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Quotations From 4TH EARL CHESTERFIELD, PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE

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  • Manners must adorn knowledge, and smooth its way through the world.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, July 1, 1748, first published (1774). The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 155, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).

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  • If you can once engage people's pride, love, pity, ambition (or whatever is their prevailing passion) on your side, you need not fear what their reason can do against you.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Feb. 8, 1746, repr. in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 105, ed. Charles Strachey (1901). (First published 1774).

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  • Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, May 17, 1750, repr. in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 2, no. 225, ed. Charles Strachey (1901). (1774).
  • A man's own good breeding is his best security against other people's ill-manners.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Jan. 15, 1753, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. IV, p. 304, London (1774). One of the Maxims Chesterfield enclosed with his letter of this date.

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  • In friendship, as well as in love, the mind is often the dupe of the heart.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Dec. 30, 1751, The French Correspondence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, vol. I, p. 92, ed. Rex A. Barrell, trans. James Gray, Ottawa, Borealis Press (1980).

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  • I do not think that a Physician should be admitted into the College till he could bring proofs of his having cured, in his own person, at least four incurable distempers.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Nov. 26, 1766, "Miscellaneous Pieces," Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. IV, p. 360, London. The College referred to was the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
  • Statesmen and beauties are very rarely sensible of the gradations of their decay; and, too sanguinely hoping to shine on in their meridian, often set with contempt and ridicule.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Feb. 26, 1754, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. IV, p. 61, London (1774).

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  • In the ordinary course of things, how many succeed in society merely by virtue of their manners, while others, however meritorious, fail through lack of them? After all, it's only barbarians who wear uncut precious stones.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Nov. 5, 1750, The French Correspondence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, vol. I, p. 70, ed. Rex A. Barrell, trans. James Gray, Ottawa, Borealis Press (1980).
  • Politeness is as much concerned in answering letters within a reasonable time, as it is in returning a bow, immediately.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Sept. 15, 1768. Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Godson, no. 202, ed. Earl of Carnarvon (1889).

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  • Armies, though always the supporters and tools of absolute power for the time being, are always the destroyers of it too; by frequently changing the hands in which they think proper to lodge it.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Dec. 25, 1753, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. IV, p. 38, London (1774).

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