working. I’ve always said that idleness dulls the spirit. We have to keep the brain busy, or at least the hands if we don’t have a brain.
We strive all the time to give our life its form, but we do so by copying willy-nilly, like a drawing, the features of the person that we are and not of the person we should like to be.[Nous travaillons à tout moment à donner sa forme à notre vie, mais en copiant malgré nous comme un dessin les traits de la personne que nous sommes et non de celle qu’il nous serait agréable d’être.]
To constitute taste, it is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.
The reason why a work of genius is not easily admired from the first is that the man who has created it is extraordinary, that few other men resemble him. It is his work itself that, by fertilising the rare minds capable of understanding it, will make them increase and multiply.[Ce qui est cause qu’une oeuvre de génie est difficilement admirée tout de suite, c’est que celui qui l’a écrite est extraordinaire, que peu de gens lui ressemblent. C’est son oeuvre elle-même qui, en fécondant les rares esprits capables de le comprendre, les fera croître et multiplier.]