Maxims of Francois de La Rochefoucauld

As the title suggests I cannot take credit for the below.  They are, however, thought-provoking and entertaining.  Enjoy!

“A man is truly honorable if he is willing to be perpetually exposed to the scrutiny of honorable people.”


“Nothing is so contagious as example, and we never do very good deeds or very evil ones without producing imitations. We copy the good deeds in a spirit of emulation, and the bad ones because of the malignity of our nature — which shame used to hold under lock and key, but an example sets free.”


It is more often pride than lack of enlightenment that makes us oppose so stubbornly the generally accepted view of something. We find the front seats already taken on the correct side, and we do not want any of the back ones.


Humility is often merely a pretense of submissiveness, which we use to make other people submit to us. It is an artifice by which pride debases itself in order to exalt itself; and though it can transform itself in thousands of ways, pride is never better disguised and more deceptive than when it is hidden behind the mask of humility.

 


We are deceiving ourselves if we think that only the violent passions, such as ambition and love, can conquer the others. Laziness, sluggish though it is, often manages to dominate them; it wrests from us all of life’s plans and deeds, where it imperceptibly destroys and devours the passions and virtues alike.


Hardly any man is clever enough to know all the evil he does.


We are very far from knowing all our wishes.


Plenty of people disdain possessions, but few know how to give them away.


Humility is the true test of the Christian virtues: without it, we retain all our faults, and they are merely covered by pride, which hides them from other people and often from ourselves.


Fortune reveals our virtues and vices, just as light reveals objects.


Nearly all of our faults are more forgivable than the means we use to hide them.


Few people know how to be old.


We never desire passionately what we desire by reason alone.


We usually slander out of vanity rather than malice.


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

 

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