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Wit   Listen
verb
Wit  v. t. & v. i.  (past & past part. wist; pres. part. witting)  To know; to learn. "I wot and wist alway." Note: The present tense was inflected as follows; sing. 1st pers. wot; 2d pers. wost, or wot(t)est; 3d pers. wot, or wot(t)eth; pl. witen, or wite. The following variant forms also occur; pres. sing. 1st & 3d pers. wat, woot; pres. pl. wyten, or wyte, weete, wote, wot; imp. wuste (Southern dialect); p. pr. wotting. Later, other variant or corrupt forms are found, as, in Shakespeare, 3d pers. sing. pres. wots. "Brethren, we do you to wit (make you to know) of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia." "Thou wost full little what thou meanest." "We witen not what thing we prayen here." "When that the sooth in wist." Note: This verb is now used only in the infinitive, to wit, which is employed, especially in legal language, to call attention to a particular thing, or to a more particular specification of what has preceded, and is equivalent to namely, that is to say.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Wit" Quotes from Famous Books



... and then instantly burst forth again as from a parenthesis and clattered on with might and main till every stomach in the party was laden with all it could carry. And when the new-comers ascended the ladder to their comfortable feather beds on the second floor—to wit the garret—Mrs. ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 1. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... woman, of great natural talent, one of the true ladies of the old school, of whom not many specimens now remain in Mexico; the other extremely pretty, lively, and amiable, a true Andalusian both in beauty and wit. The old Countess was dressed in black velvet, black blonde mantilla, diamond earrings and brooch—her daughter- in-law also in black, with a mantilla, and she had a pretty little daughter with her, whose eyes will certainly produce a kindling effect on ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon de la Barca

... men the old great game of war—wit against wit—courage against courage—life against life. We try many men here, and reject a good few. But the men who have gone through our training here are valuable, both for attack and defence—above all, let me repeat it, they are ...
— Towards The Goal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... out before the hosts and challenged the bravest of the Fians to single combat, and the Fians, in mockery, thrust Conan forth to the fight. When he appeared, Liagan laughed, for he had more strength than wit, and he said, "Silly is thy visit, thou bald old man." And as Conan still approached, Liagan lifted his hand fiercely, and Conan said, "Truly thou art in more peril from the man behind than from the man in ...
— The High Deeds of Finn and other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland • T. W. Rolleston

... father and mother have been quite willing, then he wants no confidant. He does not care to speak very much of the matter which among his friends is apt to become a subject for raillery. When you call a man Benedick he does not come to you with ecstatic descriptions of the beauty and the wit of his Beatrice. But no one was likely to call him Benedick ...
— The Duke's Children • Anthony Trollope

... city after the birth of Mahomet. The arts of grammar, of metre, and of rhetoric, were unknown to the freeborn eloquence of the Arabians; but their penetration was sharp, their fancy luxuriant, their wit strong and sententious, [40] and their more elaborate compositions were addressed with energy and effect to the minds of their hearers. The genius and merit of a rising poet was celebrated by the applause of his own and the kindred tribes. A solemn banquet was prepared, and ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 5 • Edward Gibbon

... I am a poet! What's my employment? Writing. Is that a living? Hardly. I've wit though wealth be wanting, Ladies of rank and fashion All inspire me with passion; In dreams and fond illusions, Or castles in the air, Richer is none on ...
— La Boheme • Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica

... speak of New Andalusia, I may here mention that I found that denomination, for the first time, in the convention made by Alonso de Ojeda with the Conquistador Diego de Sicuessa, a powerful man, say the historians of his time, because he was a flattering courtier and a wit. In 1508 all the country from the Cabo de la Vela to the Gulf of Uraba, where the Castillo del Oro begins, was called New Andalusia, a name since restricted to ...
— Equinoctial Regions of America V3 • Alexander von Humboldt

... empire, and Chingay, and Bala, with diuers other Scribes, came vnto vs, and interpreted the letter word for word. And hauing written it in Latine, they caused vs to interprete vnto them eche sentence, to wit if we had erred in any word. And when both letters were written, they made vs to reade them ouer twise more, least we should haue mistaken ought. For they said vnto vs: Take heed that ye vnderstand all things throughly, for if you should ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries - Vol. II • Richard Hakluyt

... and Park are both very pleasant and good, and we lived there with great content; but God had ordered it should not last, for upon the 20th of July 1654, at three o'clock in the afternoon, died our most dearly beloved daughter Ann, whose beauty and wit exceeded all that ever I saw of her age. She was between nine and ten years old, very tall, and the dear companion of my travels and sorrows. She lay sick but five days of the smallpox, in which time she expressed so many wise and devout sayings, as ...
— Memoirs of Lady Fanshawe • Lady Fanshawe

... of ed: as, saint, sainted; bigot, bigoted; mast, masted; wit, witted. These have a resemblance to participles, and some of them are rarely used, except when joined with some other word to form a compound adjective: as, three-sided, bare-footed, long-eared, hundred-handed, flat-nosed, hard-hearted, ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... libel ... will be found the most powerful invective that the skill of man could invent. I will not say the skill, but the wit, art, and false contrivance of man, instigated by Satan;" "to say that this is not a libel, is to say that there is no justice, equity, or right ...
— The Trial of Theodore Parker • Theodore Parker

... figure in the legislative assembly. He was honest, but slow of wit, and apt to become passive if pushed beyond his power to understand. This man who could throw the earth up to a hill of corn with skill and precision, who could build a haystack which would turn the rains ...
— The Wind Before the Dawn • Dell H. Munger

... unapproachable. A schooner, yawl, or cutter in charge of a capable man seems to handle herself as if endowed with the power of reasoning and the gift of swift execution. One laughs with sheer pleasure at a smart piece of manoeuvring, as at a manifestation of a living creature's quick wit and ...
— The Mirror of the Sea • Joseph Conrad

... usually at the mercy of the nearest preacher who has a pleasant voice and ingenious fancy; receiving from him thankfully, and often reverently, whatever interpretation of texts the agreeable voice or ready wit may recommend: while, in the meantime, he remains entirely ignorant of, and if left to his own will, invariably destroys as injurious, the deeply meditated interpretations of Scripture which, in their matter, have been sanctioned by the consent of all the Christian Church for a thousand ...
— Our Fathers Have Told Us - Part I. The Bible of Amiens • John Ruskin

... morals), Billy the Music, the Seraph Cuchulain and Brien O'Brien, a lost soul who had a threepenny-bit stolen on him by Cuchulain that same, you would guess there's only one living man could be behind it—to wit JAMES STEPHENS, Crock-of-Gold STEPHENS. Fantastic things indeed happen in The Demi-Gods (MACMILLAN), which is a kind of inspired nightmare, a sort of Chestertonian inconsequence done into Gaelic, a little less ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 18, 1914 • Various

... unstable judgment are 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 understanding with which persons of intelligence, imbued with affected culture, ...
— Dona Perfecta • B. Perez Galdos

