Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Jean de La Fontaine

French Poet, Fabulist

"Imitators are a servile race."

"A hungry stomach cannot hear."

"All power is feeble unless it is united."

"We should look to the end in all things."

"Beware so long as you live, of judging people by appearances."

"The wise man is never surprised by death, for he is always ready to depart."

"By patience and time we sever what strength and rage could never."

"The miser lives a beggar's life."

"This is the law of the universe: if you wish that others should spare you, spare others."

"There is nothing useless to persons of sense."

"Use alone constitutes possession."

"Death never takes the wise person by surprise; they are always ready to go."

"To know one's self is the first of duties."

"When crime wishes to attack innocence, it can always find a pretext for doing so."

"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. "

"Be advised that all flatterers live at the expense of those who listen to them. "

"Everyone believes very easily whatever they fear or desire."

"Neither wealth or greatness render us happy. "

"Everyone has his faults which he continually repeats: neither fear nor shame can cure them. "

"Patience and time do more than strength or passion. "

"Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable. "

"The strongest passion is fear."

"People who make no noise are dangerous. "

"It is impossible to please all the world and one's father. "

"Nothing is as dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is to be preferred. "

"Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer. "

"Everyone calls himself a friend, but only a fool relies on it: nothing is commoner than the name, nothing rarer than the thing."

"A cheerful mind is a vigorous mind."

"Sadness flies away on the wings of time. "

"By the work one knows the workman."

"To live lightheartedly but not recklessly; to be gay without being boisterous; to be courageous without being bold; to show trust and cheerful resignation without fatalism — this is the art of living."

"Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish."