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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Horace Walpole

  • [An English letter-writer and wit, youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole; born in London, 1717; educated at Cambridge; entered Parliament, 1741; purchased Strawberry Hill at Twickenham, where he collected many books and curiosities; wrote successful novels and plays; succeeded his nephew as fourth Earl of Orford, but never took his seat in the House of Lords, and seldom used the title; died 1797.]
  • I believe England will be conquered some day in New England or Bengal.

  • Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1774. Walpole’s principles were those of the Whig party. Thus he wrote in 1777 to the Countess of Ossory: “I own there are many able Englishmen left, but they happen to be on the other side of the Atlantic;” and again, “Old England is safe, that is, America, whither the true English retired under Charles I.;” and he wrote, Feb. 17, 1779, “Liberty has still a continent to exist in.”
  • Of Hume’s visit to Paris, as secretary of the British embassy in 1763, Walpole wrote: “The French believe in Mr. Hume: the only thing in the world that they believe implicitly, for I defy them to understand any language that he speaks.”
  • The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel.

  • Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1770.
  • “And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
  • ’Tis that I may not weep.”
  • BYRON: Don Juan, IV. 4.
  • Walpole also wrote, “In my youth, I thought of writing a satire upon mankind; but now in my age, I think I should write an apology for them.” Chamfort once said, “To live and move among men, the heart must break or harden” (En vivant et en voyant les hommes, il faut que le cœur se brise ou se bronze).
  • A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now and then, does not misbecome a monarch.

  • Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1774.
  • “Dulce est desipere in loco.”
  • HORACE: Odes, IV. 12, 28.