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Witty   Listen
adjective
Witty  adj.  (compar. wittier; superl. wittiest)  
1.
Possessed of wit; knowing; wise; skillful; judicious; clever; cunning. (Obs.) "The deep-revolving witty Buckingham."
2.
Especially, possessing wit or humor; good at repartee; droll; facetious; sometimes, sarcastic; as, a witty remark, poem, and the like. "Honeycomb, who was so unmercifully witty upon the women."
Synonyms: Acute; smart; sharp; arch; keen; facetious; amusing; humorous; satirical; ironical; taunting.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Witty" Quotes from Famous Books



... of some who are admirable tea-party oracles, but who cannot utter half a dozen sentences in the tribune. Caroline should keep watch over herself; you vaunt silence as the surest method of being witty. In society, a ...
— Petty Troubles of Married Life, Part First • Honore de Balzac

... outside, was very magnificently furnished within, and the entertainment most noble. But Lord! 'twas the most tedious, wearisome business for us, who could make out never a word of the civil speeches offered us without the aid of Don Sanchez and Moll, and then could think of no witty response, but could only sit there grinning like Gog and Magog. Still, it gave us vast pleasure to see how Moll carried herself with this company, talking as freely as they, yet holding herself with the dignity of an equal, ...
— A Set of Rogues • Frank Barrett

... belief depends. The case is the same in other subjects. The straining of the imagination always hinders the regular flowing of the passions and sentiments. A tragic poet, that would represent his heroes as very ingenious and witty in their misfortunes, would never touch the passions. As the emotions of the soul prevent any subtile reasoning and reflection, so these latter actions of the mind are equally prejudicial to the former. The ...
— A Treatise of Human Nature • David Hume

... day—the dinner so good, the ancient jokes passing around the table all so new and witty to Georgina, hearing them now for the first time. She wished that a storm would come up to keep everybody at the house overnight and thus prolong the festal feeling. She liked this "Company" atmosphere in which everyone seemed to grow expansive of soul and ...
— Georgina of the Rainbows • Annie Fellows Johnston

... wanted to set off her person to the best advantage, asked her, what she would give to be 'as handsome as her mamma?' To which Miss replied; 'As much as your ladyship would give to be as young as me.' This smart repartee which was at once pungent and witty, very sensibly affected the countess; who for the future was less lavish in praise of her ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753),Vol. V. • Theophilus Cibber

... having good eyes she could not make a stimulating use of them, then it was time to sentence the regular features and pure complexions to be taken back forthwith to the nursery from which they came. For his part, he missed the conversation of his witty Polish Countess, and longed for another pancake-supper with his ...
— Basil • Wilkie Collins

... talk amusing? It's the stupidest stuff I ever did hear. I can't make head or tail of it; nor I don't believe they can. Sounds to me as if they were tryin' amazin' hard to be witty, and couldn't ...
— Nobody • Susan Warner

... various modern versions of "Puss in Boots," is given at length in the notes to Chapter I.[4] Two of Straparola's stories have survived their author's oblivion and still live in Perrault's "Peau d'Ane" and "Le Chat Botte," while others in the witty versions of Madame D'Aulnoy delighted the romance-loving French society of the seventeenth century.[5] Straparola's work had no influence on contemporary Italian literature, and was soon forgotten,—an ...
— Italian Popular Tales • Thomas Frederick Crane

... with a whirling exhilaration behind which he was aware of devastating desires—to rush places in fast motors, to kiss girls, to sing, to be witty. He sought to regain his lost dignity by announcing ...
— Babbitt • Sinclair Lewis

... Adrian levelled eyes black with reproach upon him. Then turning to the ladies: "That shows how he misunderstands me. Just because I had a witty mother,—just because I 'm not a stolid, phlegmatic ox of a John Bull,—just because I 'm sensitive and impressionable,—he calls me flighty. But you know better, don't you? You, with all your fine ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... being witty: Fame Gathers but winde to blather up a name. Orpheus must leave his lyre, or if it be In heav'n, 'tis there a signe, no harmony, And stones, that follow'd him, may now become Now stones againe, and serve him for his Tomb. The Theban Linus, ...
— The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in Ten Volumes - Volume I. • Beaumont and Fletcher

... same unreasoning tenaciousness of will upon just such lesser things as might well be left to her advisers. In spite of which he almost succeeded, this very day, in regaining, for a time at least, the ground he had lost with her. He had never been so adroit, so brilliant, so witty, so insinuating; and he left her with the feeling that if he had his way concerning De la Foret—a mere stubborn whim, with no fair reason behind it—his influence would be again securely set. The sense ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... your leg that was shot at Quebec and Saratoga," said the plucky and witty officer, "and bury it with the honors of war, and hang the rest of your ...
— Hero Stories from American History - For Elementary Schools • Albert F. Blaisdell

... array of figures—beautiful, revolting, sly, fatuous, witty, brave, pusillanimous, mean, generous—meets the eye as we recall one by one these famous stories; beautiful and amorous, but mercurial ladies with henna scented feet and black eyes—often with a ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... moments' further conversation, Miss Gladden thanked Jack for his kindness, and rose to go. At the door they found Mike, and while Lyle chatted merrily with the witty Irishman for a moment, Miss Gladden turned toward Jack, saying in ...
— The Award of Justice - Told in the Rockies • A. Maynard Barbour

... which Jonson contributed to what Dekker called the 'poetomachia' or war of the theatres as recent critics have named it. This play as a fabric of plot is a very slight affair; but as a satirical picture of the manners of the time, proceeding by means of vivid caricature, couched in witty and brilliant dialogue and sustained by that righteous indignation which must lie at the heart of all true satire—as a realisation, in short, of the classical ideal of comedy—there had been nothing like Jonson's ...
— The Poetaster - Or, His Arraignment • Ben Jonson

... brave and willing. The liquor was none the less, though so much froth had been blown off. As Thomas Fuller says, there were 'fewer persons, but not fewer men,' after the poltroons had disappeared. The second test, 'a purgatory of water,' as the same wise and witty author calls it, was still more stringent. The dwindled ranks were led down from their camp on the slopes to the fountain and brook which lay in the valley near the Midianites' camp. Gideon alone seems to have known that a test was to be applied there; but he did ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... the spring round-up this yere Jaybird first develops that he regards himse'f witty. It's in the morning as we-alls has saddled up an' lines out to comb the range roundabout for cattle. Thar's a tenderfoot along whose name is Todd, an', as he's canterin' off, Jaybird comes a-curvin' up on his bronco an' reaches over ...
— Wolfville • Alfred Henry Lewis

... quite enough; Madam does not care for great compliments, and she knows that you are a clever and witty man. (Aside to DORIMENE) He is a harmless citizen, ridiculous enough, as you see, in ...
— The Shopkeeper Turned Gentleman - (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme) • Moliere (Poquelin)

... was brought back to the Hotel Conti. The celebrated Jean Bart pledged himself to take him safely, despite the enemy's fleet; and kept his word. The convoy was of five frigates. The Chevalier de Sillery, before starting, married Mademoiselle Bigot, rich and witty, with whom he had been living for some time. Meanwhile the best news arrived from our ambassador, the Abbe de Polignac, to the King; but all answers were intercepted at Dantzic by the retired Queen ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... his bayonet-point some coloured caricature of the ex-Emperor or the ex-Empress. What things they were, those innumerable caricatures of the months which followed the Revolution! Now and again there appeared one which was really clever, which embodied a smart, a witty idea; but how many of them were simply the outcome of a depraved, a lewd, a bestial imagination! The most offensive caricatures of Marie-Antoinette were as nothing beside those levelled at that ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... proverbs is equally vulgar in conversation; and puns, unless they rise to the rank of witticisms, are to be scrupulously avoided. A lady-punster is a most unpleasing phenomenon, and we would advise no young woman, however witty she may be, to cultivate this kind ...
— Routledge's Manual of Etiquette • George Routledge

