There are people who would never have been in love, had they never heard love spoken of.
Few are sufficiently wise to prefer censure which is useful to praise which is treacherous.
Confidence contributes more to conversation than wit.
The good or the bad fortune of men depends not less upon their own dispositions than upon fortune.
He that would be a great man must learn to turn every accident to some advantage.
Commonplace minds usually condemn what is beyond the reach of their understanding.
Those only are despicable who fear to be despised.
Women can less easily surmount their coquetry than their passions.
Everyone takes pleasure in returning small obligations, many people acknowledge moderate ones; but there are only a scarce few who do not pay great ones with ingratitude.
The truest way to be deceived is to think oneself more knowing than others.
Eloquence: saying the proper thing and stopping.
To achieve greatness one should live as if they will never die.
If we resist our passions, it is more due to their weakness than our strength.
If we had no faults of our own, we should not take so much pleasure in noticing those in others.
There are few occasions when we should make a bad bargain by giving up the good on condition that no ill was said of us.
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.
You are never so easily fooled as when trying to fool someone else.
Nothing is so contagious as example.
Ability wins us the esteem of the true men; luck, that of the people.
The man whom no one pleases is much more unhappy than the man who pleases no one.
In the misfortunes of our best friends we always find something not altogether displeasing to us.
Some counterfeits reproduce so very well the truth that it would be a flaw of judgment not to be deceived by them.
A gentleman may love like a lunatic, but not like a beast.
The caprice of our temper is even more whimsical than that of Fortune.
Nothing ought in reason to mortify our self-satisfaction more that the considering that we condemn at one time what we highly approve and commend at another.
Considering how little the beginning or the ceasing to love is in our own power, it is foolish and unreasonable for the lover or his mistress to complain of one another's inconstancy.
Some good qualities are like the senses: Those who are entirely deprived of them can have no notion of them.
The confidence which we have in ourselves give birth to much of that, which we have in others.
We get so much in the habit of wearing disguises before others that we finally appear disguised before ourselves.
However evil men may be they dare not be openly hostile to virtue, and so when they want to attack it they pretend to find it spurious , or impute crimes to it.
When a man is in love, he doubts, very often, what he most firmly believes.
The greatest miracle of love is the cure of coquetry.
We often forgive those who bore us, but we cannot forgive those whom we bore.
That which occasions so many mistakes in the computations of men, when they expect return for favors, is that the giver's pride and the receiver's cannot agree upon the value of the kindness done.
A man is perhaps ungrateful, but often less chargeable with ingratitude than his benefactor is.
Strength and weakness of mind are misnomers; they are really nothing but the good or bad health of our bodily organs.
The same strength of character which helps a man resist love, helps to make it more violent and lasting too. People of unsettled minds are always driven about with passions, but never absolutely filled with any.
The word virtue is as useful to self-interest as the vices.
Never give anyone the advice to buy or sell shares, because the most benevolent price of advice can turn out badly.
Truth does less good in the world than its appearances do harm.
The tranquility or agitation of our temper does not depend so much on the big things which happen to us in life, as on the pleasant or unpleasant arrangements of the little things which happen daily.
We often select envenomed praise which, by a reaction upon those we praise, shows faults we could not have shown by other means.
There are a great many men valued in society who have nothing to recommend them but serviceable vices.
The most ingenious men continually pretend to condemn tricking -- but this is often done that they may use it more conveniently themselves, when some great occasion or interest offers itself to them.
Nothing is so catching as example.
It takes more strength of character to withstand good fortune than bad.
We rarely ever perceive others as being sensible, except for those who agree with us.
We give advice, but we cannot give the wisdom to profit by it.
Not all who discharge their debts of gratitude should flatter themselves that they are grateful.
For envy, like lightning, generally strikes at the top Or any point which sticks out from the ordinary level. LUCRETIUS, De Rerum Natura Our envy always outlives the felicity of its object.
You can find women who have never had an affair, but it is hard to find a woman who has had just one.
Those who give too much attention to trifling things become generally incapable of great ones.
When the heart is still disturbed by the relics of a passion it is proner to take up a new one than when wholly cured.
