Has anyone read Thomas Hardy's "Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver"?  I am interested in how the author brings out the humor in the characters. Barrie

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The story is indeed a humorous one - starting with the irony of the title. Tony Kytes is far from an ‘arch deceiver’ as his plan of hiding each of his ladies in his cart as he comes across them is doomed to failure. As he says to his father:

 All three are in that wagon, and what to do with ‘em I know no more then the dead!

Tony was unable to turn down each of the ladies. We are told at the beginning:

 He loved ‘em in shoals

 There is also humour in that despite flirting with Tony both Unity and Hannah refuse Tony’s offer of marriage and he is left with Milly, the girl to which he was promised at the beginning of the story. These points, coupled with Tony’s lame excuses for the wriggling ‘tis the axle’, ‘a couple of ferrets’ make the story humorous.

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