Francois de La Rochefoucauld

(François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac)

Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  • Born: September 15, 1613
  • Died: March 17, 1680
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession: Writer









François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac was a noted French author of maxims and memoirs. It is said that his world-view was clear-eyed and urbane, and that he neither condemned human conduct nor sentimentally celebrated it. Born in Paris on the Rue des Petits Champs, at a time when the royal court was vacillating between aiding the nobility and threatening it, he was considered an exemplar of the accomplished 17th-century nobleman. Until 1650, he bore the title of Prince de Marcillac.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
Everyone complains of his memory, but no one complains of his judgment. Miscellaneous
Hardly any man is clever enough to know all the evil he does. Human Nature
How can we expect others to keep our secrets if we cannot keep them ourselves? Secrecy & Transparency
It is easier to seem worthy of positions one does not have than of those one does. Human Nature
Mediocre minds usually dismiss anything which reaches beyond their own understanding. Human Nature
Nothing is given so profusely as advice. Human Nature
Only great men have great faults. Only great men have great faults. Human Nature
Philosophy triumphs easily over past and future evils; but present evils triumph over philosophy. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side. Negotiating & Negotiations
Self-interest speaks all sorts of tongues and plays all sorts of characters, even that of disinterestedness Lobbying & Special Interests
Self-interest speaks all sorts of tongues and plays all sorts of characters, even that of disinterestedness. Human Nature
Some condemnations praise; some praise damns. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
The constitution shall be made, or we will cease to be Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
The love of justice is simply, in the majority of men, the fear of suffering injustice. Justice & Injustice
The true way to be deceived is to think oneself more knowing than others. Human Nature
There are few people who are more often wrong than those who cannot suffer being wrong. Human Nature
Those who apply themselves too much to little things often become incapable of great ones Management & Managing Government
We promise according to our hopes; we fulfill according to our fears. Human Nature
We should not be upset that others hide the truth from us, when we hide it so often from ourselves Human Nature ;Secrecy & Transparency
We try to make virtues out of the faults we have no wish to correct. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire. Friendship
All the passions make us commit faults; love makes us commit the most ridiculous ones. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
As great minds have the faculty of saying a great deal in a few words, so lesser minds have a talent of talking much, and saying nothing.
Decency is the least of all laws, but yet it is the law which is most strictly observed.
Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.
Flattery is a kind of bad money, to which our vanity gives us currency. Money, Coins & Minting
Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.
Gracefulness is to the body what understanding is to the mind.
Great souls are not those who have fewer passions and more virtues than others, but only those who have greater designs.
He who lives without folly isn't so wise as he thinks.
Heat of blood makes young people change their inclinations often, and habit makes old ones keep to theirs a great while.
Hope, deceiving as it is, serves at least to lead us to the end of our lives by an agreeable route. Hope
How can we expect another to keep our secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves?
However glorious an action in itself, it ought not to pass for great if it be not the effect of wisdom and intention.
Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.
I have always been an admirer. I regard the gift of admiration as indispensable if one is to amount to something; I don't know where I would be without it.
If we are to judge of love by its consequences, it more nearly resembles hatred than friendship. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Friendship
If we have not peace within ourselves, it is in vain to seek it from outward sources. War & Peace
If we resist our passions, it is more due to their weakness than our strength.
In friendship as well as love, ignorance very often contributes more to our happiness than knowledge. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Happiness & Unhappiness ;Friendship
In the human heart new passions are forever being born; the overthrow of one almost always means the rise of another.
It is a great act of cleverness to be able to conceal one's being clever.
It is almost always a fault of one who loves not to realize when he ceases to be loved. Relationships
It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.
It is easier to know men in general, than men in particular.
It is from a weakness and smallness of mind that men are opinionated; and we are very loath to believe what we are not able to comprehend.
It is great folly to wish to be wise all alone.
It is not enough to have great qualities; We should also have the management of them.
It is often laziness and timidity that keep us within our duty while virtue gets all the credit.
It is with an old love as it is with old age a man lives to all the miseries, but is dead to all the pleasures. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Jealousy contains more of self-love than of love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Jealousy is bred in doubts. When those doubts change into certainties, then the passion either ceases or turns absolute madness.
Jealousy lives upon doubts. It becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.
Many men are contemptuous of riches; few can give them away.
Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.
Most people know no other way of judging men's worth but by the vogue they are in, or the fortunes they have met with.
Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.
Nothing is so contagious as example; and we never do any great good or evil which does not produce its like.
Nothing prevents one from appearing natural as the desire to appear natural.