Moderation is a fear of falling into that envy and contempt which those who grow giddy with their good fortune quite justly draw upon themselves. It is a vain boasting of the greatness of our mind.
That which makes the vanity of others unbearable to us is that which wounds our own.
Love has its name borrowed by a great number of dealings and affairs that are attributed to it -- in which it has no greater part than the Doge in what is done at Venice.
Most women lament not the death of their lovers so much out of real affection for them, as because they would appear worthy of love.
How can we expect another to keep our secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves?
Numberless arts appear foolish whose secret motives are most wise and weighty.
The contempt of riches in the philosophers was a concealed desire of revenging on fortune the injustice done to their merit, by despising the good she denied them.
Too great haste to repay an obligation is a kind of ingratitude.
Though confidence is very fine, and makes the future sunny; I want no confidence for mine, I'd rather have the money.
Every one complains of a poor memory, no one of a weak judgment.
Some people resemble ballads which are only sung for a certain time.
No fools are so difficult to manage as those with some brains.
Preserving health by too severe a rule is a worrisome malady.
However greatly we distrust the sincerity of those we converse with, yet still we think they tell more truth to us than to anyone else.
The blindness of men is the most dangerous effect of their pride; it seems to nourish and augment it; it deprives them of knowledge of remedies which can solace their miseries and can cure their faults.
It may be said that the vices await us in the journey of life like hosts with whom we must successively lodge; and I doubt whether experience would make us avoid them if we were to travel the same road a second time.
Often we are firm from weakness, and audacious from timidity.
Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers.
We should often feel ashamed of our best actions if the world could see all the motives which produced them.
The greatest part of our faults are more excusable than the methods that are commonly taken to conceal them.
In growing old, we become more foolish -- and more wise.
Our repentances are generally not so much a concern and remorse for the harm we have done, as a fear of the harm we may have brought upon ourselves.
Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils, but present evils triumph over it.
It is a common fault never to be satisfied with our fortune, nor dissatisfied with our understanding.
Nature seems at each man's birth to have marked out the bounds of his virtues and vices, and to have determined how good or how wicked that man shall be capable of being.
Love of fame, fear of disgrace, schemes for advancement, desire to make life comfortable and pleasant, and the urge to humiliate others are often at the root of the valour men hold in such high esteem.
The world is full of pots jeering at kettles.
It is with sincere affection or friendship as with ghosts and apparitions, -- a thing that everybody talks of, and scarce any hath seen.
Generally speaking, we would make a good bargain by renouncing all the good that people say of us, upon condition they would say no ill.
Nothing should lessen our satisfaction with ourselves as much as when we notice that we disapprove of something at one time that we approve of at another time.
We often credit ourselves with vices the reverse of what we have, thus when weak we boast of our obstinacy.
Cunning and treachery are the offspring of incapacity.
It is oftener by the estimation of our own feelings that we exaggerate the good qualities of others than by their merit, and when we praise them we wish to attract their praise.
The evil that we do does not attract to us so much persecution and hatred as our good qualities.
Our actions seem to have their lucky and unlucky stars, to which a great part of that blame and that commendation is due which is given to the actions themselves.
We sometimes imagine we hate flattery, but we only hate the way we are flattered.
Men often pass from love to ambition, but they seldom come back again from ambition to love.
We have more ability than will power, and it is often an excuse to ourselves that we imagine that things are impossible.
The common foible of women who have been handsome is to forget that they are no longer so.
The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune.
There are very few people who are not ashamed of having been in love when they no longer love each other.
Many people despise wealth, but few know how to give it away.
One kind of flirtation is to boast we never flirt.
Confidence always pleases those who receive it. It is a tribute we pay to their merit, a deposit we commit to their trust, a pledge that gives them a claim upon us, a kind of dependence to which we voluntarily submit.
All women seem by nature to be coquettes.
Most of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them.
One may outwit another, but not all the others.
Nothing is more ridiculous in old people that were once good-looking, than to forget that they are not so still.
We are always bored by the very people by whom it is vital not to be bored.
Politeness of mind consists in thinking chaste and refined thoughts.
The virtues and vices are all put in motion by interest.
