Reflections; Or Sentences and Moral Maxims
Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

Part 2 out of 3

of indifference we find we miscarry more in our duties
than in our interests.

173.--There are different kinds of curiosity: one
springs from interest, which makes us desire to know
everything that may be profitable to us; another from
pride, which springs from a desire of knowing what
others are ignorant of.

174.--It is far better to accustom our mind to bear
the ills we have than to speculate on those which may
befall us.

["Rather bear th{ose} ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of."
{--Shakespeare, HAMLET, Act III, Scene I, Hamlet.}]

175.--Constancy in love is a perpetual inconstancy
which causes our heart to attach itself to all the quali-
ties of the person we love in succession, sometimes
giving the preference to one, sometimes to another.
This constancy is merely inconstancy fixed, and limited
to the same person.

176.--There are two kinds of constancy in love, one
arising from incessantly finding in the loved one fresh
objects to love, the other from regarding it as a point
of honour to be constant.

177.--Perseverance is not deserving of blame or
praise, as it is merely the continuance of tastes and
feelings which we can neither create or destroy.

178.--What makes us like new studies is not so
much the weariness we have of the old or the wish
for change as the desire to be admired by those who
know more than ourselves, and the hope of advantage
over those who know less.

179.--We sometimes complain of the levity of our
friends to justify our own by anticipation.

180.--Our repentance is not so much sorrow for the
ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to

181.--One sort of inconstancy springs from levity or
weakness of mind, and makes us accept everyone's
opinion, and another more excusable comes from a
surfeit of matter.

182.--Vices enter into the composition of virtues as
poison into that of medicines. Prudence collects and
blends the two and renders them useful against the ills
of life.

183.--For the credit of virtue we must admit that
the greatest misfortunes of men are those into which
they fall through their crimes.

184.--We admit our faults to repair by our sincerity
the evil we have done in the opinion of others.

[In the edition of 1665 this maxim stands as No. 200.
We never admit our faults except through vanity.]

185.--There are both heroes of evil and heroes of

[Ut alios industria ita hunc ignavia protulerat ad famam,
habebaturque non ganeo et profligator sed erudito luxu.
--Tacit. Ann. xvi.]

186.--We do not despise all who have vices, but we
do despise all who have not virtues.

["If individuals have no virtues their vices may be of
use to us."--JUNIUS, 5th Oct. 1771.]

187.--The name of virtue is as useful to our interest
as that of vice.

188.--The health of the mind is not less uncertain
than that of the body, and when passions seem
furthest removed we are no less in danger of infec-
tion than of falling ill when we are well.

189.--It seems that nature has at man's birth fixed
the bounds of his virtues and vices.

190.--Great men should not have great faults.

191.--We may say vices wait on us in the course of
our life as the landlords with whom we successively
lodge, and if we travelled the road twice over I
doubt if our experience would make us avoid them.

192.--When our vices leave us we flatter ourselves
with the idea we have left them.

193.--There are relapses in the diseases of the mind
as in those of the body; what we call a cure is often
no more than an intermission or change of disease.

194.--The defects of the mind are like the wounds
of the body. Whatever care we take to heal them
the scars ever remain, and there is always danger of
their reopening.

195.--The reason which often prevents us abandon-
ing a single vice is having so many.

196.--We easily forget those faults which are known
only to ourselves.

[Seneca says "Innocentem quisque se dicit respiciens
testem non conscientiam."]

197.--There are men of whom we can never believe
evil without having seen it. Yet there are very few
in whom we should be surprised to see it.

198.--We exaggerate the glory of some men to
detract from that of others, and we should praise
Prince Conde and Marshal Turenne much less if we
did not want to blame them both.

[The allusion to Conde and Turenne gives the date at
which these maxims were published in 1665. Conde and
Turenne were after their campaign with the Imperialists
at the height of their fame. It proves the truth of the
remark of Tacitus, "Populus neminem sine aemulo sinit."--
Tac. Ann. xiv.]

199.--The desire to appear clever often prevents our
being so.

200.--Virtue would not go far did not vanity
escort her.

201.--He who thinks he has the power to content
the world greatly deceives himself, but he who thinks
that the world cannot be content with him deceives
himself yet more.

202.--Falsely honest men are those who disguise
their faults both to themselves and others; truly honest
men are those who know them perfectly and confess

203.--He is really wise who is nettled at nothing.

204.--The coldness of women is a balance and bur-
den they add to their beauty.

205.--Virtue in woman is often the love of reputa-
tion and repose.

206.--He is a truly good man who desires always to
bear the inspection of good men.

207.--Folly follows us at all stages of life. If one
appears wise 'tis but because his folly is proportioned
to his age and fortune.

208.--There are foolish people who know and who
skilfully use their folly.

209.--Who lives without folly is not so wise as he

210.--In growing old we become more foolish--and
more wise.

211.--There are people who are like farces, which
are praised but for a time (however foolish and dis-
tasteful they may be).

[The last clause is added from Edition of 1665.]

212.--Most people judge men only by success or by

213.--Love of glory, fear of shame, greed of fortune,
the desire to make life agreeable and comfortable, and
the wish to depreciate others are often causes of that
bravery so vaunted among men.

[Junius said of the Marquis of Granby, "He was as
brave as a total absence of all feeling and reflection could
make him."--21st Jan. 1769.]

214.--Valour in common soldiers is a perilous
method of earning their living.

["Men venture necks to gain a fortune,
The soldier does it ev{'}ry day,
(Eight to the week) for sixpence pay."
{--Samuel Butler,} HUDIBRAS, Part II., canto i., line 512.]

215.--Perfect bravery and sheer cowardice are two
extremes rarely found. The space between them is
vast, and embraces all other sorts of courage. The
difference between them is not less than between faces
and tempers. Men will freely expose themselves at
the beginning of an action, and relax and be easily
discouraged if it should last. Some are content to
satisfy worldly honour, and beyond that will do little
else. Some are not always equally masters of their
timidity. Others allow themselves to be overcome
by panic; others charge because they dare not remain
at their posts. Some may be found whose courage is
strengthened by small perils, which prepare them to
face greater dangers. Some will dare a sword cut and
flinch from a bullet; others dread bullets little and fear
to fight with swords. These varied kinds of courage
agree in this, that night, by increasing fear and conceal-
ing gallant or cowardly actions, allows men to spare
themselves. There is even a more general discretion
to be observed, for we meet with no man who does all
he would have done if he were assured of getting off
scot-free; so that it is certain that the fear of death
does somewhat subtract from valour.

[See also "Table Talk of Napoleon," who agrees with
this, so far as to say that few, but himself, had a two
o'clock of the morning valour.]

216.--Perfect valour is to do without witnesses what
one would do before all the world.

["It is said of untrue valours that some men's valours are
in the eyes of them that look on."--Bacon, ADVANCEMENT
OF LEARNING{, (1605), Book I, Section II, paragraph 5}.]

217.--Intrepidity is an extraordinary strength of
soul which raises it above the troubles, disorders, and
emotions which the sight of great perils can arouse in
it: by this strength heroes maintain a calm aspect and
preserve their reason and liberty in the most sur-
prising and terrible accidents.

218.--Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.

[So Massillon, in one of his sermons, "Vice pays homage
to virtue in doing honour to her appearance."

So Junius, writing to the Duke of Grafton, says, "You
have done as much mischief to the community as Machia-
vel, if Machiavel had not known that an appearance of
morals and religion are useful in society."--28 Sept. 1771.]

