We fear all things as mortals,
and we desire all things as if we were immortal.

We should not be offended that other people hide
the truth from us, since we so often hide it from ourselves.

We readily criticize other people’s faults,
but we rarely use them to correct our own.

We strive less hard to be happy than
to make people think we are happy.

If we are too much in love,
it is hard to recognize
when we are no longer loved.

La Rochefoucauld

lettre II

All the men that exist in the world, are far removed from truth and just dealings;
but they are full of evil foolishness, which leads them to insatiable covetousness
and vain-glorious ambition.
I, however, forgetting all their worthlessness,
and shunning satiety,
and who wish to avoid all envy on the part of my countrymen,
and all appearance of arrogance, will never come to Persia,
since I am quite contented with a little,
and live as best suits my own inclination.



Those are amusing persons, he said,
who take great pride in the things which are not under our control.
A man says, ”I am better than you ; for I have many estates,
and you are half-dead with hunger.”
Another says, “I am a consular.”
Another, ”I am a procurator”
Another, ” I have thick curly hair”
But one horse does not say to another horse,
“I am better than you, for I have quantities of fodder,
and a great deal of barley, and my bridles are of gold,
and my saddle-cloths are embroidered,” but
“I can run faster than you can.”
And every creature is better or worse
because of its own particular virtue or vice.
Can it be, then, that man is the only creature without a special virtue,
but he must have recourse to his hair, and his clothes, and his grandsires ?


dada self-portrait

in the midst of life we are in death
poets tell many lies,
the philosophers tend to give with one hand
and take away with the other.
All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind;
the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind,
the softest things in the world overcome
the hardest things in the world,
non-being penetrates that in which there is no space
through this I know the advantage of taking no action.
I am not at all interested in immortality, only in the taste of tea.
Don’t eat your heart.
Granting our wish one of Fate’s saddest jokes is.

What you do not want done to yourself,
do not do to others.
Nothing endures but change,
let things flow naturally forward
in whatever way they like.
Wisdom outweighs any wealth,
and one evil, ignorance…
you cannot teach a crab to walk straight.

in the midst of life we are in life
poets tell no lies,
the philosophers tend to give with one hand
and take away with the other,
nothing is easier than self-deceit
for what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true…