Philip Dormer Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield Quotations

Lord Chesterfield

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

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.

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

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

Cunning is the dark sanctuary of incapacity.

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

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.

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

Most people have ears, but few have judgment; tickle those ears, and depend upon it, you will catch those judgments, such as they are.

Never hold anyone by the button or the hand in order to be heard out; for if people are unwilling to hear you, you had better hold your tongue than them.

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

There are some occasions when a man must tell half his secret, in order to conceal the rest.

Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket, and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it, but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman.

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