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French philosopher, moralist and writer
(1645 - 1696)
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It is virtue which should determine us in the choice of our friends, without inquiring into their good or evil fortune.
      - [Friends]

It is worse to apprehend than to suffer.
      - [Anticipation]

It seems to me that the spirit of politeness is a certain attention in causing that, by our words and by our manners, others may be content with us and with themselves.
      - [Politeness]

Jesting, often, only proves a want of intellect.
  [Fr., La moquerie est souvent une indigence d'esprit.]
      - [Jesting]

Languages are the keys of science.
      - [Language]

Laziness begat wearisomeness, and this put men in quest of diversions, play and company, on which however it is a constant attendant; he who works hard, has enough to do with himself otherwise.
      - [Employment]

Let us not envy some men their accumulated riches; their burden would be too heavy for us; we could not sacrifice, as they do, health, quiet, honor, and conscience, to obtain them: it is to pay so dear for them, that the bargain is a loss.
      - [Wealth]

Liberality consists less in giving profusely than in giving judiciously.
      - [Benevolence]

Life is a kind of sleep: old men sleep longest, nor begin to wake but when they are to die.
      - [Life]

Logic is the art of convincing us some truth.
      - [Logic]

Love seizes on us suddenly, without giving warning, and our disposition or our weakness favors the surprise; one look, one glance from the fair, fixes and determines us. Friendship, on the contrary, is a long time forming; it is of slow growth, through many trials and months of familiarity.
      - [Love]

Man makes up his mind he will preach, and he preaches.
      - [Preaching]

Manners carry the world for the moment, character for all time.
      - [World]

Men are the cause of women not loving one another.
  [Fr., Les hommes sont la cause que les femmes ne s'aiment point.]
      - [Jealousy]

Men make the best friends.
      - [Friends]

Next to sound judgment, diamonds and pearls are the rarest things to be met with.
      - [Judgment]

Out of difficulties grow miracles.
      - [Difficulties]

Politeness does not always inspire goodness, equity, complaisance, and gratitude; it gives at least the appearance of these qualities, and makes man appear outwardly, as he should be within.
      - [Politeness]

Praise, of all things, is the most powerful excitement to commendable actions, and animates us in our enterprises.
      - [Praise]

Some young people do not sufficiently understand the advantages of natural charms, and how much they would gain by trusting to them entirely. They weaken these gifts of heaven, so rare and fragile, by affected manners and an awkward imitation. Their tones and their gait are borrowed; they study their attitudes before the glass until they have lost all trace of natural manner, and, with all their pains, they please but little.
      - [Good Breeding]

Talent, taste, wit, good sense, are very different things, but by no means incompatible. Between good sense and good taste there exists the same difference as between cause and effect, and between wit and talent there is the same proportion as between a whole and its parts.
      - [Taste]

The best thing next to wit is a consciousness that it is not in us; without wit, a man might then know how to behave himself, so as not to appear to be a fool or a coxcomb.
      - [Wit]

The events we most desire do not happen; or, if they do, it is neither in the time nor in the circumstances when they would have given us extreme pleasure.
      - [Anticipation]

The fears of old age disturb us, yet how few attain it?
      - [Old Age]

The fool only is troublesome. A plan of sense perceives when he is agreeable or tiresome; he disappears the very minute before he would have been thought to have stayed too long.
      - [Conversation]

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