Crambo says to his master when he is reproaching him with his folly after the Affair of the Justice, “Lookie there now, this is your day for uns as it is mine for the word led.” Every man has, according to Crambo (who, by the by, pleases me as well in one way, as Sancho does in another) a particular word, or letter, which besets him at particular times and seasons. I am well enough inclined to believe this, if the annexed note be written by a person in his right mind, which I understand to have been the case.
But let us look to the matter, and weigh whether we are not liable to fall into this error ourselves. Parson Prim, whom I well know, hates a pun, and professes never to make one; but in a jolly company, I have seen him relax and fall to punning with all his breath. Doctor Climax, who always speaks in the gravest of tones, and swells every word to its utmost emphatical pomp, who looks with ineffable disdain on all small poets and poetesses, and keeps all witlings at arm’s length, this man on certain particular days I have seen grinning with all his might to the words of the song:
“High diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle etc.”
And even you, yourself, Mr President, who can say “pshaw” now and then at a bit of folly, I have heard condescend to relate these lines which as they may not be known, I will mention; but only by way of apology.
For, if Homer nods — well, may disciples sleep.
A shoemaker’s boy thus
Called out to his master —
Here’s some ladies,
Want to look
At some shoes
To which the Master in a passion answered:
In one house
This Mr President is your story, and quoted merely to show that there are moments when the greatest of minds unbend, and (but with deference be it spoken) that there is no folly which we can charge others with, but we commit, or are very near committing, ourselves at one period or another. Let us then, all look at home; but first, look at my promised note; which, as I take it, must have been written under the influence of the Second Vowel of the Alphabet.
I am Mr Ed:
Your humble Scribe and Servant
The author of “Ephod” presents his compliments to the author of the --- which he has no doubt is highly meritorious as an Epistle, an Epigram or Episode, Epopee perhaps, Epitaph, if he could only find out to which class it belongs it would be epispastic to his [???] even to make out the Epistrophes, much more the ornate Epithets it may contain an Epicedium or an Epithalmium or Epilogue, it is incomprehensible, and it is short even for an Epitome — so short, that an Epicure in learning or malady (whose complaint is not Endemical) the Epiphonema cannot be either Equable or interesting.