—‘I wish you would,’ cried my son Moses, ‘and I think,’ continued he, ‘that I should be able to answer you.’
‘Very well, Sir,’ cried the ‘Squire, who immediately smoaked him,’ and winking on the rest of the company, to prepare us for the sport, if you are for a cool argument upon that subject, I am ready to accept the challenge. And first, whether are you for managing it analogically, or dialogically?’
‘I am for managing it rationally,’ cried Moses, quite happy at being permitted to dispute. ‘Good again,’ cried the ‘Squire, ‘and firstly, of the first. I hope you’ll not deny that whatever is is. If you don’t grant me that, I can go no further.’
‘Why,’ returned Moses, ‘I think I may grant that, and make the best of it.’
‘I hope too,’ returned the other, ‘you’ll grant that a part is less than the whole.’
‘I grant that too,’ cried Moses, ‘it is but just and reasonable.’
‘I hope,’ cried the ‘Squire, ‘you will not deny, that the two angles of a triangle are equal to two right ones.’
‘Nothing can be plainer,’ returned t’other, and looked round with his usual importance.
‘Very well,’ cried the ‘Squire, speaking very quick, ‘the premises being thus settled, I proceed to observe, that the concatenation of self existences, proceeding in a reciprocal duplicate ratio, naturally produce a problematical dialogism, which in some measure proves that the essence of spirituality may be referred to the second predicable’
‘Hold, hold,’ cried the other, ‘I deny that: Do you think I can thus tamely submit to such heterodox doctrines?’
‘What,’ replied the ‘Squire, as if in a passion, ‘not submit! Answer me one plain question: Do you think Aristotle right when he says, that relatives are related?’
‘Undoubtedly,’ replied the other.
‘If so then,’ cried the ‘Squire, ‘answer me directly to what I propose: Whether do you judge the analytical investigation of the first part of my enthymem deficient secundum quoad, or quoad minus, and give me your reasons: give me your reasons, I say, directly.’
‘I protest,’ cried Moses, ‘I don’t rightly comprehend the force of your reasoning; but if it be reduced to one simple proposition, I fancy it may then have an answer.’
‘O sir,’ cried the ‘Squire, ‘I am your most humble servant, I find you want me to furnish you with argument and intellects too. No, sir, there I protest you are too hard for me.’ This effectually raised the laugh against poor Moses, who sate the only dismal figure in a groupe of merry faces: nor, did he offer a single syllable more during the whole entertainment.
-from Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield