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Wit   Listen
noun
Wit  n.  
1.
Mind; intellect; understanding; sense. "Who knew the wit of the Lord? or who was his counselor?" "A prince most prudent, of an excellent And unmatched wit and judgment." "Will puts in practice what wit deviseth." "He wants not wit the dander to decline."
2.
A mental faculty, or power of the mind; used in this sense chiefly in the plural, and in certain phrases; as, to lose one's wits; at one's wits' end, and the like. "Men's wittes ben so dull." "I will stare him out of his wits."
3.
Felicitous association of objects not usually connected, so as to produce a pleasant surprise; also. the power of readily combining objects in such a manner. "The definition of wit is only this, that it is a propriety of thoughts and words; or, in other terms, thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject." "Wit which discovers partial likeness hidden in general diversity." "Wit lying most in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures in the fancy."
4.
A person of eminent sense or knowledge; a man of genius, fancy, or humor; one distinguished for bright or amusing sayings, for repartee, and the like. "In Athens, where books and wits were ever busier than in any other part of Greece, I find but only two sorts of writings which the magistrate cared to take notice of; those either blasphemous and atheistical, or libelous." "Intemperate wits will spare neither friend nor foe." "A wit herself, Amelia weds a wit."
The five wits, the five senses; also, sometimes, the five qualities or faculties, common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, and memory. "But my five wits nor my five senses can Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee."
Synonyms: Ingenuity; humor; satire; sarcasm; irony; burlesque. Wit, Humor. Wit primarily meant mind; and now denotes the power of seizing on some thought or occurrence, and, by a sudden turn, presenting it under aspects wholly new and unexpected apparently natural and admissible, if not perfectly just, and bearing on the subject, or the parties concerned, with a laughable keenness and force. "What I want," said a pompous orator, aiming at his antagonist, "is common sense." "Exactly!" was the whispered reply. The pleasure we find in wit arises from the ingenuity of the turn, the sudden surprise it brings, and the patness of its application to the case, in the new and ludicrous relations thus flashed upon the view. Humor is a quality more congenial to the English mind than wit. It consists primarily in taking up the peculiarities of a humorist (or eccentric person) and drawing them out, as Addison did those of Sir Roger de Coverley, so that we enjoy a hearty, good-natured laugh at his unconscious manifestation of whims and oddities. From this original sense the term has been widened to embrace other sources of kindly mirth of the same general character. In a well-known caricature of English reserve, an Oxford student is represented as standing on the brink of a river, greatly agitated at the sight of a drowning man before him, and crying out, "O that I had been introduced to this gentleman, that I might save his life!" The "Silent Woman" of Ben Jonson is one of the most humorous productions, in the original sense of the term, which we have in our language.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Wit" Quotes from Famous Books



... ambassador suddenly left London, a perfect storm of hostility fell upon the cabinet. Lord Palmerston defended the policy of the foreign office throughout with candour, courtesy, and yet with a satirical wit, which keenly annoyed the opposition, while no excuse was left them to impeach the veteran minister's politeness, or constitutional respect for the house. The ministry were not apprised that the French ambassador ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... strong capabilities which had been illy balanced or allowed to run to waste in others. It might be said that the materials for a fine specimen of humanity accumulate through several generations, until a child appears who is the heir of all the family wit and attractiveness and common sense, just as one person may inherit the worldly wealth of ...
— A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches • Sarah Orne Jewett

... Mister Officer, as how you're mighty cute upon a fallen man—but tarnation seize me, if I don't expect you'll find some one cuter still afore long. The sogers all say," he continued with a low, cunning laugh, "as how you're a bit of a wit, and fond of a play upon words like. If so, I'll jist try you a little at your own game, and tell you that I had a thousand to one rather be troubled with my small bores than with such a confounded great bore as you are; and now, ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... as we must needs infer From such belief our reasoning, all respect To other view excluded, hence of proof Th' intention is deriv'd." Forthwith I heard: "If thus, whate'er by learning men attain, Were understood, the sophist would want room To exercise his wit." So breath'd the flame Of love: then added: "Current is the coin Thou utter'st, both in weight and in alloy. But tell me, if thou hast ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... might my wit may not suffice; Foolish men he can make them out of wise;— For he may do all that he will devise; Loose livers he can make abate their vice, And proud hearts can make ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. II. • William Wordsworth

... promise to breathe not a word of this to any woman I may marry hereafter, here's a dead snip for you. Listen! When you come to the words "to love, cherish and to obey," you simply drop the second "to" (nobody will miss it) and run the "d" of the "and" into the "obey," and lo! we have a French word, to wit, dauber, meaning to cuff, drub or belabour. What say you to that, my bonny bride? I think that deserves an extra large slice of cake, to put under my pillow. And I say, Muriel, I do hope there won't ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 146., January 14, 1914 • Various

... Yorker. "Two more of the same. It is acknowledged by every one that our city is the centre of art, and literature, and learning. Take, for instance, our after-dinner speakers. Where else in the country would you find such wit and eloquence as emanate from ...
— Sixes and Sevens • O. Henry

... so persistently made merry. It has been a stock subject with them. It is as if they had said to themselves, 'When at a loss, revile the connubial condition.' Married life has been the sport of every wit, and, sorrowful to relate, society has been well content to join in the pastime. There is nothing so common as sarcasm on matrimony, and nothing, apparently, so welcome, even ...
— By-ways in Book-land - Short Essays on Literary Subjects • William Davenport Adams

... am not joking," replied the duchess, "and I shudder with fear for myself when I coolly consider people whom I have known in other times. Wit always has a sparkle which wounds us, and the man who has much of it makes us fear him perhaps, and if he is a proud man he will be capable of jealousy, and is not therefore to our taste. In fact, we prefer to raise a man to our own height rather than to have to climb up to his. Talent ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... traverse sailing, quadrature and Gunter's scales, were all crowded together, in a brain which had not capacity to receive the rule of three. "Too much learning," said Festus to the apostle, "hath made thee mad." Mr Tallboys had not wit enough to go mad, but his learning lay like lead upon his brain: the more he read, the less he understood, at the same time that he became more satisfied with his supposed acquirements, and could not ...
— Mr. Midshipman Easy • Captain Frederick Marryat

... to let the piston slide up through it, and at the same time so water-tight as to withstand the internal force of the pump. These two conditions seemed so conflicting that Bramah was almost at his wit's end, and for a time despaired of being able to bring the machine to a state of practical efficiency. None but those who have occupied themselves in the laborious and often profitless task of helping the world to new and useful machines can have any idea ...
— Industrial Biography - Iron Workers and Tool Makers • Samuel Smiles

... and even vague. It had begun well. Sir Bruce had met the beauty at a ball, and they had danced together more than once. Sir Bruce had attractions other than his old baronetcy and his coal-mines. He was a good-looking person, with a laughing brown eye and a nice wit. He had danced charmingly and paid gay compliments. He would have done immensely well. Agatha had liked him. Emily sometimes thought she had liked him very much. Her mother had liked him and had thought he was attracted. But after a number of occasions of agreeable meetings, ...
— Emily Fox-Seton - Being The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... joys and pains which may come from any of these sources. Where beauty is lacking, wit may brilliantly shine; where health is failing, a talent may console; where the family life is unhappy, the ambitions for a career may be fulfilled. Much inequality will thus result, but the chances for a certain evenness of human joy and sorrow will be ...
— Psychology and Social Sanity • Hugo Muensterberg

... suit of clothes, mostly one color, and voyage paid, and a large house ashore waiting for you; and the governor's gig will come alongside for you, provided they can't find the convicts' barge," and the official was pleased with himself and his wit and ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... was pretty I would say, 'My dear, make the very most of your looks and of your time. Don't try to be clever, because you are probably a fool, but that doesn't matter. Keep your mouth shut, and look all the brilliant things you haven't the wit to say.' And if she were ugly I would say, 'For heaven's sake be amusing, and cultivate the gift of patience, and don't hope for the impossible.'" Isabella smiled. "Why did no one give me any good advice when I was young, I wonder? ...
— East of the Shadows • Mrs. Hubert Barclay

... intensified, as I have already noted, that we read some of the letters of the early fathers—those grave and hallowed figures seen through a mist of centuries—and find them jesting at one another in the gayest and least sacerdotal manner imaginable. "Who could tell a story with more wit, who could joke so pleasantly?" sighs St. Gregory of Nazienzen of his friend St. Basil, remembering doubtless with a heavy heart the shafts of good-humored raillery that had brightened their lifelong intercourse. ...
— Masterpieces Of American Wit And Humor • Thomas L. Masson (Editor)

... Arthur asked that question, and among them Dolly, who with a woman's quick wit, sharpened by something she accidentally saw, divined the truth, which she wrung at last from her husband. There was a fierce quarrel—almost their first—a sick headache which lasted three days, and a month or more of ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... I have said, of grave but urbane deportment, became curious to know what it was that our neighbours had been conversing about, and which had occasioned so much hilarity. He very politely expressed this wish to me. If it was not an indiscretion, he should like to partake, he said, in the wit that was flowing round him; adding, perhaps superfluously, that he ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 344, June, 1844 • Various

... pluck off with his teeth any rare or common flower within his reach that was described to him by the same means. Spoken to or commanded by others, he was simply a good-natured intelligent Newfoundland; but under the authority of Heliobas, he became more than human in ready wit and quick obedience, and would have brought in a golden harvest to any great ...
— A Romance of Two Worlds • Marie Corelli

... still standing. He failed to grasp his friend's purpose. His wit was unequal to the rapid process of the other's swiftly ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... Adams, eyeing the lad with a twinkling expression, "d'ye know, I have heard it said or writ somewhere, that brevity is the soul of wit. If that sayin's true, an' I've no reason for to suppose that it isn't, I should say that that observation of yours was wit without either soul or body, it's so uncommon short; too witty, in short. Couldn't you manage to add something more ...
— The Lonely Island - The Refuge of the Mutineers • R.M. Ballantyne

... Indians, Their Animosities are Turned to Friendliness, Through Ryus' Wit and Ingenuity—"Hail ...
— The Second William Penn - A true account of incidents that happened along the - old Santa Fe Trail • William H. Ryus

