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François Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680) 

French classical author. His Maximes (1665, fifth enlarged edition 1678) are terse, highly polished observations on human nature, which undermine the concept of disinterested virtue and the power of the will depicted by Corneille in his plays. La Rochefoucauld substitutes a pessimistic picture of man in which subconscious self-love lies behind every action. His views reflect the changing moral climate of the later 17th century, also seen in the work of Mme de La Fayette.

as in friendship so in love, we are often happier from ignorance than from knowledge
hypocrisy is homage paid by vice to virtue
it is more shameful to distrust one\'s friends than to be deceived by them
it is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow
often we do good so that we can then do evil with impunity
only great men have great faults
that which makes the vanity of others insupportable to us, is that it wounds our own
the best way of duping yourself is to believe that you are more cunning than others
the evil we do does not attract as much hate and hostility as do our good deeds
there is no passion in which the ego reigns so strongly as being in love; one is always more prepared to sacrifice the tranquility of the person being loved than to lose one\'s own
too great haste to repay an obligation is a kind of ingratitude
we forget our faults easily when they are known to ourselves alone
we have all sufficient strength to endure the misfortunes of others
we would often be ashamed of our most well-intentioned actions if others could see what motivated them
whoever is not capable of love is even more unhappy than he who is loved by nobody