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Full text of "British synonymy; or, An attempt at regulating the choice of words in familiar conversation"

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BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

AN ATTEMPT 

AT 

REGULATING THE CHOICE OF WORDS 

IN 

FAMILIAR CONVERSATION. 

INSCRIBED* 

With Sentiments of Gratitude and Refpe&, to fuch of hat 
Foreign Friend, as have made Engli/h Literature 

their peculiar Study, 



HESTER LYNCH, PIOZZI. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 

VOL. I. 



L O N D Ns 
f*IXT£D FOR C. C. AMD J. ROBINSON, PATERNOSTER ROW. 

MDCCJCIV. 



I 



Minenram narrat Romeros, poetarum princeps, inter bcl- 
lantium turmaa Diomedi apparuifie ; oculorumque caliginem, 
ut bcllantes Dcos ab hominibus pofTet difcernere, difcuffiffe. 
Quod figmentum Plato in Alcibiade Secundo, p. 150, torn. ii. 
nihil interpretatur quam rationem ipfam, quae, difcufla caligine 
qua quifque tenetur, animum fscibus purgat, ut mala bonavc 
poffit propius contemplari. 

Sanctii Minerva. 




PREFACE. 



x\.ND now left the motto of this 
book fliould, though infinitely the 
bed part of it, pafs unobferved ; a 
loofe tranflation mall ferve to re- 
trace it, if coarfely, on the reader's 
mind, and fix more firmly there 
the firft impreffion. 

" Homer then, prince of poets, 
relates that Minerva appeared to 
Diomed in the battle, and clearing 
his fight, fet to view the warring 
deities, giving him power to dif- 
cern which were gods and which 
were men. — While Plato explains 
the allegory into no more than 
this : How Wifdom or Reafon 
ihould in like manner fo dirpel the 
b mills 



3> 



ii PREFACE. 

mifts of the mind, that it may be 
at liberty to difcern, examine, and 
contemplate what is good and what 
is evil." 

If then to the fele&ion of words 
in converfation and elegant collo- 
quial language a book may give 
afliftance, the Author, with that de- 
ference fhe fo juftly owes a gene- 
rous public, modeftly offers her's-; 
perfuaded that, while men teach to 
write with propriety, a woman may 
at worft be qualified — through long 
practice — to direct the choice of 
phrafes in familiar talk. Nor has 
the^rj recte loquendi, as San&ius calls 
grammar, efcaped her obfervation, 
though this may furely be fetting 
talk fomewhat too high ; for gram- 
mar, that teaches us to analyfe 
fpeech into her elements, and a- 

gain 



P REJACi 



• •• 

111 



gain lyntHetize her . into that com- 
polite form we commonly find be- 
fore us, might have pretentions to 
a higlier title, terming itfelf Ars 
reEte Jcribendi rather — Province of 
men and fcholars, fome of whom 
have told me that Ammonius has 
obferved, I believe in Com, de 
Pr&dic. p. 28, that even a child 
knows how to put a fentence to- 
gether, and fay Socrates zvalketh; 
but how to refolve this fentence 
into noun and verb, thefe again 
into fyllables, and fyllables into 
letters or elements — here he is at a 
(land. Of this, indeed, firft of mun- 
dane fciences it befits me to be a 
learner, not a teacher, while one 
of the moft defirable appellations 
in our unaffuming tongue implies 
a pupil or ftudent rather than a 

b 2 doctor 



iv PREFACE* 

do&or or profeffor of philology; 
nor know I any term adequate to 
that of a good fcholar in any mo- 
dern language, whence one is often 
at a pauie in explaining its mean' 
ing to foreigners. 

Such excellence were in truth 
fuperfluous to a work like this, in- 
tended chiefly for a parlour win- » 
dow, and acknowledging itfelf un- 
worthy of a place upon a library 
Ihelf. For Selderi fays wifely, that 
to know which way the wind fits 
we throw up a ftraw, not a ftone : 
my little book then — levior cortice 
—may on that principle fuffice to 
direct travellers on their way, till 
a more complicated and valuable 
piece of workmanlhip be found to 
further their refearch. 

We muft not meantime retard 

8 our 



P VL E F A CE. r 

our own progrels with ftudied de- 
finitions of every quality coming 
under confideration ; or even by 
Very long defcriptions of the fame, 
either by their adjuncts or caufes ; 
for although every definition is 
generice a defcription, yet we all 
fee that every defcription is not 
definitive — And although the final 
caufe of definition is to fix the true 
and adequate meaning of words or 
terms, without knowledge of which 
we ftir not a fteji in logic ; yet here 
we muft not fuffer ourfelves to be 
fo detained, as fynonymy has more 
to do with elegance than truth— 
And I well remember an obferva- 
tion made by my earlieft, perhaps 
my trueft friend, Doctor Arthur 
Collier, that women mould learn 
rhetorick in order to perfuade their 

huf- 



vi PREFACE. 

hufbands, while men ftudied to 
render themfelves good logicians, 
for the fake of obtaining arms a- 
gamft female oratory. 

'Tis my beft hope at prefent, that 
they will not over ftri&ly examine, 
or with much feverity cenfure my 
weak attempt ; but recollecting that 
as words form the medium of 
knowledge, fo it often happens that 
they create the mifts of error too ; 
and if I can in the courfe of this 
little work difpel a doubt, or clear 
up a difficulty to foreigners, who 
can alone be fuppofed to know left 
of the matter than myfelf, — I fhall 
have an honour to boaft, and like 
my countryman Glendower in 
Shakefpeare's Henry the Fourth, 
Itave given our tongue an helpful or- 
nament. But though I mean not, 

like 



PREFACE. vii 

like Abbe Girard, to make my pre- 
face the panegyrick to my book, 
much lefs to make that book, as he 
does, a vehicle for fentiments fome- 
what reprehenfible — fee page 36*. 
vol. i. I mould be too happy, could 
I imitate his delicacy of difcrimi- 
nation, and felicity of expreflion, 
while that general power of think- 
ing, which Boileau fays is the firft 
quality of every written perform- 
ance, gives a vivifying principle 
to the Frenchman's volumes, I can 
fcarce hope will be ever found to 
invigorate mine. 

Let however the votaries of 
pleonafm, with the learned Vauge- 
las at their head, but ftand my 
friends this once ; we will endea- 
vour to refcue that pleafing rheto- 
rical figure from the imputation of 

tauto- 



viii PREFACE. 

tautology, in a work - undertaken 
near the banks of that Thames 
which Sir John Denham defcribes, 
in terms fo clofely allied though 
never fynonymous, fo truly beauti- 
ful, though approaching to redun- 
dancy : 

Tho* deep yet clear, tho* gentle yet not dull, 
' Strong without rage, without o'erflowing — full. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



i. H E firft % word which on a curfory 
furvey of alphabetical arrangement appears 
to have many brothers in fignification is the 
verb abandon, and he brings with him 
no inconfiderable number ; for example : 



TO ABANDON, FORSAKE, RELINQUISH, 
GIVE UP, DESERT, QUIT, LEAVE- 



■■»"■- 



OF thefe feven verbs then, fo varioufly 
derived, though at firft fight apparently fy- 
monymous, converiing does certainly better 
(hew the peculiar appropriation, than books, 
however learned; for whilft through them 

vol. I. B by 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

by ftudy all due information may certainly 
be obtained, familiar talk tells us in half an 
hour — That a man forsakes his miftrefs, 
Abandons all hope of regaining her loft 
efteem, relinquishes his pretenfions in 
favour of another; gives up a place of 
truft he held under the government, de- 
serts his party, leaves his parents in 
affliction, and quits the kingdom for ever. 
Other in (lances will quickly prove to a 
foreigner that 'tis a well-received colloquial 
phrafe to fay, You lv ave London for the 
country. Telling us you quit it feems to 
convey a notion of your going fuddenly to 
the Continent. — r I hat any one deserts it 
can fcarccly be faid with propriety, unlefs at 
a time of peftilcncc or tumults of a danger- 
ous nature, when we obferve that the capital 
is deserted : although by an overftrained 
compliment a lady may poffibly hear fuch 
a word fomctimes from a man who pretends 
affe&edly to confider her defertion of the 

metropolis 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, % 

metropolis as half criminal. That you 
give up London looks as if you meant ia 
future to refide upon your own eftate in the 
country, I think; while to relinquish a 
town life feems as if fomething was re- 
quired to make the fentence complete — ad 
we relinquish the joys of fociety for the 
tranquil fweets of folitude — and the like. To 
forsake London would be a foppifh ex* 
preflion; and to fay we were going to a ban- 
don it, as if it could fcatce fubfift without 
us, would fet people olaughing. The par- 
ticiples from thefe verbs evince the various 
acceptations of their principals. — That fel- 
low is given up to every vice, is an expref- 
(ion popular and common ; but when we 
fpeak of him as abandoned ©f all virtue, 
or forsaken of all good, the phrafe ap- 
proaches to folemnity, and is at lead ex- 
preffive of the man's total ruin even in this 
tranfitory world* 

B* He 



4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

He is now nearly given up by fociety, 
fay people in common converfation, when 
telling rakifh ftories of a man whofe con- 
dud has merited the negledt of his virtuous 
companions; but foon as they defcribe 
a human creature deserted of every 
friend, and left on a defolate ifland, aban- 
doned to forrow andremorfej new fil- 
iations are excited, commiferation takes its 
turn, nor can the moil rigid refufe pity to 
fuch a ftate of diftrefs. 



ABASEMENT, DEPRESSION, DERELICTION, 
BEING BROUGHT ^toW 9 &c. 



THESE terms are given as Synonymous 
in every di&ionary, I believe j yet I once 
knew a man incapable of depression 
though his abasement was notorious: and 
it will probably be juftly recorded of a great 

lady, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 5 

Udy, vrhofk fall from f&fhaps the vetf firft 
fitaation of focial life has called out much" of 

» 

out attention in thefe modern times — that 
though BitoUGHT exceedingly low; fironi 
a ftrange combination of unexpected events, 
while differing fevere depression of fpi- 
rits, not without frequent dereliction of 
her fine faculties, yet no one has hitherto 
been able to obferve the fmalleff deviation 
towards abasement in her general cha- 
ncer of dignity. 



TO ABET, ENCOURAGE, PUSH FORWARD, 

SUPPORT, MAINTAIN, 



ARE five verbs much alike in their gene- 
ral fignification, yet eafily diverfified by the 
manner of applying them in familiar life, 
and fo certainly capable of peculiar appro- 
priation, that even thofe who are themfelves 

B 3 ignorant 



* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ignorant of any reafon why they ufe ex- 
preffions of fuch corre&nefs in common talk, 
will hardly mifs of managing the matter 

rightly. We may for inilance by ill chance 

« 

hear one confident fellow faying to another, 
" The young Countefs does fure enough ap- 
pear plainly to encourage our friend 
Clodius's pretentions: now if you will un- 
dertake to abet his caufe with your fword, 
I have myfelf at prefent money to main- 

■ 

tain it ; and an acquaintance at hand befide 
that can support him with good intereft; 
and fo push forward his profperous for- 
tunes upon this probable hazard, that he 
fhall foon be in a fituation to repay us all/* 



TO ABHOR, TO LOATH, TO DETEST, 

TO HATE, 



ARE likewife apparently fynonymous ex- 
preflions of acrimonious diflike, yet may be 

made 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 7 

made applicable to thofe qualities which call 

for words denoting particular fenttments oF 

difguft ; and a lady of no deep literature will 

fcarcely fail to utter her averfion for a difa- 

greeaMe lover, in terms wholly unequivocal, 

and 'which could not eafily be changed to 

advantage by the moft learned profeflbr, 

when fhe fays, "I hate Caprinus for the 

allegation ever vifible in that ugly perfon of 

his, while I loath its naftinefs; we all 

agree to detest his conduct I believe, and 

for my own part I abhor his principles.'* 



ABJECT, MEAN, DESPICABLE, WORTHLESS, 

VILE, DESTITUTE. * : 



ALL adjeGives of moft contemptible im- 
port truly, yet fuch as a fallen courtier might 
deferve even in their full extent and accumu- 
lated ftrength of expreflion, if being ori- 

B 4 ginally 



8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ginally a man of high birth and good edu- 
cation, his fentiments were not the left 
despicable and if his %nle intentions and 
WOAthless heart kid open, he became, 
when destitute of royal favour, ftudious 
by mean artifices to obtain its reiteration, 
and abject in his manners when hopelefr 
pf its return* 



*r 



ABILITY, CAPACITY, POWER, 



THESE fubftantives, though often ufed 
in place of each other, prove that their 
meanings are not fynonymous, by their 
requiring adjedtives confefledly different to 
attend them. Thus we fay a man of 
STRONG or weak ability, becaufe that 
Word denotes an a&ive quality of the mind ; 
while to defcribe the limits of capacity, 
the terms targe and fmall } wide ^nd narrow^ 

Jballom 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 9 

Jhrfbw or pffound) are the propereft— bl* 
cau£e capacity is a paffive quality of our 
inteUcft, and implies that the fpeakcr here 
coofiders mind as a recipient, and muft be* 
flow on it fuch epithets akne as fuit that 
fuppofition. 

EXAMPLE, 

Clarendon being a man of forcible and 
vigorous abilities, was an exceedingly 
ufeful fervant to a prince of diiputed 
power; and having befides an excellent 
and extcnjive capacity, he ftored his mind 
with a variety of ideas that entertained him- 
felf and his friends in retirement. 



U A Tlf. g 



ACQUIREMENTS, ACQUISITIONS, 

ATTAINMENTS. 



ALL mean things obtained by chance, 
or elfe procured with difficulty : we have 
put the laft firft. The words are neatly 
iepaiated in common convocation* and 

adapted" 



to BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

adapted by cuftom to the peculiar ofes of 
talents, richer or power. Dercylis (fay 
we) has made confiderable acquire-* 
M£NT3 fincc the education her father now 

gives her has commenced ; and it was Angu- 
larly happy for his family, that the fudden 
acquisition of fortune fell to him at a 
time when his children were all young: 
The brother is breeding to the church I 
hear, and doubt not but his attain- 
ments will do them all the credit they 
deferve. — The laft of thefe words feems, I 
know not why, to be almoft fet apart foi 
ferious and even folemn purpofes— We fay 
the attainment of our ialvation, not its 

ACQUIREMENT Or ACQUISITION. 



ACTIVE, ASSIDUOUS, SEDULOUS, DILIGENT, 

INDUSTRIOUS. 



QUALITIES all of the fkme genus 
certainly, but differing in lpecies as a Lin- 

naean 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i* 

mean would fay : . in common convention, 
however, the art a foreigner opens this book 
in order to learn, they commonly run as 
follows:— While natives of every nation agree 
that the king is happy who is ferved by an 
active minifter, ever industrious to 
promote his country's welfare, not lefs di- 
ligent to obtain intelligence of what i* 
palling ftill at other courts, than . assidu* 
ous to relieve the cares of his royal matter, 
and sedulous to ftudy the fureft methods 
of extending the commerce of the empire 
abroad, while he leflens all burthens upon 
the fubje&s at home. When thefe words 
are applied to mere mental perfe&ion, we 
fay a lad of an adive and diligent Jpirit, 
or elfe of an assiduous temper^ or sedu- 
lous difpofition\ but they can fcarcely be 
ufed vice verfa without fome impropriety, 
becaufe activity and diligence are real quali- 
ties of the man, to which affiduity and a 
sedulous behaviour in the boy do na- 
turally 



\% BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tmHRy difpofe him. The kft mentioned 
ep ith et is left frequently oppofed to inac- 
tlott however, or lifelefs ftupidity, than the 
tiheri are, Hid juftly ; becaxife it im£Ke* 
& mete ttettjuil and fteady employment, 
either of body or mind — and this from its 
very derivation, as he may finely be deem* 
lid no better than a confummate idler, who 
is sedulously bent Upon cutting a cherry- 
ftone into fix chairs and a table, for teft 
years together, inftead of purfuing fome 
bufinefs, honourable or profitable, by 
which both himfelf and the community 
might have been reciprocally benefited. 
This kind of plodding, pertinacious temper 
may be turned to good account in young 
people however, ivho, if they have luck, may 
get into a line of the law, where little more 
is Wanted than fuch a difpofition to lead 
them on, by their own rule fair and foft- 
ly to a confiderable height ; yet fome ad- 
dition of assiduity in pleafing the attor- 
neys 



aeys tap teen kapww to qpifikm their 



ACUTENESS, SHARPNESS, QJJIpKNESS^ 

KEENNESS- 



^ jum 



IF applied to intelleft, a mm is 6id po- 
pularly to reafbn with the firft of thefe 
qualities, I think — to converfe, if fuch be 
his cuftom, with the iecond — to conceive 
with the third — and to difputp or argue 
with the fourth. When turned into ad- 
verbs, and applied to obje&s of ipere fen-, 
(ation, we fay, The ftudent learns quick-* 
lt j his filler difceins diftances acutely; 
and the ra^or (hav^s keenly. Coar& 
people have meantime, by the too frequent 
ufe of their favourite figure Aph#refi9 f 
rendered it vulgar to call any one an, 

ACUTE 



14 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

acute fellow by the way of faying he is a 
(harp-witted one ; it having been a pra&icc 
lately, among low Londoners, to fay, when 
they like a boy — how 'cute he is ! So that 
the word would now fhock a polifhed 
circle from its groflnefs. — A nation like 
ours, where reception depends lefs on efta- 
blifhed rank, than that gained by talents 
and manner, has a natural tendency to 
keep the language of high people apart 
from that of the low — and while the fena- 
tor of Venice hears his gondolier talk juft 
like himfelf, without being furprifed or of- 
fended, nor thinks of defiring his fon to 
avoid mean phrafes ufed by the coffee- 
houfe boy ; our parents and fchool teachers 
wear out their lives in keeping the con- 
fines of converfation free from all touch of 
vicinity with ordinary people, who are 
known to be fiich bere, the moment they 

open their mouths* Whale fentences are 

often 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

often difmifled the drawing-room, only be- 
caufe they are familiar in a fhop. He is a 
rough diamond i fays the upper journeyman 
at his club, when fpeaking of the appren- 
tice, whom he conceives to be a perfon of 
intrinfic worth, but wanting polifli. Now 
'tis impoffible to find a better phrafe for 
fuch a character ; yet no gentleman or lady 
ufes the expreffion, becaufe it is a favourite 
with the vulgar. A thoufand fuch others 
might be found. Let not my foreign readers, 
however, haftily condemn the word acute, 
and fay I taught them fo ; for, in a ferious 
fenfe, 'tis ftill a good one ; nor will any 
Englifhman accufe them of impropriety, 
for faying Mr. Burke is an acute reafoner, 

■ 

or that the feeling of Mrs. Siddons mud 
be (ingularly acute, or fhe could not f# 
sharpen diftrefs in reprefentation. 



ADVICE, 



it BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



ADVICE, COUNSEL, DELIBERATION. 



f^m 



OF thefe I know not whether it might not 
be jyftly affirmed, that the firft chiefly be- 
longs to the fcience of medicine; the fecond 
is appropriated by the law ; while political 
iubjeds require cool deliberation. A 
native is in no danger of miflaking here ; 
but a ftranger may perhaps be glad to have 
it fuggefted to him, that the minifter was 
detained by advice of his phyficians from 
attending to the deliberations of yefter- 
day's committee; where things paffed fo per- 
verfely during his abfence, that counsel 
muft actually be afked of the judges now 
concerning the refult. 



AFFA' 



fitOTISH SYNONYMY. 17 



AFFABILITY, CONbfiSCENSIOtf, GOUtLTESY, 

GRAGIOUSNESS, 



ARE nearly fyhonymoiis ; though com- 
mon difcourfe does certainly admit that aft 
equal may be affable — which I fhould 
ftfll think wrong in a printed book, and un- 
pJeafing every where ; becaufe the word it- 
fclf feems to imply fuperiority. We will 
allow however that the lofty courtesy 
of a princefs lofes little of its gracious- 
ness, although fome condescension be 
left vifible through the exterior affabili- 
ty ; but that among people where talents or 
fortune only make the difference, a drain of 
polifhed familiarity, or familiar politenefs — 
call it as you will — is the behaviour moil 
likely to attract affectionate efteem. 



VOL.-I. G AFFEC- 



i8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



* 



AFFECTION, PASSION, TENDERNESS, 
FONDNESS, LOVE. 



••■•*■■■■■ 



THE firft four of thefe words, then, fo 
commonly, fo conftantly in ufe, are, al- 
though fimilar, certainly not fynonymous ; 
and the laft, which always ought and I hope 
often does comprehend them all, is not fel- 
dom fubftituted in place of its own compo- 
nent parts, for luch are all thofe that precede 
it. Foreigners however will recoiled, that 
the firft of thefe words is ufually adapted t# 
that regard which is confequent on ties of 
blood ; that the fecond naturally and necef- 
farily prefuppofes and implies difference of 
fex j while the reft without impropriety may 
be attributed to friendfliip, or beftowed on 
babes. I have before me the definition of 
fondness, given into my hands many years 
ago by a moft eminent logician, though Dr. 
Johnfon never did acquiefce in it. 

<c Fond- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i, 

u Fondness," fays the Define^ " is the 
Kafty and injudicious determination of the 
will towards promoting the prefent gratifi- 
cation of fome particular obje&." 

" Fondness/' faid Dr. Johnfon, " is ra- 
ther the hafty and injudicious attribution of 
excellence, fomewhat beyond the power of 
attainment, to the objed of our affefiion." 

Both thefe definitions may poffibly be in- 
cluded in fondness ; my own idea of the 
whole may be found in the following ex- 
ample : 

Amintor and Afpafia are models of true 
love : 'tis now feven years fince their piu- 
tual passion was fan&ified by marriage; 
and fo little is the lady's affection dimi- 
nifhed, that (he fate up nine nights fuccef- 
fively laft winter by her hufband s bed-fide, 
when he had on him a malignant fever that 
frighted relations, friends, fervants, all away. 
Nor can any one allege that her tender- 
ness is ill repaid, while we fee him gaze 

C 2 upon 



2o BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

upon her features with that fondness 
which is capable of creating charms for it> 
felf to admire, and liften to her talk with a 
fervour of admiration fcarce due to the moil 
brilliant genius. 

For the reft, 'tis my opinion that men 
love for the moft part with warmer passion 
than women do — at leaft than Englifli wo- 
men, and with more tranfitoiy fondness 
mingled with that paflion; while 'tis na- 
tural for females to feel a fofter tender- 
ness; and when their affections are 
completely gained, they are found to be 
more durable. 



AFFLIC- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 21 



AFFLICTION, LAMENTATION, SADNESS, 
SORROW, MISERY; GRIEF, CONCERN, 
COMPUNCTION, CONTRITION, DISTRESS. 



WE are come, by a melancholy though 
fudden tranfition, from 

Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleafure's fmiling Train,* 

To 

Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain ; 

As Mr. Pope fays. 

The difmal fubftantives are not however 
fynonymous ; for there may be much la- 
mentation certainly with little distress, 
and grief enough, God knows, without due 
contrition; which laft word ever car- 
ries a religious fenfe along, and is chiefly 
ufed upon pious occafions, as preparatory 
to ferious amendment, and a new life* 
There are, notwithftanding all this, exam- 
ples enough I fear of worldly fituations, 

C 3 that 



22 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

that may unhappily include the whole fy* 
nonymy. For infUnce, 

Mercator's unexpedfced death impel? many 
of our common acquaintance to make heavy 
lamentation; fome friends feci fincere 
sorrow; and I profefs myfelf fenlib.e of 
very particular concern. His family is 
in the dcepeft sadness, as I hear; and you 
will doufatlefs be led to pity their aft 
flic t ion, when told that the pofture of 
their pecuniary affairs is likely very much 
to heighten the distress. His fon's gru F 
is poffibly connected with compunction 
too, as fearing his extravagant conduit might 
have haftened his father's end : and when 
his filly widow fees the misery brought 
upon her more deferving children by that 
blind partiality flie (hewed to her eldeft boy, 
her heart will I hope feel contrition 
enough to produce true repentance for the 
wretched part fhe has a&ed. 



AMI- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. aj 



AMIABLE, LOVELY, CHARMING, 
FASCINATING. 



THESE elegant attributives — fo the 
learned James Harris terms adjectives de- 
noting properties of mind or body — appear 
at firft more likely to turn out fynonymes, 
than upon a clofer tnipe&ion we ihall be 
able to ohferve: while daily experience 
evinces that there is an almoft regular ap- 
propriation of the word 8; as thus — an ami- 
able character, a lovely complexion, a 
charming finger, a fascinating con- 
verter ; — the firft of thefe appearing to dc- 
Jcrve our love, the next to claim it, the third 
Xofieal it from us as by magic ; the laft of 
all to draw y and to detain it, by a half in- 
vifible, yet wholly refiftlefs power. Nor 
does the epithet ever come fo properly into 
play, as when tacked to an unfccn method of 
attracting: for pofitive beauty needs not 

C 4 fcfci- 



24 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fafcination to affift her conquefts ; and pofi- 
tive wit feeks rather to dazzle and diftrefs, 
than wind herfelf round the hearts of her 
admirers ; while there is a mode of convert- 
ing that feduces attention, and enchains the 
faculties. 

" When Foote told a ftory at dinner time," 
faid Dr. Johnfon, " I refolved to difregard 
what I expe&ed would be frivolous ; yet as 
the plot thickened, my defire of hearing the 
cataftrophe quickened at every word, and 
grew keener as we feemed approaching to- 
wards its conclufion. The fellow fafcinated 
me, Sir j I liftened and laughed, and laid 
down my knife and fork, and thought of 
nothing but Foote's converfation." 

Some Italian lines fet by Piccini, with 
cxpreffive dexterity, reprefent this power 
beyond all I have read — as defcriptive of 
female fafcination ; and every man who has 
been in love with a woman, not confefledly 
beautiful, feels his heart beat refponfive to 

the 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. * s 

the verfes and the mufic, when fung with 
the good tafte they dcferve* 

Will the lines be much out of place here? 
1 hope not. 

In quel vifo f urbarello 
Ve un incognita magia ; 
Non fi fa che diavol fia 

Ma fa l'uomo delirar* 

Quegli occhietti cofi vaghi 
Ve lo giuro fon due maghi, 
£ un fofpiro languidetto, 
Che fatica ufcir dal petto 

Vi fa fubito cafcar. 

Vengon per ultimo i can accent!, 
Le lagrimuccie, li fvenimenti, 
Ch'opprimer devono 

Perforza un cuor : 

Innumerabile 
Son l'incantefimi, 
Son 1'arti magichi 

Del dio d'amor. 

The following imitation mifles its effect, 
becaufe the meafure is unfavourable, yet 
may ferve to convey the idea : 

In 



26 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

In that roguifh face one feet 
All her fex's witcheries ; 
Playful fweetnefs, cold difdain, 
Every thing to turn one's brain. 

Sparkling from expreffive eyes, 
Heaving in affe&ed fighs, 
Sure deftru&ion (till we find, 
Still we lofe our peace of mind. 

Touch'd by her half-trembling hand, 
Can the coldeft heart withftand ? 
While we dread the ftarting tear, 
And the tender accents hear. 

Numberlefs are fure the ways 
That {htfafcinaUs our gaze , 
Magic arts her pow'r improve, 

v Witcheries that wait on love. . , . ^;j 






AMICABLE, AMICAL, FRIENDLY. 



THE fecond of thefe adverbial adjectives, 

is very lately come very much into favour, 

. 8 and 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 17 

and one hears it now perpetually in fathion- 
able and literary circles. I cannot however 
delight in it myfelf — perhaps becaufe, turn- 
ing over Johnfon's folio, no trace of it, or of 
its oppofite, inimical, can be found. This 
laft feems to have been lately called up from 
the fchool-room to the houfe of commons, 
and from thence, of courfe, into the bell 
company. — I cannot find it — . Cc 'tis not in 
the bond/* — as old Shylock fays ; yet may 
be ufeful in places where I know not how 
to fubftitute a better. 

EXAMPLE. 

Machaon gave very friendly advice to 
Dornton and his Brother, wifhing them at 
leaft to part on amicable terms; the 1 
youngeft is certainly inclined to a confump- 
ti ve habit ; fo he wifely recommended coun- 
try air and afles' milk to him, as particularly 
amical to the conftitution. 



AHTI- 



*S BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



ANTIPATHY, AVERSION, DISGUST. 



THE firft of thefe di&greeable fenla- 
tions we find chiefly excited I believe by 
inanimate things, or brutes. One man al- 
leges his unconquerable antipathy to 
a cat ; another encourages his aversion to 
a Chefhire cheefe; and while Englifh ladies 
think it delicate to faint at touch or even 
fight of a frog, or toad — Roman ladies, 
accuftomed to noifome animals from the 
natural heat of their climate, fall into con- 
vulfions at a nofegay of flowers, or the fcent 
of a little lavender water. To fuch faftidi- 
ous companions it would not be perhaps 
wholly unreafonable to feel a certain degree 
of disgust; and Arnold of Leicefterfhire 
tells Xis ' from experience, that increafing 
antipathies fhould be particularly dread* 
ed, as an almoft certain indication of inci- 
pient madnefs. 

AUTHO- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 19 



AUTHORITY and POWER. 



T H AT thefe till lately venerated fub- 
fiantives are no longer received as fynony- 
mous, the ftate of Europe demonftrates at 
this dreadful moment, when its faireft dit 
tri£ revolts againft the Author of our 
holy religion, wrefting all reverence from 
his name, his houfe, his minifters; and 
rendering ecclefiaftical authority a noun 
of no importance in their new-formed vo- 
cabulary, by dividing it effentially from 
power, which in thefe days, as in thofe 
before civilization, is tranfmitted to the 
hand of the ftrongeft. Yet is not philology 
forgotten. Authority does not naturally 
mean power, but the juft pretenfion to it. 
Shall the veflel fafhioned fay to the potter, 
Why haft thou made me thus ? cries an in- 
6 fpired 



30 British synonymy, 

fpired writer — while Milton gives the fol- 
lowing confirmation of our meaning : 

Thou art my father, thou my author— thorn 
My being gav'ft me — whom fliouW I obey 
But thee ? 

One other example from our great dra- 
matic poet, Rowe, will point out better than 
/ could to foreigners, the difference 

AUTHORITY and POWER. 

The refty knaves are over-run with eafe, 

As plenty ever is the nurfe of fa£Hon. 

If in good days like thefe the headftrong herd 

Grow madly wanton and repine \ — it is 

Becaufc the reins of power are held too flack, 

And reverend authority of late 

Has worn a face of mercy, more than juflice. 



AWEFUL, 



BRITISH STNONTMT. 3 1 



AWEFUL, REVERENTIAL, SOLEMN. 



THE laft of thefe epithet* begins the 
dimax — A Gothick cathedral (fay we) is a 
solemn place; its gloomy greatnefc difpofet 
one to reverential behaviour, infpiriflg 
fentiments more fublime, and meditations 
much more aweful, than does a ftru&ure 
on the Grecian model, though built for the 
fame purpofes of piety* 

The word aweful fhould however be 
ufed with caution, arfd a due fenfe of its 
importance; I have heard even well-bred 
ladies now and then attribute that term too 
lightly in their common converfation— conr 
netting it with fubftances beneath its dig- 
nity — fuch mefalliances offend the fenfe. of 
high birth natural to a Saxon. 



AT 



3* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



AT asd YES. 



THE firft of thefe affirmatives, derived 
from the Latin aio 9 is of the higher anti- 
quity in our language, and (till keeps fome 
privileges of fuperiority, enforcing that which 
the other lefs decidedly aflerts. It ufed to 
be reprefented in Shakefpear's time by the 
(ingle vowel / ; fee the long fcene between 
the nurfe and Juliet, when told of Tybalt's 
death ; but I recollect no later author who 
fo corrupts it We fay in familiar talk, that 
Diana counfelM her fifter Flora againft fuch 
a match; did flic not, Sir? Yes, I believe 
(he did. — CounfeVd her ! exclaims a ftander- 
by — Ay, and controuled her too, or fhe had 
been his wife now. 



AZURE, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 33 



AZURE, SAPPHIRE, BLUE. 



* »i 



THESE are all preffed into the fervice 
as adje&ives, each being able to (land alone 
as nouns well fubftantiated, — at leaft two of 
the number, — our firft being that lapis 
lazuli from which the painters ultrama- 
rine is made, l'azul in Spanifli, and in 
Englifh azure ; the fecond a well known 
gem; the third, if we afk for dyers blue, 
will be found a powder prepared from 
indigo, &c. : we ufe them adjedtivially, and 
almoft fynonymoufly however. — Minerva's 
azure eyes, fo often mentioned by Pope 
in his exquiiite tranflation of Homer, have 
fattened thofe two words for ever to each 
other, as long as our language lafts — and if 
a foreigner fhould take the next inftead of 
jt, all would laugh. The sapphire main 

vol. i. D and 



3 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

and sapphire fky are both permitted and 
approved in poetry meantime, while it 
would be pedantry to ufe any word but 
blue when (peaking of furniture or dreis. 



BASE, LOW, SORDID ; PALTRY, SORRY, POOR. 



THESE wretched epithets would be 
perfectly fynonymous in their application 
to intelle&ual depravity, did one not dif- 
cern inherent worthleflhefs in fome of them, 
acquired poverty of fpirit in the others. A 
man may be born a low, a paltry, and, 
as we fay, a poor creature ; an Englifhman 
muft however learn to be SORDID, SORRY, 
and base I believe : — which laft word, 
though it leads the way here in a new 
letter, being the vileft of its clafs, may be 

coniidered 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 35 

confidered as the moil diftant of all devia- 
tions from good, in every fenfe it is ufed. 
Base birth in human creatures ; base 
fruits in horticulture ; base metals in the 
mineral kingdom; base diale&s, fuch as 
that of St. Giles's, in our Englifli language. 

example. 
Mifellus was a lad of low extra&ion, 
and ftudious of base practices even in his 
fchool-days ; but now grown rich, it was a 
sordid thing that they relate of his cor- 
rupting an ignorant maid to fell her weal- 
thy, inexperienced miftrefs ; and when he 
offered the wench a paltry prefent, it 
fhouJd at leaft have been, what fhe confi- 
dered it — a gold ring, but it was only 
base metal, and not worth half a crown. 
This feemed a sorry trick even in him, 
and beneath the natural narrownefs of even 
fo poor a creature. 

D a beautiful, 



36 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



BEAUTIFUL, HANDSOME, GRACEFUL, ELE- 
GANT, PLEASING, PRETTY, FINE, 



ARE however defirable epithets, by no 
means ftridtly fynonymous ; and though, 
upon a curfory view, the fix laft appear in- 
eluded in their principal, which takes the 
lead, converfation will foon inform us to 
the contrary, while, talking of a graceful 
dancer now upon the ftage, we fhall find 
in' her perfon, if not put into motion, no 
claim at all upSn oiir firft attributive : — nor 
xloes that firflr neceffarily comprehend the 

"trckg it excellencies —-for though the fituation 
***** N 

'of M&jjpt Edgcumtte be confeffedly more 
BEAUTitifL. than Shenftone's Leafowes* 
'tafte would %ad many men to prefer the 
latter, as more vtE'A'saaf&: and at the time 
when true perfection of female beauty ap- 
peared among us in the form of Maria 

Gunning, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 37 

Gunning I well remember hearing men 
fay that other women might juftly be pre- 
ferred to her as pleasing, and perhapa 
graceful too, in a far more eminent de- 
gree ; and fo true was the obfervation, that 
her inferiors made it their amufement to 
fteal away lovers from her, who command- 
ed admiration they had no chance to 
attain. 

The word elegant can fcarcely be ufed 
with more propriety than on fuch occa- 
llons, when people elefl .as pleasing 
what produces a train of ideas moft conge- 
nial to our own particular fancy. Pearls 
are, on this principle, accounted bit many 
people to be more ELEGANT^tnan dia.- 
monds ; which we all allow Jo be finer, 
handsomer, a&d infiuitely more beau- 
t i f u l . A nd one fays popularly, that Pope's 
Rape of the Lock is an elegant poem, and 
Milton's ParadifeLoft a fine one. Greville's 

D 3 Stanzas 



3 8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Stanzas to Indifference are however exqtuU 
fitely pretty, and fome parts of Mr. 
Whalley s Ode to Mont Blanc, uncommonly 
beautiful. Burke — whofe own compo- 
fitions include every fpecies of excellence- 
fays, that beautiful obje&s are compara- 
tively fmall, but to minute perfection I 
fhould give die adje&ive pretty. Infe&s 
of various colours, and delicate formation, 
butterflies above all, are juftly termed 
PRETTY. Some (hells too, flight in their 
texture, and of tints as tender, claim this 
epithet, and can claim no more ; for, while 
the apple and peach bloom have among 
vegetables the fame pretenfion — an orange- 
tree richly fornifhed, growing in the natu- 
ral ground as I have feen them on the Bor- 
romsean Iflands to a considerable height, and 
rofe-trees in the Duke of Buccleugh's plea- 
fure-grounds, or thofe of Hopeton-Houfe, 
are decidedly beautiful. One large 

and 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 39 

and wide fpreading beech-tree, or full-bo- 
died oak, (ingle in a verdant meadow, 
I liould fele& for a fin* obje& to repofe 
the eye upon, in autumnal feafons when 
the tint begins to fliew more richnefs than 
mere maturity produces, and excites a train 
of refle&ions full of penfive dignity : 
while the old-fafhioned avenue of lime- 
trees long-drawn and feathering down fo as 
to hide all item, makes a handsome ap- 
pearance in July, when filled with fragrance 
aad redolent with bloom. Were we fpeak- 
ing of archite&ure, I fhould dired foreign- 
ers to call the Pantheon at Rome a fine 
building, Saint Peter's a beautiful one, 
our own in London dedicated to St. Paul a 
very handsome edifice, the Redentore at Ve- 
nice, planned by Palladio — and our own fweet 
Doric, done by Inigo Jones I reckon ele- 
gant fabrics; while King's College Cam- 
bridge, elaborately pretty, gives delight 

D4 to 



40 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

to every beholder. The word handsome 
certainly annexes fewer ideas of pleafure 
than the reft, becaufe we have appropriated 
it now and then fomewhat meanly. We 
fay a handsome kitchen certainly in Eng- 
lifh, and a handsome piece of roaft beef; 
nor do we give higher appellatives to a large 
woman painted by Rubens with more 
ftrength of colour than dignity or grace. 
When we fpeak of a handsome houfe and 

a 

gardens, our hearers turn not, I believe, 
their imaginations to recolledt Villa Albani 
or even Caftle Howard, while a drive round 
London realizes the idea at lefs expence of 
trouble nearer home. But, after all, the 
words 



JJEAUTYj 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 41 



BEAUTY, GRACE, EXPRESSION; CARRIAGE, 
ELEGANCE akd SYMMETRY; 



ARE fubftantives on which fo many vo- 
lumes have been written, that one would 
think it impoffible it fhould be (till agreeable 
to read about them; yet is every writer 
tempted to extend on fuch a fubjedl — every 
ftudent attra&ed to continue a page where 
thofe names begin the lea£ And it is per- 
haps not wholly tedious or uninterefting to 
obferve, that more, much more is required 
to defcribe beauty, than is comprehended 
in the common acceptation of the adjective 
beautiful: for, while symmetry fuffices to 
conftitute a perfect form in many works of 
nature, and fome of art — as the mountain at 
the head of Loch Lomond in Scotland, and 
the Antonine column at Rome — far more is 

demanded 



42 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

demanded by connoifleurs who deal in ani- 
mated excellence. A horfe, for example, is 
fcarcely allowed to poffefs true beauty, till 
his owner can bcaft for him a brilliancy of 
coa% whatever the colour may be — a de- 
cided ELEGANCE as well as SYMMETRICAL 

proportion in his fhape — grace prefiding 
in every motion, with eyes and ears expref- 
five of a long-traced lineage, and even of ap- 
parent fenfibility to his own praife and value. 
Haughty carriage is indifpenfable to brute 
perfection. The peacock is handfomer than 
the Chinefe pheafant, becaufe he is prouder ; 
and the feline race take much from their own 
beauty, by fubftituting the expression 
of infidioufnefs in (lead of pride. 

Indeed we are not correft when we re- 
quire only expression in a human face, 
for there are expressions which difgrace 
humanity. Among our own fpecies we 

mud meantime confefs, that we love a lofty 

con- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 43 

confcioufhefs of fuperidrity, juft flopping 
ihort of a vain-glorious oftentation. Os ho- 
mini sublime dedit, &a The late earl 
of Enrol, drefled in his robes at the corona- 
tion of king George the Third, and Mrs. 
Siddons in the chara&er of Murphy's Eu- 
phrafia, were the nobleft fpecimens of the 
human race I ever faw : — while he, looking 
like Jove's own fon Sarpedon, as defcribed 
by Homer — and fhe, looking like radiant 
Truth led by the withered hand of hoary 
Time — feemed alone fit to be fent out into 
fome diftant planet, for the purpole of fhew- 
ing its inhabitants to what a race of exalted 
creatures God had been pleafed to give this 
earth as a pofleffion. 

With regard to mere grace, I am not 
fure which produces mod pleafing fenfations 

in the beholder — which, in a word, gives 
moft delight — well varied and nicely fludied 
elegance, carried to perfection, though 

by 



44 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

by an inferior form, as in the younger Ve£ 
tris— or that pure natural charm refulting 
from a symmetric figure put into eafy mo- 
tion by pleafure or furprife, as I have feen 
in the late lady Coventry. To both atteft- 
ing fpedators have often manifefted their 
juft admiration, by repeated burfts of ap- 
plaufe— particularly to the countefs, who, 
calling for her carriage one night at the the- 
atre — I faw her — ftretched out her arm 
with fuch peculiar, fuch inimitable manner, 
as forced a loud and fudden clap from all the 
pit and galleries ; which fhe, confeious of 
her charms, delighted to increafe and pro- 
long, by turning round with a familiar fmile 
to reward the enraptured company. 

For (he was i\iir beyond their bnghteft bloom, 
This r.nvy o\v:i>, fi:'ce now her bloom is fled; 

lVif a» tlic ion ^ \\ ikich, wove in Fancv\> loom, 
1'Ior.t in light \if:on o'er the pcet's head. 

8 Whene'er 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 45 

Whene'er with fweet ferenity flie fmil'd, 

Or caught the orient bluih of quick furprife, 

How fweetly mutable ! how brightly wild 
The living luftre darted from her eyes! 

Each look, each motion wak'd a new-born grace, 
That o'er her form its tranfient glory caft j 

Some lovelier wonder foon ufurp'd the place, 
Chas'd by a charm ftill lovelier than the laft. 

In her defcription alone might then all 
our fynonymy be happily engaged j and 
truly might we fay that her unrivalled, her 
con fum mate beauty was the effedt of per- 
fect symmetry, fpontaneoufly producing 
grace invincible, although her mien and 
carriage had lefs of dignity than fweet- 
nefs in it; and the expression of her 
countenance, illuminated by the brighteft 
tints, although lovelily mutable, as Mafon 
lays, in verfes alone worthy the original — 
was always the expression of pleafure 
felt or pleafure given. Her drefs was fel- 

dom 



46 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

dom chofen with elegance, as I remem- 
ber ; and I recclledt no fplendour except of 
general beauty about her. ■ 



BLAMELESS, GUILTLESS, EXEMPT FROM 

CRIME, 



ARE qualities, or rather fituations of the 
mind, to which no human beings I fuppofir 
ever had any claim— if we were to fpeak 
with ftridtnefs — except the original parents 
of our race, when frefh from the Creator's 
hand — or that only fpotlefs, finlefs creature, 
made to promote our reftoration to the ftate 
they fell from, Bleft Mary! fecond Eve y as 
Milton (after Boethius) calls her. With re- 
gard, however, to accufations of particular 
guilt, or even fault imputed with injuftice, 
many men are blameless — Socrates and 
2 Sir 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 47 

Sir Thomas More eminently fo ; and to be 
guiltless of the crimes for which they 
fuffered, has fallen to the lot of many in 
this world no doubt, befide thofe which 
every one can name : the martyrs come not 
into the lift, becaufe they mod of them pro- 
voked their fate, by holding an, opinion cri- 
minal enough in the fight of their Pagan 
perfecutors, who confidered their infults to 
Jupiter and Juno as highly impious and 
atheiftical ; for thofc murderers had not, like 
the people now in power at Paris, difmifled 
all religion: abominations had they in plen- 
ty, — but they worfhipped fomething : — 
The abomination of defolation prophefied of 
by Daniel, and referred to by Jefus Chrift, 
was not then come into the world ; — nor 
were men's hearts fo petrified as to produce 
a prince for public execution exempt from 
crime, towards any earthly being, and not 
only guiltless of tyranny in his own 

perfon, 



48 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

perfofl, but earned even for the limitation 
of his own prerogative j little refleding 
that power muft be fomcivbere^ and that, 
giving it from himfelf, he put it in worfe 
hands — blameless therefore towards the 
aggregate of mankind he was not — We may 
all juftly acccufe him of deferring his poll — 
excellent, felf-fubdued, faint-like mortal as 

he was — we may thus far blame him ; 
while a more perfed innocence, a more 
praife- worthy carriage towards his ungrate- 
ful fubjetts, could not have been difplay- 
ed: — nor was his meeknefs founded on 
pufillanimity — he met death like a man cer- 
tain of its confequences j and while appa- 
rent inllpidity often meditates dreadful re- 
venge, as we fee fometimes in women fen- 
fible to nothing but injuries, — like white of 
egg, that by a peculiar proceis becomes a 
powerful diifolvent — ailing even on the 
tough body of myrrh j Lewis the Sixteenth 

Ihewed 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 49 

fliewed not only Chriftianity, but heroifm 
in his forgivcnefs. All thefe words may be 
therefore fafely predicated of him, fo far as 
human nature can admit them. 



BLAZE and FLAME 



APPEAR to be fynonymous, yet are 
fcarcely fo in a literal, and certainly not in 
a figurative fenfe. We fay indeed with 
equal propriety that the houfe is in a 
blaze, or that 'tis in a flame. Both 
mean light bodies fet on fire, fo as to pro- 
duce luminous efFed. Yet all know flame 
to be the mere volatile parts of the fewel 
rarefied fo as to kindle eafily. Sir Ifaac 
fays, flame is no other than red hot fmoke: 
but there are bodies which do not fume 
copioufly, while others do ; and we ufe the 
two words when we fay gunpowder is fet 

Vol. I. E in 



5 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

in a blaze moft quickly when the heat is 
communicated by a (park ; while fpirit of 
wine takes fire by the flame of a lighted 
candle, as fome tempers are provoked to 
violence by fierce oppofition, fome others 
by a hint dropt more obfcurely: all this 
goes right as to the literal fenfe of our ex- 
preffion. With regard to the figurative — 
ihoukl a foreign gentleman unluckily liften 
while an Englifli friend happened to be 
(peaking of his favourite lady, and in a gay 
humour called her an old flame of his, 
which men do commonly enough ; and 
(hould the uninformed ftranger in a fpirit 
of iinitaiiou think it a good notion for him 
to call her his blaze; not the graved of 
the whole party would probably forbear to 
l.ui£h, though not one perfon in the com- 
pany could give a reafon why— but that it 
is not cultomary. Doctor Johnfon affirms 
lulttly, tint this noun is never appropriated 
to the p&flion of love, and perhaps it may 
8 -be 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 51 

be fo : — the verb is ufed moft certainly, nor 
would the moft accurate converter fcruple 
to aflert that Rufus's troublefome paflion 
for his Naevia blazes out at every turn 
fo, that there is no fuch thing as efcaping 

the flame. Shakefpeare brings both words 
into conta& when defcribing popular fury: 
— In his Coriolanus one fays, " They are 
in moft warlike preparation truly, and we 
fhall come upon them in the very heat of 
their divifion; the main blaze of it is paft 
indeed, but a fmall thing would make it 
flame out again." 



BLISS, HAPPINESS, FELICITY, 



ARE three the ftrongeft words mankind 
have been able to invent fcr a fenfation they 
know fo very little about j and we may oh- 
ferve that the firft of thefe has been long ago 

E 2 nearly 



52 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

nearly difcarded from common talk, as too 
fublime and perfe&, being now ufed only 
in a folemn fenfe, and with allufion to eter- 
nity — But if felicity could be ever found 
on earth, it might moft juftly be expected 
from a marriage of two perfons eminently 
qualified to make each other's happiness, 
in a union firft formed by love, continued 
by friendfhip, and fo cemented by virtue as 
may give the partners a well-founded hope 
of everlafting bliss in the world to come. 



BLOCKHEAD, DOLT, DUPE, GULL. 



O F thefe harfh appellatives, the firft is 
inoft in ufe, and juftly — for they are by no 
means ftrict in their fynonymy, though too 
much refembling one another in efFedt. A 
man may however be dupe to an artful 
courtefan, or a projecting chymift, without 

being 



■v 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 5$ 

being a blockhead at his book at all, or 
apparently DOLTifti in company : — Now 
fuch a chara&er might with moft propriety 
be called a gull ; but that unlucky word; 
derived from the old French guiller^ is 
grown obfolete likewife, and fince Ben 
Jonfon's days difmifled our language with- . 
out leaving a fucceffor of equal value, — He 
ufes it in comic dialogue with excellent 
effed, and I feel forry that 'tis turned into 
the ftreets and alleys of London, with the 
firft letter changed : — in that fenfe Fielding 
confirms its degradation. 



TO BOAST, TO BRAG, TO VAUNT, TO PUFF, 



T H E firft and third of thefe are beft to 
recommend for ufe of foreigners ; there is a 
grofs vulgarity in the other two, unlefs ap- 
plied with particular care and attention. 

E 3 The 



54 BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

The reafon is, they are but too expreffive ; 
fo much fo I fuppofe, we have worn them 
out, and they are gone with our dirty cards 
down to the fecond table. It is obfervable 
mean time that Italians always fpeak genteel 
Englifh, although broken as we call it, while 
Germans choofe the coarfer word if one 
can be found fynonymous. The reafon is 
limply this, — a Roman or Florentine natt*- 
[ rally catches at a Latin derivation ; an inha- 
bitant of Drefden or Berlin at a Saxon or 
Dutch etymology : — the firft tells you he 
deviated exceedingly from the right path 
between Warwick and Kennelworth, if he 
means to inform you how he loft his way ; 
a Pruflian will fay that he swerfed. Of 
the verbs before us, an Italian would foon 
find out that a dirty poftillion vaunted 
of his horfemanfhip ; while an honeft Hano- 
verian would fee nothing in the late*pom~' 
pous accounts of Abyflinia given by a mo- 
dern traveller of eminence, but that the 

writer 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 5$ 

writer was a pragging fellow, juft as he 
would lay of Sir Sampfon Legend in Con- 
greve's Love for Love, who to fright old 
Forefight, fays, u I know the length of the 
Emperor of China's foot, have kifled the 
Great Mogul's flipper, and rode a-hunting 
upon an elephant with the Cham of Tar- 
tary — Why, body o'me ! man, I have made 
a cuckold of a King, and the prefent Ma- 
jefty of Bantam is the iflue of thefe loins." 
Such boasts as thefe, however, are at worft 
only contemptible ; but the word puff is 
come into difcredit for dijhoncfty of late, 
fince for the newfpaper trick of calling un- 
defended attention to violet foap, or other 
equally paltry commodities, we have adopt- 
the term puff. 



£ 4 BOLD, 



56 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



BOLD, SAUCY, AUDACIOUS, IMPUDENT. 



" YO U are a s aucy fellow," fays dying 
Catherine in Shakefpeare's Henry the Eighth, 
when a meflenger running in haftily for- 
gets his due obeifance to the expiring 
Queen, who adds with equal dignity and 
pathos — " Deferve we no more reverence ?" 
A bold man is one who fpeaks blunt truths, 
out of feafon perhaps, and is likely enough 
to be called saucy, though naturally un- 
willing to be fo. Clytus was bold when 
he thwarted Alexander's pride at the feaft; 
and Sir Thomas More loft one of the wifeft 
heads ever worn by man, through his 
honeft boldnefs, or bold honefty. Impu- 
dent is chiefly appropriated to coarfe vices 
in converfation ; that adje&ive and its fyno- 
nymous fubftitute audacious, are ufed 
by us chiefly on rough occafions, where 
^ virtue 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ft. 

virtue has no place. It had a higher rank 
in Latin : Unus et hie audax fays Ovid, 
mentioning a ftout-hearted mariner willing 
to face that ftorm which threatening kept 
the reft at home; but we 'have degraded it 
from its original rank, and fay familiarly, An 
impudent young man laftweek in Ireland 
forced a fine girl away from her parents' 
fcoufe, and married her wholly without 
their confent, and half without her own : 
becaufe he fancied her poflefled of a confi- 
derable fortune* When the miftake was at 
length difcovered, he boldly brought her 
back ruined, — replied to the remonftrances 
of her old father with a saucy air, and 
audaciously denying his marriage — 
turned her back upon their hands, quitted the 
ifland, refolving to fcorn all thoughts of re- 
paration, and to return no more. 



BOOK, 



58 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



BOOK, VOLUME, WORK. 



THESE words may eafily be confound* 
cd certainly, yet would the miftakes be of 
more confequence to literature than to com* 
mon difcourfe ; for although BOOK by its 
derivation apparently means the flat form, 
originally made of beech wood, in which 
the works of learned men are now 
regularly comprifed, it has aflumed 
another fenfe befide, and points out the 
fe&ions into which thofe great works 
are divided. — We fay the fifteenth or twen- 
tieth book of Homer's Iliad, and tell bow 
Herodotus called his nine books by the 
names of the nine Mufes, &c. while 
volume, derived a volvendo y from the roll- 
ing them upon fticks as a mercer rolls (ilk, 
only that the parchment was kept firm by 
two ram's horns at the ends, fignifies the 

quantity 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 59 

quantity of BOOKS divided by the author 
into portions, and called volumes. Be- 
fore the an of printing, which is a very late 
one, wis known, a library confided in an 
immenfe number of thefe volumes*. — the 
earileft we read of is the Houfc cf Roils in 
the fcripiure mentioned by Efdras, and fun- 
poied to be built by Nehemiah — a library 
having been always an appendage to a 
church - and accordingly the library of the 
Yarican h now one of the moft lplendid in 
Europe. The Ftolemsean and the Alexan- 
drian Libraries have filled the world with 
their fame — perhaps with their fmoke too, 
fince r-s Pope fays cne might 

Ticm (self to fhdf fee greedy Vtieaz roli, 
An3 lizk cp zl tidi fhyici of lie ioJl. 

B-Jt thefe who fignalize them(e!ves in the 
ciule of Eitrij fdfeiy fo called, have ever 
waged wir againft bcoe learning; and 
when democracy burns with, moil fervc -r, 



60 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

it points the fire towards all repofitories of 
literature, and combats the Arts, the Altar, 
and the Throne, as if it confidered them 
united very clofely. See the infurre&ion 
of Jack Cade in England — the Mountain 
Faction in France, and every other burft 
of popular phrenfy. Meantime, the mate- 
rials of which books were made being 
changed from ftone, on which the long- 
revered and now firft infulted Decalogue 
was given, and treaties engraved between 
Greece and Perfia, as our Marbles at Ox- 
ford can teftify — vegetable fubftances Xvere 
put in place of mineral ones, and the burn- 
ing of books became a punifhment for 
authors ; and fo grievous a one did poor 
Labienus find it, that we read how he fhut 
hirnfelf up in the tomb of his anceftors, and 
actually pined his life away between grief 

and rage for lofs of his dear volumes, 
though he had not negle&ed while in his 
pofleflion to get them all by heart, fo that 

his 



i 




BRITISH SYNONYMY 61 

his counfel did cry out, " You had better 

burn the man too." There is ftill a faying I be- 
lieve among the learned — Legere et negligere 
nee legere eft : and the Spaniards themfelves 
cry out, Libra ccrrado^ nojaca letrado. " We 
endure reproofs from our friends in leather 
jackets (faid a fcholar to me once), which 
we fhould never fupport if pronounced 
by contemporaries in lace and tifiue;" 
and fo it is that the little virtue and know- 
ledge we do pofiefs, has been beflowed on 
us by good authours, to whom we are 
obliged for our beft fpent moments cer- 
tainly ; and upon a clofe review we ihall 
find thofe hours leaftto be repented of per- 
haps, which have been paft in our fhidies. 

His lludy ! with what authors is it ftoi'd ? 
In books, not authors, curious is my Lord ; 
To all their dated hacks he turns you round, 
Thefc Aldus primed, tbofe DuSueil has bound. 

Poph. 

For 



62 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

For to know the bookfellers' marks about 
fifty years ago, was a kind of learning in 
itfelf ; and many contented themfelves with 
collecting volumes curious only in their ex- 
terior, from bearing the exergue^ or fym- 
bolical device by which the cxquifite work- 
manfhip of Morel or Frobenius, or above 
all the celebrated Aldus Manutius, was ac- 
knowledged. Morel gave the mulberry-tree, 
being expreffive of his name, as Voconius 
Vitulus, mintmafter at Rome, marked his 
coins on the reverfe with a calf; but I was 
fenfelefs enough never to enquire what re- 
lation the anchor and dolphin has to Aldus 
. Manutius, although Count Manucct y who 
perhaps at this day gives the fame arms, 
went with me to the Laurentian Library at 
Florence, where I had fo good an opportu- 
nity of informing myfelf. I did learn the 
falfehood of what Scaliger advances, that 
Erafmus corredted the prefs for him— the 

librarian 



6RITISH SYNONYMY. 63 

librarian told me it was a grofs miftake. 
Du Sueil was a French Abbe, who about 
the beginning of the ilth century carried to 
great perfection the art of gold ornament- 
ing, or as they then called it antiquing of 
books, to which cuftom Mr. Pope alludes. 
For the reft— it really is no unpleafing re- 
flection to run over the honours paid to 
thofe who have in any way contributed to 
promote literature, or even to adorn it. 
Thus at Saltzburg in Bavaria a eooK-feller 
was long, and as far as I could learn \$JliU t 
diftinguiflied from the vulgar and mechani- 
cal trader ; and is exempted, which the 
modern boofcfellers would poflibly value 
more than empty honours, from paying 
divers taxes and impofitions laid on 
other trading companies : while Francis 
the Firft of France, who loved letters, 
and I believe expired in the arms of 
Guicaardini, for whpfe WORKS he had 
a prodigious value, brought the boofcfellers 
under 



64 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

under his own immediate authority, and 
granted them out ftatutes hiinfelf.— Enough 
of this Jjnonjmjj in a talking book ; for as 
the Spanifh proverb fays 

Hablen Cartas, y callen Barbas. 



BRANCH, ARM OF A TREE, BOUGH, 



ARE nearly if not entirely fynony- 
mous : the two firft have the fame root 
as to etymology I believe; and bough 
is a Saxon word not far diftant in 
meaning certainly. A foreigner may ufe 
which he pleafes in the ftridt and literal 
fenfe ; and yet, the inftant they become fi- 
gurative, none will do but the firft upon the 
lift before us. We fay that every branch 
of the Miffifippi is larger than our Euro- 
pean rivers are, if exception be made for 

the 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- 65 

the Danube j yet where the vail body of 
waters, brought into the Atlantic by the 
river St Lawrence, rolls its enormous tri- 
bute to the ocean,. it appears an arm of the 
lea. Bough admits of no fuch ufe; although 
in fome remote provinces, when a man is in 
particularly high fpirits, and feems to enter- 
tain flighty notions of his own greatnefe, we 
fay he is got up among the boughs. The 
various ramifications of fcience are familiarly 
termed branches of literature ; and every 
clerk in every office (igniiied through the 
court rcgifter, knows the precife value of 
what he in true office cant calls a branch 
of bufmefs. The collateral relations to a 
great family are branches from the old 
genealogical tree ; and where they consider 
themfelves as fuch, it is feen in the attach- 
ment fhewn by them to the parent ftem : 
this is fliil frequent in Wales and Scotland 
where, if tliefe new-fangled notions of li- 
berty and independence peivade not, good 
vol* 1. V examples 



66 BRITISH SYNONYMY- 

examples may yet be given perhaps of firm 
adherence to our old national confutation, 
church and king ; remembering that reve- 
rence is due to government, and veneration 
to the trunk of fovereignty* however fome 

of the branches, decayed by time or in- 
jured by ftorms, may to a feftidious tafte 
and hafty-judging eye, appear to be dis- 
gracing, its general form and majcftic beauty. 
Cutting them off will at any rate be worfe ; 
die circulation of vitality mull ftop, and 

every twig muft feel the fad, the certain 
effed. 

But the cenfurers will fay we have 
branched out too far from our fubje&j 
and by that cenfure foreigners will find that 
this noun makes a verb of common ufe, 
which arm and bough are incapable of 
doing. 



BRAND* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 6j 



BRAND, FIREBRAND, STICK SET ON FIRE, 



ARE exa&ly fynonymous with regard to 
the literal fenfe ; y«t the firft being ufed po- 
etically, ami the fecond very ferioufly, and 
both being taken for figures of people who 
delight in confufion, and are from the heat 
of their own paflious, and pronenefs to create 
ivarm disputes and hot contention among 
their neighbours, juftly termed incendi- 
aries — my foreign Teaders muft be careful 
not to dignify a stick or faggot lighted in 
a fanner's chimney by the name of fire- 
brand : although were they writing, or 
even relating, a ftory of dangers in a wood 
by night, happening to thofe who traverfe 
the pathiefs wilds of Africa or America, it 
would be perfe&ly right to tell, that having 
caufed large fires to be made, they lay all 

night befide them ; refolving, if any wild 

F 2 beaft 



cS BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

beafl thould venture at diilurbing their re- 
pofe, to throw an ignited SR and full in his 
face, which would force him to retire much 
quicker than any arms that could be uied» 

Meantime thefe words are perpetually 
ufed in a figurative fenfe. Wc lay, and 
jufthr, that the French are become a chiftcr 
of FIRLERANDS, darting out upon ail the 
ether nations of Europe, where by unfeen 
power combuflible matter appears to teem 
in a manner never obferved before, prepa- 
ratory as I thould fuppofe to a general con- 
flagration of men's minds, meant to precede 
that of the material world. AH is in a ftate 
of fermentation. Monarchs afiaffirtated in 
one country — ba£2ed arA degraded in ano- 
ther — dying under fufpicion of potion in a 
third — publicly and felemnly executed in a 
fourth — within thefe la& four years ! The 
kindled srands dung at our own ifiand 
— and blockheads even there ready to Wow ? 
for fear our natural phlegm and fog, even 

without 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 69 

without much effort of virtue, or credit to 
our fkill, fliould fuffer it to extinguifti of it- 
felf. How ought fuch characters to be ab- 
horred and fhunned! and how, if decent 
times in Europe ever fhould return, how 
would their conduit contribute 



TO BRAND or TO STIGMATIZE 



MEN fo unfeeling to their country's 
danger ; fo defirous of a name, though pur- 
chafed by her undoing! For this word 
glides mod naturally into a verb ; the more 
naturally, perhaps, becaufe alluding to our 
cuftom of burning in the hand thofe who 
have committed certain crimes, which ope- 
ration is called branding the perfon. To 
stigmatize is for the mod part a figura- 
tive expreflion, ufed generally in an ill fenfe, 
though taken from the famous ftory of St, 

F 3 Francis 



fo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Francis, who received by miracle, or was 
faid to have received, the stigmata, or live 
(acred wounds of our Lord Jefus Chrift, im- 
prefled by a feraph on his hands, feet, and 
fide, as marks of favour from above. A tale 
which, however difcredited by the prefent 
age, was lefs doubted and I fear much better 
known, propagated no doubt with much 
more earneftnefs, about the year 1590, than 
were the truths of that gofpel for which St. 
Francis was willing to renounce, in a truly 
literal fenfe, this world with all its cor- 
ruptions and oflences. 



TO BRANDISH, TO FLOURISH WEAPONS 

ABOUT, 



VERBS denoting mean a&ions of pre- 
tended valour, which only tend to make the 
adtor ridiculous; at leaft they are fo accepted 

in 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 7I 

m familiar and common chat: in poetry the 
firft word has a ferious fenfe enough: 



He brandish'd high his fteel- 



Yet it is even there very near to a ludicrous 
image, and mud be ufed cautioufly or all 
will laugh ; it-is fo clofely connected in affi- 
nity with what we call vapouring and 
flourishing, in order to obtain an ill-de* 
ferved chara&er among our companions for 



BRAVERY, VALOUR, FEARLESSNESS, 

FORTITUDE, INTREPIDITY and 

COURAGE. 



OF thefe glorious qualities who is there 
would not delight to difcriminate the differ- 
ent features, and trace the near approaches 
to fynonymy ? as the fix brothers are indeed 

F 4 won- 



72 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

wonderfully alike, though not effentially the 
fame ; as Ovid fays, 

Fades non omnibus una, 
Nee diverfa tamen qualem decet efle fororam. 

And here converfation comes in to fix 
the rule : for if foreigners, when they fee a 
fea-boy mount the mail in a hard gale, at* 
tentive to his duty and recklefs of the ftorm, 
fay he is a man of valour, they miftake 
the phrafe ; and mud begin to learn from 
cuftom, more than fcience, perhaps, to call 
him (as he certainly is) a brave little fel- 
low. When told too of lord Peterborough, 
that he endured the painful operation of li- 
thotomy without fhrinking or fainting, hav- 
ing previoufly ftipulated that he fhould not 
be bound ; and that though free he never 
impeded the furgeons, but turned by their 
direction to receive each pang they were 
pbliged to inflift— we muft remember that 

the 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 73 

the virtue he then difplayed was forti- 
tude, not bravery: — while an agile rope- 
dancer, and thofe light active fellows that 
vault through a hoop fet on fire, or fly over 
eight horfes* backs and one rider, for five 
{hillings a night, are mere inftances of 
fearlessness growing out of habit, and 
acquaintance with that mode of exerting it. 
How they would face danger in any other 

fhape I know not, but true courage de- 
fpifes it in all 2 and though marfhal Turennc 
might perhaps have been laughed at by a 
modern glazier's apprentice, were he fet to 
clean a two pair of ftairs window, outfide 

upon a tottering board, as may be fre- 
quently feen in the city of London — Csefar 
would have been laughed at only for his 
awkwardnefs, I truft, for fear feemed to find 
no place in the heart of Caefar, 

Great Julius, on the mountain bred, 

A flock, perhaps, or herd had led; 

He 



74 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

He who cootxoVA the world iiad been 
Bui the bed wrefiler on the green, 

fays Waller : yet he would have been the 
Jirfi and bcjl in every fituation, I doubt not. 
While fuch however is the value of words, 
that they alone give well proportioned praife 
to heroes and to martyrs, let no one fay fy- 
nonymy is of fuiall importance. Examples, 
meantime, of firm and patient fufFerance may 
be found equal even to the moil raifed ex- 
pectation among the female fex, and that 
among women mod delicately bred too; 
witnefs Mary queen of Scots and Anna Bo- 
leyn, who both met death in his molt dread- 
ful form, perhaps, with unabated forti- 
tude, though neither of them would pro- 
bably have (hewn courage in a battle, or 
have been able to look without evident 
marks of terror in their countenances upon 
thofe a£ls of intrepidity ofiea difplayed 
in war. 