... a woman of wit and beauty. Prescott often had remarked it, but never with such a realizing sense. She was young, graceful, and with a face sufficiently supplied with natural roses, and above all keen with intelligence. She wore a shade of light green, a colour that harmonized wonderfully with ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... a Fellow-lodger's care Had left it, to be watch'd and fed, Till he came back again; and there I found it when my Son was dead; And now, God help me for my little wit! I trail it with me, Sir! he took so much delight ...
— Poems In Two Volumes, Vol. 1 • William Wordsworth

... statutes or enactments of the government shall pass the ordeal of any number of separate tribunals, before it shall be determined that they are to have the force of laws. Our American constitutions have provided five of these separate tribunals, to wit, representatives, senate, executive,[2] jury, and judges; and have made it necessary that each enactment shall pass the ordeal of all these separate tribunals, before its authority can be established by the punishment of those who choose to transgress it. And there is no more absurdity ...
— An Essay on the Trial By Jury • Lysander Spooner

... for a rencontre with our hero under such circumstances. But they saw Wildney pointing to them, and, from the fits of laughter which followed his remarks, they had little doubt that they were the subject of the young gentleman's wit. This is never a pleasant sensation; but they observed that Eric made a point of not looking their way, and ...
— Eric, or Little by Little • Frederic W. Farrar

... began gravely, and not until he had made several sales did he venture on a joke or a witticism, although he had a plentiful stock of cheap wit, such as ...
— Golden Days for Boys and Girls - Volume VIII, No 25: May 21, 1887 • Various

... signs and tokens of the ages past Must of necessity their impress leave Upon our brightly dawning age of gold: Because society from Nature still Receives a thousand principles and aims, Diverse, discordant; which to reconcile, No wit or power of man hath yet availed, Since first our race, illustrious, was born; Nor will avail, or treaty or gazette, In any age, however wise or strong. But in things more important, how complete, Ne'er seen, till now, will be our happiness! ...
— The Poems of Giacomo Leopardi • Giacomo Leopardi

... does not hear how he's beating! He swings his great fists, as if he's asleep. And there's no possibility of pacifying him; and for why? Why, because, as you know yourself, Gavrila Andreitch, he's deaf, and what's more, has no more wit than the heel of my foot. Why, he's a sort of beast, a heathen idol, Gavrila Andreitch, and worse ... a block of wood; what have I done that I should have to suffer from him now? Sure it is, it's all over with me now; I've knocked about, I've had ...
— The Torrents of Spring • Ivan Turgenev

... in the world, unless it be Paris, loves to be amused, thrilled and surprised all at the same time; and will accept with outstretched hand any one who can perform this astounding feat. Do not underestimate the ability that can achieve it: a scintillating wit, an arresting originality, a talent for entertaining that amounts to genius, and gold poured literally like rain, are ...
— Etiquette • Emily Post

... no originality, no wit, and Babbitt fell into a great silence and devoted himself to the game of beating trolley cars to the corner: a spurt, a tail-chase, nervous speeding between the huge yellow side of the trolley and the jagged row ...
— Babbitt • Sinclair Lewis

... wit! What, think you I am a fool? Let us see! By my own cunning I have had fashioned this Tarnhelm which makes me invisible to all. Then who shall find me when I sleep?" ...
— Operas Every Child Should Know - Descriptions of the Text and Music of Some of the Most Famous Masterpieces • Mary Schell Hoke Bacon

... westward of these there is a large one which is not to be regarded. Having the capes thus opposite each other, you are in the middle of the channel and by the first buoy. The current runs outside along the shore, east and west, to wit: the ebb tide westerly, and the flood easterly, and also very strong. The ebb runs until it is half flood. There are still two other channels, the old one which is the middle one, and the Spanish Channel stretching to the east. We had reached the middlemost ...
— Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, 1679-1680 • Jasper Danckaerts

... "Attic (or Athenian) salt" to describe a very refined wit or humour. The Romans used the word sal, or "salt," in this sense of wit, and their expression sal Atticum shows the high opinion they had of the Athenians, from whom, indeed, they learned much in art and in literature. It is this same expression which we use to-day, ...
— Stories That Words Tell Us • Elizabeth O'Neill

... the gentleman of the cigarette and I. He was an Englishman from a London newspaper. He was counting on his luck to get him into Calais and his wit to get him out. He told me his name. Just before I left France I heard of a highly philanthropic and talented gentleman of the same name who was unselfishly going through the hospitals as near the front as he could, ...
— Kings, Queens And Pawns - An American Woman at the Front • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... of age, mulatto, spare made, but not lacking in courage, mother wit or perseverance. He was born in Fauquier county, Va., and, after experiencing Slavery for a number of years there—being sold two or three times to the "highest bidder"—he was finally purchased by a cotton ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... phrases, soft temptations To glorious beggary: Here let them hand This Booke; here studie, reade, and vnderstand: Then shall they find varietie at Home, As curious as at Paris, or at Rome. For my part I confesse, hadst not thou writ, I had not beene acquainted with more wit Than our old English taught; but now I can Be proud to know I have a Countryman Hath strugled for a fame, and what is more, Gain'd it by paths of Art, vntrod before. The benefit is generall; the crowne Of praise particular, and thats thine owne. What should I say? thine owne deserts ...
— The evolution of English lexicography • James Augustus Henry Murray

