Harold Nicolson Quotes

One of the minor pleasures of life is to be slightly ill.

When I look back upon the more than sixty years that I have spent on this entrancing earth, and when I am asked which of all the changes that I have witnessed appears to me to be the most significant, I am inclined to answer that it is the loss of a sense of shame.

Chamberlain (who has the mind and manner of a clothes-brush) aims only at assuring temporary peace at the price of ultimate defeat.

We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.

These, then, are the qualities of my ideal diplomatist. Truth, accuracy, calm, patience, good temper, modesty and loyalty. They are also the qualities of an ideal diplomacy. “But,” the reader may object, “you have forgotten intelligence, knowledge, discernment, prudence, hospitality, charm, industry, courage and even tact.” I have not forgotten them. I have taken them […]

Wystan Auden reads us some of his new poem in the evening… It interests me particularly as showing, at last, that I belong to an older generation. I follow Auden in his derision of patriotism, class distinctions, comfort, and all the ineptitudes of the middle-classes. But when he also derides the other soft little harmless […]

Only one person in a thousand is a bore and he is interesting because he is one person in a thousand.