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François de La Rochefoucauld

Find the best quotes, maxims and aphorisms of: François de La Rochefoucauld

Biography : French moralist, author of maxims and memoirs.
Born: 1613 - Died: 1680
Period:
17th century
Place of birth: France
France
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François de La Rochefoucauld - Quotes



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The happiness or unhappiness of men depends no less upon their dispositions than their fortunes.
François de La Rochefoucauld - Reflections, or Sentences and Moral Maxims
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Fortune turns all things to the advantage of those on whom she smiles.
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There are no accidents so unfortunate from which skilful men will not draw some advantage, nor so fortunate that foolish men will not turn them to their hurt.
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It would seem that our actions have lucky or unlucky stars to which they owe a great part of the blame or praise which is given them.
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Although men flatter themselves with their great actions, they are not so often the result of a great design as of chance.
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To establish ourselves in the world we do everything to appear as if we were established.
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The hate of favourites is only a love of favour. The envy of NOT possessing it, consoles and softens its regrets by the contempt it evinces for those who possess it, and we refuse them our homage, not being able to detract from them what attracts that of the rest of the world.
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The contempt of riches in philosophers was only a hidden desire to avenge their merit upon the injustice of fortune, by despising the very goods of which fortune had deprived them; it was a secret to guard themselves against the degradation of poverty, it was a back way by which to arrive at that distinction which they could not gain by riches.
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Whatever great advantages nature may give, it is not she alone, but fortune also that makes the hero.
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Whatever difference there appears in our fortunes, there is nevertheless a certain compensation of good and evil which renders them equal.
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Nothing should so much diminish the satisfaction which we feel with ourselves as seeing that we disapprove at one time of that which we approve of at another.
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Those who think they have merit persuade themselves that they are honoured by being unhappy, in order to persuade others and themselves that they are worthy to be the butt of fortune.
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Quote
Happiness is in the taste, and not in the things themselves; we are happy from possessing what we like, not from possessing what others like.
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Our temper sets a price upon every gift that we receive from fortune.
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The attachment or indifference which philosophers have shown to life is only the style of their self love, about which we can no more dispute than of that of the palate or of the choice of colours.
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The caprice of our temper is even more whimsical than that of Fortune.
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A man often believes himself leader when he is led; as his mind endeavours to reach one goal, his heart insensibly drags him towards another.
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We have not enough strength to follow all our reason.
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Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things.
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Interest blinds some and makes some see.
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We promise according to our hopes; we perform according to our fears.
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Quote
Pride has a larger part than goodness in our remonstrances with those who commit faults, and we reprove them not so much to correct as to persuade them that we ourselves are free from faults.
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It would seem that nature, which has so wisely ordered the organs of our body for our happiness, has also given us pride to spare us the mortification of knowing our imperfections.
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Pride is much the same in all men, the only difference is the method and manner of showing it.
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Pride indemnifies itself and loses nothing even when it casts away vanity.
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Jealousy lives upon doubt; and comes to an end or becomes a fury as soon as it passes from doubt to certainty.
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The evil that we do does not attract to us so much persecution and hatred as our good qualities.
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