... The entree which follows the fish should be eaten with the fork only. A mouthful of meat is cut as required; it is never buried in potato or any vegetable and then conveyed to the mouth. Vegetables are no longer served in "birds' bath-tubs," as some wit once called the individual vegetable dishes, but are cooked sufficiently dry to be served on the plate with the meat. All vegetables are eaten with the fork, so also jellies, chutney, etc., served with the ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... sinuous paths made by the wandering currents, the subtle, smiling, silent sea, holding in suspense its unfathomable restlessness, waiting to surge and spring again. That was what she wanted from him—not his embraces, not even his adoration, his wit, or his queer, lithe comeliness touched with felinity; no, only that in his soul which escaped through his fingers into the air and dragged at her soul. If, when he came in, she were to run to him, throw her arms round his ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... the same treatment as Collins had received from Bentley. But the comparison scarcely does justice either to Horsley or Priestley. From a purely intellectual point of view it would be a compliment to any man to compare him with 'Phileleutherus Lipsiensis,' but the brilliant wit and profound scholarship displayed in Bentley's remarks on Collins were tarnished by a scurrility and personality which, even artistically speaking, injured the merits of the work, and were quite unworthy of being addressed by one gentleman (not to say clergyman) ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... much wit as all those put together who were assembled at the court to laugh at him. His speech, therefore, was so well turned, that in spite of the great wish felt by the courtiers to laugh, they could find no point on which to vent their ridicule. He concluded ...
— Twenty Years After • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... bell. Only it appeared to him that the priest held up the Body for a great space, and in that long time Master Richard understood many things that had been dark to him before. Of some of the things I have neither room nor wit to write; but they were such ...
— The History of Richard Raynal, Solitary • Robert Hugh Benson

... sent John Mackenzie of Tollie to inform him of these wrongs, whereupon he made a speedy return to an affair so urgent, and so suitable to his genius, for as he never offered wrong so he never suffered any. His heat did not overwhelm his wit, for he took a legal procedure, obtained a commission of fire and sword against Glengarry and his complices, which he prosecuted so bravely as in a short time by himself and his brother he soon forced them to retreat from his lands, and following them to their own bills, he soon dissipated and ...
— History Of The Mackenzies • Alexander Mackenzie

... translation by Canon Roberts, while Caesar, Tacitus, Thucydides and Herodotus are not forgotten. "You only, O Books," said Richard de Bury, "are liberal and independent; you give to all who ask." The delightful variety, the wisdom and the wit which are at the disposal of Everyman in his own library may well, at times, seem to him a little embarrassing. He may turn to Dick Steele in The Spectator and learn how Cleomira dances, when the elegance of her motion is unimaginable and "her eyes are chastised with the simplicity and ...
— Translations of Shakuntala and Other Works • Kaalidaasa

... years did stray In desarts but of small extent, Bacon like Moses led us forth at last, The barren Wilderness he past, Did on the very Border stand Of the blest promised land, And from the Mountain Top of his Exalted Wit Saw it himself and shew'd us it. But Life did never to one Man allow Time to discover Worlds and conquer too; Nor can so short a line sufficient be To fadome the vast depths of ...
— The Life and Times of John Wilkins • Patrick A. Wright-Henderson

... about the middle of the fifteenth century, was an eminent wood-carver. Very little is known about him. His name is sometimes said to be Wit Stwosz, and Cracow and Nuremberg both claim to have been his birthplace. But it is now believed that he was born in Nuremberg, as it is known that in 1477 he gave up his citizenship there and ...
— A History of Art for Beginners and Students - Painting, Sculpture, Architecture • Clara Erskine Clement

... expressed or understood, and those of all her other admirers, who had built up a sort of cloud-world around her, so that her little feet never rested on the soil of reality. Sally was shrewd and keen, and had a native mother-wit in the discernment of spirits, that made her feel that somehow this was all false coin; but still she counted it over, and it looked so pretty and bright that she sighed to ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... just going away, proud at heart to have made some return already to the man who had done him so many kindnesses. He had saved Pons' friend from a trap, by a stratagem from that world behind the scenes in which every one has more or less ready wit. And within himself he vowed to protect a musician in his orchestra from future snares set ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... a Report of the Secret Committee of your Right Honourable House, and which Report appears to your petitioner, as far as his humble powers of disentanglement have enabled him to analyse the same, to submit to your Right Honourable House, as solemn truths, the following assertions; to wit: ...
— Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 3 • Henry Hunt

... I did! Wasn't he my brother's boy?" Pennold hunched over the table, and continued eagerly: "Mame kept him clean an' fed, an' we sent him to public school, just like any other kid. But it wasn't no use. He had it in him to go wrong, without the wit to get away with it. He was caught pinchin' lead piping when he was sixteen, an' sent to Elmira for three years. Them three years was his finish. When he came out he'd had what you'd call a graduate course in every ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... I: words said or sung Help me no more than hand is helped of tongue: Yet, would some better wit than mine, I wis, Help mine, I fain ...
— Locrine - A Tragedy • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... not, you Man or you Nation, love the Truth enough, but try to make a Chapman-bargain with Truth, instead of giving yourself wholly soul and body and life to her, Truth will not live with you, Truth will depart from you; and only Logic, "Wit" (for example, "London Wit"), Sophistry, Virtu, the AEsthetic Arts, and perhaps (for a short while) Bookkeeping by Double Entry, will abide with you. You will follow falsity, and think it truth, you unfortunate man or nation. You will right surely, you for one, stumble to the Devil; and ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. III. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Hohenzollerns In Brandenburg—1412-1718 • Thomas Carlyle

