Francois de La Rochefoucauld

French author & moralist (1613 - 1680)

Preserving health by too severe a rule is a worrisome malady.

Why 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?

Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.

To establish oneself in the world, one has to do all one can to appear established.

We often forgive those who bore us, but we cannot forgive those whom we bore.

Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.

We should manage our fortunes as we do our health - enjoy it when good, be patient when it is bad, and never apply violent remedies except in an extreme necessity.

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.

It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.

We always like those who admire us; we do not always like those whom we admire.

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

The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it.

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.

When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.

If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others.

Jealousy feeds upon suspicion, and it turns into fury or it ends as soon as we pass from suspicion to certainty.

Our repentance is not so much regret for the ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to us in consequence.

To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.

Small minds are much distressed by little things. Great minds see them all but are not upset by them.

We should often be ashamed of our finest actions if the world understood our motives.