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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



... pomegranate shadows, moving slowly, groups of the fairest women that Italy ever saw—fairest, because purest and thoughtfullest; trained in all high knowledge, as in all courteous art—in dance, in song, in sweet wit, in lofty learning, in loftier courage, in loftiest love—able alike to cheer, to enchant, or save, the souls of men. Above all this scenery of perfect human life, rose dome and bell-tower, burning with white alabaster and gold; beyond dome and bell-tower the ...
— The Two Paths • John Ruskin

... grinning faces of the Privy Councillors was the face of Lord North. He sat fixed in rigidity, too well aware of all that depended upon the glittering slanders of Wedderburn to find any matter of mirth in them. Only one other man in all that assembly of genius and rank and fame and wit carried a countenance as composed as that of Lord North, and that was the face of the man whom Wedderburn was bespattering with his ready venom. Benjamin Franklin, dressed in a gala suit, unlike the sober habit that was familiar with him, ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

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

... knife, fork, plate, and spoon should be changed as soon as he has done with it; the vegetables and sauces belonging to the different dishes presented without remark to the guests; and the footman should tread lightly in moving round, and, if possible, should bear in mind, if there is a wit or humorist of the party, whose good things keep the table in a roar, that they are not expected to reach ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... acquaintances must last longest, if they do last; and then, Sir, young men have more virtue than old men; they have more generous sentiments in every respect[1314]. I love the young dogs of this age: they have more wit and humour and knowledge of life than we had; but then the dogs are not so good scholars, Sir, in my early years I read very hard. It is a sad reflection, but a true one, that I knew almost as much at eighteen as I do now[1315]. My judgement, ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... learning desirable for her, I'll see about giving it to her myself. After all, I am not sure that reading or writing is necessary. Many a good woman gets married with only a cross instead of her name; it's rather a diluting of mother-wit, to my fancy; but, however we must yield to the prejudices of society, Miss Eyre, and so you may teach ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... and lemon-colored hair, who apparently presided over the piano, went round with a tray. It was emptied several times, and I began to foresee that the temperance demonstration would fail miserably, as it might have done but for Johnston's ready wit and the opposite party's imprudence. Grinning derisively, Hemlock Jim led the waitress straight up to the orators' platform, and, with the revolver showing significantly as he bent forward, he held ...
— Lorimer of the Northwest • Harold Bindloss

... men to give up dancing a dozen Germans. Besides their lavish extravagance, the most noteworthy thing about the people is their morbid self-consciousness; they are never at their ease; they are forever trying to impress one another with their own brilliant wit. It ...
— The Gold of Chickaree • Susan Warner

... However much Hooker's after-wit may have prompted him to deny it, his despatch of 4.10 P.M., to Sedgwick, shows conclusively that he himself had adopted this theory of a retreat. "We know that the enemy is flying," says he, "trying to ...
— The Campaign of Chancellorsville • Theodore A. Dodge

... debt, by the great service which he has rendered in recovering much of the traditional poetry of Yorkshire and in giving it the permanence of the printed page. In compiling the so-called traditional poems at the end of this volume, I have largely drawn upon his Wit, Character, Folklore, and Customs of ...
— Yorkshire Dialect Poems • F.W. Moorman

... be sure! The great-aunt of my cousin, John Mayrant (who is going to be married next Wednesday, to such a brute of a girl, poor boy!), lived here in 1840, and made an answer to the Earl of Mainridge that put him in his place. She was our famous Kings Port wit, and at the reception which her father (my mother's uncle) gave the English visitor, he conducted himself as so many Englishmen seem to think they can in this country. Miss Beaufain (pronounced in Kings Port, ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... who all of them had their officers fit and requisite for the guiding and managing of such a multitude. Likewise Martin Alorcon was appointed Vicar generall of the Inquisition, being accompanied with more then a hundreth Monkes, to wit, Iesuites, Capuchines, and friers mendicant. Besides whom also there were Phisitians, Chirurgians, Apothecaries, and whatsoever ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of The English Nation, v. 7 - England's Naval Exploits Against Spain • Richard Hakluyt

... in, the wit is out, captain," I remarked. "At first, I grant you, they said nothing to betray themselves; but when I tell you that some of our chief nobles act just as indiscreetly, you may more readily believe ...
— The Golden Grasshopper - A story of the days of Sir Thomas Gresham • W.H.G. Kingston

... special variety of human nature obtained in the Social Kingdom by a process analogous to that of the gardener's craft in the Vegetable Kingdom, to wit, by the forcing-house—a species of hybrid which can be raised neither from seed nor from slips. This product is known as the Cashier, an anthropomorphous growth, watered by religious doctrine, trained up in fear of the guillotine, ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... frugal than to heap together all manner of shining qualities in one glaring mass. Like a judicious painter, she endeavors to preserve a certain unity of style and coloring in her pieces. Models of absolute perfection are only to be met with in romance; where exquisite beauty, and brilliant wit, and profound judgment, and immaculate virtue, are all blended together to adorn some favorite character. As an anatomist knows that the racer cannot have the strength and muscles of the draught-horse; and that winged men, griffins, and mermaids ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... the derrick frame, J, on the wagon frame, as shown, to wit by means of the circular plate, D, frame, F, and circular plate, G, with the wheel, E, and pinion, Y, to admit of the ready turning of ...
— Scientific American, Vol. 17, No. 26 December 28, 1867 • Various

... Hebrew name with sense doth sound, A fool's my brother,[11a] though in wit profound! Most wicked wits are the devil's chiefest tools, Which, ever in the issue, God befools. Can they compare, vile varlet, once hold true, Of the loyal lord, and this disloyal Jew? Was e'er our English earl under disgrace, And, unconscionable; put out ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... forth two by two into the open ground, it is seen that there is some quality and fashion common to all; to wit, that they are all youths—not any of them over twenty—and that they wear their hair cropped in front, showing a square line across the forehead, but left untouched on the crown and back of the head. There it falls in full profuseness, reaching to the hips, and in the case of some mingling ...
— Gaspar the Gaucho - A Story of the Gran Chaco • Mayne Reid

... he was conveying our dinner to the picnic-grounds, and I was duly thankful that neither Fatima nor I was to be hampered ('tis a poor pun, and my father hath ever taught me 'tis the lowest form of wit) with clumsy packages dangling from ...
— The Rose of Old St. Louis • Mary Dillon

