In order to translate an English statement like this, you would have to slide the indirect object to its proper place. Il aime les bonbons. Il aime les bonbons? Does he like sweets? To form a question, attach "Est-ce que Sometimes "que" has to be modified to "qu'" for elision.
Est-ce is actually the inversion of c'est "it is". Like all inversions a '-' dash is required. These questions in this form are typically mean't to elicit a "Oui" or "Non" answer. If you want more than that, you must precede it with an interrogative: Quand est-ce que, Qui est-ce que, or Quel est-ce que, for example.
Some of these later examples can more easily be said by just leaving the inversion off. If the question is negative, then the form is: N'est-ce pas qu'il fait beau temps? It is good weather, is it not? Il aime ce film. He likes this film. This is considered to be the most formal way to ask a question out of the three. The indicative form of the following sentences will be placed in parentheses for comparison.
To ask a question by inversion, simply invert the verb and the subject the pronoun and insert a hyphen un trait d'union in between. Do you like apples? Tu aimes les pommes. In the case where the verb ends in a vowel while the subject starts with one, a "t" needs to be inserted to avoid elision. Did she make the decision already? She made the decision already. For third person plural verbs ending in "ent" , there is no need to insert the "t".
Are they buying a house? They are buying a house. If the subject is a noun instead of a pronoun, invert the verb and the pronoun that represents the subject. Did Marie choose this shirt? Marie chose this shirt. Marie a choisi cette chemise. For negative such as "ne Didn't you eat the whole pizza? You didn't eat the whole pizza. Have you been there? You have been there. If you finish your homework, I'll give you some candies. Si tu finis tes devoirs, je te donnerai des bonbons. If you are cold, close the window.
If I had a million dollars, I would buy a house. If I had known or "had I known" computers were so useful, I would have taken a computer course. Pronominal verbs are verbs that include pronouns. These pronouns are me , te , se , nous , and vous and are used as either direct objects or indirect objects, depending on the verb that they modify.
Either the conjugated verb or the infinitive can be negated each with slightly different meanings. In perfect tenses, the past participles agree with the direct object pronoun, but not the indirect object pronoun, in gender and plurality. Therefore it would only agree when the reflexive pronoun is the direct object. Also remember that the past participle does not agree with the direct object if it goes after the verb. When a reflexive verb is put as an infinitive behind any other verb e. Like reflexive verbs, the past participle of reciprocal verbs agrees in number and gender with the direct object if it goes before the verb.
It therefore agrees with all reciprocal pronouns that function as direct objects. In perfect tenses, these verbs agree with the direct object if it goes before the verb. Otherwise, the past participle agrees with the subject. Now, the 'ne' sometimes disappears when one speaks. However, it is always used in written French and for formal conversations. To say not , never , or other negative verbs, you have to 'sandwich' the negative words around a verb. Wikipedia has related information at French verbs.
French conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a French verb from its principal parts by inflection. French verbs are conventionally divided into three conjugations conjugaisons with the following grouping:. The first two groups follow a regular conjugation, whereas the third group follows an irregular one.
It is noteworthy that the verb aller is the only verb ending in -er belonging to the third group. There are two auxiliary verbs in French: Compound tenses are conjugated with an auxiliary followed by the past participle, ex: The participle is inflected with the use of the verb avoir according to the direct object, but only if the direct object precedes the participle, ex:. This verb has different stems for different tenses. Although the stem changes, the inflections of these tenses are as a regular -oir verb. However, in the simple present, not only are there stem changes, but the inflections are irregular as well:.
Besides using avoir affirmatively. You can also use it interrogatively. A small complication arises, in that without some help, the result does not sound very good. The use of an euphonic pleasing to the ear is used with vowels before the pronoun. Thus, the letter -t- is placed between the verb and the pronoun:.
These are all pronounced differently: French verbs ending in -er, which comprise the largest class, inflect somewhat differently than other verbs. In addition, the orthographic -t found in the -ir and -re verbs in the singular of the simple present and past is not found in this conjugation, so that the final consonants are -, -s, - rather than -s, -s, -t. Hais is as usual used for the imperative. The verbs dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir and their derivatives do not take the -iss- infix.
The effect of this is that they conjugate as -re verbs rather than -ir verbs, apart from the past participle which is still -i. Sortir and its derivatives are similar in their usual meanings of "to go out" etc. Partir serves as an example:. The verbs couvrir, offrir, ouvrir, souffrir and their derivatives are similar, but orthographically they differ slightly: In addition, their past participles end in -ert. Ouvrir will serve as an example:. The common verbs venir "to come" and tenir "to hold", as well as their derivatives,  change their stem vowel to a diphthong or nasal in much of their conjugations.
