Jean de La Bruyère

Jean de La
Bruyère
1645
1696

French Writer, Moralist, "The Theophrastus of France"

Author Quotes

The first thing men do when they have renounced pleasure, through decency, lassitude, or for the sake of health, is to condemn it in others. Such conduct denotes a kind of latent affection for the very things they left off; they would like no one to enjoy a pleasure they can no longer indulge in; and thus they show their feelings of jealousy.

Man has but three events in his life: to be born, to live, and to die. He is not conscious of his birth, he suffers at his death and he forgets to live.

Everything has been said, and we are more than seven thousand years of human thought too late.

Two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other's little failings.

This great misfortune - to be incapable of solitude.

There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honors too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience.

The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.

The giving is the hardest part; what does it cost to add a smile?

The first day one is a guest, the second a burden, and the third a pest.

Love and friendship exclude each other.

It is a sad thing when men have neither the wit to speak well nor the judgment to hold their tongues.

Grief at the absence of a loved one is happiness compared to life with a person one hates.

All of our unhappiness comes from our inability to be alone.

All men's misfortunes spring from their hatred of being alone.

A vain man finds it wise to speak good or ill of himself; a modest man does not talk of himself.

A position of eminence makes a great person greater and a small person less.

A man can keep another's secret better than his own. A woman her own better than others.

The same vices that are gross and insupportable in others we do not notice in ourselves.

Profound ignorance makes a man dogmatic. The man who knows nothing thinks he is teaching others what he has just learned himself; the man who knows a great deal cannot imagine that what he is saying is not common knowledge, and speaks more indifferently.

Death never happens but once, yet we feel it every moment of our lives.

Man does not live long enough to profit from his faults.

We are more sociable, and get on better with people by the heart than the intellect.

Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life. It is only found in men of sound sense and understanding.

Party loyalty lowers the greatest men to the petty level of the masses.

We hope to grow old, yet we fear old age; that is, we are willing to live, and afraid to die.

Author Picture
First Name
Jean de La
Last Name
Bruyère
Birth Date
1645
Death Date
1696
Bio

French Writer, Moralist, "The Theophrastus of France"