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French philanthropist and social reformer
(1613 - 1680)
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Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire.
  [Fr., L'absence diminue les mediocres passions et augmente les grandes, comme le vent eteint les bougies et allume le feu.]
      - Maximes (276) [Absence]

There is a season for man's merit as well as for fruit.
  [Fr., Le merite des hommes a sa saison aussi bien que les fruits.]
      - Maximes (291) [Merit]

We sometimes think that we hate flattery, but we only hate the manner in which it is done.
  [Fr., On croit quelquefoir hair la flatterie; maid on ne hait que a maniere de flatter.]
      - Maximes (329) [Flattery]

The accent of one's country dwells in the mind and in the heart as much as in the language.
  [Fr., L'accent du pays ou l'on est ne demeure dans l'esprit et dans le coeur comme dans le langage.]
      - Maximes (342) [Language]

A fool has not material enough to be good.
  [Fr., Un sot n'a pas assez d'etoffe pour etre bon.]
      - Maximes (387) [Folly]

That which makes the vanity of others unbearable to us is that which wounds our own.
  [Fr., Ce qui nous rend la vanite des autres insupportable, c'est qu'elle blesse la notre.]
      - Maximes (389) [Vanity]

There is merit without elevation, but there is no elevation without some merit.
  [Fr., Il y a du merite sans elevation mais il n'y a point d'elevation sans quelque merite.]
      - Maximes (401) [Merit]

It is easier to know mankind in general than man individually.
  [Fr., Il est plus aise de connaitre l'homme en general que de connaitre un homme en particulier.]
      - Maximes (436) [Man]

Few persons know how to be old.
  [Fr., Peu de gens savent etre vieux.]
      - Maximes (448) [Age]

We sometimes see a fool possessed of talent, but never of judgment.
  [Fr., On est quelquefois un sot avec de l'esprit; mais on ne l'est jamais avec du jugement.]
      - Maximes (456) [Judgment]

Old age is a tyrant who forbids, upon pain of death, all the pleasures of youth.
  [Fr., La vieillesse est un tyran qui defend, sur peine de al vie, tous les plaisirs de la jeunesse.]
      - Maximes (461) [Age]

Truth does not do so much good in the world, as the appearance of it does evil.
  [Fr., La verite ne fait pas tant de bien dans le monde, que ses apparences y font de mal.]
      - Maximes (59) [Truth]

Gallantry of mind consists in saying flattering things in an agreeable manner.
      - Maxims (103) [Flattery]

The more we love a mistress, the nearer we are to hating her.
      - Maxims (114) [Love]

Our virtues are most frequently but vices disguised.
      - Maxims (179),
        (ed. 1665), in 4th ed. at head of "Reflexions"

True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world!
      - Maxims (216) [Bravery]

The reason why lovers and their mistresses never tire of being together is that they are always talking of themselves.
  [Fr., Ce qui fait que amants et les maitresses ne s'ennuient point d'etre ensemble; c'est qu'ils parlent toujours d'eux memes.]
      - Maxims (312) [Love]

We hardly find any persons of good sense save those who agree with us.
      - Maxims (347) [Opinion]

Neither the sun nor death can be looked at with a steady eye.
      - Maxims (36) [Death]

Fortune never seems so blind as to those upon whom she confers no favors.
  [Fr., La fortune ne parait jamais si aveugle qu' a ceux a qui elle ne fait pas de bien.]
      - Maxims (391) [Fortune]

The head is always the dupe of the heart.
      - Maxims (no. 105) [Heart]

It is a species of coquetry to make a parade of never practising it.
      - Maxims (no. 110) [Coquetry]

If we resist our passions it is more from their weakness than from our strength.
      - Maxims (no. 125) [Passion]

Too great refinement is false delicacy, and true delicacy is solid refinement.
      - Maxims (no. 131) [Comparison]

The only good copies are those which exhibit the defects of bad originals.
      - Maxims (no. 136) [Painting]

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