... finished the building of Tom Quad in 1665; and then a quiet studious-looking man, a fellow or senior student of the College, who has nothing in his appearance to call attention. But this is Burton, by some accounted a morose person, but by those who knew him intimately a cheery and witty companion. Here, too, with slow and faltering step comes Pusey in extreme old age, and Liddon of ascetic mien. Hark to the laughter! It is Stubbs—historian Bishop—with witty saying falling from his lips. And there is Liddell, ...
— Oxford • Frederick Douglas How

... saree, proclaimed her a widow. But like the others she chatted merrily, and a listener would have learned from their conversation that they had been attending a wedding, and were now on their way home. Witty remarks about the guests, criticism of the looks of the bride, and comparisons of this wedding with others, passed from one to another, and whiled away the hours of the journey as the ...
— Bengal Dacoits and Tigers • Maharanee Sunity Devee

... portrait" (for which she had given the painter a commission). "Take care, Master Biche," she reminded the painter, whom it was a time-honoured pleasantry to address as 'Master,' "to catch that nice look in his eyes, that witty little twinkle. You know, what I want to have most of all is his smile; that's what I've asked you to paint—the portrait of his smile." And since the phrase struck her as noteworthy, she repeated it very loud, so as to make sure that ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... who was meant for a variety-show specialist. He hums comic songs and cracks jokes, and conducts witty pantomime incessantly. He is very popular. He is never quiet. Sometimes he slaps you ...
— The Journal of Arthur Stirling - "The Valley of the Shadow" • Upton Sinclair

... perfect wreath. Although the toast to the bridal pair had been officially proposed, Bagger took occasion to offer his congratulations in a second encomium of love and matrimony; which gave a solid, prosaic man opportunity for the witty remark and hearty wish that so distinguished a practical office-holder as Counsellor Bagger would carry his fine theories upon matrimony into practice. The toast was drunk with enthusiasm, and just at that moment ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors • Various

... for it. Even if not born an earl's daughter, Lady Caroline would have been everywhere the magic centre of any society wherein she chose to move. Not that her conversation was brilliant or deep, but she said the most frivolous things in a way that made them appear witty; and the grand art, to charm by appearing charmed, was hers in perfection. She seemed to float altogether upon and among the pleasantnesses of life; pain, either endured or inflicted, was ...
— John Halifax, Gentleman • Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

... positive sturdy refusal, not without hints that if the patron repents his benefactions or demands sacrifice of freedom in exchange for them, he had better take them back: yet a remonstrance so disarming, infused with such a blend of respect and playfulness, such wealth of witty anecdote and classical allusion, that we imagine the fretfulness of the appeased protector evaporating in admiration as he reads, the answer of affectionate apology and acceptance dictated in his ...
— Horace • William Tuckwell

... foreign is the garb he wears; And how his great devotion mocks Our poor propriety, and scares The undevout with paradox! His soul, through scorn of worldly care, And great extremes of sweet and gall, And musing much on all that's fair, Grows witty and fantastical; He sobs his joy and sings his grief, And evermore finds such delight In simply picturing his relief, That 'plaining seems to cure his plight; He makes his sorrow, when there's none; His fancy blows both cold and hot; Next to the wish that she'll be won, His first hope is that ...
— The Angel in the House • Coventry Patmore

... Verus. "My story is a true one, and you all ought to be grateful to me for having released you from that tedious philologer who has now button-holed my witty friend Favorinus. I like your Alexandria, Titianus; still it is not a great capital like Rome. The people have not yet learned not to be astonished; they are perpetually in amazement. When I ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... in slang language to cats and dogs, hence the witty Egyptians converted Admiral-Seymour (Lord Alcester) ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... Then feel within our narrow sphere How little yet how great we are! But they might shine in courtly glare, 90 Attract the rabble's cheapest stare, And might command where'er they move A thing that bears the name of love; They might be learned, witty, gay, Foremost in fashion's gilt array, 95 On Fame's emblazoned pages shine, Be princes' friends, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... rather be famous than pleasant, I'd rather be rude than polite; It's easy to sneer When you're witty and queer, And I'd rather be ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume IV. (of X.) • Various

... what a truly pious man that clergyman must be!" This allusion to the looks of the reverend gentleman was rather unkind, for he was by no means bad-looking. But then Calton was one of those witty men who would rather lose a friend ...
— The Mystery of a Hansom Cab • Fergus Hume

... domestic life, and of obtaining at the same time an assurance that the mischief which it was their object to create should be perpetuated from one generation to another, they could not have invented a more effectual plan than the degradation of marriage.... Sophie Arnoult, an actress famous for the witty things she said, described the republican marriage as ...
— The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan • Ellen G. White

... therefore he shou'd have a Fancy quick to conceive, Knowledge, good Humour, and Discretion to direct the whole. Wit often leads a Man into Misfortunes, that his Prudence wou'd have avoided; as it is the Means of raising a Reputation, so it sometimes destroys it. He who affects to be always witty, renders himself cheap, and, perhaps, ridiculous. The great Use and Advantage of Wit is to render the Owner agreeable, by making him instrumental to the Happiness of others. When such a Person appears ...
— Essays on Wit No. 2 • Richard Flecknoe and Joseph Warton

... that the theatre under such conditions shall be talkative, witty, full of neat swift caricaturing, improvised, unselfconscious; at its worst, glib. Boisterous action often, passionate strain almost never. In Echegaray there are hecatombs, half the characters habitually go insane in the last act; ...
— Rosinante to the Road Again • John Dos Passos

... correspondent of the first men of the day; he stopped with the Dean of Oxford when he was in England, who has published an English edition of his 'Dissertations,' with a Preface; and he and Lord Newlights were said to be the two most witty men at the meeting of the British ...
— Loss and Gain - The Story of a Convert • John Henry Newman

... other side of the table, with an amused smile in his eyes, watches him, as he "sighs like furnace," while Neaera, to the accompaniment of her lyre, sings one of Sappho's most passionate odes—whispers something in the ear of the brilliant vocalist, which visibly provokes a witty repartee, with a special sting in it for Horace himself, at which the little man winces—for have there not been certain love-passages of old between Neaera and himself? The wine circulates freely. Maecenas warms, and drops, with the deliberation of a rich sonorous ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... distinguished. He had the eyes of an old eagle; a general air of dignified collectedness; a rare, and a rarely charming, smile, which came out, like a ray of sunshine, in the instinctive pleasure of having said a witty or graceful thing to which one's response had been immediate. When he took me indoors, into that house which was a museum, I noticed the delicacy of his hands, and the tenderness with which he handled his treasures, touching them as if he loved them, with little, unconscious murmurs: ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... both of them, in different ways; and certainly they have given us some exquisite hours on the Campagna, upon picnic excursions, they and certain of their friends—for instance, M. Ampere, the member of the French Institute, who is witty and agreeable; M. Gorze, the Austrian Minister, also an agreeable man; and Mr. Lyons, the son of Sir Edmund, &c. The talk was almost too brilliant for the sentiment of the scenery, but it harmonised entirely with the mayonnaise and ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... jested in a wilful, merry, and coquettish fashion with Arkhipov, who answered her in a polite, serious, and punctilious manner. He was unable to carry on a light, witty conversation, and was acutely conscious of his own awkwardness. From a mere trifle, something Kseniya Ippolytovna said about fortune-telling at Christmas, there arose an old-standing dispute between the two ...
— Tales of the Wilderness • Boris Pilniak