Men frequently do good only to give themselves opportunity of doing ill with impunity.
Wit sometimes enables us to act rudely with impunity.
The violence done us by others is often less painful than that which we do to ourselves.
Jealousy contains more of self-love than of love.
It is almost always a fault of one who loves not to realize when he ceases to be loved.
We are never either so fortunate or so misfortunate as we imagine.
We take less pains to be happy, than to appear so.
We always like those who admire us.
The passions are the only orators which always persuade.
The most violent passions sometimes leave us at rest, but vanity agitates us constantly.
We frequently do good in order to enable us to do evil later with impunity exemption of punishment.
Novelty is to love like bloom to fruit; it gives a luster which is easily effaced, but never returns.
More men are guilty of treason through weakness than any studied design to betray.
Silence is the best security to the man who distrusts himself.
A man is sometimes better off deceived about the one he loves, than undeceived.
The strongest symptom of wisdom in man is his being sensible of his own follies.
The person giving the advice returns the confidence placed in him with a disinterested eagerness... and he is usually guided only by his own interest or reputation.
The only thing that should astonish us is that anything can yet astonish us.
Self-love is more cunning than the most cunning man in the world.
Thinkers think and doers do. But until the thinkers do and the doers think, progress will be just another word in the already overburdened vocabulary by sense.
It is great folly to wish to be wise all alone.
Constancy in love ... is only inconstancy confined to one object.
There are fine things that are more brilliant when they are unfinished than when finished too much.
Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended.
The force we use on ourselves, to prevent ourselves from loving, is often more cruel than the severest treatment at the hands of one loved.
Bodily labor alleviates the pains of the mind and from this arises the happiness of the poor.
All our qualities, whether good or bad, are unstable and ambiguous, and almost all are at the mery of chance.
Sometimes we lose friends for whose loss our regret is greater than our grief, and others for whom our grief is greater than our regret.
The moderation of men in the most exalted fortunes is a desire to be thought above those things that have raised them so high.
The art of putting into play mediocre qualities often begets more reputation than is achieved by true merit.
Men would not live in society long if they were not each others dupes.
Moderation in people who are contented comes from that calm that good fortune lends to their spirit.
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.
A small degree of wit, accompanied by good sense, is less tiresome in the long run than a great amount of wit without it.
It is most difficult to speak when we are ashamed of being silent.
Repentance is not so much remorse for what we have done as the fear of the consequences.
If it were not for the company of fools, a witty man would often be greatly at a loss.
We are lazier in our minds than in our bodies.
Ridicule dishonors a man more than dishonor does.
Great and glorious events which dazzle the beholder are represented by politicians as the outcome of grand designs whereas they are usually products of temperaments and passions.
Solemnity is a device of the body to hide the faults of the mind.
To safeguard one's health at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness, indeed.
The heart is forever making the head its fool.
Ridicule dishonours more than dishonour.
We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears.
We only confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no big ones.
Too great refinement is false delicacy, and true delicacy is solid refinement.
Hope, deceitful as it is, carries us through life agreeably enough.
Pride does not wish to owe and vanity does not wish to pay.
The constancy of the wise is only the talent of concealing the agitation of their hearts.
It is no tragedy to do ungrateful people favors, but it is unbearable to be indebted to a scoundrel.
It is difficult to define love; all we can say is, that in the soul it is a desire to rule, in the mind it is a sympathy, and in the body it is a hidden and delicate wish to possess what we love-Plus many mysteries.
We love everything on our own account; we even follow our own taste and inclination when we prefer our friends to ourselves; and yet it is this preference alone that constitutes true and perfect friendship.
Perfect courage is to do without witnesses what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on.
A wise man thinks it more advantageous not to join the battle than to win.
We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them.
Hypocrisy is an homage that vice renders to virtue.
Self-love increases or diminishes for us the good qualities of our friends, in proportion to the satisfaction we feel with them; and we judge of their merit by the manner in which they act towards us.
The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acpuire it.
Some people are like popular songs that you only sing for a short time.
The wind which snuffs the candle fans the fire.
The mind is always the patsy of the heart.
The passions possess a certain injustice and self interest which makes it dangerous to follow them, and in reality we should distrust them even when they appear most trustworthy.
Heat of blood makes young people change their inclinations often, and habit makes old ones keep to theirs a great while.
It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.
There is no better proof of a man's being truly good than his desiring to be constantly under the observation of good men.
The daily employment of cunning marks a little mind, it generally happens that those who resort to it in one respect to protect themselves lay themselves open to attack in another.
We cannot possibly imagine the variety of contradictions in every heart.
We should not judge a man's merits by his great qualities, but by the use he makes of them.
The height of ability in the least able consists in knowing how to submit to the good leadership of others.
We promise in proportion to our hopes, and we deliver in proportion to our fears.
Many young persons believe themselves natural when they are only impolite and coarse.
Old men delight in giving good advice as a consolation for the fact that they can no longer set bad examples.
We often pardon those that annoy us, but we cannot pardon those we annoy.
Το know how to profit by good advice, requires nearly as much ability as to know how to act for one'self.
We are much mistaken if we think that men are always brave from a principle of valor, or women chaste from a principle of modesty.
We always get bored with those whom we bore.
Silence is the safest policy if you are unsure of yourself.
What makes the pain we feel from shame and jealousy so cutting is that vanity can give us no assistance in bearing them.
It takes nearly as much ability to know how to profit by good advice as to know how to act for one's self.
Coquetry is the essential characteristic, and the prevalent humor of women; but they do not all practice it, because the coquetry of some is restrained by fear or by reason.
The first lover is kept a long while, when no offer is made of a second.
Fortune and humor govern the world.
Most people know no other way of judging men's worth but by the vogue they are in, or the fortunes they have met with.
The truest comparison we can make of love is to liken it to a fever; we have no more power over the one than the other, either as to its violence or duration.
We do not praise others, ordinarily, but in order to be praised ourselves.
Everyone complains of his memory, and nobody complains of his judgment.
Men are often so foolish as to boast and value themselves upon their passions, even those that are most vicious. But envy is a passion so full of cowardice and shame that no one every ever had the confidence to own it.
Pride has a greater share than goodness in the reproofs we give other people for their faults; and we chide them not so much to make them mend those faults as to make them believe that we ourselves are without fault.
Flattery is a kind of bad money, to which our vanity gives us currency.
The breeding we give young people is ordinarily but an additional self-love, by which we make them have a better opinion of themselves.
We seldom praise anyone in good earnest, except such as admire us.
Sometimes in life situations develop that only the half-crazy can get out of.
A weak mind is the only defect out of our power to mend.
Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.
Old age is a tyrant, who forbids, under pain of death, the pleasures of youth.
The moderation of fortunate people comes from the calm which good fortune gives to their tempers.
We are easily comforted for the misfortunes of our friends, when those misfortunes give us an occasion of expressing our affection and solicitude.
Flattery is a counterfeit money which, but for vanity, would have no circulation.
The surest way to be deceived is to consider oneself cleverer than others.
Nature has concealed at the bottom of our minds talents and abilities of which we are not aware.
It is as commendable to think well of oneself when alone, as it is ridiculous to speak well of oneself among others.
Jealousy springs more from love of self than from love of another.
The courage of a great many men, and the virtue of a great many women, are the effect of vanity, shame, and especially a suitabletemperament.
There are few virtuous women who are not bored with their trade.
Folly pursues us at all periods of our lives. If someone seems wise it is only because his follies are proportionate to his age and fortune.
The whimsicalness of our own humor is a thousand times more fickle and unaccountable than what we blame so much in fortune.
Usually we praise only to be praised.
The old begin to complain of the conduct of the young when they themselves are no longer able to set a bad example.
Old fools are greater fools than young ones.
It's the height of folly to want to be the only wise one.
The reason we bitterly hate those who deceive us is because they think they are cleverer than we are.
It is far better to be deceived than undeceived by those whom we tenderly love.
If it requires great tact to speak to the purpose, it requires no less to know when to be silent.
Many men are contemptuous of riches; few can give them away.
Cunning and treachery proceed from want of capacity.
The intellect of the generality of women serves more to fortify their folly than their reason.
