A country is strong which consists of wealthy families, every member of whom is interested in defending a common treasure; it is weak when composed of scattered individuals, to whom it matters little whether they obey seven or one, a Russian or a Corsican, so long as each keeps his own plot of land, blind in their wretched egotism, to the fact that the day is coming when this too will be torn from them.
Honoré De Balzac (1799–1850), French novelist. Louise de Chaulieu in a letter to Mme. De l'Estorade, in Letters of Two Brides (Mémoires de Deux Jeunes Mariées), in La Presse (1841-1842), Souverain (1842), included in the Scènes de la Vie Privée in the Comédie humaine (1845, trans. by George Saintsbury, 1971).