Hearts, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ^ s 

Heaven*, when its hand pouxM foftnefs on vuv limbs* 
TJ nfit for toils, and poKfh'd into weaknef*, 
lAade paffive fortitude the praife of woman* 

Yet is this quality, however eftimable, only 
a (ingle ingredient among the reft ; which, 
joined together, compofe a character of per- 

fc6k courage : — while bravery may be 

daily found among the coarfeft mortals, 

among brutes; for never yet did modem 

pugilift or Roman gladiator go beyond a 

high bred game-cock* braveft of terreftrial 

animals ! in that undaunted power of refift- 

ance and (elf-defence, thkt pertinaciou&els 

of attack, and refolution never to yield, 

which eortftitutes real bravery. Valour, 

pofitively fo- called, differs from all thfefe, I 

think, but lead from this laft named energy: 

it is confefledly fought in its proper place, 

the field ; andwhilft Ilhould be tempted to 

give the Spartan Boy or London 'Prentice as 

inftances of fturdy bravery, Charles of 

Sweden fliould remain my example of heroic 

valour. 



BRITISH SYNONYM^: 

valour. When hopclefs and even care- 
lefs of fuccefs, he fought againft fire and 
fword to defend his intrenchments at Ben* 
der, 'twas third of fame infpired his frantic 
valour. When Ifadas the Lacedaemonian, 
ftarting from his bath at found of the war- 
rior-trumpet, rallied naked againft an armed 
force of well-difciplined troops, and mowed 
down multitudes in his fit of glorious 
phrenfy, fuch valour forceda ftatue from 
his country, while its government with equal 
niftice punifhed his contempt of decorum. 
* Rife thou in thy ftrength, thou mighty 
man of valour," cries the angel to Gideon, 
the Ifraelitiih hero : and qne annexes no 
other idea than that of valour to the fidi- 
tious knights of the twelfth century, AmadU 
de Gaul or Belianis of Greece, who killed 
dragons, refcued damfels, &c. — whilit in- 
t re Pi pi tyis a quality of the mind. Yet even 
that fervour of a gallant foul, by which Sir 
Edward Hawke was happily impelled to at- 

i tack 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 77 

tack and yanquifii far fpperior force, 'mid 
riling tempefts, falling darknefs, and the juft 
terror of experienced mariners, a lee-fhore ; -+ 
that generous, that magnanimous fentiment 
which prompted the prince of Orange, in 
his early years, to oppofe the conquefts of 
Louis Quatorze, projedl the drowning his 
whole country to fave her from invafion j 
promising to open her fluicjes by degrees, 
and lay his own little body in the laft dyke ; 
—this noblenefs of nature, this fpirit of in- 
trepidity, mull yet be feconded by a 
power of invention, a coolnefs of refolution, 
an unwearied temper to perfift in each 
greatly-formed defign, before we can ven- 
ture any mortal man as a right example of 
perfcR^ genuine y and uncontrovertible COU- 
RAGE. 

To thi3 diflinguifhed honour, however, 
^rent as ii is, John duke of Iviarlboraugh, 
Frederic the Third, king of Prufliia, and far 
beyond t!i?m both the firft Roman Caefar. 

purchafed 



7 8 .SRlTEa. SiYNON YMY. 

pur chafed the juft pretention— by a feries of 
years, fpeat in continual alarm, danger iqi 
every fhape, and contempt of it on every oc- 
caiion. Tedious though a&ive. hours pafled 
in perpetual wars ; long habits of a camp* 
with all its train of certain, its conftant pre- 
paration for uncertain, evils ; well tried and 
habitual fearlessness of accidents;' for- 
titude to fupporull health and pain, even 
equal to that valour with which that ge- 
neral often tempted perilous filiations — com- 
pofe the life and chara&er of immortal 
Julius, whofe perfonal bravery during the 
.execution of his great defigns, failed not to 
fecond with refiftlefs power the intrepi- 
dity with which his foul had conceived 
them ; leaving thus, by a fteady yet animated 
courage, an example which two or three 
jnen alone have been found able to follow 
(and that atadiftance) for eighteen hundred 
years. 

BROILS, 



SJUTJSH SYNONYMY. 79 



BROILS, QyAR*ELS> CONTESTS, TUMULTS* 

INSURRECTIONS. 



u THIS will grow to a broil anon/* 
fays Mrs, Quickly, when Piftol ftrikes out a 
quarrel at her houfe all about nothing. 
So true is it that a contest is lowed on 
the fcale of f his ftormy catalogue, which 
may however warm up into a quarrel, 
and that folly end in a petty broil, or 
brawl, which means nearly the fame thing, 
if half a dozen more hot-headed fellows en- 
gage in it. This laft is chiefly a word fig-' 
nifying difputes among coarfe women, 

"Who fcold and brawl both night and day, 

as the fong fays of them. Both words de- 
rive from the obfolete French brauler, or the 
modern^ brouillcr ; and it is devoutly to be 

wifhed 



So BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

wifhed that all the fynonymy belonging t» 
it may for ever keep in Paris, and among 
her poiflardes : — not infe&ing with any di£» 
pofition towards fuch meannefs and fcurri- 
lity her peaceful neighbours. 



BROOD, CLUTCH, PROGENY OF FEATHERED 

ANIMALS. 



IT is diftreffing enough to foreigners 
when they find us arbitrarily calling the 
young domeftic fowl which follow a turkey 
a fine brood, when we talked but two mi- 
nutes before of a clutch of chickens, and 
perhaps cry out in the next breath, Here's 
ijlock of young geefe on this water ! The 
firft of thefe words however muft be their 
decided choice ; as in faying that they can- 
not 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 81 

not be wrong : the laft word does not 

ftri&ly allude to the goflings, but means the 

number all together j and the fecond word 

is only ufed from the trick a hen has to 

herfelf almoft, of calling her little ones fo 

clofely round her in times of danger, that you 

may clutch or make a handful of them, 

as we fay. Mr. Addifon, who was more 

an elegant author than good naturalift, 

teaches them in his Spectators to fay a 

brood of ducks, when he expreffes his 

admiration of the providence by which 

all the works of heaven are governed j and 

he is the beft language mafter : though 

that very paper betrays the little fkill with 

which he looked on fuch matters in a thou* 

(and inftances. 



VOL. I. G BROOK, 



Ii BRITISH 



ERCOK, RIVULET, STREAM, RIVER, 



ARE much in the fame manner fynony- 

inous, fo far as relates to poetical ufe, &c 

but Mr. Locke (hews us how to feparate 
them in conversation, and how they really 

feparate by nature, when he tells us that 
" springs make little rivulets, and thefe 
united form brooks ; which coming for- 
ward in streams, compofe great rivers 
that run into the fea." Do&or Johnfon, 
whofe ideas of any thing not positively large 
were ever mingled with contempt, afked of 
one of our {harp currents in North Wales 
— Has this brook e'er a name? and re- 
ceived for anfwer — Why, dear Sir, this is 
the river Uftrad. — Let us, faid he, turn- 
ing to his friend, jump over it directly, and 
fliew them how an Engli/bman fhould treat 
a Welch river. 

TO 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 83 



TO BUSTLE, TO BE BUSY, TO BE EMP^OYEI* 
or STIRRING, TO BE NOTABLE. 



THESE all feem female qualifications, 
or at higheft — commercial ones. A nota- 
ble woman, fay we, is of admirable utility 
in a fmall fhop of quick trade, and nume- 
rous cuftomers : flich a one will bustle 
better through life than her hufband, and 
be stirring earlier in a morning, becaufe 
fhe is not like him tempted to drink over 
night: her busy fingers ever employed 
will find time to work even while fhe fits 
behind the counter, if (he has in her that 
true fpirit of houfewifery which diftinguifhes 
the female fex : for whilft men think with 
our great Lord Bacon (at leaft in general) 
that riches are for fpending, and fpendbag 
is for honour, women for the mod part 
confider riches as good for mere accumula- 
tion and laving. The merchant therefore 

G 2 fays, 



8 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

{ays, Riches having wings to fly away, we 
will fend fome flying forth to fetch in 
others — while his wife, when fuffered to 
prefide in fuch matters, makes hade to clip 
the feathers, and depends on parfimony 
rather than hazard for future provifion of 
wealth. This temper therefore, though de- 
ftru&ive in commerce's extenfive fchemes, 
is yet excellent in the petty paths of a lu- 
crative life ; and fuch women are not diffi- 
cult to find in London or Amfterdam. 



CALM, SERENE, TRANQUIL, PEACEFUL, 

QUIET, STILL. 



Mr. ADDISON has been cenfured, 
and not unjuftly, for giving the tw« firft 
epithets to his angel — 

Calm and ferene he drire* the furious Waft— 

becaufe, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 85 

becaufe, fays the critick, thofe words being 
ftri&ly fynonymous, the poet has in this 
too much celebrated fimile been guilty of 
unpardonable tautology — yet are the words 
merely mifapplied, or rather applied unluc- 
kily than ill — for if in far inferior verfes 
you fhould read that 

* • 

When calm the winds, sbrems the fkjr, 
Our thoughts enjoy TRiNQyiLLiTT : 
Thro 9 the still hours when peaceful night 
Does man to quiet reft invite— 

we fhould difcover in thefe lines, how r 
ever flat and infipid, no glaring fault of the 
fame kind, although their brevity brings all 
the acceflbry words crowding together. — 
Perhaps indeed as adverbs they may have 
a clofer affinity — yet I fee no reafon for it : 
to ufe them as adje&ives feems the more 
obvious fenfe, and then they harmonize 
well enough. 



G 3 CAN* 



80 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



CANDOUR, PTRTTY OF MIND, OPENNESS, 

I, SINCERITY, 



THESE terms again, though pleafingly 
analogous, are not allied in an exa£t iyno- 
nymy : and we might add with propriety 
unresertedkess too, a quality much like 
the others, but forgotten upon the lift. 
This laft is however particularly valuable in 
youth, and engaging beyond all others to 
people entrufted with the guidance of young 
minds ; yet would fuch condu&ors do well 
to remember that innocence is intended one 
day to ripen into virtue, and good parts be 
matured into wifdom — fo that if a young 
man am keep his purity of mind and 
CAKDOa? M both which imply but \jcbitencfs % 
Dot tranfpcrtncj^ till five^and-twenty years 
old we will fay — it is a great matter in this 
wicked world, and it is enough ; for who 

in 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 87 

in thefe days will dare to wiih a window 
before his breaft, as that old Roman did 
who defired every paffef-by might witnefs 
his rnoft fecret thoughts ? Such openness 
of temper would ruin all our friendships, 
fince 'twere no prudence to confide in 
him who profefles total unreservbdnessj 
and although difguife is mean, we mud . 
own that nakednefs is no lefs indecent : and 
with perfect ingenuity do I confefs my 
perfuafion, that thofe who harangue loudeft 
and longeft in praifc of bold sincerity 
defire more frequently to praSife than en- 
dure it ; to be upheld in their privileges of 
prefcribing to their neighbours, and of deal- 
ing out blame with more fincere than ten- 
der kindnefe, rather than feel any wiih to 
be told their own faults, and profit by the 
information. 



G 4 



88 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



CHOLERICK, PASSIONATE, IRASCIBLE, 
INDIGNANT, ANGRY, WRATHFUL, 
VIOLENT, HASTY, TESTY, 
PEEVISH, FRETFUL. 



O F thefe unpleafing words fome are fy- 
nonymous to each other and fome are not : 
the firft is the kaft I think, the fecond moft 
in ufe. A man merely of a hasty temper 
is often termed passionate, though that 
quality implies a mind little under its own 
controul upon any occafion; and people 
eafily endure to have their neighbours gire 
them a chara&er for being passionate, 
when in my acceptation of the word they 
are nothing lefs. An irascible difpo- 
fition is often attributed to nations, or to 
diftri&s. Natives of Wales are juftly 

charged with promptitude to fudden refent- 

xncnL 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ment, while the Portuguefe have been ob- 
ferved coolly to ftudy for a moment of future 

■ 

revenge ; and I have myfelf heard General 
Paoli praife a Corfican for having profefled 
himfelf contented to die, could he in bis 
laft pangs be gratified with feeing his enemy s 
agonizing grin: that was the very phrafe. 
Choleric k has, by frequent adaptation to 
ludicrous chancers on the ftage, contra&ed 
fomewhat of comical, that excites laughter 
merely by proqouncing it : — fo in a fm&ller 
degree does testy too, which idea, the 
fancy feels ever difpofed to connect I think 
with old age, and fnappifti though tooth- 
lefs ill-humour; whilft the word peevish 
beft exprefles female frowardnefs, and deli- 
cacy worn too thin to endure the hand- 
ling. Angry h«p a much more enlarged 
fignification* We fay an angry father, an 
angry Iky, an angry viper, or an angry 
wound: but fretful is with mod pro- 
priety attributed to feeble infancy, or help- 
left 



9 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

lets ficknefs — when the weak though pain- 
ful ciy for afliftance is ill underftood, or 
brutally neglected. 

Indignant meantime derives from a 
higher ftock, and feels a wicked world as 
'twere unworthy of its favour. Jugurtha 
was indignant when he contemplated 
the venality of Rome, and Juvenal in dig- 
NANTiY fatirizes her groffer vices. Gato's 
great foul, indignant of die age he lived 
in, left the earth as fable fuppofes Aftraea 
to have done: he died of indignation. 
Let not meanwhile a common mortal of 
thefe common times fancy himfelf privi- 
leged to imitate fach examples ; or heat 
up a temper naturally cholerick intoftu- 
died violence for (mall offences, and 
call himfelf indignant ; left though he 
fright his wife perhaps, and harafs his 
fervants, as the Rambler fays — the reft of 
the world will juft look on and laugh ;— 
till the petty chagrin* which firft agitated 
8 his 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. *i 

his ANGER— though apparently derived 
from an Italian word fciagurina y meaning 
a flight misfortune — end in ferious difad- 
vantage, and open mortification. — But 'tis 
time to call in the word of all our fy nony* 
my mod grave and folemn, while wrath- 
ful really feems as if fet apart in our lan- 
guage to reprefent and defcribe nothing left 
than Almighty Power offended :— 'tis there- 
fore feldom ufed except on occafions when 
we conclude the wrathful Deity difpofed 
to punifh finful man for fo long infulting hip 
endurance of their guilt and folly. 



■in i . j 



CIRCUMSTANCES, ADJUNCTS TO A FACT, 

APPENDANTS, 



AH E very nearly if not completely fy- 
nonymous ; yet has the firft of thefe words 
in common conversation fo fwallowed up 

the 



9 2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

the other two, as to render them unheard 
of and forgotten — befides increafing and en- 
larging its own confequence in our lan- 
guage, fo as to take up more room than was 
originally allotted to its occupation. Circum- 
stances are only thofe adventitious mi- 
nutiae which furround a fad, as a glance 
upon the etymology will foon convince us. 
You cannot accufe a man of murder with- 
out knowledge of the CIRCUMSTANCES, fxf 
we — and truly — for there is no knowing 
how anyadion (lands relatively , till the 
circumstances to which it relates have 
been examined. All this is well. Com- 
mercial phrafeology however, extending the 
influence of this fubftantive, pronounces a 
man rich or poor according to his cir- 
cumstances. Nor is this very wrong, 
becaufe opulence will attra& agreeable ap- 
pendants round a perfon, who is now 
by a drained metaphor faid to be in eqfy cir- 

cumftanccs — a filly adje&ive for thofe who 

know 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 93 

know not that they ufe it becaufe the 
French have a way of calling competence 
Us coudcs /ranches ) eafy-elbowed ; — able to 
move in fhort, — contrafted againft genie. 
Our news-paper dialed meantime improving 
this perverfenefs into downright abfurdity, 
tells us that the minifter is unlikely to 
hold hi* poft under the prefent circum- 
stances — a phrafe very difficult to com- 
prehend — fince however he may be faid to 
lie under heavy cenfure as under the rod 
if you will ; a man cannot lie under cir- 
cumstances, becaufe they are fare to 
ftand around him, whatever be his (ituation 
in life or death, for fo their very name im- 
plies. 

Adjuncts are fcarce named now but by 
Logicians in the fchools ; they hold the fame 
rank as Civilians* accessorial 



CLEAR, 



9+ BRITISH SYNONYMY. CT 



CLEAR, PELLUCID, TRANSPARENT. a 



THESE when applied to water are 
adjectives ftri&ly fynQnymous : the Ger- l 
man rivers have juft title to them all, but ^ 
we muft ufe only the firft if fpeaking of \ 
air or weather. Defcribing the Elector of : 
Saxony's famous diamond indeed, every 
epithet exprefiive of perfection might be in- 
troduced : fuffice it to obierve, that this 
beautiful produce cf nature, in iize equal to 
the (tone of a common apricct, is Angularly 
clear, and of the moft pellucid white- 
nefs; and that King let transparent, 
its peculiar brilliancy, and freedcm from 
flaws, is the more calily diilinguiihed and 
admixed 



BRIXISH SYNONYMY. 95 



CLERGY, PRIESTHOOD, BODY OF 

ECCLESIASTICS. 



WORDS differing I think chiefly in 
their application. We fay the Jewifh or 
EgyptSn priesthood, the Romifh or 
Anglican clergy ; and we call the ft*>- 
teftant Diflenting Teachers a body of 
ecclesiastics, with fomewhat lefe pro- 
priety, becaufe they for the moft part hav- 
ing no cburcb fhould rather be termed 
paftors* who feed their flock erratick on the 
hills, forbearing the fold of the fhepherd. 
Meantime, as Atterbury fays, this clafs of 
mankind has in all nations, all religions, 
and all feds, been ever efteemed highly 
venerable; and fo did God perfonally among 
his own peculiar people proteS thofe fet 
apart by himfelf for his own fervice, that 

the moft dreadful judgments were moft 

fuddenly 



9 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fuddenly hurled againft thofe who under 
the Jewifh theocracy difputed the autho- 
rity, or infulted the office of priesthood. 
Nadab and Abihu died in the temple's 
porch for the laft-named offence ; and Mi- 
riam filler to Mofes was covered with a 
leprofy for the firft. Korah, Dathan, and 
Abiram, princes of great dignity among 
their kinsfolk, were fwallowed up alive by 
an immediate difruption of the earth under 
their tents, at the doors of which they 
flood defying that vengeance which they 
thought more diftant. Nor does the learned 
Humphrey Prideaux fcruple to aflert, that 
the grofs and unauthorized, and brutal in- 
fult committed by Cambyfes on even die 
Egyptian priesthood though heathenifh, 
was punifhed by Heaven in an exemplary 
manner, when returning home after his 
vexatious dtfappointments his fword flipped 
the fcabhaid, and wounding the great ar- 
tery of the thigh caufcd his death prccilely 

as 



HRTTISH SYKOfVYMT. $p 

%.$ Iff Katl HiiFrfliaruiDT deftrored bv * flafc 
rz lie fkme psrt, the hefcpleis object, ef 
-£jp :«Ts adararian. Certain it is, that die 
Cariiiaa Apafi3e enjoins ns to give no of- 
fence either to Jew cr Gentile, and above all 
to EiT church of Gad. Whether Cambyfcs 
was bcond by law* p ubltiLed i'o long after 
his death, we hare a right to doubt; but 
so coe has a right to doubt whether the 
tS-ac;-^ unheard-of intuits and crueJiie* 
pncliied on the Chriftian CL£»CT in France 
ate jait objecii of Heaven's vengeance, nor 
can anv one imagine that God will fuffer 
to pais unpuniined impieties of fo horrible 
a nature. " Religion and Society,** fays 
the great author of the Alliance between 
Church and State, " are fo connected, that 
as in beginning of things Society fupports 
Religion by the appointment of a body of 
ecclesiastics appropriated to church fer- 
rice ; Co towards the end you mail fee Re- 
ligion in her turn fupporting Society, which 
Vol. I. H on 



9 S BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

on her removal will drop all to pieces ;* and 
to the event has proved. The democratic 
Frenchmen fell upon their clergy fiift, 
and, by die rapid (hides made finee their 
firft attack, have fhown mankind that, to 
infult the perfons and defpife the office of 
their pallors, is only a firft ftep towards 
the denial of his authority who firft ap- 
pointed them ; — and although Religion by 
the warmth of fome foils may be fomewhat 
run to feed, wo to the daring hand that is 
ftretched forth to pluck it up ! Whenever 
a Church falls, the State which negle&s to 
maintain its venerable dignity, and I will 
add its decent fplendour too, w ich nig- 
gardly withholds the fruit of the vine from 
faim who labours in the vineyard, and 
meanly tries to ftarve its true ally, delervet 
die diftrefles which foon will fall upon it, 
and join in mutual ruin what ought to have 
been conneded in happinefs and power. 
For as the State punifhes deviation from the 

rule 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 99 

rule of right asi.crimes only, not as fins; it 
ftands in need of affiftance from the Church 
to correct finful aftions which are over- 
looked by the civil tribunal, though highly 
pernicious to fociety : and hence may be . 
deduced the end and ufe of our Spiritual 
and EcclefiafUcal Courts; fuch" as thofe acting 
under the Primate, and called the Preroga- 
tive Courts for that very reafon, becaufe it 
was the State which firft having fought al- 
liance with the Church, is now bound to 
protect it ; for together they muft ftand or 
fall; and our interefl as well as duty is 
concerned in defending that hierarchy and 
well-ordered gradation, which when once 
touched by facrilegious rapacity— we fee 
what follows. 

That the Romifh Church may be, as all 
human inftitutions are, in fome degree and 
in fome points erroneous, can afford no ex- 
cufe to its deftroyers j they difpute no dog- 
ma, they underftand not the nature of any 
H 2 fault 



ice BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fault in its opinions ; they ferae a ftriplrii 
prey as does the vulture, without confider- 
ing whether the bird is, as the finders 
call it, of the true feather : — firfficient temp- 
tation is to them its glowing plumage and 
delicious flavour; nor can its amfecratioa 
to facrcd ufc prcferve it from violation — 

Jrafints tread 
Upon die necks of nobles : low are laid 
The reverend crwfitr and tbc hotj mitre % 
And defolation covers all their land. 

Far from our happy ifland may Heave* 
avert fuch crimes and fuch calamities! and 
may we by our tendernefs towards our 
Ghriftian brethren, the fufiering cle&gy 
of a neighbouring kingdom, (how ourfelves 
in fome meafure deferring the honour of 
contributing to reftore their Church to order, 
and maintain our own ! 



CLEY£R< 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 101 



CLEVER, DEXTROUS, SKILFUL. 



TO which might be added another 
pretty word well taken into our language 
without alteration of fpelling, and called 
adroit. This adje&ive fhould not have been 
omitted on the lift, as it will be very fuita- 
ble to foreigners, and lefs approaching to 
vulgarity than clever, which if applied to 
things high or ferious, frights one. We 
fay, The minifter managed adroitly in 
procuring men eminently skilful in the 
art of engineering, and equally dextrous 
in the manual ufe of fuch machines ; — for 
let a fellow be as clever as he can, with- 
out pra&ice no perfon will arrive at being 
neat-handed and dextrous about any 
thing, leaft of all in matters where compli- 
cated machinery is in queftion ; I have there- 
fore little opinion of thofe contrivances and 

H 3 modem 



io* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

modern inventions to prevent fire or thieves; 
particularly a piece of workmanfhip once 
fhewn me of a ladder and fire engine com- 
bined, which alternately prevented the ope- 
ration of each other. — Few things indeed 
are more offenfive than thole futile, and 
half impracticable devices to fhufFa candle 
after fome new method ; by which tricks 
clfver fellows however are skilful 
enough to get money fro a neighbours 
more rich than wile, who like the lady in 
Young's Satires 

To cat their breakfafts will project a fcheme, 
Nor tale their tea without a ftraugem ; 

to die contriving of which we will leave 
them, and pals on to 



CLOSE, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 103 



CLOSE, SECREl*, PRIVATE. 



1 t im 



AND here, intitfuacd by Sir Francis 
Bacon, we might eifily bring iA this fy- 
nonymy to illuftrate the character of Henry 
die Seventh of England, who although a 
juft man and eminently conftant in his 
friendfhips, was fo close, that even thofe 
who were admitted to p afs private hours 
with him never knew any thing of his 
secret counfels, or could pretend his fu- 
ture intentions even to guefs at. 

Such a man is beft reprefented by one 
who walking with a dark lanthom in the 
night, contrives to throw the 4igW oh j his 
companions, and difcovert their faces while 
his own keeps hid: — we muft not fuffer 
foreigners however to think the adverbs are 
exa&ly fynonymous. Close is an epithet 
they will often have opportunity to give 

H 4 our 



io4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

our atmofpherc here in Britain ; the other 
two would be ridiculous: the private 
drawer of an efcritoire too mull be fhut 
close we will add, or all the papers there, 
perhaps containing secret ^intelligence, 
will be difcovered and expofed. 



CLOSE, COVETOUS, AVARICIOUS, STINGY % 
PARSIMONIOUS, NEAR, NIGGARDLY, 

PENURIOUS. 



THE fiift and fourth upon this hateful 
are ftri&Iy fynonymous, and stingy 
is a mean word : close (hould be ufed in- 
ftcad on*L The other terms are often con- 
founded too, though the qualities differ ex- 
ceedingly. The laft-named prince was emi- 
nently parsimonious eren of his people's 
money, while his rejection of America's 

treasure prores him by no means avari- 
cious : 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 105 

cious :— but Catiline, alicni apptttw^fui pro- 
fttfus* was a covetous chara&er, though 
delighting in expenfive diflipation. Of all 
fovereigns Galba feems to have been moll 
close and near — niggardly in giv- 
ing, and in fpending penurious: the 
reafon was probably becaufe he came late 
into the poffeflion of wealth, and was 
afraid to part with what he had fo lately ob- 
tained. Nothing Iofes refpedt from inti- 
macy fo completely as riches. Agamefter 
never regards that which he fees changing 
hands fo constantly :— his wifli for money 
is but to play with it, no care for what it 
purchafes difturbs him, the houfe of a 
gamefler is difordertd like his mind: but 
no man is more willing to let it glide 
through his fingers ; and if even his wife 
will watch him home after a winning day, 
Ihe may get a fliare of the plunder. How 
different the man who leads by choice a 
parsimonious life in order to beftow his 
fupcrfluities 



io6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fuperfluities upon the poor ! Such a charac- 
ter is praifeworthy in fight of God and 
Man, provided he contrives to throw no 
difgrace upon his own virtue by an appear- 
ance of stingy closeness, which offends 
all people, though it injures none. 



COLD, CHILL, BLEAK. 



OUR climate aSbrds frequent opportuni- 
ties for thefe uncomfortable epithets, I fear 
it will be faid. We mud teach thofe the ufe 
of words, who are unaccultomed to their 
ncceffity: — vet when I faw the poor at 

Milan running about the ftreets with a little 
pipkin hung at their arm with fire in it, to 
hold their bleak blue nofes over for fear 
they fhould drop off with the cold almoft, 
I thought our own London not quite fo 
Jfaw? a place ; however, the long winters 

there 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- 107 

there do give a chili, to the blood, which 
natives of a warmer country are apt to 
think nerer gets thawed till May. Their 
frofts are tharp, but lhcrt ; and the iitua- 
ticns cf their towns fomehow hare not a 
bleak appearance as in Germany,, al- 
though cue Bavarian foretl would furaHh 
Italy with wood for I gucfs not how many 
Tears. In England if a province is not rich- 
lv clothed with plantations, we think our- 
felves undone ; while the boafted fituation 
of Naples is furprifingly denuded : — but we, 
following the direction of Mr. Pope, cznfult 
tbegentuj rj" the place in all, and fecure from 
Dalkeith and Hopetoun Houfe all thofe 
duagreeable circurnflances which foreign- 
ers might naturally expect from a northern 
I-titude. Britifh induftry gives an air of 
convenience, nay of fnugnefs, even to the 
coldest fcenes of life; and when I faw 
a bright fun gild the lawn before Inve- 
rary Caflle, where fourfcore hay-makers 
enlivened 



io8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

enlivened the place with their fongs, while 
they adorned it by their labours — roles 
blooming in the garden, fifli caught that 
moment from the lake, and ftrawberries 
prefented to us at the inn, that we might 
eat them at our leifure in the chaife — I re* 
gretted very little the heats of a ftronger co* 
loured climate. 



COMMERCE,, TRADE, TRAFftCK, BUSINESS, 



ARE nearly fy no nymous certainly, and 
tifed each for other upon all great occafions. 
England may with propriety be faid to have 
any or all of thefe — commerce, trade, 
traffick, orBUSiNEss — with thofe other 
nations among whom and herfelf there is 
kept a perpetual intercourfe. Yet common 
converfation {hews us the (hading thus; 
when one obferves that people in business 

take 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 109 

tabajuft and rational intcreft in what con- 
cerns the ftate of commerce in Great Bri- 
tain, where tHe admirable roads, navigable 
canals, and other works of immenfe coft and 
labour, have fo facilitated internal commu- 
nication of one city or town with another, 
that as much benefit has in thefe late yean 
accrued to petty trafpick, as to trade 
in general. Such are the advantages of mer- 
cantile people taking a fhare in the conduct 
of a ftate, which fmall in itfelf owes much of 
its dignity to the extenfivenefs of its com- 
merce. For it is this firft word that includes 
all the reft, and ferves as tranfcendental, 
when we affirm that commerce alone will 
produce fomewhat of democratic manners, 
and diffeminate principles of real liberty 
throughout a nation ; becaufe no man will 
trade for what he cannot appropriate, or 
turn to purpofes of exaltation in his own 
happy country : yet that democracy wilt as 
iiirely produce commerce in a widely 
fpreading 



no BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

spreading continental empire, may reafdnabty 
be doubted. French philofophy has urged 
the trial, and Europe will foon fee the refult 
of fuch experiments. Let it confirm the old 
■proverb S^uodjis ejfc veils , and ftop the pro- 
grefs of further innovation. 

The word in queftion was originally ac- 
cented on the lad fyllable, at lead when 
tied participially : 

i 

Her looks comatxacing with the flues, 

lays Milton. 



CRIME, SIX, and VICE, 



ARE by no means ftri&ly fynonymous ; 
for although there are too many adions 
which include them all, yet are the words 
ftill in their natures feparate. The firft aU 
hiding to our human laws, expreffes a breach 
5 made 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. in 

made in focial ties, and the neceflary corn- 
pads between man and man. The fecond 
implies offence againft God ; and the laft a 
depravation of the will increafed by indul- 
gence into grofs enormity. Thus forgery 
is a crime, for example ; infidelity a sin ; 
and gaming a vice : while 



CRIMINAL, SINFUL, VICIOUS, 



FOLLOW their principals fo clofely, 
that even a newly arrived foreigner is fcarce- 
ly in danger of faying ** There goes a sin- 
ibl man to be hanged," infteadof a crimi- 
nal; when a fellow is juftly fuffering death 
by the law, for having made falfe draughts 
npon a banker : nor can fuch a ftranger live 
in London even a week, I fear, without be- 
ing led to call that conduit merely sinful, 
which carries our unwary youth to fpouting- 
clubs 



tit BRITISH SYNONYMT. 

* 

clubs and no&urnal affemblies, where bla& 
phemous opinions nightly fported with im- 
punity foon adduce a mode of behaviour 
fuch as might be expe&ed from fuch tejiets, 

although the propagation of them is not held 

criminal by the ftate, till by dint of fre- 
quenting fuch receptacles of corruption— 
thofe nefts of viilany and feminariea of evil, 
called by courtefy philofophical meetings and 
fbcieties for difputation — the foul, as Milton 
lays, imbodies and imbrutes, till man con- 
trives at Iaft to ftupefy even the fenfe of fear, 
and foon incurs by fome nefarious deed not 

only future punifhment from God, but im- 

» 
mediate vengeance for violated laws ; when 

having begun a vicious courfe of life, and 

not being contented to lead a sinful one, 

he becomes a cri m i N A l at laft,and dies with 

pain and with difgrace. Let every gay feU 

low recoiled: befide, that though to be called 

Vicious fcarce offends him, that is the only 

epithet among the three which can without 

impro- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. u 3 

impropriety be beftowed on brutes; We fay 
popularly a Vicious horfe, a vicious bull, 
&c. — the others would not do. 



CROSS, UNLUCKY, VEXATIOUS, PERVERSE. 



THESE* though each have meanings 
appropriated fingly to themfelves, are nearly 
fynonymous when applied to accidents alone. 
It was unlucky (fay we) to be denied by 
one's fervants when a friend knocked at the 
door with whom 1 happened to have ferious 
bufinefs, to whom I had already folid obli- 
gations, and whofe vifit I had requefted 
might be made on that particular day for my 
own convenience. Things will draw cross 
ibmetimes, but this was a cafe peculiarly 
Vexatious ; and I have feldom been mere 
provoked or mortified than I once was by 
this perverse accident. 

VOL. I. I TO 



H4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



TO CROSS, TO THWART, TO OBSTRUCT, 
TO EMBARRASS, TO HINDER. 



" B'ERMORE crost and crost ! 
nothing tut crost !" fays Petruchio when 
no one dared cross him : a common dilpo- 
fition enough in thofe who have had their 
own way till they feel more difpofed to in- 
terpoie obftrudton in the ichemes of others, 
than to fuffer any impediments to their own. 
For preventing this depravity of mind nur- 
tured by long indulgence, a little roughnefs 
from the playfellow in early youth might 
eaiily luffice; or elfe a little reflection in our 
riper years. Yet fame iniinidors of man- 
kind have found, that to cure this complaint 
tis neceflary above all to exoss people in 
their infancy by perpetually THWARTrxo 
their intent?, obstructing their little pro- 
jects for petty amufement, and contriving 

iace£- 



»-5 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 115 

inceflantly to hinder enjoymehts not in 
themfekes irregular, and embarrass de~ 
figns not evil in dteirown natures; Though 
this be efteemed- however by fome wife peo- 
ple a good and reasonable mode of educa- 
tion, my head updn the matured delibe- 
ration condemns the principle as erroneous, 
while my heart rejefts the pra&ice as tyran- 
meal* 



sesss 



CRUEL, SEVERE, HARSH, TYRANNICAL, 



ARE words fo odious to every ear, par- 
ticularly an Englifli one, and convey fuch 
fimilar though not fynonymous ideas of be- 
haviour, ill adapted to human nature, re- 
pugnant to reafon, and above all things 
contrary to the fpirk of our meek religion, 
which, far from inflicting injuries, fcruples 
even to refeat them— that 'tis painful to 

I 2 pafs 



*i6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

pais through the lines recording fuch qua- 
lities. Never indeed was there a time when 
tyranny was fo protefted againft : but 'tis the 
tyranny of princes only that ieems to have 
offended this enquiring age : towards their 
{acred perfons every harsh meafure has 
been adopted, every cruel indignity ex- 
erted. Imprifonment has been rendered 
more severe by ftudied barbarities in thofe 
very mortals who deftroyed the Baftille; 
while the feelings of nature have been ty- 
rannically fported with, by thofe who 
rejett every other tie of humanity as ad- 
fcitkious ufurpatioiu Irene the cruel, 
who reigned emprefs of the eaft when France 
firft inftituted her twelve peers, and affifted 
by the duke of Spoleto flopped her conquefts 
in Italy — Irene the cruel, who urged 
the murder of a thoufand men in one night, 
would not have been treated with as much 
roughneft, had fhe been taken prifoner in 
the battle, as the daughter of Auftria has fu£» 
3 fered 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. U7 

fared within thcfe laft two years — fufferings 
that make tragedy a fport for babes. Nor 
is it neceflary to be a king if man has a 
mind to be tyrannical : nor will even 
the example of unfeeling France hinder the 
harsh fpirit from difcovering its intents 
even in a country eminent for juftice, for 
gentlenefs, for compaffion, fhewn even to 
©ur open enemies, even to our private ones, 
though known for fuch. Yet here perhaps 
might now and then be found a father capa- 
ble! of feigning bankruptcy in order to drive 
his daughter into a match fhe hates; and, tak- 
ing advantage of her tendernefs towards him % 
hurry her to lading ruin. Or is a brother, 
an Englifh brother, difficult to be found, who 
having diffipated in vicious pleafures his poor 
lifter's fortune, hinders her from obtaining 

i 

the hulband of her choice, and leaves her 
unprote&ed on the mercy of mankind ? 
How feldom can kings be as cruel? The 
fafhionable fop too, the hard-hearted fon, 

I 3 that 



n8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

that bets mad wagers on the life of a fond 
mother who gave up half her jointure to 
increafe his income, and fets, or runs her, as 
the modiili phrafe is, againft his gay com- 
panion's tabby cat, for a frolic ! Or (hall we 
turn our eyes to diftant provinces ? where 
the country gentleman, jealous of his privi- 
leges, harshly condemns fome haplefs 
poacher to prifon or to exile — and all for 
what ? for having knocked a helplefs hare 
down, as {he fat temptingly flill perhaps 
between the furrows, and carried her home 
for wife and children's dinner. And is 
not that severe in him who argues fo for 

liberty in parliament? But Shakefpeare fai# 
long fince, that 

Man, Tile man, dreft in a little brief authority, 
Plays fuch fantailic cricks before high Hcav*n, 
As makes the angels weep. 

And Hayley tells us how the modern Patriot 

When foon at night by tranfmutation rare 
He turns a Tory in his elbow chair. 

. . to 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 119 



TO CRUSH, TO OVERWHELM, TO RUIN, 



ARE nearly if not ftrittly fynonymous, 
and imply a fall of fome immenfe weight, 
whether liquid -or folid, on the unlucky 
ttcature crushed, overwhelmed and 
SVYWBD by the blow. Upon thefe princi- 
ples we are however led againft our will to 
difapprove the ufe of this metaphor by Mr. f 
Gray, who breaks out in the beginning of 
his beautiful ode 

Ruin fcize thee, ruthlefs King! 

for it is the quality of ruin to crush, ijot 
feize. Famine maybe well faid \ofeize a man, 
for the purpofe of devouring — as a hungry 
wolf or tiger ; but the elephant crushes 
his antagonift with his weight. When an 
old caflle crumbles by time, and totters to 
its fall, how are the neighbouring fields 

I 4 OVER- 



i2o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

overwhelmed! how fits the fad owl 
hooting among the wrecks of ruined 
greatnefs ! When a gallant fhip fplits with 
the weight of waters on her bofom — how 
{lands the mariner aftonifhed at fuch ruin! 
how is the flouted heart appalled ! the live* 
lieft hopes crushed! the mod Spiring 
courage overwhelmeqJ when the 
lefs element on which laft night 
quered a powerful rival, now vi 
her own fuperior dignity, fwells with a 
tempeft, and treads down among the un- 
fathomable depths of a boiling ocean, the 
viftors and the vanquiflied. 

So periflied the Centaur, fo was funk 
the Thunderer; clafped in the arms, of Vic- 
tory, and crushed with all their honours 
on their head. 




TQ 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



TO CRY, to exclaim; 



of the L 

CLAMAT 

"Us very 



ARE pretty near fynonynaous in fome 
fcnfes certainly j but if a foreigner fpeaking 

' the London CRIES called them the £x- 
ations of the City, all would laugh. 
very ftrange meantime, and to me very 
unaccountable, that the ftreets* cries fliould 
refemblc each other in all great towns— but 
fure I am that S/>az-camin t with a canting 
drawl at the end, founds at Milan like our 
Sweep fweep exactly ; and the Gordon Limo- 
nad'ter at Paris makes a pert noiie like our 
orangfrrgirls in the Pit of Covent Garden, 
that founds prccifely fimilar. I was walk- 
ing one day with my own maid in an Ita- 
lian capital, and turned (hoit on hearing 
founds like thofe uttered by a London tin- 
ker — the man who followed us cried CaJf<ix<A t 
Caftrol d'apcomodar-— to the tune of his 
own 



in BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

own brafs kettle juft as ours do : and I be- 
lieve that in a little time, many cities will 
be more famous for the mufick and fre- 
quency of their cries than London ; becauie 
ftiops there, increasing daily, nay hourly, 
take all neceffity of hawkers quite away — 
excepting perhaps juft about the fuburb* 
and new-built houfes, where likewifeJB 
are everlaftingly breaking forth, and a2 
people better appearance of choice than can 
be eaftly carried about by thofe who C*Y 
them. 



TO CRY, TO WEEP, 



ARE really and I think completely fyno- 
nymous, only that the laft verb being al- 
ways appropriated to ferious purpofes, we 
never fcarcely ufe it in colloquial and fami- 
liar difcourfe, unieis ironically— for 'tis as 
wt 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 1*3 

* 

wc fey a tragedy word— and Do not cry 
fo, is thephrafe to children or friends, we ace 
defirous of comforting. Tears have a very 
powerful effedl: on young people, and indeed 

on all thofe who are new in the world : — 

» * . 

but veterans have feen them too often to be 
much affe&ed j and fince the years 1 779 
and 80, when I lived a great deal with a 
lady who could call them up for her own 
pleafure, and often did call them at my re- )( 
qucft) the feeing one weep has been no proof 
to me that any thing fad or forrowful had 
befallen ; and perhaps fome of the fincereft 

tears are fhed when reading Richardfon's 
Clarifla, or feeing Siddons in the chara&er 
of Mrs. Beverley. With regard to real an- 
guifli of the heart, an old fufferer weeps 
but little. 

Slow-pac'd and fourer as the dorms increafe, 
He makes his bed beneath th' inclement drift 5 
And (corning the complainings of diflrefs, 

w \ 

Hardens bis heart agaiaft aflailing want— - 

like 



iH BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

like Thomfon's Bear, fo beautifully de- 
feribed by a poet equally {killed in the 
knowledge of life and of nature. Such re* 
fle&ions however will lead my readers na- 
turally enough on to the next fynonymes, 
which are 



— M ' ■ ■■» ■ ■'■■ ■■ ■ M - '■»■■ -1^- 



CYNICAL, SNAPPISH, SNARLING, TAUNTING, 

SARCASTICK, 



AND thefe wrrifh qualities (for the ge- 
nerous nature of a well-bred dog denies affi- 
nity with any fuch) although the derivation 
of the firft word did certainly come from 
him, are very near if not exactly fynony- 
mous. Yet I muft fay, that the sarcastic 
gentleman who when at club lies clofe to 
give his neighbour a biting anfwer if he 
can, will not confefs himfelf a cynic j which 

in common and corrupt ufe feems to im- 
ply 



t 

r 
r • 



British synonymy. 125 

ply milanthropy and diftance from man- 
kind, rather than ill-humour when among 
them. The snappish houfekeeper mean- 
while that gives fhort anfwers to the poor 
vifitant niece, and tauntingly notices 
her low-bred children's grofs avidity for 
cakes they cannot be fuppofed to get at 
home, feems the domeftick likelieft to bear 
rule in the eftablifhment of a snarling 
old bachelor, whofe reviling humour in the 
laft ftage of life drives even his dependent 
relations from the door, and leaves him in 
the end a prey to (till meaner animals than 
they — hirelings and fervants, who know- 
ing well his temper, 

Improve that heady rage with dangerous (kill, 
And mould his paffions— tlU they make his wilj. . 



CURIOUS, 



126 BRITISH SYNONTMY; 



CURIOUS, INQUISITIVE, ADDICTED TO 

ENQUIRY. 



■ ■ 

THESE adje&ives are not ftri&ly fyno- 
nymous in converfation language; their ap- 
proach towards each other is nearer in books, 
where the more ferious fenfe is adopted. 
The man indeed who feels as if compli- 
mented by being ftyled a philofopher ad- 
dicted to enquiry, is but little delight- 
ed at feeing himfelf clafled among thofe I N- 
quisitive mortals, who are miferable if 
any tranfa&ion however trifling chance to 
efcape their fpirit of petty refearch, and 
more curious than ufeful inveftigation. — 
Thefe diligent gentlemen, who make anec- 
dote their ftudy, and an intimate acquaint- 
ance with every body's bufinefs but their 
own, fole fource of their beft pleafures in 
fociety, are the people we call inquisi- 
«- •"- tlve, 



British synonymy. 127 

TtVE, and in the language of low females' 
gossipers — a word taken from the fpon- 
fors to a baby at his baptifm — becaufe 
much chat is fuppofed to be going forward 
at a chriftening. Inquisitive they cer- 
tainly muft be, as to obtain fads of this na- 
ture many queftions muft be afked ; and 
he who relies for reception at one houfe, 
only upon his (kill at finding what is done 
at another, will after a fhort triumph run 
much hazard I fear of being fliut out of 
all. 

Scire volunt fecreta domus, atque indc timeri. 

And who can blame a general indignation 
felt againft the fpies of human kind ? Every 
excellence may be perverted to a defedt, 
nay to a crime, as every food may by fome 
procefs be turned into poifon ; and I have 
been tcld that 'tis in the power of chymif- 
try to extrad: a fpirit from a common loaf 
of bread . fo acid that coral and even gems 
5 may ( 



i*$ BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

may be diflblved in it. — Let the man born 
ufeful and infipid tremble as he reads ; and 
fear left a genius for curious refearch, 
and honeft enquiry into moral life, may if 
indulged lead people on degenerating as 'tis 
further followed into a reftlefsand inquisi- 
tive {pirit, fatal to others 9 peace, produc- 
tive of none to the poffefTor. He who at- 
tends to chara&ers too much, learns to ac- 
commodate his eyes to minute obje&s, and 
his mind too : like him who peeps through 
microfcopes all morning to view the down 
upon an infe&'s wing, while an eagle foars 

over his head unnoticed in the clouds. 'Twas 
thus the great Lord Verulam fuffered his fer- 
vants to plunder clients with impunity, 
while he diverted himfelf with watching the 
many changes in a thief's complexion, and 
valued himfelf on knowing, at whatever dis- 
tance, the looks of a creditor, a borrower^ 
a lover or a pimp. 



DANGER, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. f a 9 



DANGER, PERIL, RISQUE, HAZARD. 



Dakger ! whofe limbs of giant mould 
No mortal eye can fixed behold, 
When forth he (talks a hideous form, 
Howling amidft the midnight ftorm > 
Or throws him on the ridgy deep 
Of fome loofe hanging rock to fleep— 

can fcarce be reckoned as ftridly fynonymous 
with any of the enfuing fubftantives, unlefs 
peril, which is a word feldom pronounced . 
at all, except upon very ferious, or wholly 
ludicrous occafions. Much of our Englifh y, 
humour confifts in taking a heavy word for 
a light purpofe ; and were a lady to refift a 
journey to Lifbon, alleging gravely the 
P£RILS of the deep, all would laugh, al- 
though the hazard is furely fomething. 
But DANGER and risque are conversation 
words—the others not ; — and that the firft is 
vol. i. K capable 



x 3 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

capable of fublime imagery, and majeftic 
loftinefs when ufed in poetry, Collins's fine 
verfes juft now quoted are a proof. Subfti- 
tute any of the other words for it, you con- 
vert the paflage into deformity, becaufe they 

will not, as that does, admit perfonification. 



DEFINITION and DESCRIPTION 



COME next, and upon their fynonymy 
we did touch lightly in the preface to this 
book. It is however indifpenfable that they 
lhould be kept apart, a genus and difference 
being the two effential and neceflary parts 
of a definition ; for which reafon we 
might define the word definition itfelf 
to mean the description of a thing by 
its genus and difference, becaufe things are 
much more ufually defcribed by their ad- 
jun&s or caufes, and thofe abundantly ferve 

for 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i 3 i 

for popular information. Here too we may 
ftop a moment with advantage, to tell our 
foreign readers, that the moft awkward and 
vulgar people commonly defcribe by caufes, 
while eloquent and polite fpeakers are care- 
ful to avoid fuch groflhefs ; choofing rather 
to dwell upon the adjuncts of the thing de- 
scribed. For example : If we fpeak of a 
deje&ion vifible in the countenance, contor- 
tions of the limbs, with weeping eyes and 
a violent crying out of the voice, our hear- 
ers readily from thefe melancholy ad- 
juncts conclude that we are defcribing 
pain ; and know that nothing higher than 
a brutal fellow of the coarfeft tribe would 
fay when he faw fuch effe&s, that his com- 
panion had got a griper in his belly — which 
would be defcribing pain by its final caufe. 
But were we to advertife that faipe day how 
the famous Rough and Tough now upon 
fale, fets two, does three, and quarters four, 
better than any galloway in the weft rid- 

K 2 ing 



I' 



Jj2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ing of Yorkfhire, no gentleman or lady, 
no fcholar or learned man, would under- 
ftand half as quickly as a jockey or ftable- 
keeper, that we were fpeaking of a go o d 
horle; whom thefe fame laft mentioned 
criticks would recognize with equal promp- 
titude were I to defcribe him by his final 
caufe, and fay a good roadfter at once. Cch- 
tnoifieurs think it fufficient to call certain 
pictures an Albano or Vandervelde, know- 
ing that on their efficient caufe it is that 
their proprietor relies for the profit on their 
difpofal : but talking in terms of art is never 
elegant ; and though perfons of fafhicn do 
adopt the cant of picture-cleaners, I praife 
them not for it. Every failor meantime, 
and many a landman knows you are defcrib- 
ing a (hip, when you fpeak of a firft-rate, 
or a three-decker I doubt not, though he 
may not know 'tis by her formal caufe fhe 
was defcribed perhaps : nor will a jolly com- 
panion wait the filling of his glafs till he ro- 

colle&s 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i 33 

colle&s it is fo named from the material 
caufe, or the matter of which it is com- 
pofed — although 'tis no incurious or empty 
Speculation to obferve, that as a defini- 
tion can comprehend no more than one 
thing within the terms of its differentiating 
description, fo it neceffarily follows that 
the number of definitions in the world 
muft be equal to the number of the differ- 
ences of things, and that the objedt or final 
caufe of every definition is to fettle and af- 
certain the true and adequate meaning of 
words and terms, without which it were 
impoflible to proceed a ftcp in the great 
fcience, or, as logic is juftly called, ars bene 
ratiocinandi. 



K x deform- 



j: 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



DEFORMED, UGLY, HIDEOUS, FRIGHTFUL. 



DYER derives the fecond of thefe un* 
lucky adjectives from cugb or oupb^ or gob» 
lin, not without reafon, as it was long writ- 
ten ougly in our language. Frightful 
bears much the fame bad fenfe, I think. — 
Gobiins are dill called frightening in the 
provinces of Lancafler and Wefimorland ; 
and the third word upon the lift, from hidcux 
French, is but little fofter, if at all fc. De- 
formed has a more pofitive fignih cation 
than the reft ; for we know not how eafily 
delicate people may be frighted, nor how 
fmall a portion of ugliness will fufEce to 
call forth from affe&ation the cry of hide- 
ous ! while hyperbolical talkers have a way 
of giving thefe rough epithets to many hap- 
left perfons, who are in earned neither more 
ac* lefs than/fct* \ by which I mean to ex- 

preffi 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i 55 

prefs a form wholly diverted of grace, 3 
countenance of coarfe colour and vacant* 
look, with a mien pofleffing no cumelinefs ; 
which quality would alone protect them 
from deferring even that title, becaufe they 
would then be ornamented, Thole how- 
ever who mod loudly profefs being always 
feared when they are not allured, will in 
another humour be eafily enough led to 
confefs that many an ugly man or woman 
are very agreeable, and difplay fometimes 
powers of pleafing unbeftowed even on the 
beautiful ; which could fcarcely happen fure, 
were their unfortunate figures and faces 
vupb like, or terrifying : — it were well then 
if the Englifli, who hate hyperbole in gene- 
ral, would forbear to life it fo conftantly 
juft where 'tis moft offenfive, in magnifying 
their neighbours' defects. Lord Bacon fays 
the deformed people are good to employ 
in bufinefs, becaufe they have a confiant 
Jpur to great actions, that by fome noble 
K4 deed 



i 3 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

deed they may refcue their perfons from 
contempt : and experience does in fome fort 
prove his aflertion ; many men famous in 
hiftory having been of this clafs — the great 
warriors, above all, as it fhould feem in 
very contradi&ion to nature — when Agefi- 
laus, King William th^ Third, and Ladif- 
laus furnamed Cubitalis y that pigmy King of 
Poland, reigned, and fought more vitiorious 
battles, as Alexander Gaguinus relates, than 
all his longer-legged predeceflbrs had done* 
Corpore parvus eram, exclaims he — 

CUBITO VIX ALTIOR, SED TAMEN IN 
PARVO CORPORE MAGNUS ERAM. Nor 

is even Sanctity's felf free from fome obli- 
gations to deformity — while Ignatius Loyola 
lofing a limb at the fiege of Pampelona, and 
conceiving himfelf no longer fit for wars or 
attendance on the court, betook himfelf to a 
mode of living more profitable to his foul 
in the next world, and to his celebrity in 
this, than that would have been which, had 

his 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 137 

bis beauty remained, he might have been 
led to adopt That deformed perfons are 
ufually revengeful all will grant ; and the 
Emprefs Sophia had caufe to repent her in- 
flating letter to old Narfes, when fhe ad- 
viling him to return and fpin with her 
maids — he replied, " that he would (pin 
fuch a thread as her Majefty and all her 
allies would never be able to untwift."— 
Nor did he in the leaft fail of fulfilling the 
menace ; which reminds one of Henry the 
Fifth's anfwer, when the Dauphin of France, 
defpifing his youth and fpirit of frolicking, 
fent over tennis balls as a fit prefent for a 
prince addidted more to play than war. — 
Our young hero's reply being much in the 
fpirit of that fent by Narfes to the Emprefs, 
one might have thought it borrowed, had not 
eight centuries elapfed between the two 
events. Thele matters may for aught I know 
be all mentioned in a pretty book I once read 
when newly publiihed, and have never feen 

fince : 



* 3 8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fincc : it cantt out three or four and thirty 
years ago, and gained to its author the ap- 
pellation of deformity Hay. He likewife 
tranflated fome epigrams of Martial, but for 
<l his Eflky on Deformity I have enquired *n 
vain j and if I am guilty of plagiarifm it is 
a mm Inf^u^ as the French exprefs it. Mean- 
time ugliness in common conversation re- 
lates merely to the face, whilft deformity 

implies a faulty fhape or figure* Fright-. 
ful and hideous may be well appropri- 
ated to delirious dreams; to the fight of 
mangled bodies, or human heads ftreaming 
with blood, fuch as France has lately exhi- 
bited for the favage amufement of a worfe 
than brutal populace : but the words plain 
or homely are fufficient to exprefs that total 
deficiency of beauty too often termed ugli- 
ness in our friends and neighbours. That 
fuch is not the proper expreflion is proved 
by that power of pleafing, univerfally al- 
lowed to the late Lord Chefterfield, who 
3 had 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; jj* 

had nothing in his perfon which' at fiift 
fight could raife expectation of any delight 
in his fociety: and perhaps to overcome 
prejudice in private life, and make an ac- 
complished companion out of an ill-cut figure 
and homely countenance, may be more dif- 
ficult than by warlike prowcfs and ads 
of heroic valour to gain and keep celebrity 
in the field of battle. Where there is a 
talent to pleafe however, pleafure will re- 
fide; and one of the beft and raoft applaud* 
ed minuets I ever faw, was danced at Bath 
many years ago by a lady of quality, pale, 
thin, crooked, and of low ftature; — my not 
wifhing to name her is notwithftanding a 
kind of proof that her elegance would not 
{in her abfence) compenfate for her de- 
formity: fo furely do readers in gene- 
ral take up and willingly cherifti a difad- 
vantageous idea, rather than a kind one. 
Pope, who was deformed enough to have 
felt the truth of this pofition, and ingenious 
enough 



i 4 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

enough to have found it out had he not felt 
k, difobliged his patron Mr. Allen fo much 
by thefe lines, 

See low-born Allen, with an awkward {himc^ 
Do good by Health, and blufh to find it fame, 

that he was forced to learn by experience 
how one of the beft and humbleft of man- 
kind fuffered more pain by having his awk- 
wardnefs and mean birth perpetuated, than 
he enjoyed pleafure in having his virtue ce- 
lebrated by a poet, whofe works certainly 
would not fail of configning it to immor- 
tality. 



TO DEFY, TO CHALLENGE, 






THESE words are fynonymous when 
applied to a fingle combat between particular 

people ; but the firft yerb is vaftly more com- 
I prehenfive 



BRITISH STNONTMT. 141 

piebenfire than the fecond. Antony ch al- 
i-e.vged Augufhis to commit the fate of uni- 
versal empire to his fingle aim, confcious 
that in fuch a conteft (as his opponent eafily 
difeavered) the advantages lay all againft 
Octavius, who for that reafon laughed at his 
proppial, and with due dignity defied fuch 
empty menaces. A man whofe fituation 
is wholly defperate, may indeed challenge 
the feven champions if he choofes, without 
fear of lofmg the victory, becaufe no lofs 
can (ex. him any lower : but who is he that 
would be mad enough to enter the lifts ? 

Our two words were not ill exemplified 
in a very different line of life, when a 
fialhy felicw known about London by the 
name of Captain Jalper fome twenty years 
ago, built, fuddenly into the Bedford Coffee - 
houle, and thatching up a hat belonging to 
feme one in the room, cried out — ** Who- 
ever owns this hat Is a rafcal, and I chal- 
lenge him to come out and fight." A 
grave 



x 4 z BRITISH SYNONYMY- 

grave gentleman fitting near die fire replied, 
in a firm but fmooth tone of voice, " Who- 
ever does own the hat is a blockhead, and I 
tope we may defy you, fir, to find any 
fuch fool here." Captain Jafper walked to 
the fbreet door, and discharged a brace of 
bullets into his own head immediately. 



KSV 



TO DEGENERATE, TO FALL FROM THE 
VIRTUE OF OUR ANCESTORS, TO LAPSE 
FROM A BETTER TO A WORSE STATE, 
TO GROW WILD ox BASE, TO PEJORATE* 
TO DISGRACE OUR NATIVE STOCK. 



THE firft of thefe is the true expreffion, 
from which the others do in earned only 
degenerate, or tell by periphrafis merely 
what that verb gives in a breath : for things 
may grow worfe and worfe, pejorating 
every inftant ; yet if the parent flock was 

worthless, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 143 

■worthiefc, our firft word is no longer of u-fe. 
Nero and Domician, for example, were de- 
praved; but Commodus and Caracalla added 
degeneracy to every other vice : and al- 
though the naturalifts do diipute whether 
animals or vegetables are capable of dege- 
nerating, they are but little inclined to 
neglect their barley till it grows wilder 
AND BASER, and . becomes oats in their 
field : — much lefs do they delight to fee their 
wheat turn dame!, as it undoubtedly will if 
care is not taken, which every farmer knows. 
Another fet of philofophers hold a perpetual 
degeneration of the human fpecies; and 
a well-known writer fuppofes Helen, when 
Troy was befieged for her fake, to have 
been at leaft eight feet high; while the Ori- 
ental Jews hold an opinion that proves her 
much degenerated, when they reprefent 
Eve the mother of mankind fo tall, as that 
when me lay down to repofe herfelf on the 
peninfula of Malacca, her heels refted on the 
ifland 



144 BRITISH SYKONYMY. 

* ifland of Ceylon. If we will however be 
ferious, all things exhibit tendency towards 
degeneration ; every ftate before its fall 
gives fymptoms of the internal fitnefs for 
diflblution by the degeneracy of man- 
ners, and fhamelefs acquiefcence in each 
meafure that disgraces the parent 
stock. When national liberty verges to- 
wards Hcentioufnefs, national contempt of 
good faith and priftine ideas of honour 
carries on the individuals towards a merited 
bankruptcy : — when (coffers are permitted 
to infuk religion, wit is employed in the 
word of caufes, and humour ends in low 
mimickry or vile caricatura : emulation, the 

■ 

bed quality for keeping honour alive among 
a great people, feels ferpents crawl beneath 
the laurel crown fhe fighed for, and fuffers 
a tranfmutation into the figure of envy. 
The kingdom of France fhewed all thefe 

marks of declination long ago to fkilful ob- 
fervers : 

A thoufand 



BRlf ISH SYNONYM*. 145 

■ 

A tboufand horrid prodigies foretold it : 
A feeble government, eluded laws, 
A faflkms populace, luxurious nobles, 
And all the maladies of finking ftates : 



as fays Demetrius in Dr. Johnfon's play, 
wheA his friend in the firft fcene Arraigns 
eternal Providence fdr not having warned 
Greece of her impending deftiny by fome 
extraordinary event or prodigy. And I re-> 
member going to fee the Mariage de Figaro 
when I was laft in Paris exa&Iy ten years 
ago, when a gentleman near me faid :— 
u Eb ! commc nous fontmes dbgbnbrss ! on 
frend tout ga four rejprit." So certain is 
it that our iheatfes exhibit the tafte of the 
times i and if that becomes fo far corrupted 
as to produce applaufe to low grotefque or 
eoarfe allufion, it is a fign we are deune^ 
hating apace. 



VOL. I. L DEGfcA- 



ufi BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



DEGRADATION, DEPRIVATION OF DIGNITY 

DIVESTITURE. 



A DISMAL fet of fynonymes to thole 
in upper life among us, where for the mod 
part proud honour (lands in place of meek 
religion — proud honour, that flirinks from 
the idea of divestiture, while it delights 
in the trappings of a court, and fears the de- 
privation of dignity more than the 
lofs of virtue or hope of a world to come. 
For although riling glories occafion ftrongeft 
envy, as rifing fires kindle the greateft (moke; 
yet can a man once eftablifhed in a high pod 
with difficulty endure to come down the 
Jlcps he went up, the which is implied in that 
cruel word degradation; and he was 
more than man who fet us in his life and 
death the awful pattern of Chriftian humi- 
lity. For fhame is perhaps the ftrongeft of 

aH 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i 47 

all paffions, and harder to vanquifh than an- 
ger, love, or fear : Tbcy, as a great divine 
fomewhere obferves, fly to mankind for re- 
drefs of grievances ; while fenfe of degra- 
dation \Jbamc^ flies^ww them, and makes 
an eye as fharp as a fword. Shame's bad 
eftate is feen in this, that its hope and felicity 
lies fo very low as to make night and obli- 
vion, which are the terror of others, his wiih, 
his )oy—falUre et effugtre eji triumpbus. 
Human nature has however in thefe laft 
days been {hewn a bright example of a fuf~ 
fering monarch, whofe defcent from the 
throne was more glorious than aim oft any 
king's acceflion; affording proof that de- 
privation of dignity but afFe&s the 
eye, while increafe of juft eftimation fwells 
every heart, and makes us, while we lament 
the divestiture of one who bore and loft 
his faculties fo meekly, confefs at leaft that 
Chriflian lowlinefs, and virtuous defire of 
imitating his heavenly Matter, could fupport 

JL 2 a prince's 



y 



t 4 9 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

a prince's fool ercn under the mod humili- 
ating DEGRADATION. If this IS thought 

contradi&ory to what I have afferted under 
the article blameless, want of reflection 
alone inspires the criticifm. I praife not 
Louis Seize as a fovereign, for deferting his 
port and yielding his power to a tumultuous 
rabble, whom he was born to govern, not 
comply with ; — leaft of all when fuch com- 
pliance could but produce their ruin. I praife 
him as a man, and admire his behaviour 
in prifon at the Temple, not Verfailles. The 
refignation or rather dereli&ion which car- 
ried him from thence to Paris was falfe not 
true patriotifm. " A king infpired with real 
love of his country is, as Lord Bolingbroke 
expreffes it, ineftimable : becaufe he, and he 
alone can fave a ftate whofe ruin is far ad- 
vanced ; but 'tis by his dignity and courage 
he muft fave it, not his degradation. The 
utmoft that a private man can do, who re- 
mains untainted by general contagion, is to 

keep 



JUUTISH SYNONYMY, 149 

keep the fpirit of virtue alive in his own and 
perhaps a few other breads ; to proteft againft 
what he cannot hinder, pnd claim what he 
cannot recover; and if the king makes him- 
felf a private man, be can do no more : 
whereas from the keyftone of the - building 
we expe& that which alone can reftore it to 
firmnefs and folidity." Such was St. John's 
idea of a patriot king — how unlike to the 
mad dodrines held in France ! 



TO PEROGATE, TO LESSEN THE VALUE 

OF, TO DISPARAGE. 



THESE verbs are nearly fynony- 
mow, only the firft requires an ablative cafe 

after it, the laft an accuiative j the middle 
one tt a circumlocutory phrafe. An ex- 
ample might eafily be made to run thus, con- 
necting in fome meafure this article with the 
. • L 3 preceding. 



t5* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

preceding. When Bolingbroke gave the 
world his idea of a patriot king, the author 
was well known tp be a man much dila& 

f 

fe&ed to the then prefent government, loofo 
in his principles, and a profefled contemner 
of the Chriftian fyftem ; yet could he find 
no purer model of true patriotifm in mo» 
narchic life than our glorious queen Eliza- 
beth, whom he holds forth as a pattern of 
princely excellence; Since it has been the mode 
however to dis p a r age royalty,all the petty 
pens have been blunted with endeavours TO 
lessen the value of her kingly virtues, 
and derogate from her underftanding by 
charging her with weaknefs in imagining 
herfelf handfome, merely becaufe (he wiflxed 
if pofiible to add the influence of a woman 
to the authority of a fbvereign : yhiie the 
noble writer juft mentioned, whom all man* 
kind confider as a confummate politician, 
faw dearly, and fays in her praife bold- 
ly, « that fhe had private friendships and 

acknow* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 151 

acknowledged favourites, but that (he never 
fuffered her friends to forget fhe was their 
queen, and when her favourites did, fhe 
made them feel that fhe was fo ; for (adds 
he) decorum is as neceflary to preferve the 
efteem, as condefcenfion is to win the af- 
fections of mankind. Condefcenfion how- 
ever in its very name and effencc implies 
fuperiority. Let not princes flatter them- 
(elves therefore ; they will be watched in 
private as much as in public life ; and thofe 
who cannot pierce further, will judge of 
them by the appearances they fhall exhibit 
in both. As kings then, let them never 
forget that they are men j as men, Jet them 
never forget th»t they are kings/' 



L 4 DESPOND- 



iSz BRITISH SYNQNYMY. 



DESPONDENCY, HOPELESSNESS, DESPAIR, 



FORM a fort of heart-rending climax 
rather than a parallel — a climax too which 
time unhappily fcarce ever fails of bringing 
to perfection. The laft of the three words 
implies a fettled melancholy I think, and 
is commonly fucceeded by filicide— Very 
abfurdly — fure; as our country, where 
'tis aflerted the fin of felf-murder mod ob- 
tains, is the country whence hopeless- 
ness is more completely banifhed, than 
from any region under heaven. 

So many viciffitudes of fortune, fo many 
changes, fo many chances to repair a 
broken property occur in England, that a 
man is blameable here even for despond- 
ency — unpardonable if he gives way to 
despair: while fentimental diftrefs is 
perhaps harder to endure here than in fe- 
i veral 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i# 

<yeral places, juid female refentment may 
be reafonably high in proportion as 'tis 
fatal A woman deferted by her lover is 
pot in fear of being forfaken by the herd^ 
in cities where lefs obfervation watches the 
conduct of focial life ; but while her name 
is bandied about by every mouth, her fi- 
gure caricatured In every print-fhop of Leftr* 
don y Poor Olympia (fay we) has appeared 
to be in a (late of grievous deje&ion, end- 
ing in fad despondency indeed, fincc 
her lover's open and ungenerous defertion; 
bis recent marriage with a fcdy inferior i* 
•very thing but fortune, might have been 
cxpe&ed to cure her long permitted pafiion, 
by (hewing her at length the hopelessness 

of being his. But a friend called at my 
houfe to-day, and told the fervants, that 
the news coming abruptly when her 
nerves were already in a (hattered (late, and 
ber weak health (inking apace under the 
firft blow ; — this aggravation of an unpro- 
voked 



1 5+ BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

voted injury threw her by its narration 
into a fit of despaie, km which the 
worft confequenccs may be expected. 



