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" ... [He might have said the same of writers too, if he had pleased.] In the lowest form he places those whom he calls les petits esprits, such things as are our upper-gallery audience in a playhouse ; who like nothing but the husk and rind of wit, prefer... "
The Works of John Dryden: Now First Collected in Eighteen Volumes - Page 201
by John Dryden, Walter Scott - 1821
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Ideological Hesitancy in Spain 1700-1750

Ivy Lilian McClelland - Literary Criticism - 1991 - 152 pages
...forth'. 51 The Spectator, which had talked disparagingly of our 'Upper-Gallery audiences . . . who like nothing but the husk and rind of wit, prefer a quibble,...epigram, before solid sense and elegant expression . . .', later turned his attention to pulpit oratory: 'The Dissenters ... do indeed elevate their voices,...
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Body and Text in the Eighteenth Century

Veronica Kelly, Dorothea von Mücke - Literary Criticism - 1994 - 368 pages
...Dryden's citation of Segrais on Virgil, he labels "Mob-Readers," the "Rabble of Readers," all those who " 'prefer a Quibble, a Conceit, an Epigram, before solid Sense and elegant Expression' " (i: 2,69). To cultivate the public and institute a commonwealth of letters is to send both the mob-readers...
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Bentley's Miscellany, Volume 1, Part 2

1838
...calls les petils esprits ; such things as are our upper-gallery audience in a play-house, who like nothing but the husk and rind of wit ; prefer a quibble,...sense and elegant expression. These are mob readers, and through their ignorant criticisms create a shoal of authors of the same level. There is a middle...
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