EPIGRAM, n. [1.] A short, sharp saying in prose or verse, frequently characterized by acidity or acerbity and sometimes by wisdom. Following are some of the more notable epigrams of the learned and ingenious Dr. Jamrach Holobom:
- We know better the needs of ourselves than of others. To serve oneself is economy of administration.
- In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.
- There are three sexes: males, females and girls.
- Beauty in women and distinction in men are alike in this: they seem to the unthinking a kind of credibility.
- Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.
- While your friend holds you affectionately by both your hands you are safe, for you can watch both his.
[2.] A short, sharp and ingenious thought commonly expressed in verse. The following noble example of the epigram is from the inspired pen of the great Californian poet, Hector A. Stuart.
When God had fashioned this terrestrial frame
And given to each created thing a name,
He saw His hands both empty, and explained:
“I’ve nothing left.” The nothing that remained
Said: “Make me into something light and free”
God heard, and made it into brains for me!
[3.] A short sharp saying, commonly in rhyme, characterized by a vivacious acidity of thought calculated to make him of whom it is written wish it had been an epitaph instead.
Once Hector Stuart in his tersest mood
Took up his pencil. “By the holy rood!”
He cried, “I’ll write an epigram.” He did —
Nay, by the holy mile his pencil slid.