Venir will serve as an example; for tenir, simply change the v to a t. Verbs ending in -oir tend to have stem changes, which makes them more irregular than the other conjugations. Many have stems ending in -v, which drops before a consonant or the vowel u. Others have stems ending in -l, which undergoes changes similar to the plural of French nouns ending in -l.
The usage of puis in other cases is mannered. Orthographically, the -re verbs have the inflectional endings of the -ir verbs singular -s, -s, -t in the simple present and past. However, unlike the -ir verbs, there is no suffix -iss- between the root and the inflection, except in the past subjunctive, which is identical to the -ir verbs. The verb aller "to go" has the unique quality of having a first group ending with an irregular conjugation.
It belongs to none of the three sections of the third group, and is often categorized on its own.
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The verb has different stems for different tenses. The inflections of these tenses are completely regular, and pronounced as in any other -er verb. To form the present tense, there are seven categories of verbs that you need to know about, sorted by their endings, and if they are regular follow the rules or irregular have their own rules. Translate the following sentences into English: The simple past is mostly a literary tense, used in fairy tales, and perhaps newspapers. It is one that native French students are expected to recognize but not use.
To conjugate in this tense, one finds the stem and appends the following, as according to the table:. One uses the future tense when referring to an action, certain to occur, in the future. In a time ahead of now. One may also use aller in the present tense in conjunction with aller or another verb in infinitive form, to refer to the future. However it is not the future tense. However, the former is not in the future tense.
Also, the usage of "aller" generally signifies an action to occur in the very near future, where as future tense refers to any time in the future. To conjugate a verb in the futur simple, one takes the infinitive and appends the following, as according to the table:. The subjunctive in French is used to express doubt, desire, surprise, judgment, necessity, possibility, opinions, and emotions. It usually follows the word "que. Take the ils form of the verb, at the present time tense drop the -ent and add the following:.
The subjunctive imperfect is very rarely employed in French; generally it only appears in literature and is viewed as archaic. It can in all instances be replaced by the subjunctive present. The subjunctive imperfect is employed in any instance in which the subjunctive is required, provided the trigger verb is in a past tense. With most verbs, that auxililary verb is avoir. While the past participle looks like a verb, it is not - it functions more like an adjective.
This works exactly the same way in English - the only verb is the auxiliary verb, which is also the only thing negated in English "I have not eaten". The compound past is a compound tense- it consists of two verbs, the auxiliary verb "helper verb" and the past participle of the verb one seeks to use in this tense.
We then take the past participle of the verb, and stick that on the end. Every verb has one past participle that does not change there are some exceptions, as one will learn later. To find the past participle, the stem of the infinitive must be determined or the irregularity must be known. If we want to make the statement negative, for example if we didn't do something in the past, we must always put the negative structure such as ne For example, "Je ne peux pas",. The past participle must agree with the direct object of a clause in gender and plurality if the direct object goes before the verb.
In most circumstances, the auxiliary verb is avoir. This occurs under two different circumstances:. Exceptions Note that there are four verbs above that are followed by a star sortir, descendre, monter, passer. When a direct object is used with these verbs, the auxiliary verb becomes avoir. In French the pluperfect is called le plus-que-parfait. In English, it is also called the more than perfect.
The French pluperfect subjunctive is the least common literary tense - it's the literary equivalent of the past subjunctive. Like all literary tenses, the pluperfect subjunctive is used only in literature, historical writings, and other very formal writing, so it is important to be able to recognize it but chances are that you will never in your life need to conjugate it.
This is used in a sentence when there is something in a future tense, but this action is also in the future, but before the other future. This is called the "futur anterieur" in French. Past conditional is used to refer to an event that could have taken place in the past. Replace the -ons ending of a verb conjugated in the first person plural in the present indicative with -ant. There are three verbs with the present participle forming irregularly: This is the same in all composed tenses. The past participle may have an -e or -s added in order to agree with other parts of the sentence.
All standard agreement rules that composed tenses follow apply to the composed present participle as well. The composed present participle is used to express that one action occurred before the action of the main verb. The composed present participle is not used after a preposition. To express a similar idea using a preposition, the past infinitive is used. The table below shows additions to the normal past participle that must be made based on the gender and number of the subject.