DISCOURSE, TALK. CHAT, CONFERENCE* 
asd CONVERSATION. 



THESE fubftantives, if not quite fyno- 
nymous, are at leaft very clofdy allied; al- 
though the verbs which derive from them 
ipread wider and keep a greater diftance. 
For we converse together familiarly, we 
confer feriouflyj while chatting 
means mere frivolous and good-humoured 
intercourfe to amufe ourfelves and our 
companions at fmall mental expence. A 
clufter of petty fentences might ealily be 
formed fo as to bring the five fubftantives at 
the head of this article clofe together — and 

3 even 



BRITISH SYNOtfTM*. 155 

even in Santo way cort»e& than with the 

laft. 

example. 

In order to facilitate the g6od office, 
fehich although painful I had taken upon 
toyfelf as a duty, namely, the reconciling 
of my brother and hi6 wife, who I under- 
flood were on the very verge of parting, 
and had not Ipoken to each other for a fort- 
night paft, I thought it right' m the firft 
place to obtain a conference with him 
in private ; and having gathered not with-, 
out difficulty, from his repugnance to all 
ihs course upon the fubjeft, that after all 
his loud complaints laft winter, and more 
unpleafing fullennefs the beginning of this 
year, there was in fa& nothing to lament 
at laft, but her extravagant turn and info-* 
lent temper, qualities which however infup^ 
portable to an Englifh hufband, cannot in- 
jure female delicacy to be even openly pro- 
tefled againft, and complained of; I chofc 

to 



1 56 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

to bold my pmpofed talk with the lady, 
in company of her own particular friends* 
and above all, her father ; that fo no mif- 
reprcfrnfarions might be made of my beha- 
viour; and during the courie of fuch * 
conversation, I doubted not, could J 
once get them in familiar chat, that the 
whole truth might be obtained, and a final 
end put to thefe domdtic feuds, that have 
fo difgraced my brother's choice, and made 
me daily and deeply regret his leaving the 
tender Olympia for this haughty dame; 
who bromght a larger fortune certainly, but 
with it fuch a train of pretentions as would 
tax a larger income to fupport. 



DISMAL a 



BRITISH SYNONTMT. 157 

DISMAL. GLOOMY, MELANCHOLY, 
SORROWFUL, DARE, 



ARE words which excite a train of 
ideas fb rmmrnfid, we will hope they can 
{career/ all be predicated of any place ex- 
cept a prifon, of any fituation unlefs that 
of die Royal Family in France, of any 
event if it be not fome recent one in that 
diftra&ed nation. —When their ftory is told 
however in future converfation, and horror 
fits on the lad liftener's looks ; the relater 
will be at liberty to dwell either on the 
blacknefs of thofe crimes which pregnant 
with cruelties, and fulminating death all 
around them, conftitute a clutter of ill-ar- 
ranged but dismal fcenes; — orelfe on the 
pale countenances of parting friends— -pa- 
rents — lifters —children — torn from the em- 
braces of their partners in affliction, and 
phi ng in! 



158 BRITISH SYNONYMT. 

plunged in filent, melancholy woe 
Then — while the sorrowful audience, 
with attentive anguifh watching the cata- 
ftrophe, hope that the gloomy profpeft 
yet may clear — fome dark conipiracy 
thickens in the back-ground, and adds ob- 
fcurity, which alone could heighten fucb 
dijlrefs. 



»" ■■■— i ■ ■ ^ SZmZS»**^mmmm.^^m~—mm^mmmm+mmm~*^~^^£mS2SSSSZ!mmSiSSimmm% 



DISSOLUTE, LOOSE, UNRESTRAINED, 

RIOTOU8. 



IN this fynonymy I fhould expeft to 
find the bed reafons, and the caufes mod 
likely to produce thofe calamities which iij 
our laft article were fo juftly lamented ; for 
not with more certainty do the hot and cold 
fits of an ague fuceeed each other than does 
a long feries of melancholy hours, and 
thoughts, follow hard upon a eonrfe of 

Disso- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 159 

dissolute living, and xoose manners. 
The laft word is not exa&ly fynonymous* 
with the other three ; for although the 
perfon who refills all prder, and infills on 
leading an unrestrained life, commonly 
does breakout into a riotous conduct; 
he may from the fame principle fink into 
floth, and melt in mere voluptuoufnefs, 
when all ties that held him to duty and de- 
corum are diflblved. — This however de- 
pends merely on the Hate of his health and 
nerves ; for when principle is removed f in- 
ftin& mud govern : and let us recolledl that 
in man to whom reafon was given, and re- 
ligion revealed, the quality of inftinft is 
much lower than in brutes, where that 
alone was beftowed as fufficient guide. — 
No man could find his way home, like his 
loft fpaniel, without a tongue to enquire it ; 
no man could find the methods of efcape 
which prefent themfelves to a courfed hare, 
when (he turns fhort in the middle of a 

fteep 



x6o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Keep declivity* 2nd by fi> doing diftppoinis 
the dog, whefe impetuous fpeed and length 
of body hurry him as it were over her, 
down to the very bottom; while fhe 
mounting the hill, dips on the other fide it, 
and is fefe. But human creatures unre- 
strained become not brutes — they be- 
come fomething worfe; as milk turns to 
poiibn if put out of its courie, and inftead 
of being fwallowed by the mouth, is inject- 
ed into the veins. — Liberty does the fame — 
fb does every thing. The fun, which af- 
fords light, and heat, and comfort to our 
fyftem, fixed as it is on high, ih its due 
place— becomes when loosened from it* 
orb, a comet flaming through the void, and 
firing every thing it meets with on the 
way. 



DlSTEM- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, rii 



DISTEMPER, MALADY, DISEASE, DISORDER, 

INDISPOSITION. 



FOREIGNERS if net warned— or as 
they always call it — advcrtifed^ are apt to 
ufe the fecond of thefe words too frequent- 
ty, being feduced away from the others by 

its derivation. It has however a found of af- 
fe&ation with it when pronounced on flight 
occafions, as distemper conveys (I know 
not very well why) a grofs idea ; while 
malady feems a phrafe now wholly book- 
ifh — although we do fay that Hortenfia 
fince the fmall pox has laboured under an 
indisposition foconftant, that her friends 
fear it will at laft end in an incurable dis- 
ease. Such disorders are indeed lefs 
dreadful than that contagious one, which, 
before the ufe of inoculation was known, 

« 

kept half the men and aim oft all the women 
vol. i. M in 



1 62 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

in perpetual terror, and may be juftly 
ranked among the raoft horrible complaints 
and dangerous maladies incident to hu- 
man nature : nor can we eafily be excufed 
the iin and folly of carrying it to countries 
where 'tis yet unknown, making depopula- 
tion the fad confequence of difcovery. 



DROLL, COMICAL, GROTESQUE. 



THE firft of thefe words was long ufed 
in our language as a fubftantive, but grows 
obfolete as fuch in converfation, where it 
takes the French fenfe now exactly, and is 
fynonymous to every epithet that expreffes 
coarfe mirth diverted of all dignity, and 
fitteft for buffoons. Some time ago it was 
in conftant fervice as a verb j but in thefe 
days we do not fay a man drolls upon 
his neighbour's foible, but how droll he 

is 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. xfij 

is when he fo entertains the company. I 
would ©bferve, that people met together on 
purpofe to laugh, and to be wantonly or 
idly merry, fhould at leaft be attentive in 
the choice of fubje£ts fo exert their fancy 
upon ; as nothing is more eafy than to be 
comical, if the imagination is permitted 
to excite grotesque images upon toptcks 
particularly grave, and rationally ferious :— 

and I truft it is for that very reafon thefe 
droll gentlemen cdmmonly choofe thofe 

fubje&s for ridicule— becaufe the very op* 
pofition fuffices to create the merriment, at 
flight expence of humour, wit, or learning, 
in fuch talkers ; who by mere knowledge 
of the clear obfcure in converfation, force 
out ftrong and immediate effe<5t, with little 
or no merit. — Lefs innocent and not more 
valuable to thofe that excel in letters, life 
and languages are fuch pretenders, than is 
the Panorama viewed by painters — a mere 
deception, ad captandum vulgus. We muft 

M 2 confefs 



1 6+ BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

confefe, however, that neither vulgar nor 
elegant minds are diverted with the fame 
kind of drollery in different countries, 
where whatever is merely comical de- 
pends much upon the habits of life ; and 
the famous ftory of Italian humour will 
fcarce make an Englifh reader laugh per- 
haps, although 'tis a fort of (landing joke 
with them. I will infert it, becaufe to many 
of my country people it may poffibly be 
new, and is certainly the faireft (pecimen 
of grotesque manners in a nation that 
admits of infinite familiarity from fervants 
and low dependants, fuch as obtained in 
England a century ago, when the confe- 
quences of fuch kind of behaviour were not 
as they would now be, deftru&ive to deco- 
rum, and even dangerous to fociety. " A 
noble Florentine then had ordered a crane 
for dinner; but his cook's fweetheart coming 
in hungry, he cut off a leg for ber 9 and 
tent the bird to table with but one: his 

mafler 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 165 

mailer In a paffion called him up, and 
afked him if cranes had but one leg ? No, 
fir, replied the fellow with great prefence 
of mind, and your excellency never faw 
thofe animals with too. Did I never in- 
deed ? faid my lord, ftill more provoked — 
order the carriage to the door directly. — 
The open chaife was brought, and the 
cook put into it by his mailer's direction ; 
who feizing the reins, drove him to the 
neighbouring lake three miles from the pa- 
lace, where Hood numbers of cranes by the 
water-Iide as is their cuftom upon one leg, 
with the other drawn up under their wing. 
Now look, fir, faid the cunning fellow — they 
are all fo, you may perceive ; not one of 
them has more than one leg. You are im- 
pudent enough, replies the nobleman, we 
will fee prefently if they are all lame : and 
fuddenly crying Boo, boo t away tam- 
pered the birds on as many limbs as they 
could mufter. — Oh ! but, my ford, returns 
Mi the 



166 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

the droll cook comically, this is not 
fair: — you never cried Hoo boo to the 
crane upon our difh, or who knows but he 
might have produced two legs as well as 
thefe? 



TO DROP, TO FALL, TO TUMBLE, TO SINK 

SUDDENLY. 



T H E'S E neuter verbs are not fynony- 

inous,; becaufe although whatever drops 

muft in fome meafure fall, yet every thing 

that falls does not neceflarily drop. A 

man climbed a tree in my orchard yefterday, 

for example, where he was gathering apples ; 

having miffed his footing, I faw him, after 

.. many attempts to fave himfelf by catching 
• ■_ 
- at boughs, &c. fall at length to the 

ground — the apples dropped out of his hand 

on 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 167 

on the firft moment of his flipping. To 
sink suddenly, half implies that he fell 
in water, unlefs we {peak of fuch an earth- 
quake as once deftroyed the beautiful town 
of Port Royal in Jamaica, when the ground 
cleaving into many fiffures, people sunk 
in on the fudden; fome breaft-high, others 
entirely out of fight. To tumble is an 
ad of odd precipitancy, and often means 
voluntary falls endured, or eluded by 
fearlefsnefe and adroit agility : 'tis then a 
verb a&ive, a trick played to get money, 
and fhew the powers of humanity at an 
efcape, as in feats of harlequinery ; or the 
ftrange thing done many years ago by Gri- 
maldi, a famous grotefque dancer, eminent 
for powers of this kind, at the Meufe Gate 
in London ; where having made a mock 
quarrel, and ftripped himfelf as if intending 
to fight, previoufly collecting a fmall circle 
to fee the battle, he fuddenly fprung over 
his antagonifts and fpedators' heads, and 

M4 TUM- 



168 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tumbling round in the air, lighted on his 
legs and ran away — leaving the people to 
gape. When the well-known Buffo di 
Spagna, or Spanifh buffoon, who delighted 
to frequent fuch exhibitions, was a£ked 
what perfon he thought to be the firft tum- 
bler in the world — he archly replied, 
a Many, firs, I am of opinion that 'twas 
Lucifer ; for he tumbled fi.ft, and tum- 
bled furtheft too ; and yet hurt himfelf fo 
little with the fall, that he is too nimble 
for many of us to efcape him yet/' 



DROWSY, SLEEPY, INCLINED TO SLUMBER. 



OF thefe lazy adje&ives, the firft is mod 
poetical I think, the fecond moft familiar, 
and the third moft proper, if we fpeak fe- 
rioufly of a perfon difpofed to lethargic ha- 
bits, and labouring under preternatural in- 
clination 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 16^ 

clination to slumber* The Palace of Sloth, 
in the Lutrin de Boileau, affords more va- 
riety of thefe leaden epithets than one would 
have thought could have been brought to- 
gether ; and the laft line remains yet in pot- 
feffion of unattainable excellence, 'fpite of 
all efforts to imitate and furpafs it, when the 
goddefs, 

Lafle de parler, fuccombant (bus 'effort, 
Soupire, ctend les bras, ferme l'oeil, & s'endort* 

Our Dr. Garth, it is true, in his Difpen- 
fary, has introduced King William's praifes 
as definitive of sleepiness, after the 
French poet — they want however the grace 
of novelty. Pope's lines in the Dunciad 
are better, when Dulnefs proclaims a re- 
ward to thofe who could keep their eyes 
open while fome ftupid books were to be 
read by drony fouls with a uniform mono- 
tony of voice, and fays, 

If 



ijo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

If there be rtan who o'er fuch works can wake, 
Sleep's all-fubduing pow'r who da re a defy, 
And boaft UlyfleV «ar with Argus' eye ; 
To him we grant our ampleft pow'rs to fit 
Judge of all prefent, part, and future wit. 
Then mount the clerks, and in one lazy tone 
Thro' the long heavy painful page drawl on j 
Soft creeping words on words the fenfe compofe, 
At every line they ftretch, they yawn, they dofe; 
And now to this fide, now to that tls^y nod, 
As rerfe or profe infufe the drowsy ^od. 

But I will haften to conclude a fynonymy 
£> oppreffive, left in an evil hour my own 
book prove one of her favourites. 



DRUNKENNESS, INTOXICATION, EBRIETT. 



A N odious fynonymy to women, and 
foreigners from climates where the coun- 
try's warmth needs no additional or fadli- 

4 

tiouc 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 171 

tious fire. It is meantime a melancholy 
reflection which we read in Salmon's Ga- 
zetteer — a book fomewhat top haftily thrown 
by — how the inhabitants of almoft every 
country poflefs fome plant become peculiarly 
dear to them, for its powers of producing 
intoxication, — The vine, the poppy, are 
not always ufed as cordials or paregoricks, 
but a temporary drunkenness, or durable 
ebriety, are the effe&s propofed. Nor is 
the brute creation unwilling to participate 
in the vices of humanity. A game cock 
will eat toaft dipt in ftrong beer with infi- 
nite delight, as feeders know full well, when . 
they inftigate the noble creature to his ruin ; 
and the cuftom of giving an elephant opium 
balls when he goes out to war, has always 
been known in the Eaft, where that drug 
gives heightened fpirits, not inclination to 
Dumber as here : — perhaps becaufe then 
they poflefs the pureft parts of a juice flow- 
ing fpontaneoufly from the wounded plant ; 

while 



172 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

while we are contented with the meconium 
produced by beating and fqueezing the leaves 
and ftem, and draining the dregs off for ufe. 
In countries however where neither betel, 
nor coculus Indicus, no deleterious vegeta- 
ble can be found — Man, unable or unwill- 
ing to endure reflection upon his own ex- 
iftence, afraid of his reafon, and defirous 

to drown it — as fays the old book of rela- 

* 

tive geography — finds out a method of 
making himfelf drunk, by being placed 
upon his head by his companions, who twirl 
him round and round, while he flopping up 
both his ears with his fingers becomes as 
he wifhed intoxicated. 



DUBIOUS, DOUBTFUL, UNCERTAIN. 



ADVERBS, or adverbial adjectives, very 
nearly fynonymous, of which the firft was 

mod 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i 7J 

moil ufed in converfation till about twenty* 
five or thirty years ago, when a popular 
though paltry drama, by putting it ill pro- 
nounced into a clown's mouth, rendered it 
ridiculous ; and people grew afraid of utter- 
ing the word, left ludicrous ideas fhould be 
fuddenly excited, and turn as we fay the 
laugh againft him who fpoke, by forcing 
the image of their favourite buffoon upon 
the company. Such mean impreiOons how- 
ever wear away by time, leaving only the 
half-effaced head and fool's cap to puzzle 
antiquarians ; when the motto growing un- 
certain, leaves the ill-exprefled face of 
very doubtful original, and inclines con- 
noiffeurs to be dubious in naming the 
coin. Johnfon relates a fimilar accident to 
have been the theatrical death of Thorn- 
fon's Sophonifba. Slight caufes will operate 
on the mere tafte of pleafure ; yet we may 
not unreafonably pity the author who is 
pommeled down thus with a farthing candle, 
c as 



1 74 BRITISH 

as- 1 have heard Dr. Goldfinith fay he once 
faw a man eminent in ftrength treated at an 
alehoufe for a wager. The manner play- 
ing the trick I have forgotten ; but the 
ftrong fellow was made ' to fubmit, though 
his antagonift had no other weapon — and 
therein confided the joke. Bentley fufiered 
much in the fame way from Pope's tor- 
menting him ; but 'twas a mere temporary 
fullering. 



DUCTILE, FLEXIBLE, SOFT, YIELDING, 
PLIA3LE, MALLEABLE. 



THE firft of thefe is I know not why 
chiefly appropriated by books, and even 
ufed more when writing about things than 
perfons; though Addifon, whofe ftyle in the 
Freeholder approaches to colloquial, men- 
tions a ductile and eafy people, not diffi- 
cult 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. iy 5 

cult to be worked upon. I think the word 
very happy when applied to temper ; how- 
ever the hard as folid wife-ones of this world 
defpife a flexible difpofition, and take ad- 
vantage of a soft and yielding one. 
Pliable feems fomehow referable more to 
body than to mind : one fays rightly that in 
youth the limbsaremore pliable, and any 
little diftortion eafier fet to rights, than when 
the figure has attained more maturity ; but 
without a ductile mind, no.Iabour of the 
teacher can produce much fruit of know- 
ledge in the learner ; who, inftead of hard- 
ening himfelf in his own opinion with in- 
flexible perfuafion that he knows beft, mould 
remember that the nobleft of .all metals, 
gold, is the mod pure and at the fame time 
moft malleable and mod: duftile of any. 
I have omitted tensile on the lift, al- 
though perhaps as good a word as they, only 
becaufe 'tis out of ufe in talk, and chiefly 
found in works of art, as chymiftry, &c. 

DULL, 



rvxlTISH SYNONYMY. 



* » 



*1 rr \r^ \ tv: ::iii u^t 2nd iniipid lift 
>-■* ^ ;-rui:^ -riaunceti the iignifi- 
.rj-.-\ ^u r^~ .5 :;? will every thing 
. ^ , w .iv ■■■■% w ^a^Miacciy dad poli- 
ce** to:**. "r;> < xx> !3udL» liirely ; 
=r_ r^x«v4 ix ; nu* - : rtxtivtu to onl^ in 
trz *\*:rvjw .c £U£y -yon Cridciim. In- 
js.r?:..^vtr t^r t ^3.1 >■? . Carolines with- 
-ul x^;^ * rv :*» / .r •■„■ n % * think ; its 
.-flr-.v ▼f^j^ -t rr^;*.^!* *.;^ t^.^t :c :o ; and 

K«;n*-. v rrwSLvi n/v r^rcnr ?eciu:e he 
Mritr'rs V 7v i:risjilc*x U ::"£ it: CI levi- 

.vy ^rcurrcis ;j:" mruLrra* :<: £.v£ure it. 

T'v-r if V r «irw? x» toil wf :ii that is 
rr-m?j «?s \tt, at«3 in nr- icr.ic important. 

SikS c?nTcr!jrtipn !:af bctra latelv called a 

borcy 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. f7 y 

bore % from the idea it gave fome old fportf- 
man originally I believe of a horfe that 
hangs upon his rider's hand with a weight 
of stupid impulfe, as if he would bore the 
very ground through with his nofe j tiring 
the man upon his back mod cruelly. The 
cant phrafe ufed at thofe public fchools, 
where they call a boy who is not quick-wit- 
ted, and cannot be made a fcholar, a blunt ^ 
is 401 good, that I figh for its removal into 
focial life, where blunts are exceedingly 
frequent, and we have no word for them. 
Dullard is out of ufej we find it now only in 
Shakefpeare. 



DUMB, SILENT, MUTE, 



THE firft of thefe not ftridly fynony- 

mous adjectives implies original incapacity 

vol. i. N or 



1 78. BRITISH SYNOXYJ 

or fudden deprivation of fpeech ; the other* 
allude to volition : a man ebocfes to be si- 
lent and fit mute in company, though 
not dumb by nature — he has perhaps no- 
thing to lay, and makes a virtue of necef- 
fity — or lies perdu to watch the talk of his 
companions, and turn it into ridicule where 
he is more familiar — or he writes down what 
other people are laying, and publifhing his 
paltry farrago a dozen years afterwards, Jpss 
money for his treachery, and praife for his 
knowledge of anecdote — or like Humphrey 
Gubbins in the old comedy, keeps silent 
in the parlour, whilft in the kennel he is 
Ioudcfl of them all. The laft word, when 
it turns fubflantive, exprefles the Turkifh 
flave, who in his earlieft years had his tongue 
torn out by the barbarous minifters of dek 
potifm to enfure silence concerning their 
intrigue, &c The fecond and third how- 
ever are fomtwfcat too nearly related, though 

Milton 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 179 

Milton docs join them in a poetic union 
fearce allowable in common converfation : 

And the mute Silence hid along, 
'Lefs Philomel will deign a fong ; 
In her fweeteft, faddeft plight, 
Smoothing the rugged brow of night. 



: K - 



DUDGEON, PRISON, CLOSE PRISON. 

# — - — 

CONVERSATION has carried this 
word away fomehow far from its proper 
place ; a dungeon giving no other idea 
than that of fome fubterraneou3 cavern 
like thofe in our old Gothic caftles, where 
if the prison is no longer vifible, the well 
remains. And there is a dungeon of 
this kind dill exifting at Rome, where 
the common people tell us Saint Peter was 
kept, and the antiquaries aver that ftate 
prifoners of great dignity were confined ; 
neither of which facts appeared to me 

N 2 poflible 



I So BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

poffible when I faw the place, ftill left that 
Jugurtha had lived in it feven months. Since 
the refiftance which the unhappy queen of 
France's health made againft a fituation no 
left horrible, however, any tale may be be- 
lieved, either of cruelty in thofe endued with 
power, or power of endurance in thofe en- 
dued with patient fortitude. Meantime the 
word dungeon was originally fynonymous 
with tower or turret, which BocharflSid 
Bryant derive from theoldChaldaicJ believe ; 
and the term Tor ftill remains in Derbyfhire 
and in Wales for high places, caftles on the 
hill top, &c. The learned may fettle whether 
that comes from the Saxon divinity TJbor, 
who had his refidence on places naturally or 
artificially eminent ; or whether the word 
relates to a politer etymology. Certain it 
feems that Tor is was the fire tower or Pharos 
of antiquity, whence the Latin Turris ; and 
Etruria was according to fome fcholars called 
the Land of Towers, or turrets, which is ftill 

a very 



BRITISH StNONVMYi fU 

a very proper appellation for a diftridt where 
they yet abound, though no longer in ufe 
cither as beacons or dungeons. Diony- 
fius kept his prifoners on a rock ; and old 
Evander, in the clafllcal tragedy ever a fa- 
vourite with the public, is confined accord- 
ing to juft coftume at the top of a fteep 
place overlooking the fea : for dungeons 
and towers were commonly placed near the 
ocean, for increafe of difficulty fhould the 
prifoners attempt to efcape. And there were 
rowers of other denominations befide thofe 
intended for confinement j as we all now 
know that the Cyclops were places of this 
kind, with a light orfire burning in the middle 
of the upper ftory — whence the idea of their 
being giants, with one broad eye in the mtdft 
of their foreheads : while Amphi-tirit % the 
oracular tower, was by its maritime fituation 
eafily converted into the wife of Neptune, 
and called Amphitrite. But enough, and too 
much, concerning this fynonymy. 

N 3 DURA* 



x »* BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



DURABILITY afd DERATION' 



ARE eflentially and mefaphyfically di£- 
fercnt j yet a foreigner may find them now 
and then ufed as fynonymes In common con- 
version, or fancy he finds them (o ufed > 
when a philofopher tells him that fublunary 
happinefs is of fhort duration, becau^in 

the world itfelf there is little durability. 
Now 'tis evident that could thefe words evea 
be changed each for other without impro- 
priety, yet would fuch a tranfpofition be no- 
proof of their fynonymy. They are twa 
diftind qualities belonging to our terra- 
queous globe and its contents, among which, 
very few have the power of long continuance^ 
the thing implied by durability, a term 
merely relative indeed — for although rocks 
and mountains do certainly pofTefs it in $ 

degree beyond trees and lakes, yet is no 

material 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 183 

mould endued with capacity of du- 
ration, becaufe that word implies eter- 
tiity ; nor can a juft idea of that be obtained 
by or froni the pefmanent parts of fpace, 
but hither from the fleeting and perpetually 
pertfliihg parts of fucceffion. Such an imper- 
fect notion is at lead the trued we can form, 
while confided in our prefent houfe of clay : 
a better will doubtlefs prefent itfelf to us, 
toheh fixed in a ftate of immortality — when* 
though ideas fhall multiply and fucceed each 
other ad infinitum, hone fhall perifh ; but 
duration fhall be acknowledged though 
decay fhall be no more — an idea as difficult 
for a finite creature to comprehend as to ex- 
prefs. It is not however neceflary to think 
very acutely or reafon very profoundly, in 
order to deny their pretenfions to common 
fenfe, who would attribute perpetual dura- 
tion to a world which contains nothing 
within it of great durability — who fee 
all its parts in a perpetual flux, and yet pro- 

N 4 nounc* 



i*4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

nounce the whole to be eternal — and appro* 
priate to matter which is in hourly decay, 
that power of duration belonging only 
to pure and true fpirit, which not confift- 
ing of any parts at all can be feparated only 
by creative power, and that in a manner 
beyond our comprehcnfion. 



DUSKY, CLOUDY, OBSCURE, 



. IS the fpot we inhabit, ufing thefe adjec- 
tives in a literal fenfe, according to their juft 
and natural fynonymy: dusky, cloudy, 
and obscuri will of courfe be our reafon- 
ings on fubje&s above our powers of under- 
{landing ; for fo in a figurative fenfe we ac- 
cept thefe epithets moft expreffive of that 
which is acknowledged moft difficult to ex- 

prefs — unmtclligibility — half-comprehended 
notions of half-diftinguifhed, indifHnd ideas, 

like 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 1*5 

like filent fliadow* fleeting by in a OVslft 
night, when cloudy valours conceal the 
moon, and fen OBsctJUt cavern exhibiting 
total blacknds is all which convinces us that 
we enjoy even partial illumination. But too 
much of thefe gloomy fynonymes ;— pafs 
we to 



DUTIES, ACTS, ok FORBEARANCES, 

ENJOINED BY RELIGION OR 

MORALITY. 



THAT every man has fome duties, 
and certain people have many, was never 
difputed till of late years, when a general 
releafe feems to have been figned by thofe 
who enjoy a felf-created authority to model 
the moral world after a new raihioh ; or ra- 
ther to break up its prefent form, and reduce 
it fb far as in them lies to Us original chaos. 
Acts 



i€6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Acts of juftict and puniihment of crimes^ 
unmixed with any fpirit of public or private 
revenge, the fop.beaxance of which is & 
DITTY indifpeniabie to Chriftiaii&, will we 
hope follow hard upon fuch enormous rxan£» 

greiTion&, the remembrance of which ought 
perhaps rather to he ended than chronicled, 
lha: fo the fuccefibrs of fuch men micrh: m> 
vet hear their fathers* horrible denrcvitf. 

* w 

Meantime while :hrv vcr cxifi. ie: thou who 
mangle the bodies and libel the name of 
their fuperinrs far in talents, birth and 
beau:*-, recoliccl (ther \ovv a ftorv out oi 
ancient. Greece) how Steiichorur the poet, 
ion of licfinti, wa.=. laid to be ftruck blind 
while he liin£ or recited hit verier intended 
to lampoon the lovely queen o:~ Sparta; and 
though no one doubted Helena's miicon- 
du&, ali joined to applaud the juftice of 
Heaven in punifhinp; bin: who had certain- 
ly no righi to arraign ii. 



4$Att.tw 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* tZj 



EAGERNESS, EARNESTNESS, VEHEMENCE, 
AVIDITY— ARDOUR IN PURSUIT, 



THESE vary with their theme, I think—* 
A man is faid to follow pleafures with ea- 
gerness, to feek knowledge with ear- 
nestness, to prefs an argument with ve- 
hemence, to third for power with ambi- 
tious avidity, and drive a flying enemy be- 
fore him with a R Do u R of purfuit. The firft 
term and the fourth are clofeft in affinity* 
and are, if not wholly, very nearly fynony- 
mous} as eagerness implies hade to devour 
—and avidity is only a ftrcnger expreflion 
to the fame purpofe. All thefe may howe- 
ver be brought clofe together without tau- 
tology. In laft Tuefday's long pleadings, 
lay we for example, Berofus really fpoke 
with fuch a folemn earnestness, that as 

7 m 7 



IS* BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

my opinions were unfettled at entering the 
hall, my heart confefled the powers of 
oratory, and caught his ardouS. for the 
punifhment of crimes fo contrary to the 
true fpirit of benevolence and peace : but 
when Sempronius (landing up prefled the 
feme caufe, my feelings recoiled from ea- 
gerness fo deiperate, thatitfeemed rathe* 
grofs avidity for the blood of an unhappy 
fellow creature though criminal, than a 
zealous care for preferving the rights of hu~ 
inanity undifturbed. 



=* 



EGREGIOUS, EMINENT, REMARKABLE, 

DISTINGUISHED. 



am 



THESE although fimilar are not fynony- 
mous ; for although a lady may be distin- 
guished from the common herd as a pret- 
ty woman, fhe need not for that reafon be 

3 celebrated 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 1*9 

celebrated as an eminent beauty ; and if 
(he does think fit to render herfelf fome* 
what remarkable for the fuperior ele- 
gance of her drefs, it is by no means neceC- 
fary fhe fhould be an egregious fool to 
every new fafhion ; altering and changing 
after the caprices of others lefs fit to lead 
the way than herfelf. 

'Tis faid too with propriety enough, that 
Umbra is a fellow of fo little original con-* 
fequence, that fighing to be distinguish- 
ed he is obliged to make himfelf remark- 
able by imitating the manners and even 
foibles of his more important friends, and 
by lamenting in himfelf fome errors which 
he never comqaitted, and fome faults hie waa 
never known to poflefs. This is like a. 
child who climbs on an ant-hillock to make 
itfelf eminent ; — 'tis true; nor can poor 
Umbra with all his endeavours procure to 
himfelf any higher chara&er from fociety, 

but 



f 90 BRITISH STNONViMY. 

but that of being, as Iago fays, egregi< 
ously an afs. 



EJLABORATE, WELL-WROUGHT, HIGHLY 

FINISHED, &c. 



THE firft of thefe is the elegant word 
which the others explain by periphrafis. 
We fay an elaborate work ufually com- 
mands refpedt, while another lefs highly 
finished deals away our fondnefs. — What 
I wrote fafteft, Pope tells his friend in con- 

m 

fidence, always pleafed beft; yet was 
Pope's peculiar forte rather correft nicety 
than bold excellence. If however we ufe 
the firft word for a poem — 'tis better when 
fpeaking of mechanic art to take up the fe- 
cond or third. A table neatly inlaid we 
craife by faying how well wrought it 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- 19* 

|s ; and commend the polifliing and go-) 
drooning fUver plate, by obferving that 
'tis highly finished. It may be here 
obferved, that workmanfhip properly fo 
called is carried to its acme of ingenuity 
in England, fuperior to any country upoa 
earth — while German artificers are infinite- 
ly beyond Italian ones, who feem not to b$ 

endued with patience fufficient even to de- 
iire perfe&ion, being contented the mo* 
ment ftrong efie£t has been produced. — » 
The harmony of German mufick is for 
that reafon far more elaborate than 
any thipg we can find in the fimplicity 
aoimated by genius of the Italian fchools, 
where the effeft is cpnfefledly more pow- 
frfyL 



TO 



10* BRITISH STNONYMY, 



TO ELECT, TO SELECT, TO CHOOSE, 



verbs, though nearly fynony- 
mous, are yet appropriated in the language 

• " 

of converfation, where a lady will tell you 

th# {he has no power to choose her own 

i 

partner even in a dance, but mull wait till 
the mailer of the ceremonies has gone round 
to select among the gentlemen prefent 
one for that purpofe. If he is of confide- 
ration in the country, and likely to be 
elected member of parliament for the bo* 
roygh at his father's death, fhe will not- 
withftanding b? well enough pleafed with 
his choice, and her mother will take tickets 
next feafon for the matter's benefit ball to 
fliew her gratitude for this mark of his at- 
tention, and to fecure its continuance till 
her daughters are difpofed of. 



TO 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. I9t 



^0 EMANCIPATE, T6 SfeT FREE, 
TO MANUMIT* or DELIVER 
FROM SLAVERY* 



THESE Words, though all productive o( 
the moft pleafing ideas, are not for that rea* 
fon ftridtly fynonymous : the third particu- 
larly implies the power of doing an a£t with 
our own. hands* and muft fhortly become 
ufeleft ; for who can manumit when fer-» 
Vitude fhall be no more ? When the hu- 
man foul however is set free from all 
corporeal temptations, by the diflblution of* 
that body which contains it, how will theirs 
rejoice that have from pure motives, from 
honeft and generous principles, contributed 
towards emancipating the Blacks, and 

DELIVERING them FROM SLAVERY ! HOW 

much more ftill will thofe have reafon to 

rejoice that never abufed authority and 

you i, O power, 



■I' . 



i 9 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

power, while fuch precious jewels were 
committed to their charge ! or helped to 
bring forward this extraordinary yet appa- 
rently half neceflary difpofition in the world 
to clofe up every breach of diftin&ion, and 
tear away the boundaries 'twixt man and 
man ; thofe once facred limits, long pre- 
fcribed by fociety ; and permitted if not actu- 
ally appointed by Heaven, as guardians of 
civilized life ! 



TO ENDURE, TO BEAR, TO SUPPORT, TO 
SUSTAIN, TO UNDERGO, 



ARE very near to a very exa& fynony- 
my ; only that the firft verb implies fome- 
what of patience, which the others do nor, 
and I feel too as if the laft was more of an 
adtive quality than the ethers.— * We may 
obferve for inftance, that tranquil and fedate 

fpirits 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 195 

fpirits endure affli&ions of the mind which 
ftrong and vigorous imaginations can fcarce- 
ly undergo ; as in bodily diftrefles, expe- 
rience has informed us, that the robuft and 
able mariner is lefs capable of sustain- 
ing himfelf in a famine, and bears to be 
put on fhort allowance with lefs power to 
fupport the change, than men more feeble 
by nature : — the truth is, he requires more 
food, and the lofs of it deftroys him much 
foonen — Thofe feamen who came acrofs the 
Atlantic with brave Captain Inglefield in an 
open boat, were the weakeft failors of his 
crew — the ftrong ones died of hunger; and 
it may be remembered that a woman came 
alive out of the black hole at Calcutta— 
where fo many men perilhed for want of 
air and water* 



2 ENEMY, 



196 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



ENEMY, OPPONENT, ANTAGONIST, 
ADVERSARY, FOE. 



THE Englifh are fometimes laughed at 
by other nations, becaufe with us thefe 
words are not as with them, perfe&ly fyno- 
nymous. — The fecond and third however 
are bed ufed, I believe, to exprefs immediate 
and particular conteft, though perhaps with- 
out aJiy perfonal ill will ; the firft, fourth, 
and fifth denote refolute and lafting enmity. 
Thofe who cannot conceive oppofition with- 
out rancour, or flruggle without malevo- 
lence, muft be taught by a trifling example. 
For though Tancred was my opponent, 
fays a true Briton, when we contefted the 
county ele£lion two years ago, and each 
party delighted in whetting 'TReir favourite 
againft his antagonist with abfurd ea- 
gernefs and empty paffion ; as all that vio- 
lence 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 197 

lence and fury was but intended to ferve a 

tranfitory purpofe, I fee not that we need 

be fettled enemies for this reafon; but if 

the foolifh fellow will be an adversary, 

let Yiim at lead be an open and declared 

oue* not a filent, private, or infidious 

FOE, 

This laft fubftantive is I think peculiarly 

energetick, and happily applied in Otway's 

fineft drama : no one who remembers Barry 

can forget the general fhudder when he faid , 

J*ve heard how defperate wretches like myfelf 
Have wander'd out at this dead time o* night 
To meet the foe of mankind in his walk. 

Venice Preserved. 



O 3 ENTER- 



198 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



ENTERTAINMENT, AMUSEMENT, DIVERSION, 
RECREATION, PASTIME. 



THESE agreeable fiibftantives, never in 
fuch ufe as now, are of various defcriptions, 
though ftill approaching to fynonymy. The 
firft has a metaphorical reference to hofpita- 
ble treatment, and the fourth to a reftora- 
tion of the body'? exhaufted particles by 
food : I fhoyld therefore willingly in intel- 
lectual cafes confider agreeable converfation 
as the mpft delighful entertainment 
to the mind, and a cheerful hour or even-, 
ing's chat with intelligent well-bred friends, 
the moft pleafant pf all moments — becaufe 
fpent in true recreation. One's ideas 
fpring and fhoot forth in a congenial foil 
^vith new and frefh vigour, while eager tQ 
imbibe the communication from thofe who. 

impart it, and feel new powers rife in the 

foul 



BRITISH SYNONYM? . 199 

foul at approach of the kindred attra&ion. 
Some other pastimes however muft be 
admitted, or we fhould conftrain life too 
much, and vary it too little. As a remedy 
to this evil, and in order to divert, or turn 
away our thoughts from too ferious reflec- 
tion, cards have been invented: — but as 
they fatigue the mind with ufelefs attention, 
in almoft an equal or fuperior degree with 
many an art and fcience, while the body 
is chained down to a fedentary pofture as 
completely as ftudy could herfelf have de- 
tained it, I rejoice exceedingly that our 
Gothick anceftors have taught us in Eng- 
land, to draw the moft animating and 
manly amusement from the fports of the 
field; innocent and cheerful pleafures, 
taken moderately in our neighbour's com- 
pany and prefence, the only diversions 
properly fo called, that are at once natural 
and rational for humanity to exult in, as 
lords of the creation, to whom original 

O 4 command 



*oo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

command was given to replenifh the eaitb, 
and fubdue its brute inhabitants, by cultivate 
ing the friendfhip of fome,and entering into ^ 
league againft others, whofe deftru&ive tem- 
per and difpofition help to difturb the peace 
of the foreft and the warble of the groves* 



ENVY, EMULATION, RIVALRY. 



THOSE writers who flatter human na-? 
ture, no doubt in order to mend it, by tempt- 
ing their readers to merit praife fo defirable, 
tell us that the two firft of thefe are not fy- 
nonymous, and 1 hope they are right. The 
firft is however fp black and deteftable a 
vice, that I tremble to fee any elegant head- 
drefs given to cover and conceal the fnakes 
under the pleafing appearance of emula-; 
TiON ; and am well perfuaded that one can r 
not be too cautious of encouraging rivalry 
% among 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. tot 

funong children or young perfons, left the 

emulation we excite may degenerate into 

e:n VY, and left q. progrefs in arts and fciences 

fhould be ill obtained at the too dear expence 

pf purity and virtue. 



fSTE£M, VENERATION, REGARD, VALUE,. 



THOUGH the f?cond of thefe fubftan* 
tives does moft certainly include all the reft, 
yet may they all -fubfift, and are a&ually 
ofteneft found without it* 

* 

EXAMPLE, 

Every man has in the courfe of a mode- 
rately long life^ fet I fuppofe an immenfe 
value upon forne miftrefs little deferring 
his esteem, fome fervant who never me- 
rited his REGARD, or on fome friend who 
had ftill fewer claims to his veneb^tion; 

but 



«o« BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

but it was the opinion of a wife man I once 
knew, that the regard even of a great 
mind might be won without difficulty by 
ikilful people, without any eminent qualifi- 
cations at all, merely from a diligent appli- 
cation of thofe inferior ones that render fome 
perfons in the world ufeful if not abfolutely 
neceflary to others. This power is however 
better called influence, than any term in our 
fynonymy ; though we can fcarce refufe 
them that of value, when thofe for whom 
all mankind have a juft esteem cannot go 
on without them, 



^-t'-t 1.: ', ■ , i ^^ . 



TO EXCUSE, TO EXTENUATE, TO 

APOLOGIZE, 



ARE verbs very nearly yet not ftri&ly 
fynonymous, while 'tis furely not difho-r 
nourable to apologize for faults that will 

4 fcarce 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 203 

fcarce admit extenuation j becaufe the 
a€t of apologizing implies a half con- 
feffion of the crime or error, while he who 
produces falfe motives as an excufe, or urges 
fome flaw in his opponent's chara&er by way 
of extenuating the pffence, defigns that 
you fhould ftUl think he was right from the 
firft, and that you fhould even confefs your 
mifapprehenfion of his paft condudt. This is 
adding meannefs to injury ; and very diffe- 
rently does Philips make the fon of Achilles 
behave, when flightiy apologizing to 
Kermione he nobly avows that fault his 
heart permitted him not to avoid, and fays 
to the lady he has ill treated, that 

Pyrrhus (hall ne'er approve his own injuftice, 
Or form excuses when his heart condemns him. 

I fhould be forry this fentiment were found 
in L'Andromaque de. Racine, from whence 
the play is taken j it ought to be that of an 

ancient 



fto4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ancient Greek only, or an honeft Engliih* 
man. 



TO EXTEND, TO STRETCH, TO AMPLIFY, 

TO DILATE. 



IN a mere literal fenfe thefe verbs arc 
each retreating from fynonymy, or con- 
nexion with the others ; for if gold for in* 
fiance does admit eafily of being extend- 
ed, we can fcarce call that amplifying 
which rather implies diminjjbing its parts, 
even in the very aft of dilating them; 
although by dint of stretching them 
forward, fpace certainly becomes occupied in 
a longer not wider dire&ion. 

Speaking figuratively of writers or con- 
verfers, we fay the man amplifies when 
lie crowds fuperfluous circumftances around 

his 



BRITISH SYNONYM?. 



*«j 



ills ftory, in order to increafe its importance 
by fwelling its bulk; and that he extends 
himfelf on fuch a fubjeft, when he wearies 
the readers or audience with drawing into 
length fome trifling fa& that naturally lies 
clofe and low ; or when at the expence of 
folidity he dilates his arguments till they 
become diflfufed into feeblenefs, and evapo- 
rates all his meaning into air. The Queen 
of Dulnefs then fits in fulleft majefty, when, 
as Mr. Pope defcribes, 

Her ample presence fills up all the fpace, 
A veil of fogs dilates her awful face. 



mm* 



TO EXTOL, TO PRAISE, TO COMMEND, 

TO CELEBRATE. 



iM i 



IT feems as if commendation ftood loweft 
on this fcale > if fcale it is, and meaneft, if we 

lay 



sat BRITISH SYXOSTlfT- 

lay the words on a parallel line together; yefi 
I believe *na generally anderffcood that we 
coxxi^D virtue, while we csx.ebhjlts 
knowledge, and that we feel diipoted D* 
PHArsE a man's learning, whole genina we 
ezxcl. Should tlila method cf coniiderliij 
the verbs in quefticn be approved, a fo- 
reigner might, after pending what cur 
fxeatefl critic has thGucht £t to lav of oar 
greateft pceti, he ffcyled judkictis tor afierfc- 
ini amener his own countrviEerk thai Doctor 
Johnfon commends Ifaac Watts with de- 
light, and celebrates with plealure the 
fLperiority cf Dryd^n ; that he Piaisis 
Pope and Addifon with deliberate and calm 
efteem of their great merit, while Shake* 
fpcare'a general powers and Milton's Para- 
dife Left are by him juftly and z^alouily z.\- 
tolled above them all. 



EiCBE- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 107 



EXUBERANT, REDUNDANT, SUPERFLUOUS, 



SEEM to ran up into a climax of pleni- 
tude, beft explained by a trifling example ; 
as if one fhould fay, what I have heard to be 
ftri&ly true, that travellers going up the river 
Senegal, in order to explore the country, and 
enable themfelves by experience to relate 
fuch effects as follow naturally the fervour 
of an African climate, found the grafs and 
foliage on its banks fo copious, and the 
flowers fo exceffively exuberant, that our 
Jailors fainted from the superfluous fra- 
grance ; while the philofophical individuals 
of this difcovering party attributed the lavifh 
excefs of vegetation not wholly to the pene- 
trating warmth of a vertical fun, but to thofe 
enriching rains which are £b redundant 

in 



Id* BftlTISH StKOHthtfi 

in that country at certain periods of th6 
year* 



EYE ajid SIGHT* 



ARE fometimes, in fomewhat like a figifr* 
tative fenfc, nearly fynonymous. A fo- 
reigner will be (hewn a profpe& from Rich* 
mond Hill, or among the more contracted 
views round Bath perhaps, with thefe 
Words — A pretty country here within the! 
eye j refle&Uig poflibly upon the ftretch ot 
Sight required at Mount Cafhel, or that 
which from the firft mountain beyond Pont 
Bonvoifin commands thofe extenfxve pro» 
vinces of France, which feen for the firfl 

* 

time create a ftrong furprife upon the mind, 
and aftonifh Yifion while they reach beyond 

it. 

My 



BRITISH SYNONYM? . 209 

My sight grows weak, or my eye fails 
toe, is fynonymous in common converfation ; 
and Dr. Beattie fays moft wifely, that many 
a metaphyfical difpute has grown out of the 
affinity of thefe two fubftantives, which fome- 
times may, and fometimes ought not to be 
ufed each for other. See the EfTay on Truth, 
part iL chap. 2, fedt. 1. " I fee a Jlrange 
sight, &c." 

Quotation only mangles books like thofe: 
they fhould be read carefully, and read 
through j and in our days Jhould he got by 
heart. 



FABLE, FICTION, APOLOGUE, ALLEGORY, 



ARE nearly allied, though not exadlly 

"fynonymous ; for the third though a better 
word is commonly funk in converfation, and 
the firft fubftituted in its place : meantime 

TOL. I. P VC 



aio BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

wc muft remember that all the reft are in- 
eluded in the term fiction, which implies 
any tale not by the teller intended to be be- 
lieved; and among thefe fable or apo- 
logue is perhaps of higheft antiquity, and 
allegory of more peculiar and appro- 
priate invention. The firft is however, in 
general acceptation confined to that kind of 
writing, which in order to give poignancy 
to inftru&ion, beftows chara&er and lan- 
guage on brute or inanimate beings, de- 
ducing from their fictitious difcourfes fome 
moral or fome fatire applicable to manners 
and to life. JEfop in ancient days, and La 
Fontaine in modern ones, have played the 
trick with mod fuccefs; and thofe who 
fhould feek diftin&ion by the fame method, 
would gain now no praife higher than that 
of good imitators. The earlieft apologile 
or fable upon record is Jotham's, preferved 
in Scripture (fee the book of Judges, chap. 
ix.) : but the Eaft was parent of allegory, 

and 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. *n 

and this ftory of the trees is an admirable 
work of fancy, confidering the age he lived 
in, and his own peculiarity of fituation. 
Menenius fcarce compofed a better nine 
hundred and fixty years after, when the 
world had taken many deeper fhades of co- 
louring than in thofe old times when Greece 
herfelf was wrapt in a mift of fable, and 
nothing meets us there but Centaurs and 
Lapithse as contemporaries (fo fays Bede at 
leaft) with Abimelech or Thola, judges of 
Ifrael. When rebellious Rome was brought 
to reafon by her old fenator's wifdom, an4 
ingenious application of his apologue con- 
cerning the belly and the members, life was 
digefted into another form, and Themiftocles 
bore due fway over a highly polifhed ftate, 
though no one in it turned their eyes to- 
wards Italy, to view there the future ruler of 
the world. Our accounts meantime con- 
cerning the Hefperides, and golden apples 
fruit of thofe fortunate iflands, and guarded 

Pa by 



*i* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

by a dragm, may properly be ftylcd fic- 
tions, founded as we now hare rcafim to 
foppoie upon the ftorr of Eve's temptation 

by iheftr ptn ?. VLrgiFs tale of the H a rp i es, 
and his description of iEceas's detcent into 
hell, claim the fie appellative ; they were al- 
hifions to the Eleufinian Myfteries no doubt, 
yet never meant to be believed or ftudied bat 
as poetical fictions. I know not whether 
HefkxTs beautiful invention of the Rife of 
Woman will be allowed me as ftridly ajlle- 
CORlc AL : if not, I recoiled no ancient AL- 
LEGORY anterior to that, which Phoenix, in 
the ninth book of the Iliad, relates to foften 
Achilles, where he tells him that prayers are 
Jove's daughters, and how they have lame 
feet, wrinkled feces, &c 

Allegory leems in feci to poflefs herfelf 
of an exclufive mode of teaching truth by 
perfonification of qualities good or bad ; 

Giving to airy nothing 
A local habitation and a name. 

The 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. u$ 

The beft our Englifli language can afford 

are difperfed up and down our periodical 

» 

papers, — Spectator, Adventurer, Rambler. 
The Vifions of Mirza and the Mount of 
Miferie* are incomparable pieces of writing 
in the firft-named. The ftory of Sultan 
Amurath in the fecond. Wit and Learning, 
Reft and Labour, are the admirable alle- 
gories of Johnfon, who faid the lad of 
thefe, Reft and Labour, was his favourite 
compofition among all that the Rambler 
contains. 

Moore's Female Seducers too is exqui- 
fitely pretty ; but I heard lately it was not 
Moore's work, but written by Broome, who 
furnifhed fo many good verfes and notes in 
the tranCation of Homer's Odyfley. 



P 3 FAME, 



*i4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



FAME, RENOWN, REPUTATION, CELEBRITY, 

NOTORIETY. 



THESE rational objects of turbulent 
defire, thefe words which have prompted 
fo many afiions good and bad, are not, 
though all delightful, exactly fynonymous. 
The firft however is of no doubtful origin — 
Graxo fo*te cadat — and fwel-ing to capa- 
cious fiz?, while it retains its primzral pu- 
ritv, receiTes the reft as tributary ftreams 
into its bofom. Celebrity b of a weaker 
degree in ftrength, and narrower in extent ; 
and as many a man finds it potBbTe to ob- 
tain celebrity, which commands— and 
jiflly — the admiratim cf his own fmaH 
circle, he fits cccteat, ncr itirs cut cn*t to 
▼entire claims upon renown, fcr tcience, 
herouz», cr virtue ; leaving the trump cf 
FAM: at liberty to convey names cf mere 
importance to future ages* and re^iens far 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 215 

remote. The third fubftantive upon this 
fhining lift is ofteneft expreflive of the point 
of honour. A foldier lofes refutation if 
he lingers in his tent at the hour of battle ; 
a fcholar, if he fuffers himfelf to be fufpedted 
of publifhing in his own name what was 
indeed written by another ; and a trader, if 
he delays payment too long after the ftated 
time. A woman's reputation is for- 
feited if (he admits the other fex to privacy : 
thus we fay not familiarly, Such people have 
blackened their fame, or injured their re- 
nown, for mod probably they never had 
any; — and for their notoriety, that is dis- 
gracefully increafed. But each individual has 
a reputation that is not only dear, but 
in our country indifpenfably necefTary to 
their reception and well-being through the 
great journey of life; and he who tears or 
tempts it from them has their ruin to an- 
fwer for. 
The epigram on this fubjeft fo often 

P 4 quoted 



*i6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

quoted in gzf company, is for all thefe 
fens to be coefxdered as falfe wit, becanfe 

fame and reputation are not fynony- 

mouft: 

What's F1M2 with us, br enftom of our nation 
Is 'mongft you women &jFd your reputation 5 
About them both why keep we fuch a pother ? 
Part you with one, and HI pre up the other. 

This however is an unequal venture ; 4 
man may do well enough without fame, hut 
how will the woman go on when Ihe has 
loft her reputation ? — She may indeed be 
then good enough for the coward, the bank- 
rupt, and the plagiarift, and as notorial* a$ 
the worftofthem, 



FAMILIAR| 



BRITISH 'SYNONYMY. nj 



FAMILIAR, INTIMATE, OF EASY 
INTERCOURSE, 



■*» 



ARE by no means fynonymous : for one 
may be of easy intercourse with all, 
and familiar to many; yet friendly 
to few, and poflibly intimate — as I call 
intimate, having entire confidence and no 
thought concealed from the objeft of true 
intimacy — with none. Lord Bacon fays, A 
man who has no friend had beft quit the 
ftage ; and I remember a man much delight-t 
cd in by the upper ranks of fociety in Lon- 
don fomc twenty years ago, who upon 4 
trifling embarraffment in his pecuniary af- 
fairs hanged himfelf behind the ftable door, 
to the aftonifhment of all who knew him 
as the livelieft companion and moil agree* 
able converfer breathing. What upon earth, 

laid one at our houfe, could have made — — 

hang 



2i8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

hang himfelf? — Why, juft his having a mul- 
titude of acquaintance, replied Dr. Johnfon, 
and ne'er a friend. Cor ne cdito is the old 
axiom, and furely mankind have fome claim 
on the confidence of each other: for al- 
though Bifhop Porteus fays that particular 
friendfhips might be well funk in general 
philanthropy, — we muft remember that our 
blefled Saviour himfelf loved one apof- 
tie as a favourite, and one difciple as a < 
friend, for whofe death he wept too, 
though endued with power to reftore him. 
With regard to worldly wifdom, we fee 
at once, that every perfon (killed in life 
and manners muft be of EAgy inter- 
course} or h^ will fhut out all information, 
and foon find himfelf, though free from 
vice or folly, difqualified exceedingly for. 
bufinefs as for pleafure ; lofing befides, his 
bed hope of affiftance in a day of diftrefs; 
for the referved man muft not expeft friends 
pfficioufly to ftrve and help bim y whofe felf- 

fuffi^ 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. *i» 

fufficiency in thus keeping unufual diftance 
from his equals, is punifhed juftly enough 
by their retaliation in the hour when fociety 
is wanted, and a more gregarious difpofition 
would have procured comfort and folace at 
leaft from company — if not, as often hap- 
pens, folid benefit. Yet though to be 
familiar with almoft all is advifable, 'tis 
more prudent and natural to be intimate 
only with one ; as by cxpofing in various 
places the interior of one's heart, little good 
is done, anjl much hazard incurred. Mean- 
time, if you once let a friend fhare your 
intimacy,, policy as well as virtue feels 
interefted that he may keep his poft : — and 
much friendfhip may certainly be fhewn a 
man, whig h he likes better, and you per- 
haps beftow more willingly, than that un- 
bounded confidence which poffibly diftrefles 
him, and a little endangers you. Martial 
Jived much in fuch an age as ours, and he 

fry** 

Si 



%io BRITISH 



Si vitare i efis aceiba quxdam, 
£t trifles animi cavere morfus, 
Nulli te facias mmis fodakm, 
Gaudcbis minus, ct minus dolcbis* 



FANCY, IMAGINATION. 



Fancy ! whofc delufions vain 
Sport themfelves with human brain. 
Rival thou of nature's pow'r ! 
Canft from thy exhauftlefs (lore 
Bid a tide of forrow flow, 
And whelm the foul in deepeft woe, 
Or in the twinkling of an eye 
Raifc it to mirth and jollity. 
Dreams and lhadows by thee (land, 
Taught to run at thy command—* 
And along the wanton air 

Flit like empty goflamer. 

Merrick. 

THESE elegant and airy fubftantives are 
not, as one might at firft fufpeft, wholly fy- 

nonymous. 



BJUtlSH SYNOtttMY. tit 

aonymous. A well-inftru&ed foreigner 
trill foon difcern, that though m poetry there 
feems little diftin&ion, yet when they both 
come to be talked of in a converfation cir- 
cle we do fay, that Milton has difplayed a 
boundlefs imagination in his poem of 
Paradife Loft — tranfporting u» as it were 
into the very depths of eternity, while he 
defcribes the journey of Satafc and the games 
of the fallen angels ; but that Pope's Rape 
of the Lock is a work of exquifite fancy, 
almoft emulative of Shakefpeare'a creative 
powers — not fervilely imitating him. An 
intelligent ftranger will obferve too, that al- 
though we give fex very arbitrarily to per- 
fbnified qualities — yet he will commonly 
find fancy feminine, imagination maf- 

culine, I fcarce know why. But 

» 

Sure ip this (hadowy nook, this green refort, 
Imagination holds his airy court •, 
Bright Fancy fans him with her painted wings, 
And to his fight her varying pleafares brings* 

1 The 



ftt BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

The French do not flick to this rule : an 
Allegorical Tale of MademoifeUe Bernard 
begins thus — 

L'imagination amante du bonheur 

Sans cede le defire, et fans cefTc le rappelle, &c. 

Our tranflator following the original de- 
fign, by making imagination feminine, 
has fpoiled the effeft of the poem. Tis 
likewife obfervable, that fpeaking phyfically 
thefe words are by no means fynonymous, 
nor can be ufed each for other without 
manifeft impropriety, 

EXAMPLE. 

We are taught by medical ftudents to 
believe, that fuch is the near connection 
between foul and body — each one feels in- 
juries offered to the other with acute and 
immediate fenfibility; and as an inftance 
corroborating this aflertion, they pcint out 
to our enquiries the date of pregnancy in 

parti- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, aa 3 

particular; likewife patients labouring un- 
der a chlorotick habit, or confirmed ano- 
rexia — who find themfelves fubje&ed by 
thofe diforders to the force of imagina- 
tion in fuch a manner as to create in thern 
new and unaccountable fancies for food, 
reje&ed by perfons in perfect health, at 
odious and offenfive : — green fruit, raw ve- 
getables of the table, even mineral fubftances 
— as clay, chalk, coals, and the like, which 
foon as the complaint is removed are driver^ 
away, and probably return no more. 



jL.-a-jL.'Jr ja 1 -try, 11 



FAREWELL ! ADIEU I 



THE firft of thefe adverbs, though of 
Runic derivation ex parte yTuns in toto accord- 
ing to the Latin phrafeology, Vale ! or Ju- 
beo te bene valere — Farewell ! and is 
applicable to whatever we take leave of: 

whilft 



I24 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

trhilft aiJieu ! being a more modern and 
more pious exclamation, meaning by dlipiis 
- — A dieu je vbus recommande $ fliould in 
fttklneffi be applied only to human crea- 
tures* Though this rule is not rigoroufly 
obferved either in book* or life, 'tis not a- 
mifsr that foreigners fliould be apprifed c£ h» 
that they may at leaft kn<Jw fuch a law ex- 
tfts, though hourly broken ; as each word 
is popularly put by corruption into place of 
the other, by thofe very people who, if they 
recollect only the well-known fong in Han- 
del's Oratorio of Jephthah beginning 

Farewell, ye limpid dreams, &c. 

will inftantly feel, and upon refledion re- 
main convinced, that adieu would have 
been, lefs ftriking there, and lefs pathetic, 
juft for this unfought reafon — becaufe it 
would have been lefs proper. 



TO 



British synonymy* 225 



rfO FAST, TO US£ ABSTINENCE, TO ABSTAIN 

FROM FOOD. 



THESE verbs are always confidered as 
fynonymous, although the fecond is by far 
mod comprehenfive, as it ihcludes a variety 
of mortifications, and implies that we are 
not. only induced or compelled to abstain 
from food, but from what in this age of 
diflipation is equally dear to mafty people— 
amufement. 'Tis for the iirft reafon that our 
State, in clofe alliance with our Church, fhut* 
up the theatres in Paffion week ; and 'tis 
for the fecond that private houfes double 
their efforts to drive away a ferioufnefs till 
now fuppofed neceflary to inculcate. — No 
religion forbears to enjoin fome ferffon of 
abstinence, and no fe£t of chriftianity 
fails to approve it — even quakers faft, 
though by a rigid and literal acceptation of 
vol. i. Q^ our 



ti6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

our Saviour's injun&ion to make no paradd 
of their obedience, they rob us of all benefit 
from their example — while Romanifls, con- 
tinuing the pharifaical cuftom of disfiguring 
their facts by qfhes on the firft day of Lent, 
and praying at the corturs of the Hreet^ and 
even at the placed of recreation as I have 
feen them at Bologna— cfireSly and pofi- 
tively defpife our Lord's precepts given in 
his fermon upon the Mount, Matthew vL 
That to fast however, and mortify the 
body, is good for the foul's health, is certain 
and undeniable. Jefus Chrift fet us himfelf 
the example, not only of abstaining from 
food, but of revering old ufages and ftated 
times', choofing the term of forty days, ap- 
parently becaufe, the deluge having lafted 

mm 

fo long, that number of days was fet apart 
by the* Jews as a commemoration of the 
event. And Mofes failed forty days by di- 
vine afftftance, when he received the law 
he was appointed to promulgate in the 

wilderneis. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 227 



- — Elias too fasted the lame 

dine. TTlie Nmevites had forty days allowed 

them for averting God's judgment by ab- 

stiKekce and prayer. And perhaps all 

thefe may be typical of the term in which 

nature's laft convulfions are to be included— 

ttheti this terraqueous globe fhall melt with 

fudden and fervent heat, 

Form be wrapt in wafting fir6,' 
Time be fpent, an<J life expire. 

Meanwhile all Chriftian nations but our 
own, call that ante-pafchal fast Careme f 
or Quarefima, or fome word expreffive of 
forty. Lent is only a Saxon word for the 
fpring, denoting at what feafon of the year 
it was appointed by the primitive church ; 
fince when perhaps France has produced the 
brighteft and mod edifying examples of pi- 
ous mortification, not only in Saint Louis, 
whofe faith Was fo lively, that Bofluet faid 
he appeared not merely to believe the myf- 
teries of our holy religion, but that he 

Qji a£ted 



2i8 BRITISH SYNONTMf . 

a&ed as if he had been eyfe witnefs of 
them — but in his admirable defcendant 
known by the appellation of the Good Duke 
of Orleans, who died in 1712 a prodigy c£ 
excellence— who while he was in attendance? 
on the court pradifed perpettal war againft 
fetifes, by pouring cold water in his 
foup at dinner, wearing a hair fhirt under 
his linen, and fleeping on the ftraw mat- 
trefs only— with a thoufand contrivances to 
frard off the feducement of fenfuality, in the' 

midft of voluptuoufnefs which furremnded 
him on every fide. Even Pafchal's aufterities 
are not as meritorious as thefe, becaufe thefe 
•frere endured in the midft of temptations re- 
lifted perhaps by no one but himfelf, at a 
time when even negative virtue muft have' 
proceeded from extraordinary grace— -fo' 
corrupt was the fociety he lived in — whilft 
rifing at four o'clock in the winter morning* 
-Without fire In his chamber Me tranflated St.- 
Paul's epiftles from the Greek, adding a pa- 

raphraft' 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 229 

raphrafe and notes, of value for their learn- 
ing as well as for their piety. 

Such approaches to perfection— to chrifti- 
an perfection I n>ean~ have perhaps never 
Jtaen made by any one family, as the houfe 
pf Bourbon can exhibit in the life and death 
of Lewis the Ninth, Lewie the Twelfth, 
Lewis the Sixteenth, and this incomparable 
Duke of Orleans. — May their virtues be ef- 
ficacious to redeem in fome meafure the 
wickednefs of a nation now become flagi- 
tious in the extreme ! I have faid nothing of 
abstinence yet as a corporeal power, al- 
though |t is mod certain that many animals 
are endued with it to an exceeding high 
degree* That fome ferpents in India lie tor- 
pid after taking in food for a prodigious 
while, is not however fo ftrange as the 
fight of a little dormoufe, which every girl 
at fchool, where they are frequently kept as 
play-things, can tell us, will fast in fpite 
of her miftrefs's efforts to feed the favourite, 

Q^ 3 for 



»30 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

for many days, weeks, nay months ; to th«s 
admiration of thofe who contemplate the 
feeblencfs of fuch creature's frame, and the 
apparent neceflity its little body fhould na- 
turally evince of conftant repair, and daily 
if not hourly fuftenance. But whilft the Ca- 
nary-bird dies of want in four-and-twenty 
hours if not fed, the little quadruped main- 
tains its petty powers proof againft priva- 
tion, from its peculiar capacity toABSTAiif 
from FOOD. 



^ ■ ■ . ■ > i ■ ■'— 



FAT, FLESHY, PLUMP, WELL-FED, 



WI L L not however be epithets ever be T 
flowed on either the men or beads men- 
tioned in the laft article. The reafon I have 
inferted thefe adjedtives is chiefly to pre- 
vent foreigners from ufing them quite fyno- 
»ymoufly, though very clofely allied : be? 
» caufe 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 231 

cayfe we now and then, though rarely, ap- 
ply fome of them to vegetable lubftancea, 
and fay a fleshy cherry, if fpeaking about 
one the ftone of which lies deep : it could 
not however be called by any of the other 
words — unlefs plump perhaps — without 
manifeft impropriety. — A corpulent man or 
woman is faid to be fat, when we have no 
mind to foften matters — and tell them that 
their embonpoint is agreeable; whilft well- 
fed is properly applied to a beaft felling at 
market. Corpulence certainly becomes a 
difeafe in fome unfortunate individuals, 
when every thing tends to preternatural re- 
dundance. But for the comfort of thofe who. 
delight to fee mind triumph over body d we 
have the famous miller of Billericay in Ef- 
fcx, who by dint of refolute temperance, 
or rather a ftri&ly abftemious diet, did ac- 
tually reduce himfelf from the enormous 
Weight of twenty- nine ftone to twelve only, 
W I recollect : — thus by falling, and inhibit 

Q^4 tion 



i 3 2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tion of flcep except for three hours in every 
four-andrtwenty, bringiog his perfon into 
the common fize • of common mortals, and 
reluming bis fituation and duties of life 
from which that intolerable bulk had for 
fome years precluded him. And 'tis faid 
that a gentleman of fortune, encouraged by 
having heard of his wife resolution, is at 
this moment determining to follow b ex* 
cellent an example* — 'Let not however any 
thing which he does, or I fay, tend to 
approve or even palliate a folly often com- 
mitted by young ladies, who, to prevent 
their being called fat, ruin their health 
and beauty too, which bed confifts in 
plumpness — and which when once loft 
?an never be reftored. 



FAULT, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. «3j 



FAULT, ERROR, OFFENCE, DEFECT, 

MISTAKE. 



