Manners and Morals

Manners and Morals

A person with wide-ranging knowledge

Saturday, December 31, 2011

By Pendar

This blog is part of the series Not So Ancient Wisdom, based on Baltasar Gracián’s The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence


Aphorism # 22:

A person with wide-ranging knowledge. Urbane and pleasant erudition is the ammunition of the discreet. A practical knowledge of current affairs, news not gossip. Have a store of witty sayings and gallant deeds, and know when to use them, for a joke, not a pedantic sermon, is often the best way to offer advice. Wisdom gained in conversation has been more useful to some than the seven arts, however liberal.

The pleasures of conversation… Those were the days before the invention of the home screen. Even if adults now have a pleasant conversation over the proverbial “glass of wine” I sure don’t see too many kids and teenagers joining in or enjoying it.

The “seven arts,” by the way, are: grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, mathematics, music, geometry and astrology. Urbane conversation is definitely more fun!


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