Jean De La Bruyère

(1645-1696 / Paris)

Jean De La Bruyère Quotes

  • ''There are certain things in which mediocrity is intolerable: poetry, music, painting, public eloquence. What torture it is to hear a frigid speech being pompously declaimed, or second-rate verse spoken with all a bad poet's bombast!''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Books," aph. 7, Characters (1688).
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  • ''We should keep silent about those in power; to speak well of them almost implies flattery; to speak ill of them while they are alive is dangerous, and when they are dead is cowardly.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Great Nobles," aph. 56, Characters (1688).
  • ''Lofty posts make great men greater still, and small men much smaller.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Man," aph. 95, Characters (1688).
  • ''One mark of a second-rate mind is to be always telling stories.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Opinions," aph. 52, Characters (1688).
  • ''No man is so perfect, so necessary to his friends, as to give them no cause to miss him less.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Personal Merit," aphorism 35, Characters (1688).
  • ''Marriage, it seems, confines every man to his proper rank.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Personal Merit," aph. 25, Characters (1688).
  • ''Outward simplicity befits ordinary men, like a garment made to measure for them; but it serves as an adornment to those who have filled their lives with great deeds: they might be compared to some beauty carelessly dressed and thereby all the more attractive.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Personal Merit," aph. 17, Characters (1688).
  • ''You may drive a dog off the King's armchair, and it will climb into the preacher's pulpit; he views the world unmoved, unembarrassed, unabashed.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of Personal Merit," aph. 38, Characters (1688).
  • ''The giving is the hardest part; what does it cost to add a smile?''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of the Court," aph. 45, Characters (1688).
  • ''Grief at the absence of a loved one is happiness compared to life with a person one hates.''
    Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. "Of the Heart," aph. 40, Characters (1688).

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