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

Jean de La Bruyère (1645–1696)


THE PLEASURE of criticizing robs us of the pleasure of unconscious delight.

The most accomplished work of the age would fail under the hands of censors and critics, if the author would listen to all their objections, and allow each one to throw out the passage that had pleased him least.

This good we get from the perfidiousness of woman, that it cures us of jealousy.

There are but two ways of rising in the world—by your own industry, or by the weakness of others.

If life is miserable, it is painful to live; if happy, it is terrible to die; both come to the same thing.

There is nothing men are so anxious to preserve, or so careless about, as life.

We are afraid of old age, and afraid not to attain it.

If some men died, and others did not, death would indeed be a terrible affliction.

There are but three events that happen to men—birth, life, and death. They know nothing of their birth, suffer when they die, and forget to live.