La Tontine (1709)
- A good doctor pursues his calling without any regard to a bad result. Otherwise, teaching in medical school might be called into question and where would we be then?
- To forbid wine to a man of your type is the same as forbidding women to a man of a different sort.
- In order to know the worth of a virtuous husband, is it not necessary for the wife to be dispirited herself? First, give her a young man of twenty, and not only will she be fine, she'll have a reasonable husband.
- A smart daughter ought not to examine her future husband too closely. She ought to consider it a pleasure to find one agreeable to her father.
- I don't know any more than you what the future will hold. But my point of view is different. You see despair and I see cause for hope. I read the future in a way that is more agreeable than you do.
- The more I have to suffer, the more my character will grow.
Gil Blas (1715-1735)
- It may be said that his wit shines at the expense of his memory.
- Book III, ch. 11. Compare: "The Right Honorable gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts", Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Speech in Reply to Mr. Dundas, in Sheridaniana.
- A flatterer can risk everything with great personages.
- Book IV, ch. 7.
- Pride and conceit were the original sin of man.
- Book VII, ch. 3.
- I wish you all sorts of prosperity with a little more taste.
- Book VII, ch. 4.
- The pleasure of talking is the inextinguishable passion of a woman, coeval with the act of breathing.
- Book VII, ch. 7.
- Isocrates was in the right to insinuate, in his elegant Greek expression, that what is got over the Devil's back is spent under his belly.
- Book VIII, ch. 9. Compare: "What is got over the Devil's back is spent under the belly", François Rabelais, Works, Book V, ch. 11.
- Facts are stubborn things.
- Book X, ch. 1. Earlier written by Elliot, Essay on Field Husbandry, p. 35 (1747). Translated by Tobias George Smollett, Translation of Gil Blas, Book x, Chapter 1.
- Plain as a pike-staff.
- Book XII, ch. 7. Compare: "A flat case as plain as a pack-staff", Thomas Middleton, The Family of Love (1602-07), Act v, Scene 3.