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therefore, to try a piece of wit, is to On the contrary, one may represent
tranflate it into a different language; if true wit by the description which Ari-
it bears the test, you may pronounce it ftenetus makes of a fine woman; when
true; but if it vanishes in the experi- she is dressed the is beautiful, when the
ment, you may conclude it to have is undreiled the is beautiful; or as
been a Pun. In short, one may say of Mercerus has translated is more empha-
a Pun, as the countryman described his tically—Induitur, formofa eft; exuitur,
nightingale, that it is vox et præterea ipfa forma eft.
xibil, a lound, and nothing but a found.




Hor. Ars Poet. VER. 309.


R. Locke has an admirable re

order, therefore, that the resemblance

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wit and judgment, whereby he endea- the ideas thould not lie too near one an-
vours to thew the reason why they are other in the nature of things; for where
not always the talents of the same per- the likeness is obvious, it gives no sur-
fon. His words are as follow: • And prise. To compare one man's finging

hence, perhaps, may be given fome to that of another, or to represent the
reason of that common observation, whiteness of any object by that of milk
that men who have a great deal of wit and snow, or the variety of it's colours
and prompt memories, have not alo hy those of the rainbow, cannot be call-
ways the clearelt judgment, or deepest ed wit, unless, besides this obvious re-
reason. For wit lying most in the af- semblance, there be some further con- .
semblage of ideas, and putting those gruity discovered in the two ideas that
together with quickness and variety, is capable of giving the reader fome fur-
wherein can be found any resemblance prise. Thus when a poet tells us, the
or congruity, thereby to make up bosom of his mistress is as white as snow,
pleasant pictures and agreeable visions there is no wit in the comparison : but
in the fancy; judgment, on the con- when he adds, with a sigh, that it is as
trary, lies quite on the other side, in cold too, it then grows into wit. Every
feparating carefully one from another, reader's memory may supply him with
ideas wherein can be found the least innumerable initances of the same na-
difference, thereby to avoid being mis ture. For this reason the fimilitudes in
led by himilitude, and by affinity to heroic poets, who endeavour rather to
take one thing for another. This is fill the mind with great conceptions,
a way of proceeding quite contrary to

than to divert it with such as are new metaphor and allusion; therein, for and surprising, have feldom any thing the most part, lies that entertainment in them that can be called wit. Mr.

and pleasantry of wit which strikes fo Locke's account of wit, with this fort lively on the fancy, and is therefore explanation, comprehends most of the fo acceptable to all people.'

species of wit, as metaphors, finilitudes, This is, I think, the best and most phi- allegories, ænigmas, mottos, parables, losophical account that I ever met with fables, dreams, vilions, dramatic writof wit, which generally, though not al- ings, burlesques, and all the methods ways, confifts in such a resemblance of allufion : as there are many other and congruity of ideas as this author pieces of wit, how remote soever they mentions. I hall only add to it, by may appear at firit light from the foreway of explanation, that every refem- going description, which upon examiblance of ideas is not that which we call nation will be found to agree with it. wit, unless it be such an one that gives As true wit generally consists in this delight and furprise to the reader: ihele resemblance and congruity of ideas, falte two properties seem effential to wit, wit chiefly colilts in the resemblance more particularly the last of them. In and congruity fometimes of fingle let


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ters, as in anagrams, chronograms, rid Zone to be habitable. When his lipograms, and acrostics; fometiines of mistress had read his letter written in syllables, as in echos and doggerel juice of lemon by holding it to the fire, rhymes: sometimes of words, as in puns he desires her to read it over again by and quibbles; and sometines of whole Love's flames. When the weeps, he fentences or poems, cait into the figure wishes it were inward heat that distilled of eggs, axes, or altars: nay, fome those diops from the limbec. When she carry the notion of wit so far, as to is abfent, he is beyond eighty, that is, ascribe it even to external nuimicry; and thirty degrees nearer the pule than when to look upon a man as an ingenious per Me is with him. His ainbitious love is fon, that can resemble the tone, poiture, a fire that naturally mounts upwards ; or face of another.