... intervals into high imagination, and making him a genuine child of that nation from whom came forth the loftiest, richest, and most impassioned songs the earth has ever witnessed—the nation of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Solomon, and Job. He has little humor, but a vast deal of diamond-pointed wit."[E] ...
— The Menorah Journal, Volume 1, 1915 • Various

... have been exterminated by the effects of the 'firewater' and the vicious habits brought in by more civilised men. The Red man is usually proud and reserved; serious, if not gloomy, in his views of life; comparatively indifferent to wit or pleasantry; vain of personal endowments; brave and fond of war, yet extremely cautious and taking no needless risks; fond of gambling and drinking; seemingly indifferent to pain; kind and hospitable to strangers, yet revengeful ...
— From Slave to College President - Being the Life Story of Booker T. Washington • Godfrey Holden Pike

... Tom was always harum scarum, and you must make allowances for this daughter of his. Her very name is—ah—disconcerting. I haven't seen him for years, and as for her...." A shrug epitomised his apprehension. He smiled with an effort at wit. "Just the same, they're as much your family as mine. If he is my brother, he is your uncle. And if she's my niece, ...
— The Turtles of Tasman • Jack London

... by a million sterling, personified in one old man. Paralysed, fascinated, overcome. All those three. Only having no final control over his own make-up, he could not drive himself into the money-making or even into the money-having habit. And he had just wit enough to threaten Sir William's golden king with his own ivory queen and knights of wilful ...
— Aaron's Rod • D. H. Lawrence

... yeares paste there was at Bologna a notable Phisition, renowmed throughe out the whole worlde, called Maister Alberto, whoe beinge old, almost LX. yeares of age, had such an excellent wit, that although naturall heate was expired in his bodie, yet hee disdayned not to conceiue some amorous flames of loue. Seing at a banket a verye fayre gentlewoman a widowe called (as some saye) Madonna Margherita de Ghisilieri, she pleased his fansie so well, that he ...
— The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 • William Painter

... for the inspection of passers-by as a sample of the aristocracy within, he made several attempts to air his grievances to passing members touching the question of the expectant Jorrocks and the missing purse. Beyond, however, eliciting many sallies of wit from the younger spirits, for it was part of the major's policy to lay himself open to be a butt, his laudable perseverance was entirely thrown away. At last he gave it up in disgust, and raising his stick hailed a passing 'bus, into which he sprang, taking a searching glance round to see ...
— The Firm of Girdlestone • Arthur Conan Doyle

... had joined the army as correspondent for his paper, and Betty had been his companion on many tours of inspection through camp, hospitals and drill grounds. Her quick wit and brilliant mind were an inspiring stimulus. She was cool and self-possessed and it rested him to be near her. She was the only restful woman he had ever encountered at short range. He was delighted that she seemed content without love-making. There was never a moment when he could ...
— The Southerner - A Romance of the Real Lincoln • Thomas Dixon

... thing were possible, we dined more extravagantly than on the previous night. Madame's wit was at its keenest; she was truly brilliant. Pedro, from the big bouffet at the end of the room, supervised this feast of Lucullus, and except for odd moments of silence in which Madame seemed to be listening for some distant sound, there was nothing, I think, which could have told a casual ...
— Bat Wing • Sax Rohmer

... any more drags on the wheels of its merry-making. Mrs. Nat told funny stories, and the boys gave impromptu imitations of classmates and professors; Margaret Howes sparkled with quaint tales of the remote mountain village where she had been spending the summer. Elinor's gentle wit flashed; and Bruce's ready laughter followed every one of his own clever jokes, while Patricia and Marian made their mark as an appreciative audience, enjoying everything that was meant for humor ...
— Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge • Pemberton Ginther

... been so stupid? Stupid? It was easy! He had wanted to be stupid! And how could the Mr. Eumenes-or-otherwise have used such obvious giveaway names? It was a measure of their contempt for the humans around them and of their own grim wit. Look at all the double entendres the salesman had given his father, and his father had never suspected. Even the head of the Bureau of Health and Sanity had been terrifyingly blase ...
— They Twinkled Like Jewels • Philip Jose Farmer

... pavements began to quake with heat, I determined to fly to the country. As delights are doubled when shared with those we care for, I determined to take Peter with me, so I packed him up in a specially constructed travelling saloon of his own, to wit, a flannel-lined basket containing all the necessary comforts for the journey, such as air-holes and feeding-bottles, and off we started in the highest of spirits. Peter found a new world opened to him, and the thousand and one beauties of the country fascinated us both. ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... full of danger. Only the ready wit and courage of the king saved the lives of his followers,—perhaps ...
— Historical Tales, Vol. 4 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality • Charles Morris