219.--Most men expose themselves in battle enough
to save their honor, few wish to do so more than
sufficiently, or than is necessary to make the design
for which they expose themselves succeed.

220.--Vanity, shame, and above all disposition, often
make men brave and women chaste.

["Vanity bids all her sons be brave and all her daughters
chaste and courteous. But why do we need her instruc-
tion?"--Sterne, SERMONS.]

221.--We do not wish to lose life; we do wish to
gain glory, and this makes brave men show more tact
and address in avoiding death, than rogues show in
preserving their fortunes.

222.--Few persons on the first approach of age do
not show wherein their body, or their mind, is begin-
ning to fail.

223.--Gratitude is as the good faith of merchants:
it holds commerce together; and we do not pay be-
cause it is just to pay debts, but because we shall
thereby more easily find people who will lend.

224.--All those who pay the debts of gratitude can-
not thereby flatter themselves that they are grateful.

225.--What makes false reckoning, as regards gra-
titude, is that the pride of the giver and the receiver
cannot agree as to the value of the benefit.

["The first foundation of friendship is not the power of
conferring benefits, but the equality with which they are
received, and may be returned."--Junius's LETTER TO THE

226.--Too great a hurry to discharge of an obliga-
tion is a kind of ingratitude.

227.--Lucky people are bad hands at correcting
their faults; they always believe that they are right
when fortune backs up their vice or folly.

["The power of fortune is confessed only by the misera-
ble, for the happy impute all their success to prudence and

228.--Pride will not owe, self-love will not pay.

229.--The good we have received from a man should
make us excuse the wrong he does us.

230.--Nothing is so infectious as example, and we
never do great good or evil without producing the like.
We imitate good actions by emulation, and bad ones
by the evil of our nature, which shame imprisons
until example liberates.

231.--It is great folly to wish only to be wise.

232.--Whatever pretext we give to our afflictions it
is always interest or vanity that causes them.

233.--In afflictions there are various kinds of hypo-
crisy. In one, under the pretext of weeping for one
dear to us we bemoan ourselves; we regret her good
opinion of us, we deplore the loss of our comfort, our
pleasure, our consideration. Thus the dead have the
credit of tears shed for the living. I affirm 'tis a kind
of hypocrisy which in these afflictions deceives itself.
There is another kind not so innocent because it im-
poses on all the world, that is the grief of those who
aspire to the glory of a noble and immortal sorrow.
After Time, which absorbs all, has obliterated what
sorrow they had, they still obstinately obtrude their
tears, their sighs their groans, they wear a solemn face,
and try to persuade others by all their acts, that their
grief will end only with their life. This sad and
distressing vanity is commonly found in ambitious
women. As their sex closes to them all paths to glory,
they strive to render themselves celebrated by show-
ing an inconsolable affliction. There is yet another
kind of tears arising from but small sources, which
flow easily and cease as easily. One weeps to achieve
a reputation for tenderness, weeps to be pitied, weeps
to be bewept, in fact one weeps to avoid the disgrace
of not weeping!

["In grief the {PLEASURE} is still uppermost{;} and the afflic-
tion we suffer has no resemblance to absolute pain which
is always odious, and which we endeavour to shake off as
soon as possible."--Burke, SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL{, (1756),
Part I, Sect. V}.]

234.--It is more often from pride than from igno-
rance that we are so obstinately opposed to current
opinions; we find the first places taken, and we do
not want to be the last.

235.--We are easily consoled at the misfortunes of
our friends when they enable us to prove our tender-
ness for them.

236.--It would seem that even self-love may be the
dupe of goodness and forget itself when we work for
others. And yet it is but taking the shortest way to
arrive at its aim, taking usury under the pretext of
giving, in fact winning everybody in a subtle and de-
licate manner.

237.--No one should be praised for his goodness if
he has not strength enough to be wicked. All other
goodness is but too often an idleness or powerlessness
of will.

238.--It is not so dangerous to do wrong to most
men, as to do them too much good.

239.--Nothing flatters our pride so much as the
confidence of the great, because we regard it as the
result of our worth, without remembering that gene-
rally 'tis but vanity, or the inability to keep a secret.

240.--We may say of conformity as distinguished
from beauty, that it is a symmetry which knows no
rules, and a secret harmony of features both one with
each other and with the colour and appearance of the

241.--Flirtation is at the bottom of woman's nature,
although all do not practise it, some being restrained
by fear, others by sense.

["By nature woman is a flirt, but her flirting changes
both in the mode and object according to her opinions."--
Rousseau, EMILE.]

242.--We often bore others when we think we
cannot possibly bore them.

243.--Few things are impossible in themselves;
application to make them succeed fails us more often
than the means.

244.--Sovereign ability consists in knowing the
value of things.

245.--There is great ability in knowing how to con-
ceal one's ability.

["You have accomplished a great stroke in diplomacy
when you have made others think that you have only very
average abilities."--LA BRUYERE.]

246.--What seems generosity is often disguised am-
bition, that despises small to run after greater inte-

247.--The fidelity of most men is merely an inven-
tion of self-love to win confidence; a method to place
us above others and to render us depositaries of the
most important matters.

248.--Magnanimity despises all, to win all.

249.--There is no less eloquence in the voice, in the
eyes and in the air of a speaker than in his choice of

250.--True eloquence consists in saying all that
should be, not all that could be said.

251.--There are people whose faults become them,
others whose very virtues disgrace them.

["There are faults which do him honour, and virtues
that disgrace him."--Junius, LETTER OF 28TH MAY, 1770.]

252.--It is as common to change one's tastes, as it
is uncommon to change one's inclinations.

253.--Interest sets at work all sorts of virtues and

254.--Humility is often a feigned submission which
we employ to supplant others. It is one of the de-
vices of Pride to lower us to raise us; and truly pride
transforms itself in a thousand ways, and is never so
well disguised and more able to deceive than when it
hides itself under the form of humility.

["Grave and plausible enough to be thought fit for busi-

"He saw a cottage with a double coach-house,
A cottage of gentility,
And the devil was pleased, for his darling sin
Is the pride that apes humility."
Southey, DEVIL'S WALK.]

{There are numerous corrections necessary for this
quotation; I will keep the original above so you can
compare the correct passages:

"He passed a cottage with a double coach-house,
A cottage of gentility,
And he owned with a grin,
That his favourite sin
Is pride that apes humility."
--Southey, DEVIL'S WALK, Stanza 8.

"And the devil did grin, for his darling sin
Is pride that apes humility."
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge, THE DEVIL'S THOUGHTS}

255.--All feelings have their peculiar tone of voice,
gestures and looks, and this harmony, as it is good
or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, makes people agreeable
or disagreeable.

256.--In all professions we affect a part and an ap-
pearance to seem what we wish to be. Thus the world
is merely composed of actors.

["All the world's a stage, and all the men and women
merely players."--Shakespeare, AS YOU LIKE IT{, Act II,
Scene VII, Jaques}.

"Life is no more than a dramatic scene, in which the
hero should preserve his consistency to the last."--Junius.]

257.--Gravity is a mysterious carriage of the body
invented to conceal the want of mind.

