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Philip Dormer Chesterfield
(1694-1773) born on
Sep 22
English statesman, author. He typified the 18th-century gentleman; wrote "Letters to His Son," 1774 as a guide to manners and worldly success.
Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.

Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.
Style is the dress of thoughts . . .; if your style is homely, coarse, and vulgar, they will appear to as much disadvantage, and be as ill received, as your person, though ever so well-proportioned, would if dressed in rags, dirt, and tatters.
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 despondency and laziness make them give it up as unattainable.
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.
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Published Sources for the above Quotations:
F: Letter to his son, 19 Nov 1745.
R: Letter to his son, 20 Jul 1749.
A: Letter, 24 Nov 1749; first published 1774.
N: In "Instant Quotation Dictionary," by Donald O. Bolander, 1979.
K: In "Correct Quotes for DOS," WordStar International, 1991.

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