The Emptiest of Metaphors

As if the soul's fullness didn't sometimes overflow into the emptiest of metaphors, for no one, ever, can give the exact measure of his needs, his apprehensions, or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which we bang out tunes that make bears dance, when we want to move the stars to pity.

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, 1856.

(There's a new Flaubert biography out)