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blessed the other.' When one sees there are actually such pains-takers among our British wits, who can tell what it may end in? If we must lash one another, let it be with the manly strokes of wit and satire; for I am of the old philosopher's opinion, that if I must suffer from one or the other, I would rather it should be from the paw of a lion, than from the hoof of an ass. I do not speak this out of any spirit of party. There is a most crying dulness on both sides. I have seen tory acrostics and whig anagrams, and do not quarrel with either of them, because they are whigs or tories, but because they are anagrams and acrostics.

But to return to punning. Having pursued the history of a pun, from its original to its downfal, I shall here define it to be a conceit arising from the use of two words that agree in the sound, but differ in the sense. The only way there. fore to try a piece of wit, is to translate it into a different language. If it bears the test, you may pronounce it true: but if it vanishes in the experiment, you may conclude it to have been a pun. In short, one may say of a pun, as the countryman described his nightingale, that it is óvox et præterea nihil;' a sound, and nothing but a sound. On the contrary, one may represent true wit by the description which Aristenetus makes of a fine woman; when she is dressed she is beautiful; when she is undressed she is beautiful; or as Mercerus has translated it more emphatically, Induitur formosa est : exuitur, ipsa forma est.'*

C. * Dressed she is beautiful, undressed she is beauty's sell.


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