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JEAN DE LA FONTAINE
French poet and fabulist
(1621 - 1695)
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It is said, that the thing you possess is worth more than two you may have in the future. The one is sure and the other is not.
  [Fr., Un tiens vaut, ce dit-on, mieux que deux tu l'auras.
    L'un est sur, l'autre ne l'est pas.]
      - Fables (V, 3) [Possession]

To win a race, the swiftness of a dart
  Availeth not without a timely start.
    [Fr., Rien ne sert de courir: il faut partir a point.]
      - Fables (VI, 10) [Success]

Gentleness succeeds better than violence.
  [Fr., Plus fait douceur que violence.]
      - Fables (VI, 3) [Gentleness]

Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearance.
  [Fr., Garde-toi, tant que tu vivras,
    De juger des gens sur la mine.]
      - Fables (VI, 5) [Appearance]

Nothing is so dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is worth more.
  [Fr., Rien n'est si dangereux qu'un ignorant ami;
    Mieux vaudrait un sage ennemi.]
      - Fables (VIII, 10) [Enemies : Ignorance]

Let fools the studious despise,
  There's nothing lost by being wise.
    [Fr., Laissez dire les sots: le savoir a son prix.]
      - Fables (VIII, 19) [Knowledge]

Silent people are dangerous; others are not so.
  [Fr., Les gens sans bruit sont dangereux;
    Il n'en est pas ainsi des autres.]
      - Fables (VIII, 23) [Silence]

He knoweth the universe, and himself he knoweth not.
  [Fr., Il connoit l'universe, et ne se connoit pas.]
      - Fables (VIII, 26) [Knowledge]

Nothing is so oppressive as a secret: women find it difficult to keep one long; and I know a goodly number of men who are women in this regard.
  [Fr., Rien ne pese tant qu'un secret:
    Le porter loin est difficile aux dames;
      Et je sais meme sur ce fait
        Bon nombre d'hommes que sont femmes.]
      - Fables (VIII, 6) [Secrecy]

Blind fortune pursues inconsiderate rashness.
  [Fr., Fortune aveugle suit aveugle hardiesse.]
      - Fables (X, 14) [Fortune : Rashness]

No flowery road leads to glory.
  [Fr., Aucun chemin de fleurs ne conduit a la gloire.]
      - Fables (X, 14) [Glory]

The sign brings customers.
      - Fables--The Fortune Tellers
         (bk. VII, fable 15) [Business]

Better a living beggar than a buried emperor.
  [Fr., Mieux vaut goujat debout qu'empereur enterre.]
      - La Matrone d'Ephese [Beggary]

All roads lead to Rome, but our antagonists think we should choose different paths.
  [Fr., Tous chemins vont a Rome; ainsi nos concurrents
    Crurent pouvoir choisir des sentiers differents.]
      - Le Juge Arbitre--Fable XII (28, 4) [Rome]

Every newspaper editor owes tribute to the devil.
  [Fr., Tout faiseur de journaux doit tribut au Malin.]
      - Lettre a Simon de Troyes [Journalism]

We become innocent when we are unfortunate.
  [Fr., On devient innocent quand on est malheureux.]
      - Nymphes de Vaux [Innocence]

Diversity, that is my motto.
  [Fr., Diversite, c'est ma devise.]
      - Pate d' Anguille [Variety]

We read on the forehead of those who are surrounded by a foolish luxury, that Fortune sells what she is thought to give.
  [Fr., Il lit au front de ceux qu'um vain luxe environne,
    Que la fortune vend ce qu'on croit qu'elle donne.]
      - Philemon et Baucis [Fortune]


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