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She has frolicsome moods, in which a thimble, a shoe-buttoner, a scrap of paper, or a piece of string will drive her wild with delight; she has moods of inflexible gravity, in which she stares solemnly at her favorite ball rolling over the carpet, without stirring one lazy limb to reach it. “Have I seen this foolish toy before?” she seems to be asking herself with musing austerity; “and can it be possible that there are cats who run after such frivolous trifles? Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity, save only to lie upon the hearth-rug, and be warm, and think grave thoughts to feed a serious soul.”

Agnes Repplier (1855-1950) American writer
“Agrippina,” Essays in Idleness (1893)
Added on 13-Jul-23 | Last updated 13-Jul-23
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One cloud is enough to eclipse all the sun.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #3743 (1732)
Added on 5-Nov-21 | Last updated 5-Nov-21
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When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and poet

Frequently attributed to Nietzsche, starting in the late 1950s, but never cited and not found in any of his writings. More discussion here.
Added on 10-Apr-19 | Last updated 10-Apr-19
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How easy it is to be amiable in the midst of happiness and success!

Anne Sophie Swetchine (1782-1857) Russian-French author and salonist [Madame Swetchine]
Life and Letters of Madam Swetchine, ch. 5 [8th ed., 1875] (ed. de Falloux; tr. Preston]
Added on 12-Dec-17 | Last updated 12-Dec-17
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You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make earnest efforts to confer that pleasure on others? You will find half the battle is gained, if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) American abolitionist, activist, journalist, suffragist
Looking Toward Sunset (1874, 10th ed.)
Added on 12-Aug-16 | Last updated 12-Aug-16
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Liquor doesn’t make you feel better. Just makes you not so worried about feeling bad.

No picture available
James S. A. Corey (contemp.) American writer [pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck]
Leviathan Wakes, ch. 42 (2011) [with Ty Franck]
Added on 9-Sep-15 | Last updated 29-Jun-22
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One overmuch elated with success
A change of fortune plunges in distress.

Horace (65-8 BC) Roman poet and satirist [Quintus Horacius Flaccus]
Epistles, 1.10 [ed. Kraemer, Jr (1936)]
Added on 30-Jan-15 | Last updated 30-Jan-15
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A woman is a fickle, changeful thing!

[Varium et mutabile semper

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 4, l. 569ff (4.469-570) [Mercury] (29-19 BC) [tr. Cranch (1872)]

Warning Aeneas that Dido is likely to attack Aeneas' forces now that she knows he is deserting her.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Still inconstant is a womans minde.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

Who knows what hazards thy delay may bring?
Woman's a various and a changeful thing.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Woman is a fickle and ever changeable creature.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Away to sea! a woman's will
Is changeful and uncertain still.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Woman is ever a fickle and changing thing.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

For woman's heart is shifting evermore.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Changeful is woman's mood, and varying with the day.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 73]

A mutable and shifting thing
is woman ever.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

A fickle and changeful thing is woman ever.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

A shifty, fickle object
Is woman, always.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Woman was ever
A veering, weathercock creature.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1952)]

An ever
uncertain and inconsistent thing is woman.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 786-87]

Woman's a thing
Forever fitful and forever changing.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981)]

Women are unstable creatures, always changing.
[tr. West (1990)]

Woman is ever fickle and changeable.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

A woman is a fickle and worrisome thing.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Woman’s a thing
that’s always changing, shifting like the wind.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 710-11]

Females are a fickle thing, always prone to change.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

See also:
  • "My lord, you know what Virgil sings -- Woman is various and most mutable."
    [Tennyson, Queen Mary, Act 3, sc. 6 (1875)]

  • "La donna è mobile."
    [Verdi, Rigoletto (1851)]
Added on 28-Jan-13 | Last updated 21-Jun-23
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