Jean de La Bruyère

France
16 Aug 1645 // 11 May 1696
Writer / Moralist

Quotes

Next >>

One should never risk a joke, even of the mildest and most unexceptional characters, except among people of culture and wit
When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and manly thoughts, seek for no other test of its excellence. It is good, and made by a good workman
We should keep silent about those in power; to speak well of them almost implies flattery; to speak ill of them while they are alive is dangerous, and when they are dead is cowardly
Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness
This great misfortune - to be incapable of solitude
They that have lived a single day have lived an age
There is not in the world so toilsome a trade as the pursuit of fame; life concludes before you have so much as sketched your work
There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honors too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience
There are certain things in which mediocrity is intolerable: poetry, music, painting, public eloquence. What torture it is to hear a frigid speech being pompously declaimed, or second-rate verse spoken with all a bad poet's bombast!
The sweetest of all sounds is that of the voice of the woman we love
Next >>
Search

 

On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays