Tag Archives: wit

Eighteenth Century Aphorisms

I like this quote from Gainsborough’s friend William Jackson of Exeter. Jackson (1730-1803) was the organist at Exeter Cathedral and late in life published a book called The Four Ages, which also included essays on various subjects, including one on wit. He felt that previous attempts at defining wit were unsuccessful, and gave his own:

A wit is a juggler in ideas—a punster is a juggler in words. (1798, 122)