Machado de Assis Quotes

The best thing to do is to loosen my grip on my pen and let it go wandering about until it finds an entrance. There must be one – everything depends on the circumstances, a rule applicable as much to literary style as to life. Each word tugs another one along, one idea another, and that is how books, governments and revolutions are made – some even say that is how Nature created her species.

We kill time; time buries us.

Do not feel badly if your kindness is rewarded with ingratitude; it is better to fall from your dream clouds than from a third-story window.


There is nothing in the world so monstrously vast as our indifference.

A life without fighting is a dead sea in the universal organism.

There is nothing worse than giving the longest of legs to the smallest of ideas.

He felt that there is a loose balance of good and evil, and that the art of living consists in getting the greatest good out of the greatest evil.

To him the stars seemed like so many musical notes affixed to the sky, just waiting for somebody to unfasten them. Someday the sky would be emptied, but by then the earth would be a constellation of musical scores

Out of the sighs of one generation are kneaded the hopes of the next.

It’s the occasion that makes the revolution.

Tears are not arguments.

Tomorrow’s sun is on it’s way – a relentless sun, inscrutable like life.

Por que bonita, se coxa? Por que coxa, se bonita?

The conclusion, therefore, is that there are two major forces in society: love, which multiplies the species, and the nose, which subordinates it to the individual. Procreation, equilibrium.

In woman sex corrects banality, in men it aggravates it.

In ordinary life, the action of a third party does not free the contractor from an obligation; but the advantage of making a contract with heaven is that intentions are valid currency.

Let Pascal say that man is a thinking reed. He is wrong; man is a thinking erratum. Each period in life is a new edition that corrects the preceding one and that in turn will be corrected by the next, until publication of the definitive edition, which the publisher donates to the worms.

Dreams disdain fine lines and finishing touches on landscapes – they content themselves with thick but representative brushstrokes.


A vida sem luta é um mar morto no centro do organismo universal.

Some actions are even baser than the people who commit them.

I considered the case and realized that if something can exist in opinion without existing in reality, or exist in reality without existing in opinion, the conclusion is that of the two parallel lives, only opinion is necessary – not reality, which is only a secondary consideration.