Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE

OBSERVER.

NUMBER LII.

Singula lætus
Exquiritque, auditque, virûm monumenta priorum.

VIRGIL. OF all our dealers in second-hand wares, few bring their goods to so bad a market, as those humble wits who retail other people's worn-out jokes. A man's good sayings are so personally his own, and depend so much upon manner and circumstances, that they make a poor figure in other people's mouths, and suffer even more by printing than they do by repeating : it is also a very difficult thing to pen a witticism; for by the time we have adjusted all the descriptive arrangements of this man said, and tother man replied, we have miserably blunted the edge of the repartee. These difficulties however have been happily overcome by Mr. Joseph Miller and other facetious compilers, whose works are in general circulation, and may be heard of in most clubs and companies where gentlemen meet, who love to say a good thing without the trouble of inventing it. We are also in a fair train of knowing every thing that late celebrated author said, as well as wrote, without an exception even of his mast secret ejaculations, We may judge how valuable these diaries will be to posterity, when we reflect how much we should now

а

XXXIX.

B

« PreviousContinue »