However, in French you say that you come from doing something rather than having just done it, so that sentence would be: This tense uses a combination of the verb to go aller in its present indicative form appropriate to the subject followed by the infinitive of the verb that will be done. It is more shameful to distrust our frinds than to be deceived by them. We often persuade ourselves to like people more powerful than we are; nevertheless, it is interest alone that produces the friendly feeling.
We do not give them our affection for the good we wish to do for them, but for the good we wish to receive from them. Men would not live long in society if they did not dupe each other. Self-love heightens or dimishes the good characteristics of our friends in peroportion to the satisfaction they give us, and we judge their merit by the manner in which they behave with us.
Everybody complains of their memory, but nobody complains of their judgement. In social intercourse, we more often please by our faults than by our good qualities. The greatest ambition seems least so when it encounters an absolute impossibility of being realized. To undeceive a man infatuated with his own merit is as unkind an act as that done to that madman of Athens, who believed that all the ships coming into port belonged to him. Old people love to give advice because it consoles them for no longer being able to set bad examples.
Great names debase rather than elevate those who do not know how to live up to them. The mark of extraordinary merit is to see those people who envy it the very people most obliged to praise it. Tel homme est ingrat, qui est moins coupable de son ingratitude que celui qui lui fait du bien. Sometimes people who are ungrateful are less at fault than their benefactors.
We are deceived if we believe that mind and judgment are two different things. Judgment is only the great light of the mind; this light penetrates to the essence of things, takes in everything worth taking in and perceiving things that seem imperceptible. Therefore we must agree that it is the extent of the light of the mind that produces all the effects we attribute to judgment.
Chacun dit du bien de son coeur, et personne n'en ose dire de son esprit. All people speak well of their heart, and no people dare speak well of their mind. Graciousness consists of thinking kind and refined thoughts. The spirit of gallantry means saying flattering things in an agreeable manner. Often things come to us all at once in a more complete form than we might have made them after much effort. Tous ceux qui connaissent leur esprit ne connaissent pas leur coeur.
Those who know their own minds do not know their own hearts. Les hommes et les affaires ont leur point de perspective. Both men and events have their own proper point of perspective. Some need to be seen close up to be judged rightly, while others must be seen from a distance. Those people are not reasonable who stumble upon reason by chance, but those who discern it, understand it, and develop a taste for it. In order really to know things, we have to know them in detail; and since detail is almost infinite, our understanding is always superficial and imperfect.
To remark that we never flirt is itself a kind of flirtation. L'esprit ne saurait jouer longtemps le personnage du coeur. The mind cannot impersonate the heart for very long. Youth changes its tastes by the ardor of its temperament; old age retains its taste by force of habit. The more one loves a mistress, the closer one is to hating her. The flaws of the mind, like the flaws of the face, increase with age. It is as easy to deceive ourselves without our knowing it as it is to deceive others without their knowing it. Nothing is less sincere than our manner of asking for and dispensing advice.
People asking seems to be paying a respectful deference to the sentiments of a friend, even though they are really only getting the friend's approval and making the friend responsible for their actions. The person giving advice repays the confidence with ardent and disinterested zeal, though most often guided only by self-interest or self-glorification. The cleverest of all schemes is knowing how to seem to fall into the traps that others have set for us.
We are never so easily deceived as when we set out to deceive others.
The intention never to deceive exposes us to being often deceived. We are so accustomed to disguising ourselves that we wind up disguising ourselves from ourselves. We often betray through weakness rather than by an intent to betray. If we resist our passions, it is more because they are weak than because we are strong. We would never have much pleasure if we never flattered ourselves. The cleverest people disparage intrigue all their lives so as to make use of it when some great occasion or interest warrants it.
Habitual recourse to cleverness is the mark of a petty mind, and it usually happens that those who use cunning to cover themselves in one act give themselves away by the same trait in another act. Cunning and treachery often spring from a lack of real shrewdness. The surest way to be deceived is to believe oneself subtler than others.
Too great a subtlety is a false refinement; true refinement is solid subtlety. Sometimes you only need to be a little dense in oder not to be deceived by a clever person. The least fault of women who have abandoned themselves to love-making is the love-making itself. We would rather speak ill of ourselves than not talk about ourselves at all.
One of the reasons that we find so few people rational and agreeable in conversation is that most people are thinking about what they want to say, rather than responding to what has been said to them. The most clever and polite people are content with seeming to pay attention, while we see in their eyes and their mind that they are losing track of what is being said and wish to return to what they want to say, without consideraing that the worst way to please or persuade others is to think only of pleasing ourselves.
