“Wear your learning like a watch and do not pull it out merely to show you have it. If you are asked the time, tell it, but do not proclaim it hourly unasked.”
The Wit and Wisdom of Lord Chesterfield
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694 – 1773) was appointed Lord of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales, George II; and is known as the man who gave us the Chesterfield sofa.
Speak softly, listen often, for wisdom is an acquired thing.
Though you do not ask, I will give one of the many wise things Lord Chesterfield did, and no more.
In the 1760s, Chesterfield gave his critique of Greenville’s Stamp Act 1765 passed by the British parliament over the protests of the American colonies. In a letter to the Duke of Newcastle, Chesterfield noted the law’s absurdity both because it could not be properly enforced, but, if effective, the revenue generated would be no more than a tenth of the loss in reduced trade with the American colonies.