Thursday, 20 September 2012

Trompeur trompeur et demi

Pinocchio, from Wikipedia

Another journey around the internet was started when I came across the phrase "trompeur trompeur et demi" which I thought must mean a liar and a half, but apparently it means a deceiver will sooner or later be deceived.

It was a phrase used by Lord Chesterfield who was full of wise sayings and communicated them all to his son by way of "letters" published in 1774 as "Letters of Lord Chesterfield to his Son".  These contained the principles by which he wanted his son to conduct his life.  I'm not sure how I would have received some of the letters but there is no doubt he gives some sound advice.

The heart never grows better by age; I fear rather worse; always harder. A young liar will be an old one; and a young knave will only be a greater knave as he grows older.
 Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever.
Good breeding is the result of good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others.
 Advice is seldom welcome; and those who want it the most always like it the least.
Some of the advice has stood the test of time, in fact most of it.  Some sounds rather dated such as a footman forgiving a beating sooner than an obvious sign of contempt.  All of it can be read on Project Gutenberg.
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