Why, to eat and drink together, and to promote kindness; and Sir, this is better done when there is no solid conversation; for when there is, people differ in opinion, and get into bad humour, or some of the company who are not capable of such conversation, are left out, and feel themselves uneasy. It was for this reason, Sir Robert Walpole said, he always talked bawdy at his table, because in that all could join.
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Source Notes: Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Johnson ("May 1776") (1791). Boswell has complained about a dinner party where there was no memorable conversation and asks why men should meet at all during a meal if there is not to be discussion. Johnson replies.
Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was an English critic, poet and essayist.
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