A Tinge of Roguery

Yes, we have all a tinge of roguery in our composition; but it fortunately happens, from a few being rogues in a superlative degree, that the remainder are enabled to pass for honest men.

——“J. H. H.,” in The Literary Magnet, 1825.

Modern Dictionary

DISTANT RELATIONS—People who imagine they have a right to rob you if you are rich, and to insult you if you are poor.

HEART—A rare article, sometimes found in human beings. It is soon, however, destroyed by commerce with the world, or else becomes fatal to its possessor.

HOUSEWIFERY—An ancient art, said to have been fashionable among young girls and wives; now entirely out of use, or practised only by the lower orders.

WEALTH—The most respectable quality of man.

VIRTUE—An awkward habit of acting differently from other people. A vulgar word. It creates great mirth in fashionable circles.

HONOR—Shooting a friend through the head whom you love, in order to gain the praise of a few others whom you despise and hate.

MARRIAGE—The gate through which the happy lover leaves his enchanted regions and returns to earth.

FRIEND—A person who will not assist you because he knows your love will excuse him.

WEDDED BLISS—A term used by Milton.

DOCTOR—A man who kills you to-day, to save you from dying to-morrow.

LUNATIC ASYLUM—A kind of hospital where detected lunatics are sent by those who have the adroitness to conceal their own infirmity.

WATER—A clear fluid, once used as a drink.

TRAGEDIAN—A fellow with a tin pot on his head, who stalks about the stage, and gets into a violent passion for so much a night.

CRITIC—A large dog, that goes unchained, and barks at every thing he does not comprehend.

STATE’S EVIDENCE—A wretch who is pardoned for being baser than his comrades.

SENSIBILITY—A quality by which its possessor, in attempting to promote the happiness of other people, loses his own.

MY DEAR—An expression used by man and wife at the commencement of a quarrel.

——From Atkinson’s Casket, 1833.


Governments are generally about twenty years behind the intellect of their time. In legislation, they are like parents quarrelling what kind of frock the boy shall wear, who, in the meantime, grows up to manhood, and won’t wear any frock at all.

——From Atkinson’s Casket, 1833.