Women who are either indisputably beautiful, or indisputably ugly, are best flattered upon the score of their understandings; but those who are in a state of mediocrity are best flattered upon their beauty, or at least their graces: for every woman who is not absolutely ugly, thinks herself handsome.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. repr. in The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 161, ed. Charles Strachey (1901). letter, Sept. 5, 1748 (1774).