THE ufe of thefe half fimilar, and Come* 
limes nearly fynonymous fubftantives may 
perhaps be taught to foreigners not difki 
greeably by the following honeft addrefs : 

If then in the courfe of this little wodc 
fome few defects may be difcovered, let 
not the faults be magnified into OF«* 
fences. Some mistakes will always hap- 
pen from negligence, and fome from er<- 
jtoR j but candid readers of every nation 
will be willing enough to weigh general 
ufefulnefs againft partial deficiency; and 
whatever cenfure may be fufFered from 
Italian criticifm, one is fure at lead to ef- 
cape derifion ; that modification of fuperio- 
rity, which hurts fo many, and reforms 
fo few, 

FEELING, 



*$ 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



PEELING, SENSIBILITY. 



THE firft' of thefe words has lately fo 
encroached upon the territories of the other, 
that they now feem very nearly if not whol* 
■ly fyrionymous j but 'tis the age for verbal 
nouns to increafe~ their corifequence, and 
&orn mere participfer-^fo called, as every 
jwie knows, becaufe they participated of both 
aaturea-^are going fofward to become fub- 
ftaritives completely, and fignify things as 
well as att'wris ; taking up their plural num- 
ber of courfe, and ranking with the nouns 
as if originally of their family. Ampirjg 
thefe our feelings have by feme modern 
writers been called up into the tragic drama, 
while they would have better fuited the 
ladies in the boxes, than to be pronounced 
4a poetry by players pn the fifrge j where 
sensibility Ijas long been in poffeffiQa 

of 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 235 

of the part, according to their Green-room 
caijt. — As I profefs however to teach talk 
only, not language, and to teaph that only 
to foreigners — this word muft lefs than any 
be left out j for fome Italians have expreflecl 
fuch a predileftion for it (although the de- 
rivation runs widely diftant from their 
tongue and country), that I have heard 
them reft our caufe upon it ; and thofe who 
argued in favour of Britifh tendernefs, have 
found out that we could not in our cold 
ifland be wholly ftatues, or as they fay phU 
lofopberS) whilft a word fignifying fuch 
quicknefs of perception filled our mouths.T 
Feelings fo applied will not however be 
fafily found in a good di&ionaiy. 



1\^Y % 



ttf BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



FIERY, FERVID, FLAMING, FERVENT, 

ARDENT. 



ALTHOUGH thefe adjedives are preffc 
rd by turns into defcriptions of love and an- 
ger, religious zeal certainly claims them 
with ijaoft propriety, or has claimed them ; 
for this is a quality we fpeak of but as it is 
pad, and has left durable effe&s whid} 
prove at lead the ftrength of the faft impref- 
fion* We may lay however with fafety and 
civility, that the loud and fervent dis- 
putes among chriftians in the paft centu- 
ries, have had few if any ill confequences 
with regard to our Anglican church, whofe 
mod ardent well-wifliers now perceive 
it has been ever more endangered by the 
mine, than the battery — that under current 
known to thofe travellers who frequent the 

Rapids of Niagara, and obferved by them 
7 (lowly 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 237 

flowly to lap the foundation of that rock 

which has fo many ages braved the fury 

and defied all injuries committed by the 

torrent** power. — 'Twas thus perhaps the 

fiery zeal and daring attacks of the Ro* 

tnanifts only Called forth on our parts. 

a calm and fteady oppofition, {hewing all 

mankind hbw plaming violence fubfidea 

like a volcano, in dafknefs and in ruin} 

while peA vi D warmth retains its generous 

glow, and like the light-dilpenfing fort 

burns oh through time's long cdurfe, though 

fometimes clouded, — evet unconfumed. 



-^ 



FLATTERY, OBSEQUIOUSNESS, ADULATION* 



THE firft and the laft of thefe fetfm con- 
fcquences of the fecond, rather than fyno-< 
tiyraes j for is there any one fo generous 

at 



%l% BRITISfi SYNONYMY. 

as not to require both, when they feel alt 
obsequious friend clinging to their heels, 
and following in their path ? I fay both ; be* 
caufe flattery may be, and often is per- 
formed in dumb fhew — witnefs the chara&er 
in Theophraftus, who diligently picks ftraws 
from his patron's beard ; the officious cavalier 
fervente, who carries his miftrefs's fnuff-box 
for her, and even fometimes her dirty pocket 
handkerchief; and the fawning Engliih 
niece, who makes fweet cordials to pleafe 
the palate of a rich gouty uncle — till his will 
is witnefled — then leaves him to the care of 
a hireling nurfe, and calls her hungry* bro- 
thers in, to fhare the plunder of his fortune* 
AduIAtion meanwhile, which exprefles 
a kind of worfhip, feetfis a verbal infult to 
Cut underftandiflg ;• the true proficient in 
this dulia fcorns not to exprefs in hyperbo- 
lical phrafes his unfelt admiration of our 
conduit, wit, or .beauty. The beft repre- 

fentation I ever faw of this, may be found 

in General Burgoyne's Comedy called The 
2 Heirefs ; 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. '#& 

Heirefs ; and that I fay fo is neither fl at* 
•Tery nor adulation, for it proceeds,, 
from fincere opinion of its excellence : ftill 
lefs is it obsequiousness, for whilft I copy 
out this article the ingenious Author dies ! 



1 %n ■ ■ ! \ m 



FLOCK, HERD, DROVE, 



mm 



A R £ in a certain degree fynonymoitt, * 
though we do to the torture of foreigners 
appropriate the words fo as to make it ridi- 
culous, I fcarce know why, to fay a flock 
of hogs, or a herd * of fheep. — A drove 
of oxen is reafonable, becaufe no one calls 
them fo but while they ate driven : when 
feeding on the meadow they are called a 

i 

herd at grafs. A clufter of grape9, or a 
bunch of currants, are equally arbitrary ; and 

* They fhould be juft the reverfe— a feck of fheep 
always, and a herd of fwine, deer, or goats. 

I know 



jjfi BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

I know no man that can tefl me why tog 
fy a 10*^ of partridge, anide of phrafanlij 
a flock of wild gcde, and a drorc of tur- 
keys— unkfs Ac firft of thefe alludes to thei* 
being taken in a net, and covered by the 
fame ; that die fecond means as many phea* 
jJants as are found in the nidus or neft; that 
die third is only a mere aggregate j and the 
turkeys are fo called as the oxen are, when 
driven along the roads from Norfolk to 
London. — But 'tis the lame when fpeaking 
of people. We appropriate particular words 
to particular clafles, and fay a crowd of 
courtiers, a mob of blackguards, a troop of 
ibldiers, a coinpany of players, a jet of fer- 
vantS, and z>gang of thieves. When a pro- 
IbifcUous throng gathers round a popular 
preacher other in church, or field, or con* 
Venticle, 'tis called a congregation ; let the 
lame perfbns meet in the fame numbers at 
a playhoufe, and they take the name of au* 
dience ; at a horfe-race they become fpcBa* 

tors\ 



BklTISH SYNONYMY. 241 

tors; and in an aflembly-room — the com* 
pany. 

u 

Enough of this nonfenfe. 



r • — - -* _. ..- 

■ — ■ ■ .. ■ ■ ■« ■ » 



FLUENCY, SMOOTHNESS, VOLUBILITY. 



» ■ 1 f i r 



THESE words if applied to converfa- 
tion, or even to declamation, are ufed in a 
fenfe nearly if not wholly fynonymous; 
and feem to imply not only a copioufnefs 
with regard to words, but an idea as if elo- 
quence were put in the place of inftru&ion, 
and that there was more verbofity than 
matter concerned — Such was Pope's notion 
certainly, and fuch was Swift's. 

Words arc like leaves, and where they moft abound, 
Much fruit of fenfe beneath is rarely found, 

lays the firft of thefe writers: yet one is 
never gratified by a fight of cherries nailed, 

VOL, I. R to 



i 4 2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

to a wall as I have fometimes feen them 
rery bare of foliage in particular years j one 
likes rather to obferve the fruit glowing 
through the leaves 9 delightful green. Pope 
and Swift had fmall convocation powers, 
their talent was in writing: but bullion is 
not current till 'tis coined ; and the fea itfelf 
would ftagnate with its quantity of folid 
contents, did not the tides tofs it into a&ive 
motion ; while the ftream whofe fluency 
preferves the clearnefs of its bottom, carries 
fome grains of gold into that ocean, when; 
like a drain of fweet Volubility in talk, 
it takes up the valuable part of every 
land through which it flows — yet by its 

smoothness leaves to none a reafon for 
complaint. 

In the varieties exhibited by human man- 
ners to an obferving mind, maybe found 
perhaps fome unhappy talkers, who being 
copious without that smoothness ofdiC- 
courfe, remind one more of the brown win- 
7 try 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 443 

try foliage flicking clofe to an old oak in Ja- 
nuary, or Allien beech tree, ftiff in ftale pre- 
judice that yields with difficulty to new and 
brilliant thoughts, than of that verdant and 
luxurious leafy labyrinth which Pope's re- 
mark brings to our obfervation. 

But Shakefpeare, when he (peaks of Biron 
in Love's Labour Loft, defcribes a truly faf- 
cinating con verier; and fays, 

That aged ears playM truant with his tales, 
And younger hearings were quite raviflied % 
So fweet and voluble was his dlfcourfe. 



J iKi 



FORGIVENESS, PARDON, REMISSION OF 

OFFENCES. 



I KNOW not whether I (hall be cen- 
Aired for faying, that although thefe word* 
are perpetually ufed each for the other, they 
can fcarcely be thought fynonymous in a 

R 2 moral 



244 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

moral orKteral fenfe. Complete forgive* 
Ness feems a fhade fhort fomehow of free 
pardon, which in my notion implies abfo- 
lute reinftatement in all that we enjoyed be- 
fore the ofience was given ; and fo I do be- 
lieve the law confiders it : — he who has once 
received the king's free pardon might, I 
believe, if he pleafed, Hand for member of 
parliament; he is, or I am mifinformed, as if 
he had never offended. Now furely for- 
giveness cannot carry as full a meaning 
quite^ though Pope Lambertini faid it did j 
and when he was confeflbr to the queen of 
Prance, infifting on her total remission of 
cardinal de Richelieu's injuries toward her, 
which lhe agreed to — he, willing to prove 
her majefty's fincerity, faid — " Will you 
permit me then to carry him this ring, as 
token of that heavenly forgiveness ?" — 
44 Oh ! mon pere y ceji trop, ceji trop ! %> cried 
the expiring kdy. " No, madam, you or/cc 
would have given me leave to carry him a 

richer 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 245 

richer prefent : if you forgive him, fend 
biin the ring ; if not, I urge your majefty 
no further." — " I blefs him with my Lift 
breath," replied Mary de Medicis ; " I for- 
give him, I pray for him as for my enemy — 
but I will not treat him as if he were my 
friend : what can I .do more for them? — He 
has fcarce left me a ring to leave to thofe I 
love." — So ends the ftory, and I think the 
queen remitted his offence ; but fuch 
was not the forgiveness fhe prayed for 
to berfelfy I truft. The confefTor was right, 
therefore; but he wasj#/7V7, which God will 
not be; be will forgive even our partial 
•remission of offences, or how would 
the affairs of this world go on at all ? Were 
monarchs again to truft dete&ed traitors, or 
were we to put our money and our children's 
jn the hands of a known thief, only becaufe 
we had completely forgiven him, and the 
ting had beftowed on him frep pardon, 

R 3 certain 



%i fi BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

certain ruin would enfue ; for we cannot be 
aflured of his reformation, however we may 
engage our own obedience. A lighter ob- 
fervation fhall clofe the article. In an old 
play written by Beaumont and Fletcher, 
called as I remember A Wife for a Month, 
the king is poifoned ; but with circumftances 
of ftrange hafte and cruelty, fo that the trai- 
tors not underftanding well each others 1 
minds, give dofes of a different nature ; — ■ 
which, after torturing the wretched fufferer 
in a manner particularly horrible, end at laft 
in his recovery. Other a£ts of treafon un- 
dertaken by the fame neft of villains, with 
the fame Sorano at their head, are defeated 
as to their completion ; all evil projc&s come 
to nothing at laft, and the good king is 
reftored to his peaceful enjoyment of the 
throne. Tkert, in conuderation of fome in- 
nocent lady, fitter to the principal traitor, as 

_ • 

I recoiled, he publifhes an a£ of general 

amnefty 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. * 47 

amnefty and pardon ; — but he adds hu~ 
moroufly, 

Let not Sorano (only) bear my cup, 
But fafe retiring—live well in future. 

A prudent caution, after he had been poi- 
foned by him* 

Poi le perdute penne 
In pochi di rinnuova ; 
Cauto divien per prova, 
Ne piu tradir fi fa. 

Mktastasio. 



FORTUNE, FASHION, FAMILY, RANK, 
BIRTH, NOBILITY* 



STRANGERS in England, who 
hear us hourly celebrating our acquaintances 
as people that poflefs fome one if not all of 
thefe fhining though caiual advantages, are 
apt of courfe to confound them ; while we 

R 4 refidents 



*48 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

refidents know nothing with more certainty 
f than that they are not fynonymous. A mi£t 
take however obtains upon the continent, 
particularly in Italy, that the firft of thefe 
alone is valued in England, where commerce 
levels all diftin&ions except thofe beftowed 
by money, or as we term it fortune. It 
is not fo, however, nor ought to be, in a 
mixed government like ours, where the fo- 
vereign ftill retains his juft prerogative of 
giving RA^ T K inviolable; and furely the 
word itfelf implies at leaft precedence. But 
«if in this invefligating age nobility is found 
out to be a mere bubble, blown by the breath 
of kings, 'tis yet acknowledged to be an ele- 
gant, a brilliant meteor : fo is the rainbow, 
formed by folar beams, fhining through a 
cloud, a link to connect earth with heaven, 
a gay pnecurfor of peaceful days, 1 hope, and 
halcyon hours : value fpeciofus ejl in jpien r 
dorefuo^ ct vianus Excel// aperuerunt ilium. 

The man who makes a fqrtune in our 

• • • ■ » . » • 

country, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 249 

country, finds a fpur to his induftry, and 
complacence in his honcft gains, while con- 
templating the pofiibility of acquiring rank 
for his Tons ; nor wcuid his ardour in the 
purfuit of a life wholly lucrative be as ra- 
tionally fervent, were the advantages of mo* 
Bey-making to end in themfelves, and bufi- 
nefs never fettle into leifure. No ; the gloomy 
half-independent baron, who lords it over 
ignorance and fubmiflive (lupidity in his 
vaflal-guardedcaftle, remote from the power 

of a monarch that might check his arrogance 
of demi-dominion and tributary fway, af- 
fords indeed a horrible idea for imagination 
to contemplate ; but the Corinthian pillar, fo 
finely, fo fancifully ere&ed by Mr. Burke, 
ihould (till be found to decorate a court. 'Tis 
fbercd\ox\Q nobility gives and receives due 
luftre; while thofe fluted columns that affe& 
you with pleafure, feen to fupport the Louvre 
or Efcurial, feize the mind with forrow in 
C^mpq Vaccino, where the fading acanthus 

fcarcely 



a 5 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fcarccly can be traced upon the cracked and 
truncated fhaft — and imprefs one's foul with 
awful fenfations of ftill blacker fate, viewed 
from the waftes of Balbec or Palmyra, 

But we are to call over another denomi- 
nation of Englifhmen, who prefer the felf* 
created tide of people of fashion, to for- 
tune, precedence, or even birth itfelfj 
and tbefe gay creatures of the element \ with 
empty purfes, unfurnifhed heads, and un* 
noticed families, fprung as the infe&s of 
the Nile from a redundant fuperflux of opu- 
lencQ — contrive by the cut of a coat, the 
tying of a neckcloth, or fold of a robe, to 
obtain diftin&ion in fociety, and even re- 
fped from members and clafles of that fo- 
ciety, fuperior to themfelves in every gift of 
nature, every acquirement of art. Nor are 
the flutterers unneceflary to us, neither ; nor 
would I contribute willingly to curtail their 
race — whilft, like the white cloke worn at 
Venice, to repel the fun's heat, they really 

fcrve 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 451 

ferve to (hade us from talents that would 
dazzle, or riches that might opprefs one. 

The other two words remain to be di£ 
cuffed; — while my foreign readers, Ger- 
mans and Italians, will pronounce them fo 
certainly, fo exa&ly the fame, that no one 
but a Britifh fubje&, who has in their minds 
claim to neither, could ever think of fepa- 
rating the ideas of birth from thofe of 
family. We keep them apart, however, 
and call Sir Roger Moftyn for example a 
man of ancient and refpe&able family, no 
more, though nineteenth in defcent from 
Edward the Firft, king of England, and 
thirteenth if I miftake not from John of 
Gaunt, called the great duke of Lancafler, 
father to Henry the Fourth. Elizabeth Percy 
meantime, late duchefs of Northumberland, 
boafted and juftly her illuftrious birth ; 
nor can we deny that compliment to the 
Howards, when we have feen fix of the fame 
Bamc and blood fit down together in the 

houfe 



2 52 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

bottle of peers. In a word, birth conveys 
to us more the idea of majeftic dignity — the 
term family pays more peculiar reipedk to 
venerable antiquity, or remotenefc froiQ the 
prel'cnt age. In England, talents too claim 
power to caft a gleam of glory on their line- 
age ; and the name of Boyle is confidered 
by every one as greater for that fole reafon, I 
fuppofe, than DelavaTs, although bis pedi? 
gree be drawn from Harold, king of Nor-^ 
way. 



FREEDOM, LIBERTY, INDEPENDANCE, 

UNRESTRAINT. 



OF thefe fo fafhionable words 'twere 
good at leaft to know the meaning, while 

their found is ever in our ears. They arc 
not I think ftri&Jy and actually fynonymous, 

3 becaufi; 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 253 

becaufe freedom feems always to require, 
and often even in converfation takes an ab- 
lative cafe after it, as freedom from for* 
row, from guilt, or punifliment, &c« while 
liberty claims a more pofitive fignifi- 
cation, and feems to imply an original grant 
given by God alone — a femi-barbarous, fe* 
mi-focial ftate, like that of the Tartar nations 

who live by rapine, and fubfift in wander- 
ing hordes — their hand againjl every man % 

and every mans hand againjl th'em^ as was 
promifed to their progenitor Ifhmael. Yet 
even thefe as cranes obey a leader, and re- 
je& not fubordination, which is paid to him 
who beft remembers and can mofl readily 
repeat his long traced genealogy. This is 
rational : for fuperiority of wiidom may be 
difputed ; fuperiority of ftrength may fail by 
age or ficknefs ; while fuperiority of defcent 
is leaft obnoxious to acknowledge, and moll 
eafy to afcertain, of any pretenfion to pre- 
eminence. How different however are thefe 

notions 



254 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

notions of liberty to thofe of modern de- 
mocrates ! who feem to mean only childifh 
<lefire of total unrestraint, like that en* 
joyed by boys at a barring out ; where blut 
tering rebellion however grew fo noify, that 
the world would no longer look on upon 
that folly. Yet is that now the conduit of 
a once enlightened, polifhed nation ; for not 
even Frenchmen I truft do yet ferioufly de* 
fire a return to folitary, favage, unconnected 
independance, fuch as can be only pot 
fefled by wild Americans, who hunt the 
woods and fifh the rivers fingly for fupport, 
dying at laft of hunger in their caverns, as do 
in the deferts difabled beads of prey. Com- 
.plete liberty, in the prefent acceptation of 
the word, though, will foon in fuch a ftate 
as France finifh by frefh tyrannies, Arifto- 
cracy quickly forms to herfelf a fecond-harid 
canopy from the fragments of kingly power; 
and 'tis nothing after all but fuch ill-judged 
unrestraint that makes the Baron o£ 

Tran- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. * 5 $ 

Tranfilvania fo hateful and fo formidable, 
the dread of his vaflals, the abhorrence of 
human-kind. When the Roman empire was 
deftrojed) thefe Gothic governments and feu- 
dal fyftems firft were formed ; let the vota- 
ries of airy independance, or of free- 
dom armed by Phrenfy againfi: herfelf, keep 
tins fad full in view* 



CAY, LIVELY, PLEASANT, FACETIOUS, 
CHEERFUL, BLYTHE. 



THE fecond and lafl: of thefe agreeable 
attributives, belonging as it fliould feem to 
mere animal fpirks, may be beftowed on ofc 
je&s of no efteem, unlefs it be anticipated 
delight, fuch as one takes in the infantine 
(ports of a happy family, or ruftic feaftj but 
fuch pleafures tire : and we fay fometimes 
that Hilarius is a very cheerful acquaint- 
ance* 



256 BRITISH SYNONYM?. 

« 

ance, and was a particularly PLEASANl 1 
companion, till his young ones engrofled a* 
now his whole attention j for although one 
wifhes all poflible good to the man's chil* 
dren, and thinks highly of him for promote 
ing it by all due means, no patience can long 

endure the fatigue of hearing facetious 
bons mots and happy Tallies of his fon Dick* 
who promifes in good time to be fb GAY a 
fellow — or of pretty Laetitia, whom he calls 
a blytiie lafs, when fhe jumps upon her 
uncle's fhouider and unties" his hair behind 
— nor can any friendfhip fhort of brother- 
hood fupport interruption in one's talk of 
things important perhaps, perhaps merely 
entertaining, by the arrival of a nurfe-maid 
with the laft lively baby, eminently for- 
ward for only five months old. 

Yet as all converfation is of far lefs confe- 
quence than the regular duties and natural 
pleafures of life, I rejoice fmcerely in the fe- 
licity of my old acquaintance, and ftrive to 

repel 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- 257 

repel the diftafte I now unluckily feel for 
his fociety, which Once fo pleafed me — 
left latent envy, not delicacy, may have 
caufed the alteration. 



GESTICULATION, ACCENT, EMPHASIS, 
ENERGY; ACTION IN DISCOURSE; 
POSTURE AND ATTITUDE EXPRES- 
SIVE OF SENTIMENT* 



'.THE great difference here feems bellow- 
ed by the words on their places, or rather 
by the places indeed upon the words. We 
call that action on a theatre^ which is 
gesticulation in a room j andjuftlyx 
for on the ftage men's paffions are applied 
to, whilft converfation in our cold country 
is compofed of argument or fuperficial chat 
concerning fads, not eafily illuftrated by 
attitude or gefture* There is a notion got 
among us of late years however, that pulpit, 
vol. i* S eloquence 



258 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

eloquence may be enforced by theatrical 
madders. * This comes over I believe with 
travellers from the continent, where plea- 
fure and duty alike make application to 
thofe paffions by which they defire, and are 
content to be guided. In their inftru&ors, 
therefore, thofe violent contortions of the 
body, with loud emphasis and piercing 
accent of the voice, are not unwifely ap- 
proved, which would excite no paflion in 
us except contempt, and no action ex- 
cept hcfteft laughter I believe : nor would 
an Italian audience look gravely on to fee a 
fMteacher of their own reciting a tranflated 
fertaon upon Gentlenefs, by Blair perhaps—* 
ivhh Ms accuftomed violence of enehgy, 
aad fudden changes of posture as if ex- 
preflive of sentiment, where the fenti- 
ments are fuch as attitude cannot exprefs ; 
becaufe, to every fpeSator of every nation, 
Acting is fuperfluous to argument, and 

fenders regular difcourfe ridiculous. There 

it 



BRITISH STtf ONYMti t& 

k a hationai rhetoric which has its due force 
WiA its owrt countrymen, but can perfiiade 
and* delight only in its own circle, and with* 
in its prefcribed boundaries. Our great 
Lord Chatham would never have gained a x 
Caufe in the Venetian Courts of Judicature 
by Moratory, I believe; nor would vltxAvo* 
cato di Venezia rife by bis eloquence in our 
Houfe of Commons* When Pere Bourda- 
loue was reqtiefted to preach a Good Friday 
fermon in a friend's church, they thought 
him late in coming to the veftry, and call- 
ing at his apartments which were clofe by* 
furprifed the good old* prieft at feventy-f« 
years of age dancing round the room in his 
night-gown to the tune of his own violin* 
" Ob ! are you come to fetch me ?" (aid he, 
" I am ready— but having failed on this 
folemn occafion pretty rigoroufly, I felt fa 
low and faint to-day, that without this little 
aififtance tp nature I could fcarce have gone 
through the duty/* Our ftory ends by fay 

Sa ing 



260 BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

ing that he went immediately, and pro- 
nounced a fermon fo very paifionate and 
pathetick, that feveral people were carried 
out in fits, and no one remained unaffe&ed 

by his powers. 

Would fuch a method of heating up thofe 
powers ftut any countryman however^but 
a Frenchman ? 



GOOD BREEDING, GOOD MANNERS, DECORUM, 

AND POLITENESS. 



O F thefe engaging qualities the difcrimi- 
nating terms may eafily, and often are con- 
founded; although the other three form a 
climax of refinement, while decorum feems 

« 

the mere fubje& on which they energize 
their powers ; and 'tis owing to their differ- 
ent opinions of decorum which both pro- 
fefs, and earneftly defire to maintain, that 

: s y°« 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 261 

you are treated differently at the tables of a 
Highland Laird at Raafay, and a Dutch Bur- 
gomafter at Amfterdam. We put good 
manners firft or laft upon the lift as we' 
defire to rate its merits by art or nature — for 
a confiderable degree of this petite morale 
may be expected in only femi-civilized life— 
and it would furprife me much not to find 
good manners fhewh by Captain David, 
the Indian Chief at Detroit, or byTippooSul- 
tan in his Court at Seringapatam. That lofty 
courtefy, which thofe often beftow-who fel- 
dom fee an equal or fuperior, is good man- 
ners, but would be ridiculous in a French 
or Englifh nobleman ; and I have feen fome 
of that odd faucy condefcenfion pra&ifed 
now and then to a laughable excefs, by our 
provincial ladies of long defcent, who un- 
luckily brought it to the aflembly-rooms of 
London, Bath, or Paris (I fpeak of the laft 
as it was a dozen years ago), where good 
9 reading teaches each to give the momen- 

S3 tary 



%6i BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tary preference, gLOt tsieiti and from whom 
the lawg cf decorum exad an artificial 
fupplenefs, and officious attention^ that fceeps 
prtiTQgatiye merely by pretending to part 
with it on every occafioq, 

Pox-itjeness from its very derivation im^ 
plies freedom from alt afperity, an equable 
fmoothnefa over which we glide or roll, and 
never are flopped or impeded in our courfe, 
A man of perfect good breeding and 
habitual politeness is the mod amiable 
produce of fecial life— perhaps the rareft ; 
when combined with literature, invaluable. 
Such, feven years ago, was my noble, my 
partial friend the Earl of Huntingdon; who 
linked in his admirable character every ta^ 
lent to inftrort, every power to pleafs, aa4 
every ^race to charm in conversion— an4 
this too after fixty years, and a long feries 
of ill health, had dreadfully impaired a per* 
fon which in its beft days could never hav$ 
been better <han barely not difagreeable. 

Qooa 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ? 6 3 



GOOD NATURE, GOOD TEMPER, AND 
GOOD HUMOUR. 



'm—mmm**'*—^-" r 



OUR language knowing that fuch qua- 
lities are only at firft fight, not upon nearer 
examination, fynonymous,* has provided 
for them thefe well compounded and ex- 
preflive terms. The firft ftands higheft far 
in moral life, but fociety would go on very 
fedly indeed without the other two. 

£X AMPLE. 

The rich and furly-mannered Eoglifl* 
merchant, whole early impreffions of pure 
good nature paia him when he fees for- 
row unrelieved, and hears the cries of want; 
prompting hiqa to give or lend large ibms 
in charity, and to do twenty ufefol office? 
of friendship tp the jnoft diftapj (9ftn$$ipn 
of a man who once did him a trifltog {$*• 
vice formerly — may yet be, and often is, ill-* 

S 4 tempered 



264 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tempered to excefs at his club-room or ta- 
vern j the fcourge of every waiter, and tor- 
ment to all the cooks — till merely for want 
of thefe fecondary qualities, even the very 
people he loves and ferves defert his ac- 
. quaintance, while every hand in every com- 
pany is extended to the cheerful bottle com-? 
panion, whofe good humour exhilarates 

his neighbours, and whofe good temper 
endures the noify mirth or offenfive jefts 
of his fellows, only becaufe he has no prin- 
ciples againft which they militate, and who 
perhaps never did a truly good-natured 
aft ion in all his life. Yet although the two 
beft tempered men I ever knew were two 
of the moft worthlefs, — let none defpife a 
quality which gives value to the idle, and 
confers regard upon the trifler ; which hour- 
ly in fome meafure fupplies the want of 
virtue, and beft compenfates for the failurp 
pf underftanding, 



POOD 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 265 



GOODNESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, MORAL 
RECTITUDE, VIRTUE. 



THESE words are very nearly if not en- 
tirely fynonymous, when confidered in a 
Arid and literal fenfe; but as we grow 
more intimate with them, they fhade off 
into a prodigious variety. When foreign- 
ers find us faying familiarly for inftance — 
"Will you have the goodness, fir, to ring 
that bell ? they muft be careful not to ufe 
the other words inftead ; — or when they 
Jiear the virtue of ftrong coffee highly 
praifed for alleviating the paroxyfms of an 
afthma, — let them recolledt that fuch effica- 
cy, or idea of efficacy, can be eafily annex- 
ed to this fubftantive, but not the others.—- 
In ferious talk, goodness feems generally 
to mean patience I think, or gentle forbear- 
ance more than any higher quality ; while 

virtue 



i66 BRITISH .SYNONYMY. 

virtue appears to imply a&ive benefi- 
cence, or heroick greatnefs, difplayed in 
fome deed worthy of being recorded. — 
Moral rectitude refers us to fettled 
principles and long-tried conduct, — whilft 
righteousness is fcarce a converfation 
word. Meantime every reader muft necef- 

(arily be aware, that virtue among wo- 
men, like courage among men, is fynony- 
mous to btfnour ; and fhould be called by 
no other appellation when the fear of fhame, 
to which honour belongs, is the fole reafon 
for their preferving it. The virtue of Lu- 
cretia was that high fenfe of honour ; the 
virtue of Jofeph was principle and mo- 
ral rectitude. Why fhould I do this 
thing, faid he, and Jin againft God? And 
fuch was the cafe related of Sufanna, who 
Was from the defire of pleafing God con- 
tented to forfeit even honour for the prefer- 
vation of her virtue. That was principle 

and moral rectitude. 
4 

HABIT* 



PJUTISH SyNONtMY f *6j 



HABIT, CUSTOM, 



THESE words dre pretty nearly fynony. 
jnous, only that one fays good habits 
grow up into a fettled custom of doing 
right, and it does not found fo well or pro- 
per if we ,rev«fe the words. The laft Is -die 
fewup ftpd fteady |cr<n. We qbferve famk 
liarly ; that Lepidus Jias a very dif^greteahlc 
way of cm^ng up hjs eyes, and m*king 
odd granges when he Jtpeaks, fo as to let 
iep — especially in vulgar minds, ever more 
£ttra&ed by manner than by matter — the 
weight of his own good fenfe, and the briU 
Jiaocy of his parts in conversion. Now 
as custom is frequently called purfecond 
nature, this ftriking example Should warn 
people againft learning fuch tricks during 
youth, as may eafily get confirmed in riper 

years — fljould <W <*rtj HApjTS thus ob- 
tain 



i69 BIUTISH SYNONYMY; 

tain ftrength from pra&ice, and want of 
contradi&ion in parents, governors, &c 



HAPPY, LUCKY, FORTUNATE, SUCCESSFUL, 

PROSPEROUS. 



THESE agreeable adjeSives feem at firft 
view more clofely united than ftri& fyno- 

* 

nymy acknowledges, or cold experience 
finds them. We will try for an example. 
Fortunio, fay we, was certainly a lucky 
fellow in getting that ten thoufand pound 
prize in the lottery, when I am told he was 
with difficulty perfuaded to purchafe a ticket j 
but every one fancied him ftill more for- 
tunate when poflefled of twice that fum 
with a very agreeable wife. Yet though in 
reftoring his ancient family to a good eftate 
long in the pofleflion of his forefathers, and 
lately loft to them without much blame on 

their 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 269 

their party he has been thus uncommonly 
successful ; one cannot . tell how to call 
him a happy man, while his amiable lady 
languifhes under the effe&s of a paralytic 
afie&ion, which kills not, but wholly inca- 
pacitates her from doing the duties or en- 
joying the comforts of fociety ; and his only 
fon's deficiency of intellect:, caufed perhaps 
by this latent complaint or rather diforder of 
the mother, now fhews itfelf every day 
more plainly to us all. Thefe vexations 
would however have been greatly balanced 
by the uncommon wit and promifing beauty 
of his daughter — had not the fall from her 

horfe laft fummer, which put out her hip, 
produced a continued weaknefs, and lading 
deformity, which feem to preclude all hope 
of fucceflion to his fortune :— and I now 
queftion whether our friend Fortunio, after 
being fo many years accounted a man An- 
gularly prosperous, is not likely enough 
to let melancholy reflections prey upon his 

ipirits, 



*7o BRITISH StNONtM^Y. 

fyirit9 9 till they bring on a train of Afervttti i 
difeafe#~and dfe at laft probably of a 
broken heart. 

But enough and too much upon this fub- 
jeflt, teft illuftrated in the ffory of Zelueo, 
Where the hero is conducted through two 
o&avo volumes^ every page of which fhews- 
imi strccESSFUi in all his proje&s; yet fail- 
ing of happinefs in each, only becaufe his 
plans were never didtated by virtue. 



HERESY, DISSENSION, SCHISM. 



THAT the fifft and laft of thefe words' 
areilof fyiionymdus, our Church Litany af- y 
&rd8 a proof; T^hich prays agai'nft both* 
The flrft is however author and" caufe of the 
thkd; fordid no man, upon the mere foun- 
dation of hte own private opinion and J 

judgment, 



British synonymy. *jt 

judgment, confider his authority as fuffi- 
cient for teaching do&rines not to be found 
in Scripture (which is the very effence of 
Heresy) — no fet of men could be found 
*eady, at every felf-fufKcient fellow's call, to 
feparate themfelves from the eftabliihed 
Church, following with folemn faces and z 
canting voice human precepts and inftitu- 
tions, inftead of thofe firft eftabliihed by 
Divine authority, and confirmed by long 
ufage of the wife and venerable ; — which, as 
I take it, is the meaning of the word 
schism : k is therefore well joined in our 
Litany with contempt of God's holy will 
and commandment* — With regard to the 
other word, it fliould fignify only difpute 
among the feveral Churches and Apoftle9, 
to the which as human creatures they were 
fubje& — even the beft; — for we read that 
there was a dissension between Barnabas 
and Paul : — and our own Separatifts, who 
fcew fuch unprovoked bitternefs and ran- 
cour 



%-jz BRITISH SYNONYM*. 

cour (I know not why) againft ecclefiafti* 
cal arrangement and epifcopal fuperinten* 
dency — though they of late feem to glory 
in the term dissenters — do not yet choofe 
to avow the appellation of schismatics 2 
— another proof that thefe fubftantives are 
not fynonymous* 



HEALTHY, WHOLESOME, 



ARE fynonymes when applied to parti-* 
cular things. This is a healthy or a 
wholesome air, fay we, ufing the words 

for adjectives; adverbially too, they are 
taken each for other perpetually ; and one 
hears every day how cucumbers and me- 
lons are gratifying to the palate, and pleat- 
ing in their fcent, but that it is not 
healthy or wholesome to eat much of 
them. Yet miftakes may ftill be made, if 

foreigners 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 273 

foreigners feizing even on thefe words ufe 
them indifcriminately — becaufe we often 
accept them in a figurative fenfe, and fay 
how Marcus gave his nephew wholesome 
advice, which he not obferving incurred 
from the fthool-mafter a little wholesome 
corre&ion with a rod. — Were the other 
word to be fubftituted here, the fentence 
would not only be vulgar, as it certainly is 
now — but laughable ; and would fubjeft a 
foreigner who fhould ufe it fo» to den- 
Con. 



HEROISM, MAGNANIMITY, GALLANTRY, 

FIRMNESS. 



THESE fublime and refpeftable, thefe 
and glorious adjun&s to true cou- 
rage, have all fome (hadings of difcrimina- 
tion that diftinguilh them from each other, 

vol. 1. T and 



274 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

and keep them pretty clear too of all thofe de- 
fcribed in pages 71 — 78, fo diftant at leaft that 
I hope no reader will refufe them a feparate 
attention ; wliile the heroism of Alexander 
the Great was never controverted, although 
he certainly fhowed little firmness when 
the death of a favourite drove him nearly to 
diilraclion, and left magnanimity when 
he crucified the phyfician who could not 

keep him alive. Thcfe qualities therefore are 
apparently and eflentiafly different, and the 

words which exprefs them are by no means 
fynonymous : becaufc acts of heroism 
may doubtlefs be performed by thofe who 
can boafl: no great nefs of mind at all — witnefe 
Henri Quatre, who wore his white plume 
purpofely to attract danger in the day of 
battle, yet meanly fhrunk from the avowal 
of his fentiments in religion, to fecure that 
crown which at laft coii him fo dear. How 
.different .was the truiy magnanimous 
condud of Socrates, and of Sir Thomas 

More, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. *j S 

' More, martyrs in the great caufe of piety 
and virtue ! Nor will I omit in thefe dege- 
nerate days the death- defpifing anfwer of 
the Abbe Maury, who, when an incenfed 
multitude were about to hang him at the 
lantern-poft for oppofing their rebellious 
and facrilegious proje&s, crying A la Ian- 
icrnc! a la lanterne with him, replied 
with a vivacity heightened by juft indigna- 
tion — " Et quand je ferois mis a la lan- 
terne, mes amis — en deviendriez-vous pour 
tela m&me plus eclaires?" Patterns of firm- 
ness properly fo called are eafily cull- 
ed out from hiftory, or life ; and if the dif- 
ference between this quality and fortitude 
confifts in ones feeking occafions of endur- 
ance, which the other only profefles to fup- 
port without complaint, — then MuciusScse- 
vola and Charlotte Cordet may be cited as 
txamples of firmness, which was as glori- 
ous in Granmer, as ajlonijhing in them, who 
were fupportcd only by the vain hope of 

T 2 human 



s 7 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

human praife for anions the bed half of 
human-kind muft neceflarily difapprove. — 
The behaviour of ArchbiChop Scroope, how- 
ever, carried this quality further than them 
all — as much further as chriftian piety ex- 
ceeds mere moral fenfe of felf-created viiv 
tues. He, as he went on horfeback to the 
place of execution, protefted he had never 
taken a pleafanter ride ; and arriving at the 
block conjured the executioner not to cut off 
his head at one blow, but ixjive. u And pray 
thee now be careful (added he) to fever it 
at the Jiftb Jiroke ; for I bear in my arms 
•the five wounds of Chrift, and I will if po£» 
fible fliew myfelf worthy of fo great an ho- 
nour * This fadt the learned Dodtor Parr 
taught me where to find ; but it is a greater 
•diftin&ion for me to have gained it from 
his converfation. 

* With regard to .gallantry, which I 
think (lands quite apart from all the reft, 
-and has mere to do with 1 politenefs than 

bravery 



BRITISH SYNONYMY: £77 

bravery — though the laft is indifpenfable to 
its effe<33,— I had once an opportunity not 
a&ually of feeing, but of knowing with 
certainty a moft unequivocal occafion on 
which it was exerted, by a man little 
known as faint or hero, I believe ; and 
whofe charaSer could fcarce be made of 
confequence to his contemporaries, even by 
giving an example of fuch gallant man- 
ners as would have immortalized a Greek 
or Roman warriour. Mr. P— — -," then, was 
paflenger on board a Britifh -vefiel wrecked 
in the Irilh Seas.; the fhip wasT finking, 
and its long-boat filling apace: — one othep 
perfon alone could be admitted— while the 
cockfwain kept his piftol primed, to fhoot- 
if more than one fhould attempt to enter. — 
P « was ready ; but a gentleman ftand- 
tog near him on the deck, feeble and fickly, 
Mrept bitterly for anguifh at feeing bis wretch- 
ed life devoted to deftru&ion— " Take my 

place, fir," fays Mr. P j : "I believe \ 

T 3 can 



*7* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

can fwim a little ;" and a&ually pufhed his 
willing friend into the boat, committing 
himfelf to the finy of the waves. Every 
reader will be pleafed to hear that fuch gal- 
lantry was preferred upon a hen-coop 
thrown out by mere accident — not by his 
own fwimming — from a death fo dreadful. 



n- • ■.■* = 



HII*L, MOUNTAIN, ROCK. 

THESE beautiful diverfifications of na«? 
ture, without which fhe finks into an infipid 
flatnefs, and brings no ideas to the mind, 
even in- our highly cultivated country, but 
that fort of goffiping fociety which goes foiv 
ward where no hindrance can be found — 
are by no means fynpnymous terms for the 
large uplands that adorn it. We fay th6 
Surry hills, the rocks of Dovedale, and 
the mountains of Scotland or Wales j for, 

tp 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 279.; 

to do Englifhmen juftice, they call by the: 
name of fells ia Weftmorland, Cumber- 
land, &c. what are not certainly worthy a 
name of more dignity than that, beautiful 
and elegant as they are. Things rife in im- 
portance merely by their rarenefs ; and people 
who have never ftirred more than a hundred 
miles from London, will call thofe fcenes 
aWjfil which ftrike another by their foftoefs 
and amoenity. Dr. Boerhaave, whole mind 
was fufficiently enlarged tpo, made himfelf 
ridiculous in his college, by carrying. 4 native 
of Parma, fo fee the mountains, 9s he 
termed two > or three gsjafcly rifing groiH>d^ 
at a day's jpuraey diftaaceirom Leyden; — * 
and charming Mifs Seward, whom no. one 
will fufpe& of being cold in her conceptions 
of what greatnefs ought to be, was impatient 
of Mr. Whalley's frigid indifference to the 
heights of Matlock I believe, or the fcenery 
round Ludlow Caftle — He ! who had pafTed 
winters among the glaciers of Switzerland, 

T 4 and 



*8o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

« 

and {pent two fummers in the Alpine valleys, 
Ghamouny and Montmelian, which no man 
yet has ever defcribed fo well ! 



«■» 



TO HIRE and TQ LET 



PUZZLE foreigners only becaufe 4o? 
body will tell them that they are not fyno? 
nymous : a man hires a houfe of one who 
lets out lodgings ;— he muft not take a 
horfe and iky he has let it, while the 
ftable-man let him out for the ftranger 
to ride on, after the hire had been promifed 

# - • ■ ■ 

or paid* 



HONESTY, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. a*fc 



HONESTY, JUSTICE, INTEGRITY, FAflt 

DEALING, UPRIGHTNESS, a*d 

EQUITY, 



THOUGH thefe terms are apparently 
fynony mous, yet (hall we find perhaps upon 
examipation one word more elegantly 
adapted to perfons, a$d pge to things j a po* 
fition each native however unioQrudted^/r , 
but foreigners mud be informed pf t Wc 
pa£:e ptqr ?x^mple for the . prefent to run, 
thus: — Justice feems the charadfceriftic of 
Great Britain, while the equity of Eng- 
land's laws, the HpNJESjy of her country 
gentlemen, and the fair dealing of her 
merchants, are noted ov^r aU Europe j , yet as 
general philanthropy toward, the whole hu- 
man race, of fo|id injeqa^TY proved upon 
a Angle individual, d 5 *e > fipio > flattering quali-r 
ties, fo have I had occafion to phferve that 
puriflanders are little beloved even by thof<j 

very 



&% BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

very nations which arc willing to acknow- 
ledge themfeives enlightened by our learn- 
ing, and enriched by bur opulence : for al* 
though uprightness of chara&er will of 
itfelf foffi^e to enforce refpeft, fofter virtues 
muft combine with it before affection can be 
hoped #>r. This is fo true, that all may re- 
colled* the figure of justice painted by Ra- 
phael in the Vatican to be one of his leaft 
attractive ; and- the very word integrity 
feems infolently to imply a round totality of 
excellence, fcarce-expe&ed from » faulty atad 
finite being. * : 

To the examples of ftri£t And ffbie HO^ 
nesty bequeathed us by the ancients, let 
me add a recent orie* refulting froni Chriftian 
intentions to pleafe God and deny fetf-grati- 
ficatioh. Mr. — = — meant to acquire a for* 
tune by his profeffion in India: he was a 
lawyer, and fhoufd have appeared at the 
courts one morning, but was indifpofed with 

a cold : his excufe for non-attendance was 

already 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 2«j 

already written, and the fervant going to 
cany it away, when a black merchant was 
announced, who told him bis caufe came on 

that day — that he would not alk Mr. « *s 

^fliftance, becaufe there were flaws in it— 
but took the liberty of offering him a bag of 
gold, equal in value tp 1 700 1. fterling, if he 
would only be fo kind as to ftay away that 
morning. Our honest Briton fent him 
back dire&ly ; and dreffing himfelf haftily,' 
though far from well, went to the place, faw 
the merchant call, and related the adven* 
ture — defiring immediate paflports for Eng-^ 
land at the fame time ; becaufe, as he wifely 
and virttioufly confefied, it wafc poflibla 
enough to reftft fuch an offer once, but dan*. 
gerous to refide where temptations of fo 
enormous a bulk might occur too often for 
humanity to combat them with fuccefs : 

Where metals and marbles will melt and decay, 
Fear, man, for thy virtue, and haften away. 

gONOUR, 



*«4 BJUTISfi §YNQNYMY, 



HONOUR, DFXICACY OF CONDUCT, 

REFINEMENT UPON VIRTUF, 

SCRUPULOSITY OF BEHAVIOUR, 

N1CENESS, REPUTATION. 



. THE firft and the lafl of thcfe terms are. 
fynonymous, when a woman's chaftity, a 
foldier's bravery, or a trader's punctuality of 
payment are in queftion : let aqy of thofe be 
doubted for a moment, honour is fullied 
and reputation torn. When we view 
the fame quality in another fight, it will be 
found that honour expreffcs in a. breath' 

what the fecond,* third, and fourth phrafes 
here explain by periphra£s and circumlo- 
cution : yet does that breath comprife all that 
is truly delicate, refined, and scrupu- 
lously pute in conduct and in morals.—^ 
So does not nicety, whofe acceptation is 
more limited, and perhaps belongs rather ^to 
what the French elegantly call the f^avoir- 

vivre. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 18$ 

vivre, and the petite morale— to matters of 
propriety and etiquette — to cetemonies of 
life, and the mere trappings of fociety. But 
honour is honefty looked at through a 
microfcope, where all attention is paid to 
the minuter parts, while the larger are con- 
fidered chiefly as exuviae, and for the moft 
part of courfe difregarded. 'Tis for this 
reafon poflibly wc fcldom find an overt a£t ' 
of honour, properly fo called, that does 
not feem to fcorn, negleft, or openly offend, 
againft fome cardinal or fome Chriftian vir- 
tue. I muft make myfelf underftood by 
examples : 

The man who, difarming his adverfary in 
a duel of which there is no witnefs, reftores 
him his fvvord upon the inftant, adts with 
confummate honour certainly; but that 
fuch conduct militates againft prudence^ no 
one will deny — and if it did not do fo, to 
confefs the truth, there would be but little 

Honour difplayed in the deed. The gen- 
, r tleman 



286 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

1 1 em an who difcharges a gaming debt in pre- 
ference to that of a tradefman, apparently 
prefers Honour to another virtue, juftice^ 
which is feverely wounded by the exploit* 
And the Governorof Verdun, who fhot him-* 
felf to elude a trial as I remember, loft fight 
of fortitude in purfuit of H o n ou R : he lhould 
have trufted his life to his country. In this 
fenfe honour remains a quality flighted by 
religion, as promoting no man's eternal 
welfare, and overlooked by the law, as hav- 
ing nothing to do with the happinefs of hu- 
man life. Volunteers in virtue, as in an 
army, are very troublefome : good generals 
and experienced legiflators love none but 
difciplined troops ; and in the great march 
of life, he who bed keeps his rank beft does 
his duty. 



ftOVNO^. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 287 



HOUND> GREYHOUND, HARRIER, TERRIER, 



FOREIGNERS, efpecially Germans, 
are apt to call every dog they fee a hooxd, 
which is the tranfcendental word for that 
animal in High Dutch, as I have been tolcL 
In our language however it only means that 
fpecies of the canine race which hunts by 
fcent 9 and gives the tongue either upon trail 
or drag — fo fportfmen diftinguifh that pecu- 
liar taint left by the foot of hare or fox, 
when purfued by the opening pack in a 
bright but dewy morning Qver hill and dale 
(weetly diverfified, till 

Echo, huntrefs once of Cynthia's train, 
Repeats the pleafing harmony again ; 

and the fweet animating founds excite cheer- 
fulnefs even in the fluggard's veins. Of this 
admirable creature, and his various denomi- 

3 nations, 



288 BklTISH SYNONYMY. 

pations, much lefs his virtues, my little book 
does not mean to make the defcription : fuf*- 
fice it that 1 tell foreigners what no Englifh 
gentleman is ignorant of — namely, how the 
grzy-houxd has acquired the name; not 
by his nofe, for he makes no ufe of it in 
courfag ; while tall, fwift, and quick-fighted, 
he depends wholly upon his eye to obfervc, 
On hislong,nervouslegsto overtake the flying 
prey : but being the only dog which without 
training to it will kill a badger, formerly in 
old Englifh called a gray, and perfecute 
him even in his retirement, he was called 
the gray iiouttp ; while harrier and 
terriir explain their office of themfelves, 
even by the derivation of their names alone. 
The fiift follows the hare through all her 
doublings and deceits : the other, refolving 
to kill that fox which his more beautiful 
companions have purfued but loft, goes after 
him even into his fub- terranean retreat — 
his earthy as fportfmen call it — and fighting 

hka 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* *8 9 

him thus under ground obtains the appel- 
lation, terrier, for that defperate bravery 
which remains unintimidated and undimi- 
even by the confcioufnefs that he is 
ibating in an enemy's country. 



HUNTING, COURSJNG, SHOOTING, SETTING. 



THESE fynonymes, like the laft, are 
intended chiefly for thofe ftrangers who 
call every fport of the field — alter a la cbajfe. 
Alia caccta too the Italians call taking birds 
even by decoy; an amufement of the mean- 
cft kind I ever witnefled. But whatever we 
learn from foreign nations, 'tis never to 
play — unlefs at cards indeed (for getting 
money is alike pleafing to the natives of 
every country) — but the innocent and rural 
paftimes of one's youth can be enjoyed no 
where except at home. Of thefe, in our 

vol. i. U Gothic 



290 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Gothick language, continental vifitants will 
find diftin<aions almoft innumerable ; but I 
will point out only the very obvious ones, 
becaufe, if they refide at all in diftant pro- 
vinces, much of the evening converfation 
turns upon the excellency of our dogs, and 
fuccefs of the chace. Hunting then 
means the purfuit of hare, fox, or flag, by 
hounds bred for the purpofe, and trained 
to the employ; while coursing is chiefly 
a trial of fwiftnefs and (kill between three 
greyhounds held in a Icajh for the purpofe 
of flipping them feparately at the hare, 
which their quick eye eafily difcerns and 
finds, though among the fallows, where her 
brown colour and clofe-clapt ears conceal 
her, till fpeed feems ftill likelier to provide 
for her defence* Such too is her power 
and fuch her fkill, that, in a country full of 
uplands and rifing grounds, fewer than a 
leafh of greyhounds can feldom catch her, 
Jfo lightly does fhe fkim the hedge rows, fo 

fwift 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. a 9 t 

i 

fwift defcend the Mil, before die difappoint- 
ed dog, whom, turning £hort, fhe eludes ; 
(bales the fteep afcent again before he is 
able to ftop his own fpeed, and dipping 
on * the other fide leaves him (for want 
of fcent) perplexed and loft, the moment 
fhe is out of his view* Shooting with 
pointers is a different diverfion, and confifts 
chiefly in your own ingenuity to take the 
aim ; while the fagacity of your quadruped 
aflbciates when they try a field, the grace 
and elegance with which they hunt it over, 
and the variety of attitudes in which they 
(land, and point the game, are wonderfully 
pleafing, and feduce a man to continue the 
fport fometimes even to ferious fatigue. 
Setting meantime is of a far lefs a&ive 
^bnius, and fit enough for the mod delicate 
lady to participate : as here is no blood to 
fright, no cruelty to fhock her feelings; 
the purfuit in this cafe ending only re- 
motely, not immediately, in the death <# 

U 2 thofe 



*9* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

thofe partpdge that fall at every (broke of 
the* gunner. A fine fummer evening it. 
the true feafon for this amufemcnt, when 
the ftili air and fading glow of the horizon 
encourage a train of refle&ions, not difturb- 
cd but directed by your beautiful, your 
obedient fpaniel towards the contemplation 
pf man's native fuperiority ; while that love- 
ly 9 that intelligent creature trulls not him- 
Jclf; but yielding his opinion to that of his 
mailer, although often well apprifed by na- 
ture where the covey lies, contentedly quar- 
ters all the Hubble over at command of his 
fovereign, appearing deeply interefted too 
in that very fearch he could at pleafure put 
an immediate end to, by preferring his own 
often-tried experience. When however he 
has permiffion to declare the truth, how 
gently, and with what flattering manners 
does he avow it! how meekly mariifeft 
his modefl tranfports ! while couching clofe 
fbr the net to pafs over and clofe-in both 

himfelf 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. .293 

himfelf aind the game, he kindly referves 
all the fatigues of the evening for himlelf — 

* 

all pleaftire and profit for his mafter !— But 
enough on this delightful theme, defpifed 
by many without knowing why j for after 
all it is man's Magna Cbartd y : granted by 
God in days of great antiquity, tb hold do- 
minion over inferior natures, and fubjugate 
by reafon the brute creation— 'engaging ific 
affe&ions of fome with our carefTes, aritl 
making ourfelves formidable to others by 
our power. 



-* 1 , •g,* 



HURRY and HASTE 



"\ 



ARE words very neady fynonymous — I 
hope not wholly fo ; for, if they are, Prior 
was guilty of notorious tautology, in an 

* 

epigram of only four lines, when he fays 
that 

li 

U 3 From 



294 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

From her own native Fnmcc at old Alifonpaft* 

She reproachM Engliih Nell with negle& or with 
malice, 

That the flatten! had left, in her HUfctt? and H AtT?, 
Her lad/a complexion and eye-brows at Calais. 

Richardfon calls hurry a female word* 
and perhaps women do make ufe of it o£- 
tener than men ; they confider it as fyno- 
nymous to agitation, and fay they have a 
fai/RRY of fpirits. Should a foreigner, catch- 
ing up the other word by miftake, obfcrve 
that the lady's fpirits are in haste, all would 
laugh, without very plainly difcoveiing the 
reaibn of their own mirth — Do not put 
yourfelf in a hurry fo, for the bufinefc we 
are upon requires no immediate or violent 
haste, being a very popular and a very 
ponynon expreffion. 



ID EN- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 295 



IDENTITY and SAMENESS 



WOULD be nearly fynonymous in con- 
verfation language, 1 believe, only that as 
the firft is a word pregnant with metaphy- 
seal controverfy, we avoid it in common 
daily ufe, or at beft take it up merely as a 
ftronger expreffion of unchangeable same- 
nsss. Mowbray and Tourville with thyr 
everlafting identity are complained of by 
Lovelace in his anxious agony of mind, as 
compactions he could not endure — while 
Hume would have told him, that although 
their manners refembled one day what they 
had been the laft, fuch refemblance was no 
proof of identity, however it might give 
a sameness to their character. Thofe in- 
deed who refolve to doubt all they cannot 
prove, give themfelves much unneceflary fa- 
tigue concerning the confeioufnefs of their 

U 4 own 



z 9 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

awn exiftence — doubting, in good time! 
whether they are themfelves the lame per- 
fons, who, before they became philofophers, 
readily believed that if they fet aa acorn an 
oak would come up— and that a chicken 
would furely be hatched from an egg, if 
warmth fufficient were adduced to caufe the 
neceflary change of appearance in what was 
before a chicken in potentia? But fuch 
doubts and fuch doubters are beft defpifed, as 
Jpne of them may poflibly have a real in- 
tereft in confidering their exiftence to be 
dubious, that efcape may be effe&ed fircm 
accounting for its errors and crime 5 . We 
fhould therefore be aware of thefe fcepticks, 
and as little as poffible I think dip into their 

4 

books; from whence little amufement or 
inftru&ion can be derived, but much same- 
ness, particularly in their difecurfe upon 

IDENTITY. 



JDIOTISM, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 297 



IDIOTISM, FOLLY, SIMPLICITY, FATUITY, 



ARE not fynonymous in colloquial lan- 
guage, though a medical man fpeaking pro- 
feflionally would make little difference be- 
tween the firft and laft. A lady however 
talking familiarly about a book of travels 
lately publifhed, would I fuppofe make fto 
fcruple of laughing at the poor Efquimaux's 
idiotism, when he is defcribed in it as 
looking with compaflion on a chained mon- 
key at a London fhow, miftaking him for a 
countryman in difgrace ; yet at the moment 
fhe f iys this, and laughs at the faft, no lady 

fuppofes the man to be in a ftate of fatu- 
ity — for, if he was, the jcft would all be 

over. 

Again — The travelling gipfy, who fends 
A fervant wench endued with underft^nding 

no 



29* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

no meaner than her own, to look for mo- 
ney under a ftone in the fcullery, while fhe 
runs away with a fiiver fpoon, takes advan- 
tage of the girl's folly, although fhe is 
ftridly fpeaking no fool; and was the for- 
tune-teller to obtain Mrs. Williams of Bris- 
tol's celebrity, and keep a good houfe over 
her head, fhe might eafily be tricked in ' her 
turn by the felf-fame Wench, if entrufted to 
go to market, and cater provifions for the 
family. 

Fatuity is privation of intellect by the 
appointment of God. Simplicity, or £5 
we juftly call it ivcaknc/s, gives way to cul* 
tivation, and may end in the attainment of 
much knowledge, by being affiduoufly in^ 
ftru&ed — as infants may be prefled forward 
to learn what is apparently beyond their 
power; whilft POLLY feems a half volun- 
tary fubmiflion or compliance to the fafci- 
nating adroitnefs of another mind, not na- 
turally fuperior, bat flulful in the arts of 

binding 



3RITISH SYNONYMY. i 99 

binding imagination by fympathy* audacity, 
or pathos j witnefs the ingenuity of fwin- 
dkro, guinea-droppers, and the reft. That 
this fubmiflive flexibility of temper may be 
driven up to idiotism is fo true, that I once 
law a rich trader prefent a conjuring chy- 
mifk with a hundred pounds, only for tell* 
tog him that, if he would grind his cochi- 
neal finer, it would go further ; and a lad 
of paft fifteen years old perfuaded to burn 
Jus fiddle, becaufe, {aid his playmates, there 
il a new difcovery now, that fiddle afhes 
fell for a crown the ounce, as there is no 
thing elie found out fo certain a cure for 
the dropfy. We call this power, making 
pools of the people ; and truly do we call 
it fo, when mankind are willing to be du- 
ped between delufion and colluiion, fo far 
that they are contented to bury thcmfelves 
chin-deep in earth at the fuggeftion of one 
mountebank, and liften to tales of animal 
magnetifm propagated for the pecuniary 

advan- 



3 ob BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

r * 

advantage of another. All the vis comic* 
of Ben Jonfon's plays confifts in the grati- 
fication of our fpleen, by feeing men fooled 
chiefly with the affiftance of their own ava- 
rice, or other vicious appetites, till artful 
knaves knowing how to ftimulate the fame, 
dupe them into idiotism ; whilft on the 
other hand his fpirit of poetical juftice fatis- 
fies at laft our honeft indignation, by exhi- 
biting the punifhment of thofe who take 
advantage of thdr neighbour's weaknefs^ to 
compenfate for the defedt in their own 
ftrength : as no man fure is much Iefs wife 
than he who is but juft cunning enough to 
trick his empty unfufpicious neighbour.— • 
See Mofca, Volpone, Subtle, and the reft. 



IDLE, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 301 



IDLE, INDOLENT, SLOTHFUL, INACTIVE, * 

LAZY. 



THOUGH none of thefe epithets, 
would fuit ill fome ufelefs members of fo- 
ciety, yet indolent feems the word ap- 
propriated in converfation language to the 
upper ranks of it. We fay an indolent 
prince, and an inactive minifter, a la«? 
zy girl, and an idle boy. The third ad- 
jedlive feems for the mod part attributed to 
brute animals ; and we read that fome fer- 
pents it India are providentially of fo 
slothful a nature, that after filling with 
food, they remain torpid and as it were to- 
tally lifelefs, fo as to be deftroyed without 
danger to the puafuers. 

Prior's John and Joan is a ftriking and 
durable picture of opulent ina&ivity- - while 

They 



) 



I* 



301 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

They ate and flept (good folks)— what then ? 
Why then they flept and ate again. 
No man's good deeds did they commend, 
So never rais'd themfelves a friend : 
No man's defefts fought they to know* 
So never made themfelves a foe. 
If human things went ill or well, 
If changing empires rofe or fell ; 
The morning pafs'd, the evening came, 
. And found this couple ftill the fame — 

with many other equally excellent verfes de- 

fcriptive of fome lord and lady, as it was once 

told me, with whom the poet had pafled a 

month in the country, when his wit firft at- 

•traded the notice of mankind ; but on whom 

the flight impreflion that it made, prompted 

him to revenge their negledt by this mock 

epitaph, written long before the parties died. 

Dryden cenfurcs this quality, and fatirtzes it 

very ingenioufly in his Cleomenes ; where 

the Egyptian King is reprefented as defi- 
*. 

rous to fhorten his name, that his fatigue in 

writing it might be fomewhat alleviated — 

8 a cir- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 303 

a eircumftance he picked upj I believe, from 
the anecdotes of San&ius II. of Spain, fur- 
named the idle — contemporary with our 
Henry I. — Dryden was a mighty reader of 
Spanifh literature. Do&or Johnfon how- 
ever does not fpeak of it as borrowed : and 
as for Fielding, who had not reach of mind 
enough to fee as Johnfon did, how finely 
die character was coloured by this incident 
— He ridicules, and teaches others to ridicule 
it, in his Tom Thumb the Great. 

Come, Dollalolla — curfe that odious name ! 
By Heavens I'll change it into Dell or Loll, 
Or any civil monofyllable 
That will not tire my tongue. 



ILLUSION, DELUSION, PHANTASM, 



THOUGH not fynonymous, are near 
enough to be very cafily confounded, at 

leaft 



3 04 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

lead by ftrangers ; while we natives know 
fo certainly how to place thefe . words, that 
we fay properly enough, that if a perfon is 
under fo ftrong a delusion as to believe 
himfelf removed for fome ftrange crime or 
fancied excellence beyond the common limits 
of humanity, he may foon come to imagine 
himfelf furrounded by fad or gay illu- 
sions, out of the ordinary courfe of nature; 
and if he feeds fuch notions in folitude, nor 
feeks recourfe from medicine in due time, 
— his friends (as one's relations are po- 
pularly called) will foon pronounce him 
ftatutably mad — and, contenting themfelves 
with enjoying his real eftate, leave our de- 
luded friend to converfe with phantasm* 
in a perpetual and ftritt confinement. 



INCRE- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 305 



INCREDULOUS, UNBELIEVING, HARD OF 

BELIEF. 



THE firft of thefe words, though in deri- 
vative ftri&nefs perhaps fynonymous to the 
Jecond, is not fo ufed in common conver- 
Jation* We fay of a man who refufes cre- 
dit to Chriftian truths^ that he is an un- 
believing hearer of the word, not that he 
is an incredulous fellow ; as we fhould 
foon affirm of him who was fo hard of 
belief as to doubt the exlftence of regular 
and periodical monfoons in one part of the 
globe, folely becaufe he had (till inhabited 
another where the winds were always va- 
riable. That perfon is moft properly called 
incredulous who fteadily refufes his tef- 
timony even to known fa&s, without the 
immediate evidence of his fenfes to confirm 
them ; which when he has received how- 
vol. i. X ever, 



« I. 



306 BRITISH SYNONYMS 

ever, he is no longer faitbkfs^ but bdieving % 
as faid our Lord to Saint Thomas. 



^ 1 « — — 



INEXORABLE and INFLEXIBLE 



ARE not fynonymous, although (he efr 
feds refulting from fuch qualities are pre- 
cifely the fame ; our firft man refuting to 
hear the voice of entreaty, the fecond never 
bending to it though. he does hear. Both at 
firft fight appear to be difpofitions ipurely 
hateful, yet both may be preffed into the 
caufe of virtue* 

A man refolv'd and fteady to his truft, 
Inflexible to ill, andobftinatelyjuft, 

is a favourite with Addifon ; and we will 
hope that fuch an unbending character will 
not fhew foftftefs in the wrong place, but be 
for ever inexorable to thefeducing void 
of temptation. 

XKFiOE- 



fe&ITISH SYNONYMY. 307 



INFIDELITY, ATHEISM, DEISM, 
SOCINIANISM. 



THAT thefe terms are not fynonymous 
'Will be readily allowed, particularly by thofe 
who are of the laft named fafhionable per- 
fuafion — and juftly — as Fauftus Socinus, 
the head of their fed, profefled to have 
written againft the atheists ; but Joft his 
manufcripts in a popular infurre&ion at Cra- 
cow, in the year 1538, when he himfelf 
Tefcaped with difficulty from the fury of the 
populace. His followers however can 
fcarcely be offended by finding themfelves 
ranked under the widely-fpreading banner 
of infidelity, while we who believe and 
are fure that Jefus was the Son of God — - 
have a right to tax thofe people as Infidels 
that endeavour to defpoil our Redeemer 
of his divinity, when he himfe'f exprefsly 

Xa (aid 



5 oS BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

faid to his difciplc Philip, that he and his Fa» 
ther were one: 

Philippe ! qui videt me, vidct et Patrcm ; Quomo* 
do tu dicis, Oftende nobis Pattern. 

Nor can I guefs why they fhould wifli to be 
called Chriftians— a mere contradiction in 
terms — while 'tis acknowledged that God 
and Man are one Chrift ; fo that notwith- 
ftanding they may revere and obey fome 
precepts given by Jefus, they cannot with 
propriety be denominated Chriftians, — the 
myftic veftment of our Divine Mailer being 
though of many colours found yet without 
a feam — woven from the top throughout. — ■ 
CaSvinifm properly fo called affords them 
no fhelter, certainly. Servctus was burned at 
Geneva for propagating fimilar do&rines ; 
nor would Faujius Socinus have efcaped 
with reproofs and cautions only, as his uncle 
Lallus did, had Calvin lived to read in the 
writings of the nephew the fruits of his ill- 

j udged 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 309 

judged lenity towards the uncle. But whilft 
be was cxercifing his felf-created authority in 
Switzerland, and was jeftingly called byfome 
the new pope of Geneva, Socinus prudently 
contented himfelf with enjoying the luxuries 
of a court; — being protected at Florence till 
the year 1574 by Francis de Medicis Grand 
Duke of Tufcany, as my Italian friends have 
informed me. Deism is therefore, fo far as 
1 am capable to comprehend the creed ofun~ 
belief \ fynonymous to socinianism, well 
underftood; and ranges under its banner 
numberlefs other ftiades of infidelity 
which come forward with new names from 
day to day — Freethinkers, Sceptics, Efpritg 
fofts, £w. 

