Quotation by Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield, 4th Earl

A recent publication from Paris, titled L'Année Merveilleuse (1748), predicts, for the first of next month, a very considerable change: nothing less than the total and reciprocal metamorphosis of the two sexes. Sceptic that I am, I find it difficult to believe, though I would agree to it on one condition, that you and I exchange with each other. While it is true that you would lose greatly by the exchange, it is also true that I would gain a great deal from it, and in the essential things. Who care what their friends lose so long as they profit themselves?
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, July 30, 1748, The French Correspondence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, vol. I, p. 52, ed. Rex A. Barrell, trans. James Gray, Ottawa, Borealis Press (1980).

The publication, L'Année Merveilleuse, ou les hommes-femmes (1748), a partial imitation of the Annus Mirabilis (1722) of Dr. John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), was by L'Abbè Gabriel Francois Coyer (1707-1782), a noted humorist and friend of Voltaire.
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