« PreviousContinue »
the whole language was rejected, like a diamond with a flaw in it, if it appeared blemished with the wrong letter.”
In N. 63, Addison has again introduced Tryphiodorus, in his Vision of the Region of False Wit, where he sees the phantom of this poet pursued through the intricacies of a dance by four-and-twenty persons, (representatives of the alphabet,) who are unable to overtake him.
Addison should, however, have mentioned that Tryphiodorus is kept in countenance by no less an authority than Pindar, who, according to Athenæus, wrote an ode from which the letter sigma was carefully excluded. This caprice of Tryphiodorus has not been without its imi
Peter de Riga, a canon of Rheims, wrote a summary of the Bible in twenty-three sections, and throughout each section omitted, successively, some particular letter.
Gordianus Fulgentius, who wrote “ De Ætatibus Mundi et Hominis," has styled his book a wonderful work, chiefly, it may be presumed, from a similar reason; as from the chapter on Adam he has excluded the letter A ; from that on Abel, the B; from that on Cain, the C; and so on through twentythree chapters.
Gregorio Letti presented a discourse to the Academy of Humorists at Rome, throughout which he had purposely omitted the letter R, and he entitled it the exiled R. A friend having requested a copy as a literary curiosity, (for so he considered this idle performance,) Letti, to show it was not so difficult a matter, replied by a copious answer of seven pages, in which he observed the same severe ostracism against the letter R. Du Chat, in the "Ducatiana,” says
or there are five novels in prose, of Lope de Vega, similarly avoiding the vowels; the first without A, the second without E, the third without I, the fourth without 0, and the fifth without U.”
The Orientalists are not without this literary folly. A Persian poet read to the celebrated Jami a ghazel of his own composition, which Jami did not like; but the writer replied it was, notwithstanding, a very curious sonnet, for the letter Aliff