“Exactly,” said the ass; “you have sought to make an art of impertinence by mistaking preferences for principles. In ‘taste’ you have invented a word incapable of definition, to denote an idea impossible of expression; and by employing in connection therewith the words ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ you indicate a merely subjective process in terms of an objective quality. Such presumption transcends the limit of the merely impudent, and passes into the boundless empyrean of pure cheek!”
At the close of this remarkable harangue, the bovine critic was at a loss for language to express his disapproval. So he said the speech was in bad taste.
A bloated toad, studded with dermal excrescences, was boasting that she was the wartiest creature alive.
“Perhaps you are,” said her auditor, emerging from the soil; “but it is a barren and superficial honour. Look at me: I am one solid mole!”
“It is very difficult getting on in the world,” sighed a weary snail; “very difficult indeed, with such high rents!”
“You don’t mean to say you pay anything for that old rookery!” said a slug, who was characteristically insinuating himself between the stems of the celery intended for dinner. “A miserable old shanty like that, without stables, grounds, or any modern conveniences!”
“Pay!” said the snail, contemptuously; “I’d like to see you get a semi-detatched villa like this at a nominal rate!”
“Why don’t you let your upper apartments to a respectable single party?” urged the slug.
The answer is not recorded.
A hare, pursued by a dog, sought sanctuary in the den of a wolf. It being after business hours, the latter was at home to him.
“Ah!” panted the hare; “how very fortunate! I feel quite safe here, for you dislike dogs quite as much as I do.”
“Your security, my small friend,” replied the wolf, “depends not upon those points in which you and I agree, but upon those in which I and the dog differ.”
“Then you mean to eat me?” inquired the timorous puss.
“No-o-o,” drawled the wolf, reflectively, “I should not like to promise that; I mean to eat a part of you. There may be a tuft of fur, and a toe-nail or two, left for you to go on with. I am hungry, but I am not hoggish.”
“The distinction is too fine for me,” said the hare, scratching her head.
“That, my friend, is because you have not made a practice of hare-splitting. I have.”
“Oyster at home?” inquired a monkey, rapping at the closed shell.
There was no reply. Dropping the knocker, he laid hold of the bell-handle, ringing a loud peal, but without effect.