85 Horace Walpole Quotes from English Writer

Horace Walpole, born in 1717, was an influential English writer celebrated for penning the pioneering Gothic novel, “The Castle of Otranto.” Not only an author,

Walpole was a dedicated letter-writer, leaving behind a vast correspondence detailing the tastes and events of his era.

A son of Prime Minister Robert Walpole, he studied at Eton and King’s College before touring France and Italy.

Later, Walpole turned a Twickenham villa into the famed Gothic Revival mansion, Strawberry Hill, showcasing it to the public.

Horace Walpole

While his literary works spanned various genres, his intimate letters and memoirs serve as a window into 18th-century England.

I have picked the best quotes by Horace Walpole in this blog post.

Best Horace Walpole Quotes

Virtue knows to a farthing what it has lost by not having been vice. ~ Horace Walpole.

This life is but a pilgrimage. ~ Horace Walpole.

We often repent of our first thoughts, and scarce ever of our second. ~ Horace Walpole.


In science, mistakes always precede the truth. ~ Horace Walpole.

Our supreme governors, the mob. ~ Horace Walpole.

I fear no bad angel, and have offended no good one. ~ Horace Walpole.

Heaven mocks the short-sighted views of man. ~ Horace Walpole.

This world is a comedy, not Life. ~ Horace Walpole.

Had I children, my utmost endeavors would be to make them musicians. ~ Horace Walpole.

Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel. ~ Horace Walpole.

To act with common sense according to the moment, is the best wisdom I know. ~ Horace Walpole.

I firmly believe, notwithstanding all our complaints, that almost every person upon earth tastes upon the totality more happiness than misery. ~ Horace Walpole.

It is charming to totter into vogue. ~ Horace Walpole.

The curse of modern times is, that almost everything does create controversy. ~ Horace Walpole.

Perhaps those, who, trembling most, maintain a dignity in their fate, are the bravest: resolution on reflection is real courage. ~ Horace Walpole.

The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well. ~ Horace Walpole.

Famous Horace Walpole Quotes

How well Shakespeare knew how to improve and exalt little circumstances, when he borrowed them from circumstantial or vulgar historians. ~ Horace Walpole.

One’s mind suffers only when one is young and while one is ignorant of the world. When one has lived for some time, one learns that the young think too little and the old too much, and one grows careless about both. ~ Horace Walpole.

Plot, rules, nor even poetry, are not half so great beauties in tragedy or comedy as a just imitation of nature, of character, of the passions and their operations in diversified situations. ~ Horace Walpole.


Lawyers and rogues are vermin not easily rooted out of a rich soil. ~ Horace Walpole.

Oh, we are ridiculous animals; and if the angels have any fun in them, how we must divert them! ~ Horace Walpole.

I never found even in my juvenile hours that it was necessary to go a thousand miles in search of themes for moralizing. ~ Horace Walpole.

Cunning is neither the consequence of sense, nor does it give sense. A proof that it is not sense, is that cunning people never imagine that others can see through them. It is the consequence of weakness. ~ Horace Walpole.

The best philosophy is to do one’s duties, take the world as it comes, submit respectfully to one’s lot; bless the goodness that has given us so much happiness with it. ~ Horace Walpole.

The wisest prophets make sure of the event first. ~ Horace Walpole.

History is a romance that is believed; romance, a history that is not believed. ~ Horace Walpole.

Fashion is always silly, for, before it can spread far, it must be calculated for silly people; as examples of sense, wit, or ingenuity could be imitated only by a few. ~ Horace Walpole.

Shakespeare had no tutors but nature and genius. He caught his faults from the bad taste of his contemporaries. In an age still less civilized Shakespeare might have been wilder, but would not have been vulgar. ~ Horace Walpole.

Justice is rather the activity of truth, than a virtue in itself. Truth tells us what is due to others, and justice renders that due. Injustice is acting a lie. ~ Horace Walpole.

Powerful Horace Walpole Quotes

I know that I have had friends who would never have vexed or betrayed me, if they had walked on all fours. ~ Horace Walpole.

Shakespeare, with an improved education and in a more enlightened age, might easily have attained the purity and correction of Racine; but nothing leads one to suppose that Racine in a barbarous age would have attained the grandeur, force and nature of Shakespeare. ~ Horace Walpole.

Let the French but have England, and they won’t want to conquer it. ~ Horace Walpole.

The most remarkable thing I have observed since I came abroad is that there are no people so obviously mad as the English. ~ Horace Walpole.

Letters to absence can a voice impart, And lend a tongue when distance gags the heart. ~ Horace Walpole.

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. ~ Horace Walpole.


Who has begun has half done. Have the courage to be wise. Begin! ~ Horace Walpole.

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. ~ Horace Walpole.

Men are often capable of greater things than they perform – They are sent into the world with bills of credit, and seldom draw to their full extent. ~ Horace Walpole.

