Catherine the Great
Your wit makes others witty.
In my position you have to read when you want to write and to talk when you would like to read.
For to tempt and to be tempted are things very nearly allied – whenever feeling has anything to do in the matter, no sooner is it excited than we have already gone vastly farther than we are aware of.
If Russians knew how to read, they would write me off.
All this is only for the mice and myself to admire!
I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that’s his.
I am one of the people who love the why of things.
Men make love more intensely at 20, but make love better, however, at 30.
In politics a capable ruler must be guided by circumstances, conjectures and conjunctions.
The more a man knows, the more he forgives.
I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
I praise loudly. I blame softly.
You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings.
I like to praise and reward loudly, to blame quietly.
I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster.