Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield. (1694–1773)
 
 
1
    Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
          Letter, March 10, 1746.
2
    I knew once a very covetous, sordid fellow, 1 who used to say, “Take care of the pence, for the pounds will take care of themselves.”
          Letter, Nov. 6, 1747.
3
    Sacrifice to the Graces. 2
          Letter, March 9, 1748.
4
    Manners must adorn knowledge, and smooth its way through the world. Like a great rough diamond, it may do very well in a closet by way of curiosity, and also for its intrinsic value.
          Letter, July 1, 1748.
5
    Style is the dress of thoughts.
          Letter, Nov. 24, 1749.
6
    Despatch is the soul of business.
          Letter, Feb. 5, 1750.
7
    Chapter of accidents. 3
          Letter, Feb. 16, 1753.
8
    I assisted at the birth of that most significant word “flirtation,” which dropped from the most beautiful mouth in the world.
          The World. No. 101.
9
    Unlike my subject now shall be my song;
It shall be witty, and it sha’n’t be long.
          Impromptu Lines.
10
    The dews of the evening most carefully shun,—
Those tears of the sky for the loss of the sun.
          Advice to a Lady in Autumn.
  
  
  
11
    The nation looked upon him as a deserter, and he shrunk into insignificancy and an earldom.
          Character of Pulteney.
12
    He adorned whatever subject he either spoke or wrote upon, by the most splendid eloquence. 4
          Character of Bolingbroke.
 
Note 1.
W. Lowndes, Secretary of the Treasury in the reigns of King William, Queen Anne, and King George the Third. [back]
Note 2.
Plato was continually saying to Xenocrates, “Sacrifice to the Graces.”—Diogenes Laertius: Xenocrates, book iv. sect. 2.

Let us sacrifice to the Muses.—Plutarch: The Banquet of the Seven Wise Men. (A saying of Solon.) [back]
Note 3.
Chapter of accidents.—Edmund Burke: Notes for Speeches (edition 1852), vol. ii. p. 426.

John Wilkes said that “the Chapter of Accidents is the longest chapter in the book.”—Robert Southey: The Doctor, chap. cxviii. [back]
Note 4.
Who left scarcely any style of writing untouched,
And touched nothing that he did not adorn.
Samuel Johnson: Epitaph on Goldsmith.

Il embellit tout ce qu’il touche (He adorned whatever he touched).—Fénelon: Lettre sur les Occupations de l’ Académie Française, sect. iv. [back]
 

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