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An Essay towards Fixing the True Standards of Wit, Humour, Railery, Satire, and Ridicule (1744)
written by "Morris, Corbyn, 1710-1779"
...it is only for want of proper Objects; for no Person has certainly a quicker Feeling; And there are Instances frequent, of greater Generosity and humane Warmth flowing from an Humourist, than are capable of proceeding from a weak Insipid, 22 who labours under a continual Flux of Civility. Upon the whole, the Humourist is perhaps the least of all others, a despicable Character. But Imitations, which are frequently seen of this Character, are excessively despicable.--What can be more ridiculous, than a Wretch setting up for an Humourist, merely upon the Strength of disrelishing every Thing, without any Principle;--The Servants, Drawers, Victuals, Weather,--and growling without Poignancy of Sense, at every new Circumstance which appears, in public or private. A perfect and compleat Humourist is rarely to be found; and when you hear his Voice, is a different Creature.--In writing to Englishmen, who are generally tinged, deeply or slightly, with the Dye of the Humourist, it seem'd not improper to insist the longer upon this Character; However, let none be too fond of it; For though an Humourist with his Roughness is greatly to be preferr'd to a smooth Insipid, yet the Extremes of both are equally wretched: Ideots being only the lowest Scale of Insipids, as Madmen are no other than Humourists in Excess. It may be proper to observe in this place, that though all Ostentation, Affectation, and Imitation are excluded from the Composition of a perfect Humourist; yet as they are the obvious Foibles of some Persons in Life, 23 they may justly be made the Subject of Humour. For Humour extensively and fully understood, is any remarkable Oddity or Foible belonging to a Person in real Life; whether this Foible be constitutional, habitual, or only affected; whether partial in one or two Circumstances; or tinging the whole Temper and Conduct of the Person. It has from hence been observ'd, that there is more Humour in the English Comedies ...

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