Saturday, December 29, 2007

You must provide yourself with a good deal of extraneous matter, which you are to produce occasionally, so as to fill up the time; for you must consider, that they do not listen much. If you begin with the strength of your cause, it may be lost before they begin to listen. When you catch a moment of attention, press the merits of the question upon them."

Samuel Johnson to James Boswell, in his The Life of Samuel Johnson, upon being asked for advice on how to speak to the House of Commons.

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