François, Duque de La Rochefoucauld

15 Sep 1613 // 17 Mar 1680
Writer, Moralist


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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
What makes vanity so insufferable to us, is that it hurts our own
What is called generosity is usually only the vanity of giving; we enjoy the vanity more than the thing given
Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended
We would rather speak ill of ourselves than not talk about ourselves at all
We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones
We are nearer loving those who hate us than those who love us more than we wish
We are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in trying to be happy ourselves
We always get bored with those whom we bore
We all have enough strength to endure the misfortunes of others
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
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."