There are a great many simpletons who know themselves to be so, and who make a very cunning use of their own simplicity.
Gracefulness is to the body what understanding is to the mind.
What is called liberality is often merely the vanity of giving.
Hope, deceiving as it is, serves at least to lead us to the end of our lives by an agreeable route.
Familiarity is a suspension of almost all the laws of civility, which libertinism has introduced into society under the notion of ease.
A man for whom accident discovers sense, is not a rational being. A man only is so who understands, who distinguishes, who tests it.
Few things are needed to make a wise man happy; nothing can make a fool content; that is why most men are miserable.
The constancy of sages is nothing but the art of locking up their agitation in their hearts.
What we take for virtue is often nothing but an assemblage of different actions, and of different interests, that fortune or our industry knows how to arrange.
Some reproaches praise; some praises reproach.
No men are oftener wrong than those that can least bear to be so.
Most people judge men by their success or their good fortune.
When we are in love we often doubt that which we most believe.
Criticism sometimes is really praise, and praise sometimes slander.
Nothing is rarer than real goodness.
We are all strong enough to bear other men's misfortunes.
To establish yourself in the world a person must do all they can to appear already established.
Those who are incapable of committing great crimes do not readily suspect them in others.
Our concern for the loss of our friends is not always from a sense of their worth, but rather of our own need of them and that we have lost some who had a good opinion of us.
Too great cleverness is but deceptive delicacy, true delicacy is the most substantial cleverness.
Not all those who know their minds know their hearts as well.
Chance corrects us of many faults that reason would not know how to correct.
There are several remedies which will cure love, but there are no infallible ones.
It is from a weakness and smallness of mind that men are opinionated; and we are very loath to believe what we are not able to comprehend.
If one acts rightly and honestly, it is difficult to decide whether it is the effect of integrity or skill.
We like to read others but we do not like to be read.
If one judges love according to the greatest part of the effects it produces, it would appear to resemble rather hatred than kindness.
If there be a love pure and free from the admixture of our other passions, it is that which lies hidden in the bottom of our heart, and which we know not ourselves.
There are crimes which become innocent and even glorious through their splendor, number and excess.
Perfect valour consists in doing without witnesses that which we would be capable of doing before everyone.
There is at least as much eloquence in the voice, eyes, and air of a speaker as in his choice of words.
We often bore others when we think we cannot possibly bore them.
Smallness of mind is the cause of stubbornness, and we do not credit readily what is beyond our view.
We speak little if not egged on by vanity.
Those who are themselves incapable of great crimes are ever backward to suspect others.
Envy is more irreconcilable than hatred.
Some men are like ballads, that are in everyone's mouth a little while.
A fashionable woman is always in love -- with herself.
What is called generosity is usually only the vanity of giving; we enjoy the vanity more than the thing given.
Gravity is a mysterious carriage of the body invented to cover the defects of the mind.
We do not lack strength so much as the will to use it; and very often our imagining that things are impossible is nothing but an excuse of our own contriving, to reconcile ourselves to our own idleness.
Few things are impracticable in themselves; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail to succeed.
Esteem never makes ingrates.
Taste may change, but inclination never.
The temperament that produces a talent for little things is the opposite of that required for great ones.
Passions often produce their contraries: avarice sometimes leads to prodigality, and prodigality to avarice; we are often obstinate through weakness and daring through timidity.
There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations.
Spiritual health is no more stable than bodily; and though we may seem unaffected by the passions we are just as liable to be carried away by them as to fall ill when in good health.
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.
The soul's maladies have their relapses like the body's. What we take for a cure is often just a momentary rally or a new form of the disease.
A good woman is a hidden treasure; who discovers her will do well not to boast about it.
True eloquence consists in saying all that should be said, and that only.
There is a sort of love whose very excessiveness prevents the lover's being jealous.
Narrowness of mind is often the cause of obstinacy; we do not easily believe beyond what we see.
Men are inconsolable concerning the treachery of their friends or the deceptions of their enemies; and yet they are often very highly satisfied to be both deceived and betrayed by their own selves.
The esteem of good men is the reward of our worth, but the reputation of the world in general is the gift of our fate.
