Page images
[ocr errors]


men obliged to wear bags, and laced coats, and swords—all much more useless, if there can be degrees in inutility-than the prohibited hoops ? But it is idle to dwell on such trifles: we observe them merely as tokens and harbingers; the leaves fall before the tree dies !”

N.B. The phrase is often used to signify, comprehensible; understandable by everybody, every one; intelligible to every one.

A posteriori. Lat." From the latter."

A priori. Lat.--"From the former, in the first instance.” “I have demonstrably proved that the argument a priori and the argument a posteriori are one and the same process of ratiocination (reasoning].” * A priorimeans, from the former, from the cause to the effect: A posteriorimeans, from the latter, from the effect to the cause. These are phrases, which are used in logical argument, to denote a reference to its different modes. The schoolmen distinguished them into the propter quod [on account of which], wherein an effect is proved from the next cause—as when it is proved that the moon is eclipsed, because the earth is then between the sun and the moon. The second is the quia [because], wherein the cause is proved from a remote effect—as that plants do not breathe because they are not animals; or, that there is a ĠOD from the works of the creation. The former of these is called demonstration a priori—the latter, demonstration a posteriori.

A propos. Fr.—“To the purpose; opportunely; seasonably; pertinently."

A propos de bottes. Fr.-"Without reason, for nothing." A phrase used proverbially, when, in the course of conversation, one passes from one subject to another that has no reference to it. It is then equivalent to our “By-the-bye; now I think on't; now you put me in mind of it.A propos de bottes, comment se porte monsieur votre père? By-the-bye, how is your father?

A quelque chose malheur est bon. Fr. prov.—“Misfortune is good for something, is not always an evil, is not always thrown away.” 'Tis an ill wind that blows nobody luck.

A qui chapon mange, chapon lui vient. Fr. prov.—“Capon comes to him who eats capon.”—Spend, and GOD will send.

A quoi bon tant barguigner, et tant tourner autour du pot? Fr.-" To what purpose is, of what use is, so much humming and hawing, and beating about the bush ?”

A tavola rotonda non si contende del luogo. Ital. prov.—“At a round table there's no dispute about place.”

A tergo. Lat.—“Behind; at one's back; in the rear.
À tort et à droit. Fr.—“Right or wrong."

A tort et à travers. Fr.-—“At random; without discretion; without due consideration; making a mull of a thing."

A tort ou à droit. Fr.-“Reason or none."
A tort ou à raison. Fr. -“ Reason or none."

A tous oiseaux leurs nids sont beaux. Fr. prov.-"All birds like their own nests.”

A tout propos. Fr.—"At every turn, ever and anon.”
A toutes jambes. Fr.-—“As fast as one's legs can carry one.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A tutiori. Lat.—“The safer side to take.”

A vieux comptes nouvelles disputes. Fr. prov.—“Old reckon. ings cause new disputes, fresh strife.” The English proverb is, “ Short reckonings make long friends. Even reckoning keeps long friends."

A verbis legis non est recedendum. Lat. Law maxim.--" There is no departing from the words of the law.” The judges are not to make any interpretation contrary to the express words of the statute.

A vinculo matrimonii. Lat.—“From the chain, bond, bonds, or tie of marriage, matrimony.Aad jold, aad hae, aad brae, stiel ien wol to stae. Frisian.-.

“Old gold, old bread, and fine old hay

Are well indeed by one to stay.” Ab actu ad posse valet consecutio. Lat.—“The induction is good, from what has been to what may be.” By this logical maxim it is meant to state that when a thing has once happened it is but just to infer that such a matter may again occur.

Ab alio expectes alteri quod feceris. Lat. LABERIUS.—“You may expect from one person that which you have done to another.”—Your conduct to others will form the measure of your own expectations.

Ab ante. Lat.-“ Beforehand.

Ab asino lanam. Lat. prov.—“Wool from an ass.” An impossi. bility:

Ab equinis pedibus procul recede. Lat. prov.—“Keep at a good distance from horses' feet.” Trust not a horse's heel, nor a dog's tooth.

Ab equis ad asinos. Lat. prov.--"From horses to asses.” To come from little good to stark naught. Ab extra. Lat.

.-“ From without.' Ab inconvenienti. Lat. phrase.—“From the inconvenience.” Argumentum ab inconvenienti, An argument to show that the result of a proposed measure will prove inconvenient or unsuited to circumstances.

Ab incunabulis. Lat.—“From the very cradle.”

