Pun to Pygmalion

Pun. He who would make a pun would pick a pocket, generally ascribed to Dr. Johnson (1709–1784); but by Moy Thomas to Dr. Donne (1573–1631).

W.H. Pym, in Wine and Walnuts, vol. ii. p. 277. says, “It is well known that John Dennis (1657–1734) execrated a pun. He said, ‘He that would make a pun would not scruple to pick a pocket.’ If Moy Thomas is right, Dr. Donne has the pre-eminence; but puns with lads and lasses, like riddles, sharpen their wits, and sometimes contain wit creditable to mature age.

Punch, derived from the Latin Mimi, through the Italian Pullicinella. It was originally intended as a characteristic representation. The tale is this : Punch, in a fit of jealousy, strangles his infant child, when Judy flies to her revenge. With a bludgeon she belabours her husband, till he becomes so exasperated that he snatches the bludgeon from her, knocks her brains out, and flings the dead body into the street. Here it attracts the notice of a police-officer, who enters the house, and Punch flies to save his life. He is, however, arrested by an officer of the Inquisition, and is shut up in prison, from which he escapes by a golden key. The rest of the allegory shows the triumph of Punch over slander in the shape of a dog, disease in the guise of a doctor, death, and the devil.

Pantalone was a Venetian merchant; Dottore, a Bolognese physician; Spaviento, a Neapolitan braggadocio; Pullicinella, a wag of Apulia; Giangurgolo and Coviello, two clowns of Calabria; Gelsomino, a Roman beau; Beltrame, a Milanesesimpleton; Brighella, a Ferrarese pimp; and Arlecchino, a blundering servant of Bergamo. Each was clad in an appropriate dress, had a characteristic mask, and spoke the dialect of the place he represented.

Besides these, there were Amorosos or Innamoratos, with their servettas or waiting-maids, as Smeraldina, Colombina, Spilletta, etc., who spoke Tuscan.—Walker: On the Revival of the Drama in Italy, 249.

Punch, the periodical, started in 1841. The first cover was designed by A. S. Henning; the present one by R. Doyle.

Pure (Simon), a Pennsylvanian quaker. Being about to visit London to attend the quarterly meeting of his sect, he brings with him a letter of introduction to Obadiah Prim, a rigid, stern quaker, and the guardian of Anne Lovely, an heiress worth £30,000. Colonel Feignwell, availing himself of this letter of introduction, passes himself off as Simon Pure, and gets established as the accepted suitor of the heiress. Presently the real Simon Pure makes his appearance, and is treated as an impostor and swindler. The colonel hastens on the marriage arrangements, and has no sooner completed them, than Master Simon reappears, with witnesses to prove his identity; but it is too late, and colonel Feignwell freely acknowledges the “bold stroke he has made for a wife.”—Mrs. Centlivre: A Bold Stroke for a Wife (1717).

Purefoy (Master), former tutor of Dr. Anthony Rochecliffe the plotting royalist.—Sir W.Scott: Woodstock(time, Commonwealth).

Purgatory, by Dantê saw in the thirty-three cantos (130 8). Having emerged from hell, Dantê saw in the southern hemisphere four stars, “ne’er seen before, sa ve by our first parents.” The stars were symbolical of the four cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitud e, and temperance). Turning round, he observed old Cato, who said that a dame from heaven had sent him to prepare the Tuscan poet for passing through Purgatory. Accordingly, with a slender reed old Cato girded him, and from his face he washed “all sordid stain,” restoring to it “that hue which the dun shades of hell had covered and concealed” (canto i.). Dantê then followed his guide Virgil to a huge mountain in mid-ocean antipodal to Judæa, and began the ascent. A party of spirits were ferried over at the same time by an angel, amongst whom was Casella, a musician, one of Dantê’s friends. The mountain, he tells us, is divided into terraces, and terminates in Earthly Paradise, which is separated from it by two rivers—Lethê and Eu’noe . The first eight cantos are occupied by the ascent, and then they come to the gate of Purgatory. This gate is approached by three stairs (faith, penitence, and piety); the first stair is transparent white marble, as clear as crystal; the second is black and cracked; and the third is of blood-red porphyry (canto ix.). The porter marked on Dantê’s forehead seven P’s (peccata, “sins.”), and told him he would lose one at every stage, till he reached the river which

  By PanEris using Melati.

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