Archive for July 24th, 2011

Jonathan Swift ((1667-1745)
When literary luminaries like Addison and Swift were in full flow of their talents, the literati used to assemble at Burton’s coffee house. (around 1710). Dean swift was quiet new to the place. English men of letters were quite taken aback at the oddity of his manners and Addison and others were sure that he was not quiet right in his head.
Once in the same coffee-house Dr. Arbuthnot was scribbling a letter in great haste and the letter was much blotted; seeing the odd person who was none other than the author of Gulliver’s Travels he asked,’Pray, sir, have you any sand about you?’
‘No’, replied Jonathan Swift,’but I have the gravel*,and if you’ll give me the letter I’ll piss on it.’
This bowled the doctor over and it was the beginning of acquaintance between those two great wits.

*kidney stone

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Ben Jonson the poet (1572-1632) was once challenged by Sylvester who challenged him to rhyme with
‘I John Sylvester,
Lay with your sister.’
Jonson came up with this
‘I, Ben Jonson,
Lay with your wife.’
Sylvester answered,’This is not rhyme.’
Jonson admitted it was so.’But it is true.’

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