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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

François, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680)

Maxims and Sentences

A WOMAN is faithful to her first lover a long time—unless she happens to take a second.

He who is pleased with nobody is much more unhappy than he with whom nobody is pleased.

We all have sufficient fortitude to bear the misfortunes of our friends.

Had we no faults of our own, we should notice them with less pleasure in others.

We promise according to our hopes, and perform according to our fears.

Old men are fond of giving good advice to console themselves for their impotence to give bad examples.

We often do good in order that we may do evil with impunity.

If we resist our passions it is more from their weakness than from our strength.

We should have very little pleasure if we did not sometimes flatter ourselves.

It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.

Men would not live long in society if they were not dupes to each other.

Virtue would not travel so far if vanity did not keep her company.

Hypocrisy is the homage which vice renders to virtue.

In the adversity of our best friends we often find something which does not displease us.

Gravity is a mystery of the face, invented to conceal the defects of the mind.

Affected simplicity is refined imposture.

We often pardon those who weary us, but never those whom we weary.

There is no man who thinks himself in any of his qualities inferior to the man he esteems most in the world.

We take less pains to be happy than to appear so.

He who lives free from folly is less wise than he imagines.