... aristocratic commonwealth? Look at the Greeks, who knew both forms; are they agreed which is the best? Plato, Thucydides, Xenophon, Aristophanes—the Dreamer, the Historian, the Philosophic Man of Action, the penetrating Wit—have no ideals in Democracy. Algernon Sidney, the martyr of liberty, allows no government to the multitude. Brutus died for a republic, but a republic of Patricians! What form of government is then the best? All dispute, ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... philosophy Advantageous, too, a little to recede from one's right Advise to choose weapons of the shortest sort Affect words that are not of current use Affection towards their husbands, (not) until they have lost them Affirmation and obstinacy are express signs of want of wit Affright people with the very mention of death Against my trifles you could say no more than I myself have said Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face Agesilaus, what he thought most proper for boys to learn? Agitated betwixt hope and fear Agitation ...
— Quotes and Images From The Works of Michel De Montaigne • Michel De Montaigne

... of North Carolina on the subject, to wit, that it did not directly prohibit the importation of slaves. It imposed a duty of L5 on each slave imported from Africa; L10 on each from elsewhere; and L50 on each from a State licensing manumission. He thought the Southern States could not be members of the Union, if the ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... She could hardly see the way back to her seat, for in her ignorant lonely little life she had never been singled out for applause, never lauded, nor crowned, as in this wonderful, dazzling moment. If "nobleness enkindleth nobleness," so does enthusiasm beget enthusiasm, and so do wit and talent enkindle wit and talent. Alice Robinson proposed that the school should sing Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue! and when they came to the chorus, all point to Rebecca's flag. Dick Carter suggested that ...
— Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... law of N. Carolina on the subject, to wit that it did not directly prohibit the importation of slaves. It imposed a duty of L5. on each slave imported from Africa. L10. on each from elsewhere, & L50 on each from a State licensing manumission. He thought the S. States could not be members of the Union if the clause should ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Volume 3, 1918 • Various

... waters of Lethe which are so eagerly prescribed as medicinal for all its wrongs and woe. This drama, however, must not be judged for more than was meant. It is a mere plaything of the imagination; which even may not excite smiles among many, who will not see wit in those combinations of thought which were full of the ridiculous to the author. But, like everything he wrote, it breathes that deep sympathy for the sorrows of humanity, and indignation against its oppressors, which make it worthy of ...
— Notes to the Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley • Mary W. Shelley

... readily as Trenck answered in his sleep to the guards who regularly called to him every night at midnight. Children may answer expertly to the questions, "What is attention? What is memory? What is imagination? What is the difference between wit and judgment? How many sorts of ideas have you, and which are they?" But when they are perfect in their responses to all these questions, how much are they ...
— Practical Education, Volume I • Maria Edgeworth

... I could not tell you beforehand, because it would have been against my dignity to seem to participate before the deed in things of that kind. To you the opportunity was afforded, but you had not the ready wit either to see ...
— Wood Magic - A Fable • Richard Jefferies

... berth, so that Worby was not sure what was the result of the mason's renewed mending of the tomb. Only he made out from fragments of conversation dropped by the workmen passing through the choir that some difficulty had been met with, and that the governor—Mr. Palmer to wit—had tried his own hand at the job. A little later, he happened to see Mr. Palmer himself knocking at the door of the Deanery and being admitted by the butler. A day or so after that, he gathered from a remark his father let fall at breakfast ...
— A Thin Ghost and Others • M. R. (Montague Rhodes) James

... scarce raised above a whisper, but emotion clanged in it. 'What do you know about me? If you had commanded the finest barque that ever sailed from Portland; if you had been drunk in your berth when she struck the breakers in Fourteen Island Group, and hadn't had the wit to stay there and drown, but came on deck, and given drunken orders, and lost six lives—I could understand your talking then! There,' he said more quietly, 'that's my yarn, and now you know it. It's a ...
— The Ebb-Tide - A Trio And Quartette • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... Didst thou not find I did quip thee? "Psyllus. No, verily; why, what's a quip? "Manes. We great girders call it a short saying of a sharp wit, with a bitter sense in a sweet word." Alexander and Campaspe, Old Plays, vol. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 34, June 22, 1850 • Various

... method bring Into their rhymes running in rattling rows; [Men] that poor Petrarch's long deceased woes With newborn sighs and denizened wit do sing.' ...
— A Life of William Shakespeare - with portraits and facsimiles • Sidney Lee

... early piety, sweetness of disposition, wit, beauty (I must certainly have been, as a child, skinny), or helpful kindness (except that irrational benevolence ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866 • Various

... especially when she read reproach in her aunt's eyes. If she complained that her guests were too much for her, Vera would not bring herself to assist immediately, but presently she would appear in the company with a bright face, her eyes gleaming with gaiety, and astonished her aunt by the grace and wit with which she entertained the visitors. This mood would last a whole evening, sometimes a whole day, before she again relapsed into shyness and reserve, so that no one could read her mind ...
— The Precipice • Ivan Goncharov

... because I've had some money left me. He thinks it fine to have a private secretary with a fortune. I know that he tells people all manner of lies about it, making it out to be five times as much as it is. Dear old Huffle Snuffle. He is such an ass; and yet he's had wit enough to get to the top of the tree, and to keep himself there. He began the world without a penny. Now he has got a handle to his name, and he'll live in clover all his life. It's very odd, isn't it, ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... bullying was a novelty with a direct traceable salutary effect. But whatever harshness was visible in him was tempered by his wife, who was New England, Boston itself, at its best. She had a grave charm, a wit, rather than humor, which irradiated her seriousness, and gave even her tentative remarks ...
— Cytherea • Joseph Hergesheimer

... a rash, swift way, to the great cause of Protestantism and to all good causes. He was himself a solemnly devout man; deep, awe-stricken reverence dwelling in his view of this universe. Most serious, though with a jocose dialect, commonly having a cheerful wit in speaking to men. Luther's books he called his Seelenschatz, (soul's treasure); Luther and the Bible were his chief reading. Fond of profane learning, too, and of the useful or ornamental arts; ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... well for the Count's honor as for the peace of the country." Lastly, on June 10, 1338, a treaty was signed at Anvers between the deputies of the Flemish communes and the English ambassadors, the latter declaring: "We do all to wit that we have negotiated the way and substance of friendship with the good folk of the communes of Flanders, in form ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... consist of five great divisions, to wit: 1. A Colonial exhibition. 2. A General Export exhibition. 3. A Retrospective exhibition of Fine Arts and of Arts applied to the Industries. 4. Special exhibitions. 5. Lectures and ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 363, December 16, 1882 • Various

... the story of how Jesuit confessors were instructed to manage their penitents in a matter made immortally famous by the wit and genius of Pascal, the matter of "directing the intention." There is nothing in the "Provincial Letters" better suited than this at the same time to interest the general reader, and to display the quality of these renowned productions. (We do not scruple to change our chosen translation a little, ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... relish that did me great credit, as it showed that I am something of a connoisseur in the choice of such luxuries. And then they laughed so loudly at my jokes, no matter how poor they were, that, for a few days after my arrival home, I really thought the air of Australia had improved and sharpened my wit. ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... was rather mixed; the taste which prevails there was not pure enough for him; and he ventured to hint that, in his opinion, there was a want of elegance of manner; he could not accustom himself to see wit concealed under ...
— Democracy In America, Volume 2 (of 2) • Alexis de Tocqueville

