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full of slander and gall; striking even at magis
trates, parents, friends, and cases that deserved pity. 34. After speaking he always laugh'd first, and gene
rally alone ; and whilst he drolld and scoff'd at the false steps of others, weary'd the company with
35. At length he met with his match, which mortified
him extreamly: For Buffoon, forsooth, could no more endure to be out fool'd, than Nero to be out
fiddled. 36. Father. Some use their wits as Bravoes wear
stellettoes, not for defence but mischief; or like Solomon's madman, cast firebrands, arrows, and
death, and say, Am not I in sport. 37. Few know how and when to throw out a pleasant
word, with such regard to modesty and respect, as not to transgress the bounds of wit, good nature,
or good breeding. 38.
“ All that's obscene, doth always give offence,
And want of decency, is want of sense.” 39. Liberties in conversation that pass the bounds of
good nature, honesty, and respect, degenerate into
scurrility, scandal, and ill manners. 40. Respect and complaisance forbid rallying the
fair sex ; and for theirs to rally ours, is exposing
themselves to blunt repartees. 41. Persons of merit ought not to be rallyed, even
though some defect could be perceived amongst their vertues, because no mortal is perfect.
Young people should be spared, lest they be discouraged from coming into company of their betters—Want of experience pleads indulgence for
our first slips. 43 Old
age is too venerable for raillery, and should be reverenced. 44. To laugh at deformed persons is inhumane, it
not impious ; we are not our own carvers : what perfection the best have, is not the effect of their own care, but of divine goodness.
The unfortunate are subjects of compassion, not of raillery. 46. Raillery is only proper when it comes with a good
grace, in a manner which both pleases and instructs. 47. That which stirs up our Laughter, most com
monly excites our contempt; to please, and to
make merry, are two very different talents. 48.
Drolls and Buffoons, whilst they think to make sport for others, commonly become laughing-stocks
themselves, to all but those who pity them. 49.
He who thinks he is by his dignity above a jest,
and will not take a repartee, ought not to banter
others. 50. Scomms and derision unbridle fear, and make
the peasant brave the prince. 51. Augustus seeing one like himself, asked him, in
scoff, if his mother was never at Rome; the lad
answer'd, no, but my father was. 52. Utter nothing that may leave any ungrateful
impression, or give the least umbrage of a spiteful
intent. 53 He whose jests make others afraid of his wit,
had need be afraid of their memory. 54. It's more grievous to be ridicul'd than beaten.
Contempt pierces to the quick, and revenge stops at nothing; it hardens men into a brutal despising of death, so that they may see their enemies fall in company.
55. Son. A Critic, wise enough, in his own con
ceit, to correct the magnificat, pretending to exquisite niceness, censur'd Cicero for being too
verbose, and Virgil for using rustic language. 56.
His large stock of ill-nature, and the malicious pleasure he took in fault-finding, made him never look upon any thing, but with a design of passing
sentence upon it. 57. Plato he told us, in a decisive tone, was neither
fertile nor copious--Aristotle neither solid nor substantial - Theophrastus neither smooth nor agreeable.
58. That Voiture was dull–Corneille a stranger to
the passions-Racine starch'd and affectedMoliere jejune - Boileau little better than
plagiary. 59. That Shakespear wanted manners-Ben. Johnson
a pedant-Congreve a laborious writerGarth but an indifferent imitator of Boileau. 60. That Dryden's Absolom and Achitophel wanted
vigour of thought, purity of language, and aptness and propriety of expression ; nor were many of the elisions to be allow'd, or accents and pauses
duly observed. 61. An instance being required, Criticone, who
had only dipp'd into that poem, scratched his head, and fell a cursing his memory.
Father. By a Critic was originally understood a good judge ; but now, with us, it signifies no more than an unmerciful fault-finder, two steps above
a fool, and a great many below a wiseman. 63. The laws of civility oblige us to commend what,
in reason, we cannot blame.-Men should allow others excellencies, were it but to preserve a
modest opinion of their own. But 64. It's the distemper of wou'd-be-thought-wits,
with an envious curiosity to examine, censure, and vilify others works, as if they imagin'd it gave 'em