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Badinage

'Badinage' - sent in by an old jotter (who once met Marty Feldman) who notes that even in 1961 the old thought that young people had no conversation... From Michael Innes detective novel Silence Observed about a forger intent upon  forging forgeries of great literary forgeries. Echoes of Major Byron etc., Inspector Appleby, having briefly referred to La Dolce Vita, his interlocutor 'old buffer' Sir Gabriel Gulliver says:

"I tell you I've never spent a winter in Rome."

"You'd find it overrated, I don't doubt. Better just to read about it in a nostalgic way in Edwardian novels. The reality would be disenchanting. I understand there's a great deal of snow, and that the natives have never studied to accommodate their lives to it. Moreover in Winter Rome is full of Romans, just as in Spring London is full of Londoners. And you know how tiresome that is. No capital city is tolerable except when voided of its inhabitants."

Sir Gabriel Gulliver received this with appropriate amusement. Entering the smoking room, he dived into a corner to ring a bell…" Nice of you," he said, "to talk to an old buffer in what you conceive of as his own antique conversational mode. A good many of you youngsters, you know, have no conversation at all…'

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