Old people love to give good advice; it compensates them for their inability to set a bad example. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
On neither the sun, nor death, can a man look fixedly. Death
One can find women who have never had one love affair, but it is rare indeed to find any who have had only one. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Women
One forgives to the degree that one loves.
Our actions seem to have their lucky and unlucky stars, to which a great part of that blame and that commendation is due which is given to the actions themselves.
Our concern for the loss of our friends is not always from a sense of their worth, but rather of our own need of them and that we have lost some who had a good opinion of us.
People always complain about their memories, never about their minds.
People's personalities, like buildings, have various facades, some pleasant to view, some not.
Perfect Valor is to do, without a witness, all that we could do before the whole world.
Politeness is a desire to be treated politely, and to be esteemed polite oneself.
Quarrels would not last long if the fault was only on one side.
Self-interest makes some people blind, and others sharp-sighted.
Some accidents there are in life that a little folly is necessary to help us out of. Life
Some people displease with merit, and others' very faults and defects are pleasing.
Taste may change, but inclination never.
The accent of one's birthplace remains in the mind and in the heart as in one's speech.
The defects and faults of the mind are like wounds in the body; after all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up, still there will be a scar left behind, and they are in continual danger of breaking the skin and bursting out again.
The defects of the mind, like those of the face, grow worse with age.
The force we use on ourselves, to prevent ourselves from loving, is often more cruel than the severest treatment at the hands of one loved.
The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune. Happiness & Unhappiness
The heart is forever making the head its fool.
The intellect is always fooled by the heart.
The name and pretense of virtue is as serviceable to self-interest as are real vices.
The one thing people are the most liberal with, is their advice.
The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.
The reason that lovers never weary each other is because they are always talking about themselves.
The sure mark of one born with noble qualities is being born without envy.
There are bad people who would be less dangerous if they were quite devoid of goodness.
There are but very few men clever enough to know all the mischief they do.
There are various sorts of curiosity; one is from interest, which makes us desire to know that which may be useful to us; and the other, from pride which comes from the wish to know what others are ignorant of.
There are very few people who are not ashamed of having been in love when they no longer love each other. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
There are very few things impossible in themselves; and we do not want means to conquer difficulties so much as application and resolution in the use of means.
There is a kind of elevation which does not depend on fortune; it is a certain air which distinguishes us, and seems to destine us for great things; it is a price which we imperceptibly set upon ourselves.
There is no better proof of a man's being truly good than his desiring to be constantly under the observation of good men.
There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Those that have had great passions esteem themselves for the rest of their lives fortunate and unfortunate in being cured of them.
Those who occupy their minds with small matters, generally become incapable of greatness.
Though men are apt to flatter and exalt themselves with their great achievements, yet these are, in truth, very often owing not so much to design as chance. Truth
Though nature be ever so generous, yet can she not make a hero alone. Fortune must contribute her part too; and till both concur, the work cannot be perfected. Nature ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
To achieve greatness one should live as if they will never die.
Too great haste to repay an obligation is a kind of ingratitude.
True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Virtue would go far if vanity did not keep it company.
We all have enough strength to endure the misfortunes of others.
We always love those who admire us, but we do not always love those whom we admire. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation.
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
We are sometimes as different from ourselves as we are from others.
We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
We have no patience with other people's vanity because it is offensive to our own. Patience
We may seem great in an employment below our worth, but we very often look little in one that is too big for us.
We may sooner be brought to love them that hate us, than them that love us more than we would have them do. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We only acknowledge small faults in order to make it appear that we are free from great ones.
We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears.
We seldom find people ungrateful so long as it is thought we can serve them.
We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them.
What men have called friendship is only a social arrangement, a mutual adjustment of interests, an interchange of services given and received; it is, in sum, simply a business from which those involved propose to derive a steady profit for their own self-love. Friendship ;Business, Commerce & Finance
What seems to be generosity is often no more than disguised ambition, which overlooks a small interest in order to secure a great one.
When a man is in love, he doubts, very often, what he most firmly believes. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
When a man must force himself to be faithful in his love, this is hardly better than unfaithfulness. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
When we are in love we often doubt that which we most believe. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us, and not remember how many times we have told it to the same person.
Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?
Women's virtue is frequently nothing but a regard to their own quiet and a tenderness for their reputation. Women
You can find women who have never had an affair, but it is hard to find a woman who has had just one. Women