Monday, February 4, 2013

Shifting Blame

A Collection of Epigrams, 2nd ed. (London: J. Walthoe, 1735), No. XCV:
Upon a Lady, who finding her Pocket wet, pretended she had broke her Hartshorn Bottle in it.

Ye sons of verse, transmit to fame,
    How blest the life of miss is;
When she breaks wind, Shock bears the blame;
    And hartshorn, when she pisses.
Hartshorn (the aqueous solution of ammonia) was used in smelling salts. Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. shock, n.4: "A dog having long shaggy hair, spec. a poodle."

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