... wit of a born Parisian, called Golden Mouth a dolt. It was all right not to get drunk all the time or chase women, but still, a man must be a man, or else he might as well wear skirts. Coupeau teased ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... have wit enough to leave a watchman on the job!" he chafed—this by way of putting an apex to the pyramid of objurgation. "By heavens! this thing has got to stop, Benson. And it's going to stop, if we have to call out the State militia and picket every cursed mile ...
— The Taming of Red Butte Western • Francis Lynde

... fun," she went on; "he hasn't the wit to retaliate, but just sits glum as you saw him to-night. I mean to tell Master Richard, though, that his manners were worse than usual, for he actually did not open his lips to his guest, although she was ...
— Our Bessie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... married life which I mean to give you, will show you the wonderful wit and ingenuity of the sex. Here the parties had been much longer wedded. The poor woman had borne much. The husband thought he had a second Griselda. The case of his tyranny was pretty well known; indeed, the poor wife too often bore marks, that could not be concealed, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... third time, when he also died, to the son of the Empress Livia, afterwards the Emperor Tiberius,—she was throughout treated as a part of the State machinery, and as something more or less than a woman. But she turned out to be, in fact, a woman whose beauty, wit, and recklessness were alike extraordinary, and who rose in disastrous revolt against the system in which she was forced to be a pivot. Alike by birth and genius she easily took the first place in Roman society; and under the very ...
— Latin Literature • J. W. Mackail

... do not pretend to such sharp ears as you possess, nor to such sharp wit either. But who do you think can be en route ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... and no less thoroughly upon his delicate mind. He who drinks beer, thinks beer; and he who drinks wine, thinks wine;—and he who drinks midnight, thinks midnight. He was a man of rare intellect. He was endowed with racy humor and sarcastic wit, and a glorious imagination. But the fire of his genius burned not peacefully, and with a steady flame, upon the hearth of his home. It was a glaring and irregular flame;—for the branches that he fed it with, were not ...
— Hyperion • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... thing, A lightning o'er the half-illumed, Who to base brute-dominion cleave, Yet mark effects, and shun the flash, Till their drowsed wits a beam conceive, To spy a wound without a gash, The magic in a turn of wrist, And how are wedded heart and head regaled When Wit o'er Folly blows the mort, And their high note of union spreads Wide from the timely word with conquest charged; Victorious laughter, of no loud report, If heard; derision as divinely veiled As terrible ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... one's self how harmoniously the holy cursing of the Puritan of that day would have chimed in with the unholy cursing and the crackling wit of the Rochesters and Sedleys, and with the revilings of the political fanatics, if my imaginary plain dealer had gone on to say that, if the return of such misfortunes were ever rendered impossible, it would not be in virtue ...
— On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge • Thomas H. Huxley

... and the daily papers were filled, according to their wont, with columns of sensational speculation and misinformation regarding the merits of the team and the work they were performing. Out of the mass of clashing "facts" contained in the daily journals but one thing was absolutely apparent: to wit, the work of the Harwell Eleven was known only to the men and the coaches, and neither would tell ...
— The Half-Back • Ralph Henry Barbour

... from Wallace down to Balmerino and Kilmarnock, pitied by gentle hearts; before the awful window of Whitehall, whence the martyr Charles had issued, to kneel once more, and then ascend to Heaven;—before Playhouses, Parks, and Palaces, wondrous resorts of wit, pleasure, and splendour;—before Shakspeare's Resting-place under the tall spire which rises by Avon, amidst the sweet Warwickshire pastures;—before Derby, and Falkirk, and Culloden, where the cause of honour and loyalty had fallen, ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... of the South Pass, and our course home would have been eastwardly; but that would have taken us over ground already examined, and therefore without the interest that would excite curiosity. Southwardly there were objects worthy to be explored, to wit: the approximation of the head-waters of three different rivers—the Platte, the Arkansas, and the Grand River fork of the Rio Colorado of the Gulf of California; the passages at the heads of these rivers; and the three ...
— The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California • Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont

... enough, when Judith Hutter and Hetty Hutter are in question. Hetty is only comely, while her sister, I tell thee, boy, is such another as is not to be found atween this and the sea: Judith is as full of wit, and talk, and cunning, as an old Indian orator, while poor Hetty is at the best but 'compass' ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... Brome's "City Wit" Mrs. Pyannet tells Toby Sneakup: "You have your kickshaws, your players' marchpanes—all ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... the proportion of the landlord tends thus steadily to increase as the productiveness of labour decreases, the division being as follows, to wit:— ...
— The trade, domestic and foreign • Henry Charles Carey

... five- and ten- and even fifty-dollar drafts from Eastern periodicals, and he had touched these with reverent hands: but two thousand dollars in a lump from one of the best-known publishers in the country staggered Amzi. To add to his mystification, half the amount plus one cent, to-wit, $1057.58, was immediately transferred to Thomas Kirkwood's account, and this left Amzi away up in the air. Just what right Tom Kirkwood had to participate in Nan's earnings Amzi did not know, nor did he see immediately any way of ...
— Otherwise Phyllis • Meredith Nicholson

... it real well, and all the rest of the people and children I have let take one of the copies liked it so well I let them take more copies. I think it a very nice little paper, and wish you success. I send you the following extract, taken from "Wit and Wisdom," showing that the X-rays are not a recent ...
— The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 15, February 18, 1897 - A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls • Various

... a grace upon her in these days that all saw. Over her real wit and native vivacity, it was like a porcelain shade about a flame. One could look at it, and be glad of it, without winking. The brightness was all there, but there was a difference in the giving forth. What had been a bit self-centred and self-conscious—bright as if only for being ...
— A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite's Life. • Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney

... pearl and ruby glowing Was the fair palace door, Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing, And sparkling evermore, A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty Was but to sing, In voices of surpassing beauty, The wit and wisdom of ...
— The Golden Treasury of American Songs and Lyrics • Various

... Brannagan, was a short-bodied Irish lad, with red hair and a freckled face; but possessing a sturdy frame, as well as a ready wit. ...
— Motor Boat Boys Mississippi Cruise - or, The Dash for Dixie • Louis Arundel

... escaped, and traveled through the woods, and swam the rivers, till I came to my own country. He thought the Dyak had no eyes except in the jungle; he thought he had no ears except to listen to the bird of omen; he thought he had no wit except to grow rice; but the Dyak saw, and heard, and understood, that while his words were sweet, his heart was crooked, and that, whether they were men of the sea or Dyaks, he deceived them with fair sayings; he said one thing to one man, and another to a second; he deceived ...
— The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - For the Suppression of Piracy • Henry Keppel

