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4TH EARL OF CHESTERFIELD, PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE
English courtier, statesman, wit and letter writer
(1694 - 1773)
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I would have all intoleration intolerated in its turn.
      - [Toleration]

I would rather have a young fellow too much than too little dressed; the excess on that side will wear off, with a little age and reflection; but if he is negligent at twenty, he will be a sloven at forty, and stink at fifty years old. Dress yourself fine where others are fine, and plain where others are plain; but take care always that your clothes are well made and fit you, for otherwise they will give you a very awkward air.
      - [Dress]

Idleness is the holiday of fools.
      - [Idleness]

If a fool knows a secret, he tells it because he is a fool; if a knave knows one, he tells it wherever it is his interest to tell it.
      - [Secrecy]

If we do not plant knowledge when young, it will give us no shade when we are old.
      - [Knowledge]

If you love music hear it; go to operas, concerts, and pay fiddlers to play to you; but I insist upon your neither piping nor fiddling yourself. It puts a gentleman in a very frivolous, contemptible light; brings him into a great deal of bad company; and takes up a great deal of time, which might be much better employed.
      - [Music]

If you wish particularly to gain the good graces and affection of certain people, men or women, try to discover their most striking merit, if they have one, and their dominant weakness, for every one has his own, then do justice to the one, and a little more than justice to the other.
      - [Merit]

In order to judge of the inside of others, study your own; for men in general are very much alike, and though one has one prevailing passion, and another has another, yet their operations are much the same; and whatever engages or disgusts, pleases, or offends you in others, will, mutatis mutandis, engage, disgust, please, or offend others in you.
      - [Self-examination]

In your friendships and in your enmities let your confidence and your hostilities have certain bounds; make not the former dangerous, nor the latter irreconcilable. There are strange vicissitudes in business.
      - [Friendship]

It is by vivacity and wit that man shines in company; but trite jokes and loud laughter reduce him to a buffoon.
      - [Wit]

It is commonly said, and more particularly by Lord Shaftesbury, that ridicule is the best test of truth; for that it will not stick where it is not just. I deny it. A truth learned in a certain light, and attacked in certain words, by men of wit and humor, may, and often doth, become ridiculous, at least so far that the truth is only remembered and repeated for the sake of the ridicule.
      - [Ridicule]

It is often more necessary to conceal contempt than resentment; the former is never forgiven, but the later is sometimes forgotten.
      - [Contempt]

Let your letter be written as accurately as you are able,--I mean with regard to language, grammar, and stops; for as to the matter of it the less trouble you give yourself the better it will be. Letters should be easy and natural, and convey to the persons to whom we send them just what we should say to the persons if we were with them.
      - [Letters]

Letters should be easy and natural.
      - [Letters]

Look in the face of the person to whom you are speaking, if you wish to know his real sentiments; for he can command his words more easily than his countenance.
      - [Face]

Many new years you may see, but happy ones you cannot see without deserving them. These virtue, honor, and knowledge alone can merit, alone can produce.
      - [Virtue]

Men are more unwilling to have their imperfections known than their crimes.
      - [Imperfection]

Men are much more unrolling to have their weaknesses and their imperfections known than their crimes; and if you hint to a man that you think him silly, ignorant, or even ill-bred or awkward, he will hate you more and longer than if you tell him plainly that you think him a rogue.
      - [Contempt]

Men, as well as women, are oftener led by their hearts than their understandings. The way to the heart is through the senses; please their eyes and ears, and the work is half done.
      - [Heart]

Most arts require long study and application; but the most useful art of all, that of pleasing, requires only the desire.
      - [Agree]

Nature has hardly formed a woman ugly enough to be insensible to flattery upon her person; if her face is so shocking that she must in some degree be conscious of it, her figure and her air, she trusts, make ample amends for it.
      - [Flattery]

Never do but one thing at a time, and never put off till to-morrow what you can do today.
      - [Tomorrow]

Never hold any one by the button or the hand in order to be heard out; for if people are unwilling to hear you; you had better hold your tongue than them.
      - [Bores : Conversation]

Next to clothes being fine, they should be well made, and worn easily; for a man is only the less genteel for a fine coat, if, in wearing it, he shows a regard for it, and is not as easy in it as if it was a plain one.
      - [Dress]

No man can possibly improve in any company for which he has not respect enough to be under some degree of restraint.
      - [Associates : Company]


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