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Fontenelle's Insensibility

Fontenelle, who lived till within one month of a century, was very

rarely known to laugh or cry, and even boasted of his insensibility. One

day, a certain bon-vivant Abbe came unexpectedly to dine with him. The

Abbe was fond of asparagus dressed with butter; Fontenelle, also, had a

great gout for the vegetable, but preferred it dressed with oil.

Fontenelle said, that, for such a friend, there was no sacrifice he

would not make; and that he should have half the dish of asparagus

which he had ordered for himself, and that half, moreover, should be

dressed with butter. While they were conversing together, the poor

Abbe fell down in a fit of apoplexy; upon which Fontenelle instantly

scampered down stairs, and eagerly bawled out to his cook, "The whole

with oil! the whole with oil, as at first!"

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