Follow us! We are so used to disguise ourselves to others, that at last we disguise ourselves even to ourselves. No people are more often wrong than those who will not allow themselves to be wrong. There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not. If we had no faults ourselves, we should not take such pleasure in observing those of others.
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He is part of the literary movement of classicism and best known for his maxims. Although he only officially published his Memoirs and his Maxims, his literary production is dense. Born in Paris in , at a time when the royal court was vacillating between aiding the nobility and threatening it, he was considered an exemplar of the accomplished seventeenth century nobleman.
Until , he bore the title of Prince de Marcillac. Bartholomew's Day massacre , being a Huguenot. La Rochefoucauld was given the education of a nobleman of his era, which concentrated on military exercises, hunting, court etiquette, elegance of expression and comportment, and a knowledge of the world. Belonging to one of the most illustrious families of the French nobility, the young La Rochefoucauld, then prince of Marcillac, succeeded at the age of 16 1 May to his uncle Benjamin de La Rochefoucauld, count of Estissac, as camp master of the Estissac regiment.
He joined the army the following year and almost immediately established himself as a public figure. He fought bravely in the annual campaigns, though his actions were never formally recognised.
Under the patronage of Madame de Chevreuse , whom he met at this time, the first of the three celebrated women who influenced his life, he joined the service of Queen Anne of Austria.
In one of Madame de Chevreuse's quarrels with Cardinal Richelieu and her husband, a scheme apparently was conceived by which La Rochefoucauld was to carry her off to Brussels on horseback.
Other cabals against Richelieu once resulted in La Rochefoucauld being sentenced to eight days in the Bastille , and he was occasionally required to leave the Court, exiled to his father's estates. However, the growing reputation of Mazarin impeded the ambition of the plotters, and La Rochefoucauld's liaison with Duchess of Longueville made him irrevocably a frondeur aristocratic rebel.
He was a conspicuous figure in the siege of Paris, fought in many of the frequent military engagements, and was seriously wounded at the siege of Mardyke.
He used the occasion of his father's funeral in to urge the attending provincial nobility to help him attack the royalist garrison of Saumur. In the battle of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine , in , he was shot through the head. It was feared that he would lose his sight, but he recovered after a year's convalescence.
For some years thereafter, he retired to his country estate of Verteuil. La Rochefoucauld did not return to court life until just before Mazarin's death, when Louis XIV was about to assume absolute power, and the aristocratic anarchy of the Fronde was over. He wrote his memoirs during this time, as did many of his prominent contemporaries. In , the Dutch firm House of Elzevir surreptitiously published what purported to be his memoirs, which brought him both trouble and fame.
Many of his old friends were offended. These memoirs were not a faithful copy of what he had written, and while he hastened to deny their authenticity, this was not generally believed. Three years later, in , he anonymously published the Maximes , maxims which established his position among the men of letters of the time. He had a circle of devoted friends and was recognized as a top-ranking moralist and man of letters.
His son, the Prince de Marcillac , to whom he gave his titles and honors in , enjoyed a considerable position at court. La Rochefoucauld's ethical views have given rise to attacks upon his works by pious moralists of later eras.
Like his contemporaries, he saw politics as a chessboard for powerful players, rather than as a struggle of ideologies or a means for achieving broad social goals. He appears to have been unusually scrupulous in his personal conduct, and his lack of success in the aristocratic struggles arose more from this than from anything else. He died in Paris on 17 March His importance as a social and historical figure is overshadowed by his towering stature in French literature. His literary work consists of three parts—his Memoirs , the Maximes , and his letters.
The Memoirs are of high interest and literary merit. A book purporting to be La Rochefoucauld's memoirs was published in the Dutch Republic whence, despite the author's protest, it continued to be reprinted for some thirty years. It has now been proved to have been pieced together from the work of half a dozen men, with scarcely a third of it being La Rochefoucauld's. Some years after La Rochefoucauld's death, a new recension appeared, still largely adulterated but with some errors corrected.
