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communion with them, but separate from their sins. And if against thy will thou fallest amongst wicked men, know to thy comfort thou art still in thy calling, and therefore in God's keeping, who, on thy prayers, will preserve thee.

The company he keeps is the comment, by help whereof men expound the most close and mystical man; understanding him for one of the same religion, life, and manners with his associates. And though perchance he be not such a one, 't is just he should be counted so for conversing with them. .

To affect always to be the best of the company, argues a base disposition. Gold always worn in the same purse with silver loses both of the color and weight; and so to converse always with inferiors degrades a man of his worth.

It is excellent for one to have a library of scholars, especially if they be plain to be read. I mean of a communicative nature, whose discourses are as full as fluent, and their judgments as right as their tongues ready: such men's talk shall be thy lectures. .

Of Anger. Anger is one of the sinews of the soul : he that wants it hath a maimed mind, and with Jacob, sinewshrunk in the hollow of his thigh, must needs halt. Nor is it good to converse with such as cannot be angry,

and with the Caspian Sea, never ebb nor flow. This


either heavenly, when one is offended for God; or hellish,
when offended with God and goodness; or earthly, in
temporal matters: which earthly anger (whereof we treat)
may also be hellish, if for no cause, no great cause, too
hot, or too long
Be not angry

without a cause.

If thou beest, thou must not only, as the proverb saith, be appeased without amends (having neither cost nor damage given thee), but, as our Saviour saith, “be in danger of the judgment.”

Be not mortally angry with any for a venial fault. He will make a strange combustion in the state of his soul, who at the landing of every cock-boat sets the beacons on fire. To be angry for every toy debases the worth of thy anger; for he who will be angry for anything, will be angry for nothing.

Let not thy anger be so hot, but that the most torrid zone thereof may be habitable. Fright not people from thy presence with the terror of thy intolerable impatience. Some men, like a tiled house, are long before they take fire, but once on flame there is no coming near to quench them.

Take heed of doing irrevocable acts in thy passion; as the revealing of secrets, which makes thee a bankrupt for society ever after: neither do such things which once are done forever, so that no bemoaning can amend them. Samson's hair grew again, but not his eyes: time may restore some losses, others are never to be repaired.

Of Recreation. Recreation is a second creation, when weariness hath almost annihilated one's spirits. It is the breathing of the soul, which otherwise would be stifled with continual business. We may trespass in them, if using such as are forbidden by the lawyer as against the statutes; physician, as against health; divine, as against conscience. Be well satisfied in thy conscience of the lawfulness of the recreation thou usest.

Spill not the morning (the quintessence of the day) in recreations. For sleep itself is a recreation ; add not therefore sauce to sauce; and he cannot properly have any title to be refreshed, who was not first faint. Pastime, like wine, is poison in the morning. It is then good husbandry to sow the head, which hath lain fallow all night, with some serious work. Chiefly, intrench not on the Lord's day, to use unlawful sports ; this were to spare thine own flock, and to shear God's lamb.

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Let thy recreations be ingenious, and bear proportion with thine age.

If thou sayest with Paul, “ When I was a child I did as a child,” say also with him, “ But when I was a man I put away childish things.” Wear also the child's coat, if thou usest his sports.

Refresh that part of thyself which is most wearied. If thy life be sedentary, exercise thy body; if stirring and active, recreate thy mind. But take heed of cozening thy mind, in setting it to do a double task under pretence of giving it a play-day, as in the labyrinth of chess, and other tedious and studious games.

Choke not thy soul with immoderate pouring in the cordial of pleasures. The creation lasted but six days of the first week : profane they whose recreation lasts seven days every week.


(A. D. 1613–1680.)


“ROCHEFOUCAULD,” says Mr. Andrew Lang, in his “Letters on Literature, was so clever that he was often duped, first by the general honest dulness of mankind, and then by his own acuteness. He thought he saw more than he did see, and he said even more than he thought he saw. If the true motive of all our actions is self-love, or vanity, no man is a better proof of the truth than the great maxim-maker. His self-love took the shape of a brilliancy that is sometimes false. He is tricked out in paste for diamonds, now and then, like a vain, provincial beauty at a ball. "A clever man would frequently be much at a loss,' he says, “in stupid company.' One has seen this embarrassment of a wit in a company of dullards.

It is Rochefoucauld's own position in this world of men and women. We are all, in the mass, dullards compared with his cleverness, and so he fails to understand us, is much at a loss among us. People only praise others in hopes of being praised in turn,' he says. Mankind is not such a company of “ log-rollers' as he avers.

The Duke is his own best critic after all, when he says: "The greatest fault of a penetrating wit is going beyond the mark.' Beyond the mark he frequently goes." He might have said with equal truth that the greatest fault of a critical looker-on at life is falling short of the mark; and in that, too, he would have touched his own weaknesses. He watched the world too shrewdly, too narrowly, not with a large enough vision, for real truth-seeking.

truth-seeking. His place is not among the men of wisdom, but where Mr. Lang has put him, among the men of cleverness and wit.

He was of the old French nobility - Duke de la Rochefoucauld and Prince of Marcillac; born at Paris in 1613, and dying in 1680. His “Maxims were first published in 1665; the earliest English translation of them in 1698.


Besides these apothegms, he published "Mémoires sur la Regence d'Anne d'Austriche.”


The passions have an injustice and an interest of their own, which renders it dangerous to obey them, and we ought to mistrust them even when they appear most reasonable.

It requires greater virtues to support good than bad fortune.

We often make a parade of passions, even of the most criminal; but envy is a timid and shameful passion which we never dare to avow.

Jealousy is in some sort just and reasonable, since it only has for its object the preservation of a good which belongs, or which we fancy belongs, to ourselves, while envy, on the contrary, is a madness which cannot endure the good of others.

We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible.

Those who bestow too much application on trifling things, become generally incapable of great ones.

Happiness lies in the taste, and not in things ; and it is from having what we desire that we are happy — not from having what others think desirable.

We are never so happy, or so unhappy, as we imagine.

Nothing ought so much to diminish the good opinion we have of ourselves as to see that we disapprove at one time what we approve at another.

Sincerity is an opening of the heart: we find it in very

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