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The defects of the mind, like those of the face, grow worse with age.
– Francois de La Rochefoucauld
There are bad people who would be less dangerous if they were quite devoid of goodness.
Our aversion to lying is commonly a secret ambition to make what we say considerable, and have every word received with a religious respect.
True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.
The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
It is easier to appear worthy of a position one does not hold, than of the office which one fills.
Not all those who know their minds know their hearts as well.
Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.
Every one speaks well of his own heart, but no one dares speak well of his own mind.
Nothing prevents one from appearing natural as the desire to appear natural.
The moderation of people in prosperity is the effect of a smooth and composed temper, owing to the calm of their good fortune.
The force we use on ourselves, to prevent ourselves from loving, is often more cruel than the severest treatment at the hands of one loved.
When a man must force himself to be faithful in his love, this is hardly better than unfaithfulness.
There is nothing men are so generous of as advice.
Nothing hinders a thing from being natural so much as the straining ourselves to make it seem so.
However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.
The intellect is always fooled by the heart.
Jealousy contains more of self-love than of love.
In all professions each affects a look and an exterior to appear what he wishes the world to believe that he is. Thus we may say that the whole world is made up of appearances.
If we judge love by most of its effects, it resembles rather hatred than affection.
No men are oftener wrong than those that can least bear to be so.
Some accidents there are in life that a little folly is necessary to help us out of.
Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.
There is a kind of elevation which does not depend on fortune; it is a certain air which distinguishes us, and seems to destine us for great things; it is a price which we imperceptibly set upon ourselves.
We do not praise others, ordinarily, but in order to be praised ourselves.
What men have called friendship is only a social arrangement, a mutual adjustment of interests, an interchange of services given and received; it is, in sum, simply a business from which those involved propose to derive a steady profit for their own self-love.
The accent of a man’s native country remains in his mind and his heart, as it does in his speech.
We only confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no big ones.
Men often pass from love to ambition, but they seldom come back again from ambition to love.