... another system, aristocratical and central in its character, who said: "These wards, called townships in New England, are the vital principle of their governments, and have proved themselves the wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self-government and for ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 5, May, 1884 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... magnificent entry into the city, Sancho Panza was called upon to give judgment in certain teasing disputes, and this he did with such wit and such wholesome commonsense that he delighted all who heard him. Well-pleased with himself, he sat down in a grand hall to a solitary banquet, with a physician standing by his side. No sooner had Sancho tasted a dish than the physician ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... "Excluding those verbs which are become obsolete."—Priestley's Gram., p. 47. "He who sighs for pleasure, the voice of wisdom can never reach, nor the power of virtue touch."—Wright's Athens, p. 64. "The other branch of wit in the thought, is that only which is taken notice of by Addison."—Kames, El. of Crit., i, 312. "When any measure of the Chancellor was found fault with."—Professors' Reasons, p. 14. "Whether was formerly made use ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... general talents felt by his tutor and his companions. His most remarkable characteristic, however, was the exuberant spirits {p.xvi} which found vent in constant flashes of merriment brightened and pointed with wit and satire at once droll and tormenting. Even a lecture-room was not exempt from these irrepressible sallies; and our tutor, who was formal and wished to be grave, but had not the gift of gravity, never felt ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... perplexity expressed in Viola's face, she said, "O what a deal of scorn looks beautiful in the contempt and anger of his lip! Cesario, by the roses of the spring, by maidhood, honour, and by truth, I love you so, that, in spite of your pride, I have neither wit nor reason to conceal my passion." But in vain the lady wooed; Viola hastened from her presence, threatening never more to come to plead Orsino's love; and all the reply she made to Olivia's fond ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... wit was once in company with one of the Cavendishes, who had lately been to America, and was recounting his experiences. 'These Republican people have such funny names,' he said. 'I met there a man of the name of Birdseye.' 'Well, and is not that just as good as ...
— Some Private Views • James Payn

... Cornewall Lewis there—and came to town on Sunday. The Grange is a beautiful specimen of Grecian architecture, bought by Lord Ashburton of that extraordinary man Henry Drummond, a man so able and eccentric as to be treading on the very edge of the partition which divides wit ...
— The Greville Memoirs (Second Part) - A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 - (Volume 1 of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... his bridle, stood viewing with all too obvious contempt the youthful frolics of the colts. Well he knew that life would cure them of all this foolish waste of spirit and of energy. Meantime on his part he was content to wait till his master—Dr. Martin, to wit—should give the order to move. His master meantime was busily engaged with clever sinewy fingers packing in the last parcels that represented the shopping activities of Cameron and his wife during the past two days. There was a whole living ...
— The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail • Ralph Connor

... sex or age or quality, and in his secret soul, while he lavished feigned caresses upon every one he saw, felt no esteem for any living being. He thirsted strangely for glory, and omitted no point of deed or word that might, he thought, procure him the reputation of a man of spirit or of wit. He was lean of person, somewhat slightly built, and on this account people called him Lorenzino. He never laughed, but had a sneering smile; and although he was rather distinguished by grace than beauty, his countenance being ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... died a clergyman in 1780, just on the eve of his intended marriage. My brother James has been in the army since the age of fifteen, and has married a woman of fortune, one of the old Duke family of Otterton in Devon. Edward, the wit of the family, went to Pembroke College, and is now a clergyman. George also went to Pembroke. He is in orders likewise, and now has the same School, a very flourishing one, which my Father had. He is a man of reflective mind ...
— Biographia Epistolaris, Volume 1. • Coleridge, ed. Turnbull

... roundness of her slender figure was set off by the elegant carriage of her head. Her feet were small and pretty, her hands very white, with pink, well-rounded nails. But what formed the chief attraction of Hortense was the grace and suavity of her manners. She was gay, gentle, amiable. She had wit which, without the smallest ill-temper, had just malice enough to be amusing. A polished education had improved her natural talents. She drew excellently, sang harmoniously, and performed admirably in comedy. In 1800 she was a charming young girl. She afterwards ...
— Hortense, Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... taxed him with it on the afternoon before her death, and a quarrel ensued, part of which was overheard. On the previous day, the prisoner had purchased strychnine at the village chemist's shop, wearing a disguise by means of which he hoped to throw the onus of the crime upon another man—to wit, Mrs. Inglethorp's husband, of whom he had been bitterly jealous. Luckily for Mr. Inglethorp, he had been able to produce ...
— The Mysterious Affair at Styles • Agatha Christie

... Greek word which means "to snarl," and a sardonic grin is merely a snarl. In it the teeth are shown with malicious intent, and not as they are in the benevolent appeal of true laughter. Mrs. Grote, the wife of the great historian (who was herself declared by a French wit to furnish the explanation of the word "grotesque"), wrote of "Owen's sugar-of-lead smile"—referring to the great naturalist, Richard Owen. There was no malice in the description, for he had, as some others have, ...
— More Science From an Easy Chair • Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester

... that Christ is ever present to assist His Church, and needeth not any man to supply His room, as His only heir to all His substance: and that there can be no one mortal creature, which is able to comprehend or conceive in his mind the universal Church, that is to wit, all the parts of the world, much less able rightly and duly to put them in order, and to govern them rightly and duly. For all the Apostles, as Cyprian saith, were of like power among themselves, and the rest were the same that Peter was, and that ...
— The Apology of the Church of England • John Jewel

... this our feud, namely, the good knight, called for the present 'Le Noir Faineant', and the stout yeoman, Robert Locksley, called Cleave-the-Wand. Do you, Reginald Front de-Boeuf, and your allies and accomplices whomsoever, to wit, that whereas you have, without cause given or feud declared, wrongfully and by mastery seized upon the person of our lord and master the said Cedric; also upon the person of a noble and freeborn damsel, the Lady Rowena of Hargottstandstede; also upon the person of a noble and freeborn ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... this force the governor is authorized to appoint the following officers, who will be recognized and paid by the United States, to wit: One major-general, to command the whole of the State forces brought into service, who shall be the same person appointed by the President to command the United States Military Department of the West, and shall retain his commission ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Lincoln - Section 1 (of 2) of Volume 6: Abraham Lincoln • Compiled by James D. Richardson

... had considerable experience as a lawyer in the city courts, had served in the lower house of the legislature, and was preternaturally acute in detecting the interests of Tammany which he served. He was a man of much humor, with occasional flashes of wit, his own worst enemy, evidently, and his career was fitly ended when upon the fall of Tweed he left his country for his country's ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... never did a sense of vitality come so constantly from a man's pen, nor from man's voice, as from his! I knew him well for many years, and whether in sickness or in health, I have never come across him without finding him to be running over with wit and fun. Of all the men I have encountered, he was the surest fund of drollery. I have known many witty men, many who could say good things, many who would sometimes be ready to say them when wanted, though they would ...
— Autobiography of Anthony Trollope • Anthony Trollope

... consideration of the worst of these remarks, Mrs. Oliphant's explanation seems the true one; they are most of them sparkling bits of Mrs. Carlyle's conversation. She, happily for herself, had a lively wit, and, perhaps not so happily, a biting tongue, and was, as Carlyle tells us, accustomed to make him laugh, as they drove home together from London crushes, by far from genial observations on her fellow-creatures, little recking—how should ...
— Obiter Dicta • Augustine Birrell

... tell him all the story of the rose garden and of the sun-dial, and the beauty who had wit enough to scorn a man in public that she might more safely hold tryst with him alone. She had great wit and cunning for a beauty of sixteen. 'Twould be well for her lord to have keen eyes ...
— A Lady of Quality • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... and are you then content, my Lord Man, that a contemptible boy should have better wit than your magnifical self? Truly, I think Hans was a man before thou hadst ...
— It Might Have Been - The Story of the Gunpowder Plot • Emily Sarah Holt

... is, it is very earnest and suggestive—and likely I hope to do good; and though I am rather scared at the thought of a fresh eye going over its 4,000 lines—discovering blemishes of all sorts which my one wit cannot avail to detect, fools treated as sages, obscure passages, slipshod verses, and much that worse is,—yet on the whole I am not much afraid of the issue, and I would give something to be allowed to read it some ...
— Life and Letters of Robert Browning • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... human knowledge. The sentiment of Leibnitz seems to rest upon a more solid foundation. "It is necessary to come," says he, "to the grand question which M. Bayle has recently brought upon the carpet, to wit, whether a truth, and especially a truth of faith, can be subject to unanswerable objections. That excellent author seems boldly to maintain the affirmative of this question: he cites grave theologians on his side, and even those of Rome, who appear ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... resolve to get them back for the Anses, who bewail their absence. They journey to Monster-land, win back the lady, who ultimately is to become the hero's wife, and return her to her kindred; but her brother can only be rescued by his father Niord. It is by wit rather than by force that ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... Ensal's friend, why did he not make himself known to her on the train?" asked Earl of himself. But this query was soon dislodged from his mind by one of far more interest to him, to wit: "Is it not likely that I may utilize this young woman as a means of bringing to me a second glimpse of that girl that paid us a visit from ...
— The Hindered Hand - or, The Reign of the Repressionist • Sutton E. Griggs

... hall and out of the front door without waiting for the maid to open it. He had worn no overcoat, apparently. It was then seven o'clock; he would surely be late at his post in the up-town restaurant. I hoped he would have wit enough to take ...
— Youth and the Bright Medusa • Willa Cather

... in a jovial roar, as he helped himself to a pair of runners that rested on antlers against the wall. "You have a sly wit, Sigurd Jarlsson. You think, because I am round, I am wont to roll like a ...
— The Thrall of Leif the Lucky • Ottilie A. Liljencrantz

... cheeks. That her heart was beating like mad, that the intoxication of an intent he could not read had swept into her brain, that she was vastly more in the mood to weep than to smile . . . all of this lay hidden to him behind her woman's wit. For, having decided, there would be no ...
— The Bells of San Juan • Jackson Gregory

... brute—a brute with a blundering tongue!" he cried miserably. "You had not thought of that—and I made you. I could have found another excuse for going if I had only had wit enough. I was a brute once before to-night, and—" He stopped, and for a moment stood there looking at her, stood in the firelight, his face white again even in the ruddy glow—and ...
— The Miracle Man • Frank L. Packard

... Isidor G. Ingerman was a foeman worthy of even a novelist's skill in repartee. Thus far, he, Grant, had been merely uncivil, using a bludgeon for wit, whereas the visitor was making play ...
— The Postmaster's Daughter • Louis Tracy

... from the time when, as a young girl, she was living with her father in Philadelphia. A visitor at the house, a Frenchman, had succeeded by his wit, grace and persistent attention, in gaining her affections. He was said to be rich and had asked her of her father. Monsieur Stangerson, on making inquiries as to Monsieur Jean Roussel, found that the man was a swindler and an adventurer. ...
— The Mystery of the Yellow Room • Gaston Leroux

... WIT. — Value 15s. to 30s.; or in brass-ware, a tawak which measures from the base of the boss to the outer edge a span between the first finger and the thumb. Also ...
— The Pagan Tribes of Borneo • Charles Hose and William McDougall

... staring might cause annoyance, he did most of it on the sly. And the opportunity was good. As a mystery, she proved an absorbing study: an irresistible blending of contradictions, of sympathy and reserve, of sadness—and of wit—of a character and temperament not half-divulged. Whenever their eyes met, he felt a mild commotion, a curious, unfamiliar excitement,—something that made him less at ease. For it invariably brought the keenest ...
— The Pines of Lory • John Ames Mitchell

... hated to be warned about people, to be primed as it were with a dose of their superiority beforehand. It always prepared her to dislike the admirable individual when he appeared. It seemed as though it were taken for granted that she herself had not enough intelligence to discover wit in others, and needed to be told of it with great circumstance in order to be upon her good behavior. Consequently Josephine began by disliking John. She thought he was a Philistine; his hair was too straight, and besides, it was red; he shaved all his face, ...
— An American Politician • F. Marion Crawford

... trouble his head much about the why and the wherefore of this obligation. He reasoned it out thus: Germany had enemies—the French and the Russians, to wit—who might some day and for some unknown reason begin a war; therefore, of course, it behoved Germany to keep watch and ward, and for that soldiers were necessary. Furthermore, there was a certain consolation in the thought that this authoritative call ...
— 'Jena' or 'Sedan'? • Franz Beyerlein

... small rivers. In some places there are even some lofty ones of extraordinary height, but not many. Its fertility falls behind no province in Europe in excellence of fruits and seeds. There are three principal rivers, to wit: the Fresh, the Mauritius and the South River,(1) all three reasonably wide and deep, adapted for the navigation of large ships twenty-five leagues up and of common barks even to the falls. From the River Mauritius ...
— Narrative of New Netherland • Various