... where the following order is observed. A prayer by one of the College officers is succeeded by the Oration, in which the transactions of the class from their entrance into College to the present time are reviewed with witty and appropriate remarks. The Poem is then pronounced, followed by the Ode, which is sung by the whole class to the tune of "Fair Harvard." Music is performed at intervals by the band. The class then withdraw to Harvard Hall, accompanied by their friends and invited ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... is that, in nine cases out of ten, he has learnt French from an "Ahn's First-Course." The history of this famous work is remarkable and instructive. The book was originally written for a joke, by a witty Frenchman who had resided for some years in England. He intended it as a satire upon the conversational powers of British society. From this point of view it was distinctly good. He submitted it to a London publishing firm. The manager ...
— Three Men on the Bummel • Jerome K. Jerome

... his address to obtain for himself a share of the favour of his new master. This was no difficult task. The faults of James, both as a man and as a prince, were numerous; but insensibility to the claims of genius and learning was not among them. He was indeed made up of two men, a witty, well-read scholar, who wrote, disputed, and harangued, and a nervous, drivelling idiot, who acted. If he had been a Canon of Christ Church or a Prebendary of Westminster, it is not improbable that he would have left a highly respectable name to posterity; that he would have distinguished ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Experimental History of Cold, pag. 408. 409. that nothing is to be added. It seems Pliny could not pass by these Conservatories, and the cooling of drinks with Ice, without passing this severe, though elegant and witty, Animadversion upon them: Hi Nives, illi glaciem potant, poenasque montium in voluptatem gulae vertunt: Servatur algor aestibus, excogitaturque ut alienis mensibus nix algeat, lib. 19. cap. 4. But the Epigrammatist sports with ...
— Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Vol 1 - 1666 • Various

... to the south of Tiverton is a pleasant well-wooded valley, in which stands Bickleigh. This village was the birthplace of a rascal, who was such a brilliant and talented rascal that his adventures are very interesting. Witty, courageous, and full of resource, he had, besides, two strong points in his favour. In spite of a very rough and wandering life, his warm affection for his wife never failed, and—all dogs adored him! Bampfylde Moore Carew belonged to a very old family in the West, and his ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... predicted, the day was glorious. The mists rolled away and the sun shone brightly. We drove all day without stopping, save for dinner—when the lost ham figured largely in our conversation—of course. We said so many witty things about it—at least, we thought them witty—that we laughed continuously through the whole meal, which we ate with ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... the party. He felt so overjoyed because of the kind fate that had allowed him to be of considerable use to Bessie French, so that their old friendship was renewed, this time to remain, that he seemed to be fairly bubbling over with spirits. He made witty remarks about most of the food they had, and kept the others laughing from the beginning of the meal until it reached its conclusion, with the dishes well ...
— Afloat on the Flood • Lawrence J. Leslie

... war. To the same town also belong Admiral Sir John Ashby, who died in 1693, and his nephew Vice-Admiral James Mighells. Nor must we fail to do justice to Thomas Nash, a facetious writer of considerable reputation in the latter part of the sixteenth century. The most witty of his productions is a satirical pamphlet in praise of red herrings, intended as a joke upon the great staple of Yarmouth, and the pretensions of that place to superiority over Lowestoft. It must be confessed that Nash is chiefly famous ...
— East Anglia - Personal Recollections and Historical Associations • J. Ewing Ritchie

... brilliant success; two years later he had invented a fresh saying: 'Ne voo excite vooself pa, man of sin, sewn in a sheepskin,' and so on. And strange to say! these, as you see, not overwhelmingly witty phrases, keep him in food and drink and clothes. (He has run through his property ages ago, and lives solely upon his friends.) There is, observe, absolutely no other attraction about him; he can, it is true, smoke a hundred pipes ...
— A Sportsman's Sketches - Works of Ivan Turgenev, Vol. I • Ivan Turgenev

... offence of kicking a page of the court down the grande escalier at Versailles for impertinence, at the time when M. Dumourier was sent there by the Duc d'Acquillon, for knowing more than the minister. I assure you that I found him a most agreeable personage—very gay, very witty, and very much determined to pass his time in the pleasantest manner imaginable. But our companionship was too brief for a perfect union of souls," said he laughing; "for I was liberated within ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... hierarchy as built on it, must necessarily fall to the ground, and great will be the fall of this spiritual Babylon." I will do him justice, and take notice, when he is witty, &c. ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. III.: Swift's Writings on Religion and the Church, Vol. I. • Jonathan Swift

... their places, and endeavoured, by every demonstration of respect and devotion, to gain the good graces of their irritated mistress. In this endeavour one of them only was destined to succeed, and that one, contrary to all expectation, was the beautiful and witty Comtesse du Fargis, whose fascinations soon won the heart of the young Queen, and who was fortunate enough to secure alike her confidence and her esteem; nor was it long ere she profited by her advantage to attempt a reconciliation between ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... "You are a witty boy," replied he, "and have corrected my negligence, for it was nothing more, I assure you. Add this to the other;"—and he put a quarter-doubloon in my hand, and disappeared. I returned to the house; and, as I had been some time away from my mistress, I ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... and excellent principles of Madame Campan, seconded by public opinion. All property had changed hands; all ranks found themselves confusedly jumbled by the shock of the Revolution: the grand seigneur dined at the table of the opulent contractor; and the witty and elegant marquise was present at the ball by the side of the clumsy peasant lately grown rich. In the absence of the ancient distinctions, elegant manners and polished language now formed a kind of aristocracy. The house of St. Germain, conducted ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... first whereas Menenius was an eloquent Person, Shakespear has made him a downright Buffoon. And how is it possible for any Man to conceive a Ciceronian Jack-pudding? Never was any Buffoon eloquent, or wise, or witty, or virtuous. All the good and ill Qualities of a Buffoon are summ'd up in one Word, and that is a Buffoon. And secondly, whereas Shakespear has made him a Hater and Contemner and Villifier of the People, we are assur'd by the Roman Historian that Menenius was extremely popular. He was ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... was not amiss. Mr. Jay tried to make a laugh by mentioning the Duchess of Devonshire leaving no stone unturned to carry Fox's election. There was a Mr. Smith who mentioned how Homer described AEneas leaving his wife and carrying his father out of flaming Troy. He had heard somebody (I suppose) witty on the occasion; but if he had ever read it he would have said Virgil. The President kept a fork in his hand, when the cloth was taken away, I thought for the purpose of picking nuts. He ate no ...
— Woman's Life in Colonial Days • Carl Holliday

