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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Horae Walpole 1717-1797 John Bartlett

    Harry Vane, Pulteney’s toad-eater,
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1742.
    The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel.
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1770.
    A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now and then, does not misbecome a monarch. 1
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1774.
    The whole [Scotch] nation hitherto has been void of wit and humour, and even incapable of relishing it. 2
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1778.
Note 1.
A little nonsense now and then
Is relished by the wisest men.
Anonymous. [back]
Note 2.
It requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding.—Sydney Smith: Lady Holland’s Memoir, vol. i. p. 15. [back]