Jean De La Bruyère

(1645-1696 / Paris)

Jean De La Bruyère
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Jean de La Bruyère (16 August 1645 – 10 May 1696) was a French philosopher and moralist.

La Bruyère was born in Paris, (not, as was once thought, at Dourdan (in today's Essonne département) in 1645. His family was middle class, and his reference to a certain Geoffroy de La Bruyère, a crusader, is only a satirical illustration of a method of self-ennoblement common in France as in some other countries. Indeed he himself always signed the name Delabruyère in one word, as evidence of this. He could trace his family back at least as far as his great-grandfather, who had been a strong Leaguer. La Bruyère's own father was controller general of finance to the Hôtel de ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''We should laugh before being happy, for fear of dying without having laughed.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. Characters, "Of the Heart," aph. 63 (1688).
  • ''Everything has been said, and we have come too late, now that men have been living and thinking for seven thousand years and more.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. Characters, "Of Books," aph. 1 (1688).
  • ''We can recognize the dawn and the decline of love by the uneasiness we feel when alone together.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. Characters, "Of the Heart," aph. 33 (1688).
  • ''Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. Characters, "Of the Heart," aph. 47 (1688).
  • ''It is fortunate to be of high birth, but it is no less so to be of such character that people do not care to know whether you are or are not.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. Characters, "Of Personal Merit," aph. 21 (1688).
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