Nor did he lend himself to any kind of public diversion with more freedom and hilarity; insomuch that he would hold out his left hand, and joined by the common people, count upon his fingers aloud the gold pieces presented to those who came off conquerors. He would earnestly invite the company to be merry; sometimes calling them his "masters," with a mixture of insipid, far-fetched jests.
The great passion of that king was to see those who listened to him laugh, whether with sincerity or with affectation, when he related something; he could narrate well and amplify in a very amusing manner all the particulars of an anecdote; but he called anyone who did not laugh at his jests a fool, and that was always the person who understood him best.
He threw a newspaper at the censorious suit-case and, much relieved, went to bed to dream that he was a rabbit making enormously amusing jests, at which he laughed rollickingly in half-dream, till he realized that he was being awakened by the sound of long sobs from the room of Istra Nash. Afternoon; Mr. Wrenn in his room.
Having, therefore, dissipated the idle contrivance of the enemy, having attacked those who were in arms, they drove their whole line before them, and having got possession of the camp also on that day, and obtained great booty, they returned victorious, uttering military jests, both on the stratagem of the enemy as also on their own panic.
It crawled up to him, and he stooped down to stroke its head, when, with a yelp of terror, it leaped out of his reach and ran back into the lane. As if it was the best of jests, he laughed aloud, and picking up a stone, sent it hurtling after the cur. Then he was suddenly afraid. The loneliness of the spot the horrors lurking in the dark the dog's howl and his own meaningless laughter.
After he had uttered one or two coarse jests of a similar character, which cost us less as we were masked, and our emotions could only be guessed, the crowd about us, seeing I took the thing quietly, began to applaud him; but more as it seemed to me out of fear than love.
The wedding party started for the post, old mother Tumlin fluttering about the bride as complacently as if the ceremony had been the culmination of the most decorous courtship. The oafish brother drove the bridal party, making crude jests by-the-way, to the frank delight of the prospective groom and the giggling protestations of the bride.
But in his figure, in the greeny loden suit, he looked CHETIF and puny, still strangely different from the rest. He had taken a little toboggan, for the two of them, and they trudged between the blinding slopes of snow, that burned their now hardening faces, laughing in an endless sequence of quips and jests and polyglot fancies.
Here, it is true, were none of the applicances which popular merriment would so readily have found in the England of Elizabeth's time, or that of James;—no rude shows of a theatrical kind; no minstrel, with his harp and legendary ballad, nor gleeman, with an ape dancing to his music; no juggler, with his tricks of mimic witchcraft; no Merry Andrew, to stir up the multitude with jests, perhaps hundreds of years old, but still effective, by their appeals to the very broadest sources of mirthful sympathy.
When at last she saw that nothing hostile was at present to be effected, she drew herself up, and giving Bedos a tremendous box on the ear, as he stood grinning beside her, marched out of the room. We then again rallied around the table, more than ever disposed to be brilliant, and kept up till day break a continued fire of jests upon the heroine of the passage.
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