"Events that are predestined require but little management. They manage themselves. They slip into place while we sleep, and suddenly we are aware that the thing we fear to attempt, is already accomplished."
"I knew that my vocation was found. I had received the call, and having done so, I was sure my work would be assigned me. Of some things we feel quite certain. Inside there is a click, a kind of bell that strikes, when the hands of our destiny meet at the meridian hour."
"Well, I had gone and spoiled it again, made another mistake. A double one in fact. There were plenty of ways to get rid of that officer by some simple and plausible device, but no, I must pick out a picturesque one; it is the crying defect of my character."
"There is no Possibility of succeeding in a Satyrical Way of Writing or Speaking, except a Man throws himself quite out of the Question. It is great Vanity to think any one will attend a Thing because it is your Quarrel. You must make your Satyr the Concern of Society in general, if you would have it regarded."
"Vain men delight in telling what Honours have been done them, what great Company they have kept, and the like; by which they plainly confess, that these Honours were more than their Due, and such as their Friends would not believe if they had not been told: Whereas a Man truly proud, thinks the greatest Honours below his Merit, and consequently scorns to boast. I therefore deliver it as a Maxim that whoever desires the Character of a proud Man, ought to conceal his Vanity."
"Since the beginning of time, three-quarters of the mental energy and of the lies inspired by vanity have been expended for their inferiors by people who are only abased by such expenditure. And Swann, who was easygoing and unaffected with a duchess, trembled at the thought of being scorned and put on airs when he was with a housemaid."