Quotation by Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield, 4th Earl

I knew a gentleman who was so good a manager of his time that he would not even lose that small portion of it which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary-house, but gradually went through all the Latin poets in those moments. He bought, for example, a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina: this was so much time fairly gained.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Dec. 11, 1747, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. I, p. 298, London (1774).

"Necessary-house" or "necessary-vault" was a term used for "privy." Cloacina, or Venus the Cleanser, is referred to here somewhat frivolously as the goddess of sewers.
Surprise me with a
The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by written agreement, the following are prohibited: copying substantial portions or the entirety of the work in machine readable form, making multiple printouts thereof, and other uses of the work inconsistent with U.S. and applicable foreign copyright and related laws.
Copyright ©  2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Suggest a Word Help