Ambitious men spend their youth in rendering themselves worthy of patronage; it is their great mistake. While the foolish creatures are laying in stores of knowledge and energy, so that they shall not sink under the weight of responsible posts that recede from them, schemers come and go who are wealthy in words and destitute of ideas, astonish the ignorant, and creep into the confidence of those who have a little knowledge.
Honoré De Balzac (1799–1850), French novelist. Later appeared as part of Romans et contes philosophiques (1831), and part of the Etudes philosophiques (1831). It then entered the Comédie humaine (1845, trans. by George Saintsbury, 1971). Raphaël, in "The Wild Ass's Skin" (La Peau de chagrin), which was first published by Gosselin (1831).