Jean de La Bruyère

Jean de La Bruyere (pronounced [--delabeyej-?] in French) (August 16, 1645 - May 10, 1696), was a French essayist and moralist

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A heap of epithets is poor praise: the praise lies in the facts, and in the way of telling them.
A man of the world must seem to be what he wishes to be thought.
A pious man is one who would be an athiest if the king were.
As favor and riches forsake a man, we discover in him the foolishness they concealed, and which no one perceived before.
Children have neither a past nor a future. Thus they enjoy the present - which seldom happens to us.
Discourtesy does not spring merely from one bad quality, but from several--from foolish vanity, from ignorance of what is due to others, from indolence, from stupidity, from distraction of thought, from contempt of others, from jealousy.
Don't wait to be happy to laugh... You may die and never have laughed
Grief that is dazed and speechless is out of fashion: the modern woman mourns her husband loudly and tells you the whole story of his death, which distresses her so much that she forgets not the slightest detail about it.
It is fortunate to be of high birth, but it is no less so to be of such character that people do not care to know whether you are or are not.
Making a book is a craft, like making a clock; it needs more than native wit to be an author.
One mark of a second-rate mind is to be always telling stories.
That man is good who does good to others; if he suffers on account of the good he does, he is very good; if he suffers at the hands of those to whom he has done good, then his goodness is so great that it could be enhanced only by greater sufferings; and if he should die at their hands, his virtue can go no further: it is heroic, it is perfect.
The slave has but one master, the ambitious man has as many as can help in making his fortune.
The slave has but one master, the ambitious man has as many as there are persons whose aid may contribute to the advancement of his fortunes.
There are only three events in a man's life birth, life, and death he is not conscious of being born, he dies in pain, and he forgets to live.
There are only two ways by which to rise in this world, either by one's own industry or by the stupidity of others.
To be among people one loves, that's sufficient; to dream, to speak to them, to be silent among them, to think of indifferent things; but among them, everything is equal.
We must laugh before we are happy, for fear we die before we laugh at all.

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