The greatest pleasaure we can have in conversation is to listen and answer well. Without a company of fools, a person of wit would very often be at a loss. We often boast that we are never bored; and we are so conceited that we never dream that we ourselves are bad company. Just as it is the character of great minds to convey many things in a few words, so it is the mark of little minds to talk much and say little. We do not like to praise, and we never give praise without thinking of our own self-interest. Praise is a subtle, hidden, and delicate flattery, which gratifies differently the giver and the receiver.
The one takes it as a reward for his true worth; the other gives it to demonstrate his impartiality and discerrnment. We often choose to give poisoned compliments which, in a backhanded way, show those qualities which we could not uncover by any other means. Few people are wise enough to prefer useful criticism over treacherous flattery. There are criticisms that praise, and praises that criticize. To refuse praises is a desire to be praised twice. The desire to be worthy of the praises that others give us fortifies our sense of virtue; and the praises that people give to qualities of the mind, of courage, and of beauty serve to increase them.
It is harder to avoid being ruled than it is to rule other people. If we never flattered ourselves, the flattery of others would not damage us. Fotune corrects for us many of the faults that reason could not. Some people disgust us with their abilities, while others please us with their faults. There are some people whose entire worth is to say and do stupid things usefully, and who ruin everything if they change their conduct.
The glory of great people ought always to be measured against the means they used to acquire it. It is not enough to have great qualities: However striking an action may be, it should never be taken as a great one unless it is effect of a great plan. Il doit y avoir une certaine proportion entre les actions et les desseins si on en veut tirer tous les effets qu'elles peuvent produire. There ought to be a certain proportion between plans and actions we if want to draw out of them all the effects we want to produce.
The art of knowing how to make use of moderate abilities wins esteem, and often accrues more fame than real merit. Countless actions seem ridiculous whose hidden reasons are wise and sound. It is easier to seem worthy of posts that we do not fill than for those that we do. Our true worth wins us the respect of worthy people, our lucky star wins us the admiration of the public. The world more often rewards the appearance of merit than merit itself. Greediness, more than generosity, is opposed to good management of our resources.
Hope, though she is a deceiver, at least serves to lead us to life's end by a pleasant path. Even though laziness and timidity make us do our duty, our virtue often gets the credit. It is difficult to judge whether a the totality of a sincere and honest act is the product of probity or shrewdness. The virtues loses themselves in self-interest, as rivers lose themselves in the sea. There are many forms of curiosity: It is better to employ our minds by bearing the misfortunes that happen to us, rather than trying to anticipate those that might happen.
Constancy in love is a perpetual inconstancy which makes our heart attach itself successively to all the qualities of the person we love, sometime giving preference to one, sometimes to another. This constancy is only an inconstancy bounded and bordered by the same subject. There are two kinds of constancy in love: Perseverance is neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy, because it is only the continuance of our tastes and emotions which we can neither abjure nor acquire.dev.vankaarstotservet.nl/82-cmo-comprar.php
French/Grammar/Print version - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
What makes us like new acquaintances is not so much the weariness we feel for our old friends or the pleasure of change, as the displeasure of not being sufficiently admired by those who know us too well, and the hope of being seen in a good light by those who do not know us as well. We sometimes complain of the shallowness of our friends in order to justify in advance our own shallowness.
Notre repentir n'est pas tant un regret du mal que nous avons fait, qu'une crainte de celui qui nous en peut arriver. We repent not so much out of regret for what we have done as out of fear for what might happen to us. There is a fickleness deriving from shallowness or weakness of character that makes us accept the opinions of other, and there is another, more excusable fickleness that comes from disgust with things. Prudence collects and tempers them and makes them useful aginast the misfortunes of life. We must agree, for the sake of virtue, that people's greatest misfortunes are those they fall into by their misdeeds.
We admit our faults in order to rectify by our sincerity the wrong that those faults do us in the minds of others. We do not despise all those people who have vices, but we do dispise those people who have no virtue. The health of the soul is no more assured than the health of the body; and however much we seem to have distanced ourselves from our passions, we are in no less danger of being swept away by them than of falling ill when we are well. It seems that Nature has prescribed for each of us from birth the limits of virtue and vice. One may say that, in the course of life, our vices wait upon us like landlords in successive lodgings; and I doubt that we could avoid them even if we were permitted to travel twice down the same road.
