100+ Lord Chesterfield quotes


Lord Chesterfield Quotes
Biography Author’s Book
Name: Lord Chesterfield Find on Amazon India: Link
Nationality: BritishFind on Amazon: Link
Profession: Statesman
Born: 22-Sep-1694 

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

Knowledge of the world in only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.

I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide; for the man is effectually destroyed, though the appetites of the brute may survive.


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

I am very sure that any man of common understanding may, by culture, care, attention, and labor, make himself what- ever he pleases, except a great poet.

Honest error is to be pitied, not ridiculed.

Hear one side and you will be in the dark. Hear both and all will be clear.

Our own self-love draws a thick veil between us and our faults.

Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.

Patience is the most necessary quality for business, many a man would rather you heard his story than grant his request.

Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.

Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise.

Men, as well as women, are much oftener led by their hearts than by their understandings.

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Let your enemies be disarmed by the gentleness of your manner, but at the same time let them feel, the steadiness of your resentment.

I sometimes give myself admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it.

If you would convince others, seem open to conviction yourself.

If you are not in fashion, you are nobody.

Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.

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.

Politicians neither love nor hate. Interest, not sentiment, directs them.

Regularity in the hours of rising and retiring, perseverance in exercise, adaptation of dress to the variations of climate, simple and nutritious aliment, and temperance in all things are necessary branches of the regimen of health.

Let them show me a cottage where there are not the same vices of which they accuse the courts.

If you can once engage people’s pride, love, pity, ambition on your side, you need not fear what their reason can do against you.

Learning is acquired by reading books, but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading men, and studying all the various facets of them.

In my mind, there is nothing so illiberal, and so ill-bred, as audible laughter.

In those days he was wiser than he is now – he used frequently to take my advice.

Inferiority is what you enjoy in your best friends.

Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

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

In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it – thou art a fool.

Remember, as long as you live, that nothing but strict truth can carry you through the world, with either your conscience or your honor unwounded.

As fathers commonly go, it is seldom a misfortune to be fatherless; and considering the general run of sons, as seldom a misfortune to be childless.

Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.

In matters of religion and matrimony I never give any advice; because I will not have anybody’s torments in this world or the next laid to my charge.

Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.

Character must be kept bright as well as clean.

Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.

Any affectation whatsoever in dress implies, in my mind, a flaw in the understanding.

An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult.

Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.

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

Frequent and loud laughter is the characteristic of folly and ill manners.

He makes people pleased with him by making them first pleased with themselves.

Being pretty on the inside means you don’t hit your brother and you eat all your peas – that’s what my grandma taught me.

If ever a man and his wife, or a man and his mistress, who pass nights as well as days together, absolutely lay aside all good breeding, their intimacy will soon degenerate into a coarse familiarity, infallibly productive of contempt or disgust.

A wise man will live as much within his wit as within his income.

Distrust all those who love you extremely upon a very slight acquaintance and without any visible reason.

Good breeding is the result of good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others.

Good humor is the health of the soul, sadness is its poison.

A man of sense only trifles with them, plays with them, humors and flatters them, as he does with a sprightly and forward child; but he neither consults them about, nor trusts them with, serious matters.

A novel must be exceptionally good to live as long as the average cat.

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

The heart never grows better by age; I fear rather worse, always harder. A young liar will be an old one, and a young knave will only be a greater knave as he grows older.

Vice, in its true light, is so deformed, that it shocks us at first sight; and would hardly ever seduce us, if it did not at first wear the mask of some virtue.

Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket; and do not pull it out, and strike it, merely to show that you have one.

Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

When a person is in fashion, all they do is right.

Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him.

Wit is so shining a quality that everybody admires it; most people aim at it, all people fear it, and few love it unless in themselves. A man must have a good share of wit himself to endure a great share of it in another.

You must look into people as well as at them.

To govern mankind, one must not overrate them.

There is nothing that people bear more impatiently, or forgive less, than contempt: and an injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult.

The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one’s self to be acquainted with it.

To have frequent recourse to narrative betrays great want of imagination.

The less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in.

Young men are apt to think themselves wise enough, as drunken men are apt to think themselves sober enough.

The difference between a man of sense and a fop is that the fop values himself upon his dress; and the man of sense laughs at it, at the same time he knows he must not neglect it.

Take the tone of the company you are in.

Swift speedy time, feathered with flying hours, Dissolves the beauty of the fairest brow.

Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

The rich are always advising the poor, but the poor seldom return the compliment.

The more one works, the more willing one is to work.

The only solid and lasting peace between a man and his wife is, doubtless, a separation.

The mere brute pleasure of reading – the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing.


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