his happy love is the beams of heaven, As true wit conlists in the resemblance and his unhappy love faines of hell. of ideas, and false wit in the relem- . When it does not let hin sleep, it is a blance of words, according to the fore flame that fends up no fimoke; when it going instances; there is another kind is opposed by counsel and advice, it is a of wit which consists partly in the re fire that rages the more by the winds semblance of ideas, and partly in the re blowing upon it. Upon the dying of a 1emblance of words, which for distinc tree in which he had cut his loves, he tion fake I shall call mixt wit. This observes that his written flames had kind of wit is that which abounds in burnt up and withered the tree. When Cowley, more than in any author that he resolves to give over his paffion, he ever wrote. Mr. Waller has likewise a tell us that one burnt like him for ever great deal of it. Mr. Dryden is very dreads the fire. His heart is an Ætea, sparing in it. Milton had a genius that instead of Vulcan's shop, incloses much above it. Spenser is in the same Cupid's forge in it. His endeavouring class with Milton. The Italians, even to drown his love in wine, is throwing in their epic poetry, are full of it. Mon. oil upon the fire. He would insinuate tieur Boileau, who formed himself upon to his mistreis, that the fire of love, like the ancient poets, has every where re that of the fun, which produces so many jected it with scorn. If we look after living creatures, should not only warm mixt wit among the Greek writers, we but beget. Love in another place cooks shall find it no where but in the epi- pleasure at his fire. Sometimes the grammatists. There are indeed some poet's heart is frozen in every breatt, Itrokes of it in the little poem ascribed and sometimes Icorched in every eye. to Mulæus, which by that, as well as Sometimes he is diowned in tears, and many other inarks, betrays itself to be burnt in love, like a fhip set on fire in a modern composition. If we look into the middle of the sea. the Latin writers, we find none of this The reader may observe, in every one mixt wit in Virgil, Lucretius, or Ca of these instances, that the poet mixes tullus; very little in Horace; but a great the qualities of tire with those of love; deal of it in Ovid; and scarce any thing and in the same fentence speaking of it elle Martial.

both as a passion and as real fire, surOut of the innumerable branches of prises the reader with those seeming remixt wit, I shall choose one instance femblances or contradictions that make which may be met with in all the writers up all the wit in this kind of writing. of this class. The pallion of love in Mixt wit therefore is a composition of it's nature has been thought to reiemble pun and true wit, and is more or less fire; for which reason the words Fire and perfect as the relemblance lies in the Flame are made nfe of to signify Love. ideas or in the words: it's foundations The witty poets therefore have taken an are laid partly in falfhood, and partly in advantage from the doubtful incaning of truth: reason puts in her claim for one the ward Fire, to make an infinite num. half of it, and extravagance for the ber of witticisms, Cowley obterving other. The only province therefore for the cold regard of his mistrels's eyes, this kind of wit, is epigram, or those and at the same time their power of little occasional poems that in their own producing love in him, considers them nature are nothing else but a tissue of as burning-glasses made of ice; and epigrams. I cannot conclude this head finding himself able to live in the greatest of mixt wit, without owning that the extremities of love, concludes the Tor. admirable poet, out of wham I have


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taken the examples of it, had as much Ovid,' says he, speaking of Virgil's true wit as any author that ever writ; fiction of Dido and Æneas, takes it and indeed all other talents of an extra up after him, even in the same age, ordinary genius.

(and makes an ancient heroine of Vira It may be expected, since I am upon • gil's new.created Dido; di&tates a leta, this subject, that I should take notice of 'ter for her just before her death to the Mr. Dryden's definition of wit; which, ' ungrateful fugitive; and very unluckiwith all the deference that is due to the • ly for himself, is for measuring a sword judgment of fo great a man, is not so ' with a man fo much fuperior in force properly a definition of wit, as of good to him on the same subject. I think writing in general. Wit, as he defines ' I may be judge of this, because I have it, is - a propriety of words and thoughts translated both. The famous author

adap:ed to the subject. If this be a true ' of the Art of Love has nothing of his definition of wit, I am apt to think that "own: he borrows all from a greater Euclid was the greatest wit thai ever set • inalter in his own profesion, and, pen to paper: it is certain that never was which is worse, improves nothing greater propriety of words and thoughts ( which he finds: nature fails him, and adapted to the subject, than what that being forced to his old thift, he has reauthor has made use of in his elements. course to witticism. This paffes indeed I shall only appeal to my reader, if this with his foft admirers, and gives him definition agrees with any notion he has 'the preference to Virgil in their esteem.” of wit: if it be a true one, I am sure Were not I supported by to great an Mr. Dryden was not only a better poet, authority as that of Mr. Dryden, I but a greater wit, than Mr. Cowley; hould not venture to observe, that the and Virgil a much more facetious man taite of most of our English poets, as than either Ovid or Martial.

