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I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of... Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 12:00:00 AM
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I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
KSPavan
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 3:23:14 AM

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Quotation of the Day

I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Highstreets
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 5:29:22 AM

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Is there somebody who can explain this quote to me?
Bully_rus
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 9:50:58 AM
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Daemon wrote:
I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)


There are such things which can't be given, but only taken – and wit is one of them...
Emel Rapchan
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 2:07:46 PM

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This is the most difficult quote published here!.
Can someone explain it please!
Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 3:56:13 PM
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Daemon wrote:
I cannot imagine why we should be at the expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)


"we should be at the expense" means that we should be charged, or responsible for something;
in this case "to furnish wit for succeeding ages". It is a bit archaic, "at the expense".
Next, "when the former have made no sort of provision for ours". Read it like this:
"when the former ages (previous to ours) have made no sort of provision for our age.

Yet in other words: If our age has not been provided with wit by previous ages
why should we be responsible to provide wit for the succeeding ages?Whistle

For context: "The works of Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub, The Author's Preface" Page 92.
Courtesy of https://books.google.ca/books?id=YksQCsw-KhwC&pg=PA92&lpg=PA92&

monamagda
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 7:10:58 PM

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Context from: A Tale of a Tub
»

Introduction and Preface


THE PREFACE

But to return. I am sufficiently instructed in the principal duty of a preface if my genius, were capable of arriving at it. Thrice have I forced my imagination to take the tour of my invention, and thrice it has returned empty, the latter having been wholly drained by the following treatise. Not so my more successful brethren the moderns, who will by no means let slip a preface or dedication without some notable distinguishing stroke to surprise the reader at the entry, and kindle a wonderful expectation of what is to ensue. Such was that of a most ingenious poet, who, soliciting his brain for something new, compared himself to the hangman and his patron to the patient. This was insigne, recens, indictum ore alio {51a}. When I went through that necessary and noble course of study, {51b} I had the happiness to observe many such egregious touches, which I shall not injure the authors by transplanting, because I have remarked that nothing is so very tender as a modern piece of wit, and which is apt to suffer so much in the carriage. Some things are extremely witty to-day, or fasting, or in this place, or at eight o'clock, or over a bottle, or spoke by Mr. Whatdyecall'm, or in a summer's morning, any of which, by the smallest transposal or misapplication, is utterly annihilate. Thus wit has its walks and purlieus, out of which it may not stray the breadth of a hair, upon peril of being lost. The moderns have artfully fixed this Mercury, and reduced it to the circumstances of time, place, and person. Such a jest there is that will not pass out of Covent Garden, and such a one that is nowhere intelligible but at Hyde Park Corner. Now, though it sometimes tenderly affects me to consider that all the towardly passages I shall deliver in the following treatise will grow quite out of date and relish with the first shifting of the present scene, yet I must need subscribe to the justice of this proceeding, because I cannot imagine why we should be at expense to furnish wit for succeeding ages, when the former have made no sort of provision for ours; wherein I speak the sentiment of the very newest, and consequently the most orthodox refiners, as well as my own. However, being extremely solicitous that every accomplished person who has got into the taste of wit calculated for this present month of August 1697 should descend to the very bottom of all the sublime throughout this treatise, I hold it fit to lay down this general maxim. Whatever reader desires to have a thorough comprehension of an author's thoughts, cannot take a better method than by putting himself into the circumstances and posture of life that the writer was in upon every important passage as it flowed from his pen, for this will introduce a parity and strict correspondence of ideas between the reader and the author. Now, to assist the diligent reader in so delicate an affair--as far as brevity will permit--I have recollected that the shrewdest pieces of this treatise were conceived in bed in a garret. At other times (for a reason best known to myself) I thought fit to sharpen my invention with hunger, and in general the whole work was begun, continued, and ended under a long course of physic and a great want of money. Now, I do affirm it will be absolutely impossible for the candid peruser to go along with me in a great many bright passages, unless upon the several difficulties emergent he will please to capacitate and prepare himself by these directions. And this I lay down as my principal postulatum.


Read more : http://www.online-literature.com/swift/tale-of-a-tub/1/
capitán
Posted: Wednesday, January 3, 2018 7:53:26 PM

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Furnishing next generations already here with wit would be nice.
Progeny is what I do not wish to furnish this world with.
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