... and those accompanying, to wit, Mr. Newton's and I.N. Morris'. I may write to Mr. Newton but it will be different from what he expects. I am not a candidate for any office. All I want is to be left alone to fight this war out; fight all rebel opposition and restore ...
— Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, - 1857-78 • Ulysses S. Grant

... unlimbered, and stationed with their infantry escort on rising ground at the far end of the field. Scattered groups of villagers, appearing on walls and house-tops and on the hill to the left, squatted on their heels, watching the mild tamasha with evident interest, and exchanging broad sallies of wit with the sepoys by way of adding ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... then open her valise and go through it, swiftly. She found nothing, and turned to the wash-stand drawer. The latter was empty, and was instantly closed again, the girl staring about the room, as though at her wit's end. Suddenly she disappeared along the edge of the bed, beyond the radius of the crack in the door. What was it she was doing? Searching the bed, no doubt; seeking something hidden beneath the ...
— The Strange Case of Cavendish • Randall Parrish

... was granted to his father-in-law, Khnumhotpu I. Expeditions against the Uauaiu, the Mazaiu, and the nomads of Libya and Arabia delivered the fellahin from their ruinous raids and ensured to the Egyptians safety from foreign attack. Amenemhait had, moreover, the wit to recognize that Thebes was not the most suitable place of residence for the lord of all Egypt; it lay too far to the south, was thinly populated, ill-built, without monuments, without prestige, and ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 2 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... left them about the kitchen, and his indignant mother had used them to light the fire. The burning of his library was an enduring tragedy. He realized that it must be reconstituted; but how? His nimble wit hit on a plan. Vagrant as an unowned dog, he could roam the streets at pleasure. Why should he not sell newspapers-in a quarter of the town, be it understood, remote from both factory and Budge Street? He sold newspapers for three weeks before he ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... All my other vows I broke one by one. For a faggot must be broken every stick singly. But the strict vow I kept, for I entered Rome on foot that year in time, and I heard high Mass on the Feast of the Apostles, as many can testify—to wit: Monsignor this, and Chamberlain the other, and the Bishop of so-and-so—o—polis in partibus infidelium; for we were ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... gray Lewis over sea Bore his sires their family tree, On the rugged boughs of it Grafting Irish mirth and wit, ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... born in 1627, and for forty years lived with his father, profiting by his lessons and his consideration. He was of the most agreeable manners, handsome, well made, full of humour, wit, and ability; in society the pleasantest person in the world, and yet well instructed; indeed, of rare erudition, generous, obliging, dignified, incapable of meanness, he was with so much talent and so many great ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... were left alone, the farmer said, "Well, mother, Sue HAS got a suitor, and if he don't suit her—" And then his wit gave out. ...
— Taken Alive • E. P. Roe

... for these without having either the courage or the hypocrisy to applaud them, Forcheville, on the other hand, was on an intellectual level which permitted him to be stupified, amazed by the invective (without in the least understanding what it all was about), and to be frankly delighted by the wit. And the very first dinner at the Verdurins' at which Forcheville was present threw a glaring light upon all the differences between them, made his qualities start into prominence and precipitated ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... changes in this electronic edition, from the original, are in spelling (some words are spelled both ways in the original). To wit: ...
— The Life of Francis Marion • William Gilmore Simms

... prone to verbosity. His profound moral sense made him sparing of words in the disputes in which the men of the day are prone to engage on any and every subject, but in polite conversation he displayed an eloquence full of wit and intelligence, emanating always from good sense and a temperate and just appreciation of worldly matters. He had no toleration for those sophistries, and mystifications, and quibbles of the ...
— Dona Perfecta • B. Perez Galdos

... hint of beauty in the dark eyes and the down-dropped curve of the mobile lip in the portrait, and one need not quote "In Memoriam" to prove how utterly the charm of Hallam subjugated the Tennyson circle. Wit, swiftness of insight, beauty, lovableness— all seem to have been there; and it remains that Arthur Hallam was worshipped and adored by his contemporaries with a fierce jealousy of devotion. Nothing but the presence of an overmastering ...
— Escape and Other Essays • Arthur Christopher Benson

... its shapes, is a phaenomenon with which M. Comte seems to have been totally unacquainted. There is nothing in his writings from which it could be inferred that he knew of the existence of such things as wit and humour. The only writer distinguished for either, of whom he shows any admiration, is Moliere, and him he admires not for his wit but for his wisdom. We notice this without intending any reflection on M. Comte; for a profound conviction raises a person above the ...
— Auguste Comte and Positivism • John-Stuart Mill

... Jonson told Drummond that "S. J. Davies played in ane Epigrame on Draton's, who in a sonnet concluded his mistress might been the Ninth [sic] Worthy; and said he used a phrase like Dametas in Arcadia, who said, For wit his Mistresse might be a Gyant."—Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations with Drummond, p. 15. ...
— The Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Christopher Marlowe

... in ripples of merriment that grew presently into genuine waves of laughter. He spoke out his regret for having worn black clothes. It was a mistake, he said, to consider this a solemn time—Aldrich would not have wished it to be so considered. He had been a man who loved humor and brightness and wit, and had helped to make life merry and delightful. Certainly, if he could know, he would not wish this dedication of his own home to be a lugubrious, smileless occasion. Outside, when the services were ended, the venerable juvenile writer, J. T. Trowbridge, came up to Clemens with extended ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... import, and export duties on American vessels at the ports of Canton, Shanghai, and Fuchau, and it was "agreed that this amount shall be in full liquidation of all claims of American citizens at the various ports to this date." Debentures for this amount, to wit, 300,000 taels for Canton, 100,000 for Shanghai, and 100,000 for Fuchau, were delivered, according to the terms of the convention, by the respective Chinese collectors of the customs of these ports to the agent selected by our minister to receive the same. Since that time the claims ...
— State of the Union Addresses of James Buchanan • James Buchanan

