Studies in flattery

2 Oct

This is perhaps my favorite part of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I recently heard it again and couldn’t help putting it on here.

Mr. Bennet:  ‘…it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy.  May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?’

Mr. Collins:  ‘They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, and though I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible.’

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