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Jean de La Bruyère

Jean de  La Bruyère

“A position of eminence makes a great person greater and a small person less.” — Jean de La Bruyere

Jean de La Bruyere was a French author, philosopher and moralist, most famous for his work Characters, a collection of character portraits illustrating the notable people of de La Bruyere’s time.

He was born in Paris, in today's Essonne département, in 1645. His family was middle class, and his reference to a certain "Geoffroy de La Bruyère", a crusader, is only a satirical illustration of a method of self-ennoblement then common in France, as in some other countries. Indeed, he always signed his surname as Delabruyère in one word, as evidence of this disdain.

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