Trivium Pursuit

Letters from Lord Chesterfield to his son

An uninterrupted life of pleasure is as insipid as contemptible… A surfeited glutton, an emaciated sot, and an enervated rotten whoremaster never enjoy the pleasures to which they devote themselves; they are only so many human sacrifices to false gods… pleasure must not, nay cannot, be the business of a man of sense and character… For, as I have often formally observed to you, nobody but a father can take the liberty to reprove a young fellow grown up for those kind of inaccuracies and improprieties of behavior. The most intimate friendship unassisted by the paternal authority will not authorize it. I may truly say, therefore, that you are happy in having me for a sincere, friendly, and quick-sighted monitor. Nothing will escape me. I shall pry for your defects, in order to correct them, as curiously as I shall seek for your perfections in order to applaud and reward them; with this difference only, that I shall publicly mention the latter, and never hint at the former, but in a letter to, or a tête-à-tête with you.” –From Lord Chesterfield, “Letters of Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) to His Son”

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