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CONVERSATION
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[ Also see Address Assertions Company Discussion Eloquence Gossip Language Linguists Oratory Repartee Silence Speech Story Telling Talk Talking Tongue Visiting Voice Wit Words ]

All serious conversations gravitate towards philosophy.
      - Ernest Dimnet

A great thing is a great book, but greater than all is the talk of a great man.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

The art of conversation is to be prompt without being stubborn, to refute without argument, and to clothe great matters in a motley garb.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

You must originate, and you must sympathize; yon must possess, at the same time, the habit of communicating and the habit of listening. The union is rather rare, but irresistible.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

The best of life is conversation.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wise cultivated, genial conversation is the last flower of civilization, and the best result which life has to offer us,--a cup for gods, which has no repentance. Conversation is our account of ourselves. All we have, all we can, all we know, is brought into play, and as the reproduction in finer form, of all our havings.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Conversation is a game of circles.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays--Circles

Conversation is the laboratory and workshop of the student.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        Society and Solitude--Clubs

There is a sort of knowledge beyond the power of learning to bestow, and this is to be had in conversation; so necessary is this to the understanding the characters of men, that none are more ignorant of them than those learned pedants whose lives have been entirely consumed in colleges and among books; for however exquisitely human nature may have been described by writers the true practical system can be learned only in the world.
      - Henry Fielding

The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much; always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends; never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can; to hearken to what is said, and to answer to the purpose.
      - Benjamin Franklin

I never, with important air,
  In conversation overbear.
    . . . .
      My tongue within my lips I rein;
        For who talks much must talk in vain.
      - John Gay, Fables
         (pt. I, introduction, l. 53)

With thee conversing I forget the way.
      - John Gay, Trivia (bk. II, l. 480)

Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.
      - Edward Gibbon

It is by speech that many of our best gains are made. A large part of the good we receive comes to us in conversation.
      - Washington Gladden

Reasonable men are the best dictionaries of conversation.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

They would talk of nothing but high life and high-lived company, with other fashionable topics, such as pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical glasses.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Vicar of Wakefield
         (ch. IX)

Our companions please us less from the charms we find in their conversation than from those they find in ours.
      - Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, Lord Brooke

Conversation is interesting in proportion to the originality of the central ideas which serve as pivots and the fitness of the little facts and observations which are contributed by the talkers.
      - Philip Gilbert Hamerton

Repose is as necessary in conversation as in a picture.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Silence is one great art of conversation. He is not a fool who knows when to hold his tongue; and a person may gain credit for sense, eloquence, wit, who merely says nothing to lessen the opinion which others have of these qualities in themselves.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

The soul of conversation is sympathy.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
      - O. Henry (pseudonym of William Sydney Porter),
        The Complete Like of John Hopkins

And when you stick on conversation's burs,
  Don't strew your pathway with those dreadful urs.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        A Rhymed Lesson--Urania

Discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. 15, l. 433), (Pope's translation)

Among the arts of conversation no one pleases more than mutual deference or civility, which leads us to resign our own inclinations to those of our companions, and to curb and conceal that presumption and arrogance so natural to the human mind.
      - David Hume


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