The Enchiridion of Wit: The Best Specimens of English Conversational Wit

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J. B. Lippincott & Company, 1885 - English wit and humor - 279 pages

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Page 9 - What things have we seen Done at the Mermaid! Heard words that have been So nimble and so full of subtle flame As if that every one from whence they came Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest, And had resolved to live a fool the rest Of his dull life.
Page 108 - Sir, he was a scoundrel, and a coward : a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality ; a coward, because he had not resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman to draw the trigger after his death...
Page 78 - For instance (said he), the fable of the little fishes, who saw birds fly over their heads, and, envying them, petitioned Jupiter to be changed into birds. The skill (continued he) consists in making them talk like little fishes.
Page 66 - I believe, Sir, you have a great many. Norway, too, has noble wild prospects ; and Lapland is remarkable for prodigious noble wild prospects. But, Sir, let me tell you, the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to England !" This unexpected and pointed sally produced a roar of applause.
Page 78 - Why, Dr. Johnson, this is not so easy as you seem to think; for if you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like WHALES.
Page 68 - Sir, you have no reason to be afraid of me. The Irish are not in a conspiracy to cheat the world by false representations of the merits of their countrymen. No, sir; the Irish are a FAIR PEOPLE ; — they never speak well of one another.
Page 17 - Prithee," said my lord judge, " how came that in ?" " Why, if it please you, my lord, your name is Bacon, and mine is Hog, and in all ages Hog and Bacon have been so near kindred that they are not to be separated.
Page 35 - EPITAPH ON CHARLES II. Here lies our Sovereign Lord the King, Whose word no man relies on, Who never said a foolish thing, Nor ever did a wise one.
Page 20 - Queen Elizabeth seeing Sir Edward in her garden, looked out at her window, and asked him in Italian, "What does a man think of when he thinks of nothing?
Page 207 - It requires," he used to say, " a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding. Their only idea of wit, or rather that inferior variety of this electric talent which prevails occasionally in the North, and which, under the name of WUT, is so infinitely distressing to people of good taste, is laughing immoderately at stated intervals.

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