Unfinilh'd things one knows not what to callj 
Their generation's fo equivocal. ^* 

Thus dubious and compofite colours ftrive 
for tl>e diftin&ion of a feafon, under appel- 
lation* unheard of before perhaps ; accom- 

X 3 xnodating 



yo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

modating .themfelves to modern tafte and 
prejudice— named, admired, forgotten evei* 
by the boys and girls who fearched frefli 
titles of honour fen; them whilft in favour. 
Such were once the emperor's eye, the 
foypir etouffe, the boue de Paris, and fq 
forth. They fade, and dip, and fhrink from 
fkihion's train, however — while the primi- 
tive tints vary npt name or nature fo long 
as the fun endureth. 

V 

Since the above was written I've been 
told that soctnians, only deny die divini- 
ty of Chiift, while deists doubt even hi* 
miflion. This certainly does bring the fol* 
Ipwers of Spcinus at lead as near to the true 
Chriftian Church, as are the rational and 
orthodox followers of Mahomet j for be too 
acknowledged the Son of Mary as a pro* 
phet. 



INXO-* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* $t& 



INNOCENCE and SIMPLICITY. 



' THflSE words are fynonymaus in a lite* 

• • • 

ralfenfe, and like wife when applied to the 

w I ■ 

fete of babyhood; where they prove their 
influence over the hardeft hearts^ dnd charm 

beyond the utmaft power of that virtue into 
which the firft can ever be enlarged, or that 
wifdom of which the laft is the only ttue 
foliation. When figurative, and applied 
to literary works, they are too commonly 
Separated — for we admire the simplicity 
°f many Latin poems, fome Englifh ones, 
*&d above all the French tales of La Fon- 
taine, which for their innocence can 
fautely be celebrated. — But freedom from 
superfluous ornament is our familiar idea of 
simplicity in the belles lettres and fine 
arts, while thofe beauties muft be very 
ftrong marked at laft which unadorned can 

X 4 pleafej 



31* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

plcafe; nor would I advife the inferior 
dafs of writers to imitate that naked plain- 
nefs which is fo juftly admired in Homer 
or Thucydides ; — recolle&ing, that though 
Julius Caefar** head ftiikcs you with reve- 
rence by its baldnefs, that of Cleopatra 
{hews to mod advantage when we figure to 
ourfelves the expiring beauty, and Char- 
xnion fettling her hair and diadem fo as to 
look graceful even in death. 

Munditiis capimur— ncc Cut fine lege capilfi. 

That foreigners may be led into no mrftakes, 
let us tell them that, fpeaking of thefe two 
words with reference to medicine, they are 
by no means (ynonymous: — we fay foch 
food or phyfick may be taken with inno- 
cence : the other term won't do. 



INNO- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 313 



. 4 



INNOVATION, SPIRIT OF CHANGING, DESIRE 

OF NOVELTY. 



TIS only the laft which caufes the 
encc of the former ; were there not that de- 

SJRE OF NOVELTY and SPIRIT OF CHANG* 

ino in the world, fewer innovations 
wpuld perplex mankind, and fewer misfor- , 
tunes diftrefs them. — c< Time (fays my Lord 
Bacon) is the greateft innovator, feeing 
he evermore bringeth in fonjewhat new : yet 
although termed hafly-footed, I would our 
modern ftate-menders were no more hafty 
than he — as Time waiteth ftill the ripening of 
matters, before he putteth forth a hand to ga- 
ther or {hake them down." What would 
< 

fuch a thinner have thought of the prefent 
innovating age? He would have feen that 
it was change without novelty, and that our 

prefent inftru&ors pf the human race are 

ftruggling 



314,. BRITISH SXNONYMY,- 

ftruggling to pick up all which Time had 
flung away — all that was unripe, all that 
was yotteir in politics : let fuch at leaft keep 
far from thefe iflands— 

Rife rocks between us ! — and whole oceans roll ! 

• ■ ." * ■ ■ ' • -- * 

Jfthnfon ufes the word which Includes all the 

reft with fo much aptitude anfl forced I cannot ' 

■ » • » 

refufe myfefti the pleaftfre to'tranferibe the 

piffage. When {peaking of our admirable 
eOflftitution in his Irene, the wife old Turk 
is made to reply— 

If there be any land, as Fame reports, 
"Where equal laws reftrain the prince and people $ 
A happy land — where circulating power 
" .Ffews thrrf each rimember of th' embod/d ftate ; 
Sure, not uncc-nfeioua of the mighty blefling, 
Her grateful fons fliinc bright with every virtue ; 
Untainted with the luft of innovation, 
Sure all combine to keep her league of rule 
Unbroken as the facred chain of nature 
fhat binds the jarring elements in peace. 



INSIGNIA 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 315 



INSIGNIFICANT, TRIFLING, FUTILE, LIGHT, 
NUGATORY, UNIMPORTANT. 



IT fhould feem fcarce worth the while to 
trace fynonymy fo frivolous, did not expe- 
rience daily fhew us that nugatory re- 
ports, light and mifty as the word their 
adje&ive derives from, invented at firft per- 
haps by trifling women, or men in their 
own characters no lefs insignificant, are 
yet capable of giving not only ferious dis- 
turbance to individuals, but even to the ftate 
itfelf, at times become by combination of 
circumftances very peculiarly favourable to 
half-told tales, eafily infinuated into empty 
Jieadsj where the mod futile ftories are 
moft welcome, becaufe perhaps fuch are 
fooneft blown away, leaving clear room for 
others equally unimportant, confidering 
3 their 



$16 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

their nature, but dangerous enough if we 
reflect on their poflible confequences. 



•x • , . ■ 



INSOLENT, ARROGANT, SUPERCILIOUS, 

PURSE-PROUD. 



ADJECTIVES of a genus wholly dif- 
ferent from the laft ; terms which, though 
not ftri&ly fynonymous, may yet too often 
be found predicable of one perfon only; 
cfpecially the purse-proud gentleman, 
whofe Qiirum fulminant^ like that produced 
by pyrotechnical experiments, makes a moft 
loud explofion — but never carries far, as the 
phrafe is, or is feen capable of forming a 
durable impreffion. If however too fud- 
denly acquired wealth has the happy faculty 
of broadening a fellow's features into in- 
solent levity, long fighed for admiffion 
(when once it comes) into a fafhionable cir- 
cle 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 117 

cle is fcarce lefe likely to draw up the eye- 
brows of a youthful female into a super- 
cilious fneer; nor can Literature guard 
her votaries from temptations to the like 
temper, whilft awful Erudition, arrogant 
of her own juft claims, and fcornful or at 
beft Negligent of petty pretentions, looks— 
if fhe vouchfafes to look at all — with fome- 
what like unmerited difdain upon the writer 
of this little book, and alks how long the 
fprigbtly lady has fancied herfelf initiated 
among the Gnofticks, while Error marks her 
pages and Ignorance guides* her pen. 



INVENTION, INGENUITY, ORIGINALITY, 

GENIUS. 



THESE terms are not fynonymous cer- 
tainly, though fimilar enough to be . eafily 
mifapplied by thofe who are not acquainted 

with 



ji & BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

with the manner in which we appropriate 
them. The firft feems, for example, good fof 
every art and every fcience where an ap- 
pearance of new creation is produced. Ho- 
mer and Herfchel are alike inventors, 
and Newton may be contented to fhare with 
Cervantes the praifes of originality and 
genius. Time has taught us however to 
annex meaner ideas to the word ingenu- 
ity, made peculiar in thefe later days t© 
petty contrivances and fubtlenefs of (kill, in 
the mechanic arts particularly, and from 
thence taken up, half figuratively, to expreft 
the operations of the mind. Thus while we 
are inclined to adore Shakefpeare's afionifh- 
ing powers of invention, we admire 
Waller's ingenuity, difplayed in feveral 
little poems with wonderful dexterity and 
neatnefs — witnefs the Girdle, the Marriage 
of the Dwarfs, and the Lady who fings 
the Song he wrote, with two or three 



more. 

Mean- 



• ^Bftf f ISH S Ytf 01* YtaY. 3 t 9 

Meatttim'd/as no new* creation pan after 
mil be produced by moitd ihan, fo "can yfrc 
find nothing refemblkig it fo ftrongly as fer- 
mentation, where the iurprifing cflkience of 
two bodies evidently different to produce a 
third unknown befort, leaves chetiilftfy in 
pofleffion of the higTiefft praife for origi- 
nality throughout the nafural world j 
prefHng on literary ftudents to this irfeful 
leflbn — that genius cannot energize its 
powers unlefs a certain portion of know- 
ledge be provided, on which to operate and 
with which to ferment. Let idlenefs then 
no longer feek a refuge in the hope of being 
original by the mere abfence of learning, 
which alone can inform a new-fledged wri- 
ter whether his thoughts are of his own I N- 
vention, or of thofe who went before 
him. 

Some pretty unowned verfes on the death 
of the famous Dr. Trariklin, long in my pof- 

feffion 



220 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

feffion but never printed (to my knowledge)* 
{hall clofe this article. 



like a Newton fublimely he foarM 

To a fummit before unattain'd ; 
New region? of Science explor'd, 

And the palm of philofophy gain 9 <L 

n. 

From a fpark which he brought from the {kieij 

He difplayM an unparallel'd wonder* 
And we faw, with delight and furprife, 

That his rod could defend us from thunder, 

in. 

Had he wifely but learn'd to purfue 
The bright track for his talents deGgn'd, 

What a tribute of praife had been due 
To this teacher and friend of mankind ! 

IV. 

But to covet political fame 

Was in him a degrading ambition ; 
Twas a fpark that from Lucifer came, 

And £rft kindled the blaze of fedition. 

Vi May 



A - 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 321 

May not Candour then write on his urn, 
Here, alas ! lies a noted inventor ; 

Whole flame up to heaven fhould burn, 
But inverted, defcends to the centre ? 

He invented a ftove, where the flame 
was contrived fo as to defcend inftead of 
rifing upwards. 



A JOKE a»d A JEST 

ARE not exa&ly fynonymous j the laft 
is. the pleafanter trifle of the two, and has 
come into play fince intellect has been more 
diffufed. We are now grown faftidious in 
our focial pleafures, and to degrade a jest 
call it a joke : when in former days the 

■ 

clown, or merry-andrew, or fool of courts 

and palaces, whofe wit feldom rofe above 

mfere practical jokes, was dignified by the 

yol, i. Y name 



3** BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

name of jestei* The laft of thefe 
tares upon recoid was taken into King 
Charles the Firft's houfehold, where lie af- 
fronted Aarchbilhop Laud ; and afterwards 
being negle&ed and loft fight of in the civil 
war, the cuftom was no longer obferred. 
Gty jesters remained longer in the world; 
and ninety years ago Lord Mayor's fool 
jumped into a cuftard for the laft time I 
heard or can find trace of him. 

A horrible pradHce however did prevail 
at Salifbury in Wiltshire, not more than fifty 
or at moft fixty years ago, and was called a 
joke. I have heard Mr. Harris, the learned 
James Harris, tell it as a thing he remem- 
bered : — how a man there, excellent at ail- 
ing the charader of a lunatic, was encou- 
raged to burft fuddenly upon ftrangers fct 
down to fupprr at an inn ; where after he 
had terrified them all by his clamours and 
apparent diftra&ion, they were dragged from 
under the table, chairs, &c. where their fean 

had 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 32$ 

bad fent them for refuge, and kindly in- 
formed -by their laughing friends in the fe« 
cret| that all this was nothing but a joke. 
From fuch dangerous devices, fo perilous 
both to the adtors and the audience, libera 
nos % Domine ! 

Dr. Samuel Johnfon, though full of hu- 
mour himfelf, hated a fool-born jest, as 
our Shakefpeare's King Henry when grown 
wife calls it : and I have feldom feen him 
much more angry than he was with me, 
one morning, at Weft Chefter ; while fome 
gentleman of the town was {hewing us the 
curioCties of fo ancient and refpe&able a 
place:— for our Do&or was flow, and 
heavy, and fhort-fighted ; and by the time 
he had begun to examine and difcufs one 
thing, our brifker Cicerone fet us all going 
in chace of another. This went on a while; 
and I faw impatience flruggling with civility 
in Johnfon's countenance, when he fuddenly 
afked me — in order to flop him, I fuppofe — 

Y 2 " Pray 



3*4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

" Pray what is this gentleman's name, wh# 
accompanies us fo officioufly ?" — u I think 
ihey call him Harold (replied I) ; and per- 
haps you'll find him to be of the family of 
Harold Harefoot, he runs with us at fuch a 
rate." — " Oh ! madam, you had rather crack' 
a joke, I know, than flop to learn any thing 
I can teach j fo take the road you were born' 
to run." 



JUDGMENT, DISCERNMENT, CRITICISM. . 



Tis with our judgments ^s our watches, none 
Go juft alike, yet each believes his own, 

fays Mr. Pope ; while his arch tormentor 
Dennis tells us, and very rightly too, that* 
judgment is a cool flow faculty, which 
attends not a man while in the rapture of 
poetic compofitkwu It is not then fynony-* 

mou« 



• 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 3*5 

mous to discernment, which I fhould 
call an acute and penetrating power, quick*- 
lighted ever to mark a defeft, often ani- 
mated enough likewife in chace of a beauty; 
Thefe qualities ought above all others to 
unite in formation of a m^n of the world 
and a critic. Jean Rouflet fays, that if Car- 
dinal Alberoni had been as judicious in 
keeping clofe his own fentiments from a 

rival or coadjutor as he was adroit to dis- 
cern theirs, no man could have hoped ever 
to reach his fkill in the fcavbir-vivre : whilft 
every writer who wiflies to extend his fame 
through future ages, will readily agree that 
the criticism which we all acknowledge 
to be a faculty happily combined of judg- 
ment and discernment, is the true am- 
ber wherein good poetry defires to be pre- 
served and feen through— folid yet clear, as 
Ovid lays fo fweetly, 



-ut eburnea fiquis 



Signa tegat claro, vel Candida lilia, vitro. 

Y 3 Such 



3 x6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Such ctlTiciSM really and te*a 
poflefles the property falfeiy by the anc 
attributed to Afphodel, which for that 
fon they planted nejtf burying-grounds, 
order to fupply with pn^er nourifhment 
manes of the dea^« 



KALENDAR, ALMANACK, REGISTER Of 

TIME. 



THE £rft of thefe words I have written 
with a kappa, becaufe fchplars tell me that 
'tis of Greek derivation, and comes from 
their verb to call— as the prieft appointed to 
obferve the new moon gave notice on his 
firft difcerning her appearance in the hea- 
vens by a call to him who prefided over the 
facrifices. Almanack is an Hetuew or 
Arabic word ; and fefems, I know not very 
▼ell why, to have reference towards aftro- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. s*7 

logy; whilft for the true register of 
Tims we muft depend upon the kalen- 
bar. That of Numa Pompilius contented 
a warlike nation like the Romans for near 
fcven hundred yean: but Caefar, who united 
learning and genius to his military talents, 
reformed the abufes which had crept in ; 
not however changing the names, which re- 
mained the (ame even through Pope Gre- 
gory's Hill more philofbphical and complete 
reformation, fifteen hundred years after 
Julius Caefar's time ; a veneration for litera- 
ture and reverence for antiquity having re- 
ftrained every virtuous and wife prince, nay 
every mad and tyrannical one, except Nero, 
from fuch prefumption. He indeed among 
his other ftrange exploits ftruck at the ka- 
lendar, intending the infertion of his own 
and his favourites 9 names ; but the defign 
died with him, and fans-culottides were de- 
ferred till 1793. The month Quintilis was 
called July, in honour of the firft Csfar, by 

Y 4 Mark 



3>Ixrk A/icga y diiru. g h» icnrnarc ; rid th* 

OJ.IH ■.'ffr^en: irii raa£ cc Aag*^?g afs< 



ii decease, be I Sztkt icar giIt. Ko 
cbarTz c£ nanie his rrerr eraruraf iccc. rhea. 

cnirks an. ell Rociiii 3LiLi*-z±i i* ptrc- 
UrrzxL, whers I olid ta read ace lic;zh a£ 
thia article : — u Frcta tie r jih cf fmuarr 

m « 

f 

tc the zz<L TzLr'aJ Szr*\ h% rr&r iftbe «&- 

*J ' mm* ■* 

wateS* Suie-v the Ccrve^:icn csft have 
appropriated theie wizh ^reac exictrxis* as 
their kinz'j mcrdei cited tie number fb 
ccrr.o*etefr\ Ever* ecgA was hewerer 
twicer rrctecicn cf feme dbinirv ; bet our 
medem infringers ci new cuftcms delpife all 
acknowledgments cf thit cver-nillng Pro* 
vidence whkh they daily arid hourly in* 
fiilr. 

It ii however fcarce pardonable in a 
Chriflian writer to {peak fo lightly as I do 
new, when tracing the cenduft cf men re- 

folved to provoke the vengeance cf Heaven 

in 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 329 

kf its fulled extent, by the abolition of the 
Decalogue given by God in perfon to hi* 
people, and confirmed by him incarnate four* 
teen hundred and ninety years after. When 
the fetting apart a feventh day for reft was 
infilled upon, our Saviour Chrift faid — Keep 
the Commandments: and though his fol- 
lowers changed the Jewifli fabaoth for the 
day on which he rofe again from the dead, 
as a tranfa&ion ftill more interefting than 
the finifh of creation itfelf — that day has 
been venerated by every fe&, every modifi- 
cation of Chriftians, either by a cheerful ce- 
lebration of the happinefs it has enfured to 
us, as in the Romifh church — or by a pecu- 
liar fan&ity of manners and decency of be- 
haviour, as among the proteftants. No one 
who called himfelf a Chriftian of any deno- 
mination would however fail to refpeft a 
day fo confecrated by repofe from labour, 
and rational meditation on the bleffings we 
receive j till thefe qe w inftru&cxs of man- 
kind 



33 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

kind arofe, and inftituted decades for the , 
mere purpofe of avoiding Sunday, and cut- 
ting off from their deluded followers all corn* 
snunication with Heaven— left peradventure 
they might receive illumination, and learn 
to condemn a caufe fo facrilegious, a con- 
dud fo grofs and (hamefefs. 



KING, SOVEREIGN, MONARCH, PRINCE, 

DUKE. 



WORDS differing little except in ety* 
Biology, aftd ever challenging refpeft from 
man, who firft invented them in earlieftiagcs 
to fhew the original and necefiary propen- 
fity of our nature to diftinguifh itfelf from 
inferior creatures equally gregarious, not 
merely hy choofing a chief (for Heaven has 
bellowed that inftinft on many animals, 
cranes, bees, &c), but by ele&ing as head of 

thofe 



BRITISH SYNONYMY^ 331 

thofe more enlightened tribes, which form 
the human race, foroe perfon eminent above 
his fellows for foxpe quality well upderftood 
and by thpm juftly efteemedj fitted in &ort 
for the fupreme command, by native, or ac- 
quired, pr hereditary excellence — a bene- 
£u2or, or the fon of a benefe&pr to their 
community, to whom they in grateful re* 
gard gave tides pf honour and diftin&ion. 

Thus Cambden I believe and Verftegaa 
Pgree, that the term king, of Saxon deri- 
vation, is drawn frpm Cyninj • whence the 
Tartars call their chan likewife — the origi- 
nal word, when traced to the root's extre* 
ttity, fignifying, as I am told, mojtjout and 
valiant 1 as the firft kings were monfter- 
tamers, men willingly followed by thofe 
below them in prowefs, to the great labours 
of clearing ground, killing wild beads, mak- 
ing fenced cities and the like — firft in diffi- 
culties ever, as firft in place— painful though 

^orious preeminence ! 



S3 % BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Yet thefc were virtues of a meaner rank, 

Perfe£tions that were plac'd in bones and nerves | 

Souls more refin'd were bent on higher views, 

To civilize the rude unpolifh'd world, 

And lay it under the reftraint of laws ; 

To make man mild and fociable to man, 

1 To cultivate the wild, licentious favage 

With wifdom, difcipline, and liberal arts, 

Th* cmbeilifliments of life. 

Addison's Cato. 

And true it feems, that thofe who fight and 
kick againft their king, fight alfo againft 
all and each of thefe j and far as they fuo 
ceed return to barbarifm. Oh ! may, the 
prefent league of royalty be crowned with 
juft fuccefs ! and fave all Europe now, while 
yet 'tis time, from fin, from forrow and con- 
fufion, and from relapfe into that favage ftate, 
that returning chaos whereto every thing 
appears to tend ! The word rex mean- 
time, deriving as the Scythian ribcks, the 
Spanifh ret, &c. as Poftel fays, from an 
old Hebrew wosd fignifying the head, feems 

to 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. jj| 

to be the caufe that kipgs add that fignatiire 
to the firftname now in thefe Chriftian 
days ; for monarchs:have no fur- names, but 
appellatives— as Henri Beau-clerc, meaning 
the learned; Philippe le Bel, meaning the 
handfome, &c. And thefe late writers have 
(hewn as little learning as loyalty in finding 
out the .king of France to be plain Louis 
Gapet*.a$ they call him — feeing that his an- 
ccftor Hugb % when the nobles chofe to fet 

him up againft Charles duke of Lorraine, 

* 

in or about the year 987, took the name of 
Capet as bead: for fur-name had he none be- 
fore ;,and !tis no more his name thai) George 
RBxis the name of our own gracious Sove- 
reign • his father was Hugues le Blanc, of 
Grand* who fubdued L&thaire. Duke means 
no more than leader or eonzwctor of armies 
°t of tribes, when young fociety began to 
form, and mankind rofe above the brute 
Nation by exerting his higheft privilege to 
tt s nobleft purpofe — that of claffing the ranks 
4 'S " ' of 



|34 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

of humanity and {bring die limits of aggre- 
gate life.. Tc DUU is ftill a half proverbial 
expreffion, and fignifies attachment to our 
leader. Meantime monarch in the po- 
liteft language well oppofed to <4Jvarch and 
^varchy, denotes a fole and sovereign 
fway: soverain or souferjin implying 
that this monarch was Jet over all — the 
univerfal governor, under whom tributary 
princes ruled asjfry? figures — princepsIxx 
their own diftri&s — while he, the head of 
gold, held the fupreme jurifdi&ion, and to 
him all appeals were made. Four of theft: 
univerfal monarchies are paft; and God has 
explicitly declared by his prophets that there 
fliall be no more fuch : — he now punifhes 
with exemplary fufferings that nation which 
fince our Saviour's coming has alone aimed 
at universal MONARqnr ; and (hews to all 
the world that he who exalteth bimfelf 
{ball be abafed. 



KNAVERY, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 335 



KNAtERY, RASCALITY, WAGGISH FRAUD, 

TRICKS. 



mm 



THESE are not quite fynonymous I 
think, the fecond word implying fomewhat 
more ferious than the others. All come from 
the petty malice and buffoonery of fervants, 
in old ariftocratic days admitted to more 
familiarities than now; when rank is lefs 
furely afcertained, and more danger might, 
arife from approximating one fituation of 
life with another. 

Knave meant ferv ant ; the knave upon 
the cards in Englifh is valet in* French ; 
and when Chaucer and his cotemporary 
writers (the elegant ones, for Chaucer 
Wrote the high court language of his day) 
mention a knave? child, as a boy, in 
oppofition to a female child, or girl, he 
means an bar, the eldcjlfon of the family 
3 always \ 



53 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY.' 

always; becaufe the heir while the fathef 
lived was a fervent: — whence indeed the 
motto to the heir of England. 

Paul, a knave of Jefus Chrift, is fhewn 
in the Duke of Lauderdale's Bible; but there 
are doubts of that being genuine, among 
people converfant in fuch matters. Mean- 

■ 

time rascal meant a lean deer; and the 
keeper of a nobleman or gentleman's park 
being the knave he ofteneft converted 
with, he ufed in fport to call him RASCAL 3 
Vou make fat rascals, Mrs. Doll, fays 
FalftafF on this principle. 

Foreigners will now find petty TRICKS - 
and waggish frauds, fuch as April Fool 
Day exhibits ia remote provinces, called 
knavery : nearer London that word feems 
now to mean cheats at cards, or fuch other 
paltry RASCALITIES. 



> - 



KNOW- 



fcRlf I§H SYNOKtMY. wf. 



kNOWLEDGE, SCIENCE, WISDOM, SCHOLAR. 
SHIP, STUDY, LEARNING, ERUDITION. 



:j 



"thereby the well-worn taper's light) 

* 

Wearing away the watch of night, 

Sat study ; who, with o'erfraught head* 

Stemember'd nothing that (he r£ad— 



lays eur EbglUh fatirift ; yet in vulgar ac- 
ceptation is fhe made nearly fynonymous 
ID the Other fix words of a catalogue jfo re-* 
fpe£tab)e, that their difcriminatiopsjfre well 
worthy to be traced, could a hand be found 
pofiefied of the clew commanding a maze 
fo intricate* Till fuch a one appears, let 
me with trembling modefty undertake the 
charge of foreigners who will venture to 
tread with me the lovely though perplexing 
labyrinth, where they will find wisdom, 
or Sophia enthroned in the midft, a gift of 
God alone, an energy divine, apparently 
vol. i. Z fpon? 



,338 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fpontafieous in fome chofen fouls, of powtf 
to endure stud?, and through her means 
to obtain knowledge } not in a limited or 
eonftrained fenfe do I fpeak it, but know- 
ledge of ourfdves and of what ftands a- 
round us; in a word, science with her 
numerous ramifications; the ft r on geft branch 
of which perhaps, and hardeft to fubdue, it 
that of language, man's firft great diftino 
tkm, die bar placed by Omnipotence fte 
prove ana to preferve the dignity 1 of bim 
whom kr was pleafcd to c x m flit iit s lord of 
lib filf cmtioo j~~* gift beftowod arigi- 
nally upon thofewho, when no longer in- 
nocent, were by that one gifcat facnhy aloofc 
rendered capable of every evil ; infomueb 
that God thought -fit to cofifound tbcirprkfc 
by his immediate iftterpofition, ftddfeqg Oct 
that odbafion ififinude to pumfetti«tt»^ 

'Since that rnibSajSpy % hour, It- has been 
jUftly accounted L ] e^i^ning for mortals to 
read the precept^ of their aaceftats* whiles 

as* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 339 
as one of their fweeteft poets beft expreffes 

We wtitc in fand, our language grow* 
And like the tide bur work overflows* 

Worfe flill ! while birds and beads have 
iall of them a method whereby to compre- 
hend the mutual fympathy of ambrous 
emotion* or friendly intercourfe, by founds 
Well underftood ; even kings and princes of 
the human race are obliged to call in the 
affiftance of scholarship in fomei degree, 
in order to know the tongue and dialed of 
that fair whom they would addrefs before 
they can woo her affections* 

If this rhapfody is thought tedious or of- 
fenfive, as fetting language too high upon 
the fcale of human acquirements, let us re- 
coiled that there is nothing worth acquiring 
to be had without this indifpenfable key to 
it; and although Balzac terms fuch stu- 
dies the luggage of antiquity, and Locke 

Z a advifes 



340 BRITISH SYNONYM*. 

advifee us to fill the mind with ufeful re- 
flexions, rather than load it with a weight 
of erudition — k was perhaps becaufe 
the firft wifhed to conceal his own igno- 
rance of ancient ftylc and dialed, under an 
aflumed contempt ; while he intended to 
form a phrafeology wholly his own in 
France, and render that the criterion of ex- 
cellence. Mr. Locke began the world a 
wit and critic, and half a poet, and made 
epigrams ; and one might fay with Prior, 

I'm forry, Sir, that you've difcanfed 
The men with whom fo long you herded. 

But his constitution would not permit 
him to toil through the ftiff clays of gran*- 
mar, logic, or fchool learning of any 
fort ; difputes concerning which always put 
him out of humour, his biographers fay, 
efpecially Mr. P. de Cofte, in his Chara&er 
rather than Life of Locke, printed by Mr. 
des Maizeaux ; and fo he blinded his own 

cjes, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 341 

eyes, and thofe of his followers, with the 
duft raifed by Defcartes, till he kept a cloud 
of it thick between him and the old Arifto- 
telians, and fancied that philofophy for ever 
exploded by French genius, in good time ! 
and French audacity, Locke's reach of 
mind was fuch, however, he could not but 
know that, in order our heads fhould be 
jfcred with ufeful xejfle&ions, fomewhat 
fhould be provided for us to reflect upon : 
— and that even moral philofophy, or ethics, 
jnuft come to the grammarian for elucida- 

# 

tion, as chronology muft defcend to the 
computift for proofs — might be fhown from 
a couplet in the Eflay on Man, where Mr. 
Pope afferts pretty roundly — I hope with- 
out underftanding himfelf— that 

For modes of faith let gracelefs zealots fight, 
His can't be wrong, whofe life is in the right. 

Now furely the Mahometan paradife is 
no truer, and the Mahometan faith no 

1 

Z3 purer, 



34» BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

jJtir^r, for thfe good lives of fome individual 
TWaflulmen ; nor will any one believe th$ 
ftory of Viftnoo and his Seven Metamor* 

> 

phdfetf ' m hour fooncr, becaufe they fee 
fome good old Bramin, who believes theifi 
fkithfully, leading an innocent and praife- 
Worthy life. Mr. Gibbon does not appear; 
to give credit to Pdlytheiftp, or; forbear to 
laugh at ftories of thiofe deities which were 
ferioufly enough adored by the iacompira-* 
ble Scipio — although he laments their ex> 
clufion, — Ridiculous ! — Hid then Mr. Pope 
% only put the fcrfoml Jprdnoun in place bf 
& e P°]f e J* vc one f as nominative cafe to thte 
tcrb, and faid, v 

Hi can't fate wrong whofe life is in the right, 

it had been quite fufftcient, and ex- 
plained his own meaning cleanly ; which 
doubtlefs went no further than to fay how 
a virtuous Muflulm^n was as valuable in 
the fight of his impartial Creator, as a vir- 
tuous Chriftirtfi i and the morality of Scipiq 

equally 



BRITISH STNONYMY. 343 

equally dear to God as that of my Lord 
Falkland or Jtfarechal Turenne. So much 
£brthe influence of grammar on a branch 
of study that has often enough profefled 
9 lofty contempt of it ; — and I could give an 
Inftanee of its confluence with regard' to 
historical $£b too, anji the ait of negotiating 
between contending powers, md of pen- 
ping treaties with correftneft incapable of 
being eluded by intereft, w denied by in- 
fenfibility. 

The anecdote relates to a capitulation of 
the Dutch garrifon in Tournay, 1745, when 
$hey thought themfelv$$ reftrained by at* 
article only from a&iqg for a limited time in 
any of die barrier towns j but foon found 
put how the grammatical conftrudion of 
the words had deceived them, when the 
French interpreted that convention, as tying 

them up from siding in any part of Europe* 

__ * 

The cavil turned upon the following ex- 

• 

preffion :— Dutch troops were not iq aft in 

Z 4 any 



344 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

any of the places les plus rcculees de la bar* 
rlere. Our honeft Hollanders doubdefs im* 
derftood de la barrierc in the genitive cafe} 
Meffieurs les Francois fwore they meant it 
in the ablative. 

Shall I go on ? or have I (aid enough ? as 
Milton makes his Lady in Gomus exclaim, 
when praifing Virtue before the throne of 
Vice : — or can enough be faid to enhance 
the value of thofe studies which tend to 
clucidatescHOLASTic learning, and, fix* 
tag the boundaries of language, feek for their 
obje& the w«U underftanding pf fpeech ? 

Speech I Thought's canal ! Speech ! Thought's criterion 

too; 
Thought in the mine may come forth gold or droft* 
When frirtdx* words we know its real worth. 

But poetry is idle, If we feek to be fublimp 

in our defcripdon of its excellency, its dig- 

mty, or its power ; — for fpeech was the en-r 

gine of creative energy. — He Jjpake tb* 

word, and they were created, 

TQ 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, $45 



TO LACERATE, TO TEAR, TO REND, TO 
BREAK, TO SEPARATE WITH VIOLENCE, 
TO DIVIDE FORCIBLY, TO SPLIT* 



■^■1 



THAT the firft of thefe words fhould 
be fo feldom ufed in converfation, though 
eminently pleating, one might enquire long 
and find no caufe, unlefs its familiarity with 
the Surgeon's profeflion may be • deepied 
one. Their diftin&ions between a contujtd % 
an incifed 9 and a lacerated wound may have 
given difguft, and contributed, for aught I 
know, to the banifliment of that expreflion 
from polite fociety, where it would found 
pedantic and improper,. In ferious and 
fteady talk concerning any important event, 
we yet retain it however; and no man 
would be difpraifed for laying in company, 
% hat when he looked upon Great Britain in 
p geographical map, it gave him the idea of 

having 



;4* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

having in former ages adhered as by 4 
flan to the continent; and thence bong 
roughly lacerated by fome accident, 
was perhaps rent away, (ike Sicily from 
Calabria's ftiore, of which the word rbtgh 
is a corroborating evidence ; while to se- 
FARAte wish viotasce, and f ORCJBl/r DI- 
VIDE one place from another, is die pro* 
pcrty of earthquakes common in theSoutlt 

of Italy and its vtcimig^ where a traveller 
perpetually feet Jittie iflands apparently 
torn off from the ndgftbouring coaft, 
and principally about Pogzuoft, till die fight 
of rocks split in two. or Btx>£fiV in a 
thooftitd pieces by their fcwn internal com? 
motions* fcarce aftonifh one— fo frequent 
as well as frightful are thefe phenomena. 
So much for the analogy of words not fy- 
nonymous after all; whilft a foreigner muft 
be careful above every thing to avoid our 
vile Weftern dialed*, which fay, I brot* my 
beft muffin apron in {hatching a china 

plate 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ZA y 

pfatc to fave it from being torn : a phrafe ift 
which broke and totn are put precisely ift 
the wrong place. — For better explanation, 
whatever is woven may be torn, whatever 
is brittle or fragile we can eafily break % 
the hardeft fubftances will split, if gun- 
powder be applied properly for that pur* 
pofe, Jealoufy will separate with vio- 
lence die clofeft friendfhips ; and the fpirit 
of party rage divide the neareft ties of 
blood, ftefh is lacerated by a thoufand 
its; but irruptions from a volcano 
RE$rp even mountains afundcr. 



** 



'•< m «r»*i 



TONGUES, SPEECH, IDIOM, 
DIALECT. 



AS all language was at firft oral, one 
would naturally fuppofe the fecond of thefe 

• • 

Words to be the common converfation term ; 

7 but 



j 4 » BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



but experience fays no, notwithftanding 

■ 

that its derivation is nearer home than the 
others— if we except speech, that claims 
froip. Runic origin like itfelf. But the mira- 
culous gift of TONGUES,beftowed onChrift's 
Apoftles by the immediate interpolltion of 
God's Holy Spirit for the purpofe of pro- 
pagating his divine precepts, might poffi- 
bly contribute to the confecration of this 
word from ^y conupoi or familiar ufc, 

though it yet remains an ornament of 
try j while speech fignifies more popularly 
a general power of utterance, than a modi of 
it appropriated to fome particular nation. 
Idiom implies the cafl of expreflion and turn 
of difcourfe belonging to a language, and 
Hi alec Trans into fub-divifions, as the coun- 
try where 'tis fpoken divides into provinces 
or diftri&s. Thefe dialects in England, 
France, or Spain, where there is (or ought to 
be) one government only, are mere corrupt 
(ions not modifications of the language, — 



BRITISH S1TN0NVM*, fr 9 

1h Italy, as heretofore in Greece, matter* 
«re very different ; each ftate has a feparate 

«ode of laws, diftind manners, dreffes, ha- 
l>its of life dependent on their different go-* 
^remments ; fome of which are monarchical, 
ibme purely ariftocratical : in countries fo 
^liverfified, the language varies too, and al- 
xnoft every dialect is a written one. — I 
liave feen books in Milanefe, and tranfla- 
tions from the Tufcan into Venetian fre- 
quently: — indeed you lee upon the figns, 
&& when you come into a new (late, all 
over Italy; for, though the accomplifhed 
ladies of the court and profefled fcholars 
fpeak to you in Florentine^ or as we fay 
Italian , the ordinary people fcarce know of 
fuch a tongue either at Naples, Genoa, or 
Turin, where either French or the provin- 
cial patois falutes your ear fo conftantly, 'tis 
difficult to fuppofe yourfelf in that nation of 
which you ftudied the language when in 
England In the Venetian ftate I few a 

man 



.fa fcRtTlSH SYNONYMY. 

toan who I bad been told was Gsbrgk 
Scendone write his • name upon his door 
Zorza Zcndon ; and it iifed to be my fport 
to talk Milanefe with all old Tiifcan kt- 
quais de place at Florence, and he called it 
Turks/by nor would believe it was a dialed 
of Italy* 

Meantime speech is the comprehenfive 
word ufed ferioufly for a traUfcendentaL 
44 There is neither speech nor language** 
((ays the pfalmift), but their Voices art 
heard among them." — u In speech be thefe 
-eight parts following/ 9 lays our Lilly's Gram** 
mar ; a book that boafts a conftellation of 
ieholarlhip and learning in thofe who com* 
pofed it, which hardly any other of th* 
fame fize can fhow; while the illuftrious 
names of Eiafmus, Dean Collet, Lilly, and 
1 believe Sir Thomas More himfelf* embalm 
and preferve it for as long as literature fhall 
laft in this kingdom. An example to take 
in our five words at the head of this article* 

muft 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 351 

iirnft not however be forgotten : it might 
_b* nude to ran thus,: 

m 9 9 

Gharle^^Quint was noted for feyirig, that 

.mapy times is he man. If this pofition be 
.true, what, a mortal muft the interpre- 
ter of Sultan Solyma4 have bqen ! who 
was ftift to have fpoken twenty-feven divers 
TOKOOfis with fluency and eafe, among 
which were fbme Malabirick dialects, I 
truft ; and even the clucking speech of the 
Hottentots muft have been called in lor the 
purpofe of making out fo furprifingly great 
a variety. It is not, however, knowing a 
number of names for one thing* that conftU 
tutes a philologer like James Harris, or like 
Samuel Johnfon, although it may make a 
linguift like BarettL 

And fure, faid I, you find yourfelf fo able, 
Pity yon «as not druggcrman at Babel. 

Donne, 

white 



** 



jji British synonym* 1 . 

While to difcorer the root aftd grafp- tfefi 
ftem of language ; to inveftigate its qua* 
lilies, and examine into its colours ; to learn 
the ramifications, and form acquaintance 
with the idioms, thofe flowers that adora it i 
to pf efervfc their ftfreets, and ftore them up 
a valuable pforifion of materials fat die 
arts of Logic, Rhetoric, and Poetry— 
this is the ufeftd* and not undelightfid 
deftination of a fcholar's life 



from fcience' proud tree the rich fruit he reeexret* 
Who could (hake the whole trunk, while they turn'd » 
few leaves. 



LARGE, BIG, BULKY, GREAT. 



THAT thefe words are nearly fynony- 
mous, we doubt not] that they are not 
wholly fo, may be feen by applying them 

differ- 



V 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 353 

differently, and placing them clofely with- 
out imputation 6f tautology, while we at 
firm that Mr. Bakewell's la&ge breed of 
iheep in Leicefierfhire produced in the year 
1780, or then abouts, a ram fo bulky, as 
at. three years old to meafure two feet five 
inches high, and five feet ten inches round his 
body, or,' as we exprefe it, in the girth. Such 
h the effe& of care and cultivation ; which 
in laniferous animals is of apparent ufe, 
fcecaufc fo much wool may be gathered off a 
body fo large in circumference. Great 
tattle however fcaicely can be faid to an- 
fwcr the pains taken to increafe their fize; 
A big cow is not found to give as much 
more or as much better milk than her com- 
panions, as will pay the farmer for the 
deep pafture fhe ftandd in need of, and for 
his unremitted attention in change and re- 
newal even of that ; befides that the breed 
will revert back to the natural magnitude? 
tvery year, unlefs much money is fpent, 
tOL. 1. A a and 



354 BRITISH SYNONYMY: 

and pains taken to prevent it : — and I be~ 
lieve la rob oxen in countries where they 
plough with them, do no more work, and 
do that work no better, than beads of the 
common undcgeneratcd fize. Such plea* 
fures will at lebgth end where they began 
—-in mere experiment ; for Nature when 
prefled out of her common courfe rtfents 
the infult, and drives man back by means 
unknown even to himfclf— back to the 
beaten road, fo fure as he ever was difpofed 
to quit it; whatever firange temptation 
might feduce, whatever inqujfitive philofo- 
phy might prompt him. 



ssssr 



LAVISH, PROFUSE, PRODIGAL. 



THESE adje&ives end in a climax ; for 
he who begins by being lavish will foon 

become 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 355 

become t»ROFUSfi, and finlfh with growing 
jfo completely Prodigal, that no income will 
fupply his wafteful and ridiculous excefs. 
This laft word is for that reafott turned into 

k fubftantive, and exprefles a man guilty of 

• * 

fell fuch riotous follies as are afcribed to the 

m ■ * 

youth in our Blefled Saviour's well-known 

» » ■» • • 

parable*— Tropes of poetry and rhetoric do 
tooft certainly and daily* as Dodor Johnfoii 

« 

lays; encroach upon our profe, and the 
metaphorical becomes the current fenfe in 

time; This aflertioa is obvioufly true in the 

■ « ... • ». •- 

naming one of out very common fruits — 

called at Jirft poflibly the neSarinc or ne£ta~ 

• * * . 

Vcous fruit, in brdet to diftinguifh it as fu~ 
perior to ail others in Bavout j — and now 
'tis known by that name only*— With re- 
gard to the words upon my lift, the fame 
Do&or Johnfon tvith his accuftomed wif- 
flom ofctferved, That a young man naturally 
difpofed to be lavish ever appears befet 
With temptations to extend his folly, tad 

Aai tecome 



35<5 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

become eminently profuse, till he call 
fcarcely avoid ending his days a PRODIGAL, 
diftrefled on every fide in mind, body, and 
eftate ; for while the neighbours and ac- 
quaintance reprefs that fpirit of penurious 
niggardlinefs which now and then betrays 
itfelf in a boy of mean education— becaufe 
from that bafenefs indulged no pleafure or 
profit can accrue to ftanders by — they all 
encourage an empty-headed lad in idle and 
expenfive waftefulnefs, from whence fome* 
thing may poffibly drop into every gaping 
mouth. I never myfelf heard a ftory of 
prodigality reduced to want, yet keeping 
up its chara&er in the very hour of defpair, fo 
well authenticated as the following, which I 
gained from a native of Italy. 

Two gentlemen of that country were 
Walking leifurely up the Hay-Market fome 
time in the year 1 749, lamenting the fate of 
the famous Cuzzona, an adtrefs who fome 
time before had been in high vogue, but 

waa 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 35* 

was then as they heard in a very pitiable 
fituation. Let us go and vifit her, faid one of 
them, fhe lives but over the way. The 
other confented ; and calling at the door, they 
were fhewri up flairs, but found the faded 
beauty dull and fpiritlefs, unable or un- 
willing to converfe on any fubjeft. How's 
this ? cried one of her confolers, ars you 
ill ? or is it but low fpirits chains your 
tongue fo ? — Neither, replied fhe : 'tis hun- 
ger I fuppofe. I ate nothing yefterday, and 
now 'tis paft fix o'clock, and not one penny 
have I in the world to buy me any food. 
— Come with us inftantly to a tavern, we will 
treat you with the beft roaft fowls and Port 
wine that London can produce. — But I will 
have neither my dinner nor my place of eating 
it prefcribed to me y anfwered Cuzzona in a 
iharper tone — elfe I need never have want- 
ed. Forgive me, cries the friend — dp your 
own way ; but eat in the name of God, and 
jeftor e fixating nature. — She thanked him 

A a 3 ther^ 



35* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

then, and calling to her a friendly wretc^ 
who inhabited the fame theatre of miferyv 
gave htm the guinea the vifitor accompanied 
his laft words with, and Run with this mo- 
oey, faid fhe, to fuch a wine- merchant-— nam- 
ing him ; he is the only one keeps good To- 
kay by him — ? tis a guinea a bottle, mind 
you — to the boy — and bid the gentleman 
you buy it of give you a loaf into the bar- 
gain — he won't refute. In half an hour or 
lefs the lad returned with the Tokay. But 
where, cries Guzzona, is the loaf I fpoke for ? 
The merchant would give me no loaf, replies 
her meflcnger ; he drove me from the door, 
and afked if I took him for a baker. — Block- 
head ! exclaims flie, why I muft have bread 
to my wine you know, and I have not a 
penny to purchafe any — Go beg me a loaf 
direSly. The fellow returns once more 
with one in his hand and a halfpenny, tell- 
ing 'em the gentleman threw him three, 
and laughed at his impudence. — She gave 

her 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 35* 

tier Manny the money — broke the bread 
into a wafh-hand bafon which flood near, 
poured the Tokay over it, and devoured 
the whole with eagernefs. This was in* 
deed a heroine in profusion. Some a&ivc 
well-wifhers procured her a benefit after 
this ; (he gained about 350L 'tis faid, and 
bid out two hundred of the money inftantly 
in a Jbell-cap : they wore fuch things then* 
Put Do&or Jbhnfon had always fome ftory 
at hand to check extravagant and wanton 
waftefulnefs. His iroprovifo verfes made on 
a young Heir's coming of age are highly ca- 
pable of reftraining fuch folly, if it is to be 
reftrained : they never yet were printed, I 
Relieve. 

Long expe&ed one-and-twenty, 
Lingering year, at length is flown ; 
Pride and pleafure, pomp and plenty, 
' Creat ■ ■ , are now youT own. 

Loofen'd from the minor's tether, 
Free to mortgage or to fell, 

A a 4 Wild 



3$o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Wild as wind, and light as feather* 
Bid the fons of thrift farewell. 

Call the Betfeys* Slates and Jennies* 

* • 

AD the names that banifh care ; 
Lavish of your grandfire's guineas, 
Shew the fpirit of an heir. 

All that prey on vice or folly 
Joy to ice their quarry fly » 
There the gamefter light and jolly. 
There the lender grave and fly. 

Wealth* my lad, was made to wandefj 
Lee it wander as it will y 
Call the jockey, call the pander* 
Bid them come and take their filL 

When the bonny blade caroufes* 
Pockets full, and fpirits high — 
What are acres ? what are houfes ( 
Only dirt or wet or dry. 

Should the guardian friend or mother 
Tell the woes of wilful wafte ; 
Scorn their counfcl, fcorn their pother—* 
You can hang or drown at laft. 



LAWLESS, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 36* 



LAWLESS, LICENTIOUS, WILD, 
UNGOVERNABLE. 



THESE words above all others take their 
fenfe — and their fynonymy, if fynonymous 
they are — from converfation. — We fay a 
licentious writer, an ungovernable 
fchool-boy, a wild young fellow, and a 
lawless multitude. Whatever is unreftrain- 

« 

ed, whatever is prefumptuous, may claim 
thefe epithets adjedtivially. — The firft is how- 
ever ten times for one ufed as an adverb ; 
in verfe almoft always — fince Dryden's time f 
who feldom ufing compound epithets often 
ftrengthens his meaning by giving two — 

Blind as the Cyclop, nay more blind .than he, 
They own'd a lawless, favage liberty, 
Like that our painted arfceftors once priz'd, 
Ere empire's arts their breafts had civiliz'd. 

While Pope in more modern phrafe— lefs 

energetic 



S$z BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

energetic from its fuperior elegance and 
polifli perhaps — but very beautifully ex* 
plaims : 

*- 

Let earth unbalanced from her orbit fly, 
Planets and funs run lawless through the fkj ; 
Let ruling angels from their fpheres be hurl'd. 
Being on being wreck'd— and world on world ; 
All this dread order break, for whom ? for thee* 
Vile worm !— Oh madnefs ! pride [ impiety ! 

Would not one think he had been writing 
to citizen Danton or Collot D'Herbois of 
the French Convention ? Meantime the fe- 
cond word on our lift has commonly a mo- 
ral fenfe tacked to it beyond what naturally 
follows the other three. Such a one, fay we, 
leads a licentious life, I wonder what 
will come of it: he was ftrangely ungo- 
vernable when a lad, and expelled from 
the military academy at Woolwich for his 
wild pranks and extravagant conduct : in- 
capable of being reflrained by the rules 
of any foci?ty — his friends then ffnt him to 

fea^ 



BRITISH SYNONYM*, jfy 

fea, where he headed a jnutiny, in whid^ 
lie captain was confined in irons till Va- 
jario and his comrades had gained firm pot 
feflion of the fliip : they put out the yawl 
then, fet their commander and the three 
officers who held with him, on board her ; 
ind leaving them in the midft of the Pa- 
cific Ocean to find their way how and 
where they could, carried off the veflel, 
and turned pirates, fubjed to no controul, 
ipd with claims to no protection. How a 
Rate fo lawless can long exift, I know 
not. The young fellow was once heard of 
fince, as having touched at Otaheite— -a fit 
place enough for one fo favagely difpofecL 
Cambden tells us of a court called law* 
less court in England, held at King's Hill 
fomewhere in Effex, every Wednefday morn^ 
ing at early dawn from Michaelmas to Chrift- 
mas ; where they have none but fire-light 
to do bufinefs by, and he who owes fuit and 

fervict 



364 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

jfcrvice there forfeits his rent if he fails ia 
his attendance. He tells us too, that this 
was a punifhment impofed on the tenants 
there, for having once r aflembled at that 
unlawful hour, with intent to raife a 
commotion. I fuppofe the ufage is fallen 
into decay, now that old cuftoms are in a 
general ftate of relaxation. Perhaps our 
witneffing the dreadful effe&s of UNGO- 
VERNED fury in a neighbouring nation, 
may give us fpirit to hold fall however by 
our legiflative powers and conftituted au«* 
thority ; confcious that to maintain them is 
to fupport our/elves, and fave our living 
perfons from maflacre, our dead bodies 
from facrilegious fpoilcrs, which in France 
now tear up the corpfes of their departed 
kings, and ftrip with favage, with unheard 
of greedinefs — the facred dead for gain. 
— What wonder? — When commerce Ian- 
guilhes, indufjry fleeps, war roars, and 

hunger 



British syno^my. #&? 

hunger rages — down they come like troops 
of wolves defcribed by Thomfon in hi*Sea«* 
fons: 

Burning for blood— bony, and gaunt, and grim, 
All is their prize : they fallen on the fteed, 
Prefs him to earth, and pierce his mighty heart i 
Nor can the bull his awful front defend. 
Or (hake the murderous lavages away. ' 
Rapacious at the mother's throat they fly, 
And tear the fcreaming infant from her bread. 
Even Beauty — force divine ! at whofe bright glanc4 
The generous lion ftands in foften'd gaze, 

Here bleeds a helplefs, undiftinguifh'd prey. 

But if, appriz'd of the fevere attack, 

The country be fliut up ; lur'd by the fcent, 

On church-yards drear, inhuman to relate, 

•The difappointed prowlers fall — and dig 

The (hrowded body from the grave, and there, 

Mix'd withfoul fhadesand frighted ghofts— they howl. 



LAY, 



\« 



4*4 BRITISH SYNONYMY; 



iAY, SdNG, BALLAD ; POETICAL Ol£ 
MUSICAL COMPLAINT. 



I SHOULD not have faid musical 
toMPLAiNT here,- had I not hoped the foft 
nightingale's pathetic ftfains Would in fonie 
tneafure havfe jttftified the exprefiion. Yet 
I doubt riot but in ancient days, when lAy 
Sneant (omething pofitivc, and the beft ly- 
ticks in the old provengal performances im- 
plied no morfe* nor ever could have obtained 
apy higher nafne — thfejr toefS alwaysf tet; 
and commonly fling too: for the three 
lifters then lived very kindly together, and 
Poetry had not learned to defpife family af- 
fiftance ; when a painted explanation of the 
lover's fadnefs ornamenting the top of a very 
mournful ballad* with a few fimple notes 
to which he fung it under the fair onfe'rf 
window, rendered thefweet lay irrcfiftiblej- 

7 «dt 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- $6} 

and I much wonder that Dr. Burney, in his 
delightful Hiftory of Mufick, did not givs 
us a beautiful fpecimen from Pere Mourguy 
of an ancient lay, printed as fiich in his 
learned Treatife upon French Poetry* I 
cannot myfelf refill the pleafure of infexting 
and imitating it ; although that is a ppwer 
the laft named author has fo much of, 
'tis half infolent to attempt tranflating 
what he forbears* 

Sur l'appuy du monde, 
Que faut il qu'on fonde 

D'Efpoir ? 

Cette mer profonde 

En debris feconde 

Fait voir > 

Calrac au matin londe ( 
Et Porafge y gronde 

Le foir. 

On this world's foundation 

Who their hopes would place ? 

They (hould find, alas ! 

Nothing but vexation. 

* ShipwxtckM 



36* BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

ShipwreckM Tailors we 
On life's flatt'ring fca, 
Find it calm i' th* morning, 
But, the night returning* 

On fome rocky coaft, 
lVe 9 poor fouls! are lo/f* 

To the old lay, trochaick meafure was 
iadUpenfeble, as I have read ; among mo- 
dern ones Pope's third Paftoral feems pret* 

■ ■ 

tieft and neareft to original ideas ; but hef 
called profefledly on Virgil's mufe for affifU 
ance, fo that imitation is provided againft* 
and pardoned* 

Ye Mantuan nymphs ! your facrcd fuccours brings 
Hylas and Agon's rural lays I fing. 

The word is now ufed for almoft every 
metrical compofition, and foreigners wilt 
find it accepted To too often : this is how-' 
ever mere effect of ignorance ; a lay cart 
mean only a fong or verfes expreffive of 
complaint, as the French from whom we get 

it derive the word from less us, a funeral 

fong 



8RITISH SYNONYMY* 369 

fong or dirge ; and though Johnfon confi- 
ders it as of Danifh etymology, from leey, 
'tis ftill a lamentation every way. 

" Ballad," fays Dr. Watts, u once fig* 
nified a folemn, lad, and facred fong ; but the 
word now applies only to trifling verfes."— 
Would it be too faucy for me to venture a 
conje&ure that it once meant a rondeau or 
roundelay, either in the poetry or the mufic? 
'Tis the formation of the word which leads 

§ 

me fo to fancy — the ball means but dan- 
cing in a circle; the ballad I believe meant 
finging in one* 



LENITY, MILDNESS* MERCY, GENTLENESS. 



VIRTUES admired by Pagans, recom- 
mended to Chriftians, enjoined by Maho- 
met, commanded by God when he gave 

vol. 1. B b laws 



s7 o BRITISH SYNONYM^. 

laws in perfon to a people lie was plcafcd to 
call peculiarly his own : qualities by modern 
philofophy confidered as non-exiftent, by 
modern manners annulled, and by French 
maxims totally~aboli{hed ; for, if all men are 
equal, mercy is no more — and how fhall 
len*ty be fhewn when punHhment is not 
in our power? who fhall be praifed for 
mildness, where rougher conduit would 
only be retorted by ftrength perhaps fupe- 
rior to our own ? " We live in an age," 
fays a great writer, fifteen years ago, " when 
it feems to be a fort of public fport to con- 
temn all authority which cannot be en- 
forced :" — but let us remember, that witlv 
authority goes away obedience, loyalty, fide- 
lity among the lower clafles — gentleness 
and generofity among thofe who no longer 
have an opportunity to fhew fuch excellen- 
cies of nature. Trajan and Turcnnc link 
into common foldicrs ; and the emperor's 
tearing his own robe to bind the wounds of 
2 a fainting 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- 5 ?i 

& fainting warrior, lofes all value on thi* 
new plan of regulation, when he would have 
been his comrade only, not his prince. Tu- 
renne and his lacquey no longer make a 
ftory worth recordings yet ^frill we tell it for 
the honour of France in days when differ- 
ent ideas prevailed there* 

The Marechal was looking undreft out 
of his palace window, and from mi apart- 
ment in it which he feldoip ufed : the foot- 
man, little fufpe&ing 'twas his mafter, hit 
him a fmart rap on th$ head as he (looped 
and leaned forward — " What now?" ex- 
claimed Turenne. The terrified fervant fal- 
tered out, trembling, / thought it bad been 
George^ my lord. " But if it bad been 
George, child, thou fhouldft not have ftruck 
fo hard," replied the hero — who, in de- 
fiance to the maxims of Rochefoucault, was 
certainly fuch even to his valet-de-chambre. 



B h 2 LEVITY, 



37« BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



LEVITT, INCONSTANCY, UNSTEADINESS, 



ARE nearly if not ftri&ly fynonymous: 
for he who is difpofed to levity in friend- 
(hip well warrants a fufpicion of his incon- 
stancy in love ; although the words here 
rnuft not be ufed alternately : nor would a 
wife man choofe fuch a character for part- 
ncrfhip in bufinefs, nor would he willingly 
accept him as coadjutor in date matters, 
becaufe no temper is fo certainly fatal to af- 
fairs of confequence as an irrefolute one, 
which gives difpofition towards wavering on 
every fubjed, either from natural lightnefs 
of mind, or from that almoft equally vex- 
atious unsteadiness of condud, fo fre- 
quently the effect of too much philofophy, 
and a way people get into, more with their 
own applaufe than that of their neighbours, 
of weighing every thing fo nicely, and in* 

vefligating 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 373 

Tcftigating every thing fo clofely, that find* 
ing faults in all, as in all fublunary things 
faults muft be found, they refolve on no- 
thing till that time is paft in which any thing 
can be done. 



tEVITY, AIRINESS, GAIETY, HILARITY, 

GOOD SPIRITS. 



THE laft of thefe is the common xon- 
verfaticn phrafe for that (train of cheerful- 
nefs which in a profefled wit is called hila- 
rity, in a fine lady gaiety and airiness, 
but in an every day companion of no pecu- 
liar chara&er or confequence, mere good 
spirits ; as if we would imply that fuch 
manner was more the effect of corporeal 
than mental powers. It may be fo fome- 
times ; but good breeding often puts on the 
jnafk of levity in gay circles, whence if 

B b 3 ferioufhefs 



374 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ferioufnefs were not excluded, fadnefs would 
foon come in ; and no one has a right to ex* 
cite unpleafmg ideas in the mind of others 
tfiet for the purpofe of being happy together 
for a few hours. They are not all fynony-* 
mous, however. I have often obferved chil- 
dren, fpoiled ones we will fay, m whom le-i 
vi ty of manners was ccnnedted with fullei) 
perverfencfs of temper, and an obflinatc refb- 
Jution to regard nothing that did not immedi- 
ately tend to their own amufement. Real and 
genuine hilarity meantime isnotfeldom 
the efFedl of a mind fertile in ideas and over-? 
flowing with that good humour which Johnfoi} 
defines a habit of Being pleafed, Such a foul 
levigated by profperity foon mounts intQ 
airiness of temper, and fettles without 
much difficulty in a ftate of agreeable and 
habitual gaiety vifible in the countenance, 
the manners and converfation of our fami- 
liar life; Handing little in need of adfci- 
titious help from paftimes, crowds, drink, o? 

tumultuous 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 375 

tumultOous diverfions, which only conftitut* 
a power of forcing out momentary flafhes 
of half-artifidal merriment, like fireworks 
that fink fuddenly and expire on the inftant, 
leaving not only a dark gloom but an ill fa* 
Your behind* 



1 r ■ 1 ■ ■ I' u 1 ■ > , 



LIBELLER, DEFAMER, LAMPOONER, 

SATIRIST. 



THE laft of thefe gentlemen will perhaps 
complain that I have libelled his charac- 
ter by placing it befide the other three. Yet 
1 tis but his intention, bed known to himfelf 
too, that prefervcs, if indeed it does of right 
preferve him, from a place among this clafs 
of noxious although in fome degree ufeful 
animals ; the hornets, wafps, and flinging 
flies of life, which emulate the vulture's vo- 
rarity without her force, the ferpent's venom 

B b 4 too 



j;6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

too without being poflefled of his fubtlety. 
Our satirist is however confefledly the 
nobleft creature of the tribe; for he does not, 
like the defamer, fix upon one perfon in 
particular to calumniate, but cenfures (as be 
fays, with hope of reforming) the fex* c* 
nation, or fpecies in general, which comes 
within the fcope of his indignation; that in- 
dignation which he would willingly make 
us believe was only raifed by vice ; — whilft 
his imitators, (heltered by his example, and 
the ill-advifed countenance given to his 
works, detract from virtue, and (lander in- 
nocence, under 4 the merry appellation of 
lampooners. Foreigners may learn in 
England, which teems with thefe infeGs al- 
moft peculiar to our climate, that he is with 
moft propriety termed a libeller who in- 
fults fuperiority with reproach, taking Tbcr- 

Jites for his Grecian model ; while the lam- 
pooners love myfterious mifchief and 
filthy refearch, and ought to confider the 

Roman 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 37 j 

Roman Clodius as head and prefident of 
their detefted feet But defamers, who are 
'tis agreed leaft worthy our attention, as fur- 
theft removed out of the ranks of humanity, 
claim no higher patron Aire than Shake- 
fpeare's Caliban ^ who turns upon his bene- 
faftors, and fays, as fome of than might well 
have done, 

You taught me language and my profit on't 
Is, I know how to curfc ; the red plague rid ve 
For learning me your language ! 

Such beings are however beft negle&ed, and 
they are foon forgotten : the moft compen- 
dious and witty anfwer to them all is that 
little epigram firft publifhed in Dodfley's 
Colle&ion, thence taken and put into every 
Other, 

Lie on, while my revenge (hall be 
To fpeak the very truth of thee. 



TO 



37* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



TO LIKE, TO CHOOSE WITH FRHFZREVC5, 
TO APPROVE, TO ££ PLEASES WITH, 



ARE verbs analogous no doubt, but ne- 
ver ^ill they arrive at true fynonymy, while 
young people in particular have the misfor- 
tune to be pleased wiTU many compa- 
nions themfeives can fcarce fay they ap- 
prove ; and thofe who are pad the heat of 
youth as often are induced by folid reafens 
enough to choose with preference a 
wife they do not like at all. Yet have we 
no words that better exprefs our meaning, 
from which cfteem runs as wide away on 
one fide as love does on the other. Even 
family affcttion is removed to a prodigious 
degree of diftance from liking ; as may be 
feen by a man's living in familiar intercourfe 
for many years amidft a circle of true friends, 
chosen with preference (and perhaps 

not 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 379 

not unworthily) by himfelf in early days — 
fince when, that very money which he 
gained perhaps by their afliftance, being ac- 
cumulated to a large mafs from his own fru- 
gal habits, coming now in the clofe of life 
in queftion to difpofe of, he feels inclined to 
leave — not to his friends at all, but to re- 
lations ; people he never faw, poflibly never 
heard of, till the attorney called to make his 
will puts him on recollection of a fifterwho 
flurried to Ireland many years ago, and who 
has by this time three or four fturdy boys 
that want providing for. Strangers will 
however better under ftand the popular ufage 
of thefe words by fuch an example as the 
following. We like all companions that 
are in themfelves agreeable; but chqosb 
With preference thofe whofe ftudies and 
habits are congenial to our own. We ap- 
prove the men who employ much of their 
time upon aftronomical obfervations ; but are 

moft apt to be pleased WITH people who 

converfq 



3 8o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

converfe about what touches our intereft 

more nearly, and lies as we fay clofer to our 
own level. 



4 



TO LINGER, TO PROTRACT. 



THESE elegant verbs, in the fenfe I 
mean to fpeak of them here, are certainly not 
far from being fy nonymous. Procrasti- 
nation and delay fliall be fpoken about 
in their places; while the lingering poifon 
with which the Guinea Blacks touch their 
arrows, and produce in thofe who are 
wounded by them long protracted and 
innumerable difeafes, we have now at length 
found out to be no other than the putrid 
matter emanating from dead bodies ; which 
matter laid on the weapon's head, like that 
of the fmall pox upon a furgeon's lancet, in- 
oculates with certain efficacy the haplefs per^ 

fon 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 381 

fon whofe ikin is razed by an arrow thus 
prepared, and who hopes in vain for cure 
from year to year, 

and fhuns to know 

That life PROTRACTED 1S PROTRACTED WOC. 



LIVERY and UNIFORM. 

WE make the difference confift merely 
now o' days in obferving that fervants wear 
the firft of thefe, and gentlemen the other ; 
for although all liveries muft necefTarily 
be uniform, yet is not every uniform a 
livery : witnefs the king of England, who 
wears one almoft conftantly. 

Meantime 'tis certainly no dictionary 
word, nor would Dr. Johnfon have endured 
with patience to hear this adjeSive fubftari- 
tized, as I may fay — though 'tis faid Dion 
gives a hint of regular colours worn as 
x badges 



S*a BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

badges of diftin&ion, given to thofe troopf 
who fought mock battles in the Circus at 
Rome. 

Louis Quatorze firft brought them into 
fafhion for thefe modern days ; and it was a 
device of his own fuggefiing too,when he 
new modelled his army, and appointed each 
regiment fome mode of drefs and colour by 
which they fhould be diftinguifhed and 
known. 

The cavalier of older times thought no 
fcorn of wearing a lady's livery, and of 
profefling himfelf her true and \ojd\fervanti 
nor was the conqueft of the Low Countries 

effe&ed but by a vow made by the Duke 
d'Alva to a high-born dame, that he would 
lay thofe provinces at her feet. I cannot 
tell whether 'tis generally known that ro- 
mance lived fo very late in the world as tbu % 
although an Italian lady ftill calls the gentle* 
man who waits to receive her commands, her 
cavaiier^rro/r/?; and often requires from him 

an 



BRITISH SYNONYMT. |8j 

an attendance painful and exa£t enough to 
weary one who did not coniider fuch com- 
mands as an honour,. although he no longer 
• wears her uniform or livery. -Till Henry 
Bolingbroke's reign here in England, the 
great nobles' colours were worn by many 

• 

dependent gentlemen, not vaflals, who 
thought the diftindion reputable, not dif- 
graceful — who efpoufed the quarrels of the 
houfe, and were deficient in every virtue ra- 
ther than fidelity. 

Shakefpeare's Mercutio bears teftimony to 
this ufage in Verona, where no doubt he 
tnew it ftill fubfifted, and nearly in full 
force ; — when the quarrelfome Tybalt cries 
out on feeing Romeo — a Montague, and his 
^nemy of courfe — " Oh ! God be wi' you, 
Sir ; here comes my man :" — to which the 
other replies with a quibble expreflive of 

contempt — < c But Til be hanged, Sir, if he 
^ear your livery/' 

LOTH, 



&+ BRITISH SYNONYM** 



LOTH, UNWILLING, DISLIKING, NOT 

INCLINED. 



THESE adverbs are not ftri&ly though 
nearly fynonymous ; for a young woman 
may reafonably enough be very unwil- 
ling to difclofe her paffion for a man, 
without any fuch caufe as the abfolutely 
disliking his perfon, or finding herfelf fe- 
rioufly not inclined to marriage; but 
fhe is delicate to confefs her difpofitions in 
his favour, and prudently loth to put her 
peace into the power of another, when it 
could fcarcely be called fafe even in her 
own. 



LOUP, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 385 



LOUD, NOISY, CLAMOROUS, TURBULENT, 
STORMY, VEHEMENT, BLUSTERING. 



