A deserter announced his arrival to Vespasian, who rejoiced (Josephus says) that the cleverest of his enemies had thus voluntarily imprisoned himself.
If I were not myself, but the handsomest, cleverest, and best man in the world, and were free, I would this moment ask on my knees for your hand and your love!
In 1773 there appeared in the Public Advertiser one of Franklin's cleverest hoaxes, " An Edict of the King of Prussia," proclaiming that the island of Britain was a colony of Prussia, having been settled by Angles and Saxons, having been protected by Prussia, having been defended by Prussia against France in the war just past, and never having been definitely freed from Prussia's rule; and that, therefore, Great Britain should now submit to certain taxes laid by Prussia - the taxes being identical with those laid upon the American colonies by Great Britain.
Within a year or two he became junior partner with Thomas Whieldon of Fenton, then the cleverest master-potter in Staffordshire.
Yet if on leaving the table we had been severally taken aside and asked which was the cleverest of the party, we should have been obliged to say ` the man in the green velvet trousers.'" This story is a little lamp that throws much light.