["Gravity is the very essence of imposture."--Shaftes-
bury, CHARACTERISTICS, p. 11, vol. I. "The very essence of
gravity is design, and consequently deceit; a taught trick
to gain credit with the world for more sense and know-
ledge than a man was worth, and that with all its preten-
sions it was no better, but often worse, than what a French
wit had long ago defined it--a mysterious carriage of the
body to cover the defects of the mind."--Sterne, TRISTRAM
SHANDY, vol. I., chap. ii.]

258.--Good taste arises more from judgment than

259.--The pleasure of love is in loving, we are hap-
pier in the passion we feel than in that we inspire.

260.--Civility is but a desire to receive civility, and
to be esteemed polite.

261.--The usual education of young people is to in-
spire them with a second self-love.

262.--There is no passion wherein self-love reigns
so powerfully as in love, and one is always more ready
to sacrifice the peace of the loved one than his own.

263.--What we call liberality is often but the vanity
of giving, which we like more than that we give away.

264.--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. We help others
that on like occasions we may be helped ourselves,
and these services which we render, are in reality
benefits we confer on ourselves by anticipation.

["GRIEF for the calamity of another is pity, and ariseth
from the imagination that a like calamity may befal him-
self{;} and therefore is called compassion."--HOBBES' LEVIA-
THAN{, (1651), Part I, Chapter VI}.]

265.--A narrow mind begets obstinacy, and we do
not easily believe what we cannot see.

["Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong."
Dryden, ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL{, line 547}.]

266.--We deceive ourselves if we believe that there
are violent passions like ambition and love that can
triumph over others. Idleness, languishing as she is,
does not often fail in being mistress; she usurps
authority over all the plans and actions of life; im-
perceptibly consuming and destroying both passions
and virtues.

267.--A quickness in believing evil without having
sufficiently examined it, is the effect of pride and
laziness. We wish to find the guilty, and we do not
wish to trouble ourselves in examining the crime.

268.--We credit judges with the meanest motives,
and yet we desire our reputation and fame should
depend upon the judgment of men, who are all, either
from their jealousy or pre-occupation or want of in-
telligence, opposed to us--and yet 'tis only to make
these men decide in our favour that we peril in so
many ways both our peace and our life.

269.--No man is clever enough to know all the evil
he does.

270.--One honour won is a surety for more.

271.--Youth is a continual intoxication; it is the
fever of reason.

["The best of life is but intoxication."--{Lord Byron, }
Don Juan{, Canto II, stanza 179}.
In the 1st Edition, 1665, the maxim finishes with--"it is
the fever of health, the folly of reason."]

272.--Nothing should so humiliate men who have
deserved great praise, as the care they have taken
to acquire it by the smallest means.

273.--There are persons of whom the world approves
who have no merit beyond the vices they use in the
affairs of life.

274.--The beauty of novelty is to love as the flower
to the fruit; it lends a lustre which is easily lost,
but which never returns.

275.--Natural goodness, which boasts of being so
apparent, is often smothered by the least interest.

276.--Absence extinguishes small passions and in-
creases great ones, as the wind will blow out a candle,
and blow in a fire.

277.--Women often think they love when they do
not love. The business of a love affair, the emotion of
mind that sentiment induces, the natural bias towards
the pleasure of being loved, the difficulty of refusing,
persuades them that they have real passion when they
have but flirtation.

["And if in fact she takes a {"}GRANDE PASSION{"},
It is a very serious thing indeed:
Nine times in ten 'tis but caprice or fashion,
Coquetry, or a wish to take the lead,
The pride of a mere child with a new sash on.
Or wish to make a rival's bosom bleed:
But the {TENTH} instance will be a tornado,
For there's no saying what they will or may do."
{--Lord Byron, }DON JUAN, canto xii. stanza 77.]

278.--What makes us so often discontented with
those who transact business for us is that they almost
always abandon the interest of their friends for the
interest of the business, because they wish to have
the honour of succeeding in that which they have

279.--When we exaggerate the tenderness of our
friends towards us, it is often less from gratitude
than from a desire to exhibit our own merit.

280.--The praise we give to new comers into the
world arises from the envy we bear to those who are

281.--Pride, which inspires, often serves to mode-
rate envy.

282.--Some disguised lies so resemble truth, that
we should judge badly were we not deceived.

283.--Sometimes there is not less ability in knowing
how to use than in giving good advice.

284.--There are wicked people who would be much
less dangerous if they were wholly without goodness.

285.--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.

286.--It is impossible to love a second time those
whom we have really ceased to love.

287.--Fertility of mind does not furnish us with so
many resources on the same matter, as the lack of
intelligence makes us hesitate at each thing our ima-
gination presents, and hinders us from at first discern-
ing which is the best.

288.--There are matters and maladies which at
certain times remedies only serve to make worse;
true skill consists in knowing when it is dangerous to
use them.

289.--Affected simplicity is refined imposture.

[Domitianus simplicitatis ac modestiae imagine studium
litterarum et amorem carminum simulabat quo velaret
animum et fratris aemulationi subduceretur.--Tacitus,
ANN. iv.]

290.--There are as many errors of temper as of

291.--Man's merit, like the crops, has its season.

292.--One may say of temper as of many buildings;
it has divers aspects, some agreeable, others dis-

293.--Moderation cannot claim the merit of op-
posing and overcoming Ambition: they are never
found together. Moderation is the languor and sloth
of the soul, Ambition its activity and heat.

294.--We always like those who admire us, we do
not always like those whom we admire.

295.--It is well that we know not all our wishes.

296.--It is difficult to love those we do not esteem,
but it is no less so to love those whom we esteem much
more than ourselves.

297.--Bodily temperaments have a common course
and rule which imperceptibly affect our will. They
advance in combination, and successively exercise a
secret empire over us, so that, without our perceiving
it, they become a great part of all our actions.

298.--The gratitude of most men is but a secret
desire of receiving greater benefits.

[Hence the common proverb "Gratitude is merely a
lively sense of favors to come."]

299.--Almost all the world takes pleasure in paying
small debts; many people show gratitude for trifling,
but there is hardly one who does not show ingrati-
tude for great favours.

300.--There are follies as catching as infections.

301.--Many people despise, but few know how to
bestow wealth.

302.--Only in things of small value we usually are
bold enough not to trust to appearances.

303.--Whatever good quality may be imputed to
us, we ourselves find nothing new in it.

304.--We may forgive those who bore us, we cannot
forgive those whom we bore.

305.--Interest which is accused of all our misdeeds
often should be praised for our good deeds.

306.--We find very few ungrateful people when we
are able to confer favours.

307.--It is as proper to be boastful alone as it is
ridiculous to be so in company.

308.--Moderation is made a virtue to limit the am-
bition of the great; to console ordinary people for
their small fortune and equally small ability.

309.--There are persons fated to be fools, who com-
mit follies not only by choice, but who are forced by
fortune to do so.

310.--Sometimes there are accidents in our life the
skilful extrication from which demands a little folly.

311.--If there be men whose folly has never ap-
peared, it is because it has never been closely looked

312.--Lovers are never tired of each other,--they
always speak of themselves.

313.--How is it that our memory is good enough to
retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet
not good enough to recollect how often we have told
it to the same person?

["Old men who yet retain the memory of things past,
and forget how often they have told them, are most tedious
companions."--Montaigne, {ESSAYS, Book I, Chapter IX}.]

314.--The extreme delight we take in talking of
ourselves should warn us that it is not shared by those
who listen.

