Collected Maxims and Other Reflections: with parallel French text (Oxford World's Classics)
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Deceptively brief and insidiously easy to read, La Rochefoucauld's shrewd, unflattering analyses of human behavior have influenced writers, thinkers, and public figures as various as Voltaire, Proust, de Gaulle, Nietzsche, and Conan Doyle.
This is the fullest collection of La Rochefoucauld's writings ever published in English, and includes the first complete translation of the Réflexions diverses (Miscellaneous Reflections). This edition includes an excellent introduction that surveys La Rochefoucauld's life, the genesis of his work, its form and content, and its influence, as well as comprehensive explanatory notes. A table of alternative maxim numbers and an extensive and invaluable index of topics help the reader to locate any maxim quickly and to appreciate the full range of La Rochefoucauld's thought on any of his favorite themes, such as self-love, vice and virtue, love and jealousy, friendship and self-interest, passion and pride.
they may be, alike prevent us from being conscious of our friends’ faults.  : Most friends make us lose our taste for friendship, and most pious people make us lose our taste for piety.  : We readily forgive our friends for faults that do not affect us.  : Women in love forgive major indiscretions more readily than minor infidelities.  : In the final stage of love, as in that of life, we are still living for pains, but no longer for pleasures.  :
Nothing prevents us from being natural as much as the wish to look natural.  : In a sense we take some credit for fine deeds if we praise them wholeheartedly.  : The surest sign of being born with great qualities is being born without envy.  La Rochefoucauld : Quand nos amis nous ont trompés on ne doit que de l’indifférence aux marques de leur amitié, mais on doit toujours de la sensibilité à leurs malheurs. : La fortune et l’humeur gouvernent le monde.
us a position of greatness without having led us to it step by step, and without our having hoped for it, it is almost impossible to fill it well and seem worthy of holding it.  : What we take away from our other faults is often added to our pride.  La Rochefoucauld : Il n’y a point de sots si incommodes que ceux qui ont de l’esprit. : Il n’y a point d’homme qui se croie en chacune de ses qualités au-dessous de l’homme du monde qu’il estime le plus. : Dans
ténèbres de ses abîmes. Là, il est à couvert des Maxims from I example––not to allow his mind to be misled by the first impulse that enters his heart, but to make sure, if possible, that self-love does not contribute to his judgement; because if he listens to self-love, he cannot expect to view these Maxims favourably: they present selflove as a corrupter of reason, and that will not fail to prejudice his mind against them. It is necessary, therefore, to avoid justifying one’s criticisms
of an aversion to it, but because of the harm it does us.  : The first impulse of joy that we have when our friends are fortunate, comes neither from the kindness of our nature nor from the friendship we feel for them. It is a product of self-love, which flatters us with the hope that we in turn may be fortunate too, or that we may derive something useful from their good fortune.  : In the adversity of our best friends we always find something that does not displease us.