Maxims, and moral reflections
The Public is here presented with a New Translation of the Modern Maxims of Francis the Sixth, Duke de la Rochefoucauld: a performance of such estimation, that its nobler Author lived to see five or six Editions of it; and since his death, it has run through as many- more; not to mention Translations. As far as the two languages permit, the Translator has followed in the disposition of the Maxims the alphabetical order of M. Amelot de la Houssaye; to whom he is also be-holden for many well-collected and authorities from the judicious Tacitus and some other ancient writers.
In his own notes, he has chiefly aimed at the explanation, or illustration, of his Author's system. He has such maxims as were manifest repetitions, or apparently spurious: and retained only such as, after comparison of the best Editions, he concluded to be genuine. He has also taken great care to express the sense of the Original (in which the English Translations have been hitherto defective), and at the same time (what none of them has attempted) to do the Duke de la Rochefoucault the justice to make him speak English,
There are some affairs, as well as distempers, which ill-timed remedies make worse -, and great ability is temporaries, have been indebted to this knowledge; or to the good fortune of living in times with which their abilities coincided. The Augustan age, fond of their new acquaintances the Greek writers, advanced to the pinnacle of fame all such Romans as imitated them tolerably well. Hence the undeserved reputation of some of the authors of that period. Among ourselves, the last age considered Poetry as comprehending all qualifications, even those of ambassadors and secretaries of state: the present, on the contrary, thinks it scarce worth reading.
Some persons of weak under-standing are so sensible of that weakness, as to be able to make good use of it.
No accidents are so unlucky, but that the prudent may draw some advantage from them: nor are there any so lucky, but what the imprudent may turn to their prejudice.
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