315.--What commonly hinders us from showing the
recesses of our heart to our friends, is not the dis-
trust we have of them, but that we have of our-

316.--Weak persons cannot be sincere.

317.--'Tis a small misfortune to oblige an ungrate-
ful man; but it is unbearable to be obliged by a

318.--We may find means to cure a fool of his folly,
but there are none to set straight a cross-grained

319.--If we take the liberty to dwell on their faults
we cannot long preserve the feelings we should hold
towards our friends and benefactors.

320.--To praise princes for virtues they do not pos-
sess is but to reproach them with impunity.

["Praise undeserved is satire in disguise," quoted by
Pope from a poem which has not survived, "The Garland,"
by Mr. Broadhurst. "In some cases exaggerated or
inappropriate praise becomes the most severe satire."--

321.--We are nearer loving those who hate us, than
those who love us more than we desire.

322.--Those only are despicable who fear to be

323.--Our wisdom is no less at the mercy of Fortune
than our goods.

324.--There is more self-love than love in jealousy.

325.--We often comfort ourselves by the weakness
of evils, for which reason has not the strength to con-
sole us.

326.--Ridicule dishonours more than dishonour

["No," says a commentator, "Ridicule may do harm,
but it cannot dishonour; it is vice which confers dis-

327.--We own to small faults to persuade others
that we have not great ones.

328.--Envy is more irreconcilable than hatred.

329.--We believe, sometimes, that we hate flattery
--we only dislike the method.

["{But} when I tell him he hates flatter{ers},
He says he does, being then most flattered."
Shakespeare, JULIUS CAESAR{, Act II, Scene I, Decius}.]

330.--We pardon in the degree that we love.

331.--It is more difficult to be faithful to a mistress
when one is happy, than when we are ill-treated by

[Si qua volet regnare diu contemnat amantem.--Ovid,
AMORES, ii. 19.]

332.--Women do not know all their powers of

333.--Women cannot be completely severe unless
they hate.

334.--Women can less easily resign flirtations than

335.--In love deceit almost always goes further
than mistrust.

336.--There is a kind of love, the excess of which
forbids jealousy.

337.--There are certain good qualities as there are
senses, and those who want them can neither per-
ceive nor understand them.

338.--When our hatred is too bitter it places us
below those whom we hate.

339.--We only appreciate our good or evil in pro-
portion to our self-love.

340.--The wit of most women rather strengthens
their folly than their reason.

["Women have an entertaining tattle, and sometimes wit,
but for solid reasoning and good sense I never knew one in
my life that had it, and who reasoned and acted conse-
quentially for four and twenty hours together."--Lord
Chesterfield, LETTER 129.]

341.--The heat of youth is not more opposed to
safety than the coldness of age.

342.--The accent of our native country dwells in
the heart and mind as well as on the tongue.

343.--To be a great man one should know how to
profit by every phase of fortune.

344.--Most men, like plants, possess hidden quali-
ties which chance discovers.

345.--Opportunity makes us known to others, but
more to ourselves.

346.--If a woman's temper is beyond control there
can be no control of the mind or heart.

347.--We hardly find any persons of good sense, save
those who agree with us.

["That was excellently observed, say I, when I read
an author when his opinion agrees with mine."--Swift,

348.--When one loves one doubts even what one
most believes.

349.--The greatest miracle of love is to eradicate

350.--Why we hate with so much bitterness those
who deceive us is because they think themselves more
clever than we are.

["I could pardon all his (Louis XI.'s) deceit, but I can-
not forgive his supposing me capable of the gross folly
of being duped by his professions."--Sir Walter Scott,

351.--We have much trouble to break with one,
when we no longer are in love.

352.--We almost always are bored with persons with
whom we should not be bored.

353.--A gentleman may love like a lunatic, but not
like a beast.

354.--There are certain defects which well mounted
glitter like virtue itself.

355.--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.

356.--Usually we only praise heartily those who
admire us.

357.--Little minds are too much wounded by little
things; great minds see all and are not even hurt.

358.--Humility is the true proof of Christian
virtues; without it we retain all our faults, and they
are only covered by pride to hide them from others,
and often from ourselves.

359.--Infidelities should extinguish love, and we
ought not to be jealous when we have cause to be so.
No persons escape causing jealousy who are worthy of
exciting it.

360.--We are more humiliated by the least infidelity
towards us, than by our greatest towards others.

361.--Jealousy is always born with love, but does
not always die with it.

362.--Most women do not grieve so much for the
death of their lovers for love's-sake, as to show they
were worthy of being beloved.

363.--The evils we do to others give us less pain
than those we do to ourselves.

364.--We well know that it is bad taste to talk of
our wives; but we do not so well know that it is the
same to speak of ourselves.

365.--There are virtues which degenerate into vices
when they arise from Nature, and others which when
acquired are never perfect. For example, reason
must teach us to manage our estate and our con-
fidence, while Nature should have given us goodness
and valour.

366.--However we distrust the sincerity of those
whom we talk with, we always believe them more sin-
cere with us than with others.

367.--There are few virtuous women who are not
tired of their part.

["Every woman is at heart a rake."--Pope. MORAL
ESSAYS, ii.]

368.--The greater number of good women are like
concealed treasures, safe as no one has searched for

369.--The violences we put upon ourselves to escape
love are often more cruel than the cruelty of those
we love.

370.--There are not many cowards who know the
whole of their fear.

371.--It is generally the fault of the loved one not
to perceive when love ceases.

372.--Most young people think they are natural
when they are only boorish and rude.

373.--Some tears after having deceived others de-
ceive ourselves.

374.--If we think we love a woman for love of
herself we are greatly deceived.

375.--Ordinary men commonly condemn what is
beyond them.

376.--Envy is destroyed by true friendship, flirta-
tion by true love.

377.--The greatest mistake of penetration is not to
have fallen short, but to have gone too far.

378.--We may bestow advice, but we cannot inspire
the conduct.

379.--As our merit declines so also does our taste.

380.--Fortune makes visible our virtues or our
vices, as light does objects.

381.--The struggle we undergo to remain faithful
to one we love is little better than infidelity.

382.--Our actions are like the rhymed ends of
blank verses (BOUTS-RIMES) where to each one puts
what construction he pleases.

[The BOUTS-RIMES was a literary game popular in the 17th
and 18th centuries--the rhymed words at the end of a line
being given for others to fill up. Thus Horace Walpole
being given, "brook, why, crook, I," returned the bur-
lesque verse--
"I sits with my toes in a BROOK,
And if any one axes me WHY?
I gies 'em a rap with my CROOK,
'Tis constancy makes me, ses I."]

383.--The desire of talking about ourselves, and of
putting our faults in the light we wish them to be
seen, forms a great part of our sincerity.

384.--We should only be astonished at still being
able to be astonished.

385.--It is equally as difficult to be contented when
one has too much or too little love.

386.--No people are more often wrong than those
who will not allow themselves to be wrong.

387.--A fool has not stuff in him to be good.

388.--If vanity does not overthrow all virtues, at
least she makes them totter.

389.--What makes the vanity of others unsupport-
able is that it wounds our own.

390.--We give up more easily our interest than our

391.--Fortune appears so blind to none as to those
to whom she has done no good.

392.--We should manage fortune like our health,
enjoy it when it is good, be patient when it is bad,
and never resort to strong remedies but in an extremity.

393.--Awkwardness sometimes disappears in the
camp, never in the court.