... have distinguished two sorts of gods whom man discovers or creates for himself by the exercise of his unaided faculties, to wit natural gods, whom he infers from his observation of external nature, and human gods or inspired men, whom he recognises by virtue of certain extraordinary mental manifestations in himself or in others. But there is another ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... very little girl and a very great lady. She will only be a Baroness, which is a come down for her; she was born a Marquise. What eyelashes she has! Get it well fixed in your noddles, my children, that you are in the true road. Love each other. Be foolish about it. Love is the folly of men and the wit of God. Adore each other. Only," he added, suddenly becoming gloomy, "what a misfortune! It has just occurred to me! More than half of what I possess is swallowed up in an annuity; so long as I live, it will not matter, but after my death, a score of years hence, ah! my poor children, ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... ridiculous way he has when be thinks that an air of unconcern may ease a situation, and of course Rustum Khan mistook the nasal noises for intentional insult. He turned on the unsuspecting Fred like a tiger. Monty's quick wit and level voice ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... wise as he generally is, was not wise to match his wit against that of a woman, and an offended beauty. How miserably he comes off in every encounter! He would die, forsooth! once—she would die twice over! There is a hit in his very liver! And as to the ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

... relative values of things. She knows that mere clothes can never really take the place of charm and breeding; that expensive entertainments, no matter how costly and choice the viands, can never give equal pleasure with a cup of tea served with vivacity and wit; and that the best things of Paris are, in fact, free to all alike—the sunshine of the boulevards, the ever-changing spectacle of the crowds, the glamour of the evening glow beyond the Hotel des Invalides, and the lure of the lamp-strewn ...
— The "Goldfish" • Arthur Train

... religious rites, Appears, reproving his delights, Since nuptial honours he neglected; Which straight he vows shall be effected. Fair Hero, left devirginate, Weighs, and with fury wails her state: But with her love and woman's wit She ...
— Hero and Leander and Other Poems • Christopher Marlowe and George Chapman

... the first class of his writings. It deserves that place. The admitted exaggerations in Pickwick are incident to its club's extravaganza of adventure, of which they are part, and are easily separable from the reality of its wit and humor, and its incomparable freshness; but no such allowances were needed here. Make what deduction the too scrupulous reader of Oliver might please for "lowness" in the subject, the precision and the unexaggerated force of the delineation ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... the special correspondent from Washington of the New York Tribune, and later of the Times. Her letters were racy, full of wit, sentiment, and discriminating criticism, plenty of fun and a little sarcasm, but not so audaciously personal and aggressive as some letter-writers from the capital. They attracted attention and were widely copied, large extracts being made ...
— Memories and Anecdotes • Kate Sanborn

... the ladder so I can reach the long branches?" she said, her quick wit helping her with ...
— Tom Grogan • F. Hopkinson Smith

... and show the Easterns what a Viking's son could do. And as he dreamed of the infinite world and its infinite wonders, the enchanters he might meet, the jewels he might find, the adventures be might essay, he held that he must succeed in all, with hope and wit and a strong arm; and forgot altogether that, mixed up with the cosmogony of an infinite flat plain called the Earth, there was joined also the belief in a flat roof above called Heaven, on which (seen at times in visions through clouds and stars) ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... retire at times, locking the door behind us; and there we think of high and beautiful things, and hold commune with our Maker; or count our money, or improvise that repartee the gods withheld last night, and shake hands with ourselves for our wit; or caress the thought of some darling, secret wickedness or vice; or revel in dreams of some hidden hate, or some love we mustn't own; and curse those we have to be civil to whether we like them or not, and nurse our little envies till we ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier

... russet is the most important to the artist; and there are many pigments classed as red, purple, &c., which are of russet hues. But there are few true russets, and only one original pigment of that colour is now known on the palette, to wit...
— Field's Chromatography - or Treatise on Colours and Pigments as Used by Artists • George Field

... of Ends has either a Price or a Dignity. Skill, Diligence, &c., bearing on human likings and needs, have a Market-price; Qualities like Wit, Fancy, &c., appealing to Taste or Emotional Satisfaction, have an Affection-price. But Morality, the only way of being End-in-self, and legislating member in the Realm of Ends, has an intrinsic Worth or Dignity, calculable ...
— Moral Science; A Compendium of Ethics • Alexander Bain

... to make him snarky again. I mean to say names with hyphen marks in 'em—I'd never heard the hyphen pronounced before, but everything is so strange. He said only the lowest classes did it as a form of coarse wit, and that he was wasting himself here. Wouldn't stay another day if it were not for family reasons. Queer sort of wheeze to say 'hyphen' in a chap's name as if it were a word, when it wasn't at all. The old girl, though—bellower she is—perfectly top-hole; familiar ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... long before Don Lorenzo, the young son, was perplexed by the knight's behavior and conversation, and at his first opportunity he confided this perplexity to his father. Don Diego told him that he himself was at his wit's end, for he had heard him speak as sensibly as he ever heard any man speak; then again, he said, he had seen him perform the most unbelievable acts of madness. Don Lorenzo again engaged in conversation with Don Quixote, ...
— The Story of Don Quixote • Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... ever seen any other book than the Bible. Marco had grown grey in the mission: on account of his usefulness, he had been in many respects better treated than most of the Indians: he spoke Spanish with tolerable fluency; and when Estudillo endeavoured to exercise his wit upon him, often embarrassed him not a little by his repartees. This Marco affords a proof that, under favourable circumstances, the minds even of the Indians of California are susceptible of improvement; but these examples ...
— A New Voyage Round the World, in the years 1823, 24, 25, and 26, Vol. 2 • Otto von Kotzebue

... laughed at Abe's discomfiture, and the neighbors approved of Thomas Lincoln's rude act as a matter of discipline. In their opinion Abe Lincoln was getting altogether too smart. While they enjoyed his homely wit and good nature, they did not like to admit that he was in any way their superior. A visitor to Springfield, Ill., will even now find some of Lincoln's old neighbors eager to say "there were a dozen smarter men in this city than Lincoln" ...
— The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln • Wayne Whipple

... Lost as it is, and rejoice that we have in it, one of the finest Works that ever the Wit of Man produc'd: But then the Imperfection of this Work must not be pleaded in favour of such other Works as have hardly any thing worthy of Observation in them. Placing Milton with his blank Verse by himself ...
— Letters Concerning Poetical Translations - And Virgil's and Milton's Arts of Verse, &c. • William Benson

... it the Isabelle of her early childhood—revoltee, enemy to authority, defier of God and the universe. Her wit against them all. She would take what she wanted now, and let them ...
— The Cricket • Marjorie Cooke

... either, but passively carry himself even. The Queen, my Lord tells me, he thinks he hath incurred some displeasure with, for his kindness to his neighbour, my Lady Castlemaine. My Lord tells me he hath no reason to fall for her sake, whose wit, management, nor interest, is not likely to hold up any man, and therefore he thinks it not his obligation to stand for her against his own interest. The Duke and Mr. Coventry my Lord says he is very well with, and fears ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... says Dr. Johnson, "he condescended to lay aside the philosopher, the scholar, and the wit, to write little poems of devotion, and systems of instruction adapted to their wants and capacities, from the dawn of reason to its gradation of advance in the morning of life. Every man acquainted with the common ...
— The Parent's Assistant • Maria Edgeworth

... prowess made apparent of Four brave and valiant champions of proof, Who, without any arms but wit, at once, Like Fabius, or the two Scipions, Burnt in a fire six hundred and threescore Crablice, strong rogues ne'er vanquished before. By this each king may learn, rook, pawn, and knight, That sleight is much more prevalent ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... whose own lives are not free from reproach and who take that particular form of zeal for God which consists in putting the criminal law in force against others, that, no doubt, does more to create a sympathy with the defendant than with the prosecutor. And if it should be done by those who enjoy the wit of Voltaire, and who do not turn away from the sneers of Gibbon, and rather relish the irony of Hume, our feelings do not go with the prosecutors, and we are rather disposed to sympathise with the defendant. ...
— Annie Besant - An Autobiography • Annie Besant

