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In a commercial country, a busy country, time becomes precious, and therefore hospitality is not so much valued. No doubt there is still room for a certain degree of it; and a man has a satisfaction in seeing his friends eating and drinking around him. But promiscuous hospitality is not the way to gain real influence. You must help some people at table before others; you must ask some people how they like their wine oftener than others. You therefore offend more people than you please.

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Source Notes: Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Johnson ("31 March 1772") (1791).

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Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was an English critic, poet and essayist.

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