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Quotations From 4TH EARL CHESTERFIELD, PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE

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  • A certain degree of fear produces the same effects as rashness.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, 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. 320, London (1774). A maxim attributed by Chesterfield to Jean-Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679), whose Mémoires and Maximes he often quoted.

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  • Speak of the moderns without contempt, and of the ancients without idolatry.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, February 22, 1748 (first published 1774). The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 142, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).
  • Singularity is only pardonable in old age and retirement; I may now be as singular as I please, but you may not.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Apr. 5, 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. 78, London (1774). Chesterfield was sixty at the time, and his son twenty-two.

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  • The possibility of remedying imprudent actions is commonly an inducement to commit them.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, 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. 319, London (1774). A maxim attributed by Chesterfield to Jean-Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679), whose Mémoires and Maximes he often quoted.

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  • Whoever is in a hurry, shows that the thing he is about is too big for him.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Aug. 30, 1749, first published (1774). The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 190, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).
  • We are as often duped by diffidence, as by confidence.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, 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. 316, London (1774). A maxim attributed by Chesterfield to Jean-Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679), whose Mémoires and Maximes he often quoted. In one letter to his son, Mar. 25, 1748, he quoted no fewer than 67 of them, mainly on political matters.
  • One of the greatest difficulties in civil war is, that more art is required to know what should be concealed from our friends, than what ought to be done against our enemies.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, 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. 319, London (1774). A maxim attributed by Chesterfield to Jean-Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679), whose Mémoires and Maximes he often quoted. In one letter to his son, Mar. 25, 1748, he quoted no fewer than 67 of them, mainly on political matters.

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  • Lord Tyrawley and I have been dead these two years, but we don't choose to have it known.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Quoted by Dr. Samuel Johnson in James Boswell, Life of Dr. Johnson, April 3, 1773 (1791).
  • If you would be a favourite of your king, address yourself to his weaknesses. An application to his reason will seldom prove very successful.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. one of a list of maxims appended to 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.. Chesterfield was writing from first-hand acquaintance with George I and II.
  • Nothing convinces persons of a weak understanding so effectually, as what they do not comprehend.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, 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. 319, London (1774). A maxim attributed by Chesterfield to Jean-Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679), whose Mémoires and Maximes he often quoted.
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