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The Autocrat Of The Breakfast-table
by Oliver Wendell Holmes
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An enduring American classic.
I WAS JUST going to say, when I was interrupted, that one of the many ways of classifying minds is under the heads of arithmetical and algebraical intellects. All economical and practical wisdom is an extension or variation of the following arithmetical formula: 2 2=4. Every philosophical proposition has the more general character of the expression A B=C. We are mere operatives, empirics, and egotists, until we learn to think in letters instead of figures.
From the Publisher
Originally published in 1858, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table is a series of personal essays ostensibly recounting the boarding-house breakfast-table conversation of ³the Autocrat² and his table-mates the Professor, the Landlady, the Schoolmistress, the Divinity Student, and so on. The book is both a timeless depiction of a witty, urbane, and genial critical intelligence, and a vivid record of 19th-century America in general, and Boston intellectual circles in particular.
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