Lines Toward a Well-Crafted Ballad.
1. "a kind of mustard taint emerges"
2. "from below that black block letter"
3. "to be ostentatious is to bear a future" over which (1, 2,
3) reeks flinch
ostensible oste.nsib'l, a. (sb.) [a. Ft. ostensible (1740 in Dict.
Acad.), ad. L. type *ostensibil-is (med.L. in Laws Hen. I. c. 80 11), f.
ostens-, ppl. stem of ostendere" see ostend.]
1. That may be shown, exhibited, or presented to view, hence,
presentable; also, made or prepared to be shown. Obs.
1762-71 H. Walpole Vertue's Anecd. Paint. (1786) II. 140 [Rubens]
was called to Paris by Mary de' Medici, and painted the ostensible
history of her life in the Luxemburgh.
1783 Ld. Temple Let. 2 Apr. in Dk. Buckhm. Crt. Geo. III (1853) I. 226,
I wish you to write me an ostensible letter_upon the conduct of the
1798 Bay Amer. Law Rep. (1809) I. 92 B. was the only ostensible person
in the country, P. having gone off, and C.'s estate not being
sufficient to make good the loss.
A. 1805 A. Carlyle Autobiog. i. (1860) 31 He took great pains to make
them (especially the first, for the second was hardly ostensible) appear
among his best scholars.
1828 Bentham Wks. (1843) X. 591 You should_send me two letters--one
confidential, another ostensible.
2. That presents itself to view or shows itself off; open to public
view; conspicuous, ostentatious. Obs.
1782 in Ld. Macartney's Life &c. (1807) I. 144 Were we to adopt
the ostensible and artificial language of that prudence which [etc.];
1803 Mrq. Wellesley Let. to A. Wellesley 26 June in Owen Desp. (1877)
302 The most direct and even ostensible interposition of the British
1809 Malkin Gil Blas x. ii. 12 He has been in an ostensible
situation..and his father ought to be buried with all the forms of
1828 Ld. Grenville Sink. Fund 29 Which..can exhibit to us only the
outward and ostensible workings of this complicated mechanism.
3. Declared, avowed, professed; exhibited or put forth as actual and
genuine: often implicitly or explicitly opposed to 'actual',
'real', and so = merely professed, pretended.
1771 Junius Lett. liv. 289 The best of princes is not displeased with
the abuse which he sees thrown upon his ostensible Ministers.
1786 Burke W. Hastings Wks. 1842 II. 119 A party of British and other
troops, with the nabob in the ostensible, and the British resident in
the real command.
1837 Ht. Martineau Soc. Amer. III. 269 There will be less that is
ostensible and more that is genuine, as they grow older.
1848 C. Bronte J. Eyre x. (1873) 85 My ostensible errand on this
occasion was to get measured for a pair of shoes.
1874 Green Short Hist. vii. 4.381 Her ostensible demand was for English
aid in her restoration to the throne.
B. as sb. in pl. Ostensible matters.
1861 J. Pycroft Agony Point xxiii. (1862) 231 When all these positive
essentials and ostensibles were so respectably witnessed.
The comic and the capacity for laughter are situated in the laugher and
by no means in the object of his mirth. The man who trips would be the
last to laugh at his own fall, unless he happened to be a philosopher,
one who had acquired by habit a power of rapid self-division and thus of
assisting as a disinterested spectator at the phenomena of his own ego.
But such cases are rare.
--Charles Baudelaire, "On the Essence of Laughter"