Cyril Connolly - Enemies of Promise (1938)
30 Sourced Quotes
Failure on the other hand is infectious. The world is full of charming failures (for all charming people have something to conceal, usually their total dependence on the appreciation of others) and unless the writer is quite ruthless with these amiable footlers, they will drag him down with them.
To this period [age seven] I trace my worst faults. Indecision, for I found that by hesitating for a long time over two toys in a shop I would be given both and so was tempted to make two alternatives always seem equally attractive; Ingratitude, for I grew so used to having what I wanted that I assumed it as a right; Laziness, for sloth is the especial vice of tyrants; the Impatience with boredom that is generated by devotion; the Cruelty which comes from a knowledge of power and the Giving way to moods, for I learnt that sulking, crying, moping and malingering were bluffs that paid.
The Mandarin style at its best yields the richest and most complete expression of the English language. It is the diction of Donne, Browne, Addison, Johnson, Gibbon, de Quincey, Landor, Carlyle and Ruskin as opposed to that of Bunyan, Dryden, Locke, Defoe, Cowper, Cobbett, Hazlitt, Southey and Newman. It is characterized by long sentences with many dependent clauses, by the use of the subjunctive and conditional, by exclamations and interjections, quotations, allusions, metaphors, long images, Latin terminology, subtlety and conceits. Its cardinal assumption is that neither the writer nor the reader is in a hurry, that both are possessed of a classical education and a private income. It is Ciceronian English.