well as readers, is extremely Gothic. Bouhours, whom I look upon to be He quotes Monsieur Segrais for a threethe moit penetrating of all the French fold distinction of the readers of poetry: critics, has taken pains to Thew, that it in the first of which he comprehends the is impossible for any thought to be beau- rabble of readers, whom he does not tiful which is not just, and has not it's treat as such with regard to their qualifoundation in the nature of things; that ty, but to their numbers and the coarsethe basis of all wit is truth; and that no nels, of their taste. His words are as thought can be valuable, of which good, follow: 'Segrais has distinguished the lense is not the ground-work. Boileau readers of poetry, according to their has endeavoured to inculcate the same capacity of julging, into three classes. notion in several parts of his writings, '[He might have said the same of writboth in prose and verse. This is that er's too, if he had pleased.] In the natural way of writing, that beautiful lowest form he places those whom he fimplicity, which we lo much admire in • calls Les Petits Esprits, such things the compofitions of the ancients: and as our upper-gallery audience in a which nobody deviates from, but those 'play-house; who like nothing but the who want strength of genius to make a • husk and rhind of wit, prefer a quib. thought shine in it's own natural beau 'ble, a conceit, an epigram, before foties. Poets who want this strength of lid fenfe and elegant expression: these genius to give that majestic fimplicity to are mob-readers. If Virgil and Marnature, which we fó much admire in • tial stood for parliament-men, we the works of the ancients, are forced to • know already who would carry it. hunt after foreign ornaments, and not . But though they make the greatest apto let any piece of wit of what kind lo pearance in the field, and cry, the ever escape them. I look upon these • loudelt, the best on't is, they are but a writers as Goths in poetry, who, like " sort of French huguenots, or Dutch those in architecture, not being able to • boors, brought over in herds, but not come up to the beautiful fimplicity of ' naturalized; who have not lands of the old Greeks and Romans, have en two pounds per annum in Parnassus, deavoured to supply it's place with all " and therefore are not privileged to the extravagances of an irregular fancy. "poll. Their authors are of the same Mr. Dryden makes a very handsome ob- level, fit to represent them on a mounfervation on Ovid's writing a letter from tebank's stage, or to be masters of the Dido to Æneas, in the following words. ' ceremonies in a bear-garden: yet these

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are they who have the most admirers. vered the most fruitful source of wit, so . But it often happens, to their morti. there is another of a quite contrary na«fication, that as their readers improve ture to it, which does likewise branch o their stock of sense, as they may by itself oui into several kinds. For not . reading better books, and by conver only the resemblance, but the opposition * fation with men of judgment, they of ideas, does very often produce wit; • soon forfake them.'

as I could shew in feveral little points, I must not difiniss this fubie&t with turns, and antitheses, that I may pofout obterving, that as Mr. Locke in fibly enlarge upon in some future specu. the pafiage abovementioned has difco- lation,



Hor. Ars POET. VER. I.

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date papers,


T is very hard for the mind to dif- the fame time that dolphins and severai

engage itself from a subject in which kinds of fish played upon the banks or it ras been long employed. The thoughts took their paitime in the meadows. The will be rising of themselves from time birds had inany of them golden beaks, to time, though we give them no en and human voices. The flowers percouragement; as the toffings and fluctua- fumed the air with smells of incense, tions of the sea continue several hours amber-grease, and pulvillios; and were after the winds are laid,

so interwoven with one another, that It is to this that I impute my last they grew up in pieces of embroidery. niglit's dream or vision, which formed The winds were filled with fighs and into one continued allegory the fevcral me{ages of distant lovers. As I was schemes of wit, whether falle, mixed, walking to and fro in this enchanted or true, that have been the subjeét of wildernefs, I could not forbear breakmy

