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Maxims of Rochefoucauld:

  • “Few men are able to know all the ill they do.”
  • “We are never made so ridiculous by the qualities we have, as by those we affect to have.”
  • “In every profession, every individual affects to appear what he would willingly be esteemed; so that we may say, the world is composed of nothing but appearances.”
  • “We like better to see those on whom we confer benefits, than those from whom we receive them.”
  • “Everybody takes pleasure in returning small obligations; many go so far as to acknowledge moderate ones; but there is hardly any one who does not repay great obligations with ingratitude.”
  • “In misfortunes we often mistake dejection for constancy; we bear them without daring to look on them, as cowards suffer themselves to be killed without resistance.”
  • “None but the contemptible are apprehensive of contempt.”
  • “We want strength to act up to our reason.”
  • “We easily forget crimes that are known only to ourselves.”
  • “It is as easy to deceive ourselves without our perceiving it, as it is difficult to deceive others without their perceiving it.”
  • “We are sometimes less unhappy in being deceived than in being undeceived by those we love.”

And “Those who apply themselves too much to little things commonly become incapable of great ones.”

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