... but an illiberal business for a traveller, who designs to publish remarks upon a country to sit down coolly in his closet and write a satire on the inhabitants. Severity of that sort must be enlivened with an uncommon share of wit and ridicule, to please. Where very gross absurdities are found, it is fair and manly to note them; but to enter into character and disposition is generally uncandid, since there are no people but might ...
— A Tour in Ireland - 1776-1779 • Arthur Young

... covered with the stores left there by the Chandernagore party, who had escaped to Australia; this he learned two days later from the white traders at Mioko, the settlement on Duke of York Island, twenty or thirty miles away. Rabardy was at his wit's end. He knew that another steamer was due in a month or two, and determined to wait and consult with the new Governor, who was coming out with a fresh batch of three hundred people. No work at settlement was begun, for Rabardy considered the former site could be bettered. Meanwhile, there ...
— Ridan The Devil And Other Stories - 1899 • Louis Becke

... the Laird to listen to the dictates of prudence, and to act with sufficient caution, till it came to what he called the dirty part of the work, to wit, the valuation of small articles, and then was the blood of the Dymocks all up; nor would he hear of requiring a bond for the payment of this last sum, such a document, in fact, as should bind the purchaser down to payment without ...
— Shanty the Blacksmith; A Tale of Other Times • Mrs. Sherwood [AKA: Mrs. Mary Martha Sherwood]

... old cell; but when I went to the spot, behold! the prison had vanished; and so I was greatly disappointed, (Laughter.) On going to Washington, I mentioned to President Lincoln, the disappointment I had met with. With a smiling countenance and a ready wit, he replied, "So, Mr. Garrison, the difference between 1830 and 1864 appears to be this: in 1830 you could not get out, and in 1864 you could not get in!" (Great laughter.) This was not only wittily said, but it truthfully indicated the wonderful revolution that had taken place in Maryland; ...
— The Underground Railroad • William Still

... ... and surely women were created by Heaven for some better end than to labor in vain their whole life long." The supercilious commendations of men are gall and wormwood to her: "Some, more condescending, are gracious enough to confess that many women have wit and conduct; but yet they are of opinion that even such of us as are the most remarkable for either or both still betray something which speaks the imbecility of our sex." She makes an excellent plea forgiving women a thorough education, complaining that it is denied them, ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... While Frank Armour read he came to feel for the first time that his brother Richard had suffered, maybe, from some such misery as had come to him through Julia Sherwood. It was a dispassionate, manly letter, relieved by gentle wit, and hinting with careful kindness that a sudden blow was better for a man than a lifelong thorn in his side. Of Julia Sherwood he had nothing particularly bitter to say. He delicately suggested that she had acted according to her ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... examples of hair-brained prowess, which I have neither the opportunity nor the inclination to follow. But, old Jack Falstaff! kind Jack Falstaff! sweet Jack Falstaff! has enlarged the boundaries of human enjoyment; he has added vast regions of wit and good-humor, in which the poorest man may revel, and has bequeathed a never-failing inheritance of jolly laughter, to make mankind merrier and better to ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... 1788, aged 81 years. More than fifty of these years, as he used himself to say, he had passed at his writing-desk. His father was a councillor of the parliament of Burgundy. His mother was celebrated for her wit, ...
— Evolution, Old & New - Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, - as compared with that of Charles Darwin • Samuel Butler

... reverential attitude as the palanquin of some lord passed by. Caustic or benign, generally malicious, the comment of the Kidahachi and Yajiro[u]bei—"O[u]kubo Hikoroku Dono; 'tis true he possesses influence, and the roughness of Hikoza Sama, but the keen wit of the honoured father lacks."—"Yet the lord O[u]kubo has much kindness beneath his roughness. The latter is passport to the favour of the suzerain." Iyeyasu Ko[u] ruled by statecraft; Hidetada Ko[u] ...
— Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 2 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... have been raised in favour of a Mrs. Clements, but they cannot be substantiated. Shakespeare in the Taming of the Shrew makes Grumio ask Katherine "What say you to a piece of beef and Mustard?" and speaks, in Henry IV., of Poins' wit being "as thick [379] as Tewkesbury Mustard"; whilst Fuller in his Worthies of England, written only a very few years after Shakespeare's death, says "the best Mustard in England is made at Tewkesbury in the county of Gloucester." Coles observes (1657), "in Gloucestershire about Teuxbury ...
— Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure • William Thomas Fernie

... to your Yankee wit to get it through," Mrs. Boughton had written, citing several instances where similar things had been done and no ...
— Bessie's Fortune - A Novel • Mary J. Holmes

... gossip and pen pictures of the people he knew. The little drop of malice he injects into his descriptions of the personages he encounters is harmless enough and proves that the young man had considerable wit. Count Gallenberg, the lessee of the famous Karnthnerthor Theatre, was kind to him, and the publisher Haslinger treated him politely. He had brought with him his variations on "La ci darem la mano"; altogether the times seemed ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... Why, my good "voice," they were driven in my way. I had happened to make a statement, than which, so far as I have ever been able to see, nothing can be more modest or inoffensive; to wit, that I am convinced of my own utter ignorance about a great number of things, respecting which the great majority of my neighbours (not only those of adult years, but children repeating their catechisms) affirm themselves to possess full information. I ask any candid ...
— Collected Essays, Volume V - Science and Christian Tradition: Essays • T. H. Huxley

... the orgy. They were hard cases, rough, tough fighting men, but they gave the big fellow plenty of sea-room. No ruffling or swaggering in his direction. No gibes or practical jokes. The bludgeon-like wit of the house very carefully passed him by. For he was so ...
— The Blood Ship • Norman Springer

... preserve the colloquially expressed ideas of illustrious men. It appears that Julius Caesar compiled a book of apophthegms, in which he related the bons mots of Cicero; and Quintilian informs us that a freedman of that celebrated wit and orator composed three books of a work entitled De Jocis Ciceronis. We are told by Suetonius that Caius Melissus, originally the slave but afterwards the freedman and librarian of Maecenas, collected the sayings of his master; and Aulus Gellius has filled his Noctes Atticae ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... one's eyes, and suspect that all one has ever seen in this world may have been a pure ocular delusion. In particular, I begin myself to suspect that the word "la gloire" never occurs in any Parisian journal. "The great English nation," says M. Michelet, "has one immense profound vice"—to wit, "pride." Why, really, that may be true; but we have a neighbour not absolutely clear of an "immense profound vice," as like ours in colour and shape as cherry to cherry. In short, M. Michelet thinks us, by fits and starts, admirable—only that we are detestable; and he would ...
— The English Mail-Coach and Joan of Arc • Thomas de Quincey

... their lives is absolutely without interest. Who cares what happens to them? In literature we require distinction, charm, beauty and imaginative power. We don't want to be harrowed and disgusted with an account of the doings of the lower orders. M. Daudet is better. He has wit, a light touch and an amusing style. But he has lately committed literary suicide. Nobody can possibly care for Delobelle with his "Il faut lutter pour l'art," or for Valmajour with his eternal refrain about the nightingale, or for ...
— Intentions • Oscar Wilde

