We own up to minor failings, but only so as to convince others that we have no major ones.

[Nous n’avouons de petits défauts que pour persuader que nous n’en avons pas de grands.]

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Maxims], #327 (1665-1678) [tr. L. Tancock (1959)]

Alt. trans.: "We confess to little faults only to persuade ourselves that we have no great ones."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 29-Apr-13
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