The secret of grand fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.

[Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié, parce qu’il a été proprement fait.]

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) French novelist, playwright
Le Père Goriot, Part 2 (1835) [tr. Marriage]

Often paraphrased as "Behind every great fortune there is a great crime."

Added on 26-Oct-10 | Last updated 26-Oct-10
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