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Category: Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

“Though there is nothing I would not do to comfort an afflicted person, and I really believe that one should do all one can to show great sympathy to him for his misfortune, for miserable people are so foolish that this does them the greatest good in the world; yet I also hold that we should be content with expressing sympathy, and carefully avoid having any. It is a passion that is wholly worthless in a well-regulated mind, which only serves to weaken the heart, and which should be left to ordinary persons, who, as they never do anything from reason, have need of passions to stimulate their actions.” – Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Reflections; Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims (trans. J. W. Willis Bund and J. Hain Friswell)

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“It would seem that man thinks himself insufficiently supplied with faults, for he increases the number by sundry strange qualities which he affects and cultivates with such diligence that they finally become faults so natural to him that he can no longer correct them.” – François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims (trans. John Heard)

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“Of all our failings laziness is the least known to us. None is more powerful or more malignant, although its ravages are hidden. If we examine carefully into its influence we shall find that it is invariably mistress of our sentiments, interests and pleasures. It is an octopus which holds up the greatest ships; it is a flat calm more dangerous to important ventures than reefs or hurricanes. The indolence of sloth has a subtle and hidden charm for our souls which suspends our most ardent efforts, and crumbles our firmest resolutions.” – François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims (trans. John Heard)

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“The Philosophers’ scorn of wealth was but their secret ambition to exalt their merit above fortune by deriding those blessings which Fate denied them. It was a ruse to shield them from the sordidness of poverty, and a subterfuge to attain that distinction which they could not achieve by wealth.” – François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims (trans. John Heard)

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