C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Humor is wit and love.


Humor is the pensiveness of wit.


The oil and wine of merry meeting.

Washington Irving.

Humor is the mistress of tears.


Humor is the harmony of the heart.

Douglas Jerrold.

  • A little nonsense now and then
  • Is relished by the wisest men.
  • Anonymous.

    Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius.


    Whenever you find Humor, you find Pathos close by its side.


    The essence of humor is sensibility; warm, tender fellow-feeling with all forms of existence.


    Humor is of a genial quality, and closely allied to pity.

    Henry Giles.

    Flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar.


    Humor, warm and all-embracing as the sunshine, bathes its objects in a genial and abiding light.

    E. P. Whipple.

    Men of humor are always in some degree men of genius; wits are rarely so, although a man of genius may, amongst other gifts, possess wit, as Shakespeare.


    What an ornament and safeguard is humor! Far better than wit for a poet and writer. It is a genius itself, and so defends from the insanities.

    Walter Scott.

    Humor is one of the elements of genius—admirable as an adjunct; but as soon as it becomes dominant, only a surrogate for genius.


    The genius of the Spanish people is exquisitely subtle, without being at all acute; hence there is so much humor and so little wit in their literature.


    It is not in the power of every one to taste humor, however he may wish it; it is the gift of God! and a true feeler always brings half the entertainment along with him.


    True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart; it is not contempt; its essence is love: it issues not in laughter, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper. It is a sort of inverse sublimity, exalting, as it were, into our affections what is below us, while sublimity draws down into our affections what is above us.


    Humor implies a sure conception of the beautiful, the majestic, and the true, by whose light it surveys and shapes their opposites. It is an humane influence, softening with mirth the ragged inequalities of existence, prompting tolerant views of life, bridging over the spaces which separate the lofty from the lowly, the great from the humble.

    E. P. Whipple.