The present state of wit, in a letter to a friend in the country (Google eBook)

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1711. [Westminster, 1711
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Page 517 - Law is a Bottomless Pit, exemplified in the case of the Lord Strutt, John Bull, Nicholas Frog, and Lewis Baboon; who spent all they had in a law-suit. — Printed from a manuscript found in the cabinet of the famous Sir Humphrey Polesworth.
Page 509 - ... say that any of them have come up to the beauties of the original, I think we may venture to affirm, that every one of them writes and thinks much more justly than they did some time since.
Page 509 - It is incredible to conceive the effect his writings have had on the town; how many thousand follies they have either quite banished, or given a very great check to; how much countenance they have added to virtue and religion; how many people they have rendered happy, by...
Page 509 - He has, indeed, rescued it out of the hands of pedants and fools, and discovered the true method of making it amiable and lovely to all mankind.
Page 505 - ... preface, I shall therefore endeavour to perform, and give you the histories and characters of all our periodical papers, whether monthly, weekly, or diurnal, with the same freedom I used to send you our other town news. I shall only premise, that as you know I never cared one farthing either for whig or tory...
Page 512 - If this piece of imprudence does not spoil so excellent a Paper, I propose to myself the highest satisfaction in reading it with you, over a dish of tea, every morning next winter.
Page 508 - It must indeed be confessed that never man threw up his pen, under stronger temptations to have employed it longer. His reputation was at a greater height, than I believe ever any living author's was before him.
Page 506 - DEFOE] is quite exhausted, and grown so very contemptible, that though he has provoked all his Brothers of the Quill round, none of them will enter into a controversy with him. This fellow, who had excellent natural parts, but wanted a small foundation of learning, is a lively instance of those Wits who, as an ingenious author says, "will endure but one skimming...
Page 510 - ULYSSES ; but soon found that this sort of writing requires so fine and particular a manner of Thinking, with so exact a Knowledge of the World, as must make them utterly despair of success. They seemed indeed at first to think, that what was only the garnish of the former Tatlers, was that which recommended them ; and not those Substantial Entertainments which they everywhere . abound in.
Page 508 - It would have been a jest, some time since, for a man to have asserted that anything witty could be said in praise of a married state, or that Devotion and Virtue were any way necessary to the character of a Fine Gentleman.

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