In 1605 Conti, whose first wife Jeanne de Cdeme, heiress of Bonnetable, had died in 1601, married the beautiful and witty Louise Marguerite (1574-1631), daughter of Henry duke of Guise and Catherine of Cleves, whom, but for the influence of his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrees, Henry IV.
Moreover, the commerce des bles had been a favourite topic of the salons for some years past, and the witty Galiani, the opponent of the physiocrats, had a large following.
In the course of the defence, the witty Erskine went on to illustrate his position, by alluding to a recent crim. con. case, wherein a gentleman, after in vain trying to bridle his wife's viciousness, had at last abandoned her upon the seas of life; but in the course of years, repenting of that step, he instituted an action to recover possession of her.
At the same time that the Neo-Platonists, like Ficino and Pico de la Mirandola, and the pantheists, whose God was little more than a reverential conception of the universe at large, and the purely worldly humanists, like Celtes and Bebel, were widely diverging each by his own particular path from the ecclesiastical Weltanschauung of the middle ages, Ulrich von Hutten was busy attacking the Curia in his witty Dialogues, in the name of German patriotism.
Knud Lyne Rahbek (1760-1830) was a pleasing novelist, a dramatist of some merit, a pathetic elegist, and a witty song-writer; he was also a man full of the literary instinct, and through a long life he never ceased to busy himself with editing the works of the older poets, and spreading among the people a knowledge of Danish literature through his magazine, Minerva, edited in conjunction with C. H.
He writes on theological subjects with the detachment of a thoughtful layman, and is witty without being flippant.
It does not, as has been said, anticipate the economical doctrines of Adam Smith, and much of it is fanciful without being either witty or ingenious.
Neither the witty and lucid form in which the philosophers clothed their ideas in their satires, romances, stage-plays and treatises, nor the salons of Madame du Deffand, Madame Geoffrin and Mademoiselle de Lespinasse, could possibly have been sufficiently far-reaching or active centres of political propaganda.
At the Dutch university, where he matriculated on the 27th of October 1745, he associated with a small knot of English youths, afterwards well known in various circles of life, among whom were Dowdeswell, his subsequent rival in politics, Wilkes, the witty and unprincipled reformer, and Alexander Carlyle, the genial Scotchman, who devotes some of the pages of his Autobiography to chronicling their sayings and their doings.
He had, William also reports, a gift of impromptu eloquence, and a faculty both for saying witty things pleasantly at other people's expense and for listening placidly to witticisms directed against himself; while he was generous to excess without needing to make exactions in order to support his generosity, and always respected the Church.