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The Locquacious

Picture of the Locquacious man from Theophrastus' Characters.Loquacity is an incontinence of the tongue.

The loquacious man, whatever you may be talking of, presently interrupts you by telling you that You say nothing to the point: I know the whole story; and if you listen to me you will learn the real state of the case. If you take up the subject again, he breaks in on you Ah, dont you forget what you were about to say : truly you did well to remind me of that see how profitable is talk Right! that part of the affair I had forgotten. You have taken my meaning at once: I have been waiting to see if you would think as I do. In this way he seizes on every opportunity of talking, so that one who would confer with him knows not when to take breath. When he has thus worried, one by one, all who may have fallen in his way, he will thrust himself into a group of persons occupied with some important business, and fairly put them to flight. He enters the public schools and the palaes tras, interrupting the youth in their studies, or their exercises, while he chats with the masters. If any one to escape from him takes his leave, he will rise at the same time and follow him home. He is informed of all that passes in the assembly of the people, which he makes it his business to repeat wherever he goes. The retailing of such news gives him occasion to describe at great length the battle between the Lacedaemonians and the Macedonians, which, he informs you, took place during the magistracy of the orator Aristophon: thence he goes back to the war with the Lacedæmonians under Ly sander; nor does he forget to repeat a much applauded speech which he himself made on a certain occasion in the assembly: with this discourse, how ever, he intermingled invectives against the populace: meanwhile, some of his audience are utterly unconscious of what he is saying; some are dozing, and some make their escape, A man of this sort puts a stop alike to business and to pleasure. When he sits on the bench he distracts his colleagues: when he is at the theatre he prevents those near him from seeing the spectacle; and at table he almost hinders his neighbor from eating. He will frankly confess that it is hard for a talker to hold his peace: The tongue,he says, is hung so loose that it must need to be moving: and he owns that he would rather seem more noisy than a flight of swallows than be silent. He will bear to be laughed at for his folly, even by his own children; who, when they would sleep, are want to say Come, father, now tell us a tale, that we may all begin to nod.

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