394.--A man is often more clever than one other, but
not than all others.

["Singuli decipere ac decipi possunt, nemo omnes,
omnes neminem fefellerunt."--Pliny{ the Younger,

395.--We are often less unhappy at being deceived
by one we loved, than on being deceived.

396.--We keep our first lover for a long time--if we
do not get a second.

397.--We have not the courage to say generally
that we have no faults, and that our enemies have
no good qualities; but in fact we are not far from be-
lieving so.

398.--Of all our faults that which we most readily
admit is idleness: we believe that it makes all virtues
ineffectual, and that without utterly destroying, it at
least suspends their operation.

399.--There is a kind of greatness which does not
depend upon fortune: it is a certain manner what
distinguishes us, and which seems to destine us for
great things; it is the value we insensibly set upon
ourselves; it is by this quality that we gain the
deference of other men, and it is this which com-
monly raises us more above them, than birth, rank,
or even merit itself.

400.--There may be talent without position, but
there is no position without some kind of talent.

401.--Rank is to merit what dress is to a pretty

402.--What we find the least of in flirtation is love.

403.--Fortune sometimes uses our faults to exalt us,
and there are tiresome people whose deserts would be
ill rewarded if we did not desire to purchase their

404.--It appears that nature has hid at the bottom
of our hearts talents and abilities unknown to us. It
is only the passions that have the power of bringing
them to light, and sometimes give us views more
true and more perfect than art could possibly do.

405.--We reach quite inexperienced the different
stages of life, and often, in spite of the number of our
years, we lack experience.

["To most men experience is like the stern lights of a
ship which illumine only the track it has passed."--

406.--Flirts make it a point of honour to be jealous
of their lovers, to conceal their envy of other women.

407.--It may well be that those who have trapped
us by their tricks do not seem to us so foolish as we
seem to ourselves when trapped by the tricks of

408.--The most dangerous folly of old persons who
have been loveable is to forget that they are no
longer so.

["Every woman who is not absolutely ugly thinks herself
handsome. The suspicion of age no woman, let her be
ever so old, forgives."--Lord Chesterfield, LETTER 129.]

409.--We should often be ashamed of our very best
actions if the world only saw the motives which caused

410.--The greatest effort of friendship is not to show
our faults to a friend, but to show him his own.

4ll.--We have few faults which are not far more
excusable than the means we adopt to hide them.

412.--Whatever disgrace we may have deserved, it
is almost always in our power to re-establish our cha-

["This is hardly a period at which the most irregular
character may not be redeemed. The mistakes of one sin
find a retreat in patriotism, those of the other in devotion."

413.--A man cannot please long who has only one
kind of wit.

[According to Segrais this maxim was a hit at Racine
and Boileau, who, despising ordinary conversation, talked
incessantly of literature; but there is some doubt as to
Segrais' statement.--Aime Martin.]

414.--Idiots and lunatics see only their own wit.

415.--Wit sometimes enables us to act rudely with

416.--The vivacity which increases in old age is not
far removed from folly.

["How ill {white} hairs become {a} fool and jester."--
Shakespeare{, King Henry IV, Part II, Act. V, Scene V,

"Can age itself forget that you are now in the last act of
life? Can grey hairs make folly venerable, and is there
no period to be reserved for meditation or retirement."--
Junius, TO THE DUKE OF BEDFORD, 19th Sept. 1769.]

417.--In love the quickest is always the best cure.

418.--Young women who do not want to appear
flirts, and old men who do not want to appear ridi-
culous, should not talk of love as a matter wherein
they can have any interest.

419.--We may seem great in a post beneath our
capacity, but we oftener seem little in a post above it.

420.--We often believe we have constancy in mis-
fortune when we have nothing but debasement, and
we suffer misfortunes without regarding them as
cowards who let themselves be killed from fear of
defending themselves.

421.--Conceit causes more conversation than wit.

422.--All passions make us commit some faults,
love alone makes us ridiculous.

["In love we all are fools alike."--Gay{, THE
BEGGAR'S OPERA, (1728), Act III, Scene I, Lucy}.]

423.--Few know how to be old.

424.--We often credit ourselves with vices the
reverse of what we have, thus when weak we boast of
our obstinacy.

425.--Penetration has a spice of divination in it
which tickles our vanity more than any other quality
of the mind.

426.--The charm of novelty and old custom, how-
ever opposite to each other, equally blind us to the
faults of our friends.

["Two things the most opposite blind us equally, custom
and novelty."-La Bruyere, DES JUDGEMENTS.]

427.--Most friends sicken us of friendship, most
devotees of devotion.

428.--We easily forgive in our friends those faults
we do not perceive.

429.--Women who love, pardon more readily great
indiscretions than little infidelities.

430.--In the old age of love as in life we still sur-
vive for the evils, though no longer for the pleasures.

["The youth of friendship is better than its old age."--
Hazlitt's CHARACTERISTICS, 229.]

431.--Nothing prevents our being unaffected so
much as our desire to seem so.

432.--To praise good actions heartily is in some
measure to take part in them.

433.--The most certain sign of being born with
great qualities is to be born without envy.

["Nemo alienae virtuti invidet qui satis confidet suae."
-Cicero IN MARC ANT.]

434.--When our friends have deceived us we owe
them but indifference to the tokens of their friend-
ship, yet for their misfortunes we always owe them

435.--Luck and temper rule the world.

436.--It is far easier to know men than to know

437.--We should not judge of a man's merit by his
great abilities, but by the use he makes of them.

438.--There is a certain lively gratitude which not
only releases us from benefits received, but which also,
by making a return to our friends as payment, renders
them indebted to us.

["And understood not that a grateful mind,
By owing owes not, but is at once
Indebted and discharged."

439.--We should earnestly desire but few things if
we clearly knew what we desired.

440.--The cause why the majority of women are so
little given to friendship is, that it is insipid after
having felt love.

["Those who have experienced a great passion neglect
friendship, and those who have united themselves to friend-
ship have nought to do with love."--La Bruyere. DU COEUR.]

441.--As in friendship so in love, we are often hap-
pier from ignorance than from knowledge.

442.--We try to make a virtue of vices we are loth
to correct.

443.--The most violent passions give some respite,
but vanity always disturbs us.

444.--Old fools are more foolish than young fools.

["MALVOLIO. Infirmity{,} that decays the wise{,} doth eve{r}
make the better fool.
CLOWN. God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity{,} for the
better increasing of your folly."--Shakespeare. TWELFTH
NIGHT{, Act I, Scene V}.]

445.--Weakness is more hostile to virtue than vice.

446.--What makes the grief of shame and jealousy
so acute is that vanity cannot aid us in enduring them.

447.--Propriety is the least of all laws, but the most

[Honour has its supreme laws, to which education is
bound to conform....Those things which honour
forbids are more rigorously forbidden when the laws do
not concur in the prohibition, and those it commands are
more strongly insisted upon when they happen not to be
commanded by law.--Montesquieu, {THE SPIRIT OF LAWS, }b. 4,
c. ii.]

448.--A well-trained mind has less difficulty in sub-
mitting to than in guiding an ill-trained mind.

449.--When fortune surprises us by giving us some
great office without having gradually led us to expect
it, or without having raised our hopes, it is well nigh
impossible to occupy it well, and to appear worthy
to fill it.

450.--Our pride is often increased by what we
retrench from our other faults.