NATIVES of England know inftind- 
ively, but foreigners muft be informed, that 
thefe attributives havfe moil effe£t being ap- 
propriated fome to things and fome to per- 
fons : we cannot for example call the wea- 
ther clamorous, let tempefts rage never 
fo high ; and though Shakefpeare fays— ■ 
"Have done, have done, you're louder 
than the weather !" it is faid but to exprefs 
the outcry of the people—/^/ word being 
apparently adapted to ftrife of tongues, while 
the reft do moft properly belong to ele- 
mentary contentions, although fometimes 
brought forward to exprefs verbal difputes 
and violence of argument by a figure com- 
mon enough. 
Let us try for an example likely to in- . 

. vol. 1. C c elude 



3 86 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

elude them all. A Tailor who efeaped the 
wreck of the — - Indiaman, was* faying 
how unhappy a cafe it was for thofe (hip* 
to be fo laden as they fometimes are with 
female paflengcrs ; for that nothing furely 
ever equalled the diftrefs of its unfortunate 
commander, who bringing home his daugh- 
ters and niece for education, almoft ia fight 
of land a hard gale rofe; and roughened old 
Ocean in a tremendous manner; while thun- 
derbolts falling frequently about them, and 
the winds, louder and more blustering 
than he had ever heard, ftruck terror into alt 
on board : nor could the ftouteft heart refift 
a tender impulfe, when three beautiful girl*, 
who at night lay down upon their beds void 
of care and full of hope, darted from them at 
morning twilight, roufed by the dreadful call 
of clamorous tongues trying to be heard 
among the ihock of waves breaking over the 
vcflel with noisy violence and turbulent 
excefs — and coming upon deck clung round 

thf 



BRltlStf SYNONYMY- gB 7 

the captain, begging from his encumbered 
arm, with fpcechlefs though vehement 
fagoityj that protection Which Heaven alone 
in fuch emergence can beftowj — till the 
Weather now itiore stormy at Fun rifing 
(hewed them their native fliore — then, fplit* 
ting the (hip afunder, precluded all poffibi- 
lity of efcape for them \ and took from the 
too-wretched parent all defire of furviving 
fuch deftru&ion. The failor who told the 
tale faw them no more* 



**— «i»«»-H* 



AOWLY, MODEST, MEEK, BASHFUL, 

HUMBLE. 



ADJECTIVES defcriptive all of qualities 
fo charming, that every one prizes them 
beyond every excellence attainable, when 
they are found in fome one elfe j though 
W>ne, but thofe who really run the great 

C c a race. 



3 88 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

race, defirous to advance themfelvcs in 
chriftian perfe&ion, much appear to ftudy 
the pra&ice of them in their own perfons : 
.while 'tis agreed that without thofe very- 
qualifications no man muft hope to fee his 
Saviour, who was the only true model of 
them all. — For that they are not ftri&ly fy- 
nonymous, may I think be proved by bring- 
ing them all clofe together, without impu- 
tation of tautology, in a tranflation of Def- 
marets' pretty epigram upon the Violet: 
when the French wits joined to make a gar- 
land for Mademoifelle de Rambouillet, 
choofing each a flower, and making verfes 
upon it. — The colle£tion of poems when 
finiflied was known by the name of Guir- 
lande de Julie, and fome lines upon the 
Crown Imperial won the prize; — which 
was' however well difputed by this neatly 
turned and elegant quatrain : 

Modefte en ma couleur, modefte en mon fejour, 

Franche de l'ambition, je me couche fbus l'herbe ; 

. ~ Mais 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 38^ 

Mais fi fur votrc front je pcux briller un jour, 

La plus humble des flcurs fera Ja plus fuperbe. * . [ 

Which might be rendered as follows, with 
little other deviation from the original than 
that which naturally follows inferiority of 
genius : 

Though modest my colours, and lowly my lot, * 

For notice too bashful, too meek for ambition ; 
Should you deign me a place in this true-lover's knot, 

■ • * 

The humblest of herbs would feel pride of condition. 

Defmarets' was an eafy, elegant writer, 
though fomewhat flighty : he made up a 
little book, fuch as we had once too few of, 
— and we have now too many — a fort of 
Recucil ; and he called it Delices de TEC- 
prit. Some wag, Menage I believe, put 
among the errata — Au lieu de Delices lifez 
Delires. 



C C 3 LOYALTY, 



59* BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



LOYALTY, FIDELITY, FIRM ADHERENCE W 

ONE^ PRINCE. 



i. . .!"*P"W 



QUALITIES fo lovely, fo attradive, 
that 'tis they perhaps which are mojl prized 
even among angelic virtues; and to this 
opinion Milton, though (b violent on earth 
in the caufe of democracy, bears witnefs 
when he defcribes inhabitants of heaven, 
while 'mid the nuraberiefs pafl&ges of the 
Paradife Loft, configned and juftly to per- 
petual admiration, I know none oftener 
quoted, none more tnjly delightful, than 
thofe which give us the ch&ra^er of faithfb} 
Abdiel, and tell us how 

^mongft innumerable falfe, unmov*d$ 

Unfliaken, unfeducrfd, unterrify'd, 

^lis lotaltt he kept ; his love, his zeal. 

Thefe fynonynies are going out of falhioq 

W days when the popular prate teaches to 

J difmifs, 



BRlTIStt SYNONYMY . 3 9 i 

ilfaAfy or, iff ftg nfefcr pftrafe, to cafhicr 
kittgs a$ food & their virtue begin id re- 
proach, cftheir power tb affright us. Let it 
bte obferved however, that ad With their 
louis d f ors the French drove out their motto, 
Chrtjius regnaty vincit y itnpcrat — a legend 
once revered — fo it appears too, that uport 
loyalty many excellencies feem to have 
depended — for with that virtue vanifhed 
all the reft. Who would have dreamed in- 
deed fome fifteen years ago, that the dwell* 
era in Gaul, whofe great diftifi&ion from 
other Europeans was a fidelity border* 
ing on fondnefs for their prince, could have 
looked tamely on, and feen the Hamelefs 
grandfon of their Louis le Bien-aimc 
dragged like a lamb to (laughter, without 
one pious hand held up to fave his life^ of 
whofe trifling predeceflbrV health they had 
fuch care, that wheti the meflenger arrived 
at Paris from Verfailles to tell of his reco- 
very from a dangerous illnefs, the citizens 

Cc4 and 



39* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

and populace flocked round about him» 
killing the horfe which, brought fuch joyful 
news; while one of their fweeteft poets 
breaks out into a fort of filial rapture, fo 
charming in a fubje£t, 

Cher Prince! aimableRoi! car moncceuren cejour 
Ne reconnoit que les titres d'eftime et d'amour. 

And now ! no adherence to the family, 
no refpedt for the fole remaining fey on of a 

« 

ftock fo cherifhed; no warm attach- 

■ 

MENT left — no LOYALTY ! 

V * ° Oh judgment ! thou art fled to brutifli breaftt, £*•* 
And men have loft their reafon. 

The firft of thefe words was formerly ufed 
to exprefs conftancy in love, fidelity to 
a man's miftrefs; but that fenfe is fure 
enough grown obfolete in, our country, 
where ladies no longer require painful fer- 
vices.from their, admirers — lovers I will 
not call them— and where if a man does 
profefs ta love a woman, which he fcarcely 

ventures 



5. v ' 



3RIT1SH SYNONYMY; 393 

ventures to do — he thinks of nothing left 
than ~fervihg. her* I ! believe,* arid fidelity 
implies fervice; _ .Of- love then and of loy- 
alty fpeak we . no more : they- are out-ofc 
fathion terms in England, / and from its 
neighbour France they, are ^completely ba- 
nifhed. We will however venture . to\ add* 
jhat formerly a wife's attachment to her 
hufband, her fidelity to the marital en- 
gagements, and fubmiflion to his authority^ 
with fteady ADHERENCEto his finking for- 
tunes (if fuch was their lot in life), and dili- 

• ■ • 

gent endeavours to repair thet-.fortune by 
dutiful attention to his intereft, were dig- 
nified, by .the name of loyalty; and fo 
the foreigners will fiiid * it* in' our beft 
authors, when fpcakirig even the collo- 
quial language of the times ; while married 
women failing in thefe points are common- 
ly and coriftantly called disloyal, and to 
be called fo was confidered as the moft bitter 
of all reproaches. The fair dames of the 

8 prefent 



994 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

\ 

prefent day Jhow their difapprobatioa af 
this term in many fen&s* and with the 
«rord may perchance loft fight of the quali- 
fies implied by it ; although we muff confeft 
that loyalty is as the band which ties the 
(heaf together; and when that's cut — away 
the charities! the tender ligatures that twitt- 
ing without perplexity form the foft bands 
of focial life— away all filial piety ! all con* 
jugal affe&ion, all idea of the man — 

Who, whether his hoary fire he fpics, 
And thoufand grateful thoughts arife> 
Or feeks his fpoufe's fonder cye> 
Or views his fmiiing progeny ; 
Ten thoufand paffions take their turns, 

Ten thoufand raptures move ; 
His heart now leaps, now melts, now burns, 

With reverence, hope, and love* 

Pope, 

Inftead of thefe verfes now read the follow* 
ing, fcarce a caricature of French conduit 
newly arranged fo upon principle — while 

They 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 395 



They fey man and wife (ha)] mo longer he one ; 
Po you take 9 daughter, and FU take a fon ^ 
^nd fince all things are equal, and all men arp free, 
If your wife don't frit ypu, fir, perhaps (hell fuk me. 

YorxjhAR Ballad, 



£OZENGE, PARALLELOGRAM. 



AND thefe words would have had no 
place here, but that although both of them 
are alike in their proper filiations terms of 
fut, bed appropriated to heraldry or to geo- 
metry, the firft has by mere accident got 
into the commoneft ufe by a fancy fomo 
^potheajry tpolf at firft of making up little 
inefFe&u^l preparations for a cough in that 
particular form, with two acute angles and 
twp obtyfe ones ; fo that now when a lady 
opens her box of bon-bons —all the lead 
pleating ^re denominated lozenzes by 

courtefy, 



• i 



396 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

courtefy, be their figures and (hapes what 
they will ; and fo foreigners will find them 
called, much to their furprife, when they 
arc, eating round or oblong bits of indurated 
fyrup, to pleafe people who appear to con- 
fider them as fpecifics for a diforder far be- 
yond their reach. Lozenge in heraldry 
is a diredt rhomb, in which the arms of 
{ingle women's anceftors here in Great Bri- 
tain are included, fome fay for one wife 
xeafon, fome for another. * That which, ob- 
ferving the ancient form of the rock or fpin- 
dle, gives it becaufe of the affinity with the 
word fpinjler in our language, feems neareft 
— but we fee widows as well as maids have 
the lozenge on their feals or coach, info- 
much that there is no need to fearch at all 
for a reafon deeper than this. Coat armour 
can belong to no female ancient or modern,* 
rnlefs the Amazons of old and Toiflardcs of 
modern davs claim an exception. It wa* 
originallv riven as ornament to the (hie'ds 

of 



\ 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, $97 

of cruiading warriors, and obtained only 
by diftinguiftiing thetafelves in batde. *T1$ 
therefore the arms are ftill (or ought to be) 
ever comprifed in a Jbield ; while women 
ufing no Jhields^ yet having pleafure to 
boaft the prowefs of their, forefathers, take 
the device granted to them, and wear it, not 
as a fon does in the Jhield^ but in fome 
unpretending form — a lozenge for exam* 
pie. 



LUCRATIVE, GAINFUL, PROFITABLE- 



THE application made in common chat 
of thefe adjectives depends much upon' 
chance ; yet fofar cuftom has formed a kind 
of rule that we fay a gainful trade, a 
profitable employment, and a lucra- 
tive life, I think; by which latter is meant 

a life 



&ft BRITISH SttJONtMY. 

a life ipent in the abfolute and unremitted 
purfult of wealth $ fo that it is not therefore 
ftridly, though apparently fynonyinous with 
the other two, which have as I recoiled no 
fenfes feparate each from other. A life 
wholly lucrative muft be filled with anx- 
iety, becaufe the inftability of riches is well* 
known: yet may it be profitable, for 
aught I know, to the foul's health in general ; 
as it certainly keeps off many vices of the 
ienfual kind, and not a few intellectual ones, 
by the mere banifhment of idlenefs by per* 
petual occupation, and mortifying the body 
with that very anxaoufnefs we have been 
jttentioning; and which can fcarcely be 
avoided in the early years of attending to a. 
GAINFUL branch of bufinefe made fo by in* 
dcfatigablenefs of application. And now, as 
a contraft to fuch grave fubjeds, we will 
enter on a gayer fynonymy, ever rccolle&ing 
however the word* of an elegant modern 

writer. 



BRITISH STNOTTTMT- 39 

writer, who 1kys mnft truly, lixat Ac mktb 
of ope ludf of irantrnd js a taik upon 4c 
miHrirs cf the oftcc. 



iUDlCiOUE, COMICAL, 

HTMDILDUS, IOLOJLL» 



IF criticalhr applied to cflays, dfam/n, &c» 
aien eariy but sot exaflly iynanymous 5 fi car 
a thing comical in & own satis?, aod 
fcc miagl v yeD adapted to the ibge, wl act 
always be laughable, and taw w^fe. 
There an bumdioui ifame* told every 
day in c oa ap atu j, that, as Sh&eipeace fcyajf 
let die table in a roar, which would excite 
no fympatby of mirth in an audience met 
.on fist puipofe to be entextaiaed : nor would 
any thing appear half fo ludicrous as the 
infrnfihitiTy of pit, box, and gallery to a tale 
which, told to any ten people there at fnp- 



4CO BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

per, would divert them. Laughing depends 
upon a thoufand minute c i re um fiances ; and 
the man of humorous faculties is never half 
as fure of making thofe who furround him 
laugh, as the man of wit is fure to makfc 
them all admire. Wit is a brilliant quality, 
and* of a pofitive nature ; it may be tranflat- 
ed in twenty languages, and lofe but little ; 
but foreigners can with difficulty learn to 
laugh .with'us^ or we with them. - * 

Do&or Beattie feems to. have confounded 
thefe qualities ftrangely, and fele&s paflages 
*s humorous, which I think purely and 
perfe&Iy witty ; and fele&s from Hudibras 
too, of all .books perhaps moil dazzling with 
fcintillant brightnefs. I fhould as foon be 
tempted * to laugh over Young's ' pejems as 
Butler's ; for though ridicule and fatire pro- 
voke admiration, and we all agree to ex- 
prefs that admiration by laughing, 'tis but a 
company laugh at laft, called up to (hew 
that we underftand the joke, but is expret- 

five 



feRITiSH SYNONYMY. 401 

five of no mirth ; while in Goldforith's five 
a£t farces you are momentarily preferred 
with fome droll miftake, fome burlefque 
image, or fome ludicrous fituation, which 
aifiited by the a&or forces out fudden and 
involuntary laughter from the moil ferioufly 
difpofed. Whatever appears ftudied cannot 

be humorous, though comical it may 
be niade by ftudy certainly.; as Swift and 
Gongreve knew. They were facetious wri* 
tors in the trueft fenfe of that claflical word ; 
but I fee more humour in Johnny Gilpin 
than in all Gulliver's Travels, replete as 
they are with wit, and fatire, and raillery, 
and malice. Shakefpeare meantime pofTefles 
the true power over his countrymen's hearts, 
who never at the thoufandth reprefentation 
forbear to give their unequivocal teftimony 
to his various powers, while Lancelot Gobbo 
and his whimfical father inftrud Bafianio 
on his way to matter Jew's ; or when El- 
bow's examination before the magiftrates is 
voi. x 9 D d likely 



4 02 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

likely (as one of tkm obfefves) to outlaft 
a night m Ruffia, when nights are longeft 
(fere. The difference between wit and 
rumour is beft exemplified however in 
the hiftorical ptays ; where we find Faiftaff 
always witty, nor can dHlrefe at hft In any 
degree blunt his powers of calling up comic 
images, and combining them with facetious 
pleasantry : but mine Hoftefs difplays pore, 
aarve and native humous, nor can any 
thing exceed her droll fimplicity in the 
account fhe gives of the poor knight's death, 
when he is gone, whole fupport in every 
fcene often took our attention away from 
ber charader — admirably, incomparably as 
'tis drawn. Ben Jonfon has not, I fbme* 
how think, received his due praife for hu- 
mour. Learning is an enemy to merriment, 
we fancy ; yet furely the laft fcene of the 
Alchymift, which to every other perfe&ion 
that a comic drama can poflefs, adds the 
LUDICROUS appearance of the gaping neigh- 
bours. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 403 

boors, apparently all wonderflruck at fight 
of what the/ knew perfe&ly well before, 
but had been perfuad^d to difbelieve againft 
die evidence of their own fenfes, chained 
down by the fuperior genius of Jeremy 
Binder — is ah aftonifhing performance— 
ingenious and fubtle in the contrivance and 
grouping— yet fo truly natural, pleafant, and 
honeftly laughable, no powers of face can 
ftand it : and when I fit alone and refrefh 
my memory with the effe& that play had 
upon the ftage in Garrick's dme, I can 
laugh from recolle&ion of its force. Gar- 
rick indeed knew all the avenues to laugh-* 
ter ; and had fuch extraordinary capacity for 
playful images, and light gaiety, that the 
words ludicrous, droll, and COMICAL 
can never furely be pronounced or written 
without exciting tender remembrance of 
him, whofe pleafantry made our lives cheer* 
ft! — perhaps even at the expence of his 
owm 

D d 2 LUXURY, 



40 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



LUXURY, SENSUALITY, VOLUPTUOUSNESS, 

DEBAUCH. 



THESE words are often falfely nfed as 
fynonymous; for the fignification is molt 
cqmprehenfive in the firft word, moil brutal 
in the fecond, foft in the third, and rotten 
in the fourth. For luxury only implies ex- 
cefs in every thing from whence pleafure 
leaft alloyed by pain can be extraded ; and 
'twas in that fenfe Prior underftood it, when 
he made his Solomon exclaim, 

The pow'r of wealth I try'd, 

And a!! the various luxe of coflly pride. 

A man mavbe faid to revel in intellectual 
ivxvKYj if he provides himfelf a magnifi- 
cent library of the very choiceft books, 
bound with elegance, and of the moft per- 
fed editions. A fpacious gallery furnifhed 
with pidures of immenfe value, and yet 

not 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 405 

not one unpleafing fubjeft touched, though 
the moft famous mafters have been culled 
from ; two great wild views from the hand 
of Salvator Rofa being alone permitted to 
roughen the faftidious delicacy of a collection 
whence martyrdoms and indecencies are 
excluded with equal care. A mufeum of: 
natural rarities, ingenioufly placed and dili- 
gently brought together from various cli- r 
mates ; and a menagerie of wide extent for 
living animals, that he may ftudy natural' 
hiftory without the danger and fatigue of 
travelling. An ample park for maintenance 
of fuch creatures as being graminivorous' 
will not offend each other ; and proper food 
with ufeful and commodious fabricks pro-- 
vided in it, that fo they too may live in 
what they reckon luxury, and be tempted 
to continue the race, though in a country 
far diftant from their own. A lake of at 
leaft eight Englifh miles in circumference 
for containing fifh, and inviting its matter* 

D d 3 to 



\ifiS BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

to conftrudfc little yachts, &c or ftudy die 
art of managing (hips, building fmall veflels, 
and fo forth. But if he riots in real intel- 
lectual luxury, he will above all things be 
careful to fix a grand obfervatory upon fuch 
an eminence as may command a wide ho- 
rizon, filling the room with proper tdc* 
ftopes, approximators, and all due imple- 
ments of ftudy ; the chamber under it to 
contain fome books upon fubje&s conneded 
with or immediately treating of thofe globes 
which adorn the upper ftory, that fo his 
Ipaowledge of the heavenly bodies may be 
facilitated, and he may be fpared the trouble 
of retiring to hi* library for confulting aftro* 
nornical authors; while the clofets there 
contain chiefly the coftly coloured accounts 
of foreign and domeftic birds, ferpents, &c» 
with fcarce engravings, drawings both of 
ancient and modern mafters^-with prints 
ippumerable, and all of fome peculiar pro- 
perties to deferve a place in a colle&ion fo 
7 eminent ; 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 407 

eminent : leaving the planetarium, large or- 
rery and quadrants in the obfervatory, to be 
confiikcd occasionally. 

The xmific room or banqueting houfe 
meantime is nearer home; and every inftru* 
meat is there provided for every performer, 
ftoulcj Jus own be forgotten or injured: 
with large quantities of manufcopt fong$, 
and elegant quartettes in fcore, that dUap- 
pointcofint may never intrude, and pufh 
pleafure out of bis doors who knows fo well 
to call and to detain her. For although we 
have not yet fpoken of his coins araidft .this 
combination of literary eafe and fcientific 
elegance; yet muft they, united with cameos, 
medals ?nd intaglios, be fuch as attrad envy 
and admiration from thqfe who bell under- 
stand the nature of fuch things : — while the 
flower-garden, phyfic-garden, hot-houfes, 
gpeptefrouie and confervatory fhall be con- 
ftru&ed on the completed plan; that full 
fcope may be afforded to our luxurious 

D d 4 fcholar's 



' 4 o8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fcholar's commendable refearches into the 
new difcovered recedes of botany, the loves 
and maladies of plants, &c. and among thefo 
intellectual luxuries we will allow him 
that of refufing his neighbours admittance 
for the folace of his pride, or of admitting 
them for gratification of his vanity juft as 
the humour fuits. And furely a man may 
efie& all this by the mere force of a fortune 
not in thefe days accounted enormous, 
without the fmalleft deviation towards vo~ 
luptuousness, every tendency to which 
he ftudioufly avoids ; while inftead of fay* 
ing with Sir Epicure Mammon, " Down 
beds are too bard, mine Jball be blown up? 
our man of luxury fleeps on a flock mat- 
trefs, and without fire too, till the (harp frofts 
fet in, when one large kennel coal keeps his 
chamber from excefs of cold, and leaves no 
fcent behind : — for we muft remembetf *hit 
he is a profefled valetudinarian, and guards 
his precious health with mod attentive ab- 

ftinencc 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 409 

ftinence from every kind of game, high 
difhes, fauces, &x. living chiefly if not whol- 
ly upon chicken fatted at the barn door only, 
never put up, and mutton from the moun- 
tains of Wales or ifland of Portland in its 
feafon ; drinking no liquor except Spa or 
Seltzer water, coftly as wines, and imported 
by himfelf and agents with unremitted care,. 
Theft he indulges in ; and as it has been 
long his fixed intention to remain always in 
a ftajte of celibacy, he keeps a regular and 
handfome table for friends that come and 
flay a week with him by turns — but never 
longer at a time, left attachment on his part 
might breed familiarity on theirs,and contra* 
di£tion, which ever offends him, might enfue. 
To avoid therefore all fuch intimacy, as could 
only produce tales of forrow in the foft. com- 
panions, and in the rough perhaps feme-? 
what of independance in their air an4 man- 
ner fo difpleafing to his nerves, and fo likely 
to difturb his tranquillity, never more than 

eight, 



410 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

eight, or fewer than fix gentlemen or ladies 
fit down with him at once ; that number 
being juft fufficient to invite talk and yet 
preclude confidence, freeing him at once 
from folitude and exertion. All this while 
sensuality is methinks kept at an immea- 
surable diftance. " The phyfician, whom he 
daily fees and fees, that no temptation to ne- 
glect his truft may ever arife, recommends 
regular hours and temperance in deep, coarie 
final for bed and body, and all winter time 
low fires, cold bathing, and flannel next the 
fkin ; and with thefe hardfhips, which fomc 
men undergo to purchafe heaven, our Lyx-t 
urious gentleman is ready to comply, as 
death is what he dreads moft ; — therefore 
goes not to London left he fhould fee or 
hear of k j keeps out of parliament for ob-» 
vious reafons, befides that political debates 
would harafs his mind too much, and in- 
terrupt the peaceful tenour of his life* On 
the fame principle he never plays at cards 

higher 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 411 

higher than half-crown whift — all games 
having, as he juftly obferves, a tendency to 
ruffle a man's temper and agitate his fpi- 
rits for nothing ; while dancing would heat 
his blood. Sports of the field are far too 
boifterous for fo delicate a frame, unlefs the 
ladies tempt him out two or three fine even* 
ings during a long fummer, to take fbme 
partridge with a net and fetting dog — an 
animal trained like his companions to ap- 
parent gaiety and real fubmiflion : but far 
vourite creatures he refolves againft as trou- 
blesome, and only looks over his birds and 
beafls in their aviaries and menagerie. His 
ftable is not extenfive, and confifts only of 
eafy pads for his own riding, with choice 
of excellent hacks, and ufeful not fhowy 
horfes for his carriage ; as he travels little, . 
and vifits not at all. Servants 9 accounts he 
fufiers not to perplex him, having con- 
tracted with his fteward for eight thoufand 
pounds a year to pay all txjpences; and keep- 
ing 



4 i * BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ing four thoufand pounds a year more an- 
nually in his own hands for occafional pur- 
chafes, &c. that fo living always within his 
income, he never may be made uneafy about 
any thing j for which reafon he will not 
hear of poverty pr mifery, nor will ever ex- 
ercife either his mind or body to fatigue 
for any purpofe. Taking care of his books, 
pi&ures, &c. is his rational and tranquil 
amufement; and as thefe were originally 
bought with the forty thoufand pounds 
which came to him ten years ago, when his 
father's death put him in poflcflion of that 
fum in the flocks, and a clear not nominal 
eftate of twelve thoufand pounds per annum 
in land, withip fifty miles of the metropolis — t 
he has np care in this world except to en-r 
joy it fufficieatly, and keep from him every 
thing noifome and ofFenfive ; among which 
no creature can be more unwelcome, than 
one who loves debauch — and never will 
our man of true luxury endur? again i^ 

. ? his 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. < 4*3 

his fight that officious friend, who, from ig- 
norance and mifapprehenfion of his patron's 
charadter, brought with him once a fellow 
(killed in roaring out obfcene catches arid 
other as beaftly modes of entertainment, 
thinking (how vainly ! ) to divert the mafter 
oF the houfe — who, after the fecond halt- 
hour, exerted himfeff beyond his ufual 
fbfength to turn them both out of it— and 
told his phyfician next day, the illnefs he 
had incurred by the fatigue, was at leafl more 
fupportable than fuch people's prefence for 
an afternoon. 

I am fenfible that in this example I have 
extended myfelf beyond the ufual limits ; 
but I wifhed to (hew my notions on this 
fubje£t, and to prove by this trifle how dis- 
tant fuch words are from fynonymy : whilft 
sensuality may refide and triumph in 
Otaheite, and a Turkifh EfFendi may riot in 
debauch — while true luxury muft now 
be fought for in Great Britain, leaving 

fofter 



4 i4 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

fofter voluptuousness to reign at Ve* 
nice, 

a s becomes 
Her daughter and her darling without end. 

Again, if we look over Suetonius, we 
{hall find, that when Nero conftru&ed the 
deling of his Golden Houfe* fo as to £hew 
by mechanifm the movements of the hea- 
venly bodies, he was luxurious ; whilft 
Heliogabalus was a mere voluptuary, 
Vitellius a sensualist, and Tiberius an 
old debauchee. Let no one here think 
it either new or ingenious to inform me that 
pleafure may be bed fought and fureft found 
in virtue ; and that charming Dr. Gold- 
fmith has an elegant line of 

Learn the luxury of doing good. 

« 

All this is fo ; but to make an extra& of 
pleafure from virtue prefuppofes long habits 
in the work, and early knowledge of that 

mod 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 415 

moft admirable alchymy. 'Tis certainly de- 
firable that we fhould find them confident 
with and conformable to each other ; but in 
fo doing we nruft be wife? than Solomon and 
ftronger than Hercules, for they could nevftr 
get them to agfe*; — and St. Paul acknow- 
ledges a war within between the flefh and 
fpiric /take the popular idea of luxury 
to be the true one, and have been careful to 
baniih virtue as completely as I baniflied 
vice from the man — who, whatever he may 
feek or fhun, does it wholly and folely on 
die narrow principle of mean felf-prefe- 
rence ; a quality repugnant to every colour 
and deftru&ive of every {hade of what we 
call Chriftian virtue. 



LY1NO, 



4 i 6 BRITISH SYNONYM Y. 



LYING, DECEIVING, FEIGNING, DISSEMBLING/ 
IMPOSING ON, CHEATING BY FALSE TALES 
OR APPEARANCES INTO BELIEF, HYPOCRI- 
TICAL DEALING, PIOUS FRAUDS, 



FORwc ait here talking of fuch frauds 
as are meant only to take in the understand- 
ing, and are not aimed at the purfe : he who 
obtains money under a fhow of pretences 
in themfelves untrue, may be called a trick- 
fter, or fwindler, but is not better than a di- 
rect thief. We are now fpeaking merely of 
liars that impose on your mind, and 
betray your credulity with falfehood : — yet 
even there, and in that limited fenfe, the 
words are not rigid fynonymes. The peo- 
ple who come to you with a feigned 
ftory of your friend's death or marriage, for 
a joke, as 'tis called, are among this fet£ 
and tell you after all is over, that 'twas no- 

■ 

thing but a white lie. 

But 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 4*7 

But thofe who aim at ridicule 
Should fix upon fome certain rule. 
Which fairly hints they are in jeft, 
Elfe I mult enter my proteft ; 
For though a man be ne'er fo wife, 
He may be caught by fober lyes. 

Befides all this,* there is ufually a train of 
tricks in almoft every profeffion, meant 
to give confequenee to thofe who are ini- 
tiated, by deceiving others into a notion 
of their fuperiority ; and ' although people 
have been moft feduloufly bent on watch- 
ing and detecting fuch hypocritical 
dealing, in the clergy, yet many of their 
hearers have the fame artifices ready ; mafked 
batteries to play on thofe they mean to con- 
quer: and as in former times the young fel- 
lows who wanted to repair their broken for- 
tunes by marriage, pretended to be pious or 
prudent, for the fake of deceiving parents 
who had daughters to difpofe of;— fo they 
now feign more vice and indiscretion than 

vol. i, E e they 



4i 3 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

they really have, in order to win the girls 
who are at their own difpofal — whilft falfe 
cafes in medicine obtrude themfelves, I am 
told, even among treatifes compofed and 
written by the learned ; cheating us in 
that manner by well-invented tales into be- 
lief of fads brought forward for the fup- 
port of fome new remedy, or peculiar mode 
of treatment in fome particular complaint. 
Yet although the prefcription or method 
thus infinuated into, or rather half-forced 
upon % our attention fhould be the very beft 
poflible, it would be dissembling my 
fentiments grofsly, were I not to condemn 
the means; becaufe truth is at laft to be 
preferred to every thing. And St Auguftine 
profeffes fuch enmity to what after his death 
the world was long conteated to call pious 
frauds, that he gives it exprefsly as his 
mod folemn opinion, that if the whole fa- 
brick of our holy Chriftian religion could 

be 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 41, 

be fupported on his part only by a lye, he 
would let it falL 

In this day however, when fucb tempta- 
tions to falsehood difappear, others more 
likely to feduce are foon fuggefted by the 
grand deceiver: who folicits the rich 
merchant to increafe his (lores by fpecula- 
tions concealed from his friends, his family, 
nay his clerks ; hiding the true ftate of his 
affairs fo fkilfully from them^ that he learns 
at length to impose upon bimfelf\ and 
after going forward for years, upon the fup- 
pofed ftrength of nominal and ideal riches, 
flioots himfelf at laft for fear of a bank- 
ruptcy — perhaps equally imaginary ; and, to 
the comfort of honeft gains which he might 
have long enjoyed in open day-light, pre- 
fers the fecret pleafure of cheating man- 
kind by a feries of false appearances ; 
in this extraordinary manner having con- 
trived the method of living and dying in a 
lye. Nor is our fex exempted from tempt- 

E e 2 ations 



4 20 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ations to deceit ; nor is the lady who hangs 
out falfe colours to cheat beholders into 
love, for the fole gratification of her vanity 
or avarice, her appetite or ambition, much 

more to be blamed than is the notable coun^ 
try houfewife, who leagues with the itew-r 
ard to procure abatements of rent, and im- 
provements of her own jointure land, while 
the hufband, drunk after a fox chace, or 
gouty after a drinking match, remits his 
attention to biifinefe. 

Neither will we confine ourfelves to coun- 
try pra&ice: numbcrlefs are the London 
fhopkeepers in the retail way, who know 
they mud wink at their wives' falfe accounts 
of money taken by the till in abfence of a 
matter eafily led to be dilputing about the 
liberties of his country, whilft they make 
favings as they call it unknown to him, for 
the purpofe of buying a finer filk coat than 
their neighbours can afford, for a favourite 
daughter, when her dancing-mailer's ball 

draws 



BRITISH S YNONYMY. 41 1 

dimws out the petty emulation of a mean, 
but numerous clufter of parents, aunts and 
guardians ; — 6r woife fometlihes, when the 
good women cheat their hufbands to feed 
the vices of a rakifh fon, and bribe the ap- 
prentice boy to let him in flylyat unper-t 
mitted hours, without his father's know* 
ledge or cohfent. Nor let the fuperciliout 
felhionift turn from a tale fo vulgar — our 
fecial life depends upon thefe people, whom 
in his own phrafe nobody knows : nor has 

he better claims to the praife of fincerity 
and fair-dealing than thefe mentioned; a 
hundred mean ftrifts and paltry tricks do he 
and his companions pra&ife, to keep their 
little feathers afloat upon the ftream of fa- 
fluon, which breaking into many currents 
leaves them at one moment wrecked upon' 
a laft year's flioe buckle— at another en- 
tangled in an antiquated fword knot, loft 
among a cloud of coarfely-fcented hair- 
powder, or forgotten among the folds of a 

modern 



til BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

modern neckcloth. To thefe deceivers 
we might add another fet, who influenced 
by vanity, and defire of detaining a com- 
pany's attention, tell false tales even of 
themfelves — tales to their own difadvan- 
tage too, when ftbck of converfation runs 
low, and fads are wanted by faftidious hear* 
ers, who hate the trouble of fentiment or 
difquifition. Such dabblers in domeftic 
knowledge, fuch retailers of anecdote ihould 
be cautious at leaft not to appropriate nar- 
ratives, which, by being once written or 
often repeated, are become common ftock ; 
while the recorded opinion of Dr. Johnfon, 
that if a ftory told in company is untrue, 
'tis fo much taken from the ftory's value, 
fliould deter them from entering into a vein 
of recital, for which few men have a very 
happy talent after all. And if the author of 
the Rambler fuffers not fuch talkers to pals 
by uncenfured, how heavy are his denun- 
ciations againft thofe, who vifiting a wife 
* man 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 423 

man to obtain his advice appear before him 
in a feigned chara&er; — fuch cunning 
perfons but expofe themfelves to that refent- 
ment natural to him who finds himfelf 
tricked by an understanding inferior to his 
own, when perhaps the diftruft he can never 
in future wholly lay afide may ftop the 
voice of counfel or enquiry for ever j and 
keep, as Milton exprefles it, 

Wifdom at one entrance quite (hut out* 

But human precepts againft deceit are 
idle, whilft the devil is faid by our blefled 
Saviour to be the father of it ; and whilft 
we recoiled* that the angel commiffioned to 
inftruft St. John fhewed him among dogs 
and forcerers, murderers and idolaters, who- 
foever loveth and maketh a lye. * 

* Rev. c. xxli. v. 15. 



JtND O* THE FIRST VOLUME. 



IITISH SYNONYMY; 



OR. 



AN ATTEMPT 



AT 



•GULATING THE CHOICE OF WORDS 



IN 



FAMILIAR CONVERSATION. 



INSCRIBED, 

ilk Sentiments of Gratitude and Refpe&, to fuch of her 
Foreign Friends as have made Englifh Literature 
their peculiar Study, 



BY 



HESTER LYNCH PIOZZI. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 

VOL. II. 

LONDON; 

|U, TID FOR G. G. AND J. ROBINSON, PATERNOSTER-ZOWi 

MDCCXCIV. 



Minervam narrat Horaerus, poetarum princeps, inter bd* 

lantium turmas Diomedi apparuiflc ; oculorumque caliginem, 

ut bellantes Deos ab hommibus poflet difcernere, difcufihTe. 

Quad figmentum Plato in Alcibiade Secundo, p. 150, tom.iu 

nihil interprctatur quam rationem ipfam, quae, difcufla caligine 

qua qnifque tenetur, animum faccibus purgat, ut malabonave 

poflit propius contcmplari. 

Sanctii Miner? a. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



MADNESS* INSANITY, LUNACY, PHRENZY, 

MENTAL DERANGEMENT, DISORDERED 

SPIRITS, DISTRACTION. 



JL HESE words, even in common convef- 
iation are among well-bred people nicely 
and eautioufly ufed— with much refle&ion 
too, although to a foreign ear they may pot 
fibly found as if fynonymous. — Yet Italians 
in particular fhould recoiled^ that their own 
Cicero is much of the fame opinion with 
our Johnfon, who fays that were we to 
(peak rigoroufly, perhaps no human mind 
is exa&ly in its right ftate ; becaufe there it 
no man whofe imagination does not fame* 
times predominate over his reafon ; no man 
vol. n. B who 



2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

who can regulate his attention wholly by 
his will, and whofe ideas will come and go 
at his command ; no man in whofe mind 
airy notions do not fometimes tyrannize, and 
force him to hope or fear beyond the limits 
of fober probability. All power of fancy 
over reafon is a degree of insanity ; but 
while this power is fuch as we can controul 
and reprefs, it is not vifible to others, or 
confidered as any proof of mental de- 
rangement : nor can we juftly pro- 
nounce it madness, till it becomes ungo- 
vernable, and influences apparently the 
fpeecji or a&ion of the perfon in queftion. 
Qui fit adfe&us (fays the Roman orator,) 
eum dominum efle rerum fuarum vetant 
duodecim tabulae, ltaque non eft fcrip- 
tum fi insanus, fed fi furiosus efle 
incipit. — For it appears that the laws of the 
twelve tables confidered it as poflible enoughr 
-•— and fo it is no doubt — that people may 
<go through the common forms of life, and 

its 



.BRITISH SYNONYMY. $ 

its ftated duties too, in many cafes without 
being coniidered as out of their minds at all j 
yet, to the penetrating eye of Willis, or phi- 
lofophical arrangements of Arnold, would 
foon betray fymptoms of disordered spi- 
rits. A friend once told me in confidence, 
that for two years he durft not ever eat ad 
apple, for fear it fhould make him drunk $ 
but as he took care to aflign no reafon for 
his forbearance, and as no man is much fo* 
licited to eat apples, the oddity efcaped no- 
tice ; and would not have been known at 
this hour, but that he told me many years 
after he had recovered his fenfes to perfec- 
tion, and told it as an inftance of concealed 
insanity. The famous Chriftopher Smart* 
who was both a wit and a fcholar, and vi* 
fited as fuch while under confinement for 
madness, would never have had a com* 
miflion of lunacy taken out againft him* 
had he managed with equal ingenuity— 
for Smart's melancholy (hewed itfelf only in 

3 2 a pre- 



4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

a preternatural excitement to prayer; which 
he held it as a duty net to controul or re~ 
prefs — taking au pied de la lettre our tyeffed 
Saviour's injunction to pray without uctfng. 
—So that beginning by regular addrefies at 
ftated times to the Almighty, he went on 
to call his friends from their dinners, or 
beds, or places of recreation, whenever that 
impulfe towards prayer prefled upon his 
mind. In every other tranfa&ion of life no 
man's wits could be more regular than thofe 
of Smart ; for this prevalence of one idea 
pertinacioufly keeping the firft place in his 
head, had in no fenfe except what imme- 
diately related to itfelf, perverted his judg- 
ment at all : his opinions were unchanged as 
before, nor did he feem more likely to fall 
into a ftate of distraction than any 
other man; lefs fo perhaps, as he calmed 
every ftart of violent paffion by prayer. 
Now, had this eminently unhappy patient 
been equally feized by the precept of pray- 
ing 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 5 

kg in fccret ; as no one would then have 
been difturbed by his irregularities, it would 
have been no one's intereft to watch over 
or cure them ; and the abfurdity would 
poflibly have confumed itfelf in private, 
like that of my friend who feared an apple 
ihould intoxicate him. I well remember 
how after the eommiffion was put in force, 
poor fellow ! he got money from the keep- 
er of the mad-houfe for teaching his little 
boys Latin, — a proof, as vulgar people 
would imagine, that his intellects were 
found; for mean obfervers fuppofe all 
MADNESS to be phrenzy, and think a 
perfon insane in proportion as he is wild, 
and difpofed to throw the things about — 
whereas experience fliows that fuch tempo- 
rary fufpenfions of the mental faculties are 
oftener connected with delirium than with 
mania, and, if not encouraged and ftimu- 
lated by drunkennefs, are feldom of long 
duration: whereas in notional and ideal 

B 3 madness, 



6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

MADNESS, particularly the firft, many 
fymptoms are only cunningly fuppreflcd, 
not cured ; couched like a catarad in the 

m 

eye, but not eradicated, and (till percepti- 
ble enough to thofe who make fuch mala- 
dies their own peculiar ftudy. With regard 
to mere ufe of words, I think lunacy 
feems to be the legal term, insanity, and 
fometimes melancholy, the medical ones; 
while phrenzy, madness and distrac- 
tion are the poetical exprcffions of what 

we Call MENTAL DERANGEMENT, Or DIS- 
ORDERED spirits, in elegant copverfa* 
tioiL 



MAIN, OCEAN, SEA, 



ip 



APPEAR fynonymous, yet are not fo in 
ftri&nefs ; — the firft being rather a poetical 
than a conyerfation word, and which ought 

to 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 7 

to be applied even in verte I think only 
to the Pacific or Atlantic ocean ; becaufe 
main, deriving its etvmolojrv folelv from 
its bulk and extenfion of parts, Magnus, 
fhould not be applied to the Baltick, the 
Gafpian, or other inferior and inland seas, 
which, fpeaking with geographical exa&nefs, 
are rather to be called gulphs and lakes : — 
and though Milton does fomewhere make 
mention of the CErythrean main, 'tis in an 
early competition — he grew more attentive 
when he wrote the Paradife Loft. One 
might, however, without imputation of pe- 
dantry, or affectation of unufual correftnefs, 
tell how a friend's only fon had fuch a pat 
donate defire to go to sea, that undererM 
by every argument his friends could poffibly 
urge concerning the well known dangers 
and terrors of the main, which doub'lels 
tormented their imagination with equal 
force, as hope of change, and confidence 
of conquering thole perils feduced the 

B 4 warmer 



S BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

warmer fancy of the boy, — he fet out 
upon a difcovering party, with a fquadron 
intended to make the circuit of our Earth, 
and fuffering a variety of hardihips, dif- 
trefles and fatigues, at length arrived ftfe 
at home, having with difficulty furvived 
the veflel he fet fail in, and having after her 
fhipwreck been obliged to crofs the ocean 
in a little fluff, with Abort allowance, and no 
accommodation. We hope for his poor gu>* 
ther's fake he will now content himf$lf to 
flay quietly in England, and feek for wealth 
or fame in paths lefs perilous ; this is the 
more to be expeded as his father died two 
years ago, fo that all pleafure in thwarting 
his authority is at an end — for which pur- 
pofe alone many frolicks are committed by 
thoughtlefs youths who run into ruin only 
to prove then; fpirit of independance. 



MALAPERT, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



MALAPERT, SAUCY, IMPERTINENT. 



THE laft of thefe has by corruption be- 
come the common conversation word, and 
turned the firft, which is the proper one, out 
of good company : for by impertinent 
is meant in ftri& propriety the man whom 
La Bniyere, tranflating the characters of 
Theophr^ftus, calls le Contrctcms^ who goes 
to fupper with his miftrefs when he hears 
(he has $n ague, and inveighs againft the 
marriage ftate when invited to celebrate 
a wedding dinner — with a hundred fuch 
tricks, the completed of which in the origi- 
nal feems to be his looking on gravely while 
a gentleman to whom he profefles friendfhip 
corre&s his favourite flave, encouraging 
him to proceed by magnifying the fellow's 
fault, applauding the matter's attention to 
good difcipline, &c. — till turning fuddenly 

and 



•A 



io BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

and fpeaking to a ftander-by, he adds : I 
tookjuft this very fame method myfelf once 
with the clevereft lad you ever faw, and he 
ran away from me the next day— nor could I 
ever catch hold of him more : I'm fure 'twas 
acting precifely in the fame manner coft me 
juft the beft fervant I ever had in my life 
Now nothing of this perverfenefs is re- 
quired to form what we at prefent are con- 
tent to call impertinence, falfely enough, 
— for the malapert mifs,or saucy cham- 
bermaid, often pofTefs fkill fufficient to time 
their fprightly infolence and lively raillery 
reafonattly well — that fudden burft of con- 
fident felf-fufficiency, by the vigorous failly 
of which, virtue herfelf may be fometimes, 
confounded, and learning often feels abafli- 
ed and overwhelmed ; while the antagonift, 
fafe in her own fex and ftation, enjoys the 
tiiumph of levity, and titters delighted with 
the difgrace of her fuperiors. Such feems 
to have been the behaviour of gentlewomen 

3 in 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. . it 

in Swift's time, — Irifh ones at leaft ; and 
fuch feem likewife the damfels defcribed by 
Mr. Boyle, when Eufebius fays, " In truth 
good Lindamour I feel my civility as much 
endangered by the company of fuch females, 
however beautiful, as is my chaftity,— feeing 
that we mud acknowledge it difficult in fuch 
cafes to controul that fpirit of reprehenfion, 
which if let loofe would poffibly more quick- 
ly excite their mirth than their refentment." 
— Such fair ones may ftill be found, with 
diligent fearch I believe — and to be ferious, 
whoever wifhes to learn the fiill meaning of 
the word malapert, may ftudy the ready 
jrefponfes of an Englifh mifs, or an Italian 
chambermaid. 



MALICE. 



12 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



MALICE, MALICIOUSNESS, MALIGNITY* 



THESE words run rather In a climax 
than a parallel : the firft has thfe fofteft fig- 
-nification of the three, and conveys fome- 
•what like an idea of buffoonery mingled 
with*tht} other more pernicious ingredients, 
But while ill-educated and naturally coarfe 
people are tempted to laugh at tricks 0f 
merry malice, all wifh tQ b$ thought in- 
capable of ferious and intentional malici- 
ousness; and. even the maq whq would 
not fcruple to confefs that once in Ida life 
perhaps he had felt impulfes towards even 
this deviation from virtue and from ho* 
nour, provoked by fome perfon who h&d 
crofled his ambitious defigns, or thwarted 
through malice his amorous purfuits — 
would refent a charge of malignity as 
the heavieft of all imputations. For my 

7 QWU 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; if 

own- part I dunk the whole triumvirate fo 
hateful* that when I fee babies not difcoo- 
ragcd from playing each other Tome ma- 
licious tricky I tremble left fuch tempera 
{hoidd ripen into difpofitions of the worft 
fort; — and if combined with feebknefs of 
nature, fhew early fymptoms of that vile 
malignity, which poifons what it can- 
not fubdtie, and laps the character it dares 
not to arraign* 



MANNERS, MORALS, MORALITY. 



NOT ftri&ly fynonymous fure, while we 
fay, the manners of a great people, the 
MORALITY of an individual, and call a 
book of morals one which profefles to 
teach either the do&rine or pra&ice of 
cthicks. In oppofition to religious duties, we 
'* call 



i 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

call thofe the moral ones which refer W 
the laft fix commandments of the Decalogue, 
and apparently relate to focial life alone, but 
which our Saviour has enforced by faying 
that wbat/oever you do to tbtfe my brethren 
you do it unto me— by.this means connecting 
piety with virtue ; while the moralift is 
made to underftand, that his works — (to 
be received as fuch,) — milft emanate from 
faith, and be fandified through obedience ; 
and the mere ritijalift, or erlthufiaftic votary 
of religious folitude, is informed, that no 
commutation will be accepted for breach of 
manners. — I know you not (fays our 
Lord), depart from me all ye workers of 
iniquity. — So carefully indeed has Jefus 
Chrift provided to keep entire this union 
which bigots and fcepticks alike labour to 
deftroy, that one may obferve throughout 
the whole biography, how his moft ftriking 
and immediate rewards were beftowed on 
thofe who excelled in faith, his heavieft 

judgments 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 15 

judgments denounced on thofe whofe con- 
dud ran counter to morality; 



39= 



MARRIAGE, WEDDING, NUPTIALS. 



ALTHOUGH thefe are all common 
converfation words, they can fcarcely be 
ufed fynonymoufly. There is a treaty of 
marriage going forward in fuch a family, 
lay we, and I expe£t an invitation to the 
wedding dinner, as 'tis reported the pa- 
rents are difpofed to celebrate thefe nup- 
tials with great feftivity, and very few 
friends of the family will be left out. 

Meantime our great triumph over fo- 
reigners, who vifit us from warmer climates, 
is in the fuperior felicity of our married cou- 
ples; nor do 1 praife thofe fuperficial writers 
who fo lament the infidelities committed 
among us — in papers which carried to the 

Continent 



i6 tiRtf tsrf SYNONtfhiY. 

Continent tend to make them believe thert 
is no more conjugal attachment in Britain* 

• 

than at Genoa or Venice. — Truth is, we 
find ill all great capitals an ill example fet 
by a dozen Women of diftiri&ion who give 
the ton as tis called ; and with regard to 
fuch, London oenfefies her (hare : — yet is 
the mafs of middling people left untainted ; 
and even among our nobility, thofe of the 
firft fortune and dignity in England live 
with an Arcadian conftartcy and true affeo 
tion, fuch as can very tartly happen in na- 
tions where a contrary condu& is neither 
punifhed by the Legislature, nor cenfured 
by Society j for there is no need to refolve 
virtue and vice into effed of climate y unlefs 
we are fuppofed to improve or degenerate 
like animals which wbitdn as they approach 
the Pole— human nature will go wrong if" 
religion forbears to reftrain, and govern- 
ment negledts to puniOi* 



MATURITY 1 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



MATURITY and RIPENESS 



ARE each of them converfation words, 
but we u(e the firft chiefly as a figure of the 
iecond, and apply it foinething more feriouf- 
ly.— If you gather fruit (fay we) in fuch a 
ftate of exceflive ripeness that your fin- 
gers are in danger of breaking them during 
the operation, they never can be expeded 
to ftand the procefs of preferving ; becaufe 
when parts will admit no more expan- 
fion, the very brandy you put to keep them, 
will caufe them to burft : in like manner 
will a wife man put his intents or fchemes 
in execution before they arrive at that full 
MATURITY which is likely to bring for- 
ward a difcovery at the very inftant of pro- 
jection, and ruin his defign in its crifis. 



VOU II. C MAX*, 



if BRITISH SYNONYM*. 



MAZE, LABYRINTH, PERPLEXITY. 



THE curious ftru&ures formed of old in 
Egypt, Crete, and ages afterwards ia Tuf- 
cany, by Poifenna, have given the two 
firft of thefe words to every modern lan- 
guage as a fynonyme for the third. They 
have now none but a figurative fenfe, I 
think; becaufe a labyrinth conftru&ed to 
puzzle in a garden, is confidered, and juftly, 
as a childifh plaything — I know of no fuch 
trifle in any EngliJh pleafure ground, un- 
lefs that left (landing in Hampton-Court 
Gardens be confidered as one; proof of 
King William's Dutch tafte — And why is it 
fo confidered ? merely becaufe it is impoffi- 
ble for fuch a maze to be made, in the pre* 
fcnt fituation of life and manners, large 
enough to anfwer the real purpofes of con- 
cealment 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 19 

' fcealment and myftery, which would take 
tip a fpace of twenty miles in circumference, 
and might be appropriated to ufes, or at 
leaft be liable to fufpicions* of a terrifying 
nature. In old ariftocratic days, and in 
femi-barbarous nations, grofs violations of 
every virtue lived unnoticed, and died 
away undete&ed, from the permiffion man- 
kind tachly gave to every idea of privacy 
and feclufion : where man unwatched by 
man, brutified for very want of obfervance j 
talents languiflied for lack of cultivation ; and 
while rich minds were fuffered to run over 
' with weeds, poor ones perifhed in their ori- 
ginal naked nefs, from that cold which never 
was thawed by confutation. It is, however, 
worthy to be remarked, that upon quitting 
this dark labyrinth, we find ourfelves 
fuddenly tranfported into a broad light fo 
ftrong and violent that our eyes, unable to 
contend with its power, are- dazzled into 

C 2 PERPLEXITY, 



ao BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

per pl exit y, little Ids dangerous than the 
tenebrous ftate we left behind : while every 
petty tranA&ion is torn forth and expofed 
to public view ; lives of our neighbours 
written before they are ended, and letters 
of our own publifhed and fold to our very 
felves; anecdotes of one another become 
the only reading, and, true or falfe, are now 
the welcome exchange for money, time, 
and peace. But furely the reverfe of wrong 
is not right, while truth and common fenfc 
lie in the middle way ; and he who wilful- 
ly drives his Pegafus out of that path, will 
in time fire the world about his ears, like 
Phaeton when he negleded the precepts of 
his parent Apollo, ruler of dejiinj y that laid 

fo wifely, 

» 

Medio tutiflimus ibis, 
Neii te dextcrior tortum declinet in angutm^ 
Neve fmiftcrior preflam rota ducat ad aram ; 
Inter utrumqtie tore. 

MELODY, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. zx 



' MELODY, HARMONY! MUSICK. 



THESE terms are ufed as fynonymes 
only by people who revert not to their deri- 
vation ; when the laft is foon dif covered to 
contain the other two, while the firft mean* 
merely the air — or, as Italians better exprefs 
it, la cantilena — becaufe our very word me- 
lody implies boney-Jweet Jinging^ mellifluous 
fucceffion of fimple founds, fo as to produce 
agreeable and fometimes almoft enchanting 
effe& Meanwhile both co-operation and 
combination are underftood to meet in the 
term harmony ; which, like every other 
fcience, is the refult of knowledge operating 
upon genius, and adds in the audience a 
degree of aftonifhment to approbation, en- 
riching all our fenfations of delight, and cluf- 
tering them into a maturity of perfedion. 

C 3 MELODY 



aa BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

§ 

Melody is tq harmony what inno* 
fence is to virtue ; the laft could not exift 
without the former, on which they are 
founded j but we efteem hinqt who enlarges 
fimplicity into excellence, and prije the * 
opening chorus of Api? ai>d Galatea beyond 
the Voi Amanti ,of Giardini, although thi? 
laft-named compofition is elegant, and the 
other vulgar. % 

Where the original thoughf, however^ 
Jike Corregio's Magdalen in the prefden 
Gallery fet round with jewels, is loft in the 
blaze of accompaniment, our lofs is the lefs 
if that thought fhould be fomewhat coarfe . 
or indelicate; but MtmcK of this kind 
pleafes an Italian ear far lefs than do Sao 
chini's fweetly foothing mejlodies, never 
overlaid by that fulnefs of harmony witty 
which German compofejrs fometimes per- 
ple^f inftead of informing their hearers. Hif 

choruffes in Erifile, though nothing deficient 

pithef 



BRITISH SYJSTONYMY. *3 

either in'richnefs or radiance, are ever tran£- 
parent ; while the charming fubjed: (not an 
inftant loft to view) reminds one of fome 
fine fhell coloured by Nature's hand, but 
feen to moft advantage through the clear 
waves that wafh the coaft of Coromandel 
when mild monfoons are blowing. With 
regard to musick, Plato faid long ago, that 
if any confiderable alteration took place in 
the music K of a country, he fhould, from 
thatfingle circumftance, predict innovation 
in. the laws, a change of cuftoms, and fub- 
verfion of the government. Rouffeau, in 
imitation of this fentiment, which he had 
probably read tranjlated as well as myfelf, 
actually foretold it of the French, without 
acknowledging whence his ideafprung; and 
truly did he foretell it. " The French," 
fays he, " have no musick now — nor can 
have, becaufe their language is not capable 
of mufical expreflion ; but if ever they do 

C 4 get 



t 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



get into a better ftyle — (which they cer- 
tainly foon did, changing Lulli and Rameau 
for Gluck and for Piccini) — tart pis 
pour cuk" 

Roufleau had indeed the fate of Cafian- 
dra, little lefs mad than himfelf j and Bur- 
ney juftly obferved, that it was ftrange a 
nation fo frequently accufed of volatility 
and caprice, fhould hav^ in variably mani- 
feftcd a fteady perfeverance and conftancy 
to one particular tafte in this art, which the 
ftrongeft ridicule and contempt of other 
countries could never vanquiih or turn out 
of its courfe. He has however lived to fee 
them change their mode of receiving plea- 
fure from this very fcience ; has feen them 
accomplish the predi&ions pi Roufleau, and 
confirm the opinions of Plato j feen them 
murder their own monarch, fet fire to their 
own cities, and blaze themfelves away — a 
wonder to fools,a beacon to wife men. This 

example 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* * s 

example hju at leaft Jerved to (hew the ufe 
of thofe three words which occafioned fo 
long a {peculation. Melody is chiefly ufed 
fpeaking of vocal musick, and harmony 
means many parts combining to form corns 
pofition. Shall I digrefs in laying that this 
latter feems the genuine tafte of the Engliflij 
who love plenty and opulence in all things ? 
Our melodies are commonly vulgar, but 
we like to fee them richly dreft • and the 
late filly humour of liftening to tunes made 
upon three notes only, is a mere whim of 
the moment, as it was to dote upon old bal- 
lads about twenty or thirty years ago ; it 
will die away in a twelvemonth — for fim- 
plkity cannot pleafe without elegance : nor 
does it really pleafe a Britifh ear, even when 
exquifitely fweet and delicate. We buy 
Blair's Works, but would rather ftudy War- 
burton's ; we talk of tender Venetian airs, 
but our hearts acknowledge Handel. Mean- 
time 



iS BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

■ 

time^tis unjuft to fay that German musick 
is not expreffive ; when the Italians fay fo 
they mean it is not amorous : but other af- 
fections inhabit other* fonls ; and furely the 
laft-named immortal compofer has no rival 
in the power of expreffing and exciting fub* 
Ijme devotion and rapturous fentiment. See 
his grand chorus, Unto us a Son is born^ &c, 
Pleyef s Quartettos too, which have all fome- 
what of a drum and fife in them, exprefe 
what Germans ever have excelled in^-Tegu* 
larky, order, difcipline, arms, in a word, war* 
When fuch musick is playing, it reminds 
one of Rowe's verfes which fay f<j very 
truly, that 

The found of arms (hall wake our martial ardour^ 

And cure the amorous fickncfs of a foul 

Begun by floth and nurfed with too much eafe. 

The idle god of love fupinely dreams 

Amidft inglorious (hades and purling dreams \ 

In rofy fetters and fantaftic chains 

He binds deluded maids and fimple fwains \ 

WiA 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, ; #7- 

Wtthibft enjoyment wooes them to forget 
The hardy toils and labours of the great : 
* But if the warlike trumpet's loud alarms 
To virtuous afts excite, and manly arms. 
The coward boy avows his abje& fear, 
.Sublime on Alien wings he cuts the air, 

£carM at the noble noife and thunder of the war. 

» -« ■ .. <■ ■ ■ 

What then do thofe critics look for, who 
lament that German musick is not exfrcp* : 
Jive t They look for plaintive founds meant 
to raiie tender emotions in the bread; antj, 
this is the peculiar province of meloby — 
which, like Anacr eon's lyre, vibrates to 
amorous touches only, and refounds with 
nothing J»ut love,. Of this fpvereign power, 

To take the 'prifon'd foul, and lap it in ElyGum, 

Italy has long remained in full pofleffion : 
the Syren's coaft is ftill thp refidence of 
melting foftnefs and of fweet fedu&ion. The 
musick of a nation naturally reprefents that- 
pation's favourite energies, pervading every 
thought and every action j while even the 
§ devotion 



*t BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

devotion of that warm (oil is tenderneft* sot 
fublimity ; — and either the natives impreft 
their gentle fouls with the contemplation of 
a Saviour newly laid, in innocence and 
infant fweetnefe, upon the fpodefe bo- 
fan of more than female beauty — or 
elfe rack their foft hearts with the affiift- 
ing paffions ; and with eyes fixed upon a 
bleeding crucifix, weep thdr Redeemer's 
human fufierings, as though he were never 
to re-aflurac divinity. Meantime the piety 
of Lutherans (bars a fubKmer Bight ; and 
when they fet before the eyes of thdr glow- 
ing imagination Mefliah ever blefled, they 
kindle into rapture, and break out with 
pious tranfport, 

Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent rcigncth, &c« 

The j think of him that fitteth high above the 
heavens, begotten before all %-. orlds ! 



Effulgence of the Father! Son beloved! 



With 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. z 9 

With fuch impreflions, fuch energies, 
fuch infpiiation — Milton wrote poetry, and 
Handel compofed music k. 



g* * 1/ 



MISTAKE, ERROR, MISCONCEPTION. 



WHOEVER thinks thefe words ftridly 
fynonymous will find himfelf in an error ; 
while he who fays he wandered out of his 
way between London and Bath, from mere 
misconception, makes a comical mis- 
take — for he only committed an error 
in negle&ing to punifh thofe who turned 
him out of the right road for a joke. Thefe 
are the niceties of language that books never 
teach, and converfation alone can eflablifli. 
Let foreigners however fettle it in their 
minds, that the word firft ufed in this cata- 
3 logue 



go BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

logue offalfe apprehension, is ufed when one 
man or one thing is taken for another f thfe 
fecond applies uracil wider, and we fay h of 
all who deviate from the right.path, whether 
that deviation is or is not eaufed by a mere 
mistake: the latter ft ems lefs an a£t of 
the will than either of the other two*; 'tis 
more a perverfion of the head than any thing 
clfe,and its refiftance againft' conviction car- 
ries with it fomewhat laughable. A noble- 
man, for inflance, employing his architect 
to fhew him the elevation of a h<rafe he in- 
tended to build, the artift produces a draw- 
ing made with Indian ink. This is no bad 
form of a houfe, fays my lord, but I don t 
like the colour — my houfe fhall be white. 
By all means, replied the builder,- this is a 
white houfe. No, this is black and white, 
methinks — evidently fo, indeed — and ftriped 
about fomehow in a way that does not pleafe 
me.« Oh dear ! no fuch things my lord— - 

the 



BRITISH SYNONYMY*. Jt 

the houfe will be white enough. That I 
don't know, Sir; if you contradict my 
fenfes now, 'you may do the famctben : but 
my houfe lhall not be patched about with 
black as this paper is — it fhall be all clearl 
Portland ftone* Doubtlefs, my lord j what 
you fee here is perfe&ly ivbitc y I affure you* 
You are an impudent fellow (anfwers the 
proprietor), and endeavour to impofe upon 
me, becaufe I am not converfant in thefe 
matters, by perfuading me that I do not 
know black from white ; but I do know an 
honed man from a rogue — fo get about 
your bufinefs dire&ly, no fuch fhall be my 
architect:. 

This was misconception. When the 
faux Martin Guerre came to France from 
India, and took poffeflion of the houfe, lands, 
wife, &c. of a man whom he ftrongly re- 
fembled, and who, by four or five years ab- 
fence from his family, was fo forgotten by 

them 



j* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

them that neither brother nor fiften found 
out the impofture — their carefles and obedi- 
ence, their rents and profits were all intended 
to the perfon of another man, and were only 
paid to him by a fatal but innocent Mis- 
take. But when the jury condemned a 
man wholly unconcerned in the bufinefs to 
fuffer for a crime one of themfelves had 
committed, nor ever found out that good 
evidence was wanting to prove his guilt, till 
the real perpetrator of the murder owned it 
himfelf in private to the judge — they a&ed 
with too little caution and delicacy, and have 
been always juftly cenfured for the error* 
The fads are all acknowledged ones. 



MOB 



BRITISH SYNONYM*. 33 



MOB, POPULACE, THE LOW PEOPLE, THE 

VULGAR ; 



DENOMINATIONS by which feve- 
ral conditions of men delight in defcribing 
- thofe below them in regard to talents, birth, 
or .fortune: — the great vulgar and the 
(mall, fays Cowley, fpeaking of ignorant 
perfons; but wc commonly apply it to thofe 
whofe coarfenefs of manners and meannefs 
of behaviour preclude them from admiflion 
into elegant or civil fociety. And fo true 
is this pofition, that defcent, however illuf- 
trious, will not be found fufficient to keep 
perfons out of low life and company who 
•have art innate propenfity as it were towards 
debafing themfelves ; witnefs fome unhappy 
females, who, although highly born and de- 
cently educated, are contented to lead and 

vol. 11. D fi^ifl* 



34 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

finifli their lives amongft the dregs of fo-« 
ciety, apparently from original tafte. 

Meantime nothing is fooffenfive to Eng-< 
lifh nien or women in general (for exceptions 
only ferve to prove the rule), as to be rated 
among the low peopl* or the vu-lgar, 
confcious that every native of our happy 
country may die a gentleman if 'he will but 
learn to live like one. Even thofe whom 
every foul but themfelves count as membcfs 
of the populace, wifh not to be thought 
fuchj but, if touched on that ftring which 
vibrates at the word honour or genteel be- 
haviour, will fpeedily join in defpifing a 
mob, and unite themfelves to that party 
which boafts better education. It is indeed 
a proof of the vileft depravity when man is 
fo far debafed as to delight in his own mean- 
nefs, and fay with the French, for whom 
that bafenefs was referved, Long live the fans- 
culottes ! We will however hope better il- 
7 lumiaation 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. gs 

lumination even to them ; and as 'tis the firft 
chara&eriftic of their fed to be unliable, the 
old grammatical axiom may end perhaps at 
laft in a maxim of politics, when we fay, 
NcAtrum modo y mas modo fulgus. 



% -«5P 



MONEY, CASH, COLE, ASSETS, READY RINO, 

CHINE, CORIANDERS ; 



FORM a firing of hateful words— fyno- 
nymous enough, however, or nearly fo, ia 
the vulgar and defpicable dialed of coarfe 
traders in the hour of merriment ; but to be 
ever fcduloufly avoided by thofe who mean 
to be thought eminent for choice of phrafe 
and elegance of converfation. The firft is, 
after all thefe heavy denunciations* a nece£» 
(ary and proper term, when bufinefe comes 
to be ferioufly fpoken upon : the fecond is 
always pert and pedantic, unkfs ufed in its 

D z. native 



36 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

native foil, the banker's fhop, Mrhere it means 
coin, oppofed to notes; fuch mone? as may 
be kept in a caisse or ftrong-bo*^ is pro- 
perly and from that derivation juftly deno- 
minated cash* The fourth Word on this 
tinpleafing lift is likewife of French etymo- 
logy, and belongs rather to the cant of law- 
yers than of merchants. When a man dies, 
his executors iarid their attorney begin to en- 
quire if he has left assets (meaning assez) 
fufficient for payment of legacies, debts, 
dues, &ۥ : The others are nothing better 
than a mere jargon of fchool-boys* 'prentices, 
^c. and fo furely are thefe terms excluded 
civil fociety, and fo attentive muft foreign- 
ers be never to pronounce them, that I am 
•confident a nobleman would fcruple to in- 
.troduce the bed recommended fon of his 
own beft friend in England, to Sir William 
Hamilton or Sir Robert Murray Keith at 
Naples or Vienna, fhould the youth in his 
-firft vifit give my lord to underftand that he 

"took 



BKITISH SYNONYMY. 3) 

** took care not to fet out from home with- 
out having touched the cole, provided the 
KBADT RiNOy and tipt Old Squaretoes for 

the COR1ANDBRS." 

