Je Maintiendrai

"... Le refus de la politique militante, le privilège absolu concédé à la littérature, la liberté de l'allure, le style comme une éthique, la continuité d'une recherche". Pol Vandromme

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Location: Portugal

Friday, February 16, 2007


“… A propos of this subject: what progress do you make in that language, in which Charles the Fifth said that he would choose to speak to his mistress? Have you got all the tender diminutives, in 'etta", "ina', and "ettina", which, I presume, he alluded to? You already possess, and, I hope, take care not to forget, that language which he reserved for his horse. You are absolutely master, too, of that language in which he said he would converse with men; French. But, in every language, pray attend carefully to the choice of your words, and to the turn of your expression. Indeed, it is a point of very great consequence. To be heard with success, you must be heard with pleasure: words are the dress of thoughts; which should no more be presented in rags, tatters, and dirt, than your person should. By the way, do you mind your person and your dress sufficiently? Do you take great care of your teeth? Pray have them put in order by the best operator at Rome. Are you be-laced, bepowdered, and be-feathered, as other young fellows are, and should be? At your age, 'il faut du brillant, et même un peu de fracas, mais point de mediocre; il faut un air vif, aisé et noble. Avec les hommes, un maintien respectueux et en même temps respectable; avec les femmes, un caquet léger, enjoué, et badin, mais toujours fort poli'.
Adieu, my dear friend! Study hard; divert yourself heartily; distinguish carefully between the pleasures of a man of fashion, and the vices of a scoundrel; pursue the former, and abhorr the latter, like a man of sense.”

Lord Chesterfield Letters to his son on the fine art of becoming a man of the world and a gentleman (1750)

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