Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac (15 September 1613 – 17 March 1680) was a noted French author of maxims and memoirs. It is said that his world-view was clear-eyed and urbane, and that he neither condemned human conduct nor sentimentally celebrated it.

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The generality of virtuous women are like hidden treasures they are safe only because nobody has sought after them.

Philosophy finds it an easy matter to vanquish past and future evils but the present are commonly too hard for it.

We may seem great in an employment below our worth but we very often look little in one that is too big for us.

On neither the sun nor death can a man look fixedly.

It is a great act of cleverness to be able to conceal one's being clever.

Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us and not remember how many times we have told it to the same person.

To know how to hide one's ability is great skill.

Perfect Valor is to do without a witness all that we could do before the whole world.

The accent of one's birthplace remains in the mind and in the heart as in one's speech.

In the misfortunes of our best friends we always find something not altogether displeasing to us.

One forgives to the degree that one loves.

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.

The name and pretense of virtue is as serviceable to self-interest as are real vices.

If we had no faults of our own we should not take so much pleasure in noticing those in others.

It is easier to appear worthy of a position one does not hold than of the office which one fills.

The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than others are saying.

How can we expect another to keep our secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves?

We only confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no big ones.

Jealousy lives upon doubts. It becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.

Perfect courage is to do without witnesses what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on.

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