Nothing is fp certain a brand of beggary 
in our country as coarfe and vulgar Ian- 
guage. We know almoft the ftjreet 9 man 
refides in here at London — at Ieaft the com- 
pany he 1ms kept — by a peculiar drain of 
difcourfe, which though endurable enough 
fo long as the talk is ferious, relapfes into 
wretchednefs the moment a jeft is attempt- 
cd. I have heard Dr. Johnfon fay there was 
fuch a thing as a city voice— a city laugh 
there is, that's certain, different from that of 
die people who inhabit, and have from their 
youth inhabited, the court end of the town, 

•It appears from fome of Martial's epi- 

« 

grams, meantime, and there are corroborat- 
ing reafons to believe, that in old times as 
well as now fome waggifli way was always 
Adopted by low people, when fpeaking of 

D 3 / pecu* 






3 8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

pecuniary concerns : and nvmmi was cer- 
tainly a cant word at Rome, becaufe Nuota 
firft coined filver, which he fubftituted for 
the fcraps of leather then in ufe ; and when 
a fellow filled hi6 bag with nvmmi % he was 
I truft talking no higher language than he 
who in our country wifhes for the c$inz % 
or boafts his familiarity with king George a 
picture. 

It may be worth obfervation* and has I 
think been hinted at in the Firft Volume, 
that to def&ibe any thing by its caufes if 
lefs likely to pleafe or be right in conTer- 
fation than defcribing the fame by its ad* 
jun&s ; and perhaps the Milanefe patois 
owes much of its grofihefs to the contrary 
pradice. They call a chair quadriga of 
f cur-legs; a fan crefpin or crackling-thing • 
the door Vufcio or the going out place. No 
wonder, fay my Engliih readers, that this 
dialed is reckoned a coarfe one : while 'tis 
Botorioufly a mean phrafe here to afk a 

gentleman—* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 39 

gentleman — cc Well, Sir, how goes your 
Tompion?" meaning — " Pray what, is the 
time o* day by your watch ?" made poflibly 
by that artift j or — " So, my lady, how 
doQS your moufcrV to a woman of quality 
if £he is fond of a favourite cat. I know 
not whether vice and folly are half as atten- 
tively avoided by elegant people in Great 
Britain as fuch expreffions ; but this I know, 
that 'tis difficult to endure even virtue and 

* 

wifdom combined with fo much groflhefs. 



MYSTERY, SACRED OBSCURITY. 



THE firft of thefe is the word for which 
the laft is merely a periphrafis, and both 
feem likely enough to be difcarded in this 
felf-fufficient age, when examination takes 
place of thankfulnefs, and the fpirit of in- 
vcftigating precludes much of reverence 

D 4 even 



4 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

even to celeftial invelopment. Out rafh 
and intrufive £hi!ofophy, like Hosier's Pa- 
troclus, ftrikes even againft the cloud which 
veils Apollo Or Defliny from our hearer 
view, and, (corning all that onc6 Was reck* 
oned awful, feeks to tear down the very 

« 

branches of that tree, whofe fruit, eVeft 
when carefully gathered, proved fatal to us 
all. 

Mysteries, like monarchs, are how 
found eafy to get rid of; and indeed thole 
who firft began to infult Heaven were like* 
lied above all people to murder an anointed 
king. The punifhment of fuch abominable 
fins is as yet concealed from our eyes in s A- 
cred obscurity ; but not lefs certain is it 
for that reafon — perhaps not lefc near. 



JtAME, 



SRltlSH SYNONYMY. 41 



NAME, NOUN PROPER, NOMINAL 
DISTINCTION, APPELLATIVE. 



THE fir ft of thefc is the word in con* 
verfation ufe, unlefs when fome accidental 
combination forces from us one of the others. 
As if a perfon fhould fay — ci I only called 
the man a Hercules or a Solomon by way 
of appellative, becaufe he is fo eminently 
wife or ftrong ; his name is Richard, I have 
been told: and with regard to his fkmily, it 
has but lately acquired any nominal dis- 
tinction at all, unlefs perhaps Norton or 
Sutton were added by the villagers on his 

firft fettling there, if they obferved his com* 
ing from the north town % or thcjouth town % 
a common reafon enough ; but' fomething 
muft be done to fubdivide the word man 
into noun proper and noun common. 
So far the example. Auguftus Casfar met 

an 



4* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

an afs, fays Swift, and he had a lucky name; 

I meet afles enough, continues the merry 
Dean, but they have never lucky, names. 
*Tis ftrange, however, where onomancy was 
fo much regarded as it was in Rome, that a 
man fhould ever have been tempted to give 
his fbn an wilucky one; yet we find L, ivy call- 
ing Atrius Umber abummandi onrinu momen^ 
and the name Lyco was as unpleafing taPlau- 
tus. Edmund Smith, ever attentive to ant*- 
quity, keep* that name fbr die betrayer of 
HippoJytus in his Phaedra, I remember ;. and 
there has been always an idea of good hope 
going with a name, however fuch fancies 
may be difclaimed. Why elfe do Roman- 
ids (till call their fons Evangelifta or Natalef 
Nothing can be more fenfelefs, fcarce any 
thing more abfurd ; except chriftening a baby 
Gizmbattijta, as they do in all parts of Italy 
for ever, without refle&ing that he might as 
rationally be called Chzx\tmagnc y or Alex- 
ander the Create thofe being mere appel- 
latives 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 43 

IATIVKS that agreed only with the parti* 
cular individuals on whom they were firft 
bellowed : and I remember Dr. Johnfon re- 
primanding a lady of his and my acquaint- 
ance for baptizing her daughter Augujia. 
The truth is, puritans who to obtain heaven 
for their young ones give the names of 
Hold-tbefaitb or Stand f aft, are wifer than 
thefe ; and a gentleman of undoubted vera* 
city told me once of a pious friend he had, 
who promifed if his wife brought him a 
daughter that year, in which he had received 
fome iignal mercy from heaven, that he 
would in gratitude call the girl Mefopotamiai 
which is known J>y thofe who underftand 
Greek to mean the middle of rivers, ox fur- 
rounded by waters, and was the name of a 
province fo difcriminated. This however 

is at word but idiotifm ; while the calling 

• » 

any human creature Emmanuel or Salvador 
is profanation if not blafphemy. Surnames, 
being mere family diftin&ions, take a, wider 

range. 



44 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

range, and have fpread ftrangely fare ifr 
every country — all trades, all colours, fenc- 
ing for cognonrina ; and even appellation 
of beafts, birds, and fifhes, which Cambdea 
feems to think were originally figns where 
certain perfons kept (hops, but that uiage ifr 
by other authors fuppofed to be of later date. 
Men were named from brutes before figns 
were known, I am told. 

Local names* as Jield, rivers, meadows % 
and the like, are innumerable of courfe ; 
and honorary ones not unfrequcnt — from 
fome of the family having been a bijbop, a 
baron, an earl, &c. Nor do the foujbriqucts 
fail of coming in for their {hare, when the 
firft man of the race ▼as noted for a great 
or broadbead, or for being armftroag, or was 
eminent for fome peculiar a&ion in war, as 
Sbakefpeare, &c. The firft of thefe in Eng* 
land are almoft all Yorkfhire families origi- 
nally, and bore arms under King Edward 
the Firft, in his contentions with the Welch. 

So 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 45 

So much for Agnomina ; they are commoa 
ia Italy and Fiance likewiie. Grojfa Tefta 

is a Genoefe I think, and Grojfe Teftc may 

« 

I fuppofe be found among the emigrant 
French — Beauregard is a name well known 
among a lower dais, whence our Goodluk 
changed for motives of intereft to Goodbck. 
Men of higher con&deration, meantime, 
were commonly named from their poffef- 
(ions, as Philip de Valois, &c ; and where 
the father was a great man, and boafted 
long defcent of anceftry, famous in their 
^province or diftrift, his fons would count 
backwards up to the fountain-head, in Wales 
by Ap, in other k^gdoms by Fitz, or Witt, 
whence illegitimate progeny not daring to 
-do fo, called themfelves Wilfon, or Harrifon ; 
Sometimes by matronymicks^ as Anfon % Nel- 
ybn 9 &c. ad infinitum. 'Tis curious enough 
to fee how very little the methods of claff- 
ing and naming mankind differ, in different 
parts of Europe, livery nation has its Mon- 
8 fieur 



4 & BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fieur Boileau, Mr. Drinkwater, and Signor 
Bevilacquay, and the Spaniards call them 
properly enough Renombres. They indeed 
diftinguifhed fome families, very old ones 
now, by titles of infamy or ill-luck > as the 

Romans phrafed it, witnefs Verdugo^ Puta- 
ttcroy and others ; to anfwer which, we have 
Mr. Baftard and Mr. Coward, &c. But Ro* 
manifts change their names when embrac- 
ing a religious order, not uhreafonably— 
for we have now done (fay they) with 
worldly diftin&ions; and conformably to 
this I truft (not for the reafon urged by 
Platina), Pope Sergius fet the* example to 
fucceeding pontiffs, of^fmifling for ever a 
kame to which he could have no fucceffion. 
Mean time fcholars who have had leifuie 
and erudition to examine the language now 
fpoken in North Wales, and prove it the 
true Celtic, namely one of the primary 
vocal modes after the difperiion of Babel, 
tell us, after mentioning the affinity between 

that 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 4? 

that and die Hebrew tongue, that die no- 
mik AL distinction of titans came from a 
Gaulifh or Celtic compound, /*</ earth, pro- 
nounced itf 9 and tarn fpreading, an overipread- 
ing people ; while Rowlands, the ingenious 
author of an Archeological Difcourfe oa the 
Antiqukes of Anglefey, called Afona Antupm 
Rcfiamrata^ pretends to (how that thefe Titans 
were the Aborigines of our ifland, not de- 
fending, as is commonly fuppofed, from 
die nuns of any difgraced or beaten people. 
That Mr. Mafon's beautiful ode would lofe 
die grace of probability might perhaps be 
the word confequence of fuch a fuppofition, 
when he fays 

Hail, thou harp of Phrygian frame ! 

In years of yore, 

That Camber bore 
From Troy's fcpulchral flame : 
With ancient Brute to Britain's (hore 

The mighty minftrel came* 
Serene upon the burnifli'd prow, 
He bade her manly modes to flow— 

BriUui 



41 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

Britain heard the defeant bold, 
She flung her white arms o'er the fea, 
Proud in her leafy bofom to unfold 
The freight of harmony. 

Rowlands likewife gives us to underftand 
how the Titan princes, who oyerfpread Eu» 
rope with conquefts, were Celts, and Her- 
cults no other name than Ercbill a deftroyer } 
jlpolloy ap-bauly filius folis, and Minerva, 
menarfan^ inventrefs of weapons. This 
very book I believe it is which Swift, who 
loved laughing better than enquiry, ridicules 
in his account of etymology, deriving Archie 
medes from Hark ye Maids, Alexander the 
Great from All Eggs under the Grate, and 
a hundred more ; the work was originally 
printed at Dublin, incorrectly . enough, 
about the year 1723. Monfieur le Comte 
de Gebelin certainly had feen it, though I 
know not whether he fpeaks of his obliga- 
tions in his Monde Prlmitif\ nor know I 
what became of that defign, for which 

Elmfly 



BRITISH SYNONTNf*. 49 

Eknfly took in fubfcriptions in the yeat 
1772 as I remember. 

Mean while Rowlands* account of the 
patriarch's names in Hebrew is very (hiking, 
•ndy if it has not been contradi&ed by men 
mote learned than himfelf, defervts admira* 
ticm rather than contempt ; as it was pro* 
baNy the original reafon why Puritans, who 
ftndy the Old Teftament more than Rq- 
manifts can y or Anglicans will ftudy it, have 
been Jed to baptize their children with long 
fentences, as this famous one, 

* If Chrift had Hot died for thee thou hadft been damned— Dobfon. 

by this means obliging the perfon to re- 
collect his Redeemer, every time he figned 
his own name ; a pra&ice of good intent, 
but Jeading on to abfurdity of the groffeft 
kind, as in the blockhead who fancied fome 
virtue contained in the nqminal disti-n c r 
vol. 11. • • E tion 



50 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tion of Mefopotamia, only becaufe he had 
read that word in the Bible. 

To return however to our Welch critic : 
He fays, " that the names impofed by the 
Hebrew language were generally fuch as 
betokened the nature, or fome eminent pro- 
perties of the things named, or were com* 
pounded of fuch as did — witnefs the Ante- 
diluvian names of the firft patriarchs, well 
worthy the confideration of modern Jews, 
who upon examination will find that they 
contain and myftically exhibit a concife and 
wonderful fcheme of prophecy, in their own 
Hebrew tongue, of the reftoration of fallen 
mankind by a bleeding Meffiah, as will ap- 
pear by the following table : 

Adam, — Man, 

Seth, — fet or placed, 

Enofh, — in mifery, 

Kainan, •— lamenting : 

Mahaleel, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* 51 



Kfahaleel, 


— blefled God 


jarcd, — 


fhall come down, 


Henoch, — 


- teaching, 


Methufelah, 


that his death will fend, 


Lamech 9 


to humbled fmitttn man^ 


NoaL — 


ctnfolation. 



Such a curiofity in literature might at* 
frad attention at any time, mod of all furely 
in this aftonifhing century, when ftich va- 
rious events preffing forward urge the ima- 
gination to expe<a ftill greater. The ftar, 
Which miraculoufly fhone forth in the Eaft, 
may poflibly at no diftant period illuminate 
the ten tribes, and light them on their re- 
turn to happinefs and favour. Mean time 
all Ofientalifts give appellations after the 
Jewifh manner I believe: Abdalla means 
Servant of God y as I have read ;— Soliman, or 
Solomon, for 'tis the fame they fay, implies 
peaceable^ as doth our common Saxon ter- 
mination /red. Vfinnifred is Win-peace $ 

£ % Alfred 



5 i* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



tl^f-M 1 



Alfred is All-peace \ while fome 
writers take notice that the nanus of httba~ 
rous nations are ever concfle and exprtf- 
(ire : It was therefore deemed a duty in old 
times to keep up the honour of the nam*. 
Sever us y Probus^ and Aure1ius\ were tatted 
Jul nominis imperatorcs • and when Cloth* jre, 
king of Fiance, was baptized, one flood by 
the font and cried, 

Crefcat peer ! ct hujus fit nominis executor. 

One might add to all this, that Marecbal 
Sane married a lady he had no violent at- 
tachment to, only becaufe her Chriftiaa 
KAMI was Vifioire. Nor did (he conquer 
him at laft ; they lived ill together* and 
parted* 



KARRA- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. # 



NARRATION, ACCOUNT, RECITAL. 



IN order to give a good account pf 
Che fad (fay we), 'tis neceflary to hear a 
clear recital of the circumftances j but if 

we mean to make a pleating narration, 

» 

thofe circumftances Jhould not be dwelt on 
too minutely, but rather one feledted from 
the reft, to fet in a full light. Whoever 
means to pleafe in converfation, feeing no 
perfon more attended to than he who tells 
an agreeable ftory, concludes too haftily that 
his own fame will be firmly eftablifhed by 
a like means ; and fo gives his time up tp 
the colle&ion and recital of anecdotes. 
Here, however, is our adventurer likely 
enough to fail j for either his fad is too no* 
torious, and he fees his audience turn even 
Involuntarily away from a tale told them" 
yefterday perhaps by a more pleafing narra- 

E 3 tor; 



54 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tor ; or it is too obfcure, and incapable of 

interefting his hearers. Were we to invek 

tigate the reafon why narratives pleafe better 

in a mixed company, than fentiment ; we 

might difcover that he who draws from bis 

own mind to entertain his circle will foon 

be tempted to dogmatize, and affume the 

air, with the powers of a teacher ; while the 

man, who is ever ready to tell one fomewhat 

unknown before, adds an idea to the liften- 

er's ftock, without forcing on ys ^iat of our 

own inferiority — He is in pofleffion of a fad 

more than we are — that's all ; and he 

xnunicates that fad: for our amufement. 



NATION, COUNTRY, KINGDOM, 



ARE all of them collective terms, well 
uaclerftqod, and at firft fight only fynony- 
mous. A moment's reflexion fhows us 

many 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 55 

many countries which are not king- 
doms, and fome kingdoms which include 
not the whole nation to which they ap- 
parently belong. • The firft of thefe words 
16 ufed in fome universities for the diftinc- 
tion of the fcholars, and profeffors of col- 
leges* The faculty of Paris confifta of four f 
and when the procureur of that which is 
called the French nation fpeaks in public, 
his ftyle is Honoranda Gallorum Natlo. I 
hope they have changed their phrafe now, 
when all kingdoms, countries, na- 
tions, and languages, unite in abhor-* 
rence of their late difgraceful conduit to- 
wards the good houfe of Bourbon, fo named 
from Archibald Borbonius in the year 1 127, 
whofe imprefs was a globe, and round it 
this anagram of the earl's name, Orbi bonus. 
The times how changed in this fatal year 
to Frenchmen, 1 793 ! 

Strokes of national character, national 
humour, however, ftill exift : with regard to 

E 4 the 



s $ , BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

the latter, we fee their bons mots ftill un* 
tranflatable beyond thofe of other kingdoms) 
ind our authors plunder French xomediei 
in vaift j the humour lofes and evaporates t 
witnefs Farquhar's endeavour to force into 
bis Inconftant *, the gay reply made by Lc 
prince de Guemene, when Louis Quatorze's 
queen, a grave Spaniard, ferioufly propofed 
putting the famous Ninon de l'Enclos among 
les Jilles repenties. — * Madam," anfwered 
the CQurtier, <c elle tiefi nijille^ ni repentie? 
This was national pleafantry, and will 
not tranflate for that reafon,— No more will 
that proof of /John Bull's national cha- 
racter, told of a fellow, who,, when king 
Charles the Firft of England lay before 
Rochelle,*was employed by that prince as a 
diver, to carry papers, &c. which having 
done moft dextroufly, the good-natured fo» 
vereign bid him name his own reward.— 
" Something to drink your majefty's heakh, 

* See Farquhar, vol. ii. p. 5 a. 

that's 



BRITISH SYNONYMTy & 

» 

that's all/' quoth the man* " Blockhead !" 
exclaimed the duke of Buckingham, who 
ftood in prefence, and was provoked at his 
ftupidity for afking nothing better, u why 
didft not drink when thou wert under wa- 
ter >»_u why fo I did, mafter !" replied the 
clown ; " but the water was fait you know, 
fo it made me the more a-dry. 



9f 

■ « 



NECROMANCY, DIVINATION, ENCHANTMENT, 



GO for fynonymes only becaufe they 
have been rejected all together as impoffi- 
bilities, or elfe condemned all together as 
crimes : — they are ftri&ly not fynonymous* 
however. The firft, which means calling 
up the {hades of dead men to inform lis 
concerning our future fortunes, does not 
appear to be in any fenfe within the power 
now of living wight; and when it was, 
God made ftrift laws to forbear the exer- 
i tion 



\ 

58 BRITISH SYNONYMT. 

tion of fuch necromancy, which could 
only produce fad and melancholy effe&s. 

Heaven from all creatures hides the Boot 
c/Fate : for which reafon divination of 
all kinds, either by Sortes as the. ancients 
ufed, or by chiromancy, which the modern 
gypftes vainly pretend to, or by aftrological 
fpeculations — or by fympathetick touch, or 
animal magnetifm — or any other method, 
lhould be difcouraged by fociety, and pu- 
nUhed by our laws ; inftead of publifhing 
the Conjurer's Magazine, and advertifing 
the lady in fuch a ftreet, who profefles the 
knowledge of. futurity, and gains an infa- 
mous livelihood out of the folly of her fel- 
low creatures. Natural enchantment 
meantime certainly does fubfift, and the 
powers of fafcination exerted from animals 
towards each other are too ftrong to be de- 
nied. The great ferpents of India live by 
the powers of their eye, which they fix on 
(biall birds, fo as to detain them on a twig 

tiH 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. & 

till caught — and incapacitate them from flyw 
ing away, till, like Congreve's Old Bachelor, 
treated in much the fame way by a pretty 
wench, they run into the danger, as he fays, 
to avoid the apprehenfion. A fetting dog 

exercifes fomewhat of a like art upon the 
partridges I think ; and that a moufe will 
run down the throat of a large toad confined 
in the fame fmall room, has been proved 
by ocular demonstration. 

The three words are for all thefe reafons 
not fynonymous. 



NEUTRALITY amd INDIFFERENCE, 



THESE words appear fynonymous when 
applied to public ufe; but if pronounced 
ppon common or domeftlc occafions, one 
is apt, the other impertinent I muft make 
inyfelf uaderftood by example. 



fe BRITISH SYNONYMY* 

la 

We fay then properly, that, had Great 
Britain looked coldly on the kte occurrences 
of Europe, had ihe beheld the invgfion of 
Holland, the mafiacres in France, the mur- 
der of a blamelefs fovereign, and the daily 
outrages committed againft religion and 
good .morals, with fullen neutrality* 
and frigid indifference, her punifliment 
would foon have commenced by the efieds 
of that fpirit of profelytifin that diftinguilhep 
fanatics and dcifts, and prompts them to 
carry confufion into every ftate — ruin, over** 
whelming ruin upon every churcju 
. On the other hand fhould we, fpeaLt 
ing of a marriage, obferve how a couple 
oncefo apparently united, now look on 
each other with neutrality, all would 
Jaugh ; the word in this cafe muft be in* 
difference, the other will not do. 



nimbly, 



gftlTlSH SYNOKYMtV 14 



«• i 



KlrfBLY, QUICKLY, SPfiEDlLt, SWIFTLY, 

FAST. > 



HMI 



» 

^ 



-• THAT thefe adverbs art not ftriaty fy* 
£o*ya*otis~can I verily think be learned 
•hly by conversation, of by trifling books 
Hke this, wholly and folely coUcquial : and 
a foreigner, muft give up fame empty mo* 
lnents to the mere chat of our language, be- 
fore he finds out that 'tis moft agreeable to 
eommOn u&ge to fay that a rabbit runs very 
WlMfiLY for a little while, but has no 
ftrength or breath to continue long the fame 
pace ; while we tell each other familiarly 
how the king's meflenger came speedily 
from Madfid the other day with fome good 
news, which he could not have done nei- 
ther, but that the packet fails very swiftly 
— No, not if he had been as famous for walk- 
^ng fast as Powell the Pedeftrian, who 

went 



I* BRITISH SYNONYM** 

Went on foot to York and back again la 
five dayS| when he was five-and-fifty jean 
old. 

Meantime 'da no bad general rate to re* 
colled, that the firft of thefe adTerba if 
Jcarce everufed but of finall thing*, and 
ipon flight occafionS; that the laft ia in merit 
common and daily fervicc ; and that the 
other two arc mdft expreffivc if we fpeak 
concerning a gray hound or a race-horfe* 

The word nimbly feems at firft fight 
incapable of being made fublime on any 
occafion — it has however a (biking efFetik 
upon the ftage in thofc incantation fongs 
inhere the witches enumerate their pleafures* 
in Macbeth ; and i& wonderfully feconded 
by PurcelTs mufick, when they fay f 

Wc nimbly, nimbly, nimbly, nimbly, nimbly dance 

our fill, 
To the echo, to the echo—of fome hollow hilL 

Thefe we mult remember though to be 

Daemons, 



BRITISH SYNONYMttf. 4| 

Daemons, or Piikies* in whom a&ivky ia 
ftill fuppofed to be combined with malice 
and mifchief; the word* are not Shake- 
fpeare's, but belong to an old and curious 
drama on the fubjed of Rofmunda, and 
called The Witch, a Tragi-CemedU. But I 
{hall forget the fynonyme fecond on ouf 
lift; and although by that method I (houUl 
undoubtedly finifti my work more quick- 
ly, it would be exceedingly ill done Ip* 
deed, and deferve very heavy cenfure; 



. V ' i ■■■ ... u . u i ' r , ' i i ^jj 



NOTORIOUS, APPARENT, EVIDENT. 



THESE run in a fort of climax ; for a 
thing may be made apparent to fome, 
when 'tis by no means evident to many, 
or notorious to all. The laft word has of 
late years contributed to drive the other two 
•ut of good company — although our beft 
' 2 authors. 



U SfciTiSM SYNONYM*. ' 

Authors, in colloquial and eafy ftyle, trie A 
tommoftly in a bad fenfe. While the foperi* 
orify of English failure on all welUtried 60 

feafioa* has been *Vh>1nt* aad whfle it 

* * 

tras apparent that our fea^officers under* 
*■ • » — ■'» 

ftood the forming a line, aind ebdofing * 

hxppf moflient for Engaging; &c. it is 1*6* 
VofelotJS that the French frght agtaxft fkib 
•Ad rfgglrtgt : e*er ftudious to avoid dofe 
ltocdttater, they provide forefctpe before 
they begin the battle, which en their fide 
confifts chiefly in employing the enemy 
upon other buiinefs, by diftreffing them fhf 
Want of fhrouds, tackling, and the like — 
thus impeding the return of the veflet 
home after a vi&ory, and giving up imme- 
diate glory, for future mean advantage* 



NOW, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY.. 6j 



NOW, AT PRESENT, THIS INSTANT. 



WHILE metaphyficians expand their 
fubtleties into imperceptibility upon this fa- 
tal monofyllable, one would hope that con* 
verfation might go on without difpute con- 
cerning what flies away like the witches in 
Macbeth, who, while we contend about the 
nature of their exiftence, make themf elves air, 
into which they vani/b. So, alas ! does M o w ; 
the prefent moment palling away even before 
the word is written that explains it. We may 
tell foreigners, however, that 'tis ufual in our 
language, when calling in a hurry, to cry 
NOW, now, as the quickeft expreffion, I 
fuppofe, for urging another to immediate 
hafte. " At present we cannot come to 
you" — is a common phrafe — He was here 
this instant, means, 'tis not an inftant 
fcarcely fince he was here : but it does cer- 

VOL. II. F tainly 



66 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tainly mean time poft ; for one fays to a 
perfon who looking round miflcs the indi- 
vidual fought for — Why, (he is here now, 
cannot you fee her ? 

I thought we were to begin u£6ri the 
fubjedt now, fays a man impatient of de- 
cifion. We will begin this instant, re- 
plies his cooler friend (meaning a fUWrc 
time, though near) ; AT PRESENT it wmild 
not be fo proper. Thefe things are difficult 
to foreigners ; nor can I guefs why both 
time paft, and time to come, flioutd both 
be hourly and commonly expreft by TftlS 
instant, which at firft view appears im* 
proper enough. In a cQnverfation when it 
was propofed to write an impromptu upon 
now, this pretty quatrain was produced by 
Bella Crufca^ who had been aflerting that all 
pad a&ions were nihilities, and the imme- 
diate moment was the whole of human es* 
iftence. 



One 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 6; 

Grie'endlefs now ftandsofar th* eventful ftream 
Of all that may bt with coloflal ftride ; 

jAgd fees beneath life's proudeft pageints gleam, 
And fees beneath the wrecks of empire glide, 

A partial friend in company replied : 

f ris yours the present moment to redeem, 
And powerful {hatch from time's too rapid ftream, 
While, felf-impeird, the reft redundant roll, 
$Jttn4fring to ftagnate in oblivion's pool* 

We have now I think pretty well dif- 
patched this fynonymy. 



' _ '■- ■■ ' ' ... ■ .1. II. ■, ■ ■■!>■ M 



NOXIOUS, MISCHIEVOUS, PERNICIOUS, 
HURTFUL, BANEFUL, 



I 



ARE all, except one, words of contemp- 
tuous abhosrence : yet may a foreigner mis- 
apply them, if not informed that we call alion 
a deftru&ive animal, and the Apulian fpider 
a noxious infed; whilft all agree that a 

F 2 MISCHIE- 



18 BRITISH SYNONYMY.. 

mischievous boy is at any rate a very of- 
fenfive and tormenting inmate to a grave 
gentleman or elegant lady : but if he fhould 
once take a fancy to put laurel leaves in their 
tea-pot, fuch a trick might prove pernicious 
to the whole family, as that plant is in its na- 
ture hurtful, and a diftillation from it 
not only poifonous, but a&ually ban& 
ful ; the man who fwallows laurel water 
not living long enough, 'tis {aid, even to fit 
down the cup ; fo fudden and fo dreadful 
are its effe&s. Such reflections fhould make 
us fhun people who are faid to be only 
mischievous, as they are likely enough 
to end in being moft pernicious compa- 
nions* 



NOYSOMB, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. , 69 



NOYSOME, OFFENSIVE, DISGUSTING. 



. ... „—»■<■ 



I r 



THE firft of thefe unpleafmg-adje&ives 
is of late commonly written noisome? be- 
caufe derived from the Italian nojofo : as it 
takes root immediately however from pur 

own Englifh verb to annoy, it has a claim 

* • *■ ■ 

to the y-Grec. 'Tis not the more "fynony- 
mous with noxious or deftru&ive, becaufe 
we find it fometimes attributed to things 
which are dangerous in their nature : for 
although the fmallpox or peftilence are juft- 
ly called noisome difeafes, it is not be- 
caufe they kill, but becaufe they offend 
us, that they are fo termed. A bad fmell 
can fcajrce attack life, but it has a juft pre- 
tention to all the epithets upon the lift : 
fo has indecent talk, which is exceedingly 
offensive and disgusting, and drives 
delicate people from a company as furely as 

F 3 the 



7a BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

the fox drives the badger from his hole, bj 
an equally noisome contrivance. 



NUGATORY, THIN, SLIGHT, FLIMSY, FUTILE. 



4h 



ANY thing of a texture nearly approach- 
ing to aerial, any thing near the nature of 
clouds, and eafily blown away, might, ope 
would fuppofe, have fair pretenfion to thefe 
adjectives — yet we appropriate them to par* 
ticular matters by mere colloquial cuftom : — 
they are fynonymous only when fpeaklng of 
certain empty tales, or arguments void of foli- 
dity, which may without difHculty deferve 
them all ; but we cannot fay a filk however 
slight is nugatory, or call a thin muf- 
lin, though foon worn out, a fotij,e mode 
of drefs — without grofs pedantry. One of 
the pretty books in our language moft re- 

femhling 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 71 

lembling the French Anas, is perhaps read 
the lefs for having a modeft title, and be- 
ing called Nuga Antiqua \ whilft a hundred 
flimsy corapofitions of infinitely lefs value 
attract the eyes of our young people, and 
pleafe a trifling age, which although it pro- 
feiTes to defire amufement only, not inftruc- 
tion ; the book that pleafes it mull be dog- 
matical, though the reafoning be slight; 
and thofe melodies which charm muft be 
called Jimple, not flimsy* Our drefe and 
conversion being of late calculated for 
mere THiNnefs, .we will hope fuch fafhions 
maybe futile, and that the nugatory 
reports, empty nothings made on purpofe 
to delight fuch fylph-like characters, will 
fade away on approach of a new year, 
teeming as it appears with very ferious 
and weighty events. 



F 4 * to 



7* BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



TO NULLIFY, TO ANNULL, TO DISANNUL!* 
TO MAKE NULL AND VOID*., 



THESE verbs ftand in conversation 
chiefly in the place -of the verb to annihi- 
late, or rather between that and the fofter 
phrafe of to render inefie&ual. Horatio's 
{ arguments, fay we, were rendered null 
and void, at leaft in my opinion, by what 
our friend Cleomenes urged againft them : 
but no man better knows than he, how to 
nullify the difcourfe of his competitor 
without annihilating the fpeaker either in 
his own eyes, or thofe of the auditors j as 
a good legiflator will fee the way to an- 
null a ftatute no longer ufeful ornecefiary, 
without taking away by direft annihilation 
all trace or remembrance of its former uti- 
lity. The third verb is a favourite among 
the vulgar here in England, who mifapply 

it 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 73 

it comically enough. I afked the late Lord 
Halifax's gardener for a walk and fummer- 
houfe I ufed to fee at Horton : " There was 
fuch a walk once (replies the man), but my 

Lord DISANNULLED it." 



NUMB, TORPID, MOTIONLESS, 



ARE not fynonymous, becaufe they are 
mere gradations of the dreadful malady 
which fome animals have the power of pro- 
ducing in others, given them apparently for 
felf-defence, as the gymnotus ele&ricus and 
torpedo in particular. The fenfation they in- 
duce often however comes by nature, or fome 
accidental injury done to the fpinal marrow, 
which renders a limb firft numb, or with 
fdmething. like a half confcioufnefs of the 
privation befallen it, which faint power of 
feeling goes off when the fenfee become 

more 



74 BRITISH STNONYMT. 

mote TORPID ; and it feems to me that the 
perfoo, who inftead of quickening hit pace 
£apds motionless in the hour of fufpriic 

■ 

or terror, difcovers a fatal difpofition or tea* 
dency in the habit to thofe difeafes fo diffi- 
cuk to cure and fo melancholy to behold ; 
where life fubfifts but to exhibit a ptdurcaf 
diftrefs, where the animal furvives the man, 
and holds him up a fhame to medicine, a 
beacon for philofophy. 



OBSTINATE, PERTINACIOUS, FIXED, 
RESOLUTE, STEADY, PERSEVERING, 

CONSTANT. 



THESE take different acceptations to 
agree with their fubftantires when ufed in 
their proper places; and even a* adverbs, we 
Jay in general that a man is pertinacious 
in attack, obstinate in defence of his 

3 argument ; 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 75 

argpofient $ and fometimes we may fee peo- 
ple fiXED i» belief, while they are far 
enough froifc being constant to the 
pra&icc of fuch virtue as their faith requires. 
Rbso&VTE {eems a paffive quality of the 
ttiiu), aad steady fhould be ever o[fpofed 
to inclination, as it feems to imply upright* 
ne& ami inflexibilky — Walking right on- 
ward, without turning (as fays the Scripture) 
to the right band or to the left ; 

True, 'tis a narrow path that leads to blifs \ * ^ 
But right afore, there is no precipice : 
fear makes men look afjde, and fo their footing 
mifs. Dryden. 

Of the remaining word I find the moft 
elegant example in the preface to Jacob 
Bryant's Book of Mythology. — c * We are 
often (iays be), by the importunity of a per- 
severing writer, teafed into an unfatid 
fa&ory compliance, and yield a painful af- 
ient j but upon clofing the volume our fcru- 

ples return, and we relapfe into doubts and 

darknefs." 



7 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

darfcnefs." Such is not his own mode of 
convincing, however. His Treatife on the 
Authenticity of Scripture, and the Truth of 
our holy Religion, can find no rival nearer 
than Grotius; whilft our Englifh Difiertation 
ought to be negle&ed by no rank or condi- 
tion of men, who efteem found learning, re- 
vere piety, or wifh for clear information. 



TO OBSTRUCT, TO THWART, TO HINDER, 

TO RETARD. 



THESE words can fcarcely fure be 
thought fynonymous, while daily experience 
fhews us fome fooliflily officious endeavours 
to retard a journey, a marriage, or difpo- 
fitionof an eftate, which at laft can perhaps 
only be thwarted, not finally hinder- 
ed— or if at length it fliould remain frus- 
trated for ever, thofe who contributed to 

OBSTRUCT 



BRITISH SYNONYMY.,. 77 

OBSTRUCT the bufinefs will have difcovered 
more petty malice than deep thought upon 
the fubjed ; which would inform fuch rea- 
foners, that he who leaves an event clear of 
perplexities and difficulty is more likely to 
fee it negleded or forgotten, than the man 
who fHmulates paflion by oppofing its vio- 
lence with feeble checks, and accelerates the 
rapidity of its current by laying weak ob- 

ftrudions in its way. 



, .1 ■ c 



OCCASION akd OPPORTUNITY 



a 

ARE often miftaken for fynonymes by 
fuch as, being accuftomed to think in French 
or in Italian, tranflate into Englifh as they 
fpeak; and rejoicing in an opportunity 
to introduce a phrafe with which they were 
before acquainted, wait not to produce it on 
a proper occasion : for books will but in- 

8 crcafc 



7 * BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

create fuch difficulties, and the ftudy of our 
colloquial language in elegant and ijreU-in* 
ftru&ed focieties alone can fmooth it My 
chief reafon for undertaking a work fo need- 
lefs to others, fo hazardous to myfelf, was 
becaufe it afforded me an opportunity of 
fhewing my zeal in the fervice of foreigners; 
for which purpofe of being ufeful to them % I 
hourly wifh my abilities were greater, hav- 
ing every moment occasion gratefully to 
recoiled the pleafant days I fpent in Italy 
principally, where I was myfelf a ftranger, 
and where I experienced that delicacy of at- 
tention and evident defire to be pleafed with 
all I fa id, which ingratitude herfelf would 
find it difficult to forget, while one fpark of 

felf-love yet remained unextinguifhed in her 
bofom. 



OFFICIOUS, 



BRITISH SYNONYMT. *}$ 



OFFICIOUS, FORWARD TO RENDER UNDE. 
SIRED SERVICES, IMPORTUNATELY KIND, 
TROUBLESOME. 



THE firft word here is commonly ufed 
in a bad fenfe certainly, and fo Johnfon un- 
derftood it in his Di&ionary ; yet we find 
him many years after confidering it more 
tenderly, when fpeaking of a dead depen- 
dant whom he loved, he fays, 

Well tried through many a varying year, 
See Levett to the grave defcend ; 

Officious, innocent, finccre, 
Of every friendlefs name the Friend* 

Johnfon, indeed, always thinking negle& 
the worft misfortune that could befall a man, 
looked on a charter of this defcription 
with lefs averfion than I do, who am apt 
to think that among the petty pefts of fo- 
ciety, after a weak foe comes an officious 

friend— 



to BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

friend — who, like the man in Theophraftus, 
holds his acquaintance by the button to en- 
treat his care for his own JtfUrs health, till 
the caufe is loft which he was going to de- 
fend — who crams your fick children with 
cake, advifes immediate inoculation, and 
fetches in the furgeon himfelf, that the bufi- 
nefe may not be delayed — who hurries peo- 
ple into marriage before the fetdements are 
drawn, advifing them not to put off their 
happinefs, but deal a wedding while the old 
folks are confulting, &c. — who proclaims a 
bankruptcy which might have been pre- 
vented, and gives you notice to fave what 
you have in his hands, by taking up goods 
inftead of cafh — who, in his zeal for the re- 
conciliation of his two beft friends, traps 
them into a Hidden meeting, Quits them into 
a room together before their refentment is 
cooled, crying Now kifs and be friends, you 
honeft dogs, do j and ftands amazed to hear 
in an hour's time that they have cut each 

other's 



BRITISH SYNONVMf . I x 

tfrther'g throat Thcfe men deferve a rougher 
appellation than troublesome ; yet 'tis the 
fcourge of their acquaintance to be obliged 
now and then to look civil upon and even 
to tbank them for their importunate 

KINDNESS ;-whiIe, FORWARD TO RENDER 

UNDESired sbrficbs — fuch they preteiid 
to think them — fellows of this defcription ' 
fit at home wondering at the world's ingratU 
hide* when every houfe which has common 
fenfe within its walls {huts them out at the 
gate 



■ .. — 



ORATORY, ELOQUENCE, RHETORICS 



TO curfory readers thefe words may pot- 
fibly feem to approach nearer to fynonymy 
than they will be found to do on clofer in- 
fpe&ion and feverer fcrutiny. Each term 
looks back perpetually to its derivation; and 

vol, iu G the 



82 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

the firft of them is even in our common talk 
naturally applied td him who folicite, re- 
quells, befecches, pleading feme caufcof the 
helplefs or diftrefled, with eloqubw ce of 
addrefs and fkill in rhetorics; The ori- 
ginal fenle, as ufed in our courts of chan- 
cery, when the perfon fupplicating is ftyled 
your orator or oratrix, lies ftill con- 
cealed under our colloquial language, and 
we yield the palm of oratory to him who 
beft knows the arts of pcrfuqfion. For War- 
wick is a fubtle orator, fays one who 
fears his powers of entreaty, in Shakefpeare's 
Henry the Sixth ; whilft eloquence im- 
plies more properly a plenitude of words, 
and adroitnefs in arranging them, with a 
fweet voice and pleafmg volubility of utter- 
ance. Without all thefe 'tis difficult to fhine 
as a perfed rhetorician ; though I havt 
feen filent oratory more capable of touch- 
ing our hearts than any tropes or figures- 
aye, or than all the graces of neat articu- 
lation, 



flfclTISH SYNONYMY. 83 

fttion, added to all the fcience of rheto- 
ric K. As proof of this, who would not 
rather choofe Mrs. Siddons to plead a caufe 
for immediate pardon from one's fovereign 
than Sheridan or Fox ? Phrafeoiogy is con- 
founded and invention frozen before the ge- 
nuine expreflion of a throbbing heart ; and 
Quintilian faid truly, that to fpeak well we 
muft ful Jincerely. This was in cafes of 
oratory, however. Eloquence is {hewn 
in defcription chiefly j and though it does 
not fet the place defcribed before your eyes 
more exa&ly than left ornamented difcomie 
would have done, it gives a momentary ex- 
altation and delight to the mind, calls round 
apleafing train of imagery, and furnifhes 
elegant ideas for future combination. 

I have a friend particularly eminent in , 
fuch powers of charming her audience; Who, 

« 

although they leave her fociety more dazzled 
perhaps than inftru&ed, find perpetual 
fonfcesof entertainment by refle&ingon the 

G 2 fcenes 



*4 BRITISH S3TNONYMY; 

fcenps Jo fweetly brppght befo# tjieir vietf, 

in* vbrds fo choice and well adapted, y«t 
poured forth with fluency which kn9w* ijofc 
and copioufnefs which needs not .hesitation. 
When flic read6 this, however, Mn-'- P. 
will acknowledge that the very rules and 
terms of Rhetoric* are unknown to bcr^ 
fo great is the diftance between our candi- 
dates for fynonytny. 'Tis in the Houfe of 
Commons we mud feek inver&m and 
prolepfis, every figure of the art, employed 
with all the (kill of thofe who feek to baffle 
where they fcarcely mean to convince — or 
where, convinced already, they njean to main* 
tain the fide they have chofen to fupport, in 
defiance of the champions oppofite, to whole 
triumph they wifh not to bear witneft. Here 
oratory has no place, according to Dr. 
Johnfon j who faid no man was ever pcf- 
fiiaded to give a vote contrary to what he 
intended in the morning, by any arguments, 
or any eloquence heard within thofe 

walk 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; ff£ 

walls. He faid too that no preacher, how- 
ever popular, ever prevailed on one of the 
congregation to give more at a charity fer- 
mon than he had refolved on at leaving 
home. Thefe pofitions may be true; yet is 
ORATORY a charming things eloquence i 
fine thing, and rhetorick a great thing*-*- 
,fbr it comprifes them both. 



■ *■ ■ 



ORDER, METHOD, REGULATION, 
ARRANGEMENT, 



THAT thefe words were or were not fy- 
nonymous might have been always doubtful ; 
that the qualities they defcribe are neceflary * 
to fociety, remained uncontroverted till a 
very fhbrt time ago. Truth is, that in every 
arrangement there muft be METHOD* 
and to obtain order we muft btfgin by re- 
gulation. For although it was Well af- 

G 3 fertcd 



*6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fated in an admirable fermon preached at 
one of our great London churches, and 
printed at the requeft of an aflbciadng com* 
roittec, that equalization was a thing hnpok 
fible, and that whenever the attempt is made 
fatal will be the confequences ; but the event 
mull always be the fame : becauie agitation 
cannot alter the nature of fluids or their fpe- 
cific gravity — when the agitation has ceafed, 
fays this excellent writer, the true level of 
each will be found — Some experiments mili- 
taring againft this apparently certain portion 
prompt my fears, left in moral as in natural 
philofophy, there is more danger of fome 
parts being devoured by the reft > than this 
author feems to apprehend. Yet 'tis well 
known that one ounce of camphor will he 
fo diflblved and apparently fo annihilated 9 
that neither fcent, nor tafte, nor alteration of 
tranfparency can he found in the phial, if 
grated into an ounce of alcohol ; 'tis Ukewife 
known, that by addition of fome fair clear* 
2 water 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. Sy 

water the camphor (hall again be difengaged ■ 
from the fpirit, and rife to the furface once 
more, white, folid, perfect, without diminu- 
tion of its weight, fmell, or medical efficacy 
from the experiment. 

Things have, I fear, a natural tendency to 
relapfe into that chaotic date whence they 
firft were called forth by the voice of God, 
for the comfort and advantage of his reafon- 
ing creatures j and when they ipipioufly re- 
ject thofe comforts and deny thofe advan- 
tages, one trembles left the Word which fe- 
parated the confufion into various orders, 
and methodized the beautiful arrange- 
ment, fhouid by repeated infults be pro- 
voked to withdraw the infpiring breath, at 
touch of which, 

When Nature underneath a heap 
Of jarring atoms lay, 
And could not heave her head \ 
*JTie tuneful voice was heard on high, 
A rife, ye more than dead ! 

G 4 Then 



88 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

Then hot, and cold, and moiffc, and dry^ 
In order to their ftations leap, 

And mufick's pow'r obey. Dr toe if. 

When God in wrath no longer fends his 

■ 

grace among mankind, we fee them foon de- 
generate into much werfe than beads. Na* 
ture's limits are quickly leaped qver, when 
the curb of religious worfhip is flung afide ; 
as our cool camphor is no longer found 
where the incalefcent furor prevails over 
every particle, and melts it undiftinguifhed 
ir} the general mafs. There would it lie eter* 
qally, if the clear element was not once more 
thrown in, to prove thofe powers of refufci- 
tatipn which only can belong to purity ink- 
maculate. Lofs of order in the arrange- 
ments of civil fociety would produce, nay 
does produce, Jthe moft fatal of all confe- 
quences ; while rewards for induftry and ex- 
citements to honourable aftions are no morej 
the very words Lofs and Gain, Virtue and 
Vice, muft be erafed from our new vocabu- 

7 lar )'> 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 89 

lary, and Dante's Infcription on the Gates of 
Hell fet in their place ; for where all are equal 
within, thefe words do well without : 

Lafciate ogni fperanza voi ch' entratc. 
Leave Hope behind, all you who enter here. 



ORNAMENT, EMBELLISHMENT, 
DECORATION. 



MUNDITIIS capimur, fays Ovid ; and 
our ftern philofopher Johnfon confefled that 
(he world was a pill no mortal could endure 
without gilding. Let then life's theatre en- 
joy its due de;coratjons, nor hope that 
any ading will make it fupportable without, 
them : for although every ornament does 
not contribute towards the embellish- 
ment of that which it is deftined to adorn r 

we fhould attribute the failure ta unfkilful- 

nefs — 



S 



$o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

nefs— remembering that the words are not 
ftri&ly fynonymous, and that Pope laid 
wifely, 

Even in an ornament its place remark, 
Nor in an hermitage fet Do&or Clarke* 

Neither of the other fubftantives would here 
hare exprefled the poet's meaning ; bccaufe 
fetting the ftatue of a courtier in a hermitage, 
or lone tell devoted to retirement and folitary 
(peculation, was a manifeft breach of db* 
corum, whence the laft word upon the lift 
takes its derivation — and as bmbbli,ish« 
ment of the Queen's garden was the pur- 
pofe aimed at, Pope reafonably enough rail- 
fies the awkward difplay of ornament, 
where nothing was made more beautiful by 
the addition. To decorate life however 
with honours, orders, titles, and {hews of 
well regulated feftivity,' has ever been ac- 
counted politic and rational ; nor can I think 
fljofe individuals either wife or good who 

feck 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* 9 % 



fcck So fcdubufly to level all diffhaions, to 
deffroy all the ornaments of life, and re- 
duce man to his primaeval ftate of lavage 
hunger and unfeeling ferocity. Such fpirit 
of retnrning to a fituation long efcaped from 
argues no philofophic vigour in this age, bat 
rather exhibits fomewhat of fenile debility. 
The fcrpent's tail here comes too near the 
mouth ; and when original notions fpun out 
to thttmefe, or ficklied over by dotage, dis- 
cover a difpofitioo of reverting weakly to the 
firft colour, 'tis a bad fign indeed: an ugly 
iymptom, proving the world s old age, and 
consequent tendency of going back to baby* 
hood ; imitating as the year docs at fall of 
the leaf that (bed of Moflbms which precedes 
the fpring. Oh ! let us ftill beware a wintry 
fun, whole oblique rays but ferve to dazzle 
and confound our fight, and never riles high 
enough to warm or cheer us ! 



OftTHODOXY, 



s* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



ORTHODOXY, SOUNDNESS OF OPINION, 

NOT HERETICAL. 



THE firft of thefe only exprefles in a 
word what the others explain periphrafli- 
cally, and i$ become a word much out of 
fafhion, as is the quality underflood by it : 
nor can I guefs where foreigners could ever 
Have heaitl it named, among good company, 
bad not the late attempts againft its very ex- 
iftence forced it into notice. Swift fhould 
have faid concerning orthodoxy that 
which he predicated not fo truly of Religion 
herfelf— that fhe refembled a foot-ball left 
in the dirt negleded, till fome one kicking 
it began the game, which oftentimes was 
carried on with hazard to the players' lives, 
when once well entered. This is all admi- 
rably exprefled with regard to religious 
opixion ; while the true worfhip of God 

may 



t # 



^jr,^ fcefide ia tlfc hsstt, and-gkc few 
foft ^P^ndment* J>e dpvputly obeyed, J«t 
efc^tgc mail's obfervftioi> q£ pur conduct « 
/or raytyc .piety confers $$i .Jie^ven, 1&J$ 
^fti^befi by goptxofccrfi^l -reafoning - , ^ut 

% 

Churph^A^Wi^pi^; is iu,^sowft. t a^tijre^ 

caufe of public concern^ and if gcod : or^£,k 

to be pjceferved, and Ecclefiaflical Authority 

qr^a^ed by God himfelfi— let us refolve tp 

xnaiatain orthodoxy, and keep herzti? 

caloeikions from being publicly broachj* 

ed among us, by every means confifteut witty 

Chriftian charity -r-of which it is a branpty 

tq prefcrve our youth from being tainted 

with a defire of difputing or deriding holy 

ordinances, long complied with by thetf 

betters, after examinations which the prefect 

contemners of them have I trull fcarce time 

or fcholarfhip enough to inveftigate before 

they throw them afide. Long indeed has 

our old Anglican epifcopalian church flood 

like the rock among the rapids of Niagara, 

increafinj 



.••*•■• * 



94 BRITISH SYNONtMY. 

increafing in fizft arid ftf ength from ettty 
effort to overturn it : and although for that 
purpofe fanaticifm ihould for a while co-- 
operate with infidelity, long will it yet 
remain, fpite of the plan which Mr. Burke 
difcovered before its open avowal — the re- 
gular and not ill-laid plan, invented latterly 
by French philofophers, for deftroying the 
Chriftian religion in this quarter of the 
globe— defiring, as we now plainly fee they 
do, to leave the church of Chrift a lifelefs 
clay, a caput mortuum y or at bed, like their 
own haplefs prince, a Jine nomine corpus — 
torn by the tiger, drawn dry by the weafel, 
and preyed upon when putrid by buzzing 
mufquitoes, non-defcripts in pigmy vora- 
city.. 



OSTStf* 



British synonymy. « 9 $ 



•STENTATION, PRIDE, VANITY, SELF- 

SUFFICIENCY 



CAN fcarcely be called in a ftrjd fenfe 
fynoriymous j if one may fay with truth, as 
fure 'tis eafy, that though a man fhall be 
well-bred enough fincerely to defpife the 
making empty ostentation of his ta- 
lents, he may neverthelefs feel fccret com- 
placency, arid even pride in them, which 
Oppofltion from an equal, or any other well- 
managed collifion, will infallibly force out, 
with unequivocal marks of that laft-named 
quality's conflant refidence in his heart; while 
boyilh vanity often promptspeople of much 
meaner abilities to attract notice in conver- 
fation, from ill-underftood paradoxes, &c. 
till they have been clearly fhewn how self- 
SUFFICiency forms deeper refentment al- 

moft in every bread than even ferious inju- 

« 

ries by fraud or force ; and that it is the 

peculiar 



9& British synonymy^ 

peculiar province of good breeding W rt* 
drain thofe violent attacks it makes upon 
one's peace, and upon what the French em* 
phatically call a man's amour-propre. Other 
examples might be given of thefe offenfivc 
difpofitious ; for we refufe to iklute an info- 
tior through pride I believe, and meanly 
folicit attention from people of higher rank 
out of pure Ample vanity: but gayer os«* 
tentation difplays her pretentions to 
notice with abfurd pomp, while brutal self- 
sufficiency defpifing help, and hooting 
away inftru£tion, grofsly affumes that which 
the reft are courting, and, ftiff in braffy im- 
pudence, thrufts all afide, feizes the firft poft* 
and keeps it till kicked out. 

The different cures for thefe different dif- 
eafcs of the mind point out their various 
pathognomic fymptoms — as in corporeal ma-* 
ladies, the marking fymptom points Out the 
mode of cure; for ostentation will 
ever be beft extinguished by ridicule, and 

PRIDE 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* ,7 

PkiDE by mortification. Vanity, tight in 
her own nature, takes wing immediately at 
the firft fight of contempt, or even neglefl: ; 
while self-sufficiency owns no confu- 
tation but a cudgel. Do&or Young fays 
prettily, That the vain mail is a beggar of 
admiration — Now to be a beggar, adds he, 
is no creditable profefTion ; yet is he more 
noble who begs bread, than he who begs* 
tow, for the bread is more worth* Theo* 
phraftus meantime, than whom no man 
feems more deeply to have penetrated tht 
recedes of the human heart, gave the world* 
three thoufand years ago almoft, the flcetch 
of an ostentatious chara&er, very 
happily, when he fays, that, to fhow all 
Athens how he had facrifked an ox that 
day, his hero (luck up the creature's head 
and horns upon the front of his houfe, that 
no pafler by might mifs feeing it, or fail to 
witnefs his opulence and piety. I have, 
however, feen this inftance of folly furpafled 
vol. n. H by 



$S BRITISH 

by an acquaintance of my own, whofe os- 
tentation, combined with vanity and 
lying, prompted him to purchafe pea-bulls 
of the great fruiterers early in April, at eigh~ 
teen-pence the bafket, only to fling before 
Ins door, that thofe who pafled through Par- 
liament Street to the Houfe of Commons 
might be led to think he had been eating 
green peas at a guinea the pint — elegancies 
he very wifely avoided, as he was in his 
own perfon neither a profufe man nor an 
epicure, though for the fake of being ad- 
mired by fuch chara&ers he wifhed to be 
thought both. 



TO OVERREACH, TO CHEAT, TO £EFRAU% 
TO DECEIVE, TO TRICK. 



I* 



THESE verbs, though almoft equally 
difcreditable, are not for that reafon wholly 

fynony- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 99 

fynonymous, while a man fometimes de- 
frauds, who never for a moment deceiv- 
ed one: and the juggler that cheats our 
fenfes only, but that with neatnefs of finger 
well called leger-de-niain, is eafily over- 
reached the very next morning at market, 
by fome of the fpe&ators whom he trick- 
ED the night before, getting their money 
from one hand, or one pocket, to the other, 
Without their own knowledge or confcnt. 

The ftory of Decius and Alcander is the 
completed extant, I believe, to the purpofei 
of keeping the firft of thefe words clear of 
all the reft. — Here is a fummary of it given 
from niemory : 

Decius then, a man of great figure, that 
had large commiffions foi: fugar from abroad, 
treats with Alcander a Weft India merchant: 
both underftand the market, yet cannot 
quickly agree, as Decius, being a man of 
fubftance, thought reafonably that no one 
ought to buy cheaper than himfelf, and Al- 
ii a cander 



too BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

cander not wanting money had certainly 

a right to ftind tor his price While they 

talk on, however, Alcander's fervant brings 

him a letter, informing him of a much larger 

quantity of fugars coming over than was 

before expe&cd. Alcander now wifhed for 

nothing better than to fell at Dccius's price, 

before the news was known ; but, fearing to 

appear precipitate, drops the difcourfe, and, 

commending the weather, artfully propofes ▼ 

they fhould enjoy it together at his country 

feat. The affair happening on a Saturday 

early in May, Decius accepts the invitation, 

and away they drive in Alcander's coach, 

agreeing to return on Tuefday morning to 

London. 

Meanwhile Decius, riding out ifpon an 
eafy pad of his friend's to get him an appe- 
tite for Monday's dinner, meets a gentleman 
who tells him the Barbadoes fleet was all 
deftroyed by a ftorm ; and adds, that before 
he left the city that morning fugars were 

riling 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 101 

riling apace, and that 25 per cent, at leaft 
would be the advance by 'change time. 

Decius now returns, and refumes the dif* 
courfe which Alcarider was moft defirous 
to bring forward : and however eager one 
was to buy, the other felt no lefs paflionate 
defire to fell : — weary alike too of counter- 
feiting indifference, Decius, the moment 
dinner was removed, throwing a guinea 
gayly on the table, ftruck the bargain at 
Alcander's price, and gained next morning 
Stool, by his fugars. 

Here was no cheating, no defraud- 
ing; yet Alcander, while he ftrove to over- 
reach his neighbour, was paid in his own 
coin. 

There is a phrafe congenial to fouls like 
thefe* and ufed too often ; taking a man -in 
is the expreffion : I only print it that it may 
be avoided for ever. 



H 3 pace, 



102 BRITISH SYNONYMY; 



MCE, STEP, GAIT, MARCH, WALK, 



Come, but keep thy wonted ftatc, 
With even step, and mufing gait, 

Says Milton in his Penferofo ; and in fuch 
ftenfe thefe words are colloquially ufed too, 
for they, though apparently, are not in ftridt^ 
nefs fynonymous. The firft is always ap-r 
plied to brutes, and the horfe upon fale is 
commended for doing his paces well, whilft 
the boarding-fchool mifs receives praife for 
'the elegance of her gait. The step of 
a dancer attracts our applaufe ; but the 
foldier's firm march calls for our efleem, 
and connects with ideas of dignity, courage, 
every fource of the fublime. The hafty 
walk of a penny-poftman, or the folemn 
walk at a funeral proceffion, is appropri- 
ated to the laft word upon the lift : 

And by her graceful walk the queea of love was known. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY/ 103 

I recollect but one paflage where pace is 
made poetical, and that is in Hawkefworth's 
beautiful Ode upon Life, where the fhadows 
rife — 

Age ! my future felf I trace, 
Stealing flow with feeble pace ; 
Bending with difeafe and cares* 
All the load.of life he bears. 

While Pope's famous triplet places the fourth 
word upon our catalogue in the mod happy 
light, when he fays fo truly, that 

Waller was fmooth, but Dryden taught to join 
The varying verfe, the full refounding line, 
The long majeftic march, and energy divine. 



i » " ■•■■ ■ ■ ^ i j *r 



PAIR, COUPLE, BRACE, 



ALL mean two of one fort, yet cannot 
they be deemed true fynonymes, while 

H 4 iuch 



i©4 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

fiich arbitrary modes of ufing them prevaiL 
A pair of eggs, or a couple of coach- 
bories, would be ridiculous; and though 
every Englifh gentleman, fpoitfinan, lady, 
or fenrant, in our king's dominion, naturally 
£alk two carp, two pheafants, or two grey* 
hounds, a brace ; yet foreigners muft be 
told fuch trifles, or they never can learn 
them; becaufe a pair of ducks, and a 
couple of woodcocks, is equally common 
and regular. — Italians are as arbitrary; they 
lay un par <Tuovi in familiar talk; and 
though little difpofed to laugh at fuch mis- 
takes, I truft a Roman Abate would fcarce 
keep his countenance, if he heard one call 
the couple of eggs brought up for one's 
fupptf at an inn una Bella copia* 



PARTI-? 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 10$ 



PARTICULAR, PECULIAR, SINGULAR, 



APPEAR fynonymous adje&ives adver- 
bially ufed, yet can fcarcely be rated fuch upon 
dofe inveftigation. We lay that Timon is 
a singular fellow, nice in his fele&ion of 
intimates, but firmly attached to thofe he 
has once chofen, and oddly refolute to believe 
nothing in their disfavour, though the accu- 
sations may be fupported by proofs undenia- 
ble to the reft of mankind. He adheres 
with equally inftin&ive clofenefs, however, 
to a fafhion as he does to a friend, and by 
fo doing give6 himfelf a mighty particu- 
lar appearance in his manners and drefe, 
which looks like the date of the year 1759 
upon his back, and fets the boys and girls 
o'laughing — very little to his concern ; for 
having a confcioufnefs peculiar to him- 
felf that he is not deipicable, he has no no- 
% tion 



io6 BRITISH SYNONYMY* 

tion how completely he is defpifed by per* 
fons, whole approbation greater men than 
Timon are contented to court at the ex- 
pence of things eflential to their true hap- 
pinefe* 



fLm ',.! i 



"!■■ ■ ■ ■ - ■' i i!^^rr=r=s=^^^a= 



f ARTS, POWERS, MENTAL QUALITIES, AQ* 
, COMPL1SHMENTS, TALENTS, GENIUS^ 

FACULTIES OF MIND, 



DOCTOR Johnson always faid there 
was a fex in words ; if fo, the firft of theft 
has belonged by cuftom immemorial to the 
men, the third of them to the ladies. By a 
man of parts however, or a woman of 
accomplishments, Is not meant one 
whofe powerful and overruling genius 
impels him to the exercife of any particular 
art or fcience, Herfcbcl or Siddans. No; 
fuch a defcription fuits the late earl of Hunt- 

ingdon a 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 16* 

Ingdon, or celebrated ducbefs.of Queenfi* 
berry ; and whilft I would give Burke and 
Johnfon as examples of great and general 
powers, I would inftancc Elizabeth as a per-t 
fon poflcfled of peculiar talents for go- 
vernment in her day, as the late Lord Chat- 
ham in his ; and fay, that John duke of 
Marlborough had prodigious talents for 
war, while Frederick the Third of Pruffia felt 
the military geniOs. Truth is, whoever 
lives in the happy poffeflion of great men-» 
TAL qualities may, by turning every 
paculty of his mind to one fetpurpofe^ 
form by degrees that which we call a ta- 
lent for fome particular fcience, art, or 
ftudy ; and I doubt not but Mr. Pope might 
have been as good an aftronomer or chy* 
mill as ever he was a poet ; fo might Mc^ 
taftafio probably, had they concentrated their 
powers, and fattened them on that branch 
qf knowledge inftead of the bough they 
cfiofe $ >vhile Shakefpeare, Ariofto, Handel, 

Fergufoq, 



' io 8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 
Fcrgufon, muft have been what they were, 

m 

and that of neceifity : *&*/> -genius was too 
powerful for them to flop or turn. 



J ARTY, DIVISION IN THE STATE, FACTION. 



TJHESE cannot be fuppofed naturally 
and neceflarily fynonymous, whilft each 
party in its turn calls the oppofite one a 
faction, with intent to difgrace it in the 
eye of fuch as lament thofe divisions in 
A state which force them into the lifts on 
either fide. When England waft rent with 
commotions in the latter end of Hng Charles 
the FirfTs reign, the firft appellative of fcorn 
was thrown by thofe who flocked round the 
royal ftandard at their republican opponents, 
whom the cavaliers now firft called round' 
peadsy from their manner of wearing the 
fcair cut fhort, or at moft curled in one row 

about 



BRITISH SYNONYMT; to* 

about the neck behind ; and 'tis obfervable, 
the rigid Proteftants of Germany ftill hope 
fome merit may be claimed by being feen 
out of powder with (leek round beads , and 
for the mofl part a bright brafs comb ftuck 
behind ; while gentlemen in Italy and Spain 
are yet going by the name of cavalieri fine* 
the holy war, to which they went on horfe- 
back, while plebeians walked on foot. But 
a new diftindion foon broke out in Britain, 
where the laft-mentioned called themfelves 
petitioners, and the loyalifts, abhorrera, from 
their repeated expreffions of th$ abhorrence 
they felt againft men who difturbed their 
fovereign's and the public's tranquillity. Into 
the abufive names of whig and tory however 
all others foon dropped, and by thefe names 
the ariftocrates and democrates of our coun- 
try have till now been known. Of thefe 
Rapin fays, ct The moderate tories are the 
true Englifhmen — have frequently faved 
tha date, and will fave it again (prophetfe 

may 



**& BRITISH SYNONYM^ 

may his words prove !) whenever it fhall 54 
in danger either of defpotifm from the efc 
forts of the very violent tories, or of repub* 
Jicanifm from the very violent whigs ; for/* 
.continues he, " the tnoderate ftate-whigs 
.wifh little more than to maintain with unre- 
knitted attention the privileges of parlia- 
ment, and only lean in every difputc to the 
popular fide; while the tories watch officii 
equal care over the royal prerogative, re* 
gardful of its rights and jealous of its in- 
fringements. Epifcopalians and puritans io 
like manner foftened down their diftin&ions, 
and were beft known in the fucceeding 
reigns by name of high and low church- 
men ; the firft beitig moft ftrenuoiis to fup- 
port the hierarchy ; the fecond, vigilant to 
prevent any ftretch of ecclefiaftical power." 
Till thefe unhappy times, however, attar chijts 
profefledly fo called were never heard of 
in any church or ftate. Lord Bolingbroke, 
who will not be fufpedted eafily I imagine 

of 



BRITISH SYNONYMIC xii 

of an hypocritical regard for our holy .rcli* 
gion, fays in this manner : " Some men 
there are, the pefts of fociety I think them, 
who take every opportunity of declaiming 
againft that church eftablifhment which is 
received in Britain ; and juft fo the other 
men of whom I have been fpeaking, affefl: 
a kindnefs for liberty In general, but diflike 
fo much the fyftem of liberty eftablifhed 
here, that they are Inceffant in their, endea- 
vours to puzzle the plained thing in the 
world, and to refine and dtftinguifh away 
the life and ftrength of our constitution in 
favour of the little prefen momentary turns 
ipbicb they are retained iojerve. And what 
would be the confequence I would know, 
if their endeavours Ihould fucceed? I am 
perfuaded," continues he, " that the great 
politicians, divines, philofophers, and law- 
yers, who exert them, have not yet prepared 
and agreed upon the plans of a new reli- 
gion , and of new conjiitutions in church and 
4 fate. 



ft i % BRITISH SffXOKYftflT. 

fete. We fltonld find ourfelves thcrefott 
without any form of religion, or any civil 
government. The firft fet of thefe miffion- 
aries would haften to remove all reftraints 
of religion from the governed, and the latter 
let would remove or render ineffectual all 
the limitations and controuls which liberty 
has prefcribed to thofe that govern, and thus 
disjoint the whole frame of our confutation. 
Entire * diffolution of manners, confufion, 
anarchy, or at heft abfolute monarchy, rauft 
follow ; for it is probable that in a ftate like 
this, amidft fuch a rout of Iawlefs favages, 
men would choofe that government, rather 
than no government at all." Thus far the ele- 
gant and fpirited diflcrtation upon PARTIES 
bears teftimony to a neceflity for religious 
and civil fubordination, in thefe days openly 
denied and combated, to the terror of every 
fed, the aftonifhment of every party. Againft 
theprefent faction, then, let all modifica- 
tions of chriftianity and civilization haften 

to 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. n 3 

to unite ; when even this laft quoted infidel 
would, were he now alive, lend his affiftance 
to crufh thefe profeflbrs of atheifm and vio- 
lence, thefe traitors to human kind, who 
under a fhow of regard rob them of their 
deareft rights, and render the royal, the pa- 
rental, the marital authority — for each is con- . 
nefted with the other — a jeft for fools, a 
fhadow of a {hade. 



