The Gentle Cynic

More maxims of Rochefoucauld:

  • “Before we passionately wish for anything, we should examine into the happiness of its possessor.”
  • “Were we perfectly acquainted with any object, we should never passionately desire it.”
  • “It is easier to appear worthy of the employments we are not possessed of, than of those we are.”
  • “Those who endeavor to imitate us we like much better than those who endeavor to equal us. Imitation is a sign of esteem but competition of envy.”
  • “We are often more agreeable through our faults than through our good qualities.”
  • “We easily excuse in our friends those faults that do not affect us.”
  • “None are either so happy or so unhappy as they imagine.”
  • “Censorious as the world is, it oftener does favor to false merit than injustice to true.”
  • “Absence destroys small passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes tapers, and kindles fires.”
  • “We never desire ardently what we desire rationally.”
  • “Our self-love bears with less patience the condemnation of our taste than of our opinion.”

And “Why have we memory sufficient to retain the minutest circumstances that have happened to us; and yet not enough to remember how often we have related them to the same person?”