... therefore, for himself, and as prince and steward of Scotland, and by the consent of his right trusty cousins and councillors hereby grants to the said George Colwan, his heirs and assignees whatsomever, heritably and irrevocably, all and haill the lands and others underwritten: To wit, All and haill, the five merk land of Kipplerig; the five pound land of Easter Knockward, with all the towers, fortalices, manor-places, houses, biggings, yards, orchards, tofts, crofts, mills, woods, fishings, ...
— The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner • James Hogg

... retreating Holmes, who was making all sail for the smoke-room, and Laurence tranquilly resumed his former occupation—gazing out over the blue-green surface, to wit. Not long, however, was he to be left to ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... longer keen and prompt of apprehension. What she had read and what she had learned seemed to escape her. Her memory, which formerly retained everything, became confused and unreliable. The sharp wit of the Parisian maid-servant gradually vanished from her conversation, her retorts, her laughter. Her face, once so animated, was no longer lighted up by gleams of intelligence. In her whole person you would have said that she had become once more the stupid peasant girl that she was when ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... the day Roebuck yielded so readily to my demands as to National Coal. The whole trouble with me was that up to that time I had won all my victories by the plainest kind of straightaway hard work. I was imagining myself victor in contests of wit against wit, when, in fact, no one with any especial equipment of brains had ever opposed me; all the really strong men had been helping me because they found me useful. Too easy success—there is the clue to the wild folly of my ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... matters—the enemy within. They have sinned against passion and truth, and vain will be their strife after virtue. As the years pass, they are censured. Their pleasantry and their piety show cracks, their wit becomes cynicism, their unselfishness hypocrisy; they feel and produce discomfort wherever they go. They have sinned against Eros and against Pallas Athene, and not by any heavenly intervention, but by the ordinary course of nature, those allied ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... always longed to tread the stage of society—to her mind, a fairyland of wit and gallantry, masquerades and music, to say nothing of handsome young polo players and titled admirers from foreign shores—"big fools," all of them, as you can guess, when dazzled by the smiles of ...
— Mary Minds Her Business • George Weston

... into bitter laughter. "You have little wit," she said, "to be talking that daft way. Eh, William?" she added, turning to her other brother-in-law. "What ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... their good wishes, which, unlike most wishes, were sure to come true. The first wished that the little Princess should grow up the fairest woman in the world; the second, that she should have wit like an angel; the third, that she should be perfectly graceful; the fourth, that she should sing like a nightingale; the fifth, that she should dance perfectly well; the sixth, that she should play all kinds of music perfectly. Then the old fairy's turn came. ...
— The Junior Classics, Volume 1 • Willam Patten

... were not wasted. Slowly the mellowing influence of the grape pronounced itself. To this influence I added that of such wit as Heaven has graced me with, and by a word here and another there I set myself to lash their mood back into the joviality out of which his coming had for ...
— Bardelys the Magnificent • Rafael Sabatini

... answered the slave-girl; and I said, "She is presently on the earth; so when doth she ascend to heaven and where is the ladder by which she goeth up?" Quoth the girl, "She hath her lodging in a palace between two rivers,[FN181] to wit, the palace of El Mamoun el Hakim bi Amrillah."[FN182] Then said I, "I am a dead man, without recourse; "but she replied, "Have patience, for needs must she return unto thee and buy stuffs of thee yet again." "And how cometh it," asked I, "that the Commander of the Faithful ...
— Tales from the Arabic Volumes 1-3 • John Payne

... of the flashes of light which indicated the whereabouts of the enemy, and this made them continue their flight, the surprise having been too great for their nerves; while the right interpretation was placed upon the adventure at once—to wit, that in ignorance of the fact that Colonel Lindley had done in the darkness exactly what might have been expected, and occupied the kopje, the Boers had brought up a heavy gun with the intention of mounting it before morning, and ...
— The Kopje Garrison - A Story of the Boer War • George Manville Fenn

... The village wit was left triumphant, and Julius proposed to return by a cross-road leading into the plantations. Suddenly a scud of rain mixed with whirling yellow leaves sent them hurrying into a cart-shed, where, with a sudden start, they found themselves rushing in ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... once been effected, the poet may all the sooner halt in his rapid career, and indulge the bent of his own genius. There are points, when the most elaborate and polished style, the most enthusiastic lyrics, the most profound thoughts and remote allusions, the smartest coruscations of wit, and the most dazzling flights of a sportive or ethereal fancy, are all in their place, and when the willing audience, even those who cannot entirely comprehend them, follow the whole with a greedy ear, like music in unison with their feelings. Here the poet's great ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... Second Book) Friar Philip's Geese Richard Minutolo The Monks of Catalonia The Cradle St. Julian's Prayer The Countryman Who Sought His Calf Hans Carvel's Ring The Hermit The Convent Gardener of Lamporechio The Mandrake The Rhemese The Amorous Courtesan Nicaise The Progress of Wit The Sick Abbess The Truckers The Case of Conscience The Devil of Pope-fig Island Feronde The Psalter King Candaules and the Doctor of Laws The Devil in Hell Neighbour Peter's Mare The Spectacles The Bucking Tub The Impossible Thing The Picture The Pack-Saddle The Ear-maker, ...
— The Tales and Novels, Complete • Jean de La Fontaine

... her supremely the best. She desired it as a lover his mistress. To detect it, to observe it, gave her the keenest pleasure. To take a leading part in and shape it to the turn of her own heart, her own purpose, her own wit was, so ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... supererogation to report how speedily the welcome news were made known, by billet-doux, to Henry Clements; but they rather smote his conscience, too, when he reflected that he had not yet made formal petition to the powers on his own account. To be sure, they (the lovers, to wit) were engaged only yesterday, quite in an unintended, though delightful, way: and, previously to that important tete-a-tete, however much he may have thought of only dear Maria—however frequently he found himself beside her in the circle of their many mutual friends—however happily he ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... Humanists was Desiderius Erasmus (1467-1536). No literary man has ever enjoyed a wider fame during his own lifetime. He was not less resplendent for his wit than for his learning. Latin was then the vehicle of intercourse among the educated. In that tongue the books of Erasmus were written, and they were eagerly read in all the civilized countries. He studied theology in Paris; lived for a number of years in ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... compliments Moses had paid her, 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 think it was ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... on thee, Jack: I will hold my peace. When thy brains be come home from the journey they be now gone, thou canst give me to wit, an' it ...
— Clare Avery - A Story of the Spanish Armada • Emily Sarah Holt

... a Wife, and her name was Diffidence. So when he was gone to bed, he told his Wife what he had done, to wit, that he had taken a couple of Prisoners and cast them into his Dungeon, for trespassing on his grounds. Then he asked her also what he had best do further to them. So she asked him what they were, whence they came, and whither they ...
— The Junior Classics, V5 • Edited by William Patten

... 1882, when the elite of American literature gathered at Boston to celebrate her seventieth birthday, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes read a poem in which Mrs. Stowe's share in the emancipation of the colored race was recorded with equal wit ...
— White Slaves • Louis A Banks

... woman's head. What wife of what navigator there was no telling. But earrings of gold and emerald still clung to the withered ears, and the hair, two-thirds of a fathom long, a shimmering silk of golden floss, flowed from the scalp that covered what had once been the wit and will of her that Bashti reasoned had in her ancient time been quick with love in the arms ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... friends, to steal away your hearts. I am no orator, as Brutus is, But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man, That love my friend; and that they know full well That gave me public leave to speak of him. For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, To stir men's blood: I only speak right on; I tell you that which you yourselves do know; Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor, poor dumb mouths, ...
— Eighth Reader • James Baldwin

