general disposition: As when someone peculiar quality, doth so possess a man, that it doth draw. (There is, to be sure, something like humour in Ulysses, but it is of the rather wry kind, foreshadowed in Sterne's Tristram Shandy.) Flatness of character is probably essential for comic story-telling. Men of almost every degree of wit called on me in the migrating season. The real wit and rigour of Oldham's satirical poetry are undeniable, while its faults - its frenzied extravagance and lack of metrical polish - might, as Dryden suggests, have been cured with time, for Oldham was only thirty when he died. He is actually one of our big writers, and his immense success with types suggest that there may be more in flatness than the severer critics admit." Forster's estimate is very high if seen against the tradition of the psychological novel, beginning with Richardson. Even though nearly as many as a hundred comic characters make their appearance between its pages, the essential humour of the book does not lie in character presentation, but in the very atmosphere of good spirits, good nature, cheerfulness, and benevolence which pervades.
English poet John Donne is the representative of this style of poetry. Pope's well-known lines from his Essay on Criticism define this aspect of wit well: True wit is Nature to advantage dressed, What oft was advantages and disadvantages of electoral college essay thought, but ne'er so well expressed. With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole. The latter I consider as an Act, the former as an Habit of the Mind. What better way of amusement than to tap the domain of the laughable for the literature of the age?! His poems, novels and comedies are full of wit and exuberant vitality.