Posted by Smokey Stover on June 13, 2005

In Reply to: Would it be worth adding to this site.. posted by Pee on June 11, 2005

: Would it be worth adding to this site..

: "Hypocrisy is a trubute that vice pays to virtue"

: I was a bit disappointed when I couldn't find it.

: Is the vice of hypocrisy emphasised too much these days and thus gagging wise hypocrites from sharing their thoughts with the rest of us?

The quotation is from La Rochefoucauld's "Maximes" . What it means is either obvious or very obscure. I believe that the word used by Rochefoucauld for "tribute" is "hommage," but I don't have the text handy.

Hypocrisy is seldom gagged. Rather, it's the other way around. Truth is effectively gagged by the ocean of hypocrisy drowning it out. Wise hypocrite? Would that be a politician? If he wishes to be re-elected, then he is wise to embrace hypocrisy. The voters require it. In fact, it may be a requirement for a civil society.

And then there's Baudelaire's address to his readers in Les fleurs du mal, which ends: "Tu . . . Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frère!" SS