Sunday 14th of July 2024

quiet prelude to an irish revolution.....


Lord Chesterfield was a character who was famous for preaching do as I say, not as I do, especially in his letters to his illegitimate son… Samuel Johnson said of these letters that "they teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing-master" as a means for getting on in the world, implying that Chesterfield promoted good manners as a method of advancement, rather than inherent moral value. 


The good Lord Chesterfield missed his chance to foresee the future. No-one does really. 

Being told that "the papists in Ireland are all up!", he replied: "I am not surprised at it, why, it is ten o'clock, I should have been up too, had I not overslept myself”.

This was a “bon mot” — a French expression denoting a high class of low level joke that makes people smile or cringe, rather than make them laugh..

He had finally got the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, which he had long coveted. He was effective, as he repressed the corruption traditional to the office, and established schools and factories. He was the first official to allow Dubliners to roam in Phoenix Park — a royal hunting park on 2,000 acres (810 ha) established on the land in 1662, on the restoration of Charles II of England, by his Viceroy in Dublin, the Duke of Ormond. It contained pheasants and wild deer, making it necessary to enclose the entire area with a wall… Lord Chesterfield pacified both the Protestant Orange Order and Roman Catholic Jacobite factions. As a result, Irish Jacobites did not assist the Jacobite rising of 1745. In short he was a gifted diplomat with refined bullshit.

He’s also famous for claiming he had funded the dictionary of Doctor Samuel Johnson with the gigantic sum of 10 pound, which was risible and attracted the famous rebuke by the said Doctor.


Politically, Lord Chesterfield was a master of alliances to suit the moment and of knowing how to say nothing much with great oratory skills. He thus managed to win both the friendship and ire of kings.

As Dr Johnson suggested, Lord Chesterfield had the “morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing-master”


Here comes one of the most famous Lord Chesterfield’s letters — “MY DEAR FRIEND” is his illegitimate son. 

Eugenia Stanhope, the impoverished widow of Chesterfield's illegitimate son, Philip Stanhope, published the book Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman (1774), which comprises a thirty-year correspondence in more than 400 letters:



LONDON, May 24., O. S. 1750



Your apprenticeship is near out, and you are soon to set up for yourself; that approaching moment is a critical one for you, and an anxious one for me. A tradesman who would succeed in his way, must begin by establishing a character of integrity and good manners; without the former, nobody will go to his shop at all; without the latter, nobody will go there twice. This rule does not exclude the fair arts of trade. He may sell his goods at the best price he can, within certain bounds. He may avail himself of the humour, the whims, and the fantastical tastes of his customers; but what he warrants to be good must be really so, what he seriously asserts must be true, or his first fraudulent profits will soon end in a bankruptcy. It is the same in higher life, and in the great business of the world. A man who does not solidly establish, and really deserve, a character of truth, probity, good manners, and good morals, at his first setting out in the world, may impose, and shine like a meteor for a very short time, but will very soon vanish, and be extinguished with contempt. People easily pardon, in young men, the common irregularities of the senses: but they do not forgive the least vice of the heart. The heart never grows better by age; I fear rather worse; always harder. A young liar will be an old one; and a young knave will only be a greater knave as he grows older. But should a bad young heart, accompanied with a good head (which, by the way, very seldom is the case), really reform in a more advanced age, from a consciousness of its folly, as well as of its guilt; such a conversion would only be thought prudential and political, but never sincere. I hope in God, and I verily. believe, that you want no moral virtue. But the possession of all the moral virtues, in actu primo, as the logicians call it, is not sufficient; you must have them in actu secundo too; nay, that is not sufficient neither—you must have the reputation of them also. Your character in the world must be built upon that solid foundation, or it will soon fall, and upon your own head. You cannot, therefore, be too careful, too nice, too scrupulous, in establishing this character at first, upon which your whole depends. Let no conversation, no example, no fashion, no bon mot, no silly desire of seeming to be above, what most knaves, and many fools, call prejudices, ever tempt you to avow, excuse, extenuate, or laugh at the least breach of morality; but show upon all occasions, and take all occasions to show, a detestation and abhorrence of it. There, though young, you ought to be strict; and there only, while young, it becomes you to be strict and severe. But there, too, spare the persons while you lash the crimes. 

