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ARS PUN-ICA, SIVÉ FLOS LINGUARUM;
ART OF PUNNING;
THE FLOWER OF LANGUAGES;
IN SEVENTY NINE RULES:
FOR THE FARTHER IMPROVEMENT OF CONVERSATION,
AND HELP OF MEMORY.
BY THE LABOUR AND INDUSTRY OF TOM PUN-SIBI.
Ex ambigua dicta vel argutissima putantur; sed non semper in joco, sæpe etiam in gravitate versantur.-Ingeniosi enim videtur, vim verbi in aliud atque ceteri accipiant, posse ducere.”
Cicero, de Oratore, lib. ii. 861, 2. ." The seeds of Punning are in the miods of all men.”
Addison, Spect. No. 61.
* This Treatise, first published at Dublin in 1719, was immediately reprinted at London; where it passed through five editions* at least, and was then pretty generally ascribed to Dr. Swift; and is called his in the Catalogue of the Library of Anthony Collins, Esq.t It appears, however, that, in this instance, the Dean was only an assistant. The piece was written by Dr. Sheridan; and received several cor. rections and improvements from Dr. Swift Dr. DeJany, and Mr. Rochfort. See the second Preface to this Tract. N.
* In the fifth edition, the examples (xXXV—Xxxvii) first appeared: They were added by Anthony Hammond, Esq. a commissioner of the navy; a good speaker in parliament, and well known by the name of " silver-tongued Hammond," given to him by Lord Bolingbroke. He was a man of wit; but wanted conduct: and had, if we may credit Lord Chesterfield, “ all the senses but common sense.” He was the father of that elegant writer, whose “Love Elegies” breathe the true spirit of Tibullus.
+ This library was sold by auction, by T. Ballard, in 1730-31. Mr. · Collins was particularly curious, in adding the name of the author to every anonymous book in his collection: and when we add, that the catalogue of his library was drawn up by Dr. Sykes, whose skill and accuracy in those matters are well known, it will be deemed, in most cases, no inconsiderable voucher. N.
| The whole treatise is written, it must be acknowledged, in the strain of humour peculiar to Swift; yet, without being too fastidious, we cannot but lament such a misapplication of literary ingevuity. N.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR JOHN SCRUB, BART,
AND MERCHANT, THIS DEDICATION IS HUMBLY PRE
SENTED BY THE AUTHOR.
YOUR honour's character is too well known in the world to stand in need of a dedication ; but I can tell you, that my fortune is not so well settled but I stand in need of a patron. · And therefore, since I am to write a dedicalion, I must, for decency, proceed in the usual method.
First, I then proclaim to the world your high and illustrious birth: that you are, by the father's side, descended from the most ancient and celebrated family of Rome, the Cascas : by the mother's, from Earl Percy. Some, indeed, have been so malicious as to say, your grandmother kill'd-her-kin : But, I think, if the authors of the report were found out, they ought to be hampered. I will allow that the world exclaims deservedly against your mother, because she is no friend to the bottle ; otherwise they would deserve a firkin, as having Do grounds for what they say. However, I do not think it can sully your fine and bright reputation : for the credit you gained at the battle of Hogshed, against the duke of Burgundy, who felt no sham-pain, when you forced him to sink beneath your power, and gave bis whole army a brush, may in time turn to your account; for, to niy knowledge, it put his highness much upon the fret. This, indeed, was no less racking to the king his master, who found himself gross-lee mistaken, io catching a tartar. For the whole world allowed, that you brought him a peg lower, by giving him the parting-blow, and making all his rogues in buckram
to run. Not to mention your great a-gillity, though you are past your prim-age ; and may you never lackage, with a sparkling wit, and brisk imagination ! May your honour also wear loog, beyond the common scanthing of human life, and constantly proceed in your musical diversions of pipe and sack-but, hunting with tarriers, &c. and may your good humour in saying “ I am. phor-a-bottle,” never be lost, to the joy of all them that drink your rrine for rothing, and especially of
Your most humble servant,
TOM PUN-SIBI !
The great and singular advantages of PUNNING, and the lustre it gives to conversation, are commonly so litile kuown in the world, that scarce one man of learning in fifty, to their shame be it spoken, appears to have the least tincture of it in his discourse.
This I can impute to nothing, but that it has not been reduced to a science ; and indeed Cicero seemed long ago to wish for it, as we may gather from his second book De Oratore,* where he has this remarkable passage :
6 Suavis autem est et vehementer sæpe utilis jocus et facetiæ cum ambiguitate -in quibus tu longè aliis meâ sententiâ, Cæsar, excellis : quo magis mibi etiam testis esse potes, aut nullam ésse artem salis, aut, si qua est, eam nos tu potissimum docebis.” “ Pupping is extremely delightful, and oftentimes very profitable, in which, as far as I can judge, Cæsar, you excel all mankind; for which reason you may inform me, whether there be any art of pupping ; or, if there be, I beseech you, above all things, to instruct me in it." So much was this great man affected with the art, and such a noble idea did he conceive of