Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances

Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances

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Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances

Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Few books are duller than books of Aphorisms and Apophthegms. A Jest-book is, proverbially, no joke ; a Wit-book, perhaps, worse; but dullest of all, probably, is the Moral-book, which this little volume pretends to be. So with men: the Jester, the Wit, and the Moralist, each wearisome in proportion as each deals exclusively in his one commodity. "Too much of one thing," says Fuller, "is good for nothing."

Bacon's " Apophthegms " seem to me the best collection of many men's sayings; the greatest variety of wisdom, good sense, wit, humour, and even simple " naiveté," (as one must call it for want of a native word,) all told in a style whose dignity and antiquity (together with perhaps our secret consciousness of the gravity and even tragic greatness of the narrator) add a particular humour to the lighter stories.

Johnson said Selden's Table-talk was worth all the French "Ana" together. Here also we find wit, humour . . .

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