Jean de La Bruyère Quotes

Most popular Jean de La Bruyère Quotes

We all covet wealth, but not its perils.
— Jean de La Bruyère


Profound ignorance makes a man dogmatic.

ignorance dogma

False modesty is the refinement of vanity. It is a lie.
— Jean de La Bruyère
If Poverty is the Mother of Crimes, want of Sense is the Father.
— Jean de La Bruyère
Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think.
— Jean de La Bruyère
The most amiable men are those who least wound the self-love of others.
— Jean de La Bruyère
Liberality consists less in giving a great deal than in gifts well timed.
— Jean de La Bruyère
Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness.
— Jean de La Bruyère

time management

To give awkwardly is churlishness.  The most difficult part is to give, then why not add a smile?


The most delicate, the most sensible of all pleasures, consists in promoting the pleasure of others.
— Jean de La Bruyère
The wit of conversation consists more in finding it in others than in showing a great deal yourself.
— Jean de La Bruyère

conversation wit

Modesty is to merit what shade is to figures in a picture; it gives it strength and makes it stand out.
— Jean de La Bruyère


There are only two ways of getting on in this world: by one's own industry or by the stupidity of others!
— Jean de La Bruyère

hard work

A slave has but one master; an ambitious man has as many masters as there are people who may be useful in bettering his position.


A long illness seems to be placed between life and death, in order to make death a comfort both to those who die and to those who remain.


From time to time there appear on the face of the earth men of rare and consummate excellence, who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light.

the human condition excellence example

True greatness is free, kind, familiar and popular; it lets itself be touched and handled, it loses nothing by being seen at close quarters; the better one knows it, the more one admires it.


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!