The Hon. Henry Erskine is as distinguished for that species of wit called punning, as George Selwyn was formerly in England. — “Punning is the lowest sort of wit,” said a gentleman to him one day; “It is so,” said he, “and is, therefore, the foundation of all wit!”
— Sporting Magazine, Vol. 31, 1808
As a consequence of foresight, some of the commonest emotions of human nature are unknown on Mars. They for whom the future has no mystery can, of course, know neither hope nor fear. Moreover, every one being assured what he shall attain to and what not, there can be no such thing as rivalship, or emulation, or any sort of competition in any respect; and therefore all the brood of heart-burnings and hatreds, engendered on Earth by the strife of man with man, is unknown to the people of Mars, save from the study of our planet.
— Edward Bellamy, “The Blindman’s World”, The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 58, November 1886
“Old Bill,” dead in London, was a carrier pigeon. He carried messages during the first year of the big war from British army and air forces in France and Belgium back to London and lost a leg. Brought back to England by an invalid soldier, he enjoyed life for many years, and now has laudatory “obituary notices” in English papers.
“Old Bill” flew back and forth in the big war and lost a leg without ever knowing why he was flying or why he had to lose that leg.
But “Old Bill” was no more ignorant than a majority of the soldiers over whose heads he flew on errands that he did not understand.
— The Evening Review [East Liverpool, Ohio], June 21, 1934