In this context I ought also to record that so clever a reviewer was he and so reasonable were all his views, that it was not only difficult but almost impossible to catch him out, I will not say in a mistake in facts, for in these he was always accurate, but in an over-statement or an under-statement.
Then you can take both the annual prizes, if you like, and claim them in money, if you want that more than medals. I have thought it all over, he answered, and have pretty much made up my mind to go. A perfectly gentlemanly young man, of courteous address and mild utterance, but means at least as much as he says. There are some people whose rhetoric consists of a slight habitual under-statement.
The smothered voice, the tepid manner, the affected and hesitating under-statement, of a certain middlish class of English men and women, and, alas, their American imitators, who are striving toward their comical interpretation of the Vere de Vere manner, are the promoters of guffaws in private, and uneasiness in public, between nations, to a far greater extent than the bold individualist, whose voice and manners, good or bad, are all his own.
And then it should be borne in mind that the same general motives which would lead to an under-statement in regard to the number of persons unable to read and write, would lead to an over-statement in regard to the number of those attending school.
There is no hyperbole in this description of Sophia's sensations, but rather an under-statement of them. She was utterly obsessed by the unique qualities of Mr. Scales. Nothing would have persuaded her that the peer of Mr. Scales existed among men, or could possibly exist.
He thought it was an under-statement for this part of the county of Donegal, but to be explained, perhaps, by the fact that so much of the migration is merely from one county into another, and not out of the kingdom.
She read it aloud from beginning to end, nor did she falter much when Caleb greeted the postscript with a shout of joy. Caleb was most high-spirited those days, for the line in regard to the progress of Steve's work was in truth an under-statement if anything, even though the assurance of his happiness might have been called a misconstruance of facts.
Their humour is illustrated by Chuang-Tze's account of Po-Lo who "understood the management of horses," and trained them till five out of every ten died. Their restraint and under-statement are evident when they are compared with Western mystics. Both characteristics belong to all Chinese literature and art, and to the conversation of cultivated Chinese in the present day.
"If I have a foible, it is under-statement," returned Hadria, with a half-smile. "Then I think you haven't a foible," said Algitha. "That I am ready to admit; but seriously, women seem bent on proving that you may treat them as you like, but they will 'never desert Mr. Micawber." Algitha smiled. "They are so mortally afraid of getting off the line and doing what might not be quite right.
All classes in China are fond of laughter, and never miss a chance of a joke. In the educated classes, the humour is sly and delicate, so that Europeans often fail to see it, which adds to the enjoyment of the Chinese. Their habit of under-statement is remarkable.