Quotation by Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield, 4th Earl

It is commonly said ... that ridicule is the best test of truth; for that it will not stick where it is not just. I deny it. A truth learned in a certain light, and attacked in certain words, by men of wit and humour, may, and often doth, become ridiculous, at least so far, that the truth is only remembered and repeated for the sake of the ridicule.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Feb. 6, 1752, repr. in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 2, no. 270, ed. Charles Strachey (1901). (First published 1774).
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