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sense. He saw in man a talking, absurd, obstinate, proud, angry animal; and clothed these abstractions with wings, or a beak, or tail, or claws, or long ears, as they appeared embodied in these hieroglyphics in the brute creation. His moral philosophy is natural history. He makes an ass bray wisdom, and a frog croak humanity. The store of moral truth, and the fund of invention in exhibiting it in eternal forms, palpable and intelligible, and delightful to children and grown persons, and to all ages and nations, are almost miraculous. The invention of a fable is to me the most enviable exertion of human genius: it is the discovering a truth to which there is no clue, and which, when once found out, can never be forgotten. I would rather have been the author of Æsop's Fables, than of Euclid's Elements !--That popular entertainment, Punch and the Puppetshow, owes part of its irresistible and universal attraction to nearly the same principle of inspiring inanimate and mechanical agents with sense and consciousness. The drollery and wit of a piece of wood is doubly droll and farcical. Punch is not merry in himself, but “he is the cause of heartfelt mirth in other men.” The wires and pulleys that govern his motions are conductors to carry off the spleen, and all “ that perilous stuff that weighs upon the heart.” If we see a number of people turning
ON WIT TAND HUMOUR.
open street, ready tabunst with cecret sa uishaction, and with dicit races badired in laughtering we know what is the matter that they are just come from lanpoppet-showa Whoucan see three little painted, spatched-up figures, morbigger than one's thib,strit, squeakiand gildberg sing dance, chätter, scold, knoek oine apothénabout the head give themselves airs of importance land imitate humanity Kmost, abominably; Poswithout laughing immoderatelyds:Weroverlook the fatcesand mums merylof human life id little and fobinothing and what is still better, it costs them who have to play intit nothingning Weaplaceathe: mirth and glee, and triumpbito oth-owal accountg and we know.' that the bangsrand, blows they have received go formothing as soor as the showman puts them up in his box and matdhesioliftquietly with them, as juga glersofa less amusing description sometimes march off with the wrong sáund sightstof mankind in their pocketsu have heardkorno bad judge of such matters say that Wilhe liked a comedy better than witragedy a farce better than a comedy, ta pantomime hetter than a farce, but a puppet-show best. of all I look upon it, that the who, invented
sketch of wit and humour with Barrow's celebrated description of the same subject. He says, “-But first it may be demanded, what the thing we speak of is, or what this facetiousness doth import; to which question I might reply, as Democritus did to him that asked the definition of a man—'tis that which we all see and know; and one better apprehends what it is by acquaintance, than I can inform him by description. It is, indeed, a thing so versatile and multiform, appearing in so many shapes, so many postures, so many garbs, so variously apprehended by several eyes and judgments, that it seemeth no less hard to settle a clear and certain notice thereof, than to make a portrait of Proteus, or to define the figure of fleeting air. Sometimes it lieth in pat allusion to a known story, or in seasonable application of a trivial saying, or in forging an apposite tale: sometimes it playeth in words and phrases, taking advantage from the ambiguity of their sense, or the affinity of their sound: sometimes it is wrapped in a dress of luminous expression; sometimes it lurketh under an odd similitude. Sometimes it is lodged in a sly question, in a smart answer; in a quirkish reason; in a shrewd intimation; in cunningly diverting or cleverly restoring an objection: sometimes it is couched in a bold scheme of speech; in a tart irony; in a
O N WIT-AND. HUMOUR. -listy hyperbolest in a standlingsmetaplitor givine plausible reconciling of contradictions or in acute monsense: usometimes to scemical representation of persons-for things, a counterfeit speich, sta mimi call lookçori gestute passeth »lor sits (sometimes an alifectedi sisimplicity ipsometibiese de ceptesumptuous ebluntness giveth it being a sometimes itriseth only from a lucky hitting upon what is stranges astome Atimes from a craft yatiresting obvious matter to the purposes often itr.consistethrinskoner knows not. what, madspringethuponer cam bandly tell how. Its Ways ante unaccountable anthimenphicable being answerable to the umbetless movings pf fancy and
indingapklangingest clesissein rsions armanner of speaking out of the simple and plain way(such kas tredboniteacliath andidanoweth things by which by a pretty surprising uncouthmess in conceit or
extpression dothiadiectiædvanuse the fathreys chews mingit it somekwonders, and breathing somedelight.
thereto altratisetiaadmiration, as signifying a mimble sagacity of apprehension, a special felicity ofitinvention, a vivacity of spirit, and reach of wit | more than vulgar, it seeming to argueitä rare quickness of parts, that one can fetch im remote conceits applicableg a notable skill that he can dextrously accommodate them to a purpose before him, together with a dively briskness cof humour, not apt to damp those sportful flashes of imaginas