We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.
(Martha Graham (1894-1991), U.S. dancer, choreographer. "The American Dance," Modern Dance, ed. Virginia Stewart (1935).)
There's terrific merit in having no sense of humour, no sense of irony, practically no sense of anything at all. If you're born with these so-called defects you have a very good chance of getting to the top.
(Peter Cook (b. 1937), British comedian. quoted in Beyond the Fringe ... and Beyond, pt. 4, Ronald Bergan (1989).)
Cold eyes ... steel grey, rather small, not unpleasant in good-humour, diabolic in a passion, but worst when a little suspicious; then they watch you as though you were a young rattle-snake, to be killed when convenient.
(Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. John Carrington in Democracy, p. 15, Library of America (1983).
Referring to Senator Silas P. Ratcliffe.)
Remember that the wit, humour, and jokes of most mixed companies are local. They thrive in that particular soil, but will not often bear transplanting.
(Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Oct. 29, 1748, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. II, p. 95, London (1774).)
I do not correct my first imaginings by my secondwell, yes, perhaps a word or so, but only to vary, not to delete. I want to represent the course of my humors and I want people to see each part at its birth.
(Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of the Resemblance of Children to Fathers," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. II, ch. 37, Abel Langelier, Paris (1595).)