["The loss of sensual pleasures was supplied and com-
pensated by spiritual pride."--Gibbon. DECLINE AND FALL,
chap. xv.]

451.--No fools so wearisome as those who have some

452.--No one believes that in every respect he is
behind the man he considers the ablest in the world.

453.--In great matters we should not try so much
to create opportunities as to utilise those that offer

[Yet Lord Bacon says "A wise man will make more
opportunities than he finds."--Essays, {(1625),
"Of Ceremonies and Respects"}]

454.--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.

455.--However disposed the world may be to judge
wrongly, it far oftener favours false merit than does
justice to true.

456.--Sometimes we meet a fool with wit, never one
with discretion.

457.--We should gain more by letting the world see
what we are than by trying to seem what we are not.

458.--Our enemies come nearer the truth in the
opinions they form of us than we do in our opinion of

459.--There are many remedies to cure love, yet
none are infallible.

460.--It would be well for us if we knew all our
passions make us do.

461.--Age is a tyrant who forbids at the penalty of
life all the pleasures of youth.

462.--The same pride which makes us blame faults
from which we believe ourselves free causes us to
despise the good qualities we have not.

463.--There is often more pride than goodness in
our grief for our enemies' miseries; it is to show how
superior we are to them, that we bestow on them the
sign of our compassion.

464.--There exists an excess of good and evil which
surpasses our comprehension.

465.--Innocence is most fortunate if it finds the
same protection as crime.

466.--Of all the violent passions the one that
becomes a woman best is love.

467.--Vanity makes us sin more against our taste
than reason.

468.--Some bad qualities form great talents.

469.--We never desire earnestly what we desire in

470.--All our qualities are uncertain and doubtful,
both the good as well as the bad, and nearly all are
creatures of opportunities.

471.--In their first passion women love their lovers,
in all the others they love love.

["In her first passion woman loves her lover,
In all her others what she loves is love."
{--Lord Byron, }Don Juan, Canto iii., stanza 3.
"We truly love once, the first time; the subsequent pas-
sions are more or less involuntary." La Bruyere: DU COEUR.]

472.--Pride as the other passions has its follies. We
are ashamed to own we are jealous, and yet we plume
ourselves in having been and being able to be so.

473.--However rare true love is, true friendship is

["It is more common to see perfect love than real friend-
ship."--La Bruyere. DU COEUR.]

474.--There are few women whose charm survives
their beauty.

475.--The desire to be pitied or to be admired often
forms the greater part of our confidence.

476.--Our envy always lasts longer than the happi-
ness of those we envy.

477.--The same firmness that enables us to resist
love enables us to make our resistance durable and
lasting. So weak persons who are always excited by
passions are seldom really possessed of any.

478.--Fancy does not enable us to invent so many
different contradictions as there are by nature in every

479.--It is only people who possess firmness who
can possess true gentleness. In those who appear
gentle it is generally only weakness, which is readily
converted into harshness.

480.--Timidity is a fault which is dangerous to
blame in those we desire to cure of it.

481.--Nothing is rarer than true good nature, those
who think they have it are generally only pliant or weak.

482.--The mind attaches itself by idleness and habit
to whatever is easy or pleasant. This habit always places
bounds to our knowledge, and no one has ever yet
taken the pains to enlarge and expand his mind to
the full extent of its capacities.

483.--Usually we are more satirical from vanity
than malice.

484.--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.

485.--Those who have had great passions often find
all their lives made miserable in being cured of them.

486.--More persons exist without self-love than
without envy.

["I do not believe that there is a human creature in his
senses arrived at maturity, that at some time or other has
not been carried away by this passion (envy) in good
earnest, and yet I never met with any who dared own he
was guilty of it, but in jest."--Mandeville: FABLE OF THE
BEES; Remark N.]

487.--We have more idleness in the mind than in
the body.

488.--The calm or disturbance of our mind does
not depend so much on what we regard as the more
important things of life, as in a judicious or injudicious
arrangement of the little things of daily occurrence.

489.--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.

490.--We often go from love to ambition, but we
never return from ambition to love.

["Men commence by love, finish by ambition, and do
not find a quieter seat while they remain there."--La
Bruyere: DU COEUR.]

491.--Extreme avarice is nearly always mistaken,
there is no passion which is oftener further away from
its mark, nor upon which the present has so much
power to the prejudice of the future.

492.--Avarice often produces opposite results: there
are an infinite number of persons who sacrifice their
property to doubtful and distant expectations, others
mistake great future advantages for small present

[AIME MARTIN says, "The author here confuses greedi-
ness, the desire and avarice--passions which probably have
a common origin, but produce different results. The
greedy man is nearly always desirous to possess, and often
foregoes great future advantages for small present interests.
The avaricious man, on the other hand, mistakes present
advantages for the great expectations of the future. Both
desire to possess and enjoy. But the miser possesses and
enjoys nothing but the pleasure of possessing; he risks
nothing, gives nothing, hopes nothing, his life is centred
in his strong box, beyond that he has no want."]

493.--It appears that men do not find they have
enough faults, as they increase the number by certain
peculiar qualities that they affect to assume, and
which they cultivate with so great assiduity that at
length they become natural faults, which they can no
longer correct.

494.--What makes us see that men know their
faults better than we imagine, is that they are never
wrong when they speak of their conduct; the same
self-love that usually blinds them enlightens them,
and gives them such true views as to make them
suppress or disguise the smallest thing that might be

495.--Young men entering life should be either shy
or bold; a solemn and sedate manner usually de-
generates into impertinence.

496.--Quarrels would not last long if the fault was
only on one side.

497.--It is valueless to a woman to be young unless
pretty, or to be pretty unless young.

498.--Some persons are so frivolous and fickle that
they are as far removed from real defects as from
substantial qualities.

499.--We do not usually reckon a woman's first
flirtation until she has had a second.

500.--Some people are so self-occupied that when
in love they find a mode by which to be engrossed
with the passion without being so with the person
they love.

501.--Love, though so very agreeable, pleases more
by its ways than by itself.

502.--A little wit with good sense bores less in the
long run than much wit with ill nature.

503.--Jealousy is the worst of all evils, yet the one
that is least pitied by those who cause it.

