Horatio "Horace" Walpole, 1717 - 1797
Oil on canvas by Sir Joshua Reynolds, circa 1756-1757.
Born: 24 September 1717, London, England, UK
Died: 2 March 1797, Berkeley Square, London, England, UK
Generally known as "Horace", he was the fourth and youngest son of the prime minister Robert Walpole. He was an indifferent student at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge and soon entered parliament. He served three different ridings in sequence over 47 years, but showed little other political ambition. He had two passions: writing and his "Strawberry Hill" home at Twickenham, south-west of London. He spent a quarter century adding Gothic decoration to the house, spurring a new trend, and filled it with oddities from around the world. He gave tours of the house for a fee while complaining about the invasion of his privacy. To facilitate his literary efforts he equipped Strawberry Hill with a printing press. Along with several novels, he left behind a chest of memoirs totaling some three million words, mostly still unpublished, and over three thousand letters which Yale has now published in 48 volumes. It was Walpole who coined the word "serendipity", based on the Italian story, The Three Princes of Serendip, which, in turn, was a Persian fairy tale.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Horace Walpole quotes:
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- A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now and then, does not misbecome a monarch. permalink
- A poet who makes use of a worse word instead of a better, because the former fits the rhyme or the measure, though it weakens the sense, is like a jeweller, who cuts a diamond into a brilliant, and diminishes the weight to make it shine more. permalink
- Alexander at the head of the world never tasted the true pleasure that boys of his own age have enjoyed at the head of a school. permalink
- Anything but history, for history must be false. permalink
- By deafness one gains in one respect more than one loses; one misses more nonsense than sense. permalink
- Defaced ruins of architecture and statuary, like the wrinkles of decrepitude of a once beautiful woman, only make one regret that one did not see them when they were enchanting. permalink
- Don't play for safety. It's the most dangerous thing in the world. permalink
- Every drop of ink in my pen ran cold. permalink
letter to George Montagu (20 July 1752)
- Exercise is the worst thing in the world and as bad an invention as gunpowder. permalink
- Foolish writers and readers are created for each other. permalink
- Had I children, my utmost endeavors would be to make them musicians. permalink
- History is a romance that is believed; romance, a history that is not believed. permalink
- How well Shakespeare knew how to improve and exalt little circumstances, when he borrowed them from circumstantial or vulgar historians. permalink
- I am persuaded that foolish writers and foolish readers are created for each other; and that fortune provides readers as she does mates for ugly women. permalink
- I avoid talking before the youth of the age as I would dancing before them: for if one's tongue don't move in the steps of the day, and thinks to please by its old graces, it is only an object of ridicule. permalink
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