Polite Conversation: In Three Dialogues by Jonathan Swift with Introduction and Notes by George Saintsbury (versione in eBook)
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As my Life hath been chiefly spent in consulting the Honour and Welfare of my Country for more than Forty Years past, not without answerable Success, if the World and my Friends have not flattered me; so, there is no Point wherein I have so much labour’d, as that of improving and polishing all Parts of Conversation between Persons of Quality, whether they meet by Accident or Invitation, at Meals, Tea, or Visits, Mornings, Noons, or Evenings. I have passed perhaps more time than any other Man of my Age and Country in Visits and Assemblees, where the polite Persons of both Sexes distinguish themselves; and could not without much Grief observe how frequently both Gentlemen and Ladies are at a Loss for Questions, Answers, Replies and Rejoinders: However, my Concern was much abated, when I found that these Defects were not occasion’d by any Want of Materials, but because those Materials were not in every Hand: For Instance, One Lady can give an Answer better than ask a Question: One Gentleman is happy at a Reply; another excels in a Rejoinder: One can revive a languishing Conversation by a sudden surprizing Sentence; another is more dextrous in seconding; a Third can fill the Gap with laughing, or commending what hath been said: Thus fresh Hints may be started, and the Ball of Discourse kept up.
Quarta di copertina
It was in the Year 1695, and the Sixth of his late Majesty King William, the Third, of ever glorious and immortal Memory, who rescued Three Kingdoms from Popery and Slavery; when, being about the Age of Six-and-thirty, my Judgment mature, of good Reputation in the World, and well acquainted with the best Families in Town, I determined to spend Five Mornings, to dine Four times, pass Three Afternoons, and Six Evenings every Week, in the Houses of the most polite Families, of which I would confine myself to Fifty; only changing as the Masters or Ladies died, or left the Town, or grew out of Vogue, or sunk in their Fortunes, (which to me was of the highest moment) or because disaffected to the Government; which Practice I have followed ever since to this very Day; except when I happened to be sick, or in the Spleen upon cloudy Weather; and except when I entertained Four of each Sex at my own Lodgings once a Month, by way of Retaliation. I always kept a large Table-Book in my Pocket; and as soon as I left the Company, I immediately entered the choicest Expressions that passed during the Visit; which, returning Home, I transcribed in a fair Hand, but somewhat enlarged; and had made the greatest Part of my Collection in Twelve Years, but not digested into any Method; for this I found was a Work of infinite Labour, and what required the nicest Judgment, and consequently could not be brought to any Degree of Perfection in less than Sixteen Years more. Herein I resolved to exceed the Advice of Horace, a Roman Poet, (which I have read in Mr. Creech’s admirable Translation) That an Author should keep his Works Nine Years in his Closet, before he ventured to publish them; and finding that I still received some additional Flowers of Wit and Language, although in a very small Number, I determined to defer the Publication, to pursue my Design, and exhaust, if possible, the whole Subject, that I might present a complete System to the World: For, I am convinced by long Experience, t
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- Listino:€ 4,50
- Editore:Library of Alexandria
- Data uscita:24/02/2021
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