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Quotations From HORACE WALPOLE


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  • The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. letter, Aug. 16, 1776. Correspondence, vol. 32, Yale edition (1937-1983).

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  • The best sun we have is made of Newcastle coal, and I am determined never to reckon upon any other.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Letter, June 15, 1768. Correspondence, vol. 10, Yale edition (1937-1983).

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  • Poetry is a beautiful way of spoiling prose, and the laborious art of exchanging plain sense for harmony.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 20, ed. by Lars E. Troide, copyright Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1786.

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  • Art is the filigrain of a little mind, and is twisted and involved and curled, but would reach farther if laid out in a straight line.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 38, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1786.
  • [Corneille] was inspired by Roman authors and Roman spirit, Racine with delicacy by the polished court of Louis XIV.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 57, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1787.
  • Plot, rules, nor even poetry, are not half so great beauties in tragedy or comedy as a just imitation of nature, of character, of the passions and their operations in diversified situations.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 45, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1787.

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  • The passions seldom give good advice but to the interested and mercenary. Resentment generally suggests bad measures. Second thoughts and good nature will rarely, very rarely, approve the first hints of anger.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 62, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1787.

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  • If Paris lived now, and preferred beauty to power and riches, it would not be called his Judgment, but his Want of Judgment.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 60, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1787; in Greek mythology, the Judgment of Paris is the story of Paris's awarding the prize of beauty to the Goddess Aphrodite (over the Goddesses Hera and Pallas Athena) in return for the bribe of the fairest woman in the world, Helen.

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  • Lord Bath used to say of women, who are apt to say that they will follow their own judgment, that they could not follow a worse guide.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 69, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1788; William Pulteney (1684-1764), Earl of Bath, statesman, reflects his age's suspicion of women's understanding.

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  • A poet who makes use of a worse word instead of a better, because the former fits the rhyme or the measure, though it weakens the sense, is like a jeweller, who cuts a diamond into a brilliant, and diminishes the weight to make it shine more.
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 20, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1786.

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