A selection from lord Chesterfield's letters to his son, on education, embracing the most appropriate passages, prepared for translation into French by I. Brasseur

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Page 146 - ... manner, in which many people read scraps of different authors, upon different subjects. Keep a useful and short common-place book of what you read, to help your memory only, and not for pedantic quotations. Never read history without having maps, and a chronological book, or tables, lying by you, and constantly recurred to ; without which, history is only a confused heap of facts.
Page 140 - Depend upon this truth, that every man is the worse looked upon, and the less trusted for being thought to have no religion ; in spite of all the pompous and specious epithets he may assume, of Esprit fort, freethinker, or moral philosopher; and a wise atheist (if such a thing there is) would, for his own interest and character in this world, pretend to some religion.
Page 95 - Make it therefore your business, wherever you are, to get into that company which...
Page 116 - is called) in company for the sake of any one thing singly, is singly that thing, and will never be considered in any other light ; consequently never respected, let his merits be what they will.
Page 143 - First, used to say, take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.
Page 169 - Young men are as apt to think themselves wise enough, as drunken men are to think themselves sober enough. They look upon spirit to be a much better thing than experience ; which they call coldness. They are but half mistaken ; for though spirit, without experience, is dangerous, experience, without spirit, is languid and defective.
Page 129 - Proverbial expressions, and trite sayings, are the flowers of the rhetoric of a vulgar man. Would he say, that men differ in their tastes, he both supports and adorns that opinion, by the good old saying, as he respectfully calls it, that what is one man's meat is another man's poison.
Page 123 - Stanhope. Why, that will do me no harm. Englishman. Will you be with us to-morrow in the evening, then ? We shall be ten with you ; and I have got some excellent good wine ; and we'll be very merry. Stanhope. I am very much obliged to you, but I am engaged for all the evening, to-morrow ; first at Cardinal Albani's ; and then to sup at the Venetian Embassadress's.
Page 104 - A man of sense carefully avoids any particular character in his dress ; he is accurately clean for his own sake ; but all the rest is for other people's. He dresses as well, and in the same manner, as the people of sense and fashion of the place where he is. If he dresses better, as he thinks, that is, more than they, he is a fop ; if he dresses worse, he is unpardonably negligent...
Page 123 - How the devil can you like being always with these foreigners ? I never go amongst them, with all their formalities and ceremonies. I am never easy in company with them, and I don't know why, but I am ashamed. Stanhope. — I am neither ashamed nor afraid ; I am very easy with them, they are very easy with me ; I get the language, and I see their characters by conversing with them ; and that is what we are sent abroad for. Is it not ? Englishman.

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