... sentiment impart; Thy outward form adorn'd with ev'ry grace; With beauty's softest charms thy heav'nly face, Where sweet expression beaming ever proved The index of that soul, by all beloved; Thy wit so keen, thy genius form'd to soar, By fancy wing'd, new science to explore; Thy temper, ever gentle, good, and kind, Where all but guilt an advocate could find: To those who know this character was thine, (And in this truth assenting numbers join) How vain th' ...
— The Eventful History Of The Mutiny And Piratical Seizure - Of H.M.S. Bounty: Its Cause And Consequences • Sir John Barrow

... Agnes' innocence imposed on the wit of the various narratives, and on the philosophy of the comments often became painfully irksome, and on noticing Harding's embarrassments Mrs. Lahens would suggest that Agnes went to her room. Agnes gladly availed herself of the permission, and without the slightest admission ...
— Celibates • George Moore

... sally. The Maggid's wit was relished even when not coming from the pulpit. To the outsider this disparagement of the Dutch nose might have seemed a case of pot calling kettle black. The Maggid poured himself out a glass ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... of zat squid isn't more zan two feet long, an' yet if he'd got a hold of you in ze water, specially with ze bigger suckers on ze t'ick part of ze arms, you might have had some trouble. Zose big fellows wit' bodies twenty feet long an' arms t'irty feet, mus' be one horrible t'ing to meet ...
— The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... somewhat disaffected to Bannon's authority, but had not expected him to make so frank an avowal of it. That was almost as much in his favor as the necessity for hurry. These, with the hoist accident to give a color of respectability to the operation, ought to make it simple enough. He had wit enough to see that Bannon was a much harder man to handle than Peterson, and that with Peterson restored to full authority, the only element of uncertainty would be removed. And he thought that if he could get Peterson to help him it might be possible to secure ...
— Calumet 'K' • Samuel Merwin

... hollow pretence, than this? Keep the Sicilians from breaking an armistice enforced to save them from utter and final destruction! Keep the beaten Sicilian rebel from overpowering his victorious masters! Keep the felon convicted from rushing to the gallows in spite of the respite granted him! Can human wit imagine a more ridiculous pretext than this, of affecting to hold the balance even, when you are preventing the conqueror from improving his victory, and only preventing the vanquished from attempting ...
— Selected Speeches on British Foreign Policy 1738-1914 • Edgar Jones

... see that everything was overthrown; but one could not see any power that was to raise the ruins. Over the confused wrecks and remains of the Past, the powerful intellectual life of the Present-Progress—the collision of ideas—the flame of French wit, criticism and the sciences—threw a brilliant light, which, like the sun of earlier ages, illuminated the chaos without making it productive. The phenomena of Life and of Death were commingled in one huge fermentation, ...
— Monsieur de Camors, Complete • Octave Feuillet

... only stowed away my original impedimenta but had also managed to find room for various articles of vertu which had enriched my private collection, to wit: ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... he had the wit to echo her then, and in a loud voice, that any eye-witness or passer-by might be struck with the genuine severity of their loss. But there had been no eye-witness who thought it worth while to rally them on the occurrence, and the busy townsfolk hastening past were all too much engrossed ...
— The Camera Fiend • E.W. Hornung

... who helped to impress them. His friend Mr Wordsworth, in the vivacity of his admonitions to hasty complaints of evil, has gone so far as to say that "Carnage is God's daughter," and thereby subjected himself to the scoffs of a late noble wit. He ...
— Captain Sword and Captain Pen - A Poem • Leigh Hunt

... "Tristram Shandy" came to town, and was received with more than Roman triumph. Wealth, wit, genius, nobility, thronged his door, sought his friendship, proffered favors. Sterne revelled in this new life. London offered him a cup of the most intoxicating quality, and he drank and drank again of its sparkling fountain without ever ...
— A History of the Four Georges, Volume II (of 4) • Justin McCarthy

... a long mark with a pen over the manuscript of the king, took a new sheet of paper, and commenced to write the first lines. He criticised every word with bitter humor, with flashing wit, with mocking irony. Inexorable in his censure, indifferent in his praise, his tongue seemed to be armed with arrows, every one of which was intended to ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... and unusually depressing literary habit. This poor soul fancied his vein was humour, and from him I have often endured the reading aloud of the dreariest laboured pages of japes and jests, which to his thinking were sparkling with wit. My patient, long-suffering listening only brought bitter derision for my alleged lack of humorous perception, but my criticism inspired the young man to write a cynical article on 'Women and Humour,' of the kind that editors—being ...
— Modern marriage and how to bear it • Maud Churton Braby

... Jamie talked so much about," she said; "the doctor whom the family met in Paris," dwelling so long on Dr. Grant and discussing him so volubly that Phillips and the other servants lost sight entirely of what had struck them a little oddly, to wit: that Mrs. Wilford should leave Father Cameron's if she ...
— Family Pride - Or, Purified by Suffering • Mary J. Holmes

... weather.{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} They are right, how could these German youths—in their present condition,—miss what we others, we halcyonians, miss in Wagner? i.e.: la gaya scienza; light feet, wit, fire, grave, grand logic, stellar dancing, wanton intellectuality, the vibrating light of the South, ...
— The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms. • Friedrich Nietzsche.

