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Erasmus in Praise of Folly; With Portrait, Life of Erasmus, and His Epistle to Sir Thomas More

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1922 edition. Excerpt: ... L, and a different cadency in pronunciation, is a great advantage to the setting off any thing that is spoken, they will sometimes as it were mutter their words inwardly, and then of a sudden hollow them out, and be sure at last to finish in such a flat, faltering tone as if their spirits were spent, and they had run themselves out of breath. Lastly, they have read that most systems of rhetoric treat of the art of exciting laughter; therefore, for the effecting of this, they will sprinkle some jests and puns that must pass for ingenuity, though they are only the froth and folly of affectedness. Sometimes they will nibble at the wit of being satirical, though their utmost spleen is so toothless, that they suck rather than bite, tickle rather than scratch or wound: nor do they ever flatter more than at such times as they pretend to speak with greatest freedom. Finally, all their actions are so buffoonish and mimical, that any would judge they had learned all their tricks of mountebanks and stage players, who in action it is true may perhaps outdo them, but in oratory there is so little odds between both, that it is hard to determine which seems of longest standing in the schools of eloquence. Yet these preachers, however ridiculous, meet with such hearers, who admire them as much as the people of Athens did Demosthenes, or the citizens of Rome could do Cicero: among which admirers are chiefly shopkeepers, and women, whose approbation and good opinion they only court; because the first, if they are humored, give them some snacks out of unjust gain, and the last come and confess to them with great regularity, and receive in return advice, comfort and consolation. 'Thus much I suppose may suffice to make you sensible how much these..."
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