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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mamby-Pamby, etc.

Everyone is familiar with the penchant lefties have for saying that Republicans are stupid.  Most trace it to J.S. Mill, and his-oft quoted statement that most stupid people are conservatives.  It is actually even older than that.  Whig P.M. Robert Walpole suffered a shower of condescension about his patronage of Colley Cibber as Poet Laureate.  Ever heard someone call someone effeminate by calling them 'Mamby-Pamby?"  The phrase Mamby-Pamby was originally a reference to Ambrose Phillips, a Whig literateur.  One of Jonathan Swift's favorite modes of attack was to say that Richard Steele and Estase's fave Daniel Defoe were poorly educated ignorami.  An eighteenth century paper called Mist's Journal published the following insult to Cibber and Steele:

            Thus Colley Cibber to his Partner Steele,
             See here, Sir Knight, how I've outdone Corneille;
             See here, how I, my Patron to inveigle,
             Make Addison a Wren, and you an Eagle.
             Safe to the silent shades, we bid Defiance;
             For living Dogs are better than dead Lions.

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