... here to the dust of the justice court, A picker of rags in the rubbage of spites and wrongs, — I, whom fortune smiled on! I in a village, Spouting to gaping yokels pages of verse, Out of the lore of golden years, Or raising a laugh with a flash of filthy wit When they brought the drinks to kindle my dying mind. To be judged by you, The soul of me hidden from you, With its wound gangrened By love for a wife who made the wound, With her cold white bosom, treasonous, pure and hard, Relentless to the last, ...
— The Second Book of Modern Verse • Jessie B. Rittenhouse

... poet. He who taught that no matter what the rank, a man wuz a man "for a' that." Who sung and dignified the humble pleasures of the poor. "The Cotter's Saturday Night" will be remembered when many a scientific tome and eloquent poem writ in long words is dust and ashes. And the scathing irony and wit satirizing the ignorant rich, the scorn of meanness and bigotry, the love of liberty and justice the melting tenderness of his love poems, the People he loved and wrote ...
— Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition • Marietta Holley

... of them, examining the exact meaning of each passage as it occurs. There are, in all, in the Idler three letters on painting, Nos. 76, 79, and 82; of these, the first is directed only against the impertinences of pretended connoisseurs, and is as notable for its faithfulness as for its wit in the description of the several modes of criticism in an artificial and ignorant state of society: it is only, therefore, in the two last papers that we find the expression of the doctrines which it is our business ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... and at Tarentum and Sena, in Africa, Sardinia, Spain, and Macedonia, had shown himself capable as a soldier, a staff- officer, and a general. He was the same in the Forum, as in the battle-field. His prompt and fearless utterance, his rough but pungent rustic wit, his knowledge of Roman law and Roman affairs, his incredible activity and his iron frame, first brought him into notice in the neighbouring towns; and, when at length he made his appearance on the greater arena ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... Bourdeaux. He first carried on his imposture in Germany, where he made considerable sums by selling an elixir to arrest the progress of old age. The Marechal de Belle-Isle purchased a dose of it; and was so captivated with the wit, learning, and good manners of the charlatan, and so convinced of the justice of his most preposterous pretensions, that he induced him to fix his residence in Paris. Under the Marshal's patronage, he first appeared in the gay circles of that capital. Every one was delighted with ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... for a second or third brief term of life and favour; and therefore, it being so, who can have the heart to blame the parties that in the exercise of their vocation make hay while the sun shines? There is one personage, and one alone, who makes it whether or no, summer and winter, to wit, the auctioneer; his commission is assured; on what or from whom he gets it he cares not. He cheerfully leaves the adjustment of ...
— The Book-Collector • William Carew Hazlitt

... one was fire and fickleness,[343] a child Most mutable in wishes, but in mind A wit as various,—gay, grave, sage, or wild,— Historian, bard, philosopher, combined;[ks] He multiplied himself among mankind, The Proteus of their talents: But his own Breathed most in ridicule,—which, as the wind, Blew where it listed, laying all things prone,— Now to ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2 • George Gordon Byron

... answered Poly. "Ah! she is beautiful!" he went on. "She walk the groun' as sof' and proud and pretty as fine yong horse! She sit her horse like a flower on its stem. Me and her good frens too. She say she lak me for cause I am simple. Often in the winter she ride out wit' my team and hunt in the bush while ...
— The Fur Bringers - A Story of the Canadian Northwest • Hulbert Footner

... do you to wit that Owyn Glyndowr, Henry Don, Rees Duy, Rees ap Gv. ap Llewellyn, Rees Gether, have won the town of Carmarthen, and Wygmer the Constable had yielded the castle to Carmarthen; and have burnt the town, and slain more than fifty men: and they be in purpose to Kedwelly, and a siege ...
— Henry of Monmouth, Volume 1 - Memoirs of Henry the Fifth • J. Endell Tyler

... ("fille unique maintenant restee, de la noble maison de France"), the only survivor of her illustrious house. Brantome praises her excellent beauty in a long string of laboured hyperboles. Ronsard, the Court poet, has done the same in a poem of considerable length, wherein he has exhausted all his wit and fancy. From what they have said, we may collect that Marguerite was graceful in her person and figure, and remarkably happy in her choice of dress and ornaments to set herself off to the most advantage; that her height was above the middle size, her ...
— Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois, Complete • Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre

... vulgar degradation to fall in with the stream of antichristian opinions, and to want elevation of intellect to apprehend how the doctrine of Catholicism in its true character, is religiously simple and ennobling. Yet I had the meanness to bow to human opinion out of deference and respect. The wit and sarcasms of my neighbour seemed to confound me, while I could not disguise from myself that they were idle and empty as the air. I dissimulated, I hesitated to announce my own belief, reflecting ...
— My Ten Years' Imprisonment • Silvio Pellico

... to the picturesque; and that Jean Jacques never wrote, played the knave, or existed. If I were a Swiss Caliph Omar, I should make a general seizure, to be followed by a general conflagration, of every volume that has ever touched on the wit and wickedness of the one, or the intolerable sensibility of the other. I should next extend the flame to all tours, meditations, and musings on hills, valleys, and lakes; prohibit all sunset 'sublimities' as an offence against the state; and lay ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844 • Various

... something incredibly exasperating in his comments on political opponents. He flayed and roasted them alive. It was like thrusting a blazing torch into the raw flesh of his victims. Nor was it simple "abuse." The satirist was too intelligent to rely upon that. It was his scorching wit which made opponents shrink. His scalpel divided the arteries, and touched the vitals of the living subject. Personal peculiarities were satirized with unfailing acumen. The readers of the Examiner, in those days, will still recall ...
— Mohun, or, The Last Days of Lee • John Esten Cooke

... that I saw was very dreadful and unchristian. Many of the persons resembled hogs and monkeys more than human beings; and a great deal of what passed for wit and merriment was nothing other than pure evil. Virtue was very little reckoned of; or, rather reckoned only as giving additional zest to its own corruption. I do not mean that there were no virtuous people at all—(there were virtuous people ...
— Oddsfish! • Robert Hugh Benson

... wife. I shall pay court to Madame Evangelista; I intend to desert you basely, and say sly things to your discredit,—nothing openly, or that Mascarille in petticoats would detect my purpose. How did you make her such an enemy? That is what I want to know. If you had had the wit to be in love with that woman before you married her daughter, you would to-day be peer of France, Duc de Manerville, and, possibly, ...
— The Marriage Contract • Honore de Balzac

... Blanche Haight, a tall sophomore with bleached hair, and eyes set too near together. She was considered a wit, and every time she spoke the other ...
— Peggy • Laura E. Richards

... did not grow excited, while being seated removed from him the worry of his shoulders. Ruth knew them for clever girls, superficially brilliant, and she could scarcely understand their praise of Martin later that night at going to bed. But he, on the other hand, a wit in his own class, a gay quizzer and laughter-maker at dances and Sunday picnics, had found the making of fun and the breaking of good- natured lances simple enough in this environment. And on this evening success stood at his back, patting him on the shoulder and telling him that he was making ...
— Martin Eden • Jack London

