Horace Walpole

[4th Earl of Orford] (1717-1797 / London)

Horace Walpole Quotes

  • ''[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.
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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.
  • ''I never found even in my juvenile hours that it was necessary to go a thousand miles in search of themes for moralizing.''
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 7, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Extract from a missing letter, c. July 1786, to Lady Craven.
  • ''Defaced ruins of architecture and statuary, like the wrinkles of decrepitude of a once beautiful woman, only make one regret that one did not see them when they were enchanting.''
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, pp. 6-7, ed. by Lars E. Troide, copyright Yale University Press (1978). Extract from a missing letter, c. July 1786, to Lady Craven.
  • ''That strange premature genius Chatterton has couched in one line the quintessence of what Voltaire has said in many pages: "Reason, a thorn in Revelation's side."''
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 23, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1786; Walpole cites a line from "The Defense" by the poet Thomas Chatterton, who killed himself at age 18.
  • ''"Heap coals of fire on the head of your enemy" Mthis most uncharitable advice is found in a book [the Bible], of which charity is reckoned the standard principle.''
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 64, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1787; Walpole, a deist, was skeptical towards the Bible as a repository of divine wisdom.
  • ''[French] authors are more afraid of offending delicacy and rules, than ambitious of sublimity.''
    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.
  • ''When Lady Mary Tufton married Dr. Duncan, an elderly physician, Mr. George Selwyn said, "How often will she say with Macbeth 'Wake, Duncan, with thy knocking—would thou couldst!'"''
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 26, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978). Originally written in 1786; Selwyn was a noted wit, while the marriage of Lady Mary and Dr. Duncan was rumored to be unconsummated.
  • ''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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