Daily Archives: August 9, 2007

Item of the Day: Rochefoucault’s Maxims (1749)

Full Title: Moral Maxims: By the Duke de la Roche Foucault. Translated from the French. With notes. London: Printed for A. Millar, opposite Katharine Street, in the Strand, MDCCXLIX.

DECEIT

 XC.

We can’t bear to be deceived by our Enemies, and betrayed by our Friends; yet are often content to be so served by ourselves.

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XCI.

“Tis as easy to deceive ourselves without our perceiving it, as ’tis difficult to deceive others without their perceiving it.

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XCII.

A Resolution never to deceive exposes a Man to be often deceived.

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XCIII.

The Dulness of People is sometimes a sufficient Security against the Attack of an artful Man.

Bion used to say, “Twas no easy Thing to stick soft Cheese on a Hook. Diogen. Laert.

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XCIV.

He who imagines he can do without the World deceives himself much; but he who fancies the World can’t do without him is yet more mistaken.

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XCV.

In Love the Deceit almost always outstrips the Distrust.

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XCVI.

We are sometimes less unhappy in being deceived by those we love, than in being undeceived.

And we may cry out, with Horace’s Madman,

—–“Pol me occidistis, amici,

Non servatis, ait; cui sic extorta voluptas,

Et demptus per vim mentis gratissimus error.”

You have undone me, ill-judging Friends, in robbing me of such Pleasure; and in depriving me, against my Consent, of so delicious a Deception.

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XCVII.

When our Friends have deceived us, we have a Right to be indifferent to their Professions of Friendship; but we ought always to retain a Sensibility for their Misfortunes.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1740's, Eighteenth century, Philosophy, Posted by Caroline Fuchs