... provoking the maid to her former manner, began witty tales of wayside inns. Their demeanour was so noble, their stories so terse and pretty, their converse of such elegant and pure wording, she relaxed and fell into their mood and told what few convent stories she could ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... master of the horse to King John the Second. He was of moderate stature, having a fair and pleasing countenance, with a venerable beard reaching below his girdle to which he wore it knotted. When angry his looks were terrible; but when pleased his manners were merry, pleasant, and witty. He was buried in a chapel which he built near the gate of the city of Goa, dedicated to Our Lady of the Mountain, but, after a long resistance from the inhabitants of Goa, his bones were transferred to the church of Our Lady of Grace ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VI - Early English Voyages Of Discovery To America • Robert Kerr

... Scott's unusual range of reading reveals itself even in connection with a subject remote from his ordinary field, and here as elsewhere he shows himself prone to quote from the drama.[160] But Scott was interested in plays for what he found in them of characters and manners, of witty and sententious speech, of situations and incidents, and only secondarily in the technical aspects of the drama. Reading his novels we could guess that he would care more for the concrete elements of a play than for ...
— Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature • Margaret Ball

... a precious swell. His curly poll will grace the hangman's pole, A charming barber's block, upon my soul! 'Twill cut a figure in our "Rotten Row;" I think that jest is witty—Ho, ho, ho! ...
— Turandot: The Chinese Sphinx • Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

... seems forced in motion, while always fine in spirit. The contrast between the slow march of his sentences, the frequent gravity of his spirit, the recondite masses of his lore, the logical severity of his diction, and his determination, at times, to be desperately witty, produces a ludicrous effect, but somewhat different from what he had intended. It is "Laughter" lame, and only able to hold one of his sides, so that you laugh at, as well as with him. But few, we think, would have been hypercritical in judging ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... girls should early form a taste for good reading. In the choice of books, as in the choice of friends, there is but one rule,—choose the best. A witty gentleman, having received an invitation from a wealthy but not very refined lady, on arriving was ushered into her library, where she was seated surrounded by richly-bound books. "You see, Mr. X.," ...
— The True Citizen, How To Become One • W. F. Markwick, D. D. and W. A. Smith, A. B.

... who heard her, was fully aware what a good hand she had always been at witty things, and how she, more than any other, had an inexhaustible supply of novel and amusing rules of forfeits, ever stocked in her mind, so her suggestion not only gratified the various inmates of the family seated at the banquet, ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... allow him to sleep over one of his attacks, it would have been a dubious example for Barney, and in spite of the comfort he has been I now fully realize the limitations of so many of his race, at once witty, warm-hearted, soothing, and impossible; it is difficult not to believe what they say, even when you know they are lying, and this condition is equally demoralizing ...
— The Garden, You, and I • Mabel Osgood Wright

... which Alexander found among the spoils of Darius and set aside for the safe keeping of the works of the poet Homer. This book, gossip, is of authority for two reasons, first because it is very good, and secondly because it is said to have been written by a wise and witty king of Portugal. All the adventures at the Castle of Miraguarda are excellent and of admirable contrivance, and the language is polished and clear, studying and observing the style befitting the speaker with propriety ...
— Don Quixote • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... met. Not a muscle in either face moved. It was as if they were perfect strangers. She turned and murmured something to her partner. Ogleby leaned over, without the least confusion, and made a witty remark to his partner. It was over in a minute. The acting of both could not have been better if they had deliberately practised their parts. What ...
— The Ear in the Wall • Arthur B. Reeve

... deciding it after hearing their opinions. It was the habit of each head of a department to present any questions of general interest in his department, but as a rule he decided it with the approbation of the President. Evarts was always genial and witty, McCrary was an excellent Secretary of War. He was sensible, industrious and prudent. Thompson was a charming old gentleman of pleasing manners and address, a good advocate and an eloquent orator, who had filled many positions of honor and trust. ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... in a way that commanded their respect and admiration. When the diggers broke into rioting at Charters Towers, the tact, patience and courage of Clohesy was of more use and value than a posse of police. Many a time I have heard a witty remark, or a pithy Irish phrase from him, turn a likely disturbance into a pleasant laughing meeting. Wherever he controlled, he kept things in order without his hand being felt. When he died about 1879, Queensland lost a good officer, and many a ...
— Reminiscences of Queensland - 1862-1869 • William Henry Corfield

... answer in the same elegant strain; and then began a regular word-battle of slang, in which Tom showed himself so really witty a proficient, that Mr. Trebooze laughed himself into good-humour, and ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume I • Charles Kingsley

... course before his Presidency; qualities revealed afterward; curious circumstances of his nomination. Reform of the Civil Service. My article in the "North American Review.'' Renewal of my acquaintance with Mr. Evarts; his witty stories. My efforts to interest Senator Platt in civil-service reform; his slow progress in this respect. Wayne MacVeagh; Judge Biddle's remark at his table on American feeling regarding capital punishment. Great ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... for me to observe that such a thorough Parisian as the shrewd and witty author of Les Petites Cardinal should find that the Opera—which certainly plays a role in our politics—had been sufficiently well portrayed by the author of Monsieur le Ministre. And upon this, ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... his living, and some of them helped to keep their parents. Were they less gifted, mentally? He did not think so, for their remarks gave evidence of keen powers of observation; he would have laughed at many of their witty remarks if he had not been conscious of his superior caste. There was no definite line of demarcation between him and the fools who were his school-fellows. But there was a line here Was it the shabby clothes, the plain faces, the coarse hands, which formed the barrier? Partly, he ...
— Married • August Strindberg

... a deaf worshipper of antiquity and an English prosodist settle this."—Rush, on the Voice, p. 140. "This phillipic gave rise to my satirical reply in self-defence."— Merchant's Criticisms. "We here saw no inuendoes, no new sophistry, no falsehoods."—Ib. "A witty and humourous vein has often produced enemies."—Murray's Key, p. 173. "Cry holla! to thy tongue, I pr'ythee: it curvetts unseasonably."—Shak. "I said, in my slyest manner, 'Your health, sir.'"—Blackwood's ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... we are sometimes cruel to our dear teachers," laughed Laura. "But if they are too serious they are such a temptation to us witty ones." ...
— The Girls of Central High Aiding the Red Cross - Or Amateur Theatricals for a Worthy Cause • Gertrude W. Morrison

... Sixtine choir. No one who ever heard him intone the 'Te Deum' in Saint Peter's, in the old days, can forget the grand tones. He was gifted in many ways—with great physical beauty, with a rare charm of manner, and with a most witty humour; and in character he was one of the most gentle and kind-hearted men of his day, as he was also one of the least initiative, so to say, while endowed with the high moral courage of boundless patience and political ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... the oldest in Vermont, had been formed in 1773, nine years before his arrival. He became a member in 1785, and his wife in 1803. Not long after his coming, Rev. Mr. Roots, the pastor, died, and the widely known Rev. Samuel Haynes, a devout, able and witty man, became their pastor, and so continued for thirty years, until his dismission in 1818. Timothy Boardman's children were early taken to church, were trained and all came into the church under, the ministry ...
— Log-book of Timothy Boardman • Samuel W Boardman

... the rapids of the Truckey river, which is the outlet of Lake Tahoe, and runs about northeast in the direction of the Piute reservation, along the course to be followed by us. I mention this fact only in order to bring into the story the terse and witty report of the agent, said to have been made about his discoveries regarding the mill. He said: "He found a dam by a mill site, but he didn't find any mill ...
— The History of Minnesota and Tales of the Frontier • Charles E. Flandrau

