Quotation by Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield, 4th Earl

Deafness produces bizarre effects, reversing the natural order of things; the interchange of letters is the conversation of the deaf, and the only link with society. I would be in despair, for instance, over seeing you speak, but, instead, I am only too happy to hear you write.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Sept. 3, 1753, The French Correspondence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield, vol. I, p. 100, ed. Rex A. Barrell, trans. James Gray, Ottawa, Borealis Press (1980).

Chesterfield became quite deaf in his late fifties. He was 59 at the time of writing this letter.
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