Another good quote: Samuel Johnson from Boswell’s Life:
“Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen. It is assuming a superiority, and it is particularly wrong to question a man concerning himself. There may be parts of his former life he may not wish to be made known to other persons, or even brought to his own recollection.”
This HAS to be the ultimate source of Patrick O’Brian’s Diana Maturin’s ” I do not find Question and Answer a Liberal form of conversation…”
Sent by commenter “rob’s uncle” on just that subject– emphasis his.