François de La Rochefoucauld Quotes

Most popular François de La Rochefoucauld Quotes

The world more often rewards the appearances of merit than merit itself.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

appearances cynical merit

Few men know how to be old.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We pardon as long as we love.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We have more power than will.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We never praise except for profit.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

praise

We always like those who admire us.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

admiration

Our minds are lazier than our bodies.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

laziness

One gives nothing so freely as advice.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

advice

Generally we praise only to be praised.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Men of weak character cannot be sincere.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The head is always the dupe of the heart.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

head and heart

We speak little if not egged on by vanity.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
One forgives to the degree that one loves.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

forgiveness

We seldom praise except to get praise back.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

praise

There are heroes in evil as well as of good.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

heroism

We talk little when vanity does not make us.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

flattery

It is far easier to know men than to know man.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Love's great miracle is the curing of coquetry.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We are never so generous as when giving advice.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

advice

In jealousy there is more of self-love than love.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

jealousy

Wisdom is to the soul what health is to the body.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

wisdom

We may give advice but we do not inspire conduct.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

advice

Wisdom is to the mind what health is to the body.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We may give advice, but we cannot inspire conduct.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

advice inspirational

Hypocrisy is the homage which vice pays to virtue.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

vice & virtue

Refusal of praise is a desire to be praised twice.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Hypocrisy is the tribute which vice pays to virtue.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

hypocrisy

We are never so happy nor so unhappy as we imagine.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The refusal of praise is a wish to be praised twice.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

praise

The desire to seem clever often keeps us from being so.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

human nature intelligence

It is easier to be wise for others than for one's self.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

wisdom

The virtues and vices are all put in motion by interest.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The height of cleverness is to conceal one's cleverness.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

intelligence

It's a great talent to be able to conceal one's talents.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

talent

The passions are the only orators which always persuade.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

passion persuasion

We try to make a virtue of vices we are loath to correct.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

vice & virtue

It is more easy to be wise for others than for ourselves.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

wisdom

We need greater virtues to sustain good fortune than bad.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
One is never fortunate or as unfortunate as one imagines.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

imagination

All who know their own minds do not know their own hearts.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
It is a great ability to be able to conceal one's ability.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

ability

Youth is perpetual intoxication; it is a fever of the mind.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
A good grace is to the body what good sense is to the mind.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

grace

Refusal of praise reveals a desire to be praised twice over.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

praise

Youth is a perpetual intoxication; it is a fever of the mind.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

youth

We all have enough strength to bear the misfortunes of others.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

misfortune

No one can prove his courage when he has never been in danger.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

courage

When our hatred is too keen, it puts us beneath those we hate.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

hate

A man does not please long when he has only one species of wit.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

wit

Preserving health by too strict a regimen is a wearisome malady.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

health

Quarrels would not last long if the fault were on one side only.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

quarrels

Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

quarrels

When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves that we leave them.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

vice

The greatest fault of a penetrating wit is to go beyond the mark.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

wit

We can never be certain of our courage till we have faced danger.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Plenty of people despise money, but few know how to give it away.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

charity

Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Jealousy is always born with love but does not always die with it.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

jealousy

When our hatred is too keen it puts us beneath those whom we hate.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

hate

We hardly find any men of good sense save those who agree with us.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Most men judge others only by their success or their good fortune.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Fortune never appears so blind as to those to whom she does no good.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Ability wins us the esteem of the true men; luck that of the people.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

ability

Virtue would not go nearly so far if vanity did not keep her company.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

vanity virtue

It is a wearisome disease to preserve health by too strict a regimen.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

health

Too great haste in paying off an obligation is a kind of ingratitude.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

ingratitude

The trust which we put in ourselves causes us to feel trust in others.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
To succeed in the world, we do everything we can to appear successful.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Everyone complains of his memory, and nobody complains of his judgment.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

human nature wisdom

Men would not live in society long if they were not each other's dupes.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Everyone complains of his memory, and no one complains of his judgment.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

memory

The desire of appearing persons of ability often prevents our being so.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

ability

True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Everyone complains of his memory, but no one complains of his judgment.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
To be a great man it is necessary to turn to account all opportunities.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Silence is the safest course for any man to adopt who distrusts himself.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
It is easier to be wise on behalf of others than to be so for ourselves.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Nothing so much prevents our being natural as the desire of appearing so.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
If vanity does not overthrow all virtues, at least she makes them totter.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

vanity

A man who finds no satisfaction in himself seeks for it in vain elsewhere.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Nothing prevents us from being natural so much as the desire to appear so.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
A man of wit would often be at a loss were it not for the company of fools.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
No disguise can long conceal love where it is, nor feign it where it is not.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

love

It is the habit of mediocre minds to condemn all that is beyond their grasp.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

mediocrity

We often forgive those who bore us, but we cannot forgive those whom we bore.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

boring people

Men too involved in details usually become unable to deal with great matters.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

small stuff

There are people enough who despise money, but few who know how to bestow it.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

money

It is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We always love those who admire us; we do not always love those whom we admire.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Flattery is counterfeit money which, but for vanity, would have no circulation.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

flattery vanity

A man's great fame must always be measured against the means used to acquire it.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

fame

When we do not find peace within ourselves, it is vain to seek for it elsewhere.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

inner peace

We confess our little faults only to persuade others that we have no great ones.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The gratitude of most men is merely a secret desire to receive greater benefits.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

gratitude

Hope and fear go arm in arm: there is no fear without hope, no hope without fear.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

fear

Great names abase, instead of elevating, those who do not know how  to bear them.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

names

Loyalty is in most people only a ruse used by self-interest to attract confidence.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