... I suppose," said the yard-man grimly, pleased at his own generosity, well satisfied with his wit, and fairly so with Albert's tribute ...
— Boy Woodburn - A Story of the Sussex Downs • Alfred Ollivant

... do not doubt, is there Who unveiled my idol fair! And I thank him, grateful much, Though his end was none of such. He from shapely lips of wit Let the fire-flakes lightly flit, Scorching as the snow that fell On the damned in Dante's hell; With keen, gentle opposition, Playful, merciless precision, Mocked the sweet romance of youth Balancing on spheric truth; He on sense's firm set plane Rolled the unstable ball amain: With ...
— Poetical Works of George MacDonald, Vol. 2 • George MacDonald

... they belong, have either in themselves experienced, or heard recorded by intimate associates whose veracity they accept as indisputable in all ordinary transactions of life, phenomena which are not to be solved by the wit that mocks them, nor, perhaps, always and entirely, to the contentment of the reason or the philosophy that explains them away. Such phenomena, I say, are infinitely more numerous than would appear ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... restraining the "liberty of the Press which will be a long stride towards the destruction of Liberty itself"; he pointed out that a Minister who has merited the esteem of the people will neither fear the wit nor feel the satire of the theatre; he denounced the subjugation of the stage under "an arbitrary Court license" which would convert it into a canal for conveying the vices and follies of "great men and ...
— Henry Fielding: A Memoir • G. M. Godden

... (the year Lady Fanny's diaries begin), the Duke of Wellington resigned, having emphatically declared that the system of representation ought to possess, and did possess, the entire confidence of the country. He had gone so far as to say that the wit of man could not have devised a better representative system than that which Lord John Russell, in the previous session, had attempted to alter by proposing to enfranchise Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham. ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... some patent inaccuracies in Tarde's account—the statement, to wit, that Talbot was buried on the spot where he fell, whereas his body was carried from the field and taken to England. The ecclesiastical chronicler must have accepted the story in circulation among the common people, ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... bloody flag against all patience] That is, declare war against patience. There is not wit enough in this satire ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... antiquarians. In our own country, the movement initiated by Chatterton, Cowper, and Burns, was carried out by two classes of great writers. They agreed in opposing freedom to formality; in substituting for the old, new aims and methods; in preferring a grain of mother wit to a peck of clerisy. They broke with the old school, as Protestantism broke with the old Church; but, like the sects, they separated again. Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge, while refusing to acknowledge ...
— Byron • John Nichol

... Enterprise compositors was one by the name of Stephen E. Gillis (Steve, of course—one of the "fighting Gillises"), a small, fearless young fellow, handsome, quick of wit, with ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... time, and the food had evidently been good and satisfying. The music too in the minstrels' gallery had been sweet and pleasant to the ear. The Court jester had for a wonder excelled himself in his strong endeavours to put the King in a good humour, and uttered no less than three samples of his wit which had made the King roar, inasmuch as in the tail of each joke there was a slightly poisoned sting which had gone home to the three noblemen for whom they were intended, my Lord Hurst, the King's chamberlain, getting ...
— The King's Esquires - The Jewel of France • George Manville Fenn

... companion. Her wavy, jet-black hair, the only color in the world that could hold its own with Dorothy's auburn glory, framed features self-reliant and strong, yet of womanly softness; and in this genial atmosphere her quick tongue had a delicate wit and a facility of expression that delighted all three. Dorothy, after the manner of Southern women, became the hostess of this odd "party," as she styled it, and unconsciously adopted the attitude of a lady in ...
— The Skylark of Space • Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby

... 'and we had a glorious set-to-on Homer, Shakespeare, Milton, and Virgil. Lamb got exceedingly merry, and exquisitely witty, and his fun, in the midst of Wordsworth's solemn intonations of oratory, was like the sarcasm and wit of the fool in the intervals of Lear's passion.' Although the specimens of wit recorded no longer seem inspired, we can well believe Haydon's statement that it was an immortal evening, and that in all his life he never passed a more delightful time. We have abundant testimony ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... saying of Geronimo's, that courage grows with peril. Happen what might, there he was, and he knew no fear. The only perceptible exit from the room was by the large, folding-doors through which he had entered. He tried them—they were fastened. His mother-wit suggested to him that his retreat had perhaps been thus cut off, that he might seek another outlet. He did so, and presently perceived hinges under the tapestry. A silver handle protruded from the wall; ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 379, May, 1847 • Various

... More. His theology, though he made a greater mark on the world by it than even by his scholarship, he derived almost without change from Colet. But his combination of vast learning with keen observation, of acuteness of remark with a lively fancy, of genial wit with a perfect good sense—his union of as sincere a piety and as profound a zeal for rational religion as Colet's with a dispassionate fairness towards older faiths, a large love of secular culture, and a genial ...
— History of the English People, Volume III (of 8) - The Parliament, 1399-1461; The Monarchy 1461-1540 • John Richard Green

... and prisoner. There is no enjoyment so keen to certain minds as that of looking upon the slow torture of a human being on trial for life, except it be an execution; there is no display of human ingenuity, wit and power so fascinating as that made by trained lawyers in the trial of an important case, nowhere else is exhibited such subtlety, ...
— The Gilded Age, Complete • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner

