[Ads-l] Able Was I Ere I Saw Elba

James Eric Lawson jel at NVENTURE.COM
Thu Apr 8 05:09:19 UTC 2021

5 shillings offered by the author in 1614.

This line is the same backward, as it is forward, and I will giue any
man fiue shillings a peece for as many as they can make in English.

Lewd did I liue and euil I did dwel.

<fromtitle>The nipping and snipping of abuses: or The woolgathering of
vvitte With the Muses Taylor, brought from Parnassus by land, with a
paire of oares wherein are aboue a hundred seuerall garments of diuers
fashions, made by nature, without the helpe of art, and a proclamation
from hell in the Deuils name, concerning the propogation, and excessiue
vse of tobacco
<fromauthor>Taylor, John <borndied>1580-1653</fromauthor>
<publishedby>Printed by Ed: Griffin for Nathaniel Butter, and are to be
sold at the signe of the Pide-Bull neere Saint Austens-gate
<collection>Early English Books Online, Text Creation Partnership

On 4/7/21 7:49 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> Stephen Goranson wrote:
>> Eightheeth Century Collection online has
>> Lewd I did live & evil did I dwel
>> Sept. 1793, The Kentish Register, p. 59. Letter to the Editor, and including the John Taylor,
>> Water-Poet attribution, who was said to have offered a money reward (50l. [?])for a better
>> English example.
> Here is a slightly earlier instance of "Lewd did I live, evil I did
> dwell" together with a Latin palindrome.
> Date: July 1790
> Periodical: The Gentleman's Magazine
> Publication Location: London, England
> Printer: John Nichols for D. Henry
> Quote Page 605
> https://books.google.com/books?id=BnYdAQAAMAAJ&q=%22Lewd+did%22#v=snippet&
> [Begin excerpt - double-check for typos]
> For, as to the mere artifice shewn in the construction of the verse,
> it is clearly out-done in the verses quoted by Brodæus, and in a line
> I remember to have met with:
> Odo tenet malam, madidam mappam tenet Anna.
> Anna tenet mappam madidam, malam tenet Odo.
> In this verse we read backward, according to the order of the letters;
> in that quoted by Mr. Row, according to the order of the words; and,
> in point of composition, the difficulty in the former case is
> certainly much greater than in the latter.
> I remember to have seen one English verse of this kind:
> Lewd did I live, evil I did dwell.
> It is, indeed, a very shabby verse; and I have some pleasure in
> finding that these difficiles nugæ make no figure in our language.
> Stultus labor eft ineptiarum
> [End excerpt]
> Garson

James Eric Lawson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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