After abandoning politics when he was about forty, François, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) began to write down his maxims, which were first published in book form in 1665. Poetic, ironic, and frequently humorous, his wise observations can also be blunt and brutally candid:
Everyone blames his memory, no one his judgment.
Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.
It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are
We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us.
The more than 500 brief musings included here make for entertaining and thought-provoking reading. This invaluable collection will also serve as a sourcebook for writers, speakers, or anyone who needs a quick quip.
Reprint of the Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1917 edition.