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[19] When, therefore, we speak of the salt of wit, we refer to wit about which there is nothing insipid, wit, that is to say, which serves as a simple seasoning of language, a condiment which is silently appreciated by our judgment, as food is appreciated by the palate, with the result that it stimulates our taste and saves a speech from becoming tedious. But just as salt, if sprinkled freely over food, gives a special relish of its own, so long as it is not used to excess, so in the case of those who have the salt of wit there is something about [p. 449] their language which arouses in us a thirst to hear. Again, I do not regard the epithet facelus as applicable solely to that which raises a laugh.

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load focus Latin (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1921)
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