A college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram?
(William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing, act 5, sc. 4, l. 100-2.
Having sworn he would never marry, he is teased by Don Pedro for agreeing to marry Beatrice; "college" means assembly.)
The genius of the Spanish people is exquisitely subtle, without being at all acute; hence there is so much humour and so little wit in their literature.
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), British poet, critic. repr. In Collected Works, vol. 14, ed. Kathleen Coburn (1990). Table Talk, April 23, 1832, Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Henry Nelson Coleridge (1835).)
My chief humor is for a tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
(William Shakespeare (1564-1616), British dramatist, poet. Bottom, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, act 1, sc. 2, l. 29-30.
"Humor" means inclination; "Ercles" is Bottom's corruption of Hercules; to "tear a cat" on the stage is to rant and bluster.)