504.--Thus having treated of the hollowness of so
many apparent virtues, it is but just to say something
on the hollowness of the contempt for death. I allude
to that contempt of death which the heathen boasted
they derived from their unaided understanding, with-
out the hope of a future state. There is a difference
between meeting death with courage and despising it.
The first is common enough, the last I think always
feigned. Yet everything that could be has been
written to persuade us that death is no evil, and the
weakest of men, equally with the bravest, have given
many noble examples on which to found such an
opinion, still I do not think that any man of good sense
has ever yet believed in it. And the pains we take to
persuade others as well as ourselves amply show that
the task is far from easy. For many reasons we may
be disgusted with life, but for none may we despise it.
Not even those who commit suicide regard it as a
light matter, and are as much alarmed and startled
as the rest of the world if death meets them in a dif-
ferent way than the one they have selected. The differ-
ence we observe in the courage of so great a number of
brave men, is from meeting death in a way different
from what they imagined, when it shows itself nearer at
one time than at another. Thus it ultimately happens
that having despised death when they were ignorant
of it, they dread it when they become acquainted with
it. If we could avoid seeing it with all its surround-
ings, we might perhaps believe that it was not the
greatest of evils. The wisest and bravest are those
who take the best means to avoid reflecting on it, as
every man who sees it in its real light regards it as
dreadful. The necessity of dying created all the con-
stancy of philosophers. They thought it but right to
go with a good grace when they could not avoid going,
and being unable to prolong their lives indefinitely,
nothing remained but to build an immortal reputation,
and to save from the general wreck all that could be
saved. To put a good face upon it, let it suffice, not
to say all that we think to ourselves, but rely more
on our nature than on our fallible reason, which might
make us think we could approach death with indif-
ference. The glory of dying with courage, the hope
of being regretted, the desire to leave behind us a
good reputation, the assurance of being enfranchised
from the miseries of life and being no longer depend-
ent on the wiles of fortune, are resources which
should not be passed over. But we must not regard
them as infallible. They should affect us in the same
proportion as a single shelter affects those who in war
storm a fortress. At a distance they think it may
afford cover, but when near they find it only a feeble
protection. It is only deceiving ourselves to imagine
that death, when near, will seem the same as at
a distance, or that our feelings, which are merely
weaknesses, are naturally so strong that they will
not suffer in an attack of the rudest of trials. It
is equally as absurd to try the effect of self-esteem
and to think it will enable us to count as naught
what will of necessity destroy it. And the mind in
which we trust to find so many resources will be far
too weak in the struggle to persuade us in the way we
wish. For it is this which betrays us so frequently,
and which, instead of filling us with contempt of death,
serves but to show us all that is frightful and fearful.
The most it can do for us is to persuade us to avert
our gaze and fix it on other objects. Cato and Brutus
each selected noble ones. A lackey sometime ago
contented himself by dancing on the scaffold when
he was about to be broken on the wheel. So however
diverse the motives they but realize the same result.
For the rest it is a fact that whatever difference there
may be between the peer and the peasant, we have
constantly seen both the one and the other meet death
with the same composure. Still there is always this
difference, that the contempt the peer shows for death
is but the love of fame which hides death from his
sight; in the peasant it is but the result of his limited
vision that hides from him the extent of the evil, end
leaves him free to reflect on other things.


[The following reflections are extracted from the first two
editions of La Rochefoucauld, having been suppressed
by the author in succeeding issues.]

I.--Self-love is the love OF self, and of all things
FOR self. It makes men self-worshippers, and if for-
tune permits them, causes them to tyrannize over
others; it is never quiet when out of itself, and only
rests upon other subjects as a bee upon flowers, to
extract from them its proper food. Nothing is so
headstrong as its desires, nothing so well concealed as
its designs, nothing so skilful as its management; its
suppleness is beyond description; its changes surpass
those of the metamorphoses, its refinements those of
chemistry. We can neither plumb the depths nor
pierce the shades of its recesses. Therein it is hidden
from the most far-seeing eyes, therein it takes a thou-
sand imperceptible folds. There it is often to itself
invisible; it there conceives, there nourishes and rears,
without being aware of it, numberless loves and
hatreds, some so monstrous that when they are brought
to light it disowns them, and cannot resolve to avow
them. In the night which covers it are born the
ridiculous persuasions it has of itself, thence come its
errors, its ignorance, its silly mistakes; thence it is
led to believe that its passions which sleep are dead,
and to think that it has lost all appetite for that of
which it is sated. But this thick darkness which con-
ceals it from itself does not hinder it from seeing that
perfectly which is out of itself; and in this it re-
sembles our eyes which behold all, and yet cannot set
their own forms. In fact, in great concerns and im-
portant matters when the violence of its desires sum-
mons all its attention, it sees, feels, hears, imagines,
suspects, penetrates, divines all: so that we might
think that each of its passions had a magic power
proper to it. Nothing is so close and strong as its
attachments, which, in sight of the extreme misfor-
tunes which threaten it, it vainly attempts to break.
Yet sometimes it effects that without trouble and
quickly, which it failed to do with its whole power
and in the course of years, whence we may fairly con-
clude that it is by itself that its desires are inflamed,
rather than by the beauty and merit of its objects,
that its own taste embellishes and heightens them;
that it is itself the game it pursues, and that it follows
eagerly when it runs after that upon which itself is
eager. It is made up of contraries. It is imperious and
obedient, sincere and false, piteous and cruel, timid
and bold. It has different desires according to the
diversity of temperaments, which turn and fix it some-
times upon riches, sometimes on pleasures. It changes
according to our age, our fortunes, and our hopes;
it is quite indifferent whether it has many or one,
because it can split itself into many portions, and
unite in one as it pleases. It is inconstant, and besides
the changes which arise from strange causes it has
an infinity born of itself, and of its own substance.
It is inconstant through inconstancy, of lightness,
love, novelty, lassitude and distaste. It is capricious,
and one sees it sometimes work with intense eager-
ness and with incredible labour to obtain things of
little use to it which are even hurtful, but which it
pursues because it wishes for them. It is silly, and
often throws its whole application on the utmost
frivolities. It finds all its pleasure in the dullest
matters, and places its pride in the most contemptible.
It is seen in all states of life, and in all conditions; it
lives everywhere and upon everything; it subsists on
nothing; it accommodates itself either to things or to
the want of them; it goes over to those who are at war
with it, enters into their designs, and, this is wonderful,
it, with them, hates even itself; it conspires for its own
loss, it works towards its own ruin--in fact, caring only
to exist, and providing that it may BE, it will be its own
enemy! We must therefore not be surprised if it is
sometimes united to the rudest austerity, and if it
enters so boldly into partnership to destroy her,
because when it is rooted out in one place it re-esta-
blishes itself in another. When it fancies that it
abandons its pleasure it merely changes or suspends
its enjoyment. When even it is conquered in its full
flight, we find that it triumphs in its own defeat.
Here then is the picture of self-love whereof the whole
of our life is but one long agitation. The sea is its
living image; and in the flux and reflux of its con-
tinuous waves there is a faithful expression of the
stormy succession of its thoughts and of its eternal
motion. (Edition of 1665, No. 1.)

II.--Passions are only the different degrees of the
heat or coldness of the blood. (1665, No. 13.)

III.--Moderation in good fortune is but apprehen-
sion of the shame which follows upon haughtiness, or
a fear of losing what we have. (1665, No. 18.)

IV.--Moderation is like temperance in eating; we
could eat more but we fear to make ourselves ill.
(1665, No. 21.)

V.--Everybody finds that to abuse in another which
he finds worthy of abuse in himself. (1665, No. 33.)

VI.--Pride, as if tired of its artifices and its different
metamorphoses, after having solely filled the divers
parts of the comedy of life, exhibits itself with
its natural face, and is discovered by haughtiness; so
much so that we may truly say that haughtiness is but
the flash and open declaration of pride. (1665, No. 37.)

VII.--One kind of happiness is to know exactly at
what point to be miserable. (1665, No. 53.)

VIII.--When we do not find peace of mind (REPOS)
in ourselves it is useless to seek it elsewhere. (1665,
No. 53.)

IX.--One should be able to answer for one's fortune,
so as to be able to answer for what we shall do. (1665,
No. 70.)

X.--Love is to the soul of him who loves, what the
soul is to the body which it animates. (1665, No. 77.)

XI.--As one is never at liberty to love or to cease
from loving, the lover cannot with justice complain
of the inconstancy of his mistress, nor she of the
fickleness of her lover. (1665, No. 81.)