Ab initio. Lat. phrase.- From the beginning; from the very beginning; the very first.” “IIis proceedings were ill founded ab initio.

Ab integro. Lat.-—“ Afresh, anew.” N.B. We may also say integro,to express the same idea.

Ab irato. Lat.—“From an angry man.” “A measure ab irato," that is, a measure proceeding from, or taken by, an angry man.

“ It is not safe in private life, and still less amongst nations, to accustom unreasonable and hot-tempered people to feel that they can obtain whatever they happen to wish for, by flying into a passion. England has shownwe trust, to the satisfaction of Europe—assuredly to the approbation of her own conscience—how well we can keep our temper, under severe provocation ; but for the future quiet of our lives, we must endeavor to convince our irascible neighbors that wanton provocations and appeals

ab irato,' as M. de Valmy calls them, are not the modes by which any thing can be obtained from us; and that honor as well as policy will be best consulted by civiler manners and a more friendly spirit.”

Ab officio et beneficio. Lat.—“From his office (the discharge of his

66 de





clerical functions) and his benefice.” “The Bishop suspended him for five years ab officio et beneficio.

Ab origine. Lat.—“From the very first.”

Ab ovo usque ad mala. Lat. HORACE.-N.B. Ab ovo,which is often used to signify "at or from the beginning,is the former portion of the expression ab ovo usque ad mala,” which literally means, From the egg to the apples, in allusion to the custom among the Romans of beginning their dinner or supper with eggs, and finishing with apples. WE use the expression to signify, From the beginning to the end of any thing.

Ab uno disce omnes. Lat. Virgil.—“From this, or a single instance, you may learn the nature of the whole, may form an estimate of the whole."

Ab urbe condita. Lat.-"From the building of the city.”—In general thus abridged: A. U. C., in the chronology of the Romans.

Abad. Hindostanee.- * Built by.” In the names of Indian towns, the concluding syllable usually affords some clew to their past history: thus, “Abadsignifies “built by,as, Ahmed-abad, a city built by AHMED SHah; Aurung-abad, Hyder-abad, &c.

Abbé. Fr.-—“An abbot, a ruler of an abbey.' N.B. The word "Abbéproperly means Father; it is the title or designation of every French clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church.

Aberrare a scopo, or, non attingere scopum. Lat. prov. “ To miss one's mark.” Abietibus juvenes patriis et montibus aequi. Lat. VIRGIL. —

Youths, of height and size
Like firs, that on their mother-mountain rise."
May be applied to the Life-guards and Grenadiers.

Abnormis sapiens. Lat. HORACE.—“A person whose wisdom is not derived either from instruction or merely from books; one who is intuitively knowing." HORACE uses the expression to denote one who was a follower of no sect, and derived his doctrines and precepts from no rules of philosophizing, as laid down by others; but who drew them all from his own breast, and was guided by his own convictions respecting the fitness or unfitness of things.

Aborigines. Lat.-The original inhabitants of a country, equivalent to the Greek Autochthones.

Absens heres non erit. Lat. prov.-" The absent one has little chance of being the heir.” Out of sight, out of mind.

Absentem laedit, cum ebrio qui litigat. Lat. PUBLIUS Syrus. “He who quarrels with a drunken man hurts, injures, the absent.” You should consider your adversary as absent, when his senses have left him.

Absit invidia. Lat.—“All envy apart.” Without being supposed to speak invidiously, enviously. N.B. The full expression, which occurs in Livy, is, “Absit verbo invidia,that is, Take it not ill, amiss. Without slisparagement to anybody, any one.

Abstineas igitur damnandis ; hujus enim vel

Una potens ratio est, ne crimina nostra sequantur
Ex nobis geniti, quoniam dociles imitandis
Turpibus ac pravis omnes sumus.



[ocr errors]

“Refrain from all that merits reprobation. One powerful motive, at least, there is to this, lest our children copy our crimes. For we are all of us too quick at learning to imitate base and depraved examples.”

“O fatal guides! this reason should suffice

To win you from the slippery route of vice,
This powerful reason ; lest your sons pursue
The guilty track, thus plainly marked by you!
For youth is facile, and its yielding will

Receives, with fatal ease, the imprint of ill.” Abundans cautela non nocet. Lat. prov.-—"Plenty of caution can do no hurt, harm.” We cannot be too cautious. “ Take heed is a good reed.”

