Thursday, June 16, 2005

#8 Maxims

Old age is a tyrant who forbids, upon pain of death, all the pleasures of youth. Truth does not do so much good in the world, as the appearance of it does evil. Gallantry of mind consists in saying flattering things in an agreeable manner. The more we love a mistress, the nearer we are to hating her. Our virtues are most frequently but vices disguised. True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world! The reason why lovers and their mistresses never tire of being together is that they are always talking of themselves. We hardly find any persons of good sense save those who agree with us. Neither the sun nor death can be looked at with a steady eye. Fortune never seems so blind as to those upon whom she confers no favors. The head is always the dupe of the heart. It is a species of coquetry to make a parade of never practising it. If we resist our passions it is more from their weakness than from our strength. Too great refinement is false delicacy and true delicacy is solid refinement. The only good copies are those which exhibit the defects of bad originals. A refusal of praise is a desire to be praised twice. It is never so difficult to speak as when we are ashamed of our silence. The moderation of fortunate people comes from the calm which good fortune gives to their tempers. There are heroes in evil as well as in good. We do not despise all those who have vices but we despise all those who have not a single virtue. Some people resemble ballads which are only sung for a certain time. Coquetry is the essential characteristic, and the prevalent humor of women; but they do not all practise it, because the coquetry of some is restrained by fear or by reason. Preserving the health by too strict a regimen is a worrisome malady. Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers. In jealousy there is more self-love than love. Chance corrects us of many faults that reason would not know how to correct. Jealousy lives upon doubts, it becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty. Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means. It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible. We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears. We should often feel ashamed of our best actions if the world could see all the motives which produced them. We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them. Weakness of character is the only defect which cannot be amended.


Tom Beckett said...

Brilliant, caro maestro.

shanna said...

like barbed wire