Wednesday, January 04, 2017


A Cordial to the Spirits

William Hazlitt (1778-1830), "On Wit and Humour," Lectures on the Comic Writers (discussing Rabelais):
I cannot help thinking of him here, sitting in his easy chair, with an eye languid with excess of mirth, his lip quivering with a new-born conceit, and wiping his beard after a well-seasoned jest, with his pen held carelessly in his hand, his wine-flagons, and his books of law, of school divinity, and physic before him, which were his jest-books, whence he drew endless stores of absurdity; laughing at the world and enjoying it by turns, and making the world laugh with him again, for the last three hundred years, at his teeming wit and its own prolific follies. Even to those who have never read his works, the name of Rabelais is a cordial to the spirits, and the mention of it cannot consist with gravity or spleen!

Jehan Georges Vibert (1840-1902), Lisant Rabelais

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