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vulpecula ; which nitedula, the doctor says, signifies a grass-mouse, and this clears up the whole matter, because it makes the story hang well together : for all the world knows, that weazles have a most tender regard and affection to grass mice, whereas they hate foxes as they do firebrands. In short, all various lections are to be attributed to this. Rule : so are all the Greek dialects; or Homer would have wanted the sonorous beauty of his oio's. But the greatest and best masters of this Rule, without dispute, were the Dorians, who made nothing of saying tin for soi, tenos for ekeinos, surisdomes for suria zomen, &c. From this too we have our quasis in Lexicons. Was it not by Rule the 34th, that the Samaritan, Chaldee, Æthiopick, Syriac, Arabick, and Persian languages were formed from the original Hebrew? for which I appeal to the Polyglott. And among our modern languages, are not the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, derived and formed from the Latin by the same power? How much poets have been obliged to it, we need no farther proof than the figures prothesis, epenthesis, apocope, paragoge, and ellipsis, trimming and fitting of words to make them more agreeable to our ears, Dionysius Halicarnassensis has taken notice of, in his book “De Compositione Vocum,” where he pleasantly compares your polite reformers of words to masons with hammers, who break off
rug"ged corners of stones, that they may become more even and firm in their places.
But, after all, give me leave to lament, that I cannot have the honour of being the sole inventor of this incomparable Rule: though I solemnly protest, upon the word of an author (if an author may have credit), that I never had the least hint toward it, any more than the ladies letters and young childrens pronunciation, till a year after I had proposed this Rule to Dr. who was an excellent judge of the
. THE ART OF PUNNING, advantage it might be to the publick; when, to my great surprise, tumbling over the third tome of Alstedius, p.71, right loth to believe my eyes, I met with the following passage: “ Ambigua mul.' tum faciunt ad hanc rem, cujusmodi exempla plurima reperiuntur apud Plautum, qui in ambiguis crebro ludit. Joci captantur ex permutatione syl. labarum & vocum, ut pro Decretum, Discretum; pro Medicus, Mendicus & Merdicus: pro Polycarpus, Polycopros. Item
Item ex Syllabarum ellipsi, ut ait Alihusisus, cap. iii. civil. convers. pro Casimirus, Frus.; pro Marcus, Arcus; pro Vis nosus, Osus; pro Sacerdotium, Otium. Sic, additione literæ, pro Urbanus, Turbanus.” Which exactly corresponded to every branch and circumstance of my Rule. Then, indeed, I could not avoid breaking out into the following exclamations, and that after a most pathetick manner :
"Wretched Tom Pun-Sibi! Wretched indeed! Are all thy nocturnal lucubrations come to this ? Must another, for being a hundred years before thee in the world, run away with the glory of thy own invention? It is true, he must. Happy Alstedius ! who, I thought, would have stood me in all-stead, upon consulting thy method of joking! All 's tedious to me now, since thou hast robbed me of that honour which would have set me above all writers of the present age. And why not happy Tom Pun-sibi ? did we not jump together like true wits?. But, alas ! thou art on the safest side of the bush; my credit being liable to the suspicion of the world, because you wrote before me. Ill-natured criticks, in spite of all my protestations, will condemn me, right or wrong, for a plagiary. Henceforward never write any thing of thy o:vn; but pillage and trespass upon all that ever wrote before thee; search among dust and moths for things new to the learned. Farewell, Study; from this moment I abandon thee : for,
wherever I can get a paragraph upon any subject whatsoever ready done to my hand, my head shall have no farther trouble than to see it fairly tran. scribed !"-And this method, I hope, will help me to swell out the Second Part of this work.
ADVERTISEMENT. The Second Part of this work will be published, with all convenient expedition: to which will be added, A small Treatise of CONUNDRUMS, CARRIWHICHits, and LONGB-PETITES ; together with the WINTER-Fire's Diversion : The Art of making REBUSES: The Antiquity of Hoop-petticoATS, proved from Adams's iwo Daughters, Calmana and Delbora, &c. &c. &c.
EDMUND CURLL, TO THE READER. There has not, as yet, been any second part of this work published, nor do I believe was ever intended. But my friend Anthony Hammond, esq., upon reading it over, sent me examples to three more rules of his own making, viz.
Rule 35. The Rule of Blunder is, when any one under the notion of a mistake, makes a pun which he may take notice of himself if the company do not ; ex. gr:
Captain J-said to his kinsman, who was going to be married, “O, cousin, I hear you are about to halter your condition.” The company not takiog notice of it; the captain corrected himself, alter, says he, “ I should have said."
Rule 36. The Rule of Sound is when the pun consists in the sound of the words only, without any relation to the thing signified; ex. gr.
He who translated that ingenious posy of a wedding ring, “Qui dedit, se dedit;" when“ he did it, she did it.”
Or, like that of the country. parson, whom a Roundhead colonel thought to puzzle by asking him whether he could rhyme to “hydrops, nocthycorax, thorax, et mascula vervex.” He immediately answered, “ land tax, and army tax, excise, and general Fairfax."
Rule 37. The Rule of Equivocation is the inno. cent use of this Jesuitical Art; ex. gr.
As the famous Daniel Purcell, a nonjuror, was dabbling along the streets in the dirt and rain, and a friend of his passing by asked him why he did not take a coach" Alas," says he, “ this is not a reign for me to take a coach in."
Another time, one of 'Daniel's friends telling him that when king George landed at Greenwichi, he heard, he had a full view of him., for that he stood next to him at his coming ashore. Therefore, says he, you must know him. i
Ay,” replied Daniel, though I know him very well, yet I can't swear to him." · Lastly, Daniel knocking on a 30th of January, at the Crown Tavern door in the Strand, was answered by the drawer, through the wicket, that lie could not let him in, because it was Fast-day, and his master and mistress were 'gone to cliurch, • Dun your master and' mistress," says lr, “ can't they be content to fast theniselves, but they must make their doors fast?"
The learned Mr. Charles Barnard *, sergeant surgeon to queen Anne, being very severe upon parsons having pluralities : A reverend and worthy divine heard him a good while with patience; but ať length took him up with this question, "Why do you, Mr. sergeant Barnard, rail thus at plurálities, who have always so many sine-cures upon your own hands?”
Dr. Lloyd +, bishop of Worcester, so eminent for his prophecies, when by his solicitation and compliance at court he got removed from a poor Welstr bishoprick to a rich English one, a reverend Dean of the church said, “ That he found his brother Lloyd spelt Prophet with an f.”
* Famous for his capital library. N.
+ See the Journal to Stella, July 1, 1712..Dr. William Lloyd, successively bishop of St. Asaph, of Coventry and Lichfield, and of Worcester, was born Aug. 18, 16:7; and died Aug. 30, 1717, in the 91st year of his age, “ without losing the use of his under. standing,” says the writer of his article in the “ Biographia Britan. nica." Bishop Burnet tells us, “ he was the most indefatigable in his industry, and the most judicious in his observations, of any hi kuew, and ons of the greatest masters of style then living."