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Madame Bovary from Gustave Flaubert

Human speech is a cracked cauldron on which we knock out tunes for dancing bears, when we wish to conjure pity from the stars.

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The human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out a tune for a dancing bear, when we hope with our music to move the stars.

Gustave Flaubert in Madame BovaryReport problemRelated quotes
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Exaggerated turns of speech conceal mediocre affections: as if the fulness of the soul might not sometimes overflow in the emptiest of metaphors, since no one, ever, can give the exact measurements of his needs, nor of his conceptions, nor of his sufferings, and the human word is like a cracked cauldron upon which we beat out melodies fit for making bears dance when we are trying to move the stars to pity.

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