Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Balthasar Gracian's "Art of Worldly Wisdom"

Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2014 09:03:08 +0000
Subject: The Latest from Balthasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom"
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Balthasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom"

The Latest from Balthasar Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom"

Aphorism #244 Create a feeling of Obligation.


Some transform favours received into favoursbestowed, and seem, or let it be thought, that they are doing a favour when receiving one. There are some so astute that they get honour by asking, and buy their own advantage with applause from others. They manage matters so cleverly that they seem to be doing others a service when receiving one from them. They transpose the order of obligation with extraordinary skill, or at least render it doubtful who has obliged whom. They buy the best by praising it, and make a flattering honour out of the pleasure they express. They oblige by their courtesy, and thus make men beholden for what they themselves should be beholden. In this way they conjugate "to oblige" in the active instead of in the passive voice, thereby proving themselves better politicians than grammarians. This is a subtle piece of finesse; a still greater is to perceive it, and to retaliate on such fools' bargains by paying in their own coin, and so coming by your own again.

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