I FOUND myself recently in a company where I met a man very well satisfied with himself. In a quarter of an hour, he decided three questions in morals, four historical problems, and five points in physics. I have never seen so universal a decider;1 his mind was not once troubled with the least doubt. We left science and talked of the current news: he decided upon the current news. I wished to catch him, so I said to myself, I must get to my strong point; I will betake me to my own country. I spoke to him of Persia; but hardly had I opened my mouth, when he contradicted me twice, basing his objections upon the authority of Tavernier and Chardin.2 Ah! good heavens! said I to myself, what kind of man is this? He will know next all the streets in Ispahan better than I do! I soon knew what part to playto be silent, and let him talk; and he is still laying down the law.