Life of Lord Chesterfield: An Account of the Ancestry, Personal Character & Public Services of the Fourth Earl of Chesterfield

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J. Lane, 1907 - 378 pages

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Page 300 - ... not. For my own part, I could just as soon have talked Celtic or Sclavonian to them, as astronomy, and they would have understood me full as well : so I resolved to do better than speak to the purpose, and to please instead of informing them.
Page 82 - Lord Chesterfield was allowed by everybody to have more conversable entertaining table-wit than any man of his time; his propensity to ridicule, in which he indulged himself with infinite humour and no distinction, and with inexhaustible spirits and no discretion, made him sought and feared, liked, and not loved, by most of his acquaintance...
Page 272 - London' — and perhaps even now it remains unsurpassed — his spacious and beautiful library, looking on the finest private garden in London. The walls are covered half way up with rich and classical stores of literature ; above the cases are in close series the portraits of eminent authors, French and English, with most of whom he had conversed — over these, and immediately under the massive cornice, extend all...
Page 158 - I shall like to read Bolingbroke's, who, of all those rascals and knaves that have been lying against me these ten years, has certainly the best parts and the most knowledge : he is a scoundrel, but he is a scoundrel of a higher class than Chesterfield. Chesterfield is a little tea-table scoundrel, that tells little womanish lies to make quarrels in families ; and tries to make women lose their reputations, and make their husbands beat them, without any object but to give himself airs ; as if anybody...
Page 288 - He watches how they address themselves to their superiors, how they accost their equals, and how they treat their inferiors ; and lets none of those little niceties escape him, which are to good-breeding what the last delicate and masterly touches are to a good picture, and which the vulgar have no notion of, but by which good judges distinguish the master.
Page 308 - In short, all the symptoms which I have ever met with in History, previous to great Changes and Revolutions in Government, now exist and daily increase in France."/ Chapter III — Viaticum.
Page 315 - I give my vote for Mr. Johnson to fill that great and arduous post. And I hereby declare that I make a total surrender of all my rights and privileges in the English language, as a free-born British subject, to the said Mr. Johnson, during the term of his dictatorship.
Page 284 - I endeavoured to form your heart habitually to virtue and honour, before your understanding was capable of showing you their beauty and utility. Those principles which you then got, like your grammar rules, only by rote, are now, I am persuaded, fixed and confirmed by reason. And indeed they are so plain and clear, that they require but a very moderate degree of understanding, either to comprehend or practise them.
Page 338 - Satiated with the pompous follies of this life, of which I have had an uncommon share, I would have no posthumous ones displayed at my funeral, and therefore desire to be buried in the next burying-place to the place where I shall die, and limit the whole expense of my funeral to j£ioo.
Page 315 - For my own part, I used to think myself in company as much above me, when I was with Mr. Addison and Mr. Pope, as if I had been with all the Princes in Europe.

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