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JEAN DE LA BRUYERE
French philosopher, moralist and writer
(1645 - 1696)
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Wit is the god of moments, but Genius is the god of ages.
      - [Genius]

Women are engaged to men by the favors they grant them; men are disengaged by the same favors.
      - [Women]

Women are ever in extremes; they are either better or worse than men.
      - [Extremes : Sensibility]

Women are extreme in all points. They are better or worse than men.
      - [Women]

You think a man to be your dupe; if he pretends to be so, who is the greatest dupe he or, you?
      - [Delusion]

Young people are dazzled by the brilliancy of antithesis, and employ it. Matter-of-fact men, and those who like precision, naturally fall into comparisons and metaphor. Sprightly natures, full of fire, and whom a boundless imagination carries beyond all rules, and even what is reasonable, cannot rest satisfied even with hyperbole. As for the sublime, it is only great geniuses and those of the very highest order that are able to rise to its height.
      - [Style]

A judge's duty is to grant justice, but his practice is to delay it: even those judges who know their duty adhere to the general practice.
  [Fr., Le devoir des juges est de rendre justice, leur metier est de la differer; quelques uns savent leur devoir, et font leur metier.]
      - Les Caracteres [Judges]

Rarely do they appear great before their valets.
  [Fr., Rarement ils sont grands vis-a-vis de leur valets-de-chambre.]
      - Les Caracteres [Heroes]

Eloquence is to the sublime what the whole is to the part.
  [Fr., L'eloquence est au sublime ce que le tout est a sa partie.]
      - Les Caracteres (ch. I) [Eloquence]

A good saying often runs the risk of being thrown away when quoted as the speaker's own.
  [Fr., C'est souvent hasarder un bon mot et vouloir le perdre que de le donner pour sien.]
      - Les Caracteres (II) [Quotations]

Men blush less for their crimes than for their weaknesses and vanity.
  [Fr., Les hommes rougissent moins de leur crimes que de leurs faiblesses et de leur vanite.]
      - Les Caracteres (II) [Blushes]

The beginning and the end of love are both marked by embarrassment when the two find themselves alone.
  [Fr., Le commencement et le declin de l'amour se font sentir par l'embarras ou l'on est de se trouver seuls.]
      - Les Caracteres (IV) [Love]

We trust our secrets to our friends, but they escape from us in love.
  [Fr., L'on confie son secret dans l'amitie, mais il echappe dans l'amour.]
      - Les Caracteres (IV) [Secrecy]

The wise man sometimes flees from society from fear of being bored.
      - Les Caracteres (V) [Society]

When a secret is revealed, it is the fault of the man who confided it.
      - Les Caracteres (V) [Secrecy]

You think him to be your dupe; if he feigns to be so who is the greater dupe, he or you?
  [Fr., Vous le croyez votre dupe: s'il feint de l'etre, qui est plus dupe, de lui ou de vous?]
      - Les Caracteres (V) [Deceit]

There are but two ways of rising in the world: either by one's own industry or profiting by the foolishness of others.
  [Fr., Il n'y a au monde que deux manieres de s'elever, ou par sa propre industrie, ou par l'imbecilite des autres.]
      - Les Caracteres (VI) [Success]

The court is like a palace built of marble; I mean that it is made up of very hard but very polished people.
  [Fr., La cour est comme un edifice bati de marbre; je veux dire qu'elle est composee d'hommes fort durs mais fort polis.]
      - Les Caracteres (VIII) [Royalty]

Children have neither past nor future; and that which seldom happens to us, they rejoice in the present.
  [Fr., Les enfants n'ont ni passe ni avenir; et, ce qui ne nous arrive guere, ils jouissent du present.]
      - Les Caracteres (XI) [Childhood]

Most men employ the first part of life to make the other part miserable.
  [Fr., La plupart des hommes emploient la premiere part vie a rendre l'autre miserable.]
      - Les Caracteres (XI) [Life]

We dread old age, which are not sure of being able to attain.
  [Fr., L'on craint la vieillesse, que l'on n'est pas sur de pouvoir atteindre.]
      - Les Caracteres (XI) [Age]

We hope to grow old and we dread old age; that is to say, we love life and we flee from death.
  [Fr., L'on espere de vieillir, et l'on craint la vieillesse; l'on aime la vie et l'on fuit la mort.]
      - Les Caracteres (XI) [Age]

We never deceive for a good purpose: knavery adds malice to falsehood.
  [Fr., On ne trompe point en bien; la fourberie ajoute la malice au mensonge.]
      - Les Caracteres (XI) [Deceit]

A fool is one whom simpletons believe to be a man on merit.
  [Fr., Un fat celui que les sots croient un homme de merite.]
      - Les Caracteres (XII) [Folly]

A look of intelligence is what regularity of features is to women: it is a styule of beauty to which the most vain may aspire.
  [Fr., L'air spirituel est dans les hommes ce que la regularite des traits est dans les femmes: c'est le genre de beaute ou les plus vains puissent aspirer.]
      - Les Caracteres (XII) [Beauty]


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