When our vices abandon us, we flatter ourselves with the belief that we are abandoning them. There are relapses in the maladies of the soul, just as there are of the body. What we call our cure is most often only an intermission or a change of disease. The faults of the soul are like wounds in the body: What often keeps us from abandoning ourselves to a single vice is that we have several. We easily forget those of our faults which are known only to ourselves. There are people of whom we would never believe capable of evil without having seen it; but there are no people in whom we should be surprised to see it.
Et quelquefois on louerait moins Monsieur le Prince et M. We glorify some people in order to detract from others. The desire to appear clever often gets in the way of becoming clever. Virtue would not go far if vanity did not keep it company. Those who think they can find enough in themselves to be able to do without everyone else are greatly deceived; but those who think that the world cannot do without them are deceived even more.
Falsely upright people are those who disguise their faults from others and from themselves; truly upright people are those who know their faults and confess them. The strictness of women is a kind of makeup by which they add to their beauty. It is a truly honorable person who is willing to be perpetually exposed to the scrutiny of other honorable people. Foolishness follows us throughout our lives. If someone seems wise, it is only because his follies are in keeping with his age and fortune. There are silly people who know themselves, and who employ their silliness skillfully. Some people are like catchy songs that you can sing only for a short while.
Most people judge others either by their fashionableness or their fortune. Love of glory, fear of shame, desire to make a fortune, the desire to make our life pleasant and agreeable, and the wish to deprecate others are often the causes of that bravery so celebrated by people. Bravery for common soldiers is a dangerous method of earning a living. Perfect bravery and complete cowardice are two extremes that we rarely find. The space between the two is vast, and contains all types of courage.
There are no fewer difference among types of courage than there are among faces and temperaments. There are men who willingly expose themselves to danger at the outset of an action but lose heart and become discouraged as it goes on. Men will freely expose themselves at the beginning of an action, and retreat and become easily discouraged if it should last. There are those who are content themselves when they satisfy public honor, but then will do little beyond that.
Some are not always equally masters of their fear. Others allow themselves to be overcome by terrors; others charge forth because they dare not remain at their posts. Some may be found whose fortitude is strengthened by small perils, and who then prepare them face greater dangers. Some will face a sword cut but fear from a musket shot; others do not dread musket shots but fear to fight with swords.
These different kinds of courage come together in that, by night, by increasing fear and concealing brave or cowardly actions, men may handle the situation. There is even a more general caution to be observed, for we meet with no man who does all he would have done if he were assured of surviving. It is certain that the fear of death does somewhat reduce valor. Perfect valor means being able to perform the same act without witnesses that one would perform in front of the whole world. Bravery is an extraordinary force that lifts the soul above troubles, disorders, and emotions which the sight of great perils can arouse in it; and it is by this force that heroes maintain their inner equilibrium and preserve the free play of their liberty even in the most adverse and terrible circumstances.
In war, most men expose themselves to danger just enough to save their honor. But few will continue to so expose themselves long enough to insure the success of the cause they are fighting for. Vanity, shame, and especially temperament often make men brave and women virtuous. We do not wish to die, and we do wish to acquire glory; this fact makes brave men more clever and thoughtful in avoiding death than crafty lawbenders do in guarding their own goods.
There are few people who, on the approach of old age, do not show signs of just where their minds or bodies will eventually fail. Gratitude is like good faith among merchants: All those who fulfill the duties of gratitude cannot, by doing so, pride themselves on being grateful. The imbalance of gratitude between parties derives from the fact that the pride of the giver and the pride of the receiver cannot agree on the value of the benefit conferred. Too great an eagerness to repay an obligation is a kind of ingratitude.
Fortunate people rarely correct their own faults; they always believe they are right when fortune favors their bad conduct. L'orgueil ne veut pas devoir, et l'amour-propre ne veut pas payer. The good that we receive from someone should counterbalance any harm they have done to us. Nothing is so infectious as example, and we never perform great good or great evil without inspiring similar actions.
We imitate good actions by emulation, and bad ones by our evil nature, which previously shame had held prisoner, and which example now sets free. Whatever pretext we might assign to our afflictions, it is often only vanity and self-interest that causes them. Ainsi les morts ont l'honneur des larmes qui ne coulent que pour les vivants. In afflictions there are various kinds of hypocrisy. In one, under the pretext of bemoaning the loss of someone dear to us, we are actually weeping for ourselves; we regret the loss of the good opinion they had of us.
