Tuesday, November 15, 2011

“Wit is the outward mental casing of the man”


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“Wit is the outward mental casing of the man, and has no more to do with the inner mind of thought and feelings than have the rich brocaded garments of the priest at the altar with the asceticism of the anchorite below them, whose skin is tormented with sackcloth, and whose body is half flayed with rods. Nay, will not such a one often rejoice more than any other in the rich show of outer apparel? Will it not be food for his pride to feel that he groans inwardly, while he shines outwardly? So it is with the mental efforts which men make. Those which they show forth daily to the world are often the opposites of the inner workings of the spirit.

―Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, Chapter 20.

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