... being under undeserved calamity: but as the inclination she had for him was perfectly innocent, and no ways prejudicial to the prince who was in possession of her person, she made no secret of it either to himself or those she conversed with, and was always talking of the wit, delicacy, and handsomeness of one of those prisoners, whom it was well known were pensioners to her bounty. But how dangerous is it to be too open before persons who, void of all true generosity, or the lead principle of ...
— The Fortunate Foundlings • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... in card play, or such like, but forasmuch as this game or kingly pastime is not only devoid of craft, fraud, and guile, swearing, staring, impatience, fretting and falling out, but also breedeth in the players a certaine studie, wit, pollicie, forecaste, and memorie not only in the play thereof, but also in action of publick government, both in peace and warre, wherein both Counsellors at home and Captaines abroade may picke ...
— Chess History and Reminiscences • H. E. Bird

... plumage and their prattle. From Paris to Ile-Adam, to Villers-Cotterets, to Fretoy, to Planchette, to Soissons, to Rheims, to Grisolles, to Sillery, to Braine, to Balincourt, to Vaudreuil, the Comte and Comtesse de Genlis thus bear about their leisure, their wit, their gaiety, at the domiciles of friends whom, in their turn, they entertain at Genlis. A glance at the exteriors of these mansions suffices to show that it was the chief duty in these days to be hospitable, as it was a prime necessity to be in society.[2181] Their luxury, indeed, differs from ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... 'oculus'; 'occisissimus' of 'occisus'; as in the 'dosones', 'dabones', which in Greek and in medieval Latin were names given to those who were ever promising, ever saying "I will give" but never performing their promise. Plautus with his exuberant wit, and exulting in his mastery and command of the Latin language, will compose four or five lines consisting entirely of comic combinations thrown off for the occasion{102}. Of the same character is Butler's 'cynarctomachy', or battle of a dog and bear. Nor do I suppose that ...
— English Past and Present • Richard Chenevix Trench

... fine pelts of the huge northern beasts, which would long adorn the lodges of the Sioux, and Will again received approval for his quick and timely attack with fire. Xingudan knew in his heart that the village might have been overpowered and devoured had it not been for the wit and courage of Waditaka. But he merely said "Waditaka has done well." Will, however, knew that the four words meant much and that the liberty of the village was his. He was a sharer of all things save one—that, however, being much—namely, the knowledge ...
— The Great Sioux Trail - A Story of Mountain and Plain • Joseph Altsheler

... at wit," I reflectively confided to my wine-glass, "while doubtless amiably intended, are, to his well-wishers, painful. I daresay, though, he doesn't know it. We must, then, smile indulgently upon the elephantine gambols of what he is pleased to ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... Margery D. was a trim little ship, The men they could man, and the skipper could skip; She sailed from her haven one fine summer day, And she foundered at sea in the following way,— To-wit: ...
— The Scarlet Stigma - A Drama in Four Acts • James Edgar Smith

... Eva's window open, and longs to make himself heard, steps up to the shoemaker's window. In answer to his testy questions why he is at his bench at such an hour, Hans Sachs good-humouredly replies that he must work late to finish the shoes about which he has been twitted in public. At his wit's end to silence the shoemaker and sing his serenade, Beckmesser artfully pretends that he would like to have Sachs's opinion of the song he intends to sing on the morrow, and proposes to let him hear it then. After a little demur the shoemaker consents, ...
— Stories of the Wagner Opera • H. A. Guerber

... thought and expression, considerable fancy and knowledge: but whether or not it would take with the public seems doubtful. For a jeu d'esprit of that kind it is too long; it would have suited better as an essay or article than as a volume. The Author has no great tact; his wit is frequently heavy; and reminds one of the German Baron who took to leaping on tables and answered that he was learning to be lively. ...
— Sartor Resartus - The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdrockh • Thomas Carlyle

... a brilliant dinner—because Billy made it so. At first William met her sallies of wit with mild surprise; but it was not long before he rose gallantly to the occasion, and gave back full measure of retort. Even Pete twice had to turn his back to hide a smile, and once his hand shook so that the tea he was carrying almost spilled. This threatened ...
— Miss Billy Married • Eleanor H. Porter

... choking and by stark terror, Lady had not the wit to realize what Lad was attempting. All she knew was that he had seized her roughly by the neck, and had leaped in air with her; and had then brought her bangingly down upon the torturing hot boards. And her panic was augmented ...
— Further Adventures of Lad • Albert Payson Terhune

... expressions of God and of the goodness of God; but they follow the usual method of divine revelation, to wit, mystery and allegory. The myths state clearly the one tremendous fact that the Gods are; that is what Julian cared about and the Christians denied: what they are the myths reveal only to those who have understanding. 'The world itself is a great ...
— Five Stages of Greek Religion • Gilbert Murray

... enjoy reading it. Very well: you sit there and write this literature, or whatever it is, and keep your mind fixed on that. I will see to everything else for you. I will provide you with writing materials, and books of wit and humour, and paste and scissors, and everything else that may be necessary to you in your trade; and I will feed you and clothe you and lodge you, and I will take you about to places that you wish to go to; and I will see that you have plenty of tobacco ...
— Diary of a Pilgrimage • Jerome K. Jerome

... justices, sheriffs, mayors, and other ministers, which, under us, have the laws of our land [32] to guide, shall allow the said charters pleaded before them in judgment, in all their points, that is, to wit, the Great Charter as the Common Law, and the Charter of the Forest for the ...
— An Essay on the Trial By Jury • Lysander Spooner

... the eagerness of contest to its importance seems too hard a task for human wisdom. The pride of wit has kept ages busy in the discussion of useless questions, and the pride of power has destroyed armies, to gain or to ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 6 - Reviews, Political Tracts, and Lives of Eminent Persons • Samuel Johnson

... biting jest!" said Prince John. "How like you it, sirs?—Our Saxon subjects rise in spirit and courage; become shrewd in wit, and bold in bearing, in these unsettled times—What say ye, my lords?—By this good light, I hold it best to take our galleys, and ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... Mr. Prohack had the wit to drink also. They went on talking.... A silver tongue vibrated from the hall with solemn British deliberation—One! Two! The air throbbed to the sound for ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... truly at "wit's end corner." I went alone, and did not take time even to kneel down, but just lifted up my heart to my Father to stop the rain and open a way for the children to get to the station. I felt a sudden, strong confidence that the Lord would help, ...
— How I Know God Answers Prayer - The Personal Testimony of One Life-Time • Rosalind Goforth

... scorn; they were buried in jests and buffooneries. As the Renascence expanded into the rationalism of recent centuries, nothing seemed so ridiculous as to butcher and bleed in a distant desert not only for a tomb, but an empty tomb. The last legend of them withered under the wit of Cervantes, though he himself had fought in the last Crusade at Lepanto. They were kicked about like dead donkeys by the cool vivacity of Voltaire; who went off, very symbolically, to dance attendance on the new drill-sergeant of the Prussians. They were dissected ...
— The New Jerusalem • G. K. Chesterton

