Quotes by Francois De La Rochefoucauld

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It is a wearisome disease to preserve health by too strict a regimen.

In most of mankind gratitude is merely a secret hope of further favors.
We seldom find people ungrateful so long as it is thought we can serve them.
There are few good women who do not tire of their role.
What is called generosity is usually only the vanity of giving; we enjoy the vanity more than the thing given.
What seems to be generosity is often no more than disguised ambition, which overlooks a small interest in order to secure a great one.
A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care to acquire.
In the misfortunes of our best friends we always find something not altogether displeasing to us.
What men have called friendship is only a social arrangement, a mutual adjustment of interests, an interchange of services given and received; it is, in sum, simply a business from which those involved propose to derive a steady profit for their own self-love.
There is a kind of elevation which does not depend on fortune; it is a certain air which distinguishes us, and seems to destine us for great things; it is a price which we imperceptibly set upon ourselves.
It is only persons of firmness that can have real gentleness. Those who appear gentle are, in general, only a weak character, which easily changes into asperity.
Only the great can afford to have great defects.
If we had no faults of our own, we should not take so much pleasure in noticing those in others.
We forget our faults easily when they are known to ourselves alone.
The fame of great men ought to be judged always by the means they used to acquire it.
It is for want of application, rather than of means that people fail,
Nothing is so contagious as an example. We never do great good or evil without bringing about more of the same on the part of others.
We often do good in order that we may do evil with impunity.
Our enemies approach nearer to truth in their judgments of us than we do ourselves.
We would rather speak badly of ourselves than not talk about ourselves at all.
There are ways which lead to everything, and if we have sufficient will we should always have sufficient means.
How ever a brilliant an action, it should not be viewed as great unless it is the result of a great motive.
Decency is the least of all laws, but yet it is the law which is most strictly observed.
Neither the sun nor death can be looked at with a steady eye
There are crimes which become innocent and even glorious through their splendor, number and excess.
We can never be certain of our courage until we have faced danger.
True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.
Perfect courage is to do without witnesses what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on.
Conceit causes more conversation than wit.
When we cannot find contentment in ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
Silence is the safest course for any man to adopt who distrust himself.
We only confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no big ones.
If it were not for the company of fools, a witty man would often be greatly at a loss.
The desire to seem clever often keeps us from being so.
There are few virtuous women who are not bored with their trade.
Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended.
There is such a thing as a general revolution which changes the taste of men as it changes the fortunes of the world.
Few persons have sufficient wisdom to prefer censure, which is useful, to praise which deceives them.
We like to see others, but don't like others to see through us.
To establish yourself in the world a person must do all they can to appear already established.
Nothing so much prevents our being natural as the desire to seem so.
Old people love to give good advice to console themselves for no longer being able to set a bad example.
As one grows older, one becomes wiser and more foolish.
Few people know how to be old.
The one thing people are the most liberal with, is their advice.
Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.
Our actions are like the terminations of verses, which we rhyme as we please.
The height of ability consists in a thorough knowledge of the real value of things, and of the genius of the age in which we live.
We are more often treacherous, through weakness than through calculation.
It's the height of folly to want to be the only wise one.
As it is the characteristic of great wits to say much in few words, so small wits seem to have the gift of speaking much and saying nothing.
It is great folly to wish to be wise all alone.
It is more easy to be wise for others than for ourselves.
The common foible of women who have been handsome is to forget that they are no longer so.
Bodily labor alleviates the pains of the mind and from this arises the happiness of the poor.
He who imagines he can do without the world deceives himself much; but he who fancies the world cannot do without him is still more mistaken.