Jealousy lives upon doubts. It becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.
Enthusiasm is the most convincing orator it is like the functioning of an infallible law of nature. The simplest man, fired with enthusiasm, is more persuasive than the most eloquent without it.
Jealousy is, in some sort, rational and just it aims at the preservation of a good which belongs, or which we think belongs, to us whereas envy is a frenzy that cannot endure, even in idea, the good of others.
We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion.
Some men are like ballads, that are in everyone's mouth a little while.
Gracefulness is to the body what understanding is to the mind.
Conceit causes more conversation than wit.
Before we set our hearts too much on anything, let us examine how happy are those who already possess it.
We say little, when vanity does not make us speak.
If we did not flatter ourselves, the flattery of others could never harm us.
In most of mankind gratitude is merely a secret hope of further favors.
We are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in trying to be happy ourselves.
The reason so few men can carry on a sensible and agreeable conversation is that there is hardly one but thinks more of what he himself intends to say than of what is being said to him by others. Sometimes even the cleverest and politest man only feigns attention, while we can see by his eyes that his mind has gone back to polish up his own remarks. He does not consider that the worst way to win over others is to talk for his own pleasure, and that the best conversationalist is he who listens with care and answers to the point.
There is no better proof of a man's being truly good than his desiring to be constantly under the observation of good men.
We all have enough strength to endure the misfortunes of others.
We come altogether fresh and raw into the several stages of life, and often find ourselves without experience, despite our years.
Vanity makes us do more things against inclination than reason.
Self-love is more cunning than the most cunning man in the world.
Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms inside your head, and people in them, acting. People you know, yet can't quite name.
We give advice, but we cannot give the wisdom to profit by it.
It is easier to deceive yourself, and to do so unperceived, than to deceive another.
Being a blockhead is sometimes the best security against being cheated by a man of wit.
Fortune converts everything to the advantage of her favorites.
We always love those that admire us, but we do not always love those we admire.
One can find women who have never had one love affair, but it is rare indeed to find any who have had only one.
Flattery is counterfeit money which, but for vanity, would have no circulation.
We may seem great in an employment below our worth, but we very often look little in one that is too big for us.
Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy they are, who already possess it.
The qualities we have do not make us so ridiculous as those which we affect to have.
Nothing prevents us from being natural so much as the desire to appear so.
It is not in the power of even the most crafty dissimulation to conceal love long, where it really is, nor to counterfeit it long where it is not.
If it requires great tact to speak to the purpose, it requires no less to know when to be silent.
Some people with great virtues are disagreeable, while others with great vices are delightful.
As great minds have the faculty of saying a great deal in a few words, so lesser minds have a talent of talking much, and saying nothing.
The moderation of people in prosperity is the effect of a smooth and composed temper, owing to the calm of their good fortune.
There are various sorts of curiosity; one is from interest, which makes us desire to know that which may be useful to us; and the other, from pride which comes from the wish to know what others are ignorant of.
When not prompted by vanity, we say little.
We do not praise others, ordinarily, but in order to be praised ourselves.
The desire of talking of ourselves, and showing those faults we do not mind having seen, makes up a good part of our sincerity.
We come fresh to the different stages of life, and in each of them we are quite inexperienced, no matter how old we are.
What makes the pain we feel from shame and jealousy so cutting is that vanity can give us no assistance in bearing them.
The most trying fools are the bright ones.
We easily forget our faults when they are known only to ourselves.
When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves with the idea that we have left them.
We are very far from always knowing our own wishes.
Virtue would go far if vanity did not keep it company.
Every one speaks well of his own heart, but no one dares speak well of his own mind.
As we grow old we become both more foolish and more wise.
Of all our faults, the one that we excuse most easily is idleness.
It is with an old love as it is with old age a man lives to all the miseries, but is dead to all the pleasures.
More Francois de La Rochefoucauld Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Love - Vice & Virtue - Mind - Wisdom & Knowledge - World - Advices - Envy & Jealousy - Friendship - Passion - Actions - Fate & Destiny - Fool - Good & Evil - Vanity - Fear - People - Charity - Happiness - View All Francois de La Rochefoucauld Quotations
Voltaire - Pablo Neruda - Niccolo Machiavelli - T. H. White - Michael Cunningham - Joseph Addison - Edward Fairfax - Dr. Seuss - Catherine Crowe - Ayn Rand