... powers.... As yet, his naturally kind and simple character had not been exposed to any of the dangerous flatteries of the world; his heart was pure; his enthusiasm buoyant as that of a happy child; and well as Scott knew that reflection, sagacity, wit and wisdom, were scattered abundantly among the humblest rangers of these pastoral solitudes, there was here a depth and a brightness that filled him with wonder, combined with a quaintness of humour, and a thousand little touches of ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... that faith is dead withouten workis, So for to worken give me wit and grace! That I be quit from thence that most dark is; O thou that art so fair and full of grace, Be thou mine advocate in that high place, There, as withouten end is sung Hozanne, Thou Christes mother, daughter ...
— Legends of the Madonna • Mrs. Jameson

... servants of the king there were a hundred and forty-four thousand,—tried men and brave, brawny of arm and quick of wit; aye, too, and women of wisdom and women marvelous in beauty and grace. And yet on this drear day when the King called, their ears were thick with the dust of the enemy, their eyes were blinded with the flashing of his spears, and they ...
— Darkwater - Voices From Within The Veil • W. E. B. Du Bois

... art of being agreeble is to appear well pleased with all the company, and rather to seem well entertained with them than to bring entertainment to them. A man thus disposed, perhaps may not have much learning, nor any wit; but if he has common sense and something friendly in his behaviour, it conciliates men's minds more than the brightest parts without this disposition; and when a man of such a turn comes up to old age, he is almost sure to ...
— Enquire Within Upon Everything - The Great Victorian Domestic Standby • Anonymous

... when carefully inspected, there appear some flashes of wit and ingenuity; but these totally suffocated and buried by the harshest and most uncouth expression that is any where to ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part D. - From Elizabeth to James I. • David Hume

... a man with his, in some respects, sharp intellect and native wit, should be so weak as to imagine the trash he jumbled together was poetry, and thus leave himself open to be laughed at by even his own cronies. But it is said we all have a ...
— From Wealth to Poverty • Austin Potter

... no good. My sister gave the young lady an attested certificate, stating that she passed the whole time with her, the two together, that the door to their room was locked, and that they were undisturbed during the night.—Nothing like a 'woman's wit!'" ...
— Ellen Walton - The Villain and His Victims • Alvin Addison

... candidates for President. When the war came, he declared himself unreservedly on the side of the Government, and rendered valuable service to the Union party. He was especially effective on the stump. His sharp wit, his rich fund of anecdotes, his sparkling humor, his singular felicity and aptness of biblical illustration, which had earned for him the popular name of "Scripture Dick," served to give him wonderful command over an audience, and ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... by the general verdict that Clowes, on the left wing, had played well. With a beautiful unanimity the six occupants of the first fifteen room came to the conclusion that the man who had let the team down that day had been the man on the right—Rand-Brown, to wit, of Seymour's. ...
— The Gold Bat • P. G. Wodehouse

... always a little intolerant at home, and generally appeared there at his worst—caustic, silent, and unsympathetic. It seemed to him that the simple country life was unbearably insipid; he found there neither wit nor affairs: to see day after day the same faces, to listen to the same talk either on country subjects that were distasteful to him, or, out of compliment to himself, political subjects that were unfamiliar to the conversationalists, was a very hard burden, and he counted ...
— The King's Achievement • Robert Hugh Benson

... himself thus myteriously, he shut himself up in obstinate silence until Helen Rolleston called again, two days afterward. She brought a bag full of manuscript this time—to wit, copies in her own handwriting of eight reports, the Queen v. Penfold. She was in good spirits, and told Mrs. Undercliff that all the reports were somewhat more favorable than the two she had left; and she was beginning to tell Mr. Undercliff he was quite right in his recollection, ...
— Foul Play • Charles Reade

... cried Guy, with a laugh, "if it be true that 'brevity is the soul of wit,' you must be the wittiest fellow on ...
— The Lifeboat • R.M. Ballantyne

... dexterity, and dealing a harmless thrust to every one. All were forced to laugh; the happy faces animated and inspired every thing. The brilliant satirical verses rushed like rockets from the lips of the reader—a real illumination of wit and humor, of good-natured jokes and biting sarcasm, and it delighted the old man that every one had received hits and thrusts but himself; he had been spared until now! Every one regarded him, smiling and amused, as the ...
— Old Fritz and the New Era • Louise Muhlbach

... historians, and all the best French, English, or Italian writers. His apprehension was quick, his imagination fine, and his memory remarkably strong; though his greatest commendations were a very genteel address, a ready wit and an excellent elocution, which shewed him to advantage wherever he went. There was, notwithstanding, one principal defect in his disposition, and this was an infinite vanity, which gave him so insufferable a presumption, as led him to think that ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753),Vol. V. • Theophilus Cibber

... physical phenomena upon which mankind depends for subsistence. Naturally, therefore, the life and health of such a god-man are matters of anxious concern to the people whose welfare and even existence are bound up with his; naturally he is constrained by them to conform to such rules as the wit of early man has devised for averting the ills to which flesh is heir, including the last ill, death. These rules, as an examination of them has shown, are nothing but the maxims with which, on the primitive view, every man of common prudence must comply if he would live ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... their rods less dry (for there was but a very little, to wit, their tops dry), but they had clefts, and these were set in like manner by themselves. In the rods of others there was but a little green, and the rest dry; and these were ...
— The Forbidden Gospels and Epistles, Complete • Archbishop Wake

... Jews, and their enmity to the Greeks. The Mosaic law had severely proscribed all representations of the Deity; and that precept was firmly established in the principles and practice of the chosen people. The wit of the Christian apologists was pointed against the foolish idolaters, who bowed before the workmanship of their own hands; the images of brass and marble, which, had they been endowed with sense and motion, should ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... well as you, am a little anxious. It is to apprize you, and to warn him, when he travels, to avoid the gins and man-traps fixed all over this country; traps, which a thorough knowledge of Latin and Greek, combined even with father and mother's wit, will not be sufficient to preserve him from, unless he is first shewn the manner in which they are set. These traps are not made to catch the legs, but to ruin the fortunes and break the hearts of those who unfortunately step into them. Their baits are artful, designing, ...
— A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 - Volume 1 (of 2) • Philip Thicknesse