Wise Horace Walpole Quotes

I can forgive injuries, but never benefits. ~ Horace Walpole.

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. ~ Horace Walpole.

Poetry is a beautiful way of spoiling prose, and the laborious art of exchanging plain sense for harmony. ~ Horace Walpole.

Mystery is the wisdom of blockheads. ~ Horace Walpole.

Every drop of ink in my pen ran cold. ~ Horace Walpole.

Art is the filigrain of a little mind, and is twisted and involved and curled, but would reach farther if laid out in a straight line. ~ Horace Walpole.

I hold visions to be wisdom, and would deny them only to ambition, which exists only by the destruction of visions of everybody else. ~ Horace Walpole.

This is a bad world; nor have I had cause to leave it with regret. ~ Horace Walpole.

By deafness one gains in one respect more than one loses; one misses more nonsense than sense. ~ Horace Walpole.

Great Horace Walpole Quotes

Our bells are worn threadbare with ringing for victories. ~ Horace Walpole.

Nine-tenths of the people were created so you would want to be with the other tenth. ~ Horace Walpole.

Oh that I were seated as high as my ambition, I’d place my naked foot on the necks of monarchs. ~ Horace Walpole.


I have known men of valor cowards to their wives. ~ Horace Walpole.

I do not dislike the French from the vulgar antipathy between neighboring nations, but for their insolent and unfounded air of superiority. ~ Horace Walpole.

My buildings are paper, like my writings, and both will be blown away in ten years after I am dead. ~ Horace Walpole.

Without grace no book can live, and with it the poorest may have its life prolonged. ~ Horace Walpole.

The way to ensure summer in England is to have it framed and glazed in a comfortable room. ~ Horace Walpole.

Exercise is the worst thing in the world and as bad an invention as gunpowder. ~ Horace Walpole.

A tragedy can never suffer by delay: a comedy may, because the allusions or the manners represented in it maybe temporary. ~ Horace Walpole.

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. ~ Horace Walpole.

The farther I travel, the less I wonder at anything: a few days reconcile one to a new spot, or an unseen custom; and men are so much the same everywhere, that one scare perceives a change in situation. ~ Horace Walpole.

Top Horace Walpole Quotes

When Shakespeare copied chroniclers verbatim, it was because he knew they were good enough for his audiences. In a more polished age he who could so move our passions, could surely have performed the easier task of satisfying our taste. ~ Horace Walpole.

The best sun we have is made of Newcastle coal, and I am determined never to reckon upon any other. ~ Horace Walpole.

Fashion is fortunately no law but to its devotees. ~ Horace Walpole.

The Methodists love your big sinners, as proper subjects to work upon. ~ Horace Walpole.

Foolish writers and readers are created for each other. ~ Horace Walpole.

A bystander often sees more of the game than those that play. ~ Horace Walpole.

I shun authors, and would never have been one myself, if it obliged me to keep such bad company. ~ Horace Walpole.

A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now and then, does not mis-become a monarch. ~ Horace Walpole.

It amazes me when I hear any person prefer blindness to deafness. Such a person must have a terrible dread of being alone. Blindness makes one totally dependent on others, and deprives us of every satisfaction that results from light. ~ Horace Walpole.


Posterity always degenerates till it becomes our ancestors. ~ Horace Walpole.

I look upon paradoxes as the impotent efforts of men who, not having capacity to draw attention and celebrity from good sense, fly to eccentricities to make themselves noted. ~ Horace Walpole.

It was easier to conquer it than to know what to do with it. ~ Horace Walpole.

Serendipitous discoveries are made by chance, found without looking for them but possible only through a sharp vision and sagacity, ready to see the unexpected and never indulgent with the apparently unexplainable. ~ Horace Walpole.

Popular Horace Walpole Quotes

The sure way of judging whether our first thoughts are judicious, is to sleep on them. If they appear of the same force the next morning as they did over night, and if good nature ratifies what good sense approves, we may be pretty sure we are in the right. ~ Horace Walpole.

The passions seldom give good advice but to the interested and mercenary. Resentment generally suggests bad measures. Second thoughts and good nature will rarely, very rarely, approve the first hints of anger. ~ Horace Walpole.

I do not admire politicians; but when they are excellent in their way, one cannot help allowing them their due. ~ Horace Walpole.

When people will not weed their own minds, they are apt to be overrun by nettles. ~ Horace Walpole.

He was persuaded he could know no happiness but in the society of one with whom he could for ever indulge the melancholy that had taken possession of his soul. ~ Horace Walpole.

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 cornerstone of our liberty. ~ Horace Walpole.

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 jeweler, who cuts a diamond into a brilliant, and diminishes the weight to make it shine more. ~ Horace Walpole.

So these were the 85 top Horace Walpole quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Herbert Hoover quotes and Henry Rollins quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar