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Arguments of Augustan Wit by Professor John Sitter

By Professor John Sitter

Comedian and satiric literature from the 1670s to the 1740s is characterised through the allusive and elusive observe play of Augustan wit. The arguments of Augustan wit display preoccupations with the metaphorical measurement of language so distrusted through Locke and others who observed it as essentially against the rational mode of judgement. John Sitter makes a tough declare for the significance of wit within the writings of Dryden, Rochester, previous, Berkeley, homosexual, Pope and rapid, as an analytic mode in addition to certainly one of stylistic sophistication. He argues that wit - frequently seemed through smooth critics as a old fashioned class of verbal cleverness - actually deals to literary conception a legacy corrective of Romantic and neo-Romantic idealizations of mind's eye. This learn goals immediately to stress the historic specificity of Augustan writing, and to deliver its arguments into discussion with these of our time.

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Nidditch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975; corr. repr. 1987), 11. For convenience, subsequent parenthetical references to the Essay proper will give book, chapter, and section numbers rather than pages. " As one desire is "jostled" by the next, "we are seldom at ease and free enough... but a constant succession of uneasinesses take the will in their turns" (n. xxi. 40-45). Despite the skeptical implications of his psychology, Locke would no more have welcomed Fielding's Booth as a disciple than he would have Pope's Balaam or Swift's Phyllis.

To interpose to assistance of preternatural power without an absolute and last necessity. However, it is a sketch of human vanity for every individual to imagine the whole universe is interested in his meanest concern. If he hath got clearly over a kennel, some angel unseen descended on purpose to help him by the hand; if he hath knocked his head against a post, it was the devil, for his sins, let loose from hell on purpose to buffet him. " Clearly the observer is meant to smile at Phyllis's pretensions of predestination, a secular version of Jack's theological self-importance.

Despite the skeptical implications of his psychology, Locke would no more have welcomed Fielding's Booth as a disciple than he would have Pope's Balaam or Swift's Phyllis. Locke takes pains to show that we have responsibility for our actions because we have the ability to pause long enough to act upon consideration rather than on the uppermost uneasiness of the moment. But the course through which one is conducted by Locke to this conclusion makes some abrupt turns. The italics for "natural" and "so all" in the following passage are mine.

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