Saturday, October 3, 2009

B. Franklin on the pleasure of conversation

How unfortunate I was, that I did not press you and Lady Kames more strongly to favour us with your company farther.  How much more agreeable would our journey have been, if we could have enjoyed you as far as York.  We could have beguiled the way, by discoursing of a thousand things, that now we may never have an opportunity of considering together; for conversation warms the mind, enlivens the imagination, and is continually starting fresh game, that is immediately pursued and taken, and which would never have occurred in the duller intercourse of epistolary correspondence.  So that whenever I reflect on the great pleasure and advantage I received from the free communication of sentiment, in the conversations we had at Kames, and in the agreeable little rides to the Tweed side, I shall for ever regret our premature parting.

-- Benjamin Franklin, in a 1760 letter to Henry Home, Lord Kames, in volume 4, pages 3-4, of The Writings of Benjamin Franklin. Edited by Albert Henry Smyth. New York: Macmillan Co., 1905--7.

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