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Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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  • It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.

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  • Pride, which inspires us with so much envy, is sometimes of use toward the moderating of it too.

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  • We seldom praise anyone in good earnest, except such as admire us.

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  • Moderation is the feebleness and sloth of the soul, whereas ambition is the warmth and activity of it.

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  • We are all strong enough to bear other men's misfortunes.

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  • Jealousy springs more from love of self than from love of another.

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  • That good disposition which boasts of being most tender is often stifled by the least urging of self-interest.

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

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  • Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended.

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  • There are a great many men valued in society who have nothing to recommend them but serviceable vices.

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  • How can we expect another to keep our secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves?

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  • It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.

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  • People always complain about their memories, never about their minds.

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  • They that apply themselves to trifling matters commonly become incapable of great ones.

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  • The sure way to be cheated is to think one's self more cunning than others.

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  • We may sooner be brought to love them that hate us, than them that love us more than we would have them do.

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  • Some counterfeits reproduce so very well the truth that it would be a flaw of judgment not to be deceived by them.

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  • Flattery is a kind of bad money, to which our vanity gives us currency.

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  • The greatest part of intimate confidences proceed from a desire either to be pitied or admired.

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  • The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune.

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  • Whatever good things people say of us, they tell us nothing new.

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  • A work can become modern only if it is first postmodern. Postmodernism thus understood is not modernism at its end but in the nascent state, and this state is constant.

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  • We easily forgive our friends those faults that do no affect us ourselves.

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  • There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations.

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  • The desire of talking of ourselves, and showing those faults we do not mind having seen, makes up a good part of our sincerity.

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  • Men often pass from love to ambition, but they seldom come back again from ambition to love.

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  • When we disclaim praise, it is only showing our desire to be praised a second time.

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  • People's personalities, like buildings, have various facades, some pleasant to view, some not.

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  • The more one loves a mistress, the more one is ready to hate her.

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

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