To awaken a man who is deceived as to his own merit is to do him as bad a turn as that done to the Athenian madman who was happy in believing that all the ships touching at the port belonged to him.
There are few people who would not be ashamed of being loved when they love no longer.
Plenty of people want to be pious, but no one yearns to be humble.
A clever man reaps some benefit from the worst catastrophe, and a fool can turn even good luck to his disadvantage.
Raillery is more insupportable than wrong; because we have a right to resent injuries, but are ridiculous in being angry at a jest.
Gratitude is like the good faith of traders: it maintains commerce, and we often pay, not because it is just to discharge our debts, but that we may more readily find people to trust us.
Some disguised deceits counterfeit truth so perfectly that not to be taken in by them would be an error of judgment.
Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everthing which is beyond their range.
However much we may distrust men's sincerity, we always believe they speak to us more sincerely than to others.
When we exaggerate our friends' tenderness towards us, it is often less from gratitude than from a desire to exhibit our own virtue.
If we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves, it is pointless to search elsewhere.
No man deserves to be praised for his goodness, who has it not in his power to be wicked. Goodness without that power is generally nothing more than sloth, or an impotence of will.
The one thing people are the most liberal with, is their advice.
The desire to seem clever often keeps us from being so.
Avarice is more opposite to economy than liberality.
Sometimes there are accidents in our lives the skillful extrication from which demands a little folly.
There are few good women who do not tire of their role.
We should manage our fortune as we do our health -- enjoy it when good, be patient when it is bad, and never apply violent remedies except in an extreme necessity.
We only acknowledge small faults in order to make it appear that we are free from great ones.
If we are to judge of love by its consequences, it more nearly resembles hatred than friendship.
Timidity is a fault for which it is dangerous to reprove persons whom we wish to correct of it.
We often do shallow good in order to accomplish evil with impunity.
The greatest part of intimate confidences proceed from a desire either to be pitied or admired.
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.
Almost everyone takes pleasure in repaying trifling obligations, very many feel gratitude for those that are moderate; but there is scarcely anyone who is not ungrateful for those that are weighty.
If we judge love by most of its effects, it resembles rather hatred than affection.
All the passions are nothing else than different degrees of heat and cold of the blood.
The name and pretense of virtue is as serviceable to self-interest as are real vices.
Prudence and love are inconsistent; in proportion as the last increases, the other decreases.
There is nothing men are so generous of as advice.
No man is clever enough to know all the evil he does.
Silence is the best tactic for he who distrusts himself.
When we disclaim praise, it is only showing our desire to be praised a second time.
There are some good marriages, but practically no delightful ones.
We may sooner be brought to love them that hate us, than them that love us more than we would have them do.
Great names abase, instead of elevating, those who do not know how to bear them.
We say little, when vanity does not make us speak.
To understand matters rightly we should understand their details; and as that knowledge is almost infinite, our knowledge is always superficial and imperfect.
The only thing constant in life is change.
Instead of considering that the worst way to persuade or please others is to try thus strongly to please ourselves, and that to listen well and to answer well are some of the greatest charms we can have in conversation.
Self-interest makes some people blind, and others sharp-sighted.
The intellect is always fooled by the heart.
It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.
Fortune converts everything to the advantage of her favorites.
We should often blush for our very best actions, if the world did but see all the motives upon which they were done.
There are people who, like new songs, are in vogue only for a time.
Envy is destroyed by true friendship, as coquetry by true love.
Very few people are acquainted with death. They undergo it, commonly, not so much out of resolution as custom and insensitivity; and most men die because they cannot help it.
Tricks and treachery are merely proofs of lack of skill.
A man is sometimes as different from himself as he is from others.
Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.
One forgives to the degree that one loves.
Gratitude is a useless word. You will find it in a dictionary but not in life.
We seldom find people ungrateful so long as it is thought we can serve them.
Jealously is always born with love but it does not die with it.
Jealousy is not so much the love of another as the love of ourselves.
On why I don't trust democracy without extremely powerful systems of accountability and recall What seems to be generosity is often only disguised ambition -- which despises small interests to gain great ones.
