The Principles of the Art of Conversation

The Principles of the Art of Conversation

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1888 edition. Excerpt: things is received by the company with ridicule. Yet for all that, it cannot possibly be denied that as most of the brilliant things which a man uses in any conversation must be at second hand--to invent such things one after another at the moment being beyond the power of human genius--they must depend upon a good memory, and this may best be aided by having things written down, which would else escape and be lost. We should therefore conclude that every man who goes into society, and has an inclination for that kind of conversation, ought to keep some record of the happy trifles he hears upon various occasions. But it seems, at least in Ireland, as if the repugnance to doing this amounted to a conclusive argument against it. It is assumed that as surely as a man has such a store, which he looks up beforehand, so surely will he force the conversation towards his points, or bring them in when irrelevant; and an irrelevant joke is hardly a real joke. I have known, indeed, of a college Don having a note-book of wit in his pocket, and peeping at it under the table to refresh his memory. This was regarded as far the best joke about him, and the laughter before he spoke was always greater than when he had sped his shaft. In actual society it has never occurred to me to meet any one who has sustained a reputation for wit in this way. We think that if the suggestion of the current conversation is not strong enough to bring up a smart point naturally, and without effort, it is better that it should be forgotten or unsaid. Let me add the significant fact, that in spite of endless attempts, no printed collection of jokes has ever attained even a decent position in literature.1 So much for wit; the case of humour is slightly different. Humour...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 28 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 68g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236870239
  • 9781236870230