Clearness is the ornament of deep thought.
Obscurity is the kingdom of error.
Few maxims are true in every respect.
It is of no use to possess a lively wit if it is not of right proportion: the perfection of a clock is not to go fast, but to be accurate.
I do not approve the maxim which desires a man to know a little of everything. Superficial knowledge, knowledge without principles, is almost always useless and sometimes harmful knowledge.
The favorites of fortune and fame topple from their pedestals before our eyes without diverting us from ambition.
It is easy to criticize an author; it is difficult to appreciate him.
As there are many soldiers, and few brave ones, so there are many versifiers and almost no poets.
—Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715–1747), Selections from the Characters, Reflexions, and Maxims
Translated by Elizabeth Lee (Archibald Constable & Co., 1903)