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the page before me, as there once did to St. Dominic.” He proceeds to say that his flea was a flea of flea-flesh, but that St. Dominic's was the devil.
Southey was particularly fond of acoustic humour. He represents Wilberforce as saying of the unknown author of the Doctor-o. Pooo-00-00-00-r créeča-ture.” Perhaps his familiarity with the works of Nash, Decker, and Rabelais suggested his word coming.
One of the interchapters begins with the word Aballiboozobanganorribo.
He questions in the “Poultry Yard” the assertion of Aristotle that it is an advantage for animals to be domesticated. The statement is regarded unsatisfactory by the fowl-replies to it being made by Chick-pick, Hen-pen, Cock-lock, Duck-luck, Turkey-lurkey, and Goosey-loosey.
He occasionally coins words such as Potamology for the study of rivers, and Chapter cxxxiv is headed
“A transition, an anecdote, an apostrophe, and a pun, punnet, or pundigrion.”
He proposes in another chapter to make a distinction between masculine and feminine in several words.
“The troublesome affection of the diaphragm which every person has experienced is to be called according to the sex of the patient--He-cups or She-cups—which upon the principle of making our language truly British is better
than the more classical form of Hiccup and Hoccups. In the Objective use, the word becomes Hiscups or Hercups and in like manner Histerrics should be altered into Herterics—the complaint never being masculine.”
The Doctor is rich in variety of verbal humour
“When a girl is called a lass, who does not perceive how that common word must have arisen ? who does not see that it may be directly traced to a mournful interjection Alas! breatbed sorrowfully forth at the thought that the girl, the lovely innocent creature upon whom the beholder has fixed his meditative eye, would in time become a woman-a woe to man.”
Our Doctor flourished in an age when the pages of Magazines, were filled with voluntary contributions from men who had never aimed at dazzling the public, but came each with his scrap of information, or his humble question, or his hard problem, or his attempt in verse
“A was an antiquary, and wrote articles upon Altars and Abbeys and Architecture. B made a blunder which C corrected. D demonstrated that E was in error, and that F was wrong in Philology, and neither Philosopher nor Physician though he affected to be both. G was a Genealogist. H was a Herald who helped him. I was an inquisitive inquirer, who found reason for suspecting J to be a Jesuit. M was a Mathematician. N noted the weather. O observed the stars. P was a poet, who produced pastorals, and prayed Mr. Urban to print them. Q came in the corner of the page with a query. R arrogated to himself the right of reprebending every one, who differed from him. Ś sighed and sued in song. T told an old tale, and when he was wrong U used to set him right; V was a virtuoso. W warred against Warburton. X excelled in Algebra. Y yearned for immortality in rhyme, and Z in his zeal was always in a puzzle.”
We have already observed that the pictorial representations of demons, which were originally
intended to terrify, gradually came to be regarded as ludicrous. There was something decidedly grotesque in the stories about witches and imps, and Southey, deep in early lore, was remarkable for developing a branch of humour out of them. In one place he had a catalogue of devils, whose extraordinary names he wisely recommends his readers not to attempt to pronounce, “lest they should loosen their teeth or fracture them in the operation.” Comic demonology may be said to have been out of date soon after time.
Southey is not generally amatory in his humour, and therefore we appreciate the more the following effusions, which he facetiously attributes to Abel Shufflebottom. The gentle. man obtained Delia's pocket-handkerchief, and celebrates the acquisition in the following strain“ 'Tis mine! what accents can my joy declare ? Blest be the pressure of the thronging rout, Blest be the hand, so hasty, of my fair, And left the tempting corner hanging out ! “I envy not the joy the pilgrim feels,
After long travel to some distant shrine,
“When first with filching fingers I drew near,
6 What though the eighth commandment rose to mind, It only served a moment's qualm to move; For thefts like this it could not be designed,
The eighth commandment was not made for love. “Here when she took the macaroons from me,
She wiped her mouth to clear the crumbs so sweet,
Lips sweeter than the macaroons she eat.
That made my love so delicately sneeze,
In another Elegy he expatiates on the beauty of Delia's locks;“ Happy the friseur who in Delia's hair, With licensed fingers uncontrolled may rove; And happy in his death the dancing bear, Who died to make pomatum for my love. “ Fine are my Delia's tresses as the threads
That from the silk-worm, self-interred, proceed,
Its filmy web-work over the tangled mead.
Tbat bears Britannia's thunders o'er the main.
In flowing lustre bathe their brightened wings,
The ringlets rob for fairy fiddlestrings." Of course Shufflebottom is tempted to another theft—a rape of the lock-for which he incurs the fair Delia's condign displeasure — “She heard the scissors that fair lock divide,
And while my heart with transport panted big,
Lamb-His Farewell to Tobacco-Pink Hose-On the
Melancholy of Tailors—Roast Pig.
N o one ever so finely commingled poetry
IV and humour as Charles Lamb. In his transparent crystal you are always seeing one colour through another, and he was conscious of the charm of such combinations, for he commends Andrew Marvell for such refinement. His early poems printed with those of Coleridge, his schoolfellow at Christ's Hospital, abounded with pure and tender sentiment, but never arrested the attention of the public. We can find in them no promise of the brilliancy for which he was afterwards so distinguished, except perhaps in his “ Farewell to Tobacco,” where for a moment he allowed his Pegasus to take a more fantastic flight.
“Scent, to match thy rich perfume,
Chemic art did ne'er presume,