That's a quote from Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (British, 1694-1773). Generally known as "Lord Stanhope," he was a politician and man of letters, a mover, shaker and manipulator. He was married to the illegitimate daughter of George I, whom I must say I didn't know HAD any "byblows." He was renowned for his manners and ability to turn a phrase, but his calculation and snobbery won him little warmth. He wasn't much for novels, it seems - he also remarked upon "The mere brute pleasure of reading - the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing."
At his death he left a lifetime annuity to his favorite cat and its descendants, probably the only creatures that never judged or used him.
(**Curator's note: I do regret my typing errors (now fixed). And Parlance, see comments, is actually right come to think of it. Grin!)