I very much regret the late reminder, but tonight, as every third Tuesday, you may find me at home at Ormsby Hall, Little West Sniggery, Caledon Murdann for a literary salon from 5:00 to 7:00 pm SLT. Tonight’s starting point:
Sir Timothy was a fluent speaker, and when there was nothing to be said was possessed of a great plenty of words. And he was gifted with that peculiar power which enables a man to have the last word in every encounter,—a power which we are apt to call repartee, which is in truth the readiness which comes from continual practice. You shall meet two men of whom you shall know the one to be endowed with the brilliancy of true genius, and the other to be possessed of but moderate parts, and shall find the former never able to hold his own against the latter. In a debate, the man of moderate parts will seem to be greater than the man of genius. But this skill of tongue, this glibness of speech is hardly an affair of intellect at all. It is,— as is style to the writer,— not the wares which he has to take to market, but the vehicle in which they may be carried. Of what avail to you is it to have filled granaries with corn if you cannot get your corn to the consumer? Now Sir Timothy was a great vehicle, but he had not in truth much corn to send.
—Anthony Trollope, The Duke’s Children, chapter 26