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English courtier, statesman, wit and letter writer
(1694 - 1773)
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Cottages have them (falsehood and dissimulation) as well as courts, only with worse manners.
      - [Falsehood]

Dispatch is the soul of business; and nothing contributes more to dispatch than method. Lay down a method for everything, and stick to it inviolably, as far as unexpected incidents may allow.
      - [Method]

Elegance of manner is the outgrowth of refined and exalted sense.
      - [Elegance]

Every man seeks for truth; but God only knows who has found it.
      - [Truth]

Everything is worth seeing once, and the more one sees the less one either wonders or admires.
      - [Experience]

Experience only can teach men not to prefer what strikes them for the present moment, to what will have much greater weight with the them hereafter.
      - [Experience]

Fear invites danger; concealed cowards insult known ones.
      - [Fear]

Few people do business well who do nothing else.
      - [Business]

Firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character and one of the best instruments of success. Without it, genius wastes its efforts in a maze of inconsistencies.
      - [Firmness]

Flattery, though a base coin, is the necessary pocket money at court; where, by custom and consent, it has obtained such a currency that it is no longer a fraudulent, but a legal payment.
      - [Flattery]

Frivolous curiosity about trifles, and laborious attentions to little objects which neither require nor deserve a moment's thought, lower a man, who from thence is thought (and not unjustly) incapable of greater matters. Cardinal de Retz very sagaciously marked out Cardinal Chigi for a little mind, from the moment he told him that he had wrote three years with the same pen, and that it was an excellent one still.
      - [Trifles]

Good breeding is the result of much good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the same indulgence from them.
      - [Manners]

Good-breeding carries along with it a dignity that is respected by the most petulant. Ill-breeding invites and authorizes the familiarity of the most timid.
      - [Good Breeding]

Great merit or great failings will make you respected or despised; but trifles, little attentions, mere nothings, either done or neglected, will make you either liked or disliked, in the general run of the world. Examine yourself, why you like such and such people and dislike such and such others; and you will find that those different sentiments proceed from very slight causes.
      - [Trifles]

Great talents, such as honor, virtue, learning, and parts, are above the generality of the world, who neither possess them themselves nor judge of them rightly in others; but all people are judges of the lesser talents, such as civility, affability, and an obliging, agreeable address and manner, because they feel the good effects of them, as making society easy and pleasing.
      - [Courtesy]

Guy Patin recommends to a patient to have no doctor but a horse, and no apothecary but an ass!
      - [Physicians]

History is only a confused heap of facts.
      - [History]

Honest error is to be pitied, not ridiculed.
      - [Error]

However, while I crawl upon this planet I think myself obliged to do what good I can in my narrow domestic sphere, to all my fellow-creatures, and to wish them all the good I cannot do.
      - in a letter to the Bishop of Waterford

Humanity is the peculiar characteristic of great minds; little vicious minds abound with anger and revenge, and are incapable of feeling the exact pleasure of forgiving their enemies.
      - [Humanity]

I am sure that since I had the use of my reason, no human being has ever heard me laugh.
      - [Laughter]

I am very sure that any man of common understanding may, by culture, care, attention and labor, make himself whatever he pleases, except a great poet.
      - [Culture]

I do by no means advise you to throw away your time in ransacking, like a dull antiquarian, the minute and unimportant parts of remote and fabulous times. Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.
      - [Antiquity]

I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide.
      - [Idleness]

I really think next to the consciousness of doing a good action, that of doing a civil one is the most pleasing; and the epithet which I should covet the most next to that of Aristides, would be that of well-bred.
      - [Manners]

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