PHILANTHROPY, CHARITJ, BENEFICENCE, 
GENEROSITY, BENEVOLENCE, KINDNESS, 

FRIENDSHIP, 



ARE not I believe exa&ly fynonymous. 
For ever feparate , yet for ever near y will a 
well-inftru£ted foreigner find them after 
long refidence in this nation, fo juftly cele- 
brated for its generosity, yet knowing 
little of the joys of friendship— a word 

vol. ii. I now 



ii4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

now proftituted to political purpofes ; while 
thofe perfons are by.fome new perverfion 
of language flyled friends of the people, 
who feek with more than ufual diligence to 
ruin and miflead them, — luring them for- 
ward to deftroy that nobility they may now 
reafonably hope, by deferring, to obtain ; 
and pull down thofe limits of civilized life, 
which like the bars in mufic make all the 
harmony 6f compofition* The comfort is, 
our highly-enlightened populace fee and 
condemn their falfehood ; nor will be duped 
by fuch apparent ihews of benevolence 
in their deluders, whilft all their tables af- 
ford talk of perpetual cenfure, eternal deri- 
fion, accompanied with ftrong defire of de- 
rogating from each exalted chara&er, and 
giving hints for defamation even of thofe 
individuals — the very cenfurers would fcarcc 
be unwilling to affift, were they fuffering 
pecuniary diftrdfs. 

But although our age and country ftand 
5' fore- 



British sYtfoMVMY. n$ 

fbfemoft in the fanks of beneficence, of 
which our hofpitals, prifons, and fubfcrip- 
tions fot almfgiving, afFofd undeniable and 
exemplary proofs} the pfefent times are 

as certainly unfavourable to friendship, 
Which like the tuberofe diffufes its fweets 
moft powerfully in a room ; and, breathing 
freeft in a clofer air, delights to perfume do- 
meftic apartments, deftined for the comforts 
of focial life ; while the more liberal honey- 
fuckle fcatters its fragrance indifcriminately 
on paflers by, like modern philanthro- 
pists, who fo extend their undifcerning 
kindness to every colour, every character, 
6very defcription of men, they feem to love 
the human race, not only with their faults, 
but, as ladies fometimes are loved — ev$nfor 
their faults. Meantime that high-principled, 
that Chriftian virtue charity, that pure 
love of God and obedience to hi* will, that 
defire of pleafing him which emanates in 
tender care of his creatures, that gentle fpi- 

U rit 



n 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

lit vaunting not itfelf, thinking no evil, en- 
during all things, and feeking not her own, 
feems to have been the growth of a neigh- 
bouring nation, where the pofleflbr of fuch 
faint-like excellence was complimented by 
our countrymen, as well as his own, with 
the titles of ideot, dolt, afs, &a Wc fools 
accounted bis life rnadnefs — but " Wifdom 
will at length be juftified of her children ;" 
for whilft his fubjeSs clafled him among 
the vileft of his fpecies, living and dying 
rated him among fuch ; they exalted to the 
rank of heroes and of de mi-deities, Mirabeau, 
Voltaire, &c* only for having exceeded their 
competitors in zeal and ability to diflemi- 
nate the poifon of infidelity, and its fubfe- 
quent, nay its confequent vices — ftrife, 
murder, rebellion, parricide. 



PIOUS, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 117 



TIOUS, RELIGIOUS, DEVOUT. 



THOSE words are certainly in their 
common acceptation very ftrongly allied: it 
does not, however, ftrike me that they are 
actually fynonymous; becaufe the fecond 
in particular conveys ideas of a man wholly 
iecluded from external cares, in order that 
he may attend more clofely to the duties of 
religion; yet a long refidence in coun- 
tries attached to the church of Rome, will 
now and then exhibit a relioieux who is 
neither pious nor devout. I mean not 
the empty common-place of fneering at re* 
ltgious orders, which were originally in- 
ftituted with good though miltaken inten- 
tions, which have been corrupted doubtlefs 
to a melancholy (late of deviation from 
what was at tirft inftituted in each, and 
which are now going to be deftroyed with- 

I 3 out 



ix8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

otit any good that I can fee mingled in the 
pfojeft for destroying them* A man may 
be however a good and ufeful member .of 
many fuch an order, without any exemplary 
piety or devotion, if he adhere ftri&ly 
to the rules, attend the religious func- 
tions with decent and unremitted pun&u- 
ality at their ftated times, -and fet a good 
example of regular and fteady behaviour in 
a perfon addicted to ftudy and eminent 
for learning ; while myftic and enthufiaftic 
piety often blazes up td a greater height 
among Proteftants, who being lefs restrained 
by ritual obligation than Romanifts are, foU 
low fanatic zeal, when once in fight of it, 
with a degree of headftrong violence no 
church eftablifhmgnt encourages, or would 
willingly permit. Witnefs the frantic warmth 
of fancy allowed in each other by the foW 
lowers of Emanuel Swedenborg, whofe 
empty heads imagine their founder worthy 
of being not called among the angels only, 

but 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 1x9 

but of being found capable of being ufeful 
to them as an inftruSor ; while nothing can 
run further from pious awe, that fears (till 
to offend, than fuch vain and arrogant pre- 
tendons. 

The truly devout man difclaims them : 
humble in his heart, and firm in his con- 
duct, he fights or trades, or braves the ele- 
ments by fea, or adminifters juftice at home, 
or fearches deep the ftores of hidden know- 
ledge, or fweetens that knowledge by poetic 
numbers, according as his mode of life re- 
quires— ufing his talent to the glory of God, 
and devoting all his powers to bis fervice 
—He neither fhuns the world nor feeks it, 
but as a means of his falvation ; by ufing, 
not abufiog Chriftian liberty — He impofes 
on himfelf no new duties of a religious 
Xfi&profejfed — He neither fhrinks into a mere 
reclufe, nor flames up into a myftical and 
madly pious intruder of his notions on 
mankind ; but, charitable to all* defires to 



»• BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

aflift, and not condemn, his fellow-labourer* 
in the true Chriftian caufe. 

Were I to place the name of Hutton tin* 
dcr this pidure, he would be offended ; but 
I may tell my readers how one of his female 
miffionaries for North America replied to 
Do&or Johnfon, who aflring if lhe was not 
fearful of her health in thole cold countries, 
received for anfwer, Why, Sir, I am de- 
Voted to the fervice of my Saviour; and 
whether that may be beft and moft ufefally 
carried on here, or on the coaft of Labra- 
dor, 'tis Mr. Huttoiis bufinefs to fettle— I 
will do my part either in a brick-houfe or a 
fnow-houfe, with equal alacrity — for yon 
know V/j- the fame thing with regard to my 
owtifouL 

This was a devout woman, of which 
fort I know not how many will be found ; 
but the praecurfor of our Lord preached no 
other doctrine than this. — He did not bid 
the foldiers quit their profeflions, or tell 
3 them 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 121 

them that their ornaments were dipt in ifood: 
he only commanded them to da no vio- 
lence, but reft contented with their wages, 
I remembeh He did not, as it appears, 
cfcnfider even the publicans' calHng as ne- 
cefiarily deflru&ive of their falvation who 
purfued it, but enjoined them u to cxa& 
no more than was appointed." He treat- 
ed not any honourable defignations of life 
as profane, but taught repentance of our 
"fins, tiot of our fituations in this world— 
where St. Paul likewife, who was the fol- 
lower, as St. John the harbinger of Jefus, 
•fays briefly, Whatfoever you do, do it to 
the glory of God— and that furely is true 

DEVOTION. 



JE= 



POET, WRITER, AUTHOR, 



ARE in their own • fenfe of the words 
certainly pot fynonynjous — the firft has 

ever 



122 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ever exalted his art above the reft ; and fo 
certainly does every man of learning openly 
or tacitly aflent to the poe.t's fuperiority, 
leaving all other writers who cannot 
make verfes, apparently fo diflatisfied with 
themfelves, that even our immortal Bentley 
thought it neceflary to try : and Dodfley has 
preferved a few faint ftanzas, in which we 

may perceive that firft-rate name ftrug- 
gling for unmerited praife in a cold imita- 
tion of Evelyn, rather than not leave him- 

m 

felf recorded as a competitor for poetic lau- 
rels. Johnfon, half in jeft half in earneft, 
when his Imlac feels the enthufiaftic fit, 
and goes on for fome pages aggrandiz?- 
ing his own profeflion, makes the Prince 
of Abyflinia flop him at length with thefe 
words — Enough ! thou haft convinced me 
that no human being can ever be a poet* 
And I well remember one day at Sir Jofhua 
Reynolds's houfe, fome gentlemen coming 
in with a foreigner, to ftiew him the pic~ 

tures, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 123 

tures, and pointing out Johnfon's, when he 
afked whole was that ?<— Johnfon the philo- 
fopher, fays one in company — Johnfon the 
great writer, cries another interrupting 
him— Our famous author, fir, faid the 
mafter of the houfe. N'tfcce pas la le po- 
rt e? enquired our vifitant. When the 
Do&or came in half an hour after, I afked 
him which he loved beft of his panegy- 
jrifts. — I love nqne of the rogues, replied he 
— merrily — and am only forry it was not 
Reynolds who called me the poet. That 
dog of a Frenchman took it for Bens por- 
tra't, Fm afraid. Thefe fuperior mortals 
how then fhall we venture to clafs ? for fome 
jnight with juftice feel offended, even in 
$He fhades, were they placed as mere equals 
with the reft ; — for though all figh for the 
facred name of poet, all muft not fit on 
the fame bench I think with Homer, Shake- 
fpeare, Milton, and Ariofto : and if other 
great Greek names, with Virgil, Horace, 

Taflb, 



I24 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Taflb, Terence, Camoens, cum multis aTiit y 
are contented with the fecond row ; perhaps 
the third, dill mcreafing like Rhopalic lines, 

fliould be filled up by Conieille, Dryden, 

_ i 

Pope, Racine* Boileau, Thomfon, Rowe, 
Young, Swift, and a long honourable et 
catera. I know not whether the Engliih 
have many of what I call fecond rate, poets 
to bo&ft : — ours, imlefs Spenfer may claim 
that poft, are all either firtVor thilrd, as I re- 
member; which is the more remarkable, 
hecaufe Great Britain exhibits above all 
countries the comforts of mediocrity in moft 
matters — climate, difpenfation of riches, 
talents — every thing but poefy ; and there 
I recoiled no one to fill the breach f twixt 
Shakefpeare and Dryden— unlefe Edmund 
Spenfer be allowed that honour. 



PREDIC- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 125 



PREDICTION and PROPHECY 



ARE fcarcely fynonymous ; while the firft 

1 

feems beft appropriated to the word of mere 
man uninfpired, the fecond to the word, of 
God— pronounced either by himfelf or 
fome commiffioned mortal. Such are the 
prophecies contained in the Scriptures, 
many of which are already fo vifibly, fo 
Hncontrovertibly fulfilled, that incredulity's 
felf fhrinks from their evidence. Among 
thefe are the deftru&ion of Carthage de- 
nounced in the days of Romulus by Ifaiah ; 
the calling of King Cyrus by his name, fo 
long before hfs birth ; and the final defeat of 
Darius foretold to be efie&ed by Alexan- 
der the Great, who was himfelf teftimony 
of its truth, when advancing in rage againft 

Jerufalem, the high prieft Jaddus met him 
at the gate, and the world's conqueror fell 
at his feet to worfhip the Eternal Father, 

whofe 



n6 BRITISH SYNONYMS 

whofe myfterious name bound on his (ei** 
. vant's forehead was the only armour oppofed 
to" Macedonia's monarch which could blunt 
his violence. The prieft then led Iiiin to 
the holy place, and (hewed him there the 
book of Daniel's prophecy, written three 
hundred years before thofe great events, in 
which his conflict and vi&ory over Perfia 
were fet forth. Meantime the foe of man- 
kind, mindful of the power which the fore- 
fhowing of futurity muft give to the true re- 
ligion, imitated on his part by falfe oracles 
thdfe denunciations of infpired writers, and, 
availing himfelf of people's natural propen- 
fity to liften after ambiguous^ phrafes, de- 
ceived his votaries by vain predictions, 
and that in Croefus's cafe fo very notorioufly, 
that CEnomaus the philofopher confiders 
them, in a paflage preferved by Eufebius, as 
mere cheats ; whilft he imputes the decep- 
tion to Jupiter, and never feems to fu£* 
pe&, as Bayle and other modern fceptics 

do, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 127 

do, that all the deceit was a trick of the 
priefts to gain money and credit from the 
vulgar. That thefe oracles ^ whatever they 
were, ceafed at our Saviour's coming, can 
fcarcely be denied ; — and Pere Balthus, Li- 
brarian to the Jefuits College at Rheims, 
a learned man, who died no longer ago 
than the year 1 743, fays in his Reponfe a 
THiftoire des Oracles, ecrite par Monfieur de 
Fontehelle, that they were real oracles ; which 
Bouchet's Letters from India confirm, add- 
ing, that the fame things ftifl faintly fubfift 

« 

in the Eaft — among Pagan nations — but 
fade away in proportion as the Gofpel is 
propagated; an affertion Krantz corrobo- 
rates in his authentic and entertaining ac- 
count of the Greenland Angekoks. Certain 
it is, that where. there is lead true faith, 
moft credence is beftowed on vain predic- 
tions ; and this obfervation is fo fure, that 
Homer makes his Cyclop, whom he de- 
(bribes as eminently atheiftical, the god- 

lefs 



i z 8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

hfs Polypheme, find out when U|yffcs cf- 
Capes him — 

This Tclcmus Euiymedes foretold, 
The mighty Seer that on thcfe hills grew old ; 
Skill'd the dark fates of mortals to declare, 
.And learn'd in all wing'd omens of the air. 

Which Ovid has extended : 

Telemus interea Siculum delatus in arquor, 
Telemus Eurymedes quern nulla fefellerit ales, Sec. 

Nor can I fancy the prefent age quite tf 
eminent for its fpirit of orthodox belief, as 
I find it fkilful and acute to dig out declara- 
tions of fomething to come from Lacey't 
Warnings, or Fleming's curious fermon; 
which, inftead of being confidered as an at- 
tempt to explain the prophecies of St. 
John's Apocalypfe, is now half looked up 
to, as being in its own felf prophetic: a 
miftake which would have grieved, not 
flattered the ingenious author, whofe (kill 
in calculation deferves much refpe&, and 

whofe 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 129 

whofe prediction refpe&ing the fate of 
France has been furprifingly verified, as all 
Europe mud allow. Indeed, the prefent 
ftrange ftate of things around one prefents 
perpetual temptation to imagine fome ap* 
proaching change. Great events have mark- 
ed every two thoufand years from the begin- 
ning; and when we fee each ftep Time tread* 
towards the third grand period, ftamped 
with uncommon prefiure, who can forbear 
recollecting the idea fhadowed out by the 
primitive Fathers, and maintained with 
firm perfuafion by La&antius, of thofe bufy 
fcenes likely to precede our lad fabbatical 
days, of which every feventh is perhaps a 
type ? — The emancipation of the blacks too 
*— great and aftonifhing work as it is — will 
id all human probability be effected before 
the end of this century, and remind men 
perhaps of the old Sybil's prophecy, 
which faid fo long ago, that when Afric 
recovered, Mundus would expire : a faying 
then understood at Rome of the world's 
VOL. 11. K end; 



tjo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tnd ; — but wken Juftinian's general of that 
name died in Dalmatia, they confidered the 
prediction as fulfilled. 
«. But why recur to Sybilline oracles ? — The 
Jlonian Eagle as exhibited ia vifion to Ef- 
•dras, with his triple crown — feeble and 
♦plumfc-plucked ; — the memorable verfes in a 
iiicreHfng chapter foretelling that there fhall 
ibe fedition among men, invading one ano- 
ther; that they fhall not regard their kings 
tand jprinces, but theicourfe of their a&ions 
ifhall ftand in their own power ; for there 
•ih.a}l be a great infurreSion upon, them that 
;fcar the Lord ; they fhall be like madmen 
fparing none, but ftill fpoiling and deftroying 
.them that fear the Lord— -Such events com- 
. ing to : pafs before our "own eyes, accompa- 
nied, with what our Saviour has bimfclf 
k foretold, concerning the diftrefs of nations 
. with perplexity — men\ hearts failing them 
.for fear, and. for looking on thofe things 
which come upon the earth— do certainly 
fuffice taaftound fome minds ; and form a 
. : —• - frightful 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 131 

frightful combination of circumftances in a 
country where every one, ifidoEli do clique, 
prefuraes to expound according to his own 
fancy, paflages from holy writ : — and 'tis but 
a few months ago that there appeared in 

» 

fome public print of the day, the following 
numerical calculation of the fix hundred and 
'fixty-fix, laid to be the number of the beaft in 
Revelations ; for, fays St. John, his number 
is the number of a Man, and by that count 
here it is afcribed to Lewis the Fourteenth 
of France, who laft afpired to univerfal mo- 
narchy. — Vide St. yohfCs Apocalypfe, chap, 
xvi. ver. 1 8. 

L 50 " 

v 5 

D S°° 

O o 

V 5 

I I 

C 100 

S o 

666 
Ki Now 



i 3 2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Now Bifliop Newton, Diodati, and al* 
moft all the learned proteftant writers, ex- 
plained this paflage by the word Latcinos — 
but it is the number of a man, not of a lan- 
guage or nation. I will {9j no more about it, 
however, having this moment heard a true 
anecdote related, that feems as if it had been 
made on purpofe — which it was not — to 
throw a juft ridicule upon me, and upon all 
fuch unknowing and incompetent pokers 
into prophecy. An ordinary man in Sur- 
ry here afked his curate, if he did not think 
this war would go hard with the French ! 
— Nay, I zmfurc it will, added the fellow : 
for I was reading in the Bible but this morn- 
ing, and found fomewhere in Ifaiah thcfe 
remarkable words — " Mount Seir fhall be 
brought low." Now, fir, you feethe prophet 
mud have meant that Mounfecr fhall b* 
brought low.~Can ignorance or folly go 
further ? x 



PllEFACE, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 133 



PREFACE, PRELUDE, PROEM, PROLOGUE, 

" EXORDIUM. 



• r 



THESE words, though clofcly allied in 
fynonymy, muft not be ufed with indiffe- 
rence by foreigners, becaufe their propriety 
depends upon their places. We fay the 
preface to a book — the prelude to a 
piece of mufic — the prologue written for 
a new play — and the exordium to a rhe- 
torical compofition. Tully calls it difficilU- 
ma pars orationis ; but, by what I can un- 
derftand, the Latins ufed peroration more, 
and ftudied the art of fpeaking more than 
their mafters the Greeks did ; who appear 
in ewry thing to have produced mdlfe im- 
mediate effect with fmall apparent pains 
than any other fet of men : — '{is fo with 
originality in every thing, 

£3 Sal 



* 34 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

Sal thought, and thought, and mifs'd hct aim, 
While Ned ne'er ftudying won the game* 5hen$to«, 

Thofe who follow indeed muft neceflarily 
ftudy, or they will not even fave a point j 
while the inventor of the game, knowing all 
its combinations, may like Phi}idor play on 

v 

the violin while he conquers the greateft pip* 
feflbrs at chefs. But we have forgot one of 
the words upon our lift — proem — juft for 
this reafon— becaufe it is forgotten in coa- 
verfation language, whence k is left out as 
too fublimc, while preamble is turned 
out as too vulgar I believe, though all of 
them were at firft of equal value. If even 
in words therefore this fighed-for equality 
cannot be kept, let us not think of \t iq 
any thing elfe. Water lies level naturally, 
that is in its natural ftate, but cold wrinkles 
and curls it up ; while heat tofles it into vi- 
olent inequalities. Neither is its natural ftate 
fettled by philofophers any more than the 
natural ftate of fociety ; fome authors con- 
3 tending 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 135 

tending (among which, names of no lefs ce- 
lebrity than Boyle and Boerhaave may be 
found) that water is a folid body of the 
cryftalline kind, put by heat into a preterna- 
tural ftate, like any other mineral, which, by 
a ftill greater degree of heat, is driven into 
fufion likewife j but muft not for that reafbn 
be ranked among real fluids. If water, then 
may be denied fluidity by fubtle argtkers, it 
may alfo be denied the natural difpofitlon 
we have hitherto believed it poffefled of— 
to keep its level, and maintain a regular and 
equal furface ; and if equality can be found- 
neither in the natural world nor the litera* 
ry one (for to prove this laft pofttion we 
need but look over our fynonymes), it will 
with difficulty be detcded in any thing— 1 
lead of all in the place 'tis now fought for, 
fociety ; where he. who finds it will be fu- 
parior to us all — and then, 

Like following life in creatures they diflcft, 
We lofe it in the moment we dctcft* 

K'4 PRERO- 



U 3 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



PREROGATIVE ahd PRIVILEGE. 



THAT thcfc words arc not fynpnymous, 
a foreigner foon learns from that hiftory of 
England he is commonly induced to prefer j 
as believing it moil impartial, *nd feeling 
it moft eafy to comprehend— 1 mean that 
written by Rapin, who keeps the line very 
exaft between them ; whence his readers 
never can be confounded, or miftake, fo as 
to doubt for a moment that to the people 
have been granted valuable privileges, 
which 'tis their intereft and duty to keep 
from violation by continuing to deferve, 
and ftudying to maintain them : while the 
king on his part enjoys certain prerpga-? 
TIVES — advantages not ajkedfor^ as the ve- 
ry derivation implies— but inherent in his 
pfficc, which he cannot part with j which 

Charles 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 1*7 

Charles the Firft died rather than bafely pre* 
tend to part with ; and which Louis Seize 
when, he had loft the power of exerting, 
loft his own life, his family's honour, his 
Gpuntry's fplendbur, and the happinefs of 
his good fubje&s and true adherents for 
ever. May the privata ltx 9 from whence 
the h3ppy Briton derives both literally and 
civilly thpfe rights that render him fuperior. 
tp every Pther cpuatrypian, be long pre- 
ferred to his defendants ; while franchifes, 
immunities and privileges frail be the 
we|l underftood fynonymy of our highly*- 
favoured r^alm: — ^nd fince it was from 
breach of thefe by our ill-advifed fovereign t 
when he violated the privileges of parlia- 
ment in that fatal year 1 640, that our rafh 
forefathers derived their excufe for refift- 
?mce ; and fince even Englilhmen, feduced 
by early fuccefs in what was at firft a r&- 
fpedable int^Qtioo to maintain the. rights 
granted them hj former kings, went for- 
ward* 



ijS BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ward, till, not contented with fecuring their 
own juft claims from future infult, they 
(buck at the monarch's prerogative, fa- 
cred as his perfon, and having a neceflary 
inherence in his perfon, which fell in the 
conteft — may the words nor their meanings 
be ever more dilputed, but the elements of 
cur incomparable government — moft re- 
fembling the government of nature itfelf— 
keep their due limits, like thofe of fire and 
water ; either of which let loofe upon the 
other, confumes the whole of the elemen- 
tary fyftem, and produces, in the nicely-ba- 
lanced world, either a deluge or a confla- 
gration ! 



PREVALENT, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 13* 



PREVALENT, PREVAILING, 



A R £ both adverbs expreffi ve of predo- 
minance, not ftrong, but ftrengthening every 
moment. The lad word being a participle 
i* in common ufe of courfe, and I think it 

« 

lies a whole (hade nearer to vulgarity than 

the other. We fay that one prevalent 
Idea poffeffing the mind, is a mark of inci- 
pient madnefs; yet that fome prevailing 
opinions fhould keep rule in a man's head is 
neceflkry : he will otherwife become an un- 
steady chara&er, of no credit to his friends 

and no confequeAce to himfelf, if from fear 
of prejudices he keeps his mind like a carte 
blanche, for any fool to write what he pleafes 
on ; or like a fliop-keeper's dirty flate with a 
fponge tied to it, ready to wipe out one fet 
of notions at any time, for the more conve- 
nient infertion of another fet. Friendlhip is 

commend- 



140 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

commendable, and partiality towards a friend 
pardonable, if not approaching to praife- 
worthy. Yet the perhiitting almoft any 
chara&er or perfon fo to monopolize one's 
thoughts as to prevail over every other, 
and prompt one to talk only of him or her, 
is ridiculous ; and ridiculed even if the ob- 
ject of our admiration be fon or daughter, 
although more folly is forgiven to parental 
than to any other fondnefs. A man*s bo- 
aeft delight in his own calling is eftimable, 
fey we ; but 'tis comical carried to an ex- 
treme, becaufe it fhews the prevailing 
taftc too ftrongly. I was once well ac- 
quainted with a worthy- merchant, who had 
his own poVtraijLpaiaJ*d and hung up in the 
compting-houfe ; it was a (biking Ukenefs, 
and we commended it as fuch — * Ay, ay," 
replied the matter of the houfe, u you fee 
'tis reprefented writing — a pen in my band — 
that's like me, fure enough ; for though I 
»ever read yopr poets much, I took up one 

2 once 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 141 

« 

once by chance, and found a fine obfervation, 
confidering it was verfe — 

Nature's chief mafterpiece is writing well. 

We muft own/' continued he, " that that is 
exceeding good fenfe." 

■ 

Another acceptation of the fecond word 

upon our lift, fhews it by no means fyiumy- 

1 

mous with the firft. It might be aflerted, 
that notwithftanding our war agadnft France 
was undertaken with pure intentions, and 
the difficulty of avoiding it almoft infupe- 
rable, there is poflibility of our not Pre- 
vailing in the conteft, as the many- 
headed monfter feems invulnerable fome- 
how. Perhaps becaufi^fee Achilles (he has 
been dipt in hell's hotteft river, her rulers are 
like liim difpofed to devour even literally th* 
flefh of kings and princes, and to fay, as ho 
does to the mortally wounded He&or, 

Could I myfelf the bloody banquet join ? 
No. To the dogt thy carcafe I rcCgn. 

And 



i 4 * BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

And 'tis no doubt the opinion moft preva- 
lent among wife men, that the French 
rulers would make no peace more friendly, 
no compact more eligible, with any of the 
allied powers at prefent, than that propofed 
by the ferocious hero of antiquity when ex- 
cited by the fpirit of revenge. Over minds 
fwelled with vanity, deftitute of principle, 
:&nd burfting with ambitious rage, even ava- 
rice has no power ; nor could peace be pur- 
chafed by gold, which has an almoft uni- 
verfal fway through the walks of civilized 
life — where, as our elegant fadrift Gay 
fays, 

If you at an office folicit your due, 
And would not have matters negle&ed, 

You muft quicken the clerk with a perquifite too, 
To do what his duty direftcd : 

Or would you the frowns of a lady prevent, 

She too has this palpable failing ; 
The perquifite foftens her intoconfent— 

That reafon with all is prevailing. 

TO 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. I43 



TO PREVARICATE, TO CAVIL, TO EVADE 
GIVING ANSWERS, TO SHUFFLE. 



THE firft of thefc is the politeft; the 
fourth is a word almoft too mean even for 
fe mean a pra&ice : to cavil is fcarce a 
fy nony iAe to the other three j although he 
who prevaricates, by catching up words 
in a wrong fenfe, does mod undoubtedly ex- f 
pofe the meaning to cavil, and that inten- 
tionally* Witnefs the conduct of the Ro- 
man foldier, who being taken prifoner by 
Hannibal, and releafed on his parole to re- 
turn, took occafion to go back as if for fome- 
thinghe had left behind, in order to evade 
the oath he had willingly taken : but fuch 
shuffling behaviour was foon condemned 
by his more honourable countrymen, who 
fent him to receive due punifhment from 

Hannibal 



i44 British StNdKtMt, 

Hannibal himfelf. fntnknefs of heart afld 
opennefs of manners are amiable in every 
fituation we can be placed in ; and coquet* 
tiih prevarication is detefted in all ranks 
and in both fexes. Yet I could relate a ri* 
diculous inftance of ill effects anting — not 
from fincerity, but from leflbns given to in- 
culcate fincerity, where the learner had not 
capacity to be taught A grave gentleman 
I once knew had. a niece whom he loved as 
his child, and whofe uncommon beauty 
drew to his houfe a multitude of her ad-' 
Hirers* The uncle begged her to make a 
choice, protefted he would never interfere 
with what fo immediately related to ber 
happinefs, declaring that ten thoufand 
pounds of his fortune fliould be hers — but 
infifted on her never prevaricating with 
any man, or endeavouring to detain his 
heart while fhe evaded giving him her 
hand. In, order to ftrengthen his precepts 

by 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 145 

by example, he put Richardfon's immortal 
.Works upon her fhelf, bidding her take 
Harriet Byron for her model — And now* 
fays he, no shuffling with friends who 
come hither only on your account ; and I 
fhall call you a good girl, difmifs or accept 
whom you will. The lovers came, and 
went — applauding the beauty and candour 
of his fair Amelia ; and when his country- 
feat liad exhibited a magic-lanthorn of their 
comings and goings for a twelvemonth, the 
wife uncle requefted a new tete-a-tete with 
his pretty niece. And what, fays he, can 
be the meaning, my dear, that none of thefe 
gentlemen's addrefles have plcafed you ? I 

thought young Brillus a very promifing ge- 

« 

nius, and flattered myfelf you would have 
been of my mind. Eugenio, too, a man of 
birth, breeding, and high connections; hand- 
fome, and of good principles ; why did not 
that match take place ? And poor Adraftus ! 
the worthieft youth in England, who half 
VOL. ii« L broke 



j 4 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

broke his heart when he took leave of the 
houfe— what can be the meaning of your 
reje&ing fuch offers ? did not you like the 
men ? Exceedingly well, uncle, replies the 
girl ; but they all do go away after they have 
fpoke their minds to me, as they call it — 
making, me a thoufand compliments on my 
fincerity and franknefs, and never coming 
again— how can I tell for what ? — But Fm 
fure they have no fault to find with me. I 
do as you bid me, and imitate Mils Harriet 
Byron all I can. It vexed me when Adraftus 
went away fo for nothing at all, and you lay 
it vexed him (fobbing), and I was as kind 
as could be, too ; but whenever I tell any of 
them that I am pre-engaged^ they fend for a 
poft-chaife diredly. 



TO 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 147 



TO PREVENT, TO HINDER, 



^RE as bad (tumbling- blocks to a fo- 
reigner as pre engaged was to pretty Mif* 
Amelia. The firft of thefe words is fo natu- 
ral to them ill its original fenfe, that they 
are perpetually led to ufe it in a way we 
underftand it not ; and fay, I prevented 
you of that hole in the ground, why did 
you drive your horfe into it ? meaning I 
warned you. — We reply, No, fir : if you 
had fpoken in time, it might have pre- 
vented this overturn, by hindering me 
from going that road. The words, though 
very clofe, are not however pofitively fyno- 
nymous. We fay, The girl in the laft article 
' was hindered from eftablifhing herfelf to 
her own heart's content, only by her igno- 
rance of language, and literal imitation of 

L 2 ftfeft 



s 4 8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Mifs Harriet Byron, who was really prc-cn- 
gagcdy which Amelia was not. — Yet might 
this abfurdity have been eafily prevented, 
at leaft its confequences ; had not the uncle 
been as ignorant of life, as his niece was of 
her book— foi then he would not by af- 
fected fcrupulofity have laid fuch an empty 
idiot open to her own, and to every one's 
power of injuring her happinefs and peace. 
Partiality would not have clofed the eyes 
©f a perfon who knew the world better, and 
plainer fpeaking would have been a truer 
obligation than nicety, which fuch a crea- 
ture could not expert, and precepts, which 
ftie could not comprehend. 



s 



PRIMARY 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 149 



PRIMARY and PRIMITIVE 



APPEAR at firft fight nearer alliedin fy- 
nonymy than upon clofer inveftigation they 
will be found ; yet is their appropriation ra- 
ther arbitrary than well grounded. We fay 
the primary planets, when defirous to dif- 
tinguifh them from their fatellites, which 
are aftronomically termed fecondaries very 
often ; and amongft thefe the moon (be- 
caufe our own fatellite) is reckoned the 
firft, though I believe fome of Jupiter's at- 
tendants are no lefs in fize or dignity. Si- 
mon Marius, a Pruflian, who firft difco- 
vered them, gave them the names of their 
primaries, calling that which revolves 
neareft the body of Jupiter Mercurius Jovi- 
alis, Jupiter s Mercury ; then Venus Jovi- 
alis, Jupiter's Venus ; Jupiter Jovialis, Ju- 
piter's Jupiter ; and Saturn us Jovialis, Jupi- 

L 3 ter'g 



t6 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ter's Saturn: but in the year 1610, about 
twelve months *fter, when Galilaeo firft 
fpied them, he called them after his patron's 
family name, arid they went fome time by 
the courtly appellation of Aftra Medicasa* 
In about thirty years more, however, when 
Antonmaria de Reita, a capuchin fryar, .got 
himfelf laughed at for fancying he had 
found five moons more to the fame prima* 
ry. planet, which in honour of Pope Urban 
the Eighth he denominated Sidera Urbanoc- 
toviana, fuch appropriation of heavenly bo- 

* 

dies to earthly princes became ridiculous — > 
the more fo as Reita had in his zeal for re- 
fearch, and hafte for dedication, miftaken 
five fixed ftars in the water of Aquarius for 
circumjovial fatellites. But the Barberini 
Pontiff, too much a man of fcience to be ig- 
norant of Tycho's catalogue, where thefe 
ftars are marked — and too much a man of 
wit, not to difcern the abfurdity of fending 
his name down to pofterity on fuch occa- 

fions, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 151 

lions, defired he might be taken down* from 
the cocleftial globe immediately, and the 
houfe of Medicis followed his example. 
Of affe&ions likewife (in the fcholaftic 
fenfe) we fay primary as oppofed to fe- 
condary; not primitive. Time and 
place, quantity and quality, are primary 
afie&ions : — thofe which derive from them, 
as continuity from time, divifibility from 
quantity, and the like, are fecondaries :— 
but when we fpeak of grammatical diftinc- 
tions the other wofd is ufed — as world for 
example is a primitive, worldly a deriva- 
tive : — and colours are diftinguifhed by the 
terms primitive and compofite. Dr. 
Watts gives his young readers an aid to their 
memory by a fimple ftanza containing the 
names of the primary planets, and a 
word made of thofe initial letters which be- 
gin the feven primitive colours : violet; 
ndigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and 
led under the form of three fyllables vibgyor^ 

L 4 which ' 



1 5 2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

which children will never forget ; although 
they muft remember too, that green in 
dyeing is a compofite colour, made by dip- 
ping the fluff or filk twice ; firft in blue, 
then in yellow. The verfes on the planets 
are only worth recording becaufe they are 
bis ; but they are worth remembering be- 
caufe they are placed right, fuperior, and 
inferior, according to their rank in our folar 
fyftem : 

Firft Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, 

The Earth then rolls among the ftars > 

And round the Earth the Moon \ 
Venus and Mercury come next, 
The Sun is in the centre fixt, 

And makes a glorious noon ! 

The laft word i$ always ufed, I think, 
ipeaking of cuftoms in the primitive church, 
meaning the earlieft ecclefiaftical eftablifh- 
ment. To fay primary on. that occafion 
would miflead, and tempt us to fuppofe 
one higher in dignity than the reft, when 

we 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 153 

we would be underftood to fpeak of antiqui- 
ty, not rank — among chriftian churches 
exprefsly prohibited from difputing the lat- 
ter point, and exprefsly informed too, that 
whichever of them fhould, in defiance of 
that prohibition, ftruggle for and feize the 
mattery over his brethren, fhould be pu- 
nifhed by abafement from that exaltation at 
an hour lead expeded :— of which threaten- 
ing prophecy the Romanifts now feel the 
truth and force. In common converfation 
too we talk of primitive manners, and 
Primitive hofpitalhy, when fpcaking of 
only two centuries back I believe ; for few 
writers or talkers do, I fuppofe, pretend to 
extol the mode of life in England before 
Elizabeth's reign : and hofpitality is a vir- 
tue merely dependant on manners, capable 
of exifting only while 'tis wanted : and it 
ftill does exift in Scotland, Wales and Ire- 
land, where neat Inns are yet a rarity ; 
and the traveller is bell accommodated in a 
5 gentle^ 



i 5 * BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

gentleman's houfe. That virtue it in a 
Aafcc of mcUbcholy decaf I readily allow ; 
but that 'tis more decayed in England than 
elfcwhere, I humbly do yet deny, and fin* 
trrefy difbelicve. That #*r morals are much 
worfe than thofe of our anceftors I doubt : 
we now know all the harm that's done, and 
we tell even of more than we know : — but 
the old caftle's felf, the well, the dungeon, 
and the drawbridge are (landing proofs of 
the depravity of thofe old arifiocradc times — 
proofs of apprehended outrage and purpofed 
revenge : fuch are the yet vifiWe marks of 
feiidal morality in Bohemia, Tranfilvania* 
Poland, and Hungary ; where life is now 
carrying on much after the fafliion it wore 
here in Great Britain about 1570, when 
communication between our own provinces 
was fcarce attainable ; and if the feeds of 
true religion were net early fown in men of 
noble families and high fortune, no check 
from external caufes could be found, to re- > 

drain 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 15$ 

{train hard-mouthed paflion and licentious 
wantonnefs in them ; while ignorance kept 
their vaflals half unconfcious of the indig- 
nities they fubmitted to, and the wife of a 
peafant was fecured from the defires of his 
patron only by her deformity or his for- 
bearance. Yet although I praife not the 
virtue of primitive times in England, I 
oppofe not the conduct of oilr prefent day 
as exemplary :— far from it : — in morals as 
in phyficks, extremes are not unjuftly ob- 
ferved to meet — and ice on the firft touch 
feels like fire to the lips. Truth, wifdom, 
excellence of every kind, refide in a middle 
date ; while babyhood and fertility are alike 
incapable of exerting or even comprehend- 
ing them. Not only thefe iflands, but the 
whole world feems verging faft to its de- 
cline. Our noon— that happy moment when 

no fhadow can be feen, was fhort indeed : — 
Barbarifm clouded the morning's ray, and 
fteamy vapours from many a corrupt and 

flaguant 



156 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ftagnant pool infe& our evening air* May 
Heaven difperfe them foon, or haften the 
hour when contention with fuch peftilential 
evils (hall be no more — but righteou(he& 
{hall dwell upon the earth ! 



PRIMATE, ARCHBISHOP, METROPOLITAN, 



ARE nearly, if not entirely fynonymous 
in common converfation, and I am not 
enough read in Church Hiftory to know 
which was the earlieft word ufed to exprefs 
that dignity ; although one would think it 
was neceflarily ARCH-Bisnbp, if we find 
St. Athanafius and St. Gregory Nazianzen 
bellowing the title reciprocally on each 
other, as 1 have been aflured they do-— for 
that muft have been fome time about the 

year 350 ; — whereas Ifidore Hiipalenfis is 
faid to be the firft: who names them among 

the 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 157 

the Latins, and he wrote his treatife on ec- 
clefiaftical ofiices towards 630, after the 
chronicle was finifhed which is {aid to give 
the beft account we have of the condu& 
obferved by the Goths and Vandals;— and 
'tis recorded of this famous Spaniard, that 
he faid an idle monk was doubly a finner ; 
in forbearing to labour himfelf after the 
apoftles' example, and fecondly in fetting 
himfelf an example likely to be too much 
followed. Meantime bifhops had been the 
infpeftors or ovtrfeers of the chriftian efta- 
blifhment ever fince we read Saint Paul's 
exprefs directions concerning that ecclcfiaf- 
tical office : they had one at Rome, in the 
perfon of Linus a Tufcan, who command- 
ed that no woman fhould enter the church 
uncovered, who wrote the afts of Saint 
Peter, and oppofition of _ Simon Magus ; 
and who is fuppofed by Eufebius (if I am 
right) to be the identical man mentioned in 
the laft chapter of the fecond epiftle to 

Timothy ; 



i 5 % BRITISH SYNONYMYl 

Timothy ; whtlft at Laodicea, whence Saint 
Paul dates that epiftle, there was perhaps 
already a fort of hierarchy eftablifhed. The 
term metropolitan feems to have come 
in much later, immediately after die grand 

council of Nice : and the bifhop of* Aries, 
who contefted that honour with fome one, 
being referred to a council at Turin, was 
told, that whichever of them could prove hit 
city to be the capital of the province, (hould 
be called metropolitan. After this, and 
out of this, came the word metrocomia, 
or principal borough, having other bo- 
roughs or villages under its jurifdiftf < 
I underftood Do&or Johnfon, who i 
lous in his wifhes to fix that diftin&ion 
upon Southwark, but never could poflefe 
himfelf of fads : he faid, however, the ftill 
remaining title of rural dean in our Ian* 
guage, was a remnant of this old Choiepi& 
copus. Primate is a word now chiefly in 
ufe when we fpeak of Ireland j but at the 

time 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, '159 

time England was divided into ecclefiaftical 
provinces, in the year 1152, the ARCH* 
jbishop of Canterbury, as chief metropo- 
litan, claimed to be called primate of 
all England, while York retained his pre- 
tention to be denominated primate of 
England, as before. He ftill takes prece- 
dence next to the dukes of the blood royal, 
and goes before all the officers of ftate ex- 
cept the lord chancellor, pofleffing befide 
empty honours, the power ©f a palatine 
in one county, and jurifdidioii in crimi- 
nal proceedings: while the archbishop 
of Canterbury holds, by the laws and con«* 
ftitution of England, powers fo extenfive, 
that fince the days of Laud fcarce any one 
has been ever raifed to the dignity, till he 
was well known for a chara&er of perfo- 
nal mildnefs, and of principles which in- 
cline him to moderation in the exercife of 
thofe prerogatives, the voluntary reftri&ien 
ef which contributes not a little to our 

3 ha ppy 



160 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

happy tranquillity, and takes from all ratio 
nal minds the (mailed inclination to leflen 
or curtail them. 



m * ■ 



PRINCIPAL, CHIEF, MOST CONSIDERABLE 

OR ESSENTIAL. 



THE two firft of thefe are fynonymcs, 
if our fentence runs thus: — The princi- 
pal caufe of our wars againft France, for- 
merly, was a defire of increafing our conn 
merce and dominion ; but now the chief 
reafon for hoftility is the neceffity of fecur- 
ing our own, and preferving the tranquillity 
of Europe. We fay, that the moft essen- 
tial method of keeping peace at home in 
factious times, is to be careful who has the 
charge of chief magiftrate, mayor, &c in 
the principal towns j becaufe his office, 

being 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 161 

being moil considerable, may be fup* 
pofed to have moil influence. 

The firft word, however, eafily turns into 
a fubftantive; the fecond ftill more fo, mean- 
ing in every acceptation one primarily or 
originally engaged, not an auxiliary. A 
prefident or governor is likewife fo called ; 
and the mafter of a college or hall is ftyled 
principal in Scotland, where Dr. Robert- 
• fon long wore that appellation^ which fuited 
his fuperiority of genius and knowledge fo 
well ; though furely difficult enough to ob- 
tain where men of talents are the things 
leaft rarely inet with : a fa£t foreigners ap- 
pear to know better than our own country-* 
men. 

Tbcy will perhaps need information, how- 

k 

ever, that a fum of money lent to govern- 
ment, for which intereft is duly paid, fhould 
be called the principal. An Englifhman 
learns nothing earlier, or more willingly,. 
vot. ii. M than 



i6i BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

than what immediately belongs to calcula- 
tion, arithmetic, or commerce. 



«C 



PRINCIPLE, ELEMENT, RUDIMENT, PRIMOR- 
DIAL SUBSTANCE. 



OF thefe words in common converfation 
we make little ufe, but 'tis becaufe converfa- 
tion feldom difcuffes the truths of natural 
philofophy, or traces the maze of mctaphyfi- 
cal difquifitions, elfe we fhould find occafion 
for them all. A foreigner yet in his rudi- 
ments of our language, will find little 
temptation to inveftigate the primordial 
substance I believe, or fettle the point 
whether principle or element flood firft 
in the fcale of creation. They are not fyno- 
nymous, however. We juftly call the foul 
our thinking principle ; none of the other 

words 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 163 

words would do in this place : fire, water, 
earth, and air, are elements, while fait, 
fulphur, and fpirit are denominated in chy- 
miftry the three a&ive principles. In 
logic, we agree that there is no difputing 
with a man who denies principles ; and 
Do&or Watts, who knew moil perhaps of 
fuch fciences, and taught them beft, wifhes 
always to avoid difpute j though arguments 
intermingled among fads, make, as he fome- 
where fays, that ufeful converfation which 
improves the mind and re&ifies the judg- 
ment. In morals, the firft word dill takes a 
wider field, as caufe of adtfon, fpring of 
thought, and fource of good and evil. A 
man's conduct may be wrong, fay we in 
common chat; but if his principles, mean- 
ing his original germ of chara&er, be good, 
he will return to virtue : if on the contrary 
his principles are corrupt, the very good 
he does will blight and wither, like fruit 
upon a rotten tree. This acceptation of the 

M 2 ten* 



164 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

term, however, deferves an article apart, as 
for example: — 



PRINCIPLE, TENET, MOTIVE. 



■w 



OF two words here, Mr. Pope fays fktr- 
rically in his ethic epiftles, 

Manner* change with climes, 
Tenets with books, and principles with time* 

This, notwithftanding that he means to 
urge it as a reproach to human nature, is 
in fome refpe&s virtuous, and in fome cafe* 
neceflary. 

EXAMPLE, 

He who fliould be induced, by a defire of 
appearing confiftent in his manners, to drink 
as much unqualified fpirits during his refi- 
dence in Malta, as he once found it convex 

nient 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 165 

fu&at to do when upon a difccivering party 
to Hudfon's Bay, wduld fpeedily, by an in- 
flammatory fever, or remotely by a difeafed 
liver, find caufe to repent that manners had 
mt changed with climes, I believe. And fure- 
ly, if books had no more power over opinions, 
than Dodtor Johnfon believed eloquence to 
poffefs over a vote in our houfe of commbns; 
if no writings had force to diflodge tenets 
obftinately held ; 'twere vain to try the arts 

: .either of conviction or perfuafion, whilft 
rhetoric would be rendered ufelefs, and logic 
ridiculous. Principle itfelf, which ought 
to be the only motive of every a&ion^ and 

. is lb in a well-regulated mind, which moves 
merely by the rule mentioned in a late 
article, of doing every thing to the glory of 
God, and benefit of one's owa foul — even 

. principle itCblf muft a little yield to th? 
times. And few will doubt but that Tillotfon 
3tnd Ruflell, were they now living, would be 
feigh churchmeij and toriesj for, though 

M 3 firm 



\66 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

firm in a juft perfuafioa that unlimited 
power in either church or ftate is dangerous 
to man's free will, and a curb upon the ex- 
ertions of genius— they would in times like 
thefe, when democratic rage produces the 
fame evils, combined with a thoufand more, 
be willing, and even hafty to throw the 
weight of' their influence into the oppo- 
fite fcale— preferring, fo far as in them lay, 
authority from being trampled on, nobility 
from being defpifed, all ranks of fubordina- 
tion broken, and even the juft rewards 
of induftry plundered from honeft traders, 
who had gained them. Such contempt of 
order, fuch breach of honour, fuch viola- 
tions of decorum, call for a phalanx of op- 
pofition to the torrent, and turn even wbig- 
gifm to loyalty. 

With regard to the fynonymy of the 
Words, that is not ftri&, or even very dole. 
We fay that Cleon's principles are ex- 
cellent, although fome tenets he thinks 

proper 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 167 

proper to hold are not quite defenfible ; yet 
as we are well allured his motives for 
writing on that fide the queftion are free 
from vice or intereft, it would be unfair 
haftily to condemn his book, merely becaufe 
the opinions it contains are not the fame as 
our own. 



PUBLIC and GENERAL. 



APPEAR far from fynonymes to a fo- 
reigner, who fhould regard newfpaper ad- 
vertifements, which inform the public 
in general where goods are to be 
fold, 'Tis difficult, however, to make na- 
tives of a country where the prefs is not 
free, comprehend the mifchief thefe ephe- 
meral productions do to our language ; for, 
while difFufing knowledge in general, 
they corrupt the public tafte, and pro- 

M 4 mote 



168 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

mote a love for tra(h in converfation that 
leflcns the market for real fruits of literature. 
La Bruyere, in his Moeurs du Siecle, makes 
the like complaint of fadaifts and platitudes^ 
as the French emphatically call them, getting 
into his tongue, and taking up attention 
from thofe who fhould know better. The 
word public is almoft always ufed in oppo- 
fition to private ; the antithefis with gene- 
ral would not be ftrong enough. A Jingle 
bad book, fay we, does little harm, when 
loft in the general mafs of literature ; yet 
The Fable of the Bees, written to prove that 
private vices are public benefits, is of a 
moft pernicious tendency indeed j for there 
is little need of inducement to vice or diffi- 
pation, and the idea that fuch are beneficial 
to the ftate, affords fhelter to wickednefs wn- 
jler the mafk of patriotifm. 

The beft way of anfwering Mandeville is, 
to fliew that he has artfully omitted draw- 
ing the line between competence and lux- 
ury j 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, i6 9 

ury ; for, if by dint of fophiftry he can 
once perfuade men that bread and fmall 
beer fhould be confidered as indigencies 
unbecoming a human being, as he makes 
no fcruple to call them, we muft defpair of 
pleafmg God from the firft, and, fairly bury* 
ing our talent in the earth, incur the cenfure 
pronounced by our Saviour upon them who 
Accufe the All-giver of a hateful churliflinefs, 
/ knew thou wqfl an aujiere man % &c. 

Much of Law's Serious Call is written in 
the Mandevillian fpirit, and, though done 
with better intent, is Ukely enough to produce 
fomewhat of a fimilar efFedt; but whilft, 
as authors, we muft ever efteem fuch men, 
and, as people of vigorous and powerful 
minds, we muft for ever refpe<3: them, let us 
pever take for teachers people, who, as our 
blefled Mafter exprefles it, bind heavy bur- 
thens on the fhoulders of others — and griev- 
, ous to be borne — but they themfelves will 
pot move them with one of their fingers. 

That 



1 7 o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

That private vices meantime are a caufe of 
public rain, the prefent ftate of a neigh- 
bouring nation proves ; that private virtues 
are a public benefit, our exemption from 
fimilar diftrefs proves likewife. The domes- 
tic purity of our own court, miniftry, nobles, 
and clergy, compared with the grofs fenfu- 
ality, luxury, and oppreflive pride, of thofe 
in fimilar ftations at Paris a dozen years ago, 
formed a happy contraft, acknowledged even 
now by all Europe in general, acknow- 
ledged at this hour of agony, when virtue 
alone can have power to fave any quarter 
of the globe from deftru&ion. 



TO PUZZLE* PERPLEX, CONFOUND, EMBAR- 
RASS, TO BEWILDER, ENTANGLE, or. 

ENSNARE. 



THESE words are ufed fynonymoufly 
every day, though of various derivations, 

3 and* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 171 

and, if we would be ftri£t, perhaps fhould 
be appropriated thus, or nearly fo : For a 
hard queftion puzzles a man, and a vari- 
ety of choice perplexes him : one is con- 
founded by a loud and fudden diffonance 
of founds or voices in a flill night ; embar- 
rassed by a weight of clothes or valuables, 
if making efcape from fire, thieves, or pur- 
fuit; likely to bewilder ourfelves if we 
rua into a wood for fafety; entangled 
among the briars if 'tis too dark to pick the 
way, and poffibly caught by accident in a 
trap laid by the ne?tr inhabitants to en- 
snare wolves or pth$r creatures into a pit- 
fall. Meanwhile every one of thefe verbs 
is more elegant in familiar difcourfe than 
the firft of them, whofe original fenfe, or 
root, as the grammarians call it, is very vul- 
gar; the tozing, cr posing a man being of 
exceedingly coarfe people's ufage, and a good 
companion to thofe who complain that they 
are hampered^ gravelled^ or hobbled. The 

truth 



i 7 z BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

truth is, that to fpeak genteelly few ever 
mifs, who have been early taught to think 
' genteelly; for whilft a gentleman refledU 
how he fhould be embarrassed with the 
care of a fick lady, if his horfe was entan- 
gled in a net, and all of them bewilder-? 
ed in fome foreft little known, which fud- 
denly prefents itfelf to his imagination, and 
perplexes him to think how he fhould 

■ 

get difengaged from a fituation fo truly 
confounding; the fervant who waits 
behind, confiders how he fhould be puz- 
2LED to get out, if his companions fliould 
in a frolic throw a hamper over him, I 
fuppofe full of hay upon his head, or tempt 
him into a bog or gravel-pit, leaving him 
to hobble out as he could. 

'Tis vulgar thinking which makes vulgar 
Ipeaking, certainly. The French wits of the 
laft age, when elegance was x at its acme in 
Paris, taught us to fay that fuch an affair 
was on the carpet, from their expreflion 



British synonymy. . 173 

fur le tapis. John Bull ufed to find his bu* 
finefs on the anvil. The picque and trefle 
on the cards, wherever originating, but cer- 
tainly from France firft brought over to Eng- 
land, turned into clubs and fpades on their 
arrival here ; nor had the graceful, the po- 
lite Mr* Addifon wholly delivered himfelf 
from national roughnefs, and ftrangc inde- 
lorum, when he told us 

That the ways of Heav'n are dark and intricate, 
Puzzled with mazes, and perplex'd with error. 

In this paflage, indeed, befides the mean- 
nefs of the firft verb, there is a worfe fault — 
the fenfe is falfe, or at beft encumbered ; for 
granting the obfcurity of Heaven's ways, 
and their intricacy too, which no one will 
deny, they are not puzzled fure, nor 
yet perplexed; however we mortah may 
be puzzled to difentangie the chain, or 
perplexed by our own errors in handling 
the links. I am perfuaded that the pious 

and 



i7+ BRITISH SYNONYM?. 

and philofophical author of Cato never 
meant to charge error on Providence — It 
was an overfight in the conftru&ion of that 
beautiful paflage, in a foliloquy which, 
among the nobleft produ&ions of Englifh 
poefy, ranks particularly high, and is juftly 
efteemed one of the nioft vigorous efforts of 
philofophy and fancy combined. 



QUACK, MOUNTEBANK, EMPIRIC, 
CHARLATAN* 



ARE all titles beftowed on the venally ex- 
perimental phyfician who oppofes himfelf to 
the theoretic ftudent ; which is implied in the 
derivation of the word empiric, as I am in- 
formed. Caarlatan is derived imme- 
diately from France, remotely from Italy, 
where ciarlatano means a prating, cackling 
creature, and anfwers to our term %uack\ 

the 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 175 

the duck being a noify, boaftful, impotent 
animal, and like enough to the man who 
mounts a bank if no ftage can be obtained, 
and fets forth his own perfections with loud 

« 

voice, and empty oftentatious manners. 
Calepine fays, the race of thefe pretenders 
in modern days fhewed themfelves firft at 
Cerotana, whence their name ; but ciarla- 
tan feems lefs far-fetched and moft natural. 
In Aurelian's time, the famous quack doc- 
tor Manes, author of the Manichean Herefy, 
which he gathered from the Zoroaftrian doc- 
trines in the Eaft where he was born, was 
fent for to cure the fon of Varanes,. King of 
Perfia ; to whom having given ftrong aflur- 
ances of the prince's recovery, his arrival 
was moft welcome. Medicines compofed by 
him were adminiftered ; and the unhappy 
father had the misfortune tp fee his fon ex- 
pire in a (hort time, of their effe&s, having 
loon produced a mortification in the bowels. 
Varanes however hanged the empiric, 

then 



, 7 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

then flayed him ; when fluffing his {kin with 
chaff^ he recommended folid knowledge for 
the future, inftead of mere practice, and 
founded a college of phyfieians in his ca- 
pital. 



TO QUAKE, TO TREMBLE, TO SHUDDER, 
TO SHAKE o* SHIVER, AS WITH FEAR 

OR COLD. 



THE explanation here is rieceflkry, be* 
Caufe the two laft verbs are of an adtive fig- 
nification, and often ufed as fuch ; to shake 
a ftick at you for example, or shiver the 
glaffes all to pieces ; in fuch fenfe they are 
hot fynonymous with the thiee firft. But 
give me two fhirts this morning, faid King 
Charles, when he went to execution, for I 
perceive the weather is uncommonly cold j 
and if I am feen to shiver from the fenfe 

of 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i;y 

of it, thefe rafcals will try to make mankind 
believe, I s h o o k for fear of them . Our firft 
word upon the lift is always either fublime 
or ludicrous, I think. An earth quake is 
perhaps one of the grandeft among terreftrial 
images: a little Italian greyhound quak- 
ing by an Englifh fire in May for want of 
warmth, or a traveller trembling and 
quaking with fear of fpirits when he fees 
the parfon's old white horfe grazing near 
the church-yard in a du(ky night, are among 
the meaneft. Cowardice is by confent of 
all the world, as it fhould feem, the (landing 
jeft which diverts mankind in every part of 
the globe that they inhabit : and even on oc- 
cafions where bravery would be madneft, 
and impiety alone could ftand unimprefled 
with fome degree of terror, as in the cafe of 
Don John's fervant in the Libertine, when 
the very ftones are moved by his- matter's 
wickednefs, the galleries laugh to fee a fel- 
low shivering with anxious care for his 
vol. ii. N own 



i-8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



\ 

own perfon, while they confider him as in 
. at word a fecondary degree of danger, I fiip- 
pofe. And 'tis related, that when one of 
the young men at Otaheite, placing his hand 
under the ftream of captain Cook's tea-kettle, 
fcalded his fingers in a terrifying manner^ 
his comrades convulfed themfelves with 
laughter and delight at his expreffions of 
fear when he next faw the hot water pour- 
ing ; and although nothing could be better 
grounded than the caufe of fuch agitation, 
they found the joke irrefiftible, and were 
never tired of repeating it. "lis alfo obferv- 
ed by Erafmus, and confirmed by travellers, 
that the great ape of Borneo is afraid of a 
fnail, and that his comical contortions when 
fliuddering at the fight of one, fet the wifer 
Hottentots o' laughing. 



QUERU- 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i 79 



QUERULOUS, UNEASY, TROUBLESOME, 
IRRATIONALLY COMPLAINING. 



ON thefe adverbial adje&ives and their 
ufe, foreigners may have frequent opportu- 
nities to contemplate in our country, which 
is above all others eminent for fretful com- 
plaints, and querulous eloquence* Ever 
quick to fpy, and fad to lament their trou- 
blesome grievances, our people never find 
either their climate, their women, or their 
government good enough for them ; irra- 
tionally complaining of a lot call fo 
as to obtain fuperior felicity, yet delighting 
only in thofe uneasy converfers, who fet 
every thing in the moft unfavourable light — 
thofe authors who aflure us of our infallible 
ruin, 'Twas thus Browne's Eftimate ran 
through fourteen editions — for having ac- 
cufed, Heaven knows how falfely, the Eng- 

N 2 . lifh 



i*8o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

lifh nation of felfiihnefs, cowardice, and efle- ( 
minacy in the year 1 757, giving the palm 
of heroifm, difintereftednefs, and manly vir- 
tue to the French. *Twas thus the fophif- 
try of Prieftley, the calculations of Price, and 
the infolence of Paine, obtained attention, 
only by that certain charm, that ftrange un- 
accountable pleafure our people take in hear- 
ing that they are undone; while fuch is our 
love for evil fpeaking, that foreigners have 
received penfions from this country merely 
for having fpoken amifs of it. Such too is 
our querulous temper, that we are very 

apt IRRATIONALLY to COMPLAIN in the 

wrong place, and confider as misfortunes, 
things which are not really either good or 
bad in themfelves, but totally neutral, if not 
approaching to praifeworthy. Thefe dif- 
pofitions to fretful malevolence and empty 
lamentation remind one of a wench, for 
the violation . of whofe perfon and freewill 
Lord — — — about twenty-live years ago 

was 



. BRITISH SYNONYMY. x8i 

was tried, and not hanged, chiefly becaufe 
the girl's virtue feemed to be as much alarm- 
ed by a magie-lanthorn with which he en- 
deavoured to amufe her in her confinement, 
as it was offended by the lofs of her honour, 
her reputation, and her peace ; " for," faid 
(he, " I faw we itiuft all be going to hell di- 
rectly, when they fhewed me the devil and 
the baker fighting on one of the walls of the 
room I was forced to refide in*" 'Twas thus 
theftrefs (he querulously laid on trifle6, 
loft her a good caufe, and faved the life of 
one who deferved to lofe it. Meantime 
the whole nation behaves juft as perverfely 
every day — nay worfe : and to fuch TROU* 
BLESOMEand irrationally- COMPLAIN- 
ING fpirits we muft reply in the good Fry* 
ar's words who comforts Romeo— 

A pact of bleffings light upon thy back, 
Happinefs courts thee in her bed array ; 
But, like a mifbehav'd an4 fullen wench, 
Thou pout'ft upon thy fortune and thy love : 
Take heed, take heed, for fuch die miferable. 

N 3 QUIBBLE, 



i8z BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



QUIBBLE, PUN, CONUNDRUM, PLAY or WORDS. 



THOSE who delight in this fpecics of 
falfe wit, will allow, that though the reft de- 
pend upon the play of words, they are 
not for that reafon fynonymous each to 
other. The conundrum is loweft of the 
low in this pitiful catalogue, becaufe pre- 
vioufly compofed with apparent ftudy, and 
a-propos to nothing fpoken of before, it burfts 
out with its petty call for admiration, aiking 
a fudden queftion — Why are my old ruffles 
when they are darned, for example, like dead 
men ? When all are at a ftand, the ingenious 
inventor replies to his own enquiry, Why, 
becaufe they are men ded. This is one of 
the beft. A quibble is better, becaufe lefs 
expedted. When Tom D'Urfcy was afked 
to divert the company with fomewhat of 
that kind for which he was fo famous: You 

rauft 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 183 

muft give me a fubje£t then, fays Tom. 
His companions, after hefitating a moment, 
faid, Take the king. — And we all know, 
replies the punfter, that the king is no fub- 
jt£l. Dodtor Johnfon, who aflerts that a 
quibble was to Shakefpeare the fatal Cleo- 
patra for which he loft the world, and was 
content to lofe it, detefted punning, yet 
always celebrated a reply in which the 
play of words was certainly all the 
merit. I never heard it but from him, who 
told toe that a lawyer, when defied by the 
oppofite counfel to produce a precedent in 
anfwer to that which he alleged from 
Burn , fuddenly replied, I can quote inftantr 
ly an opinion to the contrary, and quote 
it from Kill Burn too, 

Italians have no diflike to wit which fa- 
tigues the mind fo little; yet is the Spanifh de- 
vice upon their town Nola, one of the mod 
excellent among thefe frivolous fooleries, 

N 4 becaufe 



i8 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

becaufe 'tis quibble, pub, conundrum— all 
in one. 

Quicn la vc f No la vc $ quicn Nola vc f la vc. 

It woa't tranflate. Such things are like- 
licft indeed to amufe a grave nation, for 
there is no humour in them j and Milton, 
who had perhaps lefs pleafantry about 
him than any man of eminence upon re- 
cord, madb incomparable puns ; witnefs his 
quibbling epitaph upon the univerfity 
carrier, befides fome difgraccful paflages of 
the Paradife Loft. Excellent fpecimens of 
this mock rainbow wit may be found 
among the old ferious ftudents of a college, 
who miftake them for {allies of gaiety, and 
ftrokes of humorous facetioufhefe, I be- 
lieve*— DoGor Lee, the aged mafter of Ba- 
liol, in his very laft hours, hearing people 
round his bed whifpering one another how 

fuch a friend was married the day before, 

laid 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. i8* 

faid in a faint voice : He ufed to eat eggs for 
fupper every night, fo I hope he'll find this ' 
yoak fit as eafy. 

Here was an iaftancc of promptitude in 
reply, and retention of the human faculties, 
till ninety years old, that I fuppofe can fcarce- 
ly be excelled in the hiftory of human na- 
ture. — He died of weaknefs in four hours 
after. 



QUITE, CLEAN, COMPLETELY, PERFECTLY. 

ROUNDLY, 



ARE ufed for each other every day with- 
out being exaftly fynonymous : the fecond 
gets out of falhion very faft though, and 
will foon be quite difcarded, as not per- 
fectly delicate ; and while the fchool-mif- 
trefs or matter of little children tutors them 
to eat their meat up clean, the inftru&ors 
of youth more advanced will exhort diem 

not 



186 BRITISH SYNONYMY- 

not to promife roundly, unlefs in a fitua- 
tion to fulfil their declared intents com- 
pletely, becaufe nothing is a more perni- 
cious habit than that of raifing hopes never 
meant to be gratified, or more deftruftive 
to the happinefs of private life. The pro- 
mifing fquire, in Tom Jones, is one of 
Fielding's beft characters in my mind, who 
have feen fo many legacy, place, and play- 
houfe hunters robbed of their time and 
peace, only by the momentary hade of 
fome old gouty uncle to purchafe obfequi- 
oufnefs in return for expe&ation — fome 
theatrical manager who fighed for a fudden 
exchange of flattery with an author he 
thought on no more ; or fome minifter who 
believed an election vote bought cheaply 
by a promifing fmile or fqueeze of the 
hand, which a country gentleman unfkilled 
in fuch contemptible coquetry, tranflates 
into a happy reverfion of wealth and ho- 
nours — and fo is completely fooled. 

QUITS, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 187 



<^U ITS, EVEN, 



ARE nearly fynonymous, to be fure ; yet 
we oftener fay quits, fpeaking about pecu- 
niary matters— and even upon other 00 
cafrons. — The lex talionis is the original 
ftandard of juftice in every uncultivated 
mind, and retaliation the firft law among 
children, lavages, &c. — If you fliake the 
ladder when I run up to rob the apple- 
loft, Til fliake it for you when you run up, 
and then we are quits or even : — but be- 
fides that I did not fall down, by good luck, 
and poflibly you may y this defire of being 
EVEN with one another, puts a certain Hop 
to all morality and power of mending man- 
ners. Such was the condutt Froiflard re- 
lates of the French, when in the year 1 348, 
or thereabouts, their populace, irritated by 
ill conduct in the nobles, proteftcd they 

would 



i83 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

would not leave one of them alive; and 
rifing upon one gentleman in particular, 
bound and roafted him on a {pit in the 
kitchen of his own caftle, forcing his 
lady and daughters to eat his flefh. — The 
nobles however refolved to be quits 
with them ; and when they got the upper 
hand, fays Froiflard in his Chronicle, the 
punifhments they infli&ed were in propor- 
tion to thofe fufferings they had endured— 
thatyS, ainjt tls font tons %yirT£$ is the cx- 
preifioiL 

Had Louis Seize been no better a 
chriftian, he might perhaps have been 
quits with his enemies; and fhould 
his fucceflbr feel more inclined to be 
even with his enraged countrymen, 
when he gets into power, "than difpofed 
to mitigate their fiercenefs and conciliate 
their efleem, I think he will fay with 
Young's Bufiris — 



Like 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 189 

Like Death a folitary king 1*11