Although the rich have far better means to become happy than the poor,
it is rare to see a rich man who is genuinely happy. Why is that?
Because generally it takes a corrupted heart to become rich.
Although - thanks to science - at present all men could live quite well
if only they gave up luxury, most men rather destroy the earth than
forego conspicuous consumption.
Money is a means, not an end: if you feel differently, it is because
you have no talents whatsoever.
If you want to avoid to become the slave of bailiffs and lawyers, you
must live within your means.
Real friendship is normally based on real similarity. Extra-ordinary
men have few real friends; ordinary men tend to abound in false friends.
If you believe in the perfectability of man or human society, this must
be because your own mind or historical knowledge is far from perfect.
The best of men tend to be the most calumniated of men, as indeed the
Christians detailed in their tales.
If one is clearly outstanding,
one's excellence tends to be an offense in the eyes of ordinary men.
If you cannot spontaneously enjoy things, you cannot really enjoy
things: it takes some genuine naivity to feel joy and be happy.
Every age comes with its own kinds of pleasures and miseries. The usual
course is enjoyment of life if a child; enjoyment of sex if an
adolescent; enjoyment of money if old.
Everyone has been made the subject of so much human unfairness,
dishonesty and cruelty, that it would move one to despair if one does
not learn to turn one's mind elsewhere.
Modest people have learned not to hurt the pride of others, generally
If there were more genuine
love of others, there would be less love of self.
The only known cure of stupidity and most other faults and weaknesses -
in so far as these can be cured - is genuine modesty.
There can be no virtue without self-control.
Virtue must be its own reward,
because most men are not virtuous, or are so only when under credible
threat of punishment.
What is virtue? To help those
who suffer. What is vice? To harm others intentionally for gain or
Vice tends to be more
profitable and more pleasurable than virtue.