In those days conversation was still cultivated as an art; a neat repartee was more highly valued than the crackling of thorns under a pot; and the epigram, not yet a mechanical appliance by which the dull may achieve a semblance of wit, gave sprightliness
to the small talk of the urbane.
He was not ungenteel, nor entirely devoid of wit, and in his youth had abounded in sprightliness
, which, though he had lately put on a more serious character, he could, when he pleased, resume.
This, however, he would not by any means consent to, so he remained all the evening with his helmet on, the drollest and oddest figure that can be imagined; and while they were removing his armour, taking the baggages who were about it for ladies of high degree belonging to the castle, he said to them with great sprightliness
'You shall not shake me off, for all that,' replied Miss La Creevy, with as much sprightliness
as she could assume.
"I left him five days ago," said D'Artagnan, and he portrayed with Gascon wit and sprightliness
the magnificence of Porthos in his Chateau of Pierrefonds; nor did he neglect to launch a few arrows of wit at the excellent Monsieur Mouston.
'I'll give you a dram when we've got through,' said he, affecting a sprightliness
which sat on him most unhandsomely,
It had no sprightliness
, no purpose; only a tendency.
He thought her smile affected, and the coy sprightliness
of her manner irritated him.
But he was very tentative, fastidiously so, letting Ruth set the pace of sprightliness
and fancy, keeping up with her but never daring to go beyond her.
Pitt was struck too by the deference with which the great Peer treated his sister-in-law, by her ease and sprightliness
in the conversation, and by the delight with which the other men of the party listened to her talk.
That simple dancing of well-covered matrons, laying aside for an hour the cares of house and dairy, remembering but not affecting youth, not jealous but proud of the young maidens by their side--that holiday sprightliness
of portly husbands paying little compliments to their wives, as if their courting days were come again--those lads and lasses a little confused and awkward with their partners, having nothing to say--it would be a pleasant variety to see all that sometimes, instead of low dresses and large skirts, and scanning glances exploring costumes, and languid men in lacquered boots smiling with double meaning.
'This is an old room,' he remarked, with a sudden sprightliness
of manner, looking round when he got near the door, 'I have been so interested that I have not observed it.