Reflections Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims

60.–Fortune turns all things to the advantage of those on whom she

61.–The happiness or unhappiness of men depends no less upon their
dispositions than their fortunes.

[“Still to ourselves in every place consigned Our own felicity we make
or find.” Goldsmith, Traveller, 431.]

62.–Sincerity is an openness of heart; we find it in very few
people; what we usually see is only an artful dissimulation to win the
confidence of others.

63.–The aversion to lying is often a hidden ambition to render our
words credible and weighty, and to attach a religious aspect to our

64.–Truth does not do as much good in the world, as its counterfeits do

65.–There is no praise we have not lavished upon Prudence; and yet she
cannot assure to us the most trifling event.

[The author corrected this maxim several times, in 1665 it is No.
75; 1666, No. 66; 1671-5, No. 65; in the last edition it stands as at
present. In the first he quotes Juvenal, Sat. X., line 315. ” Nullum
numen habes si sit Prudentia, nos te; Nos facimus, Fortuna, deam,
coeloque locamus.” Applying to Prudence what Juvenal does to Fortune,
and with much greater force.]

66.–A clever man ought to so regulate his interests that each will fall
in due order. Our greediness so often troubles us, making us run after
so many things at the same time, that while we too eagerly look after
the least we miss the greatest.

67.–What grace is to the body good sense is to the mind.

68.–It is difficult to define love; all we can say is, that in the soul
it is a desire to rule, in the mind it is a sympathy, and in the body
it is a hidden and delicate wish to possess what we love–Plus many

[“Love is the love of one {singularly,} with desire to be singularly
beloved.”–Hobbes{Leviathan, (1651), Part I, Chapter VI}.]

{Two notes about this quotation: (1) the translators’ mistakenly
have “singularity” for the first “singularly” and (2) Hobbes does not
actually write “Love is the…”–he writes “Love of one…” under the
heading “The passion of Love.”}

69.–If there is a pure love, exempt from the mixture of our other
passions, it is that which is concealed at the bottom of the heart and
of which even ourselves are ignorant.

70.–There is no disguise which can long hide love where it exists, nor
feign it where it does not.

71.–There are few people who would not be ashamed of being beloved when
they love no longer.

72.–If we judge of love by the majority of its results it rather
resembles hatred than friendship.

73.–We may find women who have never indulged in an intrigue, but it is
rare to find those who have intrigued but once.

[“Yet there are some, they say, who have had None}; But those who
have, ne’er end with only one}.” {–Lord Byron, }Don Juan, {Canto} iii.,
stanza 4.]

74.–There is only one sort of love, but there are a thousand different

75.–Neither love nor fire can subsist without perpetual motion; both
cease to live so soon as they cease to hope, or to fear.

[So Lord Byron{Stanzas, (1819), stanza 3} says of Love– “Like chiefs of
faction, His life is action.”]

76.–There is real love just as there are real ghosts; every person
speaks of it, few persons have seen it.

[“Oh Love! no habitant of earth thou art– An unseen seraph, we believe
in thee– A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart,– But never yet
hath seen, nor e’er shall see The naked eye, thy form as it should be.”
{–Lord Byron, }Childe Harold, {Canto} iv., stanza 121.]

77.–Love lends its name to an infinite number of engagements
(Commerces) which are attributed to it, but with which it has no more
concern than the Doge has with all that is done in Venice.

78.–The love of justice is simply in the majority of men the fear of
suffering injustice.

79.–Silence is the best resolve for him who distrusts himself.