François de la Rochefoucauld


Absence diminishes commonplace passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and kindles fire.

Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.

Maxim 22

Humility is often only a feigned submission of which we make use to render others submissive. It is an artifice of pride which abases in order to exalt itself.

Few men are sufficiently discerning to appreciate all the evil they do.

Maxim 269

Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.

Maxim 128

Our virtues are most frequently but vices disguised.

Maxim 19

We have all sufficient strength to endure the misfortunes of others.

Maxim 19

We need greater virtues to sustain good than evil fortune.

Maxim 25

Neither the sun nor death can be looked at with a steady eye.

Maxim 26

Interest speaks all sorts of tongues, and plays all sorts of parts, even that of disinterestedness.

Maxim 39

We are never so happy or so unhappy as we suppose.

Maxim 49

There are few people who would not be ashamed of being loved when they love no longer.

Maxim 71

True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.

Maxim 76

Virtue would not make such advances if there were not a little vanity to keep it company.

Moral Maxims and Reflections, no. 201