Quotations From 4TH EARL CHESTERFIELD, PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE

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  • 1.
    Business by no means forbids pleasures; on the contrary, they reciprocally season each other; and I will venture to affirm that no man enjoys either in perfection that does not join both.
    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. 62, London (1774).
  • 2.
    Gratitude is a burden upon our imperfect nature, and we are but too willing to ease ourselves of it, or at least to lighten it as much as we can.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Nov. 7, 1765, Chesterfield's Letters to his Son and Others, p. 289, London, Dent (1796). Written to his godson Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl (1755-1815), a distant relative of Chesterfield's, who eventually became his heir and successor.

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  • 3.
    Let us not only scatter benefits, but even strew flowers for our fellow-travellers, in the rugged ways of this wretched world.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Nov. 7, 1765, Chesterfield's Letters to his Son and Others, p. 290, London, Dent (1796). Written to his godson Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl (1755-1815), a distant relative of Chesterfield's, who eventually became his heir and successor.

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  • 4.
    If originally it was not good for a man to be alone, it is much worse for a sick man to be so; he thinks too much of his distemper, and magnifies it.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Oct. 17, 1768, 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, pp. 275-76, London (1774).

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  • 5.
    An honest man may really love a pretty girl, but only an idiot marries her merely because she is pretty.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Dec. 3, 1734, The French Correspondence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, vol. I, p. 150, ed. Rex A. Barrell, trans. James Gray, Ottawa, Borealis Press (1980).

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  • 6.
    The only sure way of avoiding these evils [vanity and boasting] is never to speak of yourself at all. But when, historically, you are obliged to mention yourself, take care not to drop one single word that can directly or indirectly be construed as fishing for applause.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Oct. 19, 1748, 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. II, p. 89, London (1774).

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  • 7.
    All I can say, in answer to this kind queries [of friends] is that I have not the distemper called the Plague; but that I have all the plagues of old age, and of a shattered carcase.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Nov. 4, 1770, 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, pp. 283-84, London (1774). Letter addressed to his son's widow, Mrs. Eugenia Stanhope, 4th Earl.
  • 8.
    Vice, in its true light, is so deformed, that it shocks us at first sight; and would hardly ever seduce us, if it did not at first wear the mask of some virtue.
    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. 142, ed. Charles Strachey (1901). letter, Feb. 22, 1748 (1774).

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  • 9.
    I have, by long experience, found women to be like Telephus's spear: if one end kills, the other cures.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Feb. 2, 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, pp. 168-69, London (1774). Telephus, son of Hercules and Auge, was wounded, not by his own spear, but that of Achilles, who cured the wound by rubbing the rust of the same spear into it.

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  • 10.
    I love every-day senses, every-day wit and entertainment; a man who is only good on holidays, is good for very little.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Nov. 28, 1752, 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. 4, London (1774). Here Chesterfield uses "senses" to mean "enthusiasms" or "impulses."

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