... Fulkerson!" she said, and she insinuated something through her burlesque compassion that lifted him to the skies. He swore in his heart that the woman never lived who was so witty, so wise, so beautiful, and so good. "Come raght with me this minute, if the cyoast's clea'." She went to the door of the diningroom and looked in across its gloom to the little gallery where her father sat beside a lamp reading his ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... the witty and clever 'Billy' O'Hea, who, alas! died too early, took advantage of the appropriate sound of the word to apply it to rowdyism in general, and, next time Dalton repeated the phrase, changed the word from verb to noun, where it still remains, anything ...
— A Dictionary of Austral English • Edward Morris

... quite pertinent, though conceived in an impertinent spirit, were being answered in America even while the witty Englishman was framing them. The water power of New England was being harnessed to cotton mills, woolen mills, and tanneries. Massachusetts in 1820 reported one hundred and sixty-one factories. New York had begun that marvelous growth which ...
— The Armies of Labor - Volume 40 in The Chronicles Of America Series • Samuel P. Orth

... quite without design (Oh, where is that comparison of mine?) Well—like a June rose and a violet blue In one bouquet! I fancy that will do. And now I crave your patience and a boon, Which is to listen, while I read my rhyme, A floating fancy of the summer time. 'Tis neither witty, wonderful, nor wise, So listen kindly—but don't criticise My maiden effort of ...
— Maurine and Other Poems • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... was trained to be a soldier; and until he was sixty years old the man belonged to the State absolutely. And all those years he ate his black broth at a public mess, seasoned only with fatigue and hunger. A witty Athenian said he did not wonder the Spartans were brave in battle, for death was ...
— The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 25, April 29, 1897 - A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls • Various

... commonplace and meagre. Unfortunately, among many of our young people, the Bible seems to be a book to be avoided or to be treated in a rather "jocose" manner. To raise a laugh on the vaudeville stage, a Biblical quotation has only to be produced, and the weary comedian, when he is at a loss to get a witty speech across the footlights, is almost sure to speak of Jonah and ...
— Confessions of a Book-Lover • Maurice Francis Egan

... of a religious character, whilst in the Fronde the religious element did not intervene at all, thanks to the enlightened protection enjoyed by the Protestants. It seemed, indeed, like a demoniacal caricature of our British troubles at that moment. No sternness, no reality; love-letters and witty verses supplying the place of the Biblical language and awful earnestness of the words and deeds of the Covenanters and Independents; the gentlemen of France utterly debased and frivolised; religion ridiculed; nothing left of the old landmarks; ...
— Political Women, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Sutherland Menzies

... world of pathos in their velvet gloom on her elder brother. "Coruscate, Val," she commanded. "You haven't said anything at all yet. We should all try to be bright in the home circle. We cannot all be witty, but-Ow! Rowsley, if you pull my hair I shall hit you in the—in the place where the Gauls fined their soldiers if they stuck out on parade. Oh, Val, that really isn't vulgar, I found it in Matthew Arnold! Their stomachs, you know. They wouldn't have fined you ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... half-educated girl. Tom Brangwen, with all his secret power, seemed to fan the flame that was rising. The bride was strongly attracted by him, and he was exerting his influence on another beautiful, fair girl, chill and burning as the sea, who said witty things which he appreciated, making her glint with more, like phosphorescence. And her greenish eyes seemed to rock a secret, and her hands like mother-of-pearl seemed luminous, transparent, as if the secret were burning visible ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... highest aristocracy of the province as a genuine Valois; and he distinguished himself, like the rest of his homonyms, by excellent manners, which proved him a man of society. He dined out every day, and played cards every evening. He was thought witty, thanks to his foible for relating a quantity of anecdotes on the reign of Louis XV. and the beginnings of the Revolution. When these tales were heard for the first time, they were held to be well narrated. He had, moreover, the great merit of not repeating his ...
— An Old Maid • Honore de Balzac

... had been, and which gave promise of an honourable and useful manhood. Isabelle took her part modestly—but with a very sweet dignity, that sat well upon her—in the conversation at the table, and in the salon, and her remarks were so to the point, so witty, and so apropos, that the prince was astonished as well as charmed, and grew daily more proud of and devoted to his new treasure; finding a happiness and satisfaction he had longed for all his life in the affection ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... one way he could not be considered a teacher at all. He charged no fees and had irregular and somewhat unsystematic classes. In another sense he was the greatest of teachers. Sit at the piano and I will indicate the general plan pursued by Liszt at a lesson. Reisenauer is a remarkable and witty mimic of people he desires to describe. The present writer sat at the piano and played at some length through several short compositions, eventually coming to the inevitable "Chopin Valse, Op. 69, No. 1, in A flat major." In the meanwhile, Reisenauer ...
— Great Pianists on Piano Playing • James Francis Cooke

... greatest feats of agility. Their love of society is as remarkable as their curiosity is insatiable; and their hospitality to all comers, be their own poverty ever so pinching, has too much merit to be forgotten. Pleased to enjoyment with a joke, or witty repartee, they will repeat it with such expression, that the laugh will be universal. Warm friends and revengeful enemies; they are inviolable in their secrecy, and inevitable in their resentment; with such a notion of honour, that neither threat ...
— A Tour in Ireland - 1776-1779 • Arthur Young

... whole affair was only whether the people should be slaves to the Guises. With regard to the last war of Paris, it deserves only to be hooted at. Methinks I see a crowd of schoolboys rising up in arms against their master, and afterwards whipped for it. Cardinal de Retz, who was witty and brave (but to no purpose), rebellious without a cause, factious without design, and head of a defenceless party, caballed for caballing sake, and seemed to foment the civil war merely out of diversion. The Parliament did ...
— Letters on England • Voltaire

... were heavy—or eye-lids, if the reader should be a critic. He had brought a book from his daughter's book-case. He remembered the volume—it was called A Book of a Thousand Stories—as the one his daughter Mary read aloud one evening, when the witty turns of speech put all the company into the best of humor. But, somehow, the wit had now lost its point—the joke had lost its zest—and let him try as he would to collect his scattered thoughts, and let him set his eyes on his book never so firmly, his fancy would go on long ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. II. July, 1862. No. 1. • Various

... "Andromaque" he was bitterly attacked by the leader of a sect of religionists for the wretched morality of his play. He felt the attack keenly, and that it was just, no American will deny, though Frenchmen will. The poet replied to the attack in a witty and ...
— Paris: With Pen and Pencil - Its People and Literature, Its Life and Business • David W. Bartlett

... set her down, and myself to the King's playhouse, which troubles me since, and hath cost me a forfeit of 10s., which I have paid, and there did see a good part of "The English Monsieur," which is a mighty pretty play, very witty and pleasant. And the women do very well; but, above all, little Nelly; that I am mightily pleased with the play, and much with the House, more than ever I expected, the women doing better than ever I expected, and very ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... we met the Archbishop of Minsk, once Rector of the Theological Academy at Petrograd. He had lost his diocese and lost his academy; a little old, stooping, grey-haired man, very witty, very sardonic and indulging in endless pleasantries at the expense of us all. He drank to England but not to Lloyd George. He drank to meeting me again—in Moscow. He drank to Serbia, and hoped they'd raise the standard of doctorate of divinity. ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... seventeen, the father decided he should go to Vienna, for there he would meet all the great musicians of the time. The boy was at the most impressionable age: he was lively, witty, with pleasant manners and amiable disposition; he soon became a favorite in the highest musical circles. It was a gay life and the inexperienced youth yielded to its allurements. In the meantime he did some serious studying under ...
— The World's Great Men of Music - Story-Lives of Master Musicians • Harriette Brower

