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The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others. He who leaves your company pleased with himself and his own cleverness is perfectly well pleased with you. Jean de La Bruyère#Talk 78
Jean de La Bruyère#Talk 78
The pleasure of criticism deprives us of that of being deeply moved by beautiful things. Jean de La Bruyère#Criticism 61
Jean de La Bruyère#Criticism 61
Let us not envy some men their accumulated riches; their burden would be too heavy for us; we could not sacrifice, as they do, health, quiet, honor and conscience, to obtain them: It is to pay so dear from them that the bargain is a loss. Jean de La Bruyère#Riches 60
Jean de La Bruyère#Riches 60
Genius and great abilities are often wanting; sometimes, only opportunities. Some deserve praise for what they have done; others for what they would have done. Jean de La Bruyère#Opportunities 59
Jean de La Bruyère#Opportunities 59
There is a false modesty, which is vanity; a false glory, which is levity; a false grandeur, which is meanness; a false virtue, which is hypocrisy, and a false wisdom, which is prudery. Jean de La Bruyère#False 58
Jean de La Bruyère#False 58
How happy the station which every moment furnishes opportunities of doing good to thousands! How dangerous that which every moment exposes to the injuring of millions! Jean de La Bruyère#Goodness 58
Jean de La Bruyère#Goodness 58
It would be a kind of ferocity to reject indifferently all sorts of praise. One should be glad to have that which comes from good men who praise in sincerity things that are really praiseworthy. Jean de La Bruyère#Praise 57
Jean de La Bruyère#Praise 57
The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth. Jean de La Bruyère#Truth 56
Jean de La Bruyère#Truth 56
I am told so many ill things of a man, and I see so few in him, that I began to suspect he has a real but troublesome merit, as being likely too eclipse that of others. Jean de La Bruyère#Merit 55
Jean de La Bruyère#Merit 55
It is fortunate to be of high birth, but it is no less to be of such character that people do not care to know whether you are or are not. Jean de La Bruyère#Character 54
Jean de La Bruyère#Character 54
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