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He who excels in his art so as to carry it to the utmost height of perfection of which it is capable may be said in some measure to go beyond it: his transcendent productions admit of no appellations.
He who has lived a day has lived an age.
High birth is a gift of fortune which should never challenge esteem towards those who receive it, since it costs them neither study nor labor.
How happy the station which every minute furnishes opportunities of doing good to thousands! how dangerous that which every moment exposes to the injuring of millions!
How much wit, good-nature, indulgences, how many good offices and civilities, are required among friends to accomplish in some years what a lovely face or a fine hand does in a minute!
I am told so many ill things of a man, and I see so few in him, that I begin to suspect he has a real but troublesome merit, as being likely to eclipse that of others.
I do not doubt but that genuine piety is the spring of peace of mind; it enables us to bear the sorrows of life, and lessens the pangs of death: the same cannot be said of hypocrisy.
I never have wit until I am below stairs.
[Fr., Je n'ai jamais d'esprit qu'au bas de l'escalier.]
- according to J.J. Rousseau [Wit]
I should like to see a man sober in his habits, moderate, chaste, just in his dealings, assert that there is no God; he would speak at least without interested motives; but such a man is not to be found.
I take sanctuary in an honest mediocrity.
If it is fortunate to be of noble ancestry, it is not less so to be such as that people do not care to be informed whether you are noble or ignoble.
If men wish to be held in esteem, they must associate with those only who are estimable.
If some men died and others did not, death would indeed be a most mortifying evil.
If this life is unhappy, it is a burden to us, which it is difficult to bear; if it is in every respect happy, it is dreadful to be deprived of it; so that in either case the result is the same, for we must exist in anxiety and apprehension.
If you suppress the exorbitant love of pleasure and money, idle curiosity, iniquitous pursuits and wanton mirth, what a stillness would there be in the greatest cities.
In art them is a point of perfection, as of goodness or maturity in nature; he who is able to perceive it, and who loves it, has perfect taste; he who does not feel it, or loves on this side or that, has an imperfect taste.
In art there is a point of perfection, as of goodness or maturity in nature: he who is able to perceive it, and who loves it, has perfect taste; he who does not feel it, or loves on this side or that, has an imperfect taste.
In the, world there are only two ways of raising one's self, either by one's own industry or by the weakness of others.
It is a proof of boorishness to confer a favor with a bad grace; it is the act of giving that is hard and painful. How little does a smile cost?
It is a sad thing when men have neither wit to speak well nor judgment to hold their tongues.
It is easier to enrich ourselves with a thousand virtues than to correct ourselves of a single fault.
It is motive alone that gives real value to the actions of men, and disinterestedness puts the cap to it.
It is quite as much of a trade to make a book as to make a clock. It requires more than mere genius to be an author.
It is through madness that we hate an enemy, and think of revenging ourselves; and it is through indolence that we are appeased, and do not revenge ourselves.
It is very rare to find ground which produces nothing; if it is not covered with flowers, with fruit trees and grains, it produces briers and pines. It is the same with man; if he is not virtuous, he becomes vicious.
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