Horace Walpole citations

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Horace Walpole

Date de naissance: 24. septembre 1717
Date de décès: 2. mars 1797

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Horace Walpole , 4e comte d'Orford, plus jeune fils de Robert Walpole , est un homme politique, écrivain et esthète britannique. Auteur en 1764 du Château d'Otrante, qui inaugure le genre du roman gothique , on lui doit également le concept de serendipity, ou fortuité en français.

Il a étudié au collège d'Eton, puis à King's College de Cambridge. Ayant pris assez tôt conscience de son homosexualité ; il aurait eu une liaison avec le poète Thomas Gray et Henry Fiennes Clinton, 9e comte de Lincoln . Gray l'accompagna lors de son Grand Tour, mais ils se querellèrent et Walpole retourna en 1741 en Angleterre, où il entra au Parlement. Sans aucune ambition politique, il resta cependant député après la mort de son père en 1745.

Lors d'un voyage à Paris en 1765, il rencontra la marquise du Deffand - aveugle et âgée de 68 ans - avec laquelle il se lia et entretint une correspondance soutenue jusqu'à sa mort en 1780. Sans lien avec la politique de son père, il fut très dévoué envers le roi George II et la reine Caroline. Il prit leur parti contre leur fils, Frederick, prince de Galles, qu'il évoqua plus tard avec rancune dans ses mémoires.

Citations Horace Walpole

„The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel.“

— Horace Walpole
Letter to Anne, Countess of Ossory, (16 August 1776) A favourite saying of Walpole's, it is repeated in other of his letters, and might be derived from a similar statement attributed to Jean de La Bruyère, though unsourced: "Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think". An earlier form occurs in another published letter: I have often said, and oftener think, that this world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel — a solution of why Democritus laughed and Heraclitus wept. Letter to Sir Horace Mann (31 December 1769)

„When I first came abroad, every thing struck me“

— Horace Walpole
Context: ... When I first came abroad, every thing struck me, and I wrote its history; but now I am grown so used to be surprised, that I don't perceive any flutter in myself when I meet with any novelties; curiosity and astonishment wear off, and the next thing is, to fancy that other people know as much of places as one's self; or, at least, one does not remember that they do not. It appears to me as odd to write to you of St. Peter's, as it would do to you to write of Westminster-abbey. Besides, as one looks at churches, &c. with a book of travels in one's hand, and sees every thing particularised there, it would appear transcribing, to write upon the same subjects. [https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo1.ark:/13960/t5p84vt55;view=1up;seq=194 Letter to Richard West, from Rome, 16 April 1740], p. 42, The Letters of Horace Walpole, ed. P. Cunningham, vol. 1

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„If a passion for freedom is not in vogue, patriots may sound the alarm till they are weary.
The Act of Habeas Corpus, by which prisoners may insist on being brought to trial within a limited time, is the corner-stone of our liberty.“

— Horace Walpole
Notes of 1758, published in Memoires of the Last Ten Years of the Reign of George the Second (1822), p. 226; also published as "Memoirs of the Year 1758" in Memoirs of King George II, Vol. III (1985), p. 10<!-- Yale University Press -->

„It is the story of a mountebank and his zany.“

— Horace Walpole
Statement about Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, as described in Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D., in a letter to Hon. Henry Conway (6 October 1785)

„Posterity always degenerates till it becomes our ancestors.“

— Horace Walpole
As quoted in "The Works of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford" in The Monthly Review, or, Literary Journal, Vol. 27 (1798) edited by Ralph Griffiths, p. 187

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„A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now and then, does not misbecome a monarch.“

— Horace Walpole
Letter to Sir Horace Mann (1774); this is derived from an proverb of unknown authorship: "A little nonsense now and then / Is relished by the wisest men".

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