... play the fool, in not recognising that heaven is inaccessible and doubtful. But clearer eyes perceive the not at all doubtful dullness of wit, and the gratifying accessibility of every woman when properly handled,—yes, even of her who dares to deal in ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... first place, he wishes to dispose of certain individuals who call themselves men of wit and fashion—about town—who he is told have abused his book "vaustly"—their own word. These people paint their cheeks, wear white kid gloves, and dabble in literature, or what they conceive to be literature. For abuse ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... rest of the learned, in sorrier case than dead men, and so being here, we are in our own house." Then none was there but understood Guido's meaning and was abashed, insomuch that they flouted him no more, and thenceforth reputed Messer Betto a gentleman of a subtle and discerning wit. ...
— The Decameron, Vol. II. • Giovanni Boccaccio

... his attention to it over the boundary-line of mannerism, few earlier novelists, though some of them were great writers, had made a point of it, the chief exceptions being in the particular line of "wit," such as Hamilton, Crebillon fils, and Voltaire. Chateaubriand had been almost the first to attempt a novel-rhetoric; and it must be remembered that Chateaubriand was a sort of human magnus Apollo throughout ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... crowded by an audience such as has rarely excited the fears or the emulation of an orator. There were gathered together, from all parts of a great, free, enlightened, and prosperous empire, grace and female loveliness, wit and learning, the representatives of every science and of every art. There were seated round the Queen the fair-haired young daughters of the House of Brunswick. There the Ambassadors of great Kings and Commonwealths gazed with admiration on a spectacle which no other ...
— The Glory of English Prose - Letters to My Grandson • Stephen Coleridge

... this beyond doubt; to wit, that I am the gravest public danger that confronts England, because I have the strange power of turning the nation passionately away from the truth by the simple act of uttering it. The necessity for contradicting ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915 • Various

... disposition, temper, mood; facetiousness, jocularity, waggery, pleasantry, wit, satire; pl. caprices vagaries, whims, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... Sir Charles Napier—the Napier of Scinde—who had been Resident in Cephalonia thirty years before, in Byron's closing days, describes the richer classes as lively and agreeable; the women as having both beauty and wit, but of little education; the poor as hardy, industrious, and intelligent—all full of pleasant humour and vivacity, with a striking resemblance, says Napier, to his countrymen, the Irish. The upper class was mainly Italian in origin, and willingly ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... a true poet, endowed with a vivid imagination and with a delicate and subtle wit. He scorned the coarse invective in which the satirists of his day used to delight. He had many enemies on account of his plain-spoken words and keen criticisms. The problem which perplexed the Patriarch Job—the happiness of prosperous vice, the misery of ...
— Books Fatal to Their Authors • P. H. Ditchfield

... grace of movement, the triumph of tact and ingenuity, the devotion to conventionalism, either pedantry or the genius of the hour, also rules the drama in Paris. With all its brilliancy, entertainment, grace, wit, and popularity,—there exists not a permanently vital and universally recognized type of this greatest department of literature, familiar and endeared alike to peasant and peer, a representative of humanity for all time,—like the bard around whose name and words cluster ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume V, Number 29, March, 1860 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... heightened with libations of whiskey, the play writer having a credit with the grocer at the corner for three bottles, which, in a case of emergency, may be extended to four. He writes occasionally for the Sunday newspapers, thinks John Brougham the greatest dramatist and wit of the age, and stands ready either to join him in a glass or sing his praises, though there is as much reason for committing so flagrant an outrage as there would be in praising the ten thousand and one stanzas written by that wonderful and ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... half disgusted with them before he can rightly say why," answered Sir Richard with a smile. "There is too much hatred and bitterness in Nicholas Trevlyn's religion to endear it to his children. The boy has had the wit to see that the Established Church of the land uses the same creeds and holds the same cardinal doctrines as he has been bred up in. For the Pope he cares no whit; his British blood causes him to think scorn of any foreign potentate, temporal or spiritual. He has the making of a good churchman ...
— The Lost Treasure of Trevlyn - A Story of the Days of the Gunpowder Plot • Evelyn Everett-Green

... if there were many Huguenots in Burgundy. No, replied the gentleman nor would they be permitted to exist there. "Then there can be very few people of intelligence in that province," returned Montigny, "for those who have any wit are mostly all Huguenots." The Prince of Orange here endeavored to put a stop to the conversation, saying that the Burgundians were very right to remain as they were; upon which Montigny affirmed that he had heard masses enough lately to last him for ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... from the militia districts of the county assembled, on the 19th and 20th of May, 1775, and kept a public house of entertainment. Here Patrick Jack, on suitable occasions, was accustomed to "crack" many an Irish joke, to the infinite delight of his numerous visitors; and by his ready wit, genial good humor and pleasantry, greatly contributed to the reputation of his house, and inculcated his own patriotic principles. The house soon became the favorite place of resort for the students of the collegiate ...
— Sketches of Western North Carolina, Historical and Biographical • C. L. Hunter

... its aim may be laughter, requires taste, delicacy, and invention; and that the mirth it creates should not even be without wit. This depends not only upon the execution, but on the choice of the subject. It is not enough to value oneself upon a close imitation of nature, if the subject chosen for imitation is not worth imitating, or improper to represent; that is to say, either trivial, indifferent, ...
— A Treatise on the Art of Dancing • Giovanni-Andrea Gallini

... pointed assaults in this Discourse, such for instance as that on the pedantic parade of wit, or that on the excessive preponderance of literary instruction in the art of education, are due to Montaigne; and in one way, the Discourse might be described as binding together a number of that shrewd man's ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... between two equal but opposite attractions. They slandered the worthy animal. The Ass, who is no more foolish than any one else, would reply to the logical snare by feasting off both bundles. Will my caterpillars show a little of his mother wit? Will they, after many attempts, be able to break the equilibrium of their closed circuit, which keeps them on a road without a turning? Will they make up their minds to swerve to this side or that, which is the only method of reaching their bundle of hay, the green branch yonder, ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... dining-room, presided over by Josephine and her daughters, whose presence seemed at first to abash my warriors of the torch. But only for a few moments. Realizing presently that these Goddesses had apparently but one aim in life, to wit, to help them to salad, oysters, and ice-cream, diffidence disappeared like fog before the morning sun, and with it the viands down the throats of my red, white, and blue supporters. In the liquid line Josephine gave a choice of hot ...
— The Opinions of a Philosopher • Robert Grant

... aphorism. "There is," he writes, "from the metaphysical observer's point of view, neither disease nor health of the soul; there are only psychological states." The etats d'ames of Felicien Rops, then, may or may not have been morbid. But he has contrived that his wit in its effect upon his spectators is too often profoundly depressing and morbid ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... Recamier, and if I dare say it, the reputation of high talents in myself. Perhaps he also flattered himself with attacking the memory of my father in his daughter, in order that it might be truly said that in this world, under his reign, the dead and the living, piety, beauty, wit, and celebrity, all were as nothing. Persons made themselves culpable by being found wanting in the delicate shades of flattery towards him, in refusing to abandon any one who had been visited by his disgrace. ...
— Ten Years' Exile • Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Baronne (Baroness) de Stael-Holstein

