Monday, May 16, 2011

Commonplace Book

Another good quote: Samuel Johnson from Boswell's Life:

"Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen. It is assuming a superiority, and it is particularly wrong to question a man concerning himself. There may be parts of his former life he may not wish to be made known to other persons, or even brought to his own recollection."

This HAS to be the ultimate source of Patrick O'Brian's Diana Maturin's " I do not find Question and Answer a Liberal form of conversation..."

Sent by commenter "rob's uncle" on just that subject-- emphasis his.


Peculiar said...

I believe that's actually Maturin to Diana... checking... ye gods, I turned right to it, The Surgeon's Mate, pg. 139. (/POBGeekery)

I might add that another disadvantage to Q&A conversation is that an importunate questioner is liable to receive answers he may regret to hear. I think Miss Manners offers warnings against such.

Reid Farmer said...

OMG - and I thought I was an O'Brian dork!

BTW Mr P - I have a couple of former river guides working for me (so desperate they'll do archaeology) named Stephen Anderson and Mark Murray. Was wondering if you might know them?