... made it king, and granted to it, to it only, the authority and sovereignty of saving souls, he has magnified not only his love, but his wisdom and his prudence before the sons of men. This, then, is his great device, the master-piece of all his witty inventions; and, therefore, it is said, as was hinted before, in this thing he hath proceeded towards us in ALL wisdom and prudence (2 Sam ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... than Maggie Tulliver. "All the privilege I claim for my own sex is that of loving longest when existence or when hope is gone," said Anne; perhaps she insisted on a monopoly that neither sex has all to itself. Ah, madam, what a relief it is to come back to your witty volumes, and forget the follies of to-day in those of Mr. Collins and of Mrs. Bennet! How fine, nay, how noble is your art in its delicate reserve, never insisting, never forcing the note, never pushing the sketch into the caricature! You worked, without thinking of ...
— Letters to Dead Authors • Andrew Lang

... find the original Mrs. Partington, whose maltreatment of the Queen's English maketh the newspapers so witty and merry ...
— Notes & Queries, No. 53. Saturday, November 2, 1850 • Various

... find us agreeable enough," said the Abbe Troubert to Mademoiselle Gamard's friends when she was forced to tell them that her "evenings" must be given up. "He is a man of the world, and a good liver! He wants fashion, luxury, witty conversation, and the scandals of ...
— The Celibates - Includes: Pierrette, The Vicar of Tours, and The Two Brothers • Honore de Balzac

... a rhyme and say, 'Oh, Kitty, you're so witty'? But, Laura, it is you who are odd and ridiculous, to pretend that you don't know that Windlow is one of the oldest names of one of the oldest families who came over to America ...
— A Flock of Girls and Boys • Nora Perry

... the Silhouette, which was edited by Victor Ratier, and in the Caricature, edited by M. Philippon. A few years later, the latter journal became violently political; but at this time it consisted merely of witty and amusing articles, ridiculing all ...
— Honore de Balzac, His Life and Writings • Mary F. Sandars

... certain that she felt more than mere friendship for Bembo, for she was young, and he was an accomplished cavalier, fair, amiable, and witty, who cast the rough Alfonso completely in the shade. He excited the latter's jealousy, and the danger which threatened him may have been the cause of his removal to Urbino. Lucretia kept up her friendly relations with him ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... that only asks to be happy and amused. He took to games seriously and played them well, and you couldn't point to him as one of those cautious persons who never by any chance drank even one cocktail too many. Indeed, he often became hilarious and witty, and added no end to the gayety of occasions, and was afterward privately reproached by Lucy. Coming from another, the hilarity and wit would have rejoiced her, but, coming from her nearest and dearest, her mind ...
— We Three • Gouverneur Morris

... with the facts which they expressed; that the troops were in the one case actuated simply by the animal passion of hope, in the other simply by the animal passion of fear. This abuse of the word "moral" has crossed, I am sorry to say, the Atlantic; and a witty American, whom we must excuse, though we must not imitate, when some one had been blazing away at him with a revolver, he being unarmed, is said to have described his very natural emotions on the occasion, by saying that he felt dreadfully demoralised. We, I hope, shall confine ...
— Sanitary and Social Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... to another objector, she took up the defense of Mother Eve. I can not follow her through it all. It was pointed, and witty, and solemn; eliciting at almost every sentence deafening applause; and she ended by asserting: "If de fust woman God ever made was strong enough to turn de world upside down all alone, dese women togedder (and she glanced ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... than they. He was descended from a most reputable ancestry, and, being a professional man, of polite address and handsome fortune, it would have been strange indeed, if he had not been highly esteemed in the community where he dwelt. Besides, he was a man of sense and taste, witty, jovial, talkative, and of such extremely easy good-nature, that, if it had not been for the tact and shrewdness of his brother and partner in trade, who managed the business of the firm, the Doctor's ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... to see Miss Trevannion, for she had often occupied my thoughts during the cruise. She met me with great friendliness and welcomed me back. Our dinner was very agreeable, and Philip's sallies were much approved of. He was, indeed, a mirthful, witty lad, full of jest and humour, and with a good presence withal. Mr. Trevannion being called out just as dinner was finished. Miss ...
— The Privateer's-Man - One hundred Years Ago • Frederick Marryat

... 'twere; but I wuden't niver give in tu leaving Youlestone. But doan't 'ee play the vule wi' Master Peter, Miss Zairy. Take 'un while yu can git 'un, will 'ee? And be glad tu git 'un. Yu listen tu I, vor I be a turble witty man, and I be giving of ...
— Peter's Mother • Mrs. Henry De La Pasture

... while an associate of Sheridan, Erskine, Fox, &c., he affected, in conversation, to be brilliant, and so far succeeded, as to colloquial liveliness, that during their festive intercourse, according to the witty barrister's own admission, 'he fairly kept up at saddle-skirts' even with Curran. Notwithstanding this compliment, his pretensions to wit appear to have been but slender; the best sayings attributed to him being a set of middling puns, of which the following is a favourable ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 19, No. 535, Saturday, February 25, 1832. • Various

... familiarity "quite meridional," as a Frenchman would have said. But if this person did not come from the South, he had got his temperament there; he talked and gesticulated with volubility; his thought must come out or the machine would burst. His eyes, small as those of witty men generally are, his mouth, large and mobile, were safety-pipes which allowed him to give passage to his overflowing thoughts; he talked, and talked, and talked so much and so fast that Shandon couldn't understand a word he said. However, this did not prevent the Forward's mate from recognising ...
— The English at the North Pole - Part I of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras • Jules Verne

... belief that he began the work during the honeymoon, was ready with his celebrated pamphlet, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce restored to the good of both sexes. He is even said, with his accustomed courage, to have paid attentions to a Miss Davis, who is described as a very handsome and witty gentlewoman, and therefore not one likely to sit silent at his board; but she was a sensible girl as well, and had no notion of a married suitor. Of Milton's pamphlet it is everyone's duty to speak with ...
— Obiter Dicta - Second Series • Augustine Birrell

... James's Street, in a house which has long since been demolished, and thither people resorted to enjoy the idle, witty, and often scandalous gossip of the time. It was as easy to lose your reputation there as your money at Crockford's, and far more difficult to keep it. The only really innocent conversation was when a man ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... sailed from Dublin at the beginning of the eighteenth century for his frequent visits to his brother wits, Addison and Steele. It was strange how many common sayings of to-day were his in origin such as, "There is none so blind as they that won't see," and, "A penny for your thoughts." Like many witty people, he must needs have his little joke. He was made Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, in 1713, and was accustomed to preach there each Sunday afternoon, and was said to have preached on the same subject on sixteen ...
— From John O'Groats to Land's End • Robert Naylor and John Naylor

... useful or pleasant talk of some person whom you cannot otherwise converse with, printed for you. Very useful often, telling you what you need to know; very pleasant often, as a sensible friend's present talk would be. These bright accounts of travels; good-humoured and witty discussions of question; lively or pathetic story-telling in the form of novel; firm fact-telling, by the real agents concerned in the events of passing history;—all these books of the hour, multiplying among us as education becomes more general, are a peculiar possession ...
— Sesame and Lilies • John Ruskin