We weep for the lessening of our store of good things, of our pleasure, of our importance. Hence the dead have the honor of tears that were never shed for the living. I say that this is a type of hypocrisy in which we deceive ourselves of the true nature of these afflictions. There is another type of hypocrisy that is not so innocent, because it seeks to impose itself on everybody. It is the affliction of certain people who aspire to the glory of a beautiful and immortal sorrow.
After time, which consumes all, obliterates what sorrow they really felt, they do not cease venting their tears, their laments, and their sighs; they were a lugubrious mask, and constantly strive, by all their actions, that their grief will only cease at their own life's end. Since their sex closes to them all roads that lead to glory, they try to achieve celebrity by acting out an inconsolable affliction. There is another type of tears which come from a shallow fonts and both flow and dry up easily: It is more often through pride than ignorance that people are so opposed to common opinions.
We find the best places already taken, and we don't want to be stuck in the last row.
Hommes Qui Ne Savent Pas Etre Aimes (French, Paperback)
We are easily reconciled to the misfortunes of our friends when they serve to elicit our fondness for them. It seems that self-love is the fool of goodness and forgets itself when we work for the good of others. And yet it is the most certain way for self-love to arrive at its goals. It amounts to charging interest under the guise of giving. In the end, it is the way of taking in everyone by a suble and delicate manner.
People should not be called good unless they have the power to be bad. All other forms of goodness are usually only laziness or weak will. It is not as dangerous to do evil to most men as to do them too much good. Nothing flatters our pride so much as to be taken into confidence by great people, because we regard such an act as the result of our merit, without considering that it more often stems from vanity or inability to keep a secret. We can say that the quality of attraction, as distinguished from beauty, consists in a harmony about which we cannot discover any rules: La coquetterie est le fond de l'humeur des femmes.
Mais toutes ne la mettent pas en pratique, parce que la coquetterie de quelques-unes est retenue par la crainte ou par la raison. Flirtation is the basis of feminine temperament. But not all women flirt, because some are restrained by fear or by good sense. We often disturb other people when we believe that we could never disturb them.
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Few things are impossible in themselves; what we lack is not the means but the perseverance to help us succeed. That which looks like generosity is often only a disguised ambition that scorns small interests in order to go after greater ones. That loyalty which appears in most men is only a ruse concocted by self-love to obtain trust. True eloquence consists of saying all that is necessary, and only what is necessary. There are some people whose faults become them, and others whose virtues disgrace them.
It is as usual to see changes of tastes as it is unusual to see changes in disposition.
Humility is often only a feigned submission which people use to get an advantage over others. It is a device of pride by which we lower ourselves in order to raise ourselves. And though it may shift its shape a thous ways, pride is never better disguised or capable of deception as when it hides itself as humility. All feelings have their own tone of voice, gestures and expressions, and this harmony, or good or evil, agreeable or disagreeable, is what makes people pleasant or unpleasant.
In all professions everyone puts on an expression and an outward appearance so that he seems believable. Thus we see that the world is only composed of facades. Solemnity is a secrecy of the body invented to hide the flaws of the spirit. The pleasure of love is in loving; and we are happier in the passion we feel than in the passion we inspire.
Civility is a desire to receive civility, and to be thought polite. The education that we provide for young people usually only inspires in them a second self-love. There is no passion in which self-love reigns so strongly as in love; and we are always more inclined to sacrifice the peace of the one we love than to lose our own. What we call generosity is usually no more than the vanity of giving, an emotion that we love more than that which we give away.
Pity is often a sense of our own misfortunes in the misfortunes of others. It is a shrewd precaution against the misforftunes that we might fall into. We assist others so that they will assist us in similar occasions, and the services we render are, properly speaking, benefits from them that we secure in advance. Pettiness of mind begets obstinacy; and in that frame of mind, we do not easily believe what we cannot see.
C'est se tromper que de croire qu'il n'y ait que les violentes passions, comme l'ambition et l'amour, qui puissent triompher des autres. We deceive ourselves if we believe that only the strong passions, such as ambition and love, can triumph over others. Laziness, as languid as she is, often becomes the mistress; she usurps all our plans an d all our acts in life, and she gradually consumes and destroys both passions and virtues.
