For my own part, I would rather be in company with a dead man than with an absent one; for if the dead man gives me no pleasure, at least he shows me no contempt; whereas the absent one, silently indeed, but very plainly, tells me that he does not think me worth his attention.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Sept. 22, 1749; (first published 1774). The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 194, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).