Honoré de Balzac quote about morality from Father Goriot - Such is life. It is no cleaner than a kitchen; it reeks like a kitchen; and if you mean to cook your dinner, you must expect to soil your hands; the real art is in getting them clean again, and therein lies the whole morality of our epoch.
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Such is life. It is no cleaner than a kitchen; it reeks like a kitchen; and if you mean to cook your dinner, you must expect to soil your hands; the real art is in getting them clean again, and therein lies the whole morality of our epoch.
 Honoré de Balzac, Father Goriot (1835). copy citation

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Author Honoré de Balzac
Source Father Goriot
Topic morality dirt cleaning
Date 1835
Language English
Reference
Note Translated by Ellen Marriage
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1237/1237-h/1237-h.htm

Context

“It is no use playing here except for high stakes; once take to low play, it is all up with you. If in the scores of professions that are open to you, there are ten men who rise very rapidly, people are sure to call them thieves. You can draw your own conclusions. Such is life. It is no cleaner than a kitchen; it reeks like a kitchen; and if you mean to cook your dinner, you must expect to soil your hands; the real art is in getting them clean again, and therein lies the whole morality of our epoch. If I take this tone in speaking of the world to you, I have the right to do so; I know it well. Do you think that I am blaming it? Far from it; the world has always been as it is now. Moralists' strictures will never change it.” source
Original quote

Meaning and analysis

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