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and terrible.

99. Discovery of a curious Greek fragment.

100. Athenian vision.

101. Athenian vision concluded.

102. Upon the taste for acting private plays.

103. Anecdotes of Jack Gayless.

104. Memoirs of a sentimentalist.

105. Conclusion of the above.

106. Observations on the passions,

107. The character of a flatterer.

108. The flatterer reformed.

THE

OBSERVER.

NUMBER LII.

Singula lætus
Exquiritque, auditque, virum monumenta priorum.

VIRGIL.

Of all our dealers in second-hand wares, few bring their goods to so bad a market, as those humble wits who retail other peoples' worn-out jokes. A man's good sayings are so personally his own, and depend so much upon manner and circum. stances, that they make a poor figure in other peo. ple's mouths, and suffer even more by printing than they do by repeating : It is also a very difficult thing to pen a witticism ; for by the time we have adjusted all the descriptive arrangements of this man said, and tother man replied, we have miserably blunted the edge of the repartee. These difficulties however have been happily overcome by Mr. Joseph Miller and other facetious compilers, whose works are in general circulation, and may be heard of in most clubs and companies where gentlemen meet, who love to say a good thing without the trouble of inventing it. We are also in a fair train of knowing every thing that a late celebrated author said, as well as wrote, without an exception even of his most secret ejaculations. We may judge how valuable these diaries will be to posterity, when we reflect how much we should now be edified, had any of the ancients given us as minute a collectanea of their illustrious contempo. raries.

VOL, XXXIX.

B

We have, it is true, a few of Cicero's table-jokes : but how delightful would it be to know what he said, when nobody heard him! Hlow piously he reproached himself when he laid in bed too late in a morning, or eat too heartily at Hortensius's or Cæsar's table. We are told indeed that Cato the Censor loved his jest, but we should have been doubly glad to have partaken of it: what a pity it is that nobody thought it worth their wbile to record some pleasanter specimen than Macrobius has given us-of his retort upon Q. Albidius, a glutton and a spendthrift, when his house was on fire What he could not eat, he has burnt,' said Cato ; where the point of the jest lies in the allusion to a particular kind of sacrifice, and the good humour of it with himself. It was better said by P. Syrus the actor, when he saw one Mucius, a malevolent fellow, in a very melavcholy mood-Either some ill fortune has befallen Mucius, or some good has happened to one of his acquaintance.'

A man's fame shall be recorded to posterity by the trilling merit of a jest, when the great things he has done would else have been buried in oblivion : Who would now have know that L. Mallius was once the best painter in Rome, if it was not for his repartee to Servilius Geminus ? "You paint better than you model,' says Geminus, pointing to Mal. lius's children, who were crooked and ill favoured. -Like enough,' replied the artist; I paint in the daylight, but I model, as you call it, in the dark.'

Cicero, it is well known, was a great joker, and some of his good sayings have reached us; it does not appear as if his wit had been of the malicious sort, and yet Pompey, whose temper could not stand a jest, was so galled by him, that he is re. ported to have said with great bitterness--. Oh ! That Cicero would go over to my enemies, for then

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