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French philosopher, moralist and writer
(1645 - 1696)
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Avoid law suits beyond all things; they influence your conscience, impair your health, and dissipate your property.
      - [Law]

Avoid making yourself the subject of conversation.
      - [Egotism]

Born merely for the purpose of digestion.
      - [Gluttony]

Both as to high and low indifferently, men are prepossessed, charmed, fascinated by success; successful crimes are praised very much like virtue itself, and good fortune is not far from occupying the place of the whole cycle of virtues. It must be an atrocious act, a base and hateful deed, which success would not be able to justify.
      - [Success]

Caprice in woman is the antidote to beauty.
      - [Caprice]

Caprice in women often infringes upon the rules of decency.
      - [Decency]

Cheats easily believe others as bad as themselves; there is no deceiving them, nor do they long deceive.
      - [Deceit]

Criticism is as often a trade as a science; it requiring more health than wit, more labor than capacity, more practice than genius.
      - [Criticism]

Cunning is none of the best nor worst qualities; it floats between virtue and vice; there is scarce any exigence where it may not, and perhaps ought not to be supplied by prudence.
      - [Cunning]

Cunning leads to knavery; it is but a step from one to the other, and that very slippery; lying only makes the difference; add that to cunning, and it is knavery.
      - [Cunning]

Death never happens but once, yet we feel it every moment of our lives.
      - [Death]

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.
      - [Rudeness]

Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life; cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after our immediate interests and welfare. Discretion is only found in men of strong sense and good understanding; cunning is often to be met with in brutes themselves, and in persons who are but the fewest removes from them.
      - [Discretion]

Dissimulation, even the most innocent in its nature, is ever productive of embarrassment; whether the design is evil or not artifice is always dangerous and almost inevitably disgraceful.
      - [Dissimulation]

Duty is what goes most against the grain, because in doing that we do only what we are strictly obliged to, and are seldom much praised for it.
      - [Duty]

Eminent station makes great men more great, and little ones less.
      - [Station]

Extremes are vicious, and proceed from men; compensation is just, and proceeds from God.
      - [Extremes]

False glory is the rock of vanity; it seduces men to affect esteem by things which they indeed possess, but which are frivolous, and which for a man to value himself on would be a scandalous error.
      - [Vanity]

False modesty is the masterpiece of vanity: showing the vain man in such an illusory light that he appears in the reputation of the virtue quite opposite to the vice which constitutes his real character; it is a deceit.
      - [Vanity]

Favor exalts a man above his equals, but his dismissal from that favor places him below them.
      - [Favors]

For a woman to be at once a coquette and a bigot is more than the humblest of husbands can bear; she should mercifully choose between the two.
      - [Coquette]

Friendship * * * is a long time in forming, it is of slow growth, through many trials and months of familiarity.
      - [Friendship]

He is good that does good to others. If he suffers for the good he does, he is better still; and if he suffers from them to whom he did good, he is arrived to that height of goodness that nothing but an increase of his sufferings can add to it; if it proves his death, his virtue is at its summit--it is heroism complete.
      - [Benevolence]

He is rich whose income is more than his expenses; and he is poor whose expenses exceed his income.
      - [Riches]

He who can wait for what he desires takes the course not to be exceedingly grieved if he fails of it; he, on the, contrary, who labors after a thing too impatiently thinks the success when it comes is not a recompense equal to all the pains he has been at about it.
      - [Desire]

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