This work went unchallenged for more than a century. Only in did anything like a genuine, if still imperfect, edition appear. However, the pithy, elegant Maximes maxims had no such fate. The author made frequent alterations and additions to them during his life and a few were added after his death. It is usual now to publish them in their totality of La Rochefoucauld reflects on the conduct and motives of mankind, from the point of view of a man of the world who intends not to sugar-coat his observations.
In fact, in his introduction, he advises,. After that I guarantee that he will be the first to endorse them and he will believe that they do credit to the human spirit. Sincere enthusiasm is the only orator who always persuades. It is like an art the rules of which never fail; the simplest man with enthusiasm persuades better than the most eloquent with none. Men are not only subject to losing all recollection of kindnesses and injuries done them, they even hate those to whom they are obliged and cease to hate those who have harmed them.
The effort of repaying the kindness and avenging the evil seem to them a servitude to which they are unwilling to submit. Flirtatiousness is fundamental to a woman's nature, but not all put it into practice because some are restrained by fear or by good sense. There hardly exist faults which are not more pardonable than the means by which one tries to hide them. The truest mark of having been born with great qualities is to have been born without envy.
Referenced by Bernard Lonergan in Insight, People generally complain about their memory, but never about their judgment. La Rochefoucauld's thoughts on human nature concern, among a broad range of topics, pride and self-love , vanity , the passions and the emotions, love, sincerity, conversation, and politics. Nearly all the great French critics of the 19th century wrote to some extent about La Rochefoucauld.
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche greatly admired La Rochefoucauld and was influenced not only by his ethics, but also his style. Powell From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the French noble and writer. For other people with the same name, see La Rochefoucauld. Anne de Polignac 4. Galeotto II Pico della Mirandola 9. Silvia Pico della Mirandola Ippolita Gonzaga c. Bertrand de Madaillan d'Estissac c. Catherine Chabot????
Claude de Madaillan Madeleine du Fou du Vigean 1. Guillaume du Plessis-Liancourt Claude de Popincourt???? Charles du Plessis-Liancourt Gabrielle du Plessis-Liancourt Antoine, Lord de Pons Marin de Montchenu, Baron de Montchenu Antoinette de Pontbriand.
Lettres: in French. Collection XIX. A Paris: chez Claude Barbin. Retrieved 11 May — via Gallica. Les Maximes. This and the quote from the preface are ad hoc translations by Simone Thomas.
Gilbert et J. Paris: Librarie Hachette. Retrieved 13 May — via Internet Archive. Retrieved 15 May — via Internet Archive. Powell 2 ed. London: Methuen and Co. Retrieved 11 May — via Internet Archive. Willis Bund, M. Hain Friswell. New Edition. Galland-Szymkowiak, Mildred Montandon, Alain Editions du Seuil.
Categories : births deaths French Roman Catholics French memoirists Aphorists 17th-century French writers 17th-century male writers French letter writers French male non-fiction writers Dukes of La Rochefoucauld Literary peers Prisoners of the Bastille.
François de La Rochefoucauld (writer)
He is part of the literary movement of classicism and best known for his maxims. Although he only officially published his Memoirs and his Maxims, his literary production is dense. Born in Paris in , at a time when the royal court was vacillating between aiding the nobility and threatening it, he was considered an exemplar of the accomplished seventeenth century nobleman. Until , he bore the title of Prince de Marcillac. Bartholomew's Day massacre , being a Huguenot. La Rochefoucauld was given the education of a nobleman of his era, which concentrated on military exercises, hunting, court etiquette, elegance of expression and comportment, and a knowledge of the world. Belonging to one of the most illustrious families of the French nobility, the young La Rochefoucauld, then prince of Marcillac, succeeded at the age of 16 1 May to his uncle Benjamin de La Rochefoucauld, count of Estissac, as camp master of the Estissac regiment.
Maxims and Moral Reflections