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Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues

1715 – 1747. French philosopher and moralist. Known for his aphorisms.


1. Express a false thought clearly, and it will refute itself.

2. Who is incapable of great achievements despises great designs.

3. It is impossible to dissuade people from studying irrelevant subjects.

4. Do not be afraid of making mistakes as the biggest mistake is to deprive oneself of experience.

5. Few people have managed to commit a great act at someone else’s suggestion.

6. Being genuinely sensible already means knowing a lot.

7. In extreme – but only extreme – circumstances risky decisions can be made.

8. There is nothing that fear and hope does.

9. A high office saves sometimes the need to accept gifts.

10. It is easier for us to acquire a veneer of know-it-all than to thoroughly master a small amount of knowledge.