... of the Council in 1862 subscribed L200 for the purchase of a "Mayor's Chain," the first to wear "the glittering gaud," strange to say, being a Quaker, Charles Sturge to wit. To this chain a valuable addition has since been made in the shape of a stone, worth L150, presented to the Town Council by Mr. W. Spencer, June 27, 1873, as being the first diamond cut in Birmingham, ...
— Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History And Guide Arranged Alphabetically • Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell

... friends of the bride and bridegroom." The "elegant simplicity" consisted of gifts, the value of which was estimated at fully a million dollars, and a costly ceremony. If the bride had beauty, and the bridegroom wit, no mention of them was made; the one fact conspicuously emphasized was the all-important one of the bride having a fortune "in her ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... your garments to Mr. Cohen. From your visage, I judge you to be a person I wish to know. I take you to be endowed with probity, discretion, and valor, and not without wit, good taste, and good manners. Mesrour, relieve the gentleman ...
— The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton • Wardon Allan Curtis

... of Claverhouse, and a small full-length of Rob Roy. Various little antique cabinets stand about the room; and in one corner is a collection of really useful weapons—those of the forest craft, to wit—axes and bills, &c. Over the fire-place, too, are some Highland claymores clustered round a target. There is only one window, pierced in a very thick wall, so that the place is ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 571 - Volume 20, No. 571—Supplementary Number • Various

... he said, shortly. Brevity is the soul of medical wit; he was a very eminent man, ...
— The Tysons - (Mr. and Mrs. Nevill Tyson) • May Sinclair

... the interests of my father; and if you could intercede for us, please do so," he added in a piteous tone; "and ask the Grand Master for an order to pay certain sums that are due to my father, for he is at his wit's end ...
— Catherine de' Medici • Honore de Balzac

... to learn that he is not a florid orator nor a smart debater,—he is a "weighty speaker." He is fairly read, but without any great range either of ornamental scholarship or constitutional lore. He has not much humour; but he has that kind of wit which is essential to grave and serious irony. He has not much imagination, nor remarkable subtlety in reasoning; but if he does not dazzle he does not bore,—he is too much of the man of the world for that. ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... of the territories in the counties of Fairfax and Alexandria, together with all the improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging, as is contained in the following boundaries, to-wit: Beginning at the corner of Alexandria and Fairfax counties, on J. C. DePutron's farm; thence to the corner of J. C. Nicholson and W. S. Patton, in Mistress Ellen Gordon's line; thence to the corner of Sewell and L. S. Abbott on the new ...
— A Virginia Village • Charles A. Stewart

... of the fooling of Thoas is full of wit and double meanings. The end of it is rather like the famous scene in Forget- me-not, where the Corsican avenger is induced to turn his back in order to let a lady pass out of the room without being seen and compromised, the lady in question being really the ...
— The Iphigenia in Tauris • Euripides

... over this sally of the outspoken Mrs. Sargent, whose keen wit was the delight of ...
— Homespun Tales • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... forehead seemed the continuation of a slight line which thought had already furrowed between the eyebrows, and made the expression of untameability perhaps a shade too strong. The voice of this charming child, whom her father, delighting in her wit, was wont to call his "little proverb of Solomon," had acquired a precious flexibility of organ through the practice of three languages. This advantage was still further enhanced by a natural bell-like tone both sweet and ...
— Modeste Mignon • Honore de Balzac

... to wit that I will that ye be all law worthy that were in King Edward's day, and I will that every child be his father's heir after his father's day: and I will not endure that any man offer ...
— The History of London • Walter Besant

... de French heels an' de one wit' de sissy eyebrow on 'is lip, would youse? Dey's a coupla heroes wat's been to France; dey ...
— Louisiana Lou • William West Winter

... If he had no brain, no wit, no culture, on an animal basis, a woman would look twice before she'd send him away; but with such fanatics as Pryors, one can't always tell what ...
— Laddie • Gene Stratton Porter

... attended by pages in cloth of silver, Venetian hose, laced hats, and by gentlemen, yeomen, and trumpeters, in yellow velvet cassocks, buskins, and feathers—as one of "the four fostered children of virtuous desire" (to wit, Anjou) storming "the castle of perfect Beauty" (to wit, Queen Elizabeth, aetatis 47) rises out of the cloud-dusts of ancient chronicle for a moment, and ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... loveliness of her, her grace and gentleness, her ingenuous sensitiveness, her wit: they combined to make the thought of her, to him, at least, at once terrible and a delight. Remembering that once he had held her in his arms, had gazed into her starlit eyes, and inhaled the impalpable fragrance of her, he trembled, ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... monk lay on his back in the bed, wit his head propped rather highly on a hard straw bolster; and the extreme attenuation of his body was indicated by the very slight degree in which the clothes that covered him were raised above the love of the bedstead. On the coverlet upon his chest, there was a rosary ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... only by language. Delicate allusions to sexual matters and somewhat lascivious conversation excite eroticism as much as looks and touch. According to the education of the persons concerned, this talk may be coarse and vulgar, or on the contrary refined and full of wit, managed with more or less skill, or clumsily. Here the natural finesse of woman plays a considerable part. Men wanting in tact are clumsy and offensive in their attempts at flirtation, and thus extinguish instead of exciting the woman's ...
— The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study • August Forel

... Scouts did that morning. After all, the damage to their belongings did not turn out to be very serious, thanks to their ready wit in cutting down the tents; and before nightfall they were almost as comfortably fixed as before ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts on a Tour - The Mystery of Rattlesnake Mountain • George A. Warren

... teaching flows a corollary of great practical importance, to wit: The grace of final perseverance cannot be merited by good works, but it can be obtained ...
— Grace, Actual and Habitual • Joseph Pohle

... by Elder Duke Young, father of Judge William Young. Duke Young was one of the pioneer preachers of Western Missouri. When in his manhood's prime he was abundant in labors, and though he was without any scholastic attainments he had a keen mother wit, good sense, and good natural gifts as a public speaker; and, working in poverty, exposure, hardship, misrepresentation, and implacable opposition, he was one of the men that laid the foundations of the cause in Western Missouri. Becoming ...
— Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler • Pardee Butler



Words linked to "Wit" :   mental capacity, humourist, card, topper, irony, caustic remark, joke, sarcasm, bite, play, subject matter, mentality, content, learning ability, gag, humorist, colloquialism, laugh, pungency, wittiness, impersonation, witticism, sport, ribaldry, roaster, humour



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