Anne-Thérèse de Marguenat de Courcelles, marquise de Lambert

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Anne-Thérèse de Marguenat de Courcelles, marquise de Lambert

Anne-Thérèse de Marguenat de Courcelles (1647 – 12 July 1733), better known as the Marquise de Lambert, was a writer with a particular interest in education and was the hostess of a famous salon.


A Mother's Advice to Her Son, 1726[edit]

Translator unnamed; reprinted in Practical Morality, or, a Guide to Men and Manners. Hartford: William Andrus, 1841. pp. 135-171.

  • A man that does not aim at raising to himself a great name, will never perform any great actions. And such as go carelessly on in the road of their professions suffer all the fatigues, without acquiring either the honour or recompense that naturally attend it. (p. 137).
  • Birth bestows less of honour than it demands; and to boast of ancestry is but to praise the merit of others. (p. 139).
  • A Persian ambassador asked the wife of Leonidas, why they paid such honors to the women at Lacedemon? "It is," replied she, "because they have entirely the forming of the men." (p. 143).
  • We fancy frequently that we have no grudge but against the men, when indeed our malignity is owing to their places : persons in great posts never yet enjoyed them with the good liking of the world, which only begins to do them justice when they are out of place. (p. 148).
  • We are not indeed obliged always to speak what we think, but we must always think what we speak. (p. 149).
  • The owning of faults is no hard matter for persons that find a fund within themselves to mend them. (p. 153).
  • The love of esteem is the life and soul of society; it unites us to one another : I want your approbation, you stand in need of mine. By forsaking the converse of men, we forsake the virtues necessary for society; for when one is alone, one is apt to grow negligent; the world forces you to have a guard over yourself. (p. 155).
  • The most necessary disposition to relish pleasures is to know how to be without them. (p. 160).
  • Take care that your studies influence your manners. (p. 165).
  • Your tribunal is seated in your own breast, why then should you seek it elsewhere? (p. 168).
  • With great employments and vulgar maxims, one is always restless and uneasy : it is not places, but reason, that removes anxiety from the mind. (p. 170).

New Reflections on Women, 1727[edit]

  • We spoil the dispositions nature has given to women ; we neglect their education, fill their minds with nothing solid, and destine them solely to please, and to please only by their graces or their vices.
    • Wiki translation based on that of Amelia Gere Mason, The Women of the French Salons; New York: The Century Co., 1891. p. 142.

A Mother's Advice to Her Daughter, 1728[edit]

Translator unnamed; reprinted in Angelica's Ladies Library; or, Parents and Guardians Present. London: J. Hamilton, 1794. pp. 169-212.

  • The pleasures of the world are deceitful; they promise more than they give. They trouble us in seeking them, they do not satisfy us when possessing them and they make us despair in losing them. (p. 172).
  • We live with [our defects] as we do with the perfumes that we wear, we do not smell them ; they only incommode others. (p. 195).
  • It is not always our faults that ruin us, but the manner of our conduct after we have committed them. (p. 200).
  • Shame is a secret pride; and pride is an error with regard to one's own worth, and an injustice with regard to what one has a mind to appear to others. (p. 204).

An Essay on Friendship, 1732[edit]

The Marchioness de Lambert. Essays on Friendship and Old-Age; trans. Eliza Ball Hayley. London: J. Dodsley, 1780.

  • The principal merit which should be required in our friends, is virtue : It is that which assures us they are capable of friendship, and worthy of it : expect nothing from your connections, when they have not this foundation. (pp. 54-55).
  • Would you be esteemed? live with persons that are estimable. (p. 57).

An Essay on Old Age, 1732[edit]

The Marchioness de Lambert. Essays on Friendship and Old-Age; trans. Eliza Ball Hayley. London: J. Dodsley, 1780.

  • One of the duties of old-age, is the management of time. The less that remains to us, the more valuable we ought to consider it. (p. 121).
  • The time of Christians is the price with which they purchase eternity. (p. 121).
  • To form a complete judgment of any one, we ought to have seen him acting the last part. (p. 126).
  • To live in perpetual employment, is to travel rapidly through life. Tranquility lengthens our existence. (p. 136).
  • The world steals us from ourselves and solitude restores us. The world is composed of a herd, which are ever flying from themselves. (p. 136).

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