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but with regard to Helen, the word holds only true in the former sense. I go on with other examples :
Effe nihil dicis quicquid petis, improbe Cinna :
Martial, l. 3. epigr. 61.
Jocondus geminum impofuit tibi, Sequana, pontem;
N. B. Jocondus was a monk.
Chief Justice. Well! the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.
Falstaff. He that buckles him in my belt cannot live in Tefs.
Chief Justice. Your means are very flender, and your waste is great.
Falstaff. I would it were otherwise : I would my means were greater, and my waste flenderer.
Second part, Henry IV. act. 1. fo. s.
pray you bear with me, I can go no further. Clown. For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you: yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you ; for I think you have no money in your purse.
As you like it, ač 2. fc. 4.
He that imposes an oath makes it,
Hudibras, part 2. canto 2.
The seventh satire of the first book of Horace, is purposely contrived to introduce at the close a molt execrable pun. Talking of some infamous wretch whose name was Rex Rupilius,
Persius exclamat, Per magnos, Brute, deos te
Though playing with words is a mark of a mind at ease, and disposed to any sort of amusement, we must not thence conclude, that playing with words is always ludicrous. Words are so intimately connected with thought, that if the subject be really grave, it will not appear ludicrous even in this fantastic dress. I am, however, far from recommending it in any serious performance: on the contrary, the discordance between the thought and expression, must be disagreeable; witness the following specimen.
He hath abandoned his physicians, Madam, under whose practices he hath perfecuted time with hope: and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.
All's well that ends well, act. 1. sc. 1.
K. Henry. O my poor kingdom, fick with civil blows! When that my care could not with-hold thy riots, What wilt thou do when riot is thy care ?
Second part, K. Henry IV.
If any one shall observe, that there is a'third species of wit, different from those mentioned, consisting in sounds merely, I am willing to give it place. And indeed it must be admitted, that many of Hudibras's double rhymes come under the definition of wit given in the beginning of this chapter : they are ludicrous, and their fingularity occasions some degree of surprise. Swift is not less successful than Butler in this fort of
witness the following instances : Goddefs — Boddice. Pliny – Nicolini. Iscariots - Chariots. Mitre - Nitre. Dragon- Suffragan.
A repartee may happen to be witty: but it cannot be considered as a species of wit; because there are many repartees extremely smart, and withal extremely serious. I give the following example. A certain petulant Greek, objecting to Anacharsis that he was a Scythian : True, says Anacharsis, my country disgraces me, but you disgrace your country. This fine turn gives surprise; but it is far from being ludicrous.
CH A P.
CUSTOM AND HABIT.
IEWING man as a sensitive being, and
perceiving the influence of novelty upon
him, would one suspect that custom has an equal influence? and yet our nature is equally susceptible of both; not only in different objects, but frequently in the same. When an object is new, it is inchanting : familiarity renders it indifferent; and custom, after a longer familiarity, makes it again desireable. Human nature, diverfified with many and various springs of action, is wonderfully, and, indulging the expression, intricately constructed.
Custom håth such influence upon many of our feelings, by warping and varying them, that we must attend to its operations, if we would be acquainted with human nature.
, in itself obscure, has been much neglected; and a complete analysis of it would be no easy task. I pretend only to touch it cursorily; hoping, however, that what is here laid down, will dispose more diligent inquirers to attempt further discoveries.
Custom respects the action, habit the actor. By custom we mean, a frequent reiteration of
the same act; and by habit, the effect that cuItom has on the mind or body. This effect may be either active, witness the dexterity produced by custom in performing certain exercises; or passive,
; as when, by custom, we come to relish certain things more than we did at first. Active habits come not under the present undertaking; and therefore I confine myself to those that are pasfive.
This subject is intricate : fome pleasures are fortified by custom; and yet custom begets familiarity, and consequently indifference * : in many instances, satiety and disgust are the consequences of reiteration : again, though custom blunts the edge of distress and of pain; yet the want of any thing to which we have been long accustomed, is a sort of torture. A clue to guide us through all the intricacies of this labyrinth, would be an acceptable present.
Whatever be the cause, it is an established fact, that we are much influenced by custom: it hath an effect upon our pleasures, upon our actions, and even upon our thoughts and sentiments. Habit makes no figure during the vivacity of youth : in middle age it gains ground; and in
* If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work:
First part, Henry IV. mt 1. fc. 3.