... brilliant interpreter in Aeschines, who, after having been a tragic actor and a clerk to the assembly, had entered political life with the advantages of a splendid gift for eloquence, a fine presence, a happy address, a ready wit and a facile conscience. While his opponents had thus suddenly become warlike, Demosthenes had become pacific. He saw that Athens must have time to collect strength. Nothing could be gained, meanwhile, by going on with the war. Macedonian sympathizers at Athens, of whom Philocrates was the ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... investigation." (20.) Part II of the Platform, the "Synodical Disclaimer," contains a list of the symbolic errors with extracts from the Lutheran symbols, "which are rejected by the great body of the American Lutheran Church," to wit: I. Ceremonies of the mass (A. C., Art. 24; Apology, Art. 12). 2. Exorcism (Luther's Taufbuechlein). 3. Private confession and absolution (A. C., Art. 11. 25. 28). 4. The denial of the divine institution and obligation ...
— American Lutheranism - Volume 2: The United Lutheran Church (General Synod, General - Council, United Synod in the South) • Friedrich Bente

... to keep these two people apart," she struck in. She had recovered. I admired the quickness of women's wit. Mental agility is a rare perfection. And aren't they agile! Aren't they—just! And tenacious! When they once get hold you may uproot the tree but you won't shake them off the branch. In fact the more you shake ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... lord. The wives of many young French officers, The mistresses of more—in male attire. Yon elegant hussar is one, to wit; She so disguised is of a Spanish house,— ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... may be one of the funniest possible for a house party. The players sit around the room or in a circle. One player who has ready wit is chosen to be ringmaster, or there may be different showmen or ringmasters for each group of animals. The ringmaster takes his place in the center, and will be more effective if furnished with ...
— Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium • Jessie H. Bancroft

... preface to the Chronicles of the Canongate, 1827, that he received from an anonymous correspondent an account of the incident upon which the following story is founded. He is now at liberty to say, that the information was conveyed to him by a late amiable and ingenious lady, whose wit and power of remarking and judging of character still survive in the memory of her friends. Her maiden name was Miss Helen Lawson, of Girthhead, and she was wife of Thomas Goldie, Esq. of ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... Toomey was finally at his wit's end, and complained to Cowperwood, who at once sent for those noble beacons of dark and stormy waters, General Van Sickle and the Hon. Kent Barrows McKibben. The General was now becoming a little dolty, and Cowperwood was thinking of pensioning ...
— The Titan • Theodore Dreiser

... with newly-washed embroidery in raspy woollens and starched linen thread. There had also been a tablecloth, and upon it (neatly arranged by Mrs. Craven's daughter Amelia) a selection of the family "good books"—to wit, the Holy Bible containing entries of the Craven family, with the dates of birth altered or erased, Josephus with steel pictures, the Saint's Rest and some others. These had at once been removed, according to agreement made before taking possession, ...
— The Dew of Their Youth • S. R. Crockett

... and style of the old scholastic philosophy. It was also one of the last blows aimed at scholasticism, which, long undermined by the Saxon Reformation, received its coup de grace a century later from the pen of an English wit. "Cornelius," says the author of "Martinus Scriblerus," told Martin that a shoulder of mutton was an individual; which Crambe denied, for he had seen it cut into commons. 'That's true,' quoth the Tutor, 'but you never saw it cut into shoulders of mutton.' 'If it could be,' quoth Crambe, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... daring woman has been the Joan of Arc of a perfectly hopeless cause, taken it up where men shrank, carried it through where they had failed, and conquered by weapons which men would never have thought of using, and would have lacked faith to employ even if put into their hands? The wit, the resources, the audacity of women, have been the key to history and the staple of novels, ever since that larger novel called ...
— Women and the Alphabet • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... various, in so many vital respects utterly unsympathetic and even incapable of sympathy with his own, is one of the most noteworthy phenomena in the history of literature. That he has had the most inadequate of editors, that, as his own Falstaff was the cause of the wit, so he has been the cause of the foolishness that was in other men, (as where Malone ventured to discourse upon his metres, and Dr. Johnson on his imagination,) must be apparent to every one,—and also that ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... is heathen to the core. The Arian Christ is nothing but a heathen idol invented to maintain a heathenish Supreme in heathen isolation from the world. Never was a more illogical theory devised by the wit of man. Arius proclaims a God of mystery, unfathomable to the Son of God himself, and goes on to argue as if the divine generation were no more mysterious than its human type. He forgets first that metaphor would cease to be metaphor ...
— The Arian Controversy • H. M. Gwatkin

... to that vivacity which fascinates, or to that wit which dazzles, and frequently imposes on the understanding-More solid than brilliant, judgment, rather than genius, constituted the most prominent feature of ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 5 (of 5) • John Marshall

... the Swedish army were very ingenious in expedients, as well as bold and energetic in action, and they often gained an advantage over their enemy by their wit as well as by their bravery. One instance of this was their contrivance for rendering their prisoners helpless on their march homeward after the battle of Narva, by cutting their clothes in such a manner as to compel the men to keep both hands employed, ...
— Peter the Great • Jacob Abbott



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