I come now to another part of your letter, which is the orthography, if I may call bad spelling orthography. You spell induce, enduce; and grandeur, you spell grandure; two faults of which few of my house-maids would have been guilty. I must tell you, that orthography, in the true sense of the word, is so absolutely necessary for a man of letters, or a gentleman, that one false spelling may fix a ridicule upon him for the rest of his life; and I know a man of quality, who never recovered the ridicule of having spelled wholesome without the w.
Reading with care will secure every body from false spelling; for books are always well spelled, according to the orthography of the times. Some words are indeed doubtful, being spelled differently by different authors of equal authority; but those are few; and in those cases every man has his option, because he may plead his authority either way; but where the is but one right way, as in the two words above mentioned , it is unpardonable, and ridiculous, for a gentleman to miss it; even a woman of a tolerable education would despise and laugh at a lover, who should send her an ill-spelled billet-doux. I fear and suspect, that you have taken it into your head, in most cases, that the matter is all, and the manner little or nothing. If you have, undeceive yourself, and be convinced that, in every thing, the manner is full as important as the matter. If you speak the sense of an angel, in bad words, and with a disagreeable utterance, nobody will hear you twice, who can help it. If you write epistles as well as Cicero, but in a very bad hand, and very ill spelled whoever receives will laugh at them; and if you had the figure of Adonis, with an awkward air and motions, it will disgust, instead of pleasing. Study manner therefore in every thing, if you would be any thing. My principal inquiries of my friends at Pairs, concerning you, will be relative to your manner of doing whatever you do. I shall not inquire, whether you understand Demosthenes, Tacitus, or the Just Publicum Imperii; but I shall inquire, whether your utterance is pleasing, your style not only pure, but elegant, your manners noble and easy, your air and address engaging: in short, whether you are a gentleman, a man of fashion, and fit to keep good company, or not; for, till I am satisfied in these particulars, you and I must by no means meet; I could not possibly stand it.
— Lord Chesterfield, letter to his son (November 19, 1750)