All this relates, as you easily judge, to the vices of the heart, such as lying, fraud, envy, malice, detraction, etc., and I do not extend it to the little frailties of youth, flowing from high spirits and warm blood. It would ill become you, at your age, to declaim against them, and sententiously censure a gallantry, an accidental excess of the table, a frolic, an inadvertency; no, keep as free from them yourself as you can: but say nothing against them in others. They certainly mend by time, often by reason; and a man’s worldly character is not affected by them, provided it be pure in all other respects.

To come now to a point of much less, but yet of very great consequence at your first setting out. Be extremely upon your guard against vanity, the common failing of inexperienced youth; but particularly against that kind of vanity that dubs a man a coxcomb; a character which, once acquired, is more indelible than that of the priesthood. It is not to be imagined by how many different ways vanity defeats its own purposes. One man decides peremptorily upon every subject, betrays his ignorance upon many, and shows a disgusting presumption upon the rest. Another desires to appear successful among the women; he hints at the encouragement he has received, from those of the most distinguished rank and beauty, and intimates a particular connection with some one; if it is true, it is ungenerous; if false, it is infamous: but in either case he destroys the reputation he wants to get. Some flatter their vanity by little extraneous objects, which have not the least relation to themselves; such as being descended from, related to, or acquainted with, people of distinguished merit and eminent characters. They talk perpetually of their grandfather such-a-one, their uncle such-a-one, and their intimate friend Mr. Such-a-one, with whom, possibly, they are hardly acquainted. But admitting it all to be as they would have it, what then? Have they the more merit for those accidents? Certainly not. On the contrary, their taking up adventitious, proves their want of intrinsic merit; a rich man never borrows. Take this rule for granted, as a never-failing one: That you must never seem to affect the character in which you have a mind to shine. Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise. The affectation of courage will make even a brave man pass only for a bully; as the affectation of wit will make a man of parts pass for a coxcomb. By this modesty I do not mean timidity and awkward bashfulness. On the contrary, be inwardly firm and steady, know your own value whatever it may be, and act upon that principle; but take great care to let nobody discover that you do know your own value. Whatever real merit you have, other people will discover, and people always magnify their own discoveries, as they lessen those of others.

For God’s sake, revolve all these things seriously in your thoughts, before you launch out alone into the ocean of Paris. Recollect the observations that you have yourself made upon mankind, compare and connect them with my instructions, and then act systematically and consequentially from them; not au jour la journée [que sera sera — "cheerful fatalism"]. Lay your little plan now, which you will hereafter extend and improve by your own observations, and by the advice of those who can never mean to mislead you; I mean Mr. Harte [Walter Harte (1709–1774)] and myself.




If I understand, Lord Chesterfield did not like his son "living in sin" with a commoner, Eugenia..... He gave a small bit of cash to their children in his will, nothing to Eugenia, but gave his Lordy title to a long lost cousin....



cotton diplomacy......


Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is VERY frustrated with the slow pace of movement on launching a direct war between the United States and Russia. Cotton says Russia has been weakened militarily but become more “provocative,” so the time for a more “aggressive” posture from the U.S. is now.

Guest host Aaron Maté and Americans’ Comedian Kurt Metzger discuss Cotton’s eagerness to march the U.S. into war with a nuclear-armed opponent.



US dubliner.....

US President Joe Biden said at a Democratic Party event in New York on Wednesday that his four-day visit to Ireland last month was designed to make sure that “the Brits didn’t screw around” when it came to London’s commitments towards Northern Ireland and its relations with the leadership in Dublin.

“I got to go back to Ireland for the, for the, the Irish accords, to make sure they weren’t, the Brits didn’t screw around and Northern Ireland didn’t walk away from their commitments,”Biden told reporters at the event.

His visit to the island, the majority of which was spent in the Republic of Ireland, marked the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement – the 1998 political deal that brought an end to decades of conflict between predominantly Catholic and Protestant factions in Northern Ireland during which thousands of people lost their lives.

Ahead of the trip, Biden told the media that the purpose of the visit was to “keep the peace” in Northern Ireland. Following a brief meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Belfast during the initial leg of the trip, the White House released a statement to say that both leaders had “reaffirmed their shared commitment” to the Good Friday Agreement.