... remains; he is not an infidel, an unbeliever. Had he been an infidel, there would have been no room at all for hope of him; but (priding himself as he does in his fertile invention) he would have been utterly abandoned, irreclaimable, and a savage.'* And it must be observed, that scoffers are too witty, in their own opinion, (in other words, value themselves too much upon their profligacy,) to aim at ...
— Clarissa Harlowe, Volume 9 (of 9) - The History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... celebrated John Randolph of Roanoke, Mr. Stephens has an acute intellect attached to a frail and meagre body. As was said by the witty Canon of St. Paul's of Francis Jeffrey, his mind is in a state of indecent exposure. A trained and skillful politician, he was for many years before the war returned to the United States House of Representatives from the district in which he resides, and ...
— Destruction and Reconstruction: - Personal Experiences of the Late War • Richard Taylor

... assent to all Mr. Scranton's sayings, which singularly attracts the attention of that orator's hearers. The orator becomes very much annoyed at this, suddenly stops-begs Mr. M'Fadden will postpone his repose. This, from so great a man as Mr. Scranton, is accepted as provokingly witty. Mr. M'Fadden laughs; and they all laugh. The ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... Mr. Underhill, you cannot deny inheriting a certain amount of American wit. I have so often heard the older members of the Union Club tell stories of Billy Travers's witty sayings. He must have gone the pace that kills. One of the old servants used to tell that whenever Travers and Larry Jerome and that set came in for supper, they expected the waiters to drink every fifth bottle; it made things more cheerful-like—but ...
— L. P. M. - The End of the Great War • J. Stewart Barney

... bones, says, "Provincials and fools are always ready to lose their temper and believe that one is laughing at them or despising them. You must never venture on a joke, even the mildest, except with well-bred, witty people." Perhaps he had been trying Godefroi de La Bruyere off on the stolid inhabitants of Caen. He received a salary, however, which was far from being all paid away to a substitute, and he rose, in the curious social scale of those days, from Mister (roturier) ...
— Three French Moralists and The Gallantry of France • Edmund Gosse

... of a mad woman. I say, 'My girl, the question is, Are you to be brought to shame? are you to die by the public sword? die in torments?' Oh, I shall go mad as well as she!" he screamed out. "She was so clever, so witty, so sprightly, so imaginative, so versatile! why, there's nothing she couldn't do. She could model, paint, play on the lyre, sing, act. She could work with the needle, she could embroider. She made this girdle for me. It's all that Agellius, it's Agellius. I beg ...
— Callista • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... think that Homer, as we know that Pope, was merely an ingenious fabulist; nay, more than this, that all the nations of past time were ingenious fabulists also, to whom the universe was a lyrical drama, and by whom whatsoever was said about it was merely a witty allegory, or a graceful lie, of which the entire upshot and consummation was a pretty statue in the middle of the court, or at the end of ...
— Selections From the Works of John Ruskin • John Ruskin

... natural gift of making brilliant compliments and happy impromptus; and yet the very best of his reputed mots were spurious. Some may be traced to Cicero, Hierocles, Diogenes; and some to his modern predecessors. That witty remark ascribed to him about the disposition of Fortune, as being a lady, to withdraw her favours from old men like himself and the Marechal Boufflers, was really uttered nearly two centuries before by the Emperor Charles V., who probably stole ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... the toast "St. Susan," making a witty contrast between the austere St. Anthony of old and the St. Anthony of today, representing self-abnegation for the good, the beautiful, the true. Rev. Anna Shaw made a delightfully humorous response to "The Modern Peripatetic," referring to the ancient ...
— The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2) • Ida Husted Harper

... was of an easy, generous temper, the most unfortunate temper, by-the-bye, for success in this life that any person can be possessed of, as those who have it are almost sure to be made dupes of by the designing. But, though easy and generous, he was anything but a fool; he had a quick and witty tongue of his own when he chose to exert it, and woe be to those who insulted him openly, for there was not a better boxer in the whole country round. My parents were married several years before I came into the world, who was their first and only child. I may be called an unfortunate ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... mans counsell, or discourse of what kind soever, is to Honour; as a signe we think him wise, or eloquent, or witty. To sleep, or go forth, or talk the while, ...
— Leviathan • Thomas Hobbes

... place, from another world, where the people are very clever, and very learned, and have refined manners, and a witty way of talking, and an air—perhaps I am not making myself clear. I mean that you are accustomed to live among people of refinement; you know a great deal. Here there is not what you need; here the people are not learned or very polished. Every thing is plain, ...
— Dona Perfecta • B. Perez Galdos

... excess of another character, in which the wines of the neighboring cotes were fairly entitled to come in for a full share of the merit. Those who were, nearest the bailiff were secretly much diverted-with his awkward attempts at graciousness, which one fair and witty Vaudoise likened to the antics of one of the celebrated animals that are still fostered in the city which ruled so much of Switzerland, and from whom, indeed, the town and canton are both vulgarly supposed to have derived their common ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... the centre of attraction. She was surrounded by a number of "searchers for lost articles," and Blue Bonnet, as she glanced in her direction, could imagine how the men were enjoying her pretty Southern drawl, her always witty remarks. Billy, with great self-sacrifice, devoted himself to Mrs. White, but his glance strayed often to Annabel. Mrs. White must have noticed the anxious glances, for she got up after she had finished her tea and insisted upon talking to Mr. McVickar ...
— Blue Bonnet in Boston - or, Boarding-School Days at Miss North's • Caroline E. Jacobs

... speeches. He seemed to regard the affair as a big joke, and to appreciate it accordingly. Though none of us had ever had any official relations with him, we knew him as what all the people called "a good fellow," witty, jovial, and never severe even in the discharge of his duties. It is more than probable that he knew Mr. Parasyte as the boys knew him, and despised him accordingly. At any rate, we judged from the expression on his round face, that he was at heart on our ...
— Breaking Away - or The Fortunes of a Student • Oliver Optic

... are but stumbling-blocks in council; brilliant in conception, they fail in execution; fanciful designers, they are not "builders of bridges". They are boastful, sparkling, inventive, witty, garrulous, vain and supersensitive, outraging their friends by the extravagance of their schemes; embarrassing their enemies by ...
— Epilepsy, Hysteria, and Neurasthenia • Isaac G. Briggs

... Moreover, it was to his native traits that he really owed his wide popularity. The quiet reserve which usually characterized him hid a fund of brilliant humor, which would occasionally, and often unexpectedly, flash out in some quick retort or witty jest; nor was there ever wanting that indefinable attraction which is the special charm of Erin's sons and daughters ...
— Up in Ardmuirland • Michael Barrett

... daughter of his noble hosts, exclaim, on the entrance of a footman with a letter, "Pardon me, it's the mail." So there you are. If you have a taste for stories that make no pretence of being other than fiction pure and simple, limpidly pure and transparently simple (yet witty too in places), try ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, April 7, 1920 • Various

... Bishop of Oxford. The gifted son of William Wilberforce, who had been honoured throughout the world for his efforts in the suppression of the slave trade, he had been rapidly advanced in the English Church, and was at this time a prelate of wide influence. He was eloquent and diplomatic, witty and amiable, always sure to be with his fellow-churchmen and polite society against uncomfortable changes. Whether the struggle was against the slave power in the United States, or the squirearchy in Great Britain, or the evolution ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... a sweet expression of countenance is the Hon. Miss Cecilia Ossulton. She is lively, witty, and has no fear in her composition; but she is very young yet, not more than seventeen—and nobody knows what she really is—she does not know herself. These are the parties who meet in the cabin of the yacht. The ...
— The Pirate and The Three Cutters • Frederick Marryat

