Horace Walpole, a man of many aphorisms

I have been reading the correspondence of Horace Walpole for the years 1765/66 as part of my researches into Adam Smith’s life in Paris. (Walpole’s first visit to Paris coincided with Smith’s second.) Walpole, a prolific and witty letter writer, was a fascinating character in his own right, and I will have more to say about his relationship to Adam Smith during their time in Paris. In the meantime, however, below are three of my favorite quotes from his letters:

“… next to successful enemies, I dread triumphant friends.” (Letter 1034)

Our ancestors were rogues, and so will our posterity be.” (Letter 1040)

… though I have little to write, I have a great deal to say.” (Letter 1045)

Preaching has not failed [to rid the world of sin] …, not because inadequate to the disease, but because the disease is incurable.” (Letter 1047)

The less I esteem folks the less I would quarrel with them.” (Letter 1048)

Tranquility bounds my ambition.” (Letter 1050)

I have always sighed for thundering revolutions, but have been … content with changes of ministers.” (Letter 1058)

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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1 Response to Horace Walpole, a man of many aphorisms

  1. Reblogged this on prior probability and commented:

    I am reblogging my of compilation of some of Horace Walpole’s aphorisms because I have added four new quotations to my list:
    “… next to successful enemies, I dread triumphant friends.” (Letter 1034)
    “Preaching has not failed [to rid the world of sin] …, not because inadequate to the disease, but because the disease is incurable.” (Letter 1047)

    “Tranquility bounds my ambition.” (Letter 1050)

    “I have always sighed for thundering revolutions, but have been … content with changes of ministers.” (Letter 1058)

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