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[48] I say this not because I object absolutely to all play on words capable of two different meanings, but because such jests are rarely effective, unless they are helped out by actual facts as well as similarity of sound. [p. 465] For example, I regard the jest which Cicero levelled against that same Isauricus, whom I mentioned above, as being little less than sheer buffoonery. “I wonder,” he said, “why your father, the steadiest of men, left behind him such a stripy gentleman as yourself.”1

1 Here again the pun is virtually untranslatable. Varium is used in the double sense of unstable or mottled, with reference to the story that he had been scourged by his father. See above §25.

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