Letters Written by the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son

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Page 186 - A man of sense only trifles with them, plays with them, humours and flatters them, as he does with a sprightly, forward child ; but he neither consults them about nor trusts them with serious matters...
Page 153 - I am neither of a melancholy nor a cynical disposition, and am as willing and as apt to be pleased as anybody ; but I am sure that, since I have had the full use of my reason, nobody has ever heard me laugh.
Page 257 - This flapper is likewise employed diligently to attend his master in his walks, and upon occasion to give him a soft flap on his eyes ; because he is always so wrapped up in cogitation, that he is in manifest danger of falling down every precipice and bouncing his head against every post, and in the streets, of jostling others, or being jostled himself, into the kennel.
Page 105 - Dancing is in itself a very trifling, silly thing ; but it is one of those established follies to which people of sense are sometimes obliged to conform, and then they should be able to do it well. And though I would not have you a dancer, yet when you do dance I would have you dance well, as I would have you do everything you do well.
Page 199 - Talk often, but never long; in that case, if you do not please, at least you are sure not to tire your hearers. Pay your own reckoning, but do not treat the whole company...
Page 186 - Women who are either indisputably beautiful or indisputably ugly are best flattered upon the score of their understandings; but those who are in a state of mediocrity are best flattered upon their beauty, or at least their graces; for every woman who is not absolutely ugly thinks herself handsome, but, not hearing often that she is so, is the more grateful and the more obliged to the few who tell her so; whereas a decided and conscious beauty looks upon every tribute paid to her beauty only as her...
Page 150 - Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.
Page 503 - In short, all the symptoms which I have ever met with in History, previous to great Changes and Revolutions in Government, now exist and daily increase in France."/ Chapter III — Viaticum.
Page 199 - Tell stories very seldom, and absolutely never but where they are very apt and very short. Omit every circumstance that is not material, and beware of digressions. To have frequent recourse to narrative betrays great want of imagination.
Page 271 - In mixed companies whoever is admitted to make part of them is for the time at least supposed to be upon a footing of equality with the rest ; and consequently as there is no one principal object of awe and respect, people are apt to take a greater latitude in their...

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