Reference > Quotations > Frank J. Wilstach, comp. > A Dictionary of Similes
Frank J. Wilstach, comp.  A Dictionary of Similes.  1916.
  Jeffrey, in conversation, was like a skilful swordsman flourishing his weapon in the air; while Mackintosh, with a thin sharp rapier, in the middle of his evolutions, ran him through the body.
            —Sir Archibald Alison
  Our conversation with the ladies, like whip syllabub, was very pretty, but had nothing in it.
            —William Byrd
  I have sometimes compared conversations to the Italian game of Moral in which one player lifts his hand with so many fingers extended, and the other matches or misses the number, as the case may be, with his own. I show my thought, another his; if they agree, well; if they differ, we find the largest common factor, if we can, but at any rate avoid disputing about remainders and fractions, which is to real talk what tuning an instrument is to playing on it.
            —Oliver Wendell Holmes
  A transition from an author’s book to his conversation, is too often like an entrance into a large city, after distant prospect. Remotely, we see nothing but spires of temples and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of splendor, grandeur, and magnificence; but, when we have passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions and clouded with smoke.
            —Dr. Samuel Johnson
  The conversation of a man resembles a piece of embroidered tapestry, which, when spread out, showed its figures, but, when it is folded up, they are hidden and lost.

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