XII.--Justice in those judges who are moderate
is but a love of their place. (1665, No. 89.)

XIII.--When we are tired of loving we are quite
content if our mistress should become faithless, to loose
us from our fidelity. (1665, No. 85.)

XIV.--The first impulse of joy which we feel at the
happiness of our friends arises neither from our
natural goodness nor from friendship; it is the result
of self-love, which flatters us with being lucky in
our own turn, or in reaping something from the good
fortune of our friends. (1665, No. 97.)

XV.--In the adversity of our best friends we
always find something which is not wholly displeasing
to us. (1665, No. 99.)

[This gave occasion to Swift's celebrated "Verses on his
own Death." The four first are quoted opposite the title,
then follow these lines:--
"This maxim more than all the rest,
Is thought too base for human breast;
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."

See also Chesterfield's defence of this in his 129th letter;
"they who know the deception and wickedness of the
human heart will not be either romantic or blind enough to
deny what Rochefoucauld and Swift have affirmed as a
general truth."]

XVI.--How shall we hope that another person will
keep our secret if we do not keep it ourselves. (1665,
No. 100.)

XVII.--As if it was not sufficient that self-love
should have the power to change itself, it has added
that of changing other objects, and this it does in a
very astonishing manner; for not only does it so well
disguise them that it is itself deceived, but it even
changes the state and nature of things. Thus, when
a female is adverse to us, and she turns her hate
and persecution against us, self-love pronounces
on her actions with all the severity of justice;
it exaggerates the faults till they are enormous,
and looks at her good qualities in so disadvan-
tageous a light that they become more displeasing than
her faults. If however the same female becomes
favourable to us, or certain of our interests reconcile
her to us, our sole self interest gives her back the
lustre which our hatred deprived her of. The bad
qualities become effaced, the good ones appear with
a redoubled advantage; we even summon all our
indulgence to justify the war she has made upon us.
Now although all passions prove this truth, that of
love exhibits it most clearly; for we may see a
lover moved with rage by the neglect or the infidelity
of her whom he loves, and meditating the utmost
vengeance that his passion can inspire. Nevertheless
as soon as the sight of his beloved has calmed the
fury of his movements, his passion holds that beauty
innocent; he only accuses himself, he condemns his
condemnations, and by the miraculous power of self-
love, he whitens the blackest actions of his mistress,
and takes from her all crime to lay it on himself.

{No date or number is given for this maxim}

XVIII.--There are none who press so heavily on
others as the lazy ones, when they have satisfied their
idleness, and wish to appear industrious. (1666,
No. 91.)

XIX.--The blindness of men is the most dangerous
effect of their pride; it seems to nourish and augment
it, it deprives us of knowledge of remedies which can
solace our miseries and can cure our faults. (1665,
No. 102.)

XX.--One has never less reason than when one
despairs of finding it in others. (1665, No. 103.)

XXI.--Philosophers, and Seneca above all, have not
diminished crimes by their precepts; they have only
used them in the building up of pride. (1665, No. 105.)

XXII.--It is a proof of little friendship not to per-
ceive the growing coolness of that of our friends.
(1666, No. 97.)

XXIII.--The most wise may be so in indifferent and
ordinary matters, but they are seldom so in their
most serious affairs. (1665, No. 132.)

XXIV.--The most subtle folly grows out of the most
subtle wisdom. (1665, No. 134.)

XXV.--Sobriety is the love of health, or an in-
capacity to eat much. (l665, No. 135.)

XXVI.--We never forget things so well as when we
are tired of talking of them. (1665, No. 144.)

XXVII.--The praise bestowed upon us is at least
useful in rooting us in the practice of virtue. (1665,
No. 155.)

XXVIII.--Self-love takes care to prevent him whom
we flatter from being him who most flatters us. (1665,
No. 157.)

XXIX.--Men only blame vice and praise virtue
from interest. (1665, No. 151.)

XXX.--We make no difference in the kinds of anger,
although there is that which is light and almost inno-
cent, which arises from warmth of complexion, tem-
perament, and another very criminal, which is, to
speak properly, the fury of pride. (1665, No. 159.)

XXXI.--Great souls are not those who have fewer
passions and more virtues than the common, but
those only who have greater designs. (1665, No. 161.)

XXXII.--Kings do with men as with pieces of
money; they make them bear what value they will,
and one is forced to receive them according to their
currency value, and not at their true worth. (1665,
No. 165.)

[See Burns{, FOR A' THAT AN A' THAT}--
"The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
{The} man's {the gowd} for a' that."
Also Farquhar and other parallel passages pointed out in

XXXIII.--Natural ferocity makes fewer people
cruel than self-love. (1665, No. 174.)

XXXIV.--One may say of all our virtues as an
Italian poet says of the propriety of women, that it
is often merely the art of appearing chaste. (1665,
No. 176.)

XXXV.--There are crimes which become innocent
and even glorious by their brilliancy,* their number, or
their excess; thus it happens that public robbery is
called financial skill, and the unjust capture of pro-
vinces is called a conquest. (1665, No. 192.)

* as those of Jael, of Deborah, of Brutus, and of Charlotte
Corday--further than this the maxim is satire.>

XXXVI.--One never finds in man good or evil in
excess. (1665, No. 201.)

XXXVII.--Those who are incapable of committing
great crimes do not easily suspect others. (1665,
No. {2}08.)

{The text incorrectly numbers this maxim as 508. It
is 208.}

XXXVIII.--The pomp of funerals concerns rather
the vanity of the living, than the honour of the
dead. (1665, No. 213.)

XXXIX.--Whatever variety and change appears in
the world, we may remark a secret chain, and a regu-
lated order of all time by Providence, which makes
everything follow in due rank and fall into its de-
stined course. (1665, No. 225.)

XL.--Intrepidity should sustain the heart in con-
spiracies in place of valour which alone furnishes all
the firmness which is necessary for the perils of war.
(1665, No. 231.)

XLI.--Those who wish to define victory by her birth
will be tempted to imitate the poets, and to call her
the Daughter of Heaven, since they cannot find her
origin on earth. Truly she is produced from an
infinity of actions, which instead of wishing to beget
her, only look to the particular interests of their
masters, since all those who compose an army, in
aiming at their own rise and glory, produce a good
so great and general. (1665, No. 232.)

XLII.--That man who has never been in danger
cannot answer for his courage. (1665, No. 236.)

XLIII.--We more often place bounds on our grati-
tude than on our desires and our hopes. (1665, No.

XLIV.--Imitation is always unhappy, for all which
is counterfeit displeases by the very things which
charm us when they are original (NATURELLES). (1665,
No. 245.)

XLV.--We do not regret the loss of our friends ac-
cording to THEIR merits, but according to OUR wants,
and the opinion with which we believed we had im-
pressed them of our worth. (1665, No. 248.)

XLVI.--It is very hard to separate the general
goodness spread all over the world from great clever-
ness. (1665, No. 252.)

XLVII.--For us to be always good, others should
believe that they cannot behave wickedly to us with
impunity. (1665, No. 254.)

XLVIII.--A confidence in being able to please is
often an infallible means of being displeasing. (1665,
No. 256.)

XLIX.--The confidence we have in ourselves arises
in a great measure from that that we have in others.
(1665, No. 258.)

L.--There is a general revolution which changes
the tastes of the mind as well as the fortunes of the


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