ing out into soliloquies upon the several Methought I was transported into a wonders which lay before me, when to country that was filled with prodigies my great surprise í found there were arand enchanuments, governed by the god tificial echoes in every walk, that, by dels of Folihood, and intitled The Re- repetitions of certain words which Í gion of False Wit. There was nothing spoke, agreed with me, or contradicted in the fields, the woods, and the rivers, in every thing I said. In the midit that appeared natural. Several of the of my conversation with these invisible trees blossomed in leaf-gold, some of companions, I discovered in the centre them produced bone-lace, and some of of a very dark grove a monstrous fabric thern precious stones. The fountains built after the Gothic manner, and cobubbled in an opera tune, and were fill. vered with innumerable devices in that al with itags, wild-boars, and mer barbarous kind of sculpture. I inmeds, that lived among the waters; at diately went up to it, and found it to



be a kind of heathen temple consecrated tures tied up in bundles, and thrown to the god of Dulness. Upon my en upon one another in heaps like faggots, irance I saw the deity of the place dressed You might behold an anchor, a vight. in the habit of a monk, with a book in rail, and a hobby-horse, bound up toone hand and a rattle in the other. gether. One of the workmen seeing me Upon his right hand was Industry, with very much surprised, told me, there was a lamp burning before her; and on his an infinite deal of wit in several of those Jeft Caprice, with a monkey sitting on bundles, and that he would explain her shoulder. Before his feet there stood them to me if I pleased. I thanked an altar of a very odd make, which, as him for his civility, but told him I was I afterwards found, was shaped in that in very great hafte at that time. As I manner to comply with the inscription was going out of the temple, I observed that surrounded it. Upon the altar in one corner of it a cluster of men and there lay several offerings of axes, wings, women laughing very heartily, and diand eggs, cut in paper, and inscribed verting theinselves at a game of Cramwith verses. The temple was filled bo. I heard several Double Rhymes with votaries, who applied themselves to as I passed by them, which raised a great different diversions, as their fancies di deal of mirth. rected them. In one part of it I saw a Not far from there was another set of regiment of Anagrams, who were con merry people engaged at a diversion, in tinually in motion, turning to the right which the whole jelt was to mistake one or to the left, facing about, doubling person for another. To give occation their ranks, shifting their itations, and for these ludicrous mistakes, they were throwing themselves into all the figures divided into pairs, every pair being coand countermarches of the most change- vered from head to foot with the fame able and perplexed exercise.

kind of dress, though perhaps there was Not far from these was a body of not the least resemblance in their faces. Acrostics, made up of very dispropor- By this means an old man was fometioned persons. It was disposed into times mistaken for a boy, a woman for three columns, the officers planting them a man, and a black-a-moor for an felves in a line on the left-hand of each European, which very often produced column. The officers were all of them great peals of laughter. There I guessed at itaft fix feet high, and made three to be a party of Puns. But being very rows of very proper men; but the com desirous to get out of this worļd of mamnon soldiers, who filled up the spaces gic, which had almost turned my brain, between the officers, were luch dwarfs, I left the temple, ard crofied over the cripples, and scarecrows, that one could fields that lay about it with all the hardly look upon them without laugh- speed I could make. I was not gone irg. 'There were behind the Acrostics far before I heard the sound of trumpets two or three files of Chronograms, and alarms, which seemed to proclaim which differed only from the former, as the march of an enemy; and, as I aftheir officers were equipped, like the terwards found, was in reality what I figure of Time, with an hour-glass in apprehended it. There appeared at a one hand, and a scythe in the other, and great distance a very shining light, and, took their polts promiscuously among in the midst of it, a person of a most the private men whom they commanded. beautiful aspect; her name was Truth.

In the body of the temple, and before On her right-hand there marched a male the very face of the deity, methought I deity, who bore several quivers on his far the phantom of Tryphiodor us the moulders, and grasped several arrows Lipogranmatist, engaged in a ball with in his hand; his

name was Wit. The four-and-twenty per fons, who pursued approach of these two enemies filled all him by turns through all the intricacies the territories of Falfe Wit with an unand labyrinths of a country dance, with speakable consternation, infomuch that out being able to overtake him. the goddess of those regions appeared in

Observing several to be very busy at perfon upon her frontiers, with the sethe weltern end of the temple, l'in. veral interior deities, and the different quired into what they were doing, and bodies of forces which I had before found there was in that quarter the seen in the temple, who were now drawn great magazine of Rebuses. There were up in array, and prepared to give their fe: eral things of the most different na foes a warm reception. As the march


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