“Sure bind, sure find.” Abundat dulcibus vitiis. Lat. QUINTILIAN.—“He abounds with luscious faults.” Spoken of an author even in whose errors something pleasing is to be found. Modern ears are absolutely debauched by such poetry as Darwin's, which marks the decline of simplicity and true taste in this country. It is to England what Seneca's prose was to Rome, Abundat dulcibus vitiis."

Ac etiam. Law Lat.-"And also.” A clause added by recent custom to a complaint of trespass, in the Court of King's Bench, which adds “and also” a plea of debt. The plea of trespass, by fiction, gives cognizance to the court, and the plea of debt authorizes the arrest.

Ac veluti magno in populo quum saepe coorta est

Seditio, saevitque animis ignobile vulgus,
Jamque faces et saxa volant, furor arma ministrat;
Tum PIETATE gravem ac meritis si forte virum quem
Conspexere, silent, arrectisque auribus adstant,

Ille regit dictis animos, et pectora mulcet. Lat. VIRGIL.“And as when a sedition has perchance arisen among a mighty multitude, and the minds of the ignoble vulgar rage, now firebrands, now stones fly, fury supplies them with arms; if then, by chance, they espy a man revered in piety and worth, they are hushed, and stand with ears erect; he, by eloquence, rules their passions, and calms their breasts."

“ As wlien sedition fires the ignoble crowd,
And the wild rabble storms, and thirsts for blood,
Of stones and brands a mingled tempest flies,
And all those arms that sudden rage supplies ;
If some grave sire appears amid the strife,
In morals strict and sanctity of life,
All stand attentive, while the sage controls

Their wrath, and calms the tumult of their souls."
Accedas ad curiam. Law Lat.—“You may approach the court."
This name is given to a writ by which proceedings may be removed
from an inferior to a superior court.

Acceptissima semper munera sunt, auctor quæ pretiosa facit. Lat. Ovid.—“Those gifts are ever the most acceptable which the giver has made precious.” They frequently derive their value from our estimation of the donor. It may also allude to the manner of giving, as in SHAKSPEARE

[ocr errors]

“You gave, with words of so sweet breath composed,

As made the things more rich.”
Accipe, per longos tibi qui deserviat annos :

Accipe, qui pura norit amare fide.
Est nulli cessura fides: sine crimine mores :

Nudaque simplicitas, purpureusque pudor.
Non mihi mille placent: non sum desultor amoris :
Tu mihi si qua fides cura perennis eris.

Lat. Ovid.
“Scorn me not, Chloe: me, whose faith well tried,
Long years approve, and honest passions guide:
My hopeless soul no foul affections move,
But chaste simplicity and modest love:
Nor I, like shallow fops, from fair to fair
Roving at random, faithless passion swear,

But thou alone shalt be my constant care.

Accusare nemo se debet nisi coram Deo. Lat. Law maxim.-No man is bound to accuse himself, unless it be before God.” No oath is to be administered, whereby any person may be compelled to confess a crime, or accuse himself. The law will not force any man to say or show that which is against him.

Acerrima proximorum odia. Lat. Tacitus.“ The hatred of those who are near to us is most violent.” A contest between relatives is generally conducted with more acrimony than a dispute between strangers. The phrase may also be applied to that violence of rage which generally belongs to a civil war. Acme. Gr.—“The highest point, the highest degree.”

His fame was now supposed to have reached its acme.

Acquérir méchamment et dépenser sottement. “To acquire wickedly and spend foolishly.” Ill got, ill spent.

Acribus initiis, incurioso fine. Lat. Tacitus.—“Alert in the beginning, but negligent in the end.". Applied to a business vigorously conducted in the first instance, but where the exertion falls off as the affair draws nearer to a conclusion.

Acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta. Lat. Law maxim.“By the outward acts we are to judge of the inward secrets." only decide on men’s intentions from their conduct.

Actio personalis moritur cum persona. Lat. Law maxim.—“A personal action dies with the person.” In case of a trespass or battery, the death of one or other of the parties puts an end to the action.

aevum implet, non segnibus annis. Lat. Ovid.—“He fills his space with deeds, and not with lingering years." Applied to a character distinguished for a number of brilliant actions accomplished in the course of a short life.

Actum est de Republica. Lat.—“It is all over with the Republic A phrase used to intimate that the constitution is in extreme danger. Actum ne agas.

Lat. TERENCE.—“Do not overdo what has been already done.” The work which is finished may be endangered by the touches of a superfluous anxiety. Actus Dei nemini facit injuriam. Lat. Law maxim.-"No one

[ocr errors]

Fr. prov.

We can

« PreviousContinue »