Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

English Statesman, Man of Letters, Orator

Author Quotes

The power of applying attention, steady and undissipated, to a single object, is the sure mark of a superior genius.

The main fact about education is that there is no such thing. Education is a word like "transmission" or "inheritance"; it is not an object, but a method.

The man who cannot believe his senses, and the man who cannot believe in anything else, are both insane.

Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Talk often, but never long: in that case, if you do not please, at least you are sure not to tire your hearers.

Statesmen and beauties are a very rarely sensible of the gradations of their decay.

Style is the dress of thoughts.

Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give lustre, and many more people see than weigh.

Men will not believe because they will not broaden their minds

Pleasure is a necessary reciprocal: no one feels, who does not at the same time give it. To be pleased, one must please. What pleases you in others, will in general please them in you.

Judgment is not upon all occasions required, but discretion always is.

If find, by experience, that the mind and the body are more than married, for they are most intimately united; and when the one suffers, the other sympathizes.

It is not to be imagined by how many different ways vanity defeats its own purpose.

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

Idleness is the only refuge of weak minds, and the holiday of fools.

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.

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.

Few people do business well who do nothing else.

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.

Every man seeks for truth, but God only knows who has found it.

A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.

Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.

Dispatch is the soul of business; and nothing contributes more to dispatch than method.

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 ineffective.

A difference of opinion, though in the merest trifles, alienates little minds.

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Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
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English Statesman, Man of Letters, Orator