This quote comes from 19th Century French poet Alfred de Musset. He wrote it in a poem called La coupe et les lèvres (Glass and lips).
Quite literally, the quote means “Never mind the bottle, let’s just drink it“. However, the true meaning is more profound: No matter what the euphoria comes from, it’s still euphoria.
The poet also writes, “Aimer est le grand point, qu’importe la maîtresse?” (Love is the main point, not the mistress), meaning: Love itself (giving it, experiencing it) is what matters, not who’s your lover; in other words, one can access love regardless of who they pick.
A little further down, one can read:
“Qu’importe le combat, si l’éclair de l’épée
Peut nous servir dans l’ombre à voir les combattants ?”
(Who cares about the battle, if the flash of the sword
Can help us see the enemy in the dark?)
Meaning that in life, the battle you choose is not so much important as learning how to fight.
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