Alexandre Dumas

French writer and dramatist (1802–1870)

Alexandre Dumas, père (24 July 18025 December 1870) was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him the most widely read French author in the world.
See also: Alexandre Dumas, fils.

Alexandre Dumas, père, French author


  • Sleeping on a plank has one advantage — it encourages early rising.
    • Adventures in Czarist Russia.
  • * My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends.
    • In response to a racist comment directed at the author

The Count of Monte Cristo (1845–1846)Edit

Le comte de Monte Cristo
There is also a page developing for this novel at The Count of Monte Cristo — most quotes from the work should eventually be moved there, with only a few samples remaining here - Full text at Project Gutenberg
  • "We are never quits with those who oblige us," was Dantes' reply; "for when we do not owe them money, we owe them gratitude."
  • Drunk, if you like; so much the worse for those who fear wine, for it is because they have bad thoughts which they are afraid the liquor will extract from their hearts.
  • Private misfortunes must never induce us to neglect public affairs.
  • "How strange," continued the king, with some asperity; "the police think that they have disposed of the whole matter when they say, 'A murder has been committed,' and especially so when they can add, 'And we are on the track of the guilty persons.'"
  • There is … a clever maxim which bears upon what I was saying to you some little while ago, and that is, that unless wicked ideas take root in a naturally depraved mind, human nature, in a right and wholesome state, revolts at crime. Still, from an artificial civilisation have originated wants, vices, and false tastes, which occasionally become so powerful as to stifle within us all good feelings, and ultimately to lead us into guilt and wickedness...
  • "You must teach me a small part of what you know," said Dantes, "if only to prevent your growing weary of me. I can well [[believe] that so learned a person as yourself would prefer absolute solitude to being tormented with the company of one as ignorant and uninformed as myself. If you will only agree to my request, I promise you never to mention another word about escaping." The abbe smiled. "Alas, my boy," said he, "human knowledge is confined within very narrow limits; and when I have taught you mathematics, physics, history, and the three or four modern languages with which I am acquainted, you will know as much as I do myself. Now, it will scarcely require two years for me to communicate to you the stock of learning I possess."
    "Two years!" exclaimed Dantes; "do you really believe I can acquire all these things in so short a time?"
    "Not their application, certainly, but their principles you may; to learn is not to know; there are the learners and the learned. Memory makes the one, philosophy the other."
  • And now, farewell to kindness, humanity and gratitude… I have substituted myself for Providence in rewarding the good; may the God of vengeance now yield me His place to punish the wicked.
  • There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more

The Three Musketeers (1844)Edit

Les Trois Mousquetaires Full text at Project Gutenberg
  • Tous pour un, un pour tous, c'est notre devise
  • "Eh, gentlemen, let us reckon upon accidents! Life is a chaplet of little miseries which the philosopher counts with a smile. Be philosophers, as I am, gentlemen; sit down at the table and let us drink. Nothing makes the future look so bright as surveying it through a glass of chambertin."
    • Athos, Ch. 48: A Family Affair.
  • "Weep," said Athos, "weep, heart full of love, youth, and life! Alas, would I could weep like you!"
    • Ch. 63: The Drop of Water.
  • You are young, and your bitter recollections have time to change themselves into sweet remembrances."
    • Ch. 67: Conclusion.

Vingt ans après (Twenty Years After) (1845)Edit

  • Learn ever to separate the king and the principle of royalty. The king is but man; royalty is the spirit of God. When you are in doubt as to which you should serve, forsake the material appearance for the invisible principle, for this is everything.

Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus (The Vicomte de Bragelonne) (1847)Edit

  • Eh! sire, that is the fate of truth; she is a stern companion; she bristles all over with steel; she wounds those whom she attacks, and sometimes him who speaks her.
  • My friend, the pleasures to which we are not accustomed oppress us more than the griefs with which we are familiar.

Les Mohicans de Paris (The Mohicans of Paris) (1854 novel)Edit

  • Cherchez la femme, pardieu ! cherchez la femme !

Les Mohicans de Paris (The Mohicans of Paris) (1864 play)Edit

  • Il y a une femme dans toutes les affaires ; aussitôt qu'on me fait un rapport, je dis : «Cherchez la femme !»
    • There is a woman in every case; as soon as they bring me a report, I say, 'Look for the woman'.
      • Dumas, Alexandre (1889) (in French). Théâtre complet. XXIV. Paris: Michel Lévy frères, éditeurs. p. 103. Retrieved on 2009-08-07. , translation from The Penguin Dictionary of Quotations II.iii
    • See wikipedia cherchez la femme on how this phrase has come to be used.
    • Compare Juvenal satire VI.243 (circa 100 AD), "never yet was there a lawsuit which did not have a woman at the bottom of it" (translation by G. G. Ramsay), but in that case describing the litigiousness of Roman women.


  • Les chaînes du mariage sont si lourdes qu'il faut être deux pour les porter ; quelquefois trois.

Quotes aboutEdit

  • Although I work, and seldom cease,
    At Dumas père and Dumas fils,
    Alas, I cannot make me care
    For Dumas fils and Dumas père.
    • Dorothy Parker, "A Pig's-Eye View of Literature" from Sunset Gun (1927); reproduced in Not So Deep as a Well: Collected Poems (1937), p. 110.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works by or about: