There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.
Three things we should keep in mind [in conversation]: first, that we speak in the presence of people as vain as ourselves, whose vanity suffers in proportion as ours is satisfied; second, that there are few truths important enough to justify paining and reproving others for not knowing them; finally, that any man who monopolizes the conversation is a fool or would be fortunate if he were one.
Every person in the world may not become a personage. But every person may become a personality. The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Interesting thoughts can live only in cultivated minds. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays at the theater, good company, good conversation - what are they? They are the happiest people in the world; and they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.
The tone of good conversation is brilliant and natural; it is neither tedious nor frivolous; it is instructive without pedantry, gay without tumultuousness, polished without affectation, gallant without insipidity, waggish without equivocation.
The home... is the lens through which we get our first look at marriage and all civic duties; it is the clinic where, by conversation and attitude, impressions are created with respect to sobriety and reverence; it is the school where lessons of truth or falsehood, honesty or deceit are learned; it is the mold which ultimately determines the structure of society.
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.
By reading, we enjoy the dead; by conversation, the living; and by contemplation, ourselves. Reading enriches the memory, conversation polishes the wit; and contemplation improves the judgment. Of these, reading is the most important, as it furnishes both the others.