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Clown. For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you: yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you; for I think you have no money in your purse.

As you like it, at 2. fc. 4.

He that impofes an oath makes it,
Not he that for convenience takes it;
Then how can any man be faid,
To break an oath he never made?

Hudibras, part 2. canto 2.

The seventh fatire of the first book of Horace, is purposely contrived to introduce at the close a moft execrable pun. Talking of fome infamous wretch whofe name was Rex Rupilius.

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Perfius exclamat, Per magnos, Brute, deos te
Oro, qui reges confueris tollere, cur non

Hunc regem jugulas? Operum hoc, mihi crede, tuorum eft.

Though playing with words is a mark of a mind at ease, and difpofed for any sort of amusement, we must not thence conclude that playing with words is always ludicrous. Words are fo intimately connected with thought,

thought, that if the subject be really grave, it will not appear ludicrous even in this fantaftic dress. I am, however, far from recommending it in any serious performance. On the contrary, the difcordance betwixt the thought and expreffion must be disagreeable; witness the following fpecimen.

He hath abandoned his physicians, Madam, under whose practices he hath perfecuted time with hope and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.

All's well that ends well, aft 1. fc. 1.

K. Henry. O my poor kingdom, fick with civil blows!

When that my care could not with-hold thy riots, What wilt thou do when riot is thy care?

Second part, K. Henry IV.

A fmart repartee may be confidered as a fpecies of wit. A certain petulant Greek, objecting to Anacharfis that he was a Scythian: True, fays Anacharfis, my country difgraces me, but you difgrace your country.




Cuftom and Habit.

Nquiring into the nature of man as à fenfitive being, and finding him af


fected in a high degree with novelty, would any one conjecture that he is equally affected with custom? Yet these frequently take place, not only in the fame person, but even with relation to the fame subject: when new, it is inchanting; familiarity renders it indifferent; and cuftom, after a longer familiarity, makes it again defirable. Human nature, diverfified with many and various fprings of action, is wonderfully, and, indulging the expreffion, intricately conftructed.

Custom hath fuch influence upon many of our feelings, by warping and varying them, that we must attend to its operations if we would be acquainted with human naVOL. II.



ture. This fubject, in itself obfcure, has been much neglected; and to give a complete analysis of it will be no easy task. I pretend only to touch it curforily; hoping, however, that what is here laid down, will difpofe more diligent inquirers to attempt further difcoveries.

Custom refpects the action, habit the actor. By custom we mean, a frequent reiteration of the fame act; and by habit, the effect that custom has on the mind or body. This effect may be either active, witness the dexterity produced by cuftom in performing certain exercises; or paffive, as when, by cuftom, a peculiar connection is formed betwixt a man and some agreeable object, which acquires thereby a greater power to raise emotions in him than it hath naturally. Active habits come not under the present undertaking; and therefore I confine myself to those that are paffive.

This fubject is thorny and intricate. Some pleasures are fortified by cuftom; and yet custom begets familiarity, and confequently indifference

indifference *. In many inftances, fatiety and disgust are the confequences of reitera tion. Again, though cuftom blunts the edge of distress and of pain; yet the want of any thing to which we have long been accustomed, is a fort of torture. A clue to guide us through all the intricacies of this labyrinth, would be an acceptable present.

Whatever be the caufe, it is an established fact, that we are much influenced by custom. It hath an effect upon our pleafures, upon our actions, and even upon our thoughts and fentiments. Habit makes no figure during the vivacity of youth; in middle age it gains ground; and in old age it governs without control. In that period of life, generally speaking, we eat at a certain hour, take exercise at a certain hour, go to rest at a certain hour, all by the direction of habit. Nay a particular seat, table, bed, comes to be effential. And a habit in

* If all the year were playing holidays,

To fport would be as tedious as to work:

But when they feldom come, they wish'd-for come,
And nothing pleafeth but rare accidents.

First part, Henry IV. act 1. fc. 3

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