On veut trouver des coupables; et on ne veut pas se donner la peine d'examiner les crimes. The readiness to believe the worst without sufficient examination is an effect of pride and laziness. We want to find the guilty parties, and we do not want to take the trouble to examine the crimes. La jeunesse est une ivresse continuelle: Nothing is should be so humiliating to men who deserve great praise than the care they must take in little things to preserve their worthiness. There are people in this world of whom we approve, whose only merit is the vices they use to get along in life.
Novelty is to love is as the flower is to its fruits: Natural goodness, which boasts of being so responsive, is often smothered by the least self-interest. Absence diminishes the lesser passions and increases the great ones, just as the wind extinguishes candles but fans a great fire. Women often believe they are in love when in reality they are not.
The business of an intrigue, the emotions inspired by galantry, the natural inclination for the pleasure of being loved, and the difficulty of refusal -- all these persuade women that they feel real passion, when in fact it is nothing but coquetry. The business of an intrigue, the emotions inspired by gallantry, the natural inclination for the pleasure of being loved, and the difficulty of refusal -- all these persuade women that they feel real passion, when in fact it is nothing but coquetry.
When we exaggerate the affection that our friends have for us, it is often less out of gratitude than for a desire to have our own merit appreciated. The approbation we give to newcomers in society often arises from a secret envy of those already established. There are deceits that so accurately resemble truth that we would be bad judges if we were not deceived. Sometimes it is no less clever to profit from good advice as it is to dispense good advice. Some evil people would be less dangerous if they had no good at all in them.
Magnanimity is fairly well defined by its name; nevertheless, we could say that in a real sense it is pride, the most noble path to the reception of praise. It is impossibly to love for a second time whom we have really ceased to love. It is not so much the fertility of imagination that lets us find many ways to conduct the same affair, but rather the lack of clarity that makes us stop before every expedient and stops us from discovering on first encounter which is the best.
At some times, remedies for our affairs or our illnesses turn sour, and it is a great shrewdness to know when it is dangerous to employ them. One may say that the temperament of men, like most buildings, has diverse faces, some agreeable, others disagreeable. Moderation is incapable of fighting and subduing ambition. Moderation is a fatigue and laziness of the soul, while ambition is activity and ardor.
We always like those who admire us, and we do not always like what we admire. It is difficult for us to like those who do not respect us; but it is no less difficult to like those whom we respect much more than ourselves. The chemical balance of our bodies have a settled regimen which imperceptibly alters our will. These elements all move together, and successively exercise a secret dominance over us and take a major part in determining our actions without out our knowing it.
The gratitude of most people is only a hidden desire to receive greater favors. Almost everybody takes pleasure in returning small favors. Many people receive much gratitude for modest favors; but almost everyone is ungrateful for large ones. Only in little matters do we usually not take the trouble of believing in appearances.
Whatever good thing people have to say about us, we learn nothing new. We often pardon those people who bore us, but we cannot pardon those who find us boring. Self-interest, of which people accuse us of all our misdeeds, often should be praised as the source of our good deeds. We find few ungrateful people when we are in a position to grant favors. It is just as good to celebrate ourselves while alone as it is foolish to do so in the company of others.
We make a virtue of moderation in order to set limits on the ambition of great men, and to console ordinary people for their insignificant status and merit. Some people are fated to be fools, who do not commit foolish acts by choice, but because fortune forces them. Sometimes things happen in life that require a bit of craziness to escape. If some people have never seen folly, it is because they have not looked carefully enough. What enables lovers not to be bored with each other is that they talk constantly of themselves.
Why is it that we have enough memory to recall the most trivial occurrences that have happened to us, but not enough memory to remind us how often we have told them to the same person? The extreme pleasure we take in talking about ourselves should make us afraid that we are not giving the same pleasure to those who listen to us. That which usually keeps us from revealing the depths of our heart to our friends is not the distrust we have in them, but the lack of trust of ourselves.
It is no great misfortune to receive ingratitude for favors we bestow, but it is unbearable to be indebted to a scoundrel. We cannot for long maintain the feelings we ought to have for our friends and benefactors if we allow ourselves the freedom of talking frequently about their faults. To praise princes for virtues they do no possess is to insult them with impudence.
We are closer to loving those who hate us than those who love us more than we wish. The only despicable people are those who are afraid of being despised. Our wisdom is just as much at the mercy of Fortune as our property. We often console ourselves by the weakness of those evils for which reaon itself was unable to console us. We admit to lesser faults in order persuade people that we have no greater ones. Sometimes we believe that we hate flattery, but in reality we only hate the way it is done.