... leader's orders the three young Englishmen remained in the thick of the crowd: together wit Deroulede they contrived to form a sturdy rampart round Juliette, effectually protecting ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... boasting—that's the poltroon's wit, The coward's shield of glass, A coin whose surface, silver's counterfeit, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... compelled me to detest those who now govern, who having none to punish them, will allow no one to reprove their misdeeds. I am content that my banishment should deliver them from the fears they entertain, not of me only, but of all who they think perceives or is acquainted wit their tyrannical and wicked proceedings; and they have aimed their first blow at me, in order the more easily to oppress you. I do not grieve on my own account; for those honors which my country bestowed upon me while free, she cannot in her slavery take from me; and the recollection ...
— History Of Florence And Of The Affairs Of Italy - From The Earliest Times To The Death Of Lorenzo The Magnificent • Niccolo Machiavelli

... abandon the struggle, for she had vowed that she would some day make the whole town burst with envy, by an insolent display of happiness and luxury. Had she been able to act her part on a more spacious stage, where full play would have been allowed her ready wit, she would have quickly brought her dream to pass. Her intelligence was far superior to that of the girls of her own station and education. Evil tongues asserted that her mother, who had died a few years after she was born, ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... Edgeworth a fine old fellow, of a clarety, elderly, red complexion, but active, brisk, and endless. He was seventy, but did not look fifty—no, nor forty-eight even. I had seen poor Fitzpatrick not very long before—a man of pleasure, wit, eloquence, all things. He tottered—but still talked like a gentleman, though feebly. Edgeworth bounced about, and talked loud and long; but he seemed neither weakly nor ...
— Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5 (of 6) • (Lord Byron) George Gordon Byron

... events described are as lofty as those sung by Homer in his great work, and the characters brought upon the stage still more interesting. I think Hotspur as much of a hero as Hector, and young Henry more of a man than Achilles; and then there is the fat knight, the quintessence of fun, wit, and rascality. Falstaff is a creation beyond the genius ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... a bone," said Walker. A sea splashed over him and sent a shower into the cabin. "A vewy wet bone," he added, with a broad grin, for the Northumbrian had a ready wit though he had such a solemn jowl, and he could not pronounce an "r" to save ...
— The Captain of the Kansas • Louis Tracy

... in our affairs, it is certainly for our good, yet I have the misfortune to be something singular in this belief, and therefore I never attempt to justify it, but content myself to possess my own opinion in private, for fear of encountering men of more wit or words than I have ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D. D., Volume IV: - Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Volume II • Jonathan Swift

... classes. They have in them all the reforming spirit of the times, and must be of essential service everywhere, since cheap law is as desirable us any other species of economy. Brevity, too, as recommended in these little books, should be the soul of law as it is of wit, for we all know that as the law lengthens so the cost strengthens. Another advantage will be, that the sooner a man is set right, the more time will he have for increasing his ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 17, No. - 488, May 7, 1831 • Various

... man from Massachusetts, who had united with the Southern leaders in the support of Breckenridge, who had wisdom as well as wit, and who now sought to dispel this false idea. In the month of December he was in Washington, and he asked his old associates what ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 4 • Various

... then is unmild and haughty, then it is known that he is not from God, nor [should] ye mind his words." Quoth they again, "How may we know that distinctly?" Quoth he, "See ye that he come first to the synod with his fellows, and sit; and, if he rises toward you when ye come, then wit ye that he is Christ's servant, and ye shall humbly hear his words and his lore. But if he despise you, and will not rise toward you since there are more of you, be he then despised by you." Well, they ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 4 • Various

... brought home to her that the charm of Laodice for the stranger from Ephesus, to whom the Greek knew the girl had fled, had been her purity. Why should it matter so much about virtue? she had asked herself. Why should it weigh so immeasurably more than the noble gifts of wit and beauty and strength and charm? Behold, she was wise enough to educate a barbarous nation, beautiful enough to bewitch potentates—for a time—strong enough to take a city; yet Hesper, who best of all could appreciate the value ...
— The City of Delight - A Love Drama of the Siege and Fall of Jerusalem • Elizabeth Miller

... a complete surprise: a sure proof that the unscrupulous Hook had conducted it improperly, for to surprise redskins fairly is beyond the wit of the ...
— Peter and Wendy • James Matthew Barrie

... Camel-drivers crossed the Colonnades, a storyteller had bewitched a circle of people around him. It was the same old tale of love and adventure that many generations have listened to; but the lively fancy of the hearers rent it new interest, and the wit of the improviser drew forth sighs of ...
— The Blue Flower, and Others • Henry van Dyke

... Issedones, the Gindares, the Nasamones, the Sauromates, the Lydians, the Lybians, and the Egyptians; bipeds of all colours, from East to West and from North to South. The Great King, who was a man of wit, asked the Greeks, who burn their dead, to eat them; and the Hindoos, who eat them, to burn them, and was much amused by their indignation. The wise Herodotus who doffs his cap, though he may grin behind it, will not judge them himself and does not think it fair to laugh at them. He says: ...
— Clerambault - The Story Of An Independent Spirit During The War • Rolland, Romain

... quick and clever. Delightful little flashes of wit and humour sparkled out occasionally. She could be whimsical—even charmingly capricious. Sometimes innocent mischief glimmered out in the unfathomable deeps of her blue eyes. Sarcasm, even, was not unknown to her. Now and ...
— Kilmeny of the Orchard • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... He was intensely interested in every thing pertaining to the welfare of the colony. He was one of the commissioners that ran the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina. His writings show a brightness and wit that mark him as the best author the colony possessed during the first half of the 18th century. In his every act we see that he is more the Cavalier than ...
— Patrician and Plebeian - Or The Origin and Development of the Social Classes of the Old Dominion • Thomas J. Wertenbaker

... if to me belong Nor mighty Milton's gift divine, Nor Marvell's wit and graceful song, Still with a love as deep and strong As theirs, I lay, like them, my best ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... the spirit of mortal be proud?" And this evening, the seventh since the storm, when for one weak moment she had allowed the conversation to drift toward wedlock, he had stated a woman's chances of marrying between the ages of fifteen and twenty, to wit, 14-1/2 per cent; and between thirty and ...
— Bonaventure - A Prose Pastoral of Acadian Louisiana • George Washington Cable

... said rather angrily, "it pleases you to reckon lightly of this matter: but what, I pray you, if you have to make account thereon with the Queen's Grace's laws, not to speak of holy Church? Sir, I give you to wit that my wife is an ill hussy, and an heretic belike, and lacketh a sharp pulling up—sharper than I can give her. She will not go to church, neither hear mass, nor hath she shriven her this many a day. You are set in office, methinks, to administer the laws, and have no ...
— All's Well - Alice's Victory • Emily Sarah Holt

... and mensuration. He could flourish a swan without ever taking his pen from the paper. Nay, there is little doubt but from long habit he could have flourished it blindfold, like the man who had so often modelled the wit of Ferney in breadcrumbs, that he could produce little busts of Voltaire with his hands under the table; he had not his equal in Practice or the Rule of Three, and his piece, when sent round at Christmas, was the admiration of ...
— Aunt Deborah • Mary Russell Mitford

... 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 ...
— The Hindered Hand - or, The Reign of the Repressionist • Sutton E. Griggs

... into conversation, 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



Words linked to "Wit" :   jeu d'esprit, colloquialism, sarcasm, mental capacity, joke, humour, bite, card, mother wit, jest, pungency, humor, brainpower, sketch, humorist, cartoon, gag, brain, bon mot, learning ability, satire, esprit de l'escalier, jape, subject matter, mentality, laugh, impersonation, repartee, humourist, to wit, sport, wag, substance



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