Joseph Joubert

7 May 1754 // 4 May 1824
Moralist / Essayist


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To be an agreeable guest one need only enjoy oneself
Time and truth are friends, though there are many moments hostile to truth
Those readiest to criticise are often least able to appreciate
There is in the soul a taste for the good, just as there is in the body an appetite for enjoyment
There is graciousness and a kind of urbanity in beginning with men by esteem and confidence. It proves, at least, that we have long lived in good company with others and with our selves
There is an admiration which is the daughter of knowledge
The soul that is the abode of chastity acquires an energy which enables her to surmount with ease the obstacles that lie along the path of duty
The passions should be purged; all may become innocent if they are well directed and moderated. Even hatred maybe a commendable feeling when it is caused by a lively love of good. Whatever makes the passions pure, makes them stronger, more durable, and more enjoyable
The ordinary true, or purely real, cannot be the object of the arts. Illusion on a ground of truth, that is the secret of the fine arts
The great objection to new books is that they prevent our reading old ones
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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."