I find most of Rochefoucauld’s thoughts to simply be a very selfish and negative interpretation of things asserting selfish passions to be behind virtues, with very few wise observances.

9.-The passions possess a certain injustice and self interest which makes it dangerous to follow them, and in reality we should distrust them even when they appear most trustworthy.

14. —Men are not only prone to forget benefits and injuries; they even hate those who have obliged them, and cease to hate those who have injured them. The necessity of revenging an injury or of recompensing a benefit seems a slavery to which they are unwilling to submit.

29. —The evil that we do does not attract to us so much persecution and hatred as our good qualities.

30. —We have more strength than will; and it is often merely for an excuse we say things are impossible.

31. —If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.

34. —If we had no pride we should not complain of that of others.

39. —Interest speaks all sorts of tongues and plays all sorts of characters; even that of disinterestedness.

41. —Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things.

43. —A man often believes himself leader when he is led; as his mind endeavours to reach one goal, his heart insensibly drags him towards another.

78. —The love of justice is simply in the majority of men the fear of suffering injustice.

["The proud are ever most provoked by pride."—Cowper, Conversation 160.]

["The reason why the Cardinal (Mazarin) deferred so long to grant the favours he had promised, was because he was persuaded that hope was much more capable of keeping men to their duty than gratitude."—Fragments Historiques. Racine.]

["Ambition has been so strong as to make very miserable men take comfort that they were supreme in misery; and certain it is{, that where} we cannot distinguish ourselves by something excellent, we begin to take a complacency in some singular infirmities, follies, or defects of one kind or other." —Burke, {On The Sublime And Beautiful, (1756), Part I, Sect. XVII}.] {The translators' incorrectly cite Speech On Conciliation With America. Also, Burke does not actually write "Ambition has been...", he writes "It has been..." when speaking of ambition.}

["Prosperity do{th} best discover vice, but adversity do{th} best discover virtue."—Lord Bacon, Essays{, (1625), "Of Adversity"}.]

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