... ambitions were slighter. I would do a conversation perhaps between the shades of JOHNSON and his BOZZY, or a Limerick, or even just an original witty remark, or, failing all of these, I would select an "apt quotation." About tea-time I retired to the garden with a notebook, a pencil and a book of quotations. By 6.30 I had a list of one hundred and two, and was wavering ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, June 11, 1919 • Various

... observed Ned O'Connor, an Irishman, who was afflicted with the belief that he was rather a witty fellow, "av coorse he was, an' a merry-maid she must have bin to see a human spider like him kickin' up such ...
— The Lighthouse • Robert Ballantyne

... cold water to reanimate them the sooner. We then sat down to a stimulating refreshment, in which we at least all drank a bottle of Champagne apiece, in the midst of delightful and exciting bawdy wit and obscene stories, in which our darling fouteuses showed a witty proficiency. ...
— The Romance of Lust - A classic Victorian erotic novel • Anonymous

... turned to Seraphina for approval, he found her frozen. 'You are pleased to be witty, Herr von Gondremark,' she said, 'and have perhaps forgotten where you are. But these rehearsals are apt to be misleading. Your master, the Prince of Grunewald, is sometimes ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... abilities and attainments. I have read his Observer, particularly the papers relating to Greek comedy, with the highest pleasure; but I think it a disgrace to him to have carried his admiration and fondness for that witty profligate Aristophanes to such a length as to attempt to raise his character on the ruins of the brightest ornament of the Heathen world, the wise and virtuous Socrates. As to his account in his "Memoirs" of ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor - Vol. I. No. 3. March 1810 • Various

... Lila because of the rhymes that came in so handy to fill up several pages in the last number of the magazine. As Lila, lovely in pale rose and blue and silver, sat at the table gay with flowers and shaded candles, she told the story of how she had written the verses in the infirmary. On her witty tongue the stubby pencil, the dull knife, and the teasing midget of an impudent freshman made a delightfully humorous tale. Even the explosive "Lila!" and its accompanying side glance of terrified joy in the daring developed into ...
— Beatrice Leigh at College - A Story for Girls • Julia Augusta Schwartz

... in life he pressed to the front. He was the most genial, witty guest at social dinner tables. Strapped to his horse, he hunted foxes in Yorkshire, or tigers in India, and with his brothers made long journeys in other parts of the world. Everywhere his cheerfulness and gaiety gave new life ...
— Life and Literature - Over two thousand extracts from ancient and modern writers, - and classified in alphabetical order • J. Purver Richardson

... Marie wrote me a loving, witty note with respect to the photograph of her cousin, Ferd. von Saar, which I wanted for my Grand Duke. I will write my thanks to Marie shortly. Send the accompanying lines to Franz in Gratz; I am congratulating him, in them, that you ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 2: "From Rome to the End" • Franz Liszt; letters collected by La Mara and translated

... protection than penance. See Goldsmith's Animated Nature. It was a generally received opinion that the nightingale, to keep himself awake in the night, sat on a tree of thorn, so that if he nodded he would be pricked in the breast. The learned and witty Dr. Thomas Fuller thus alludes to it:—'I am sure the nightingale which would wake will not be angry with the thorn which pricketh her breast when she noddeth.' How useful would it be if a thorn could be so placed as to prick those ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... Lord, nor Lady we have tax'd; nor State, Nor any private person, their poor hate Will be starved here, for envy shall not finde One touch that may be wrested to her minde. And yet despair not, Gentlemen, The play Is quick and witty; so the Poets say, And we believe them; the plot neat, and new, Fashion'd like those, that are approv'd by you. Only 'twill crave attention, in the most; Because one point unmarked, the whole is lost. Hear first then, and judge after, and be free, ...
— Beaumont & Fletcher's Works (1 of 10) - The Custom of the Country • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... at this joke, but the laughter was even louder when Uncle Richard added, "I think you have earned your breakfast as well." They thought the remark so wonderfully witty, that they laughed as if they would never stop, and the joke about "Uncle Richard's breakfast" was a proverb both with them and ...
— Garman and Worse - A Norwegian Novel • Alexander Lange Kielland

... and barley-water, my dear. Oh! can't you put the thundering irons down when I say a good thing? Well, I mustn't be witty any more, the penalty is ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade

... Spider, "you're witty and you're wise; How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes! I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf; If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself." "I thank you, gentle sir," ...
— Boys and Girls Bookshelf; a Practical Plan of Character Building, Volume I (of 17) - Fun and Thought for Little Folk • Various

... in idlers, in rich loungers hungering for gossip, in those who seek for needles in trusses of hay, in triflers, in banterers bantered, in witty ninnies, who cannot do without converse with ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... The book must be, anyhow, something benedictory by a sinning fellow-man. Cleverness would be repellent at such an hour. Cleverness, anyhow, is the level of mediocrity today; we are all too infernally clever. The first witty and perverse paradox blows out the candle. Only the sick in mind crave cleverness, as a morbid body turns to drink. The late candle throws its beams a great distance; and its rays make transparent much that ...
— Old Junk • H. M. Tomlinson

... important requisites in the diction of a fashionable novel. The first, my dear fellow, is—flippancy; the second, flippancy; and flippancy is also the third. With the dull it will pass for wit, with some it will pass for scorn,—and even the witty will not be enabled to point out the difference, without running the risk of being considered invidious. It will cover every defect with a defect still greater; for who can call small beer tasteless ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... what London was, And mighty food for pride she has; Her saints are wise, her sinners witty, And Picard clay and Flemish grass Are sweet with stars ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug 15, 1917 • Various

... after all it was better to have been mighty Milton in his poverty and blindness—witty and ingenious Butler consigned to the tender mercies of bailiffs, and starving Otway; they might enjoy more real pleasure than this lordling; they must have been aware that the world would one day do them justice—fame after death is better than the top of ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... of this indefatigable writer, embracing so many subjects, make one think he must have been as careful of his time, as the celebrated friend of the witty Boileau: the humane, benevolent, and dignified Chancellor Aguesseau, who finding that his wife always kept him waiting an hour after the dinner bell had rung, resolved to devote this time to writing a ...
— On the Portraits of English Authors on Gardening, • Samuel Felton

... contend before thee in argument and disputation and recite to thee songs and verses and tell thee tales and anecdotes." Replied the Caliph, "My soul inclineth not to aught of this;" and Masrur rejoined, "O my lord, bid pretty boys and the wits and the cup-companions attend thee and solace thee with witty sallies." "O Masrur," ejaculated the Caliph, "indeed my soul inclineth not to aught of this." "Then, O my lord," cried Masrur, "strike off my head;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... beginner. It's clever, there's no denying that, and I hope the fact won't be allowed to tell against it: but the music's bright and lively; the songs are quaint and catching; the dialogue's brisk and not too witty; and there's plenty of business—plenty of business in it. I incline to think we can get together a house at the Ambiguities that'll enter into the humour of the thing, and see what your play's driving at. How did you ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... of him, I'm sure. It isn't many people that would do a thing like that. A nice voice, too. Of course, this is not what I call good music, but it's very bright in its way, and the words—I always think these words are so clever. So witty. Listen to them—do listen to them, ...
— Tenterhooks • Ada Leverson



Words linked to "Witty" :   wittiness, humorous



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