It is more difficult to be faithful to our lover when we are happy than when we are mistreated. Women can overcome their flirting less easily than they can overcome their passions. There are some good qualities that are live bodily senses, and those who are entirely without them can neither perceive nor understand them.
When our hatred is too intense we place ourselves beneath those whom we hate. Women use their minds more to strengthen their folly than their reason. The passions of youth are no less opposed to well-being as to the tepidity of age. The accents of the place where we are born stays in our heart and mind like the accents of its language. In order to achieve greatness, we must know how to profit from every kind of circumstance.
Most people, like plants, have hidden qualities that only chance brings to light. Circumstances enable us to know others, and even more to know ourselves. If her temperament is not in equilibrium, a woman can control neither her mind nor heart. We find few people possessed of good sense unless they agree with our own opinions.
What we hate so much about those who try to outwit us is that they think themselves shrewder than we are. We are almost always bored with people whom we are not allowed to be bored with. There are some faults of character which, if well used, shine more brightly than virtue itself. Small minds are too wounded by petty things; great minds see these things, but are not injured by them.
Humility is the true proof of Christian virtues.
Without it, we would keep all our faults, which would be covered by pride alone, in order to hide them from others and, often, from ourselves. Infidelities should extinguish love, and we should not be jealous even when we have cause to be. Only those people who avoid making us jealous are worthy of exciting our jealousy. We are more outraged by the smallest infidelities committed against us than by the largest we commit against others. Jealousy is always born with love, but does not always die with it.
The violence that others do us often does not do as much harm as the violence that we inflict upon ourselves. We know with fair certainty that we should not talk about our wives; but we know less well that we should not talk about ourselves. There are good character attributes that degenerate into faults when left to nature, and others that are never perfect when they are acquired. For example, reason requires us to manage our welfare and our well-being, but nature must grant us goodness and courage. No matter how suspicious we are of those who speak to us, we always believe that they speak more truthfully to us than to others.
There are few virtuous women who are not tired of playing that part. Most virtuous women are hidden treasures, safe only because no one has searched for them. The cruelty we do to ourselves to escape falling in love is often worse than the cruelties of those whom we love.
It is almost always the fault of people in love not to know when they cease to be loved. Most young people believe themselves to be without affectations, when in fact they are only rude and crude. If we believe we love a woman for her own sake, we are very much mistaken. The greatest fault of perception is not reaching its goal, but overshooting it. As our character degenerates, so also does our taste. Different translations of this maxim, with key word highlighted: Fortune reveals our virtues and vices, just as light reveals objects.
The struggles we go through to remain faithful to the one we love are not much worthier than infidelity. Our actions are like a game of making up rhyming words, in which everyone chooses whatever match that pleases them. The urge to talk about ourselves, and to make our faults seen from our own vantage point, constitutes the greatest part of sincerity. We should only be amazed that we can still be amazed. It is difficult to be satisfied when we have either an abundance or a scarcity of love. There are no people more in the wrong than those who cannot stand being wrong.
Vanity, even if it does not entirely cancel out virtue, at least disrupts it. What makes the vanity of others insufferable is that it wounds our own. Fortune never seems so blind as to those who have never received her gifts. We must manage our fortune like we manage our health: Middle class values sometimes wear off in the army, but never at court. We can be more clever than another person, but not more clever than all other people.
We keep our first lover for a long time, provided we do not take a second one. In general, we lack the courage to assert that we have no bad qualities, and that our enemies have no good ones; but in fact we are not far from believing so. Of all our faults, the one that we live with most easily is laziness. We convince ourselves that it stems from the gentler virtues that that, without entirely destroying the others, it merely suspends their operations.
There is merit without greatness, but there is no greatness without merit. Social prominence [celebrity] is to merit what finery is to good-looking people. Sometime fortune uses our faults to distinguish us; and there are some tiresome people whose merits would go unrewarded if we did not want to get rid of them.
It seems as though nature has hidden deep in our characters talents and abilities which we are unaware of; only the passions have the power to draw them out, and sometimes give us a clearer and more complete vision than art could ever achieve. We arrive as newcomers to the various stages of life, and we often lack sufficient experience in spite of the number of our years. Coquettes pride themselves on being jealous of their admirers in order to hide the fact that they are envious of other women. The most dangerous folly of old people who were once attractive is to forget that they are no longer so.
We should often be ashamed of our best acts if people could see the motives that produced them. The hardest task of friendship is not to show our faults to our friends but to make them see their own.
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