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bons mots and contés à rire ; which Dean Swift endeavoured, but witli out effect, to persuade him to publish. See his letter to Dr. Sheridan, March 27, 1733. After the publication of “ The Art of Punning," Dr. Sheridan was attacked, by an anonymous writer,* in a poemi called, “ Tom Pun-sibi metamorphosed, or the Giber gibed;" which be answered in a letter “ To the Author of Tom Pun-sibi metamorphosed.” See three poems on the subject in vol. X. pp. 272-276. N.
* Dr. Tisdell, called Black Tisdell.
THE ART OF PUNNING.
“ PUNNATA dicuntur, id ipsum quod sunt, aliorumi esse dicuntur, aut alio quovis modo ad aliud referuntur.”
Puns, in their very nature and constitution, have a relation to something else; or, if they have not, any other reason why will serve as well.
THE PHYSICAL DEFINITION OF PUNNING, ACCORDING TE
Punning is an art of harmonions jingling upon words, which, passing in at the ears, and falling upon the diaphragma, excites a titillary motion in those parts; and this, being conveyed by the animal spirits into the muss cles of the face, raises the cockles of the heart.
THE MORAL DEFINITION OF PUNNING.
Punning is a virtue that most effectually promotes the end of good fellowship, which is laughing.
N. B. I design to make the most celebrated punners in these kingdoms examples to the following rules : RULE 1.
The capital Rule. He that puns, must have a head for it; that is, he must be a man of letters; of a sprightly and fine imagination, whatever men may think of his judgment: like Dr. Swift,* who said, when
* Who greatly excelled in Punning; a talent which, he said, no man affected to despise, but those that were without it. He recordeel the pups of several of his friends; wrote a ballad, full of pups, on the
a lady threw down a Cremona fiddle with a frisk of her Mantua,
* Mantua væ miseræ nimium vicina Cremona !**
Or if you would have a more obvious reason, St. Den pis never made a pun after his head was cut off. Vid. Popish Legend, tom. Ixxviii. p. 15000.
R. 2. The Rule of Forehead. He must have good assurance,
lord who puns in all companies.
R. 3. The Brazen Rule. He must have better assurance, like brigadier
That, as he was passing through a street, he made up to a country fellow who had a hare swinging on a stick over his shoulder, and, giving it a shake, asked him, Whether it was his own hair, or a periwig ?” Whereas it is a notorious Oxford jest.
R. 4. The Rule of Impudence. He must have the best assurance, like Dr. —, who, although I had in three fair combats worsted him, yet had the impudence to challenge me a fourth time.
R. 5. Any person may puo upon another man's puns about half an hour after he has made them; as Dr. and Mr. frequently do.
I remember one day I was in company with them, apd upon, major saying, “ That he would leave me the gout for a legacy;" I made answer, and told the company, “ I should be sorry to have such a leg as he." They both spapped it up in their turns, and had as much applause for the pup as I had.
Westminster election (of which we have not been able to obtain a copy;) and has given some humorous essays in that important science, N.
R. 6. The Rule of Pun
made upon the word pun are to be esteemed as so much old gold; ex. gr. Suppose two famous punsters should contend for the superiority, and a man should wittily say,
“ This is a Carthaginian war."
R. 7. The Socratic Rule is, to instruct others by way of question and answer.
Q. Who was the first drawer?
A. The Crustumenians. (Masters of the Rolls, quotb
Q. Where did the first heraiaphrodites come from?
A. Your red haired men, because they always earry their fire-locks upon their shoulders.
Q. Why should a man in debt be called a diver?
Q. Why are ladies of late years well qualified for hunting?
A. Because they come with a hoop and a hollow.
Q. Why are presbyterians, independents, &c. said to be vermin ?
A. Because they are in-sects:
Q. Where were the first breeches made ?
Q. What prince in the world should have a boar for his arms?
A. The duke of Tuscany.
Q. Why are horses with grease in their heels the best facers ?
A. Because their heels are given to running.
Q. What is the reason that rats and mice are so much afraid of bass violins and fiddles ?
A. Because they are strung with cat-cut.
Q. If a lawyer is a whig, and pretends to be a tory, or vice versa, why should his gown be stripped off?
A. Because he is guilty of sham-party.
Q. How many animals are concerned in the forma. tion of the English tongue ?
A. According to Buck-anan, a great number: (viz.) cat-egorical, dog-matical, crow-nological, flea-botomy, fishognorny, squirril-ity, rat-ification, mouse-olæum, pus-ilanimity, hare-editary, ass-tronomy, jay-ography, stagyrite, duck-tility.
Q. Where were the first hams made ?
A. They were made in the temple of Jupiter Hammon; by the Hamadryades*; one of them (if we may depend upon Baker's Chronicle) was sent as a present to a gentleman in Ham-shire, of the family of the Ham
* Women of Calabria, who dealt in bacon; not nymphs of the groves, as represented by mistaken Antiquity. See a subsequent tract in this rolume. N,