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No. 059 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

I shall conclude this Topick with a Rebus, which has been lately hewn out in Free-stone, and erected over two of the Portals of Blenheim House, being the Figure of a monstrous Lion tearing to Pieces a little Cock. For the better understanding of which Device, I must acquaint my English Reader that a Cock has the Misfortune to be called in Latin by the same Word that signifies a Frenchman, as a Lion is the Emblem of the English Nation. Such a Device in so noble a Pile of Building looks like a Punn in an Heroick Poem; and I am very sorry the truly ingenious Architect would suffer the Statuary to blemish his excellent Plan with so poor a Conceit: But I hope what I have said will gain Quarter for the Cock, and deliver him out of the Lion’s Paw.

I find likewise in ancient Times the Conceit of making an Eccho talk sensibly, and give rational Answers. If this could be excusable in any Writer, it would be in Ovid, where he introduces the Eccho as a Nymph, before she was worn away into nothing but a Voice. The learned Erasmus, tho’ a Man of Wit and Genius, has composed a Dialogue [4] upon this silly kind of Device, and made use of an Eccho who seems to have been a very extraordinary Linguist, for she answers the Person she talks with in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, according as she found the Syllables which she was to repeat in any one of those learned Languages. Hudibras, in Ridicule of this false kind of Wit, has described Bruin bewailing the Loss of his Bear to a solitary Eccho, who is of great used to the Poet in several Disticks, as she does not only repeat after him, but helps out his Verse, and furnishes him with Rhymes.

He rag’d, and kept as heavy a Coil as
Stout Hercules for loss of
Forcing the Valleys to repeat
The Accents of his sad Regret;
He beat his Breast, and tore his Hair,
For Loss of his dear Crony Bear,
That Eccho from the hollow Ground
His Doleful Wailings did resound
More wistfully, bu many times,
Then in small Poets Splay-foot Rhymes,
That make her, in her rueful Stories
To answer to Introgatories,
And most unconscionably depose
Things of which She nothing knows:
And when she has said all she can say,
‘Tis wrested to the Lover’s Fancy.
Quoth he, O whither, wicked
Art thou fled to my—–Eccho, Ruin?
I thought th’ hadst scorn’d to budge a Step
for Fear. (Quoth Eccho)
Marry guep.
Am not I here to take thy Part!
Then what has quell’d thy stubborn Heart?
Have these Bones rattled, and this Head
So often in thy Quarrel bled?
Nor did I ever winch or grudge it,
For thy dear Sake. (Quoth she)
Mum budget.
Think’st thou ’twill not be laid i’ th’ Dish.
Thou turn’dst thy Back? Quoth Eccho
, Pish.
To run from those th’ hadst overcome
Thus cowardly? Quoth Eccho, Mum.
But what a-vengeance makes thee fly
From me too, as thine Enemy?
Or if thou hadst not Thought of me,
Nor what I have endur’d for Thee,
Yet Shame and Honour might prevail
To keep thee thus for turning tail;
For who will grudge to spend his Blood in
His Honour’s Cause? Quoth she
, A Pudding.

[Footnote 1: From [Greek: leip_o], I omit, [Greek: gramma], a letter. In modern literature there is a Pugna Porcorum (pig-fight) of which every word begins with a p, and there are Spanish odes from which all vowels but one are omitted. The earliest writer of Lipogrammatic verse is said to have been the Greek poet Lasus, born in Achaia 538 B.C. Lope de Vega wrote five novels, each with one of the five vowels excluded from it.]

[Footnote 2: This French name for an enigmatical device is said to be derived from the custom of the priests of Picardy at carnival time to set up ingenious jests upon current affairs, ‘de rebus quae geruntur.’]

[Footnote 3: Addison takes these illustrations from the chapter on ‘Rebus or Name devises,’ in that pleasant old book, Camden’s Remains, which he presently cites. The next chapter in the ‘Remains’ is upon Anagrams.]

[Footnote 4: Colloquia Familiaria, under the title Echo. The dialogue is ingeniously contrived between a youth and Echo.]