Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > François, duc de La Rochefoucauld
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
François, duc de La Rochefoucauld. (1613–1680)
 
 
1
    Our virtues are most frequently but vices disguised. 1
          Maxim 19.
2
    We have all sufficient strength to endure the misfortunes of others.
          Maxim 19.
3
    Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it. 2
          Maxim 22.
4
    We need greater virtues to sustain good than evil fortune.
          Maxim 25.
5
    Neither the sun nor death can be looked at with a steady eye.
          Maxim 26.
6
    Interest speaks all sorts of tongues, and plays all sorts of parts, even that of disinterestedness.
          Maxim 39.
7
    We are never so happy or so unhappy as we suppose.
          Maxim 49.
8
    There are few people who would not be ashamed of being loved when they love no longer.
          Maxim 71.
9
    True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.
          Maxim 76.
10
    The love of justice is simply, in the majority of men, the fear of suffering injustice.
          Maxim 78.
  
  
  
11
    Silence is the best resolve for him who distrusts himself.
          Maxim 79.
12
    Friendship is only a reciprocal conciliation of interests, and an exchange of good offices; it is a species of commerce out of which self-love always expects to gain something.
          Maxim 83.
13
    A man who is ungrateful is often less to blame than his benefactor.
          Maxim 96.
14
    The understanding is always the dupe of the heart.
          Maxim 102.
15
    Nothing is given so profusely as advice.
          Maxim 110.
16
    The true way to be deceived is to think oneself more knowing than others.
          Maxim 127.
17
    Usually we praise only to be praised.
          Maxim 146.
18
    Our repentance is not so much regret for the ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to us in consequence.
          Maxim 180.
19
    Most people judge men only by success or by fortune.
          Maxim 212.
20
    Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.
          Maxim 218.
21
    Too great haste to repay an obligation is a kind of ingratitude.
          Maxim 226.
22
    There is great ability in knowing how to conceal one’s ability.
          Maxim 245.
23
    The pleasure of love is in loving. We are happier in the passion we feel than in that we inspire. 3
          Maxim 259.
24
    We always like those who admire us; we do not always like those whom we admire.
          Maxim 294.
25
    The gratitude of most men is but a secret desire of receiving greater benefits. 4
          Maxim 298.
26
    Lovers are never tired of each other, though they always speak of themselves.
          Maxim 312.
27
    We pardon in the degree that we love.
          Maxim 330.
28
    We hardly find any persons of good sense save those who agree with with us. 5
          Maxim 347.
29
    The greatest fault of a penetrating wit is to go beyond the mark.
          Maxim 377.
30
    We may give advice, but we cannot inspire the conduct.
          Maxim 378.
31
    The veracity which increases with old age is not far from folly.
          Maxim 416.
32
    In their first passion women love their lovers, in all the others they love love. 6
          Maxim 471.
33
    Quarrels would not last long if the fault was only on one side.
          Maxim 496.
34
    In the adversity of our best friends we often find something that is not exactly displeasing. 7
 
Note 1.
This epigraph, which is the key to the system of La Rochefoucauld, is found in another form as No. 179 of the Maxims of the first edition, 1665; it is omitted from the second and third, and reappears for the first time in the fourth edition at the head of the Reflections.—Aime Martin. [back]
Note 2.
See Goldsmith, Quotation 75. [back]
Note 3.
See Shelley, Quotation 15. [back]
Note 4.
See Walpole, Quotation 4. [back]
Note 5.
”That was excellently observed,” say I when I read a passage in another where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, then I pronounce him to be mistaken.—Jonathan Swift: Thoughts on Various Subjects. [back]
Note 6.
See Byron, Quotation 209. [back]
Note 7.
This reflection, No. 99 in the edition of 1665, the author suppressed in the third edition.

In all distresses of our friends
We first consult our private ends;
While Nature, kindly bent to ease us,
Points out some circumstance to please us.
Dean Swift: A Paraphrase of Rochefoucauld’s Maxim. [back]
 

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