Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Vauvenargues, Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues NULL

French Moralist, Essayist, Writer of Aphorisms

"Mercy is better than justice."

"The mind is the soul’s eye."

"Man never rises to great truths without enthusiasm."

"The greatest evil which fortune can inflict on men is to endow them with small talents and great ambition."

"People find happiness both in wisdom and folly, virtue and vice. Contentment is no index of true worth."

"A fool is like the people who thinks little rich."

"A generous heart feels others' ills as if it were responsible for them."

"A liar is a man who does now know how to deceive, a flatterer one who only deceives fools: he who knows how to make skillful use of the truth, and understands its eloquence, can alone pride himself in cleverness."

"A man can hardly be said to have made a fortune if he does not know how to enjoy it."

"Action makes more fortunes than caution."

"Adversity makes a lot of guilty and imprudent."

"Addiction is born of society."

"All grand thoughts come from the heart."

"Age can give it the right to govern the reason?"

"All men are born truthful, and die liars."

"A man without passion is a king without a subject."

"Advice the easiest to use are the most useful."

"All that is unfair hurts us when we do not directly benefit."

"Anyone is more severe than the laws is a tyrant."

"Anyone who needs a reason to be engaged to lie was not born liar."

"Anything that flatters our vanity more is only based on the culture that we despise."

"As it is natural to believe many things without proof, so, despite all proof, is it natural to disbelieve others."

"Are we surprised if a sick man cannot walk, or keep awake, or stand upright? Would it not be more surprising if he was the same man as when he was well? If we have a headache, or have slept badly, we are excused for telling incapable of work, and yet no one suspects us of always being lazy. Shall we deny a dying man the privilege we grant a man with a headache? And dare we assert that the man who lacks courage in his last agony never possessed virtue when he was well."

"As soon as an opinion becomes common it is sufficient reason for men to abandon it and to uphold the opposite opinion until that in its turn grows old, and they require to distinguish themselves by other things. Thus if they attain their goal in some art or science, we must expect them soon to cast it aside to acquire some fresh fame, and this is partly the reason why the most splendid ages degenerate so quickly, and, scarcely emerged from barbarism, plunge into it again."

"Awareness of dying slander their lives."

"Children are taught to fear and obey; the avarice, pride, or timidity of parents teaches children economy, arrogance, or submission. They are also encouraged to be imitators, a course to which they are already too much inclined. No one thinks of making them original, courageous, independent."

"Before tackling abuse, we must know if we can destroy its foundations."

"Children are … encouraged to be imitators, a course to which they are already too much inclined. No one thinks of making them original, courageous, independent."

"Clarity is the good faith of philosophers."

"Cheerfulness is the mother of projections."

"Conscience, the organ of feeling which dominates us and of the opinions which rule us, is presumptuous in the strong, timid in the weak and unfortunate, uneasy in the undecided."

"Clarity is the counterbalance of profound thoughts."

"Common sense is not to think about things too much wisdom."

"Consciousness is the most changeable rules."

"Clearness is the ornament of profound thought."

"Consciousness of our abilities [powers] augments them."

"Consciousness of our strength increases it."

"Consistency is the illusion of love."

"Counsel is to give reasons for men to act they do not know."

"Courage has more resources against the misfortunes that reason."

"Courage is the light of adversity."

"Courage is adversity’s lamp."

"Despair is the largest of our mistakes."

"Despair fills not only our misery, but our weakness."

"Despair puts the last touch not only to our misery but also to our weakness."

"Despair is the largest errors."

"Disbelief his enthusiasm and superstition."

"Do not judge a man by what he does not know, but what he knows."

"Do not be offended that others are hiding the truth, as we so often we hide ourselves."

"Diseases suspend our virtues and our vices."