Lord Chesterfield on Domestic Affairs

Dear Lord Chesterfield,

After fighting with my beau, I decided to confide the subject of our quarrel to several of my closest friends.  Now I’m afraid I have made a mess of the situation, for where my beau and I have promptly forgotten our dispute, my friends, taking my momentary poor constitution to heart, now quite thoroughly detest him!  As the damage is already done (and woefully irreversible in the near future) what advice have you to offer so I do not err further?

A Whimsical Woman

Dear A Whimsical Woman,

Cautiously avoid talking of either your own or other people’s domestic affairs.  Yours are nothing to them, but tedious; theirs are nothing to you.  The subject is a tender one; and it is odds but you touch somebody or other’s sore place; for in this case there is no trusting specious appearances, which may be, and often are, so contrary to the real situations of things between men and their wives, parents and their children, seeming friends, etc., that, withthe best intentions in the world, one often blunders, disagreeably.

From Bath, October 29, O.S. 1748

Come back tomorrow for  Lord Chesterfield on Secrets

Missed the previous Lord Chesterfield’s posts?  See On Friendship and On Giving Compliments.

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