Alas! the fat know better than the slim how to handle their affairs in this world.
Everyone is gripped by something.
One gets a good education, as we know, in a boarding school. And in boarding schools, as we know, three main subjects constitute the foundation of human virtue: the French language, indispensable for a happy family life; the pianoforte, to afford a husband agreeable moments; and, finally, the managerial part proper: the crocheting of purses and other surprises.
You must live by the truth, if you want to be shown respect.
The merry will turn melancholy in a trice, if you stand a long time before it, and then God knows what may enter your head.
Wherever in life it may be, whether amongst its tough, coarsely poor, and untidily moldering mean ranks, or its monotonously cold and boringly tidy upper classes, a man will at least once meet with a phenomenon which is unlike anything he has happened to see before, which for once at least awakens in him a feeling unlike those he is fated to feel all his life.
-Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls, 1996 translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky