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As favour and riches forsake a man, we discover in him the foolishness they concealed, and which no one perceived before.
 
[À mesure que la faveur et les grands biens se retirent d’un homme, ils laissent voir en lui le ridicule qu’ils couvraient, et qui y était sans que personne s’en aperçût.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 6 “Of Gifts of Fortune [Des Biens de Fortune],” § 4 (6.4) (1688) [tr. Van Laun (1885)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

When Riches and Favour forsake a Man, we see presently he was a Fool, but no body could find it out in his Prosperity.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

In proportion as Riches and Favour forsake a Man, we discover he was a Fool, which no body cou'd find out in his Prosperity.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

As Riches and Favour forsake a Man, we discover him to be a Fool, but no body could find it out in his Prosperity.
[Browne ed. (1752)]

As a man falls out of favour and his wealth declines, we discover for the first time the ridiculous aspects of his character, which were always there but which wealth and favour had concealed.
[tr. Stewart (1970)]

 
Added on 6-Feb-24 | Last updated 6-Feb-24
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One ov the most diffikult, and at the sametime one ov the most necessary, things for us old phellows to know, is that we aint ov so mutch ackount now az we waz.
 
[One of the most difficult, and at the same time one of the most necessary, things for us old fellows to know, is that we aren’t of so much account now as we were.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist, aphorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, ch. 131 “Affurisms: Plum Pits (1)” (1874)
    (Source)
 
Added on 21-Dec-23 | Last updated 21-Dec-23
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Importance may be sometimes purchased too dearly.

Jane Austen
Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist
Pride and Prejudice, ch. 26 [Elizabeth] (1813)
    (Source)
 
Added on 12-Dec-23 | Last updated 12-Dec-23
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Nothing reveals more clearly men’s attitude to learning and literature, and what use they think these are to the State, than the low price they put on them, and their opinion of those who have chosen to practice them.

[Rien ne découvre mieux dans quelle disposition sont les hommes à l’égard des sciences et des belles-lettres, et de quelle utilité ils les croient dans la république, que le prix qu’ils y ont mis, et l’idée qu’ils se forment de ceux qui ont pris le parti de les cultiver.]

Jean de La Bruyere
Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
The Characters [Les Caractères], ch. 12 “Of Opinions [Des Jugements],” § 17 (12.17) (1688) [tr. Stewart (1970)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Nothing discovers better what disposition men have to Knowledge and Learning, and how profitable they are esteem'd to the Publick, than the price which is set on them, and the Idea they have formed of those who have taken the pains to improve them.
[Bullord ed. (1696)]

Nothing discovers better what regard Men have to Science and polite Learning, and how profitable they esteem them to the Publick, than the price they set on them, and the Idea they form to themselves of those who have taken the pains to cultivate them.
[Curll ed. (1713)]

Nothing better manifests the Regard paid to the Sciences and Literature, and Men's Sense of their Utility to the Public, than the Recompences assigned to them, and the Repute in which they stand who excel in them.
[Browne ed. (1752)]

Nothing better demonstrates how men regard science and literature, and of what use they are considered in the State, than the recompense assigned to them, and the idea generally entertained of those persons who resolve to cultivate them.
[tr. Van Laun (1885)]

 
Added on 23-Aug-23 | Last updated 23-Aug-23
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In my opinion, most of the great men of the past were only there for the beer — the wealth, prestige and grandeur that went with the power.

A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) British historian, journalist, broadcaster [Alan John Percivale Taylor]
“Fiction in History,” Times Literary Supplement (23 Mar 1973)

Reprinted in his Essays in English History (1976).
 
Added on 6-Jul-21 | Last updated 6-Jul-21
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The Stately Homes of England,
How beautiful they stand,
To prove the upper classes
Have still the upper hand.

Noël Coward (1899-1973) English playwright, actor, wit
“The Stately Homes of England” (1938)

Satire on Felicia Hemens, "The Homes of England" (1849).
 
Added on 13-Jan-14 | Last updated 13-Jan-14
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The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

The Bible (The New Testament) (AD 1st - 2nd C) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 23:2-7 (NIV)
    (Source)

Alt trans:
  • "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men." [NRSV]
  • "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." [KJV]
 
Added on 27-Nov-12 | Last updated 23-Apr-19
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A cock has great influence on his own dunghill.

[In sterculino plurimum gallus potest.] 

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 357
 
Added on 8-Jan-09 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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