Quotations from 4th Earl Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope (1694-1773). He was a diplomat, man of letters, statesman and acclaimed for his wit in his time in Britain.

Collection of wise and witty quotes from the Earl:

“An honest man may really love a pretty girl, but only an idiot marries her merely because she is pretty.”

“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 or applause.”

“Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever.”

“I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for hours will take care of themselves.”

“Knowledge is a comfortable and necessary retreat and shelter for us in an advanced age; if we do not plant it while young, it will give us no shade when we are old.”

“When griefs are genuine, I find, there is  nothing more vacuous, more burdensome, or even more impertinent, than letters of consolation.”

“A man’s own good breeding is his best security against other people’s ill-manners.”

“Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.”


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