loyalty

If we had no faults, we would not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

shortcomings

We torment ourselves rather to make it appear that we are happy than to become so.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Commonplace minds usually condemn what is beyond the reach of their understanding.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Old age is a tyrant who forbids, upon pain of death, all of the pleasures of youth.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

old age

One often goes from love to ambition, but one rarely returns from ambition to love.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

ambition

Men would not live long in social contact unless they were deceived by one another.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

deceit

If we judge of love by its usual effects, it resembles hatred more than friendship.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

love and hate

Flattery is like counterfeit money which, but for vanity, would have no circulation.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

flattery vanity

We would often be ashamed of our finest actions if the world understood our motives.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The most brilliant fortunes are often not worth the littleness required to gain them.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We often pass from love to ambition, but we hardly ever return from ambition to love.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

ambition

A man's happiness or unhappiness depends as much on his temperament as on his destiny.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

attitude happiness

The love of justice is, in most men, nothing more than the fear of suffering injustice.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

injustice justice

The love of justice is simply, in the majority of men, the fear of suffering injustice.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The most violent passions sometimes leave us at rest, but vanity agitates us constantly.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

vanity

To safeguard one's health at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness indeed.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

food

It is not sufficient to have great qualities; we must be able to make proper use of them.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
We sometimes think that we hate flattery, but we only hate the manner in which it is done.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

flattery

The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

greatness morals

True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and nothing but what is necessary.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

mistakes

Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The accent of one's birthplace lingers in the mind and in the heart as it does in one's speech.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The steadfastness of the wise is but the art of keeping their agitation locked in their hearts.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

wisdom

No one has ever taken the trouble to stretch and carry his understanding as far as it could go.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

understanding

In the misfortune of our best friends, we always find something which is not displeasing to us.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

misfortune

The accent of a man's native country remains in his mind and his heart, as it does in his speech.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)
The renown of great men should always be measured by the means which they have used to acquire it.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Hope, deceiving as it is, serves at least to lead us to the end of our lives by an agreeable route.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

hope

Hope, deceitful as it is, serves at least to lead us to the end of our lives by an agreeable route.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

hope

Interest speaks all sorts of tongues, and plays all sorts of parts, even that of disinterestedness.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

self-interest

Before strongly desiring anything, we should look carefully into the happiness of its present owner.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

contentment happiness wisdom

Smallness of mind is the cause of stubbornness, and we do not credit readily what is beyond our view.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

objectivity

True love is like a psychic experience. Everyone tells ghost stories, but few have ever seen a ghost.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

cynical true love

The reason why lovers are never weary of one another is this — they are always talking of themselves.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Old men are fond of giving good advice to console themselves for their inability to give bad examples.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

old age

There is no disguise which can for long conceal love where it exists or simulate it where it does not.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The pleasure of love is in loving; we are happier in the passion we feel than in the passion we inspire.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Perfect courage is to do without witnesses what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

courage

It is as easy to deceive ourselves without noticing as it is hard to deceive others without their noticing.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

deceit self-deception

What is called generosity is usually only the vanity of giving; we enjoy the vanity more than the thing given.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

generosity

We should often feel ashamed of our best actions if the world could see all of the motives which produced them.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

motives

Old men are fond of giving advice to console themselves for being no longer in a position to give bad examples.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

advice age

We would often be ashamed of our noblest actions if the world were acquainted with the motives that impelled us.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Absence lessens the minor passions and increases the great ones, as the wind douses a candle and kindles a fire.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

absence passion

Old men delight in giving good advice as a consolation for the fact that they can no longer provide bad examples.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

advice

Sometimes accidents happen in life from which we have need of a little madness to extricate ourselves successfully.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

insanity

As it is the characteristic of great wits to say much in few words, so it is of small wits to talk much and say nothing.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
The art of using moderate abilities to advantage wins praise, and often acquires more reputation than actual brilliancy.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

ability

Nothing ought more to humiliate men who have merited great praise than the care they still take to boast of little things.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)
Eloquence resides as much in the tone of voice, in the eyes, and in the expression of the face, as in the choice of words.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

eloquence

Few things are impracticable in themselves; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail of success.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

perseverance

Few things are impracticable in themselves, and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail of success.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us, and not remember how many times we have told it to the same persons?
— François de La Rochefoucauld

egotism

We often pride ourselves on even the most criminal passions, 
but envy is a timid and shame-faced passion we never dare acknowledge.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

envy

In the human heart there is a ceaseless birth of passions, so that the destruction of one is almost always the establishment of another.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Folly pursues us throughout our lives, and the man whom we call wise is he whose follies are proportionate to his age and to his fortune.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

folly

He who imagines he can do without the world deceives himself much; but he who fancies the world cannot do without him is still more mistaken.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
There is an eloquent silence: it serves sometimes to approve, sometimes to condemn; there is a mocking silence; there is a respectful silence.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

silence

Humility is often only a feigned submissiveness by which men hope to bring other people to submit to them; it is a more calculated sort of pride.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

humility

True bravery is shown by performing... True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

courage

The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what the other is saying.
— François de La Rochefoucauld

conversation

What men call friendship is no more than a partnership, a mutual care of interests, an exchange of favors – in a word, it is a sort of traffic, in which self-love ever proposes to be the gainer.
— François de La Rochefoucauld
Complete courage and absolute cowardice are extremes that very few men fall into. The vast middle space contains all the intermediate kinds and degrees of courage; and these differ as much from one another as men's faces or their humors do.
— François de La Rochefoucauld (Maximes)

courage courage and cowardice cowardice