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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.

XI. Letter-Writers

§ 9. His genius for friendship

Although he had many enemies, he had a genius for friendship. His greatest friend was Richard, second earl of Scarborough, whose character he drew—a man held in so high a general esteem that Chesterfield declares:

  • He was the best man I ever knew, the dearest friend I ever had.… We lived in intimate and unreserved friendship for twenty years, and to that I owe much more than my pride will let my gratitude own.
  • On Scarborough’s melancholy death, Chesterfield wrote to his protégé Dr. Chenevix: “We have both lost a good friend in Scarborough; nobody can replace him to me; I wish I could replace him to you; but as things stand I see no great hopes of it.” Chesterfield appointed Chenevix to the first Irish bishopric in his gift (Killaloe) and, shortly afterwards, translated him to Waterford. He retained the bishop as a lifelong friend, and in the printed correspondence there are many bright letters to him which are full of kindly feeling, and to which he subscribed himself “with the greatest truth and affection.” Another lifelong friend was the diplomatist Solomon Dayrolles, a godson of Chesterfield, whose letters to him are of an intimate character and full of the most natural feelings, expressed in an altogether charming manner. The name of Dayrolles will always be associated with that of Chesterfield, because of the dying statesman’s considerate order, “Give Dayrolles a chair.” Many other interesting letters are to be found in the correspondence, such as those to the Dublin bookseller, alderman Faulkener, whose friendship Chesterfield secured when in Ireland and retained through life; and Lady Suffolk, a much esteemed friend. This general correspondence is extremely interesting and the letters it contains are models of what letters should be—natural, kindly and witty.