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Various Shadings Of Wit

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Foote had a vis cómica of his own, which, being, even as he was himself, utterly brutal, carne upon friend and foe like the kick of dray-horse. Such, for exttinple, was , his truculent reply to the ínoffeusive httle man who mildly reíiiarked that he had just come up from Ebb6X - "ïhe devil you have! Who tlr ove yon ?" Sheridan's wit combined with the tiash of the geni in solidity too, and was iuvariably free trom gratuitous rancor. It wus " rúora nearly allied to good nature toan wit always is. Dean Swiít's wit was usually like forked lightning, suattimg and blasting what it touched ; but it was at times as mild as tbe moonbeaius. It happened one day that his cook, whom h6 invariably called " Swoetheart," had greatly overroasted the only jomt he had for dinner. " Sweetheart," said the Dean in the blandest possible tonés, " the leg of mutton is overdone. Take it back into the kitchen and do it less." The cook replied that the thing was impossible. "But," said the Dean, " ïf it had been uuderdone you could have duue it more." The cook assented. " Well, then, Sweetheart," rejoined the master, " let this be a lesson to you. Il' you needs must commit a fault, at least take care that it is one that will admit of a remedy." The mingled wit and wisdom of this admonition are dehghtful. The vis cómica of Sydney Suiith was magnificeut. It must have been glorious in his conversation, for apart from the enchantment of delivery it is glorious in his writiugs. It foams and flashes through his graphic page like an exulting river through a picturesque landscape. It now and then occurred that he feil in with a dullard who failed to perceive at a glance the aim and purport of the Canon's humor. This is a ' damper" to most men, but Sydney Sni'th always turned it to good account. How very funny is this : " A joke goes a great way in the country. I have kcown one to last pretty well -for seyen years. I remember making a joke after a meeting of the clergy in Yorkshire, where there was a Rev. Mr. Buckle, who never spoke when I proposed his health. I said that he was a buckle without a tongue. Most persons, on hearing, laughed, but my next neighbor sat unmoved and sunk in thought. At last, a quarter of an hour after we had all done, he suddenly nudged me, exclaiming: ' 1 see now what yoa meant, Mr. Smith ; you meant a joke.' 'Yes,' I said. ' Sir, I believe I did.' Upon which he began laughing so heartily that I thought he would choke, and was obliged to pat hiin on the back." This ex post facto apprehension of fun, stealing sluggishly over a Bosotian intellect, but at last flaining out in uproarious mirth, has in it, to my thinking, something ridiculous. Equally coinic is the Canon's method of dealing with such witliugs as take pleasure in charades. " I shall say nothing of charades and such sort of unpardonable trumpery. If charades are made at all tíiey should be mide without benefit of clergy ; the of fonder should instantly be hurried on to execution, and cut off in the middle of his dullness, despite his attempts to explain to his executioner why his first is like his sécond, or what is the resemblance between his fourth and his ninth." Who can forbear a smile at the notion of thus suruinarily ejecting the "funny man" of a party, who even while he is being extruded desires to explain why his first is like his second, and what relation his fourth bears to his ninth? -


Old News
Michigan Argus