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Jean de La Bruyere (1645 – 1696)


French essayist and moralist.
Jean de La Bruyere
“Horace or Boileau have said such a thing before you.”—”I take your word for it, but I have used it as my own. May I not have the same correct thought after them, as others may have after me?”
La Bruyere quotes
The giving is the hardest part; what does it cost to add a smile?
La Bruyere
There are only two ways of getting on in the world: by one's own industry, or by the stupidity of others.




La Bruyere Jean de quotes
There are but three events in a man's life: birth, life and death. He is not conscious of being born, he dies in pain, and he forgets to live.
La Bruyere Jean de
Most men make use of the first part of their life to render the last part miserable.
Jean de La Bruyere quotes
If it be true that in showing pity and compassion we think of ourselves, because we fear to be one day or another in the same circumstances as those unfortunate people for whom we feel, why are the latter so sparingly relieved by us of their condition?
Jean de La Bruyere
To laugh at men of sense is the privilege of fools.
La Bruyere Jean de quotes
One seeks to make the loved one entirely happy, or, if that cannot be, entirely wretched.
La Bruyere
Menippus is a bird decked in various feathers which are not his. He neither says nor feels anything, but repeats the feelings and sayings of others; it is so natural for him to make use of other people’s minds that he is the first deceived by it, and often believes he speaks his own mind or expresses his own thoughts when he is but the echo of some man he just parted with.
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We should keep silent about those in power; to speak well of them almost implies flattery; to speak ill of them while they are alive is dangerous, and when they are dead is cowardly.
Jean de La Bruyere
Time, which strengthens friendship, weakens love.




Jean de La Bruyere quotes
There is, however, nothing wanting to the idleness of a philosopher but a better name, and that meditation, conversation, and reading should be called “work.”
Jean de La Bruyere
From time to time there appear on the face of the earth men of rare and consummate excellence, who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light. Like those extraordinary stars of whose origins we are ignorant, and of whose fate, once they have vanished, we know even less, such men have neither forebears nor descendants: they are the whole of their race.
La Bruyere quotes
Nothing more clearly shows how little God esteems his gift to men of wealth, money, position and other worldly goods, than the way he distributes these, and the sort of men who are most amply provided with them.
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Grief at the absence of a loved one is happiness compared to life with a person one hates.
La Bruyere Jean de quotes
There are certain things in which mediocrity is intolerable: poetry, music, painting, public eloquence. What torture it is to hear a frigid speech being pompously declaimed, or second-rate verse spoken with all a bad poet's bombast!
Jean de La Bruyere
The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you. Most men would rather please than admire you; they seek less to be instructed, and even to be amused, than to be praised and applauded.
Jean de La Bruyere quotes
Making a book is a craft, like making a clock; it needs more than native wit to be an author.
Jean de La Bruyere
A wise man is cured of ambition by ambition itself; his aim is so exalted that riches, office, fortune, and favor cannot satisfy him.
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Marriage, it seems, confines every man to his proper rank.


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