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...are always laughing, at length laugh on the wrong side of their faces; for they cannot get others to laugh with them. In like manner, an affectation of wit by degrees hardens the heart, and spoils good company and good manners. A perpetual succession of good things puts an end to common conversation. There is no answer to a jest, but another; and even where the ball can be kept up in this way without ceasing, it tires the patience of the bystanders, and runs the speakers out of breath.Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
LOVE IN WINTER [Sidenote: _Austin Dobson_]
Between the berried holly-bush The blackbird whistled to the thrush: "Which way did bright-eyed Bella go? Look, Speckle-breast, across the snow,-- Are those her dainty tracks I see, That wind beside the shrubbery?"
The throstle pecked the berries still. "No need for looking, Yellowbill; Young Frank was there an hour ago, Half frozen, waiting in the snow; His callow beard was white with rime,-- ... Hazlitt, William
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