Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gracian--talking about oneself

No. 117

"Never talk about yourself.  For you either praise, which is vanity, or you reproach, which is poor spirit, in both instances evincing a guilty heart in the speaker, which gives pain to the listener:  if it is to be avoid in private life, it is to be shunned even more in public office, where you speak to the crowd, and where you at once pass as a fool if you but give the semblance of it.  A similar weakness of mind lies in speech about those present, because of the danger of foundering on either of two rocks, that of overappreciation or that of depreciation." 

Baltasar Gracian
from The Art of Worldly Wisdom
trans. Martin Fischer

Seems somehow rather appropriate right now, or so I believe.

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