"Virtue, my pet, is an abstract idea, varying in its manifestations with the surroundings. Virtue in Provence, in Constantinople, in London, and in Paris bears very different fruit, but is none the less virtue."
"Ah! how much a mother learns from her child! The constant protection of a helpless being forces us to so strict an alliance with virtue, that a woman never shows to full advantage except as a mother. Then alone can her character expand in the fulfillment of all life's duties and the enjoyment of all its pleasures."
"Prayer is the fair and radiant daughter of all the human virtues, the arch connecting heaven and earth, the sweet companion that is alike the lion and the dove; and prayer will give you the key of heaven. As pure and as bold as innocence, as strong as all things are that are entire and single, this fair and invincible queen rests on the material world; she has taken possession of it; for, like the sun, she casts about it a sphere of light."
"At this moment, who would not remain persuaded that these women were virtuous? Are they not the flower of the country? Are they all not fresh, ravishing, intoxicating with beauty, youth, life and love? To believe in their virtue is a kind of social religion; because they are the world's ornament and the glory of France."
"A country is strong which consists of wealthy families, every member of whom is interested in defending a common treasure; it is weak when composed of scattered individuals, to whom it matters little whether they obey seven or one, a Russian or a Corsican, so long as each keeps his own plot of land, blind in their wretched egotism, to the fact that the day is coming when this too will be torn from them."
"Marriage is a fierce battle before which the two partners ask heaven for its blessing, because loving each other is the most audacious of enterprises; the battle is not slow to start, and victory, that is to say freedom, goes to the cleverest."
"A wife is property that one acquires by contract, she is transferable, because possession of her requires title; in fact, woman is, so to speak, only man's appendage; consequently, slice, cut, clip her, you have all rights to her."
"It is beyond a doubt that during the sixteenth century, and the years immediately preceding and following it, poisoning had been brought to a pitch of perfection which remains unknown to modern chemistry, but which is indisputably proved by history. Italy, the cradle of modern science, was at that time, the inventor and mistress of these secrets, many of which are lost."
"In France, and at the most important period of our history, Catherine de' Medici has suffered more from popular error than any other woman, unless it be Brunehaut or Frédégonde; while Marie de' Medici, whose every action was prejudicial to France, has escaped the disgrace that should cover her name.... Catherine de' Medici ... saved the throne of France, she maintained [the] Royal authority under circumstances to which more than one great prince would have succumbed. Face to face with such leaders of the factions and ambitions of the houses of Guise and of Bourbon as the two Cardinals de Lorraine and the two "Balafrès," the two Princes de Condé, Queen Jeanne d'Albret, Henri IV, the Connétable de Montmorency, Calvin, the Colignys and Théodore de Bèze, she was forced to put forth the rarest fine qualities, the most essential gifts of statesmanship, under the fire of the Calvinist press."