Though most of the friendships of the world ill deserve the name of friendships; yet a man may make use of them on occasion, as of a traffic whose returns are uncertain, and in which 'tis usual to be cheated.
What renders other people's vanity insufferable is that it wounds our own.
We acknowledge our faults in order to repair by our sincerity the damage they have done us in the eyes of others.
People would never fall in love if they hadn't heard love talked about.
Nothing is rarer than true good nature; they who are reputed to have it are generally only pliant or weak.
To be a great man it is necessary to know how to profit by the whole of our good fortune.
The mark of extraordinary merit is to see those most envious of it constrained to praise.
We arrive at the various stages of life quite as novices.
Virtue is to the soul what health is tot he body.
What seems to be generosity is often no more than disguised ambition, which overlooks a small interest in order to secure a great one.
The ambitious deceive themselves in proposing an end to their ambition; that end, when attained, becomes a means.
People's personalities, like buildings, have various facades, some pleasant to view, some not.
It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.
The intention of cheating no one lays us open to being cheated ourselves.
Those who most obstinately oppose the most widely-held opinions more often do so because of pride than lack of intelligence. They find the best places in the right set already taken, and they do not want back seats.
As one grows older, one becomes wiser and more foolish.
Whatever pretext we may give for our affections, often it is only interest and vanity which cause them.
How is it that we remember the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not remember how often we have recounted it to the same person?
Being a blockhead is sometimes the best security against being cheated by a man of wit.
Youth is a continual intoxication; it is the fever of reason.
Truth does not do as much good in the world as its imitations do harm.
The principal point of cleverness is to know how to value things just as they deserve.
There are few women whose charm survives their beauty.
It is easier to appear worthy of a position one does not hold, than of the office which one fills.
Our distrust of another justifies his deceit.
It is as easy to unknowingly deceive yourself as it is to deceive others.
Fortune makes our virtues and vices visible, just as light does the objects of sight.
Fortune never appears so blind as to those to whom she does no good.
It is the prerogative of great men only to have great defects.
Sometimes there is equal or more ability in knowing how to use good advice than there is in giving it.
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
Magnanimity is sufficiently defined by its name, nevertheless one can say it is the good sense of pride, the most noble way of receiving praise.
Passion very often makes the wisest men fools, and very often too inspires the greatest fools with wit.
There is scarcely any man sufficiently clever to appreciate all the evil he does.
A respectable man may love madly, but not foolishly.
Simplicity is a delicate imposition.
There are very few things impossible in themselves; and we do not want means to conquer difficulties so much as application and resolution in the use of means.
Philosophy finds it an easy matter to vanquish past and future evils, but the present are commonly too hard for it.
The thing that makes our friendships so short and changeable is that the qualities and dispositions of the soul are very hard to know, and those of the understanding and wit very easy.
The extreme pleasure we take in speaking of ourselves should make us apprehensive that it gives hardly any to those who listen to us.
Pity is often a reflection of our own evils in the ills of others. It is a delicate foresight of the troubles into which we may fall.
Jealousy is nothing more than a fear of abandonment.
Tis more dishonourable to distrust a friend than to be deceived by him.
The reason we do not let our friends see the very bottom of our hearts is not so much distrust of them as distrust of ourselves.
Humility is the altar upon which God wishes that we should offer Him His sacrifices.
In most of mankind gratitude is merely a secret hope of further favors.
Those whom the world has delighted to honor have oftener been influenced in their doings by ambition and vanity than by patriotism.
Good taste comes more from the judgment than from the mind.
Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy they are, who already possess it.
Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.
The best way to rise in society is to use all possible means of persuading people that one has already risen in society.
We come altogether fresh and raw into the several stages of life, and often find ourselves without experience, despite our years.
However wicked men may be, they do not dare openly to appear the enemies of virtue, and when they desire to persecute her they either pretend to believe her false or attribute crimes to her.
Pride indemnifies itself and loses nothing even when it casts away vanity.
Jealousy is in some measure just and reasonable, since it merely aims at keeping something that belongs to us or we think belongsto us, whereas envy is a frenzy that cannot bear anything that belongs to others.
Perseverance is neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy; for it seems to be only the enduring of certain inclinations and opinions which men neither give themselves nor take away from themselves.
Our actions are like the terminations of verses, which we rhyme as we please.
The fondness or indifference that the philosophers expressed for life was merely a preference inspired by their self-love, and will no more bear reasoning upon than the relish of the palate or the choice of colors.
To know oneself is not necessarily to improve oneself.
The more one loves a mistress, the more one is ready to hate her.
We judge so superficially of things, that common words and actions spoke and done in an agreeable manner, with some knowledge of what passes in the world, often succeed beyond the greatest ability.
It is harder to hide the feelings we have than to feign the ones we do not have.
We are never so generous as when giving advice.
A man of understanding finds less difficulty in submitting to a wrong-headed fellow, than in attempting to set him right.
Weak people cannot be sincere.
To boast that one never flirts is actually a kind of flirtation.
The generality of virtuous women are like hidden treasures, they are safe only because nobody has sought after them.
One is never fortunate or as unfortunate as one imagines.
Women do not know all their powers of flirtation.
There are reproaches which praise, and praises which defame.
In order to succeed in the world people do their upmost to appear successful.
The only good copies are those which make us see the absurdity of bad originals.
Hope and fear are inseparable. There is no hope without fear, nor any fear without hope.
It is much better to learn to deal with the ills we have now than to speculate on those that may befall us.
Kings do with men as with pieces of money; they give them what value they please, and we are obliged to receive them at their current and not at their real value.
Humility is often a false front we employ to gain power over others.
We are inconsolable at being deceived by our enemies and being betrayed by our friends, yet we are often content in be being treated like that by our own selves.
Innocence does not find near so much protection as guilt.
Nothing ought more to humiliate men who have merited great praise than the care they still take to boast of little things.
We often make use of envenomed praise, that reveals on the rebound, as it were, defects in those praised which we dare not exposeany other way.
There are no accidents so unlucky but the prudent may draw some advantage from them.
The moderation of people in prosperity is the effect of a smooth and composed temper, owing to the calm of their good fortune.
We may say of agreeableness, as distinct from beauty, that it consists in a symmetry of which we know not the rules, and a secret conformity of the features to each other, as also to the air and complexion of the person.
Virtue would go far if vanity did not keep it company.
The defects of the mind, like those of the face, grow worse with age.
Those who are overreached by our cunning are far from appearing to us as ridiculous as we appear to ourselves when the cunning of others has overreached us.
Vanity, shame, and above all disposition, often make men brave and women chaste.
It is easy to be wise on behalf of others than to be so for ourselves.
Beautiful coquettes are quacks of love.
The reason that lovers never weary each other is because they are always talking about themselves.
Truth has scarce done so much good in the world as the false appearances of it have done hurt.
Sobriety is concern for one's health -- or limited capacity.
Weakness is the only fault that is incorrigible.
However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.
A man's worth has its season, like fruit.
It is a species of coquetry to make a parade of never practising it.
Perfect Valor is to do, without a witness, all that we could do before the whole world.
We bear, all of us, the misfortunes of other people with heroic constancy.
Whatever good things people say of us, they tell us nothing new.
On neither the sun, nor death, can a man look fixedly.
We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
One can find women who have never had one love affair, but it is rare indeed to find any who have had only one.
In all professions each affects a look and an exterior to appear what he wishes the world to believe that he is. Thus we may say that the whole world is made up of appearances.
There are persons whose only merit consists in saying and doing stupid things at the right time, and who ruin all if they change their manners.
A man convinced of his own merit will accept misfortune as an honor, for thus can he persuade others, as well as himself, that he is a worthy target for the arrows of fate.
Some accidents there are in life that a little folly is necessary to help us out of.
Old men are fond of giving good advice to console themselves for their inability to give bad examples.
A clever man should handle his interests so that each will fall in suitable order of their value.
Those that have had great passions esteem themselves for the rest of their lives fortunate and unfortunate in being cured of them.
The accent of a man's native country remains in his mind and his heart, as it does in his speech.
What is perfectly true is perfectly witty.
The passions are the only orators that always persuade: they are, as it were, a natural art, the rules of which are infallible; and the simplest man with passion is more persuasive than the most eloquent without it.