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Quotations From 4TH EARL CHESTERFIELD, PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE

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  • 81.
    When griefs are genuine, I find, there is nothing more vacuous, more burdensome, or even more impertinent, than letters of consolation.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Aug. 1, 1751, The French Correspondence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, vol. I, p. 89, ed. Rex A. Barrell, trans. James Gray, Ottawa, Borealis Press (1980) I. 89. This letter was addressed to Mme. La Marquise, whose mother was seriously ill at the time.
  • 82.
    Whoever incites anger has a strong insurance against indifference.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Apr. 2, 1752, 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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  • 83.
    To write anything tolerable, the mind must be in a natural, proper disposition; provocatives, in that case, as well as in another, will only produce miserable, abortive performances.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, June 27, 1758, 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. 145, London (1774).
  • 84.
    Violent measures are always dangerous, but, when necessary, may then be looked on as wise. They have, however, the advantage of never being matter of indifference; and, when well concerted, must be decisive.
    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. 318, 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.
  • 85.
    It is hard to say which is the greatest fool: he who tells the whole truth, or he who tells no truth at all. Character is as necessary in business as in trade. No man can deceive often in either.
    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.....

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  • 86.
    No man tastes pleasures truly, who does not earn them by previous business; and few people do business well, who do nothing else.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. repr. in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 189, ed. Charles Strachey (1901). letter, Aug. 7, 1749 (1774).

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  • 87.
    Remember that whatever knowledge you do not solidly lay the foundation of before you are eighteen, you will never be master of while you breathe.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Dec. 11, 1747, 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. I, p. 297, London (1774). Philip was fifteen at the time.

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  • 88.
    Buy good books, and read them; the best books are the commonest, and the last editions are always the best, if the editors are not blockheads.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, March 19, 1750, repr. in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 2, no. 220, ed. Charles Strachey (1901). Chesterfield also warned, however, "Beware of the Bibliomanie...."
  • 89.
    The heart never grows better by age; I fear rather worse; always harder. A young liar will be an old one, and a young knave will only be a greater knave as he grows older.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, May 17, 1750 (first published 1774). The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 2, no. 225, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).

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  • 90.
    In short, let it be your maxim through life, to know all you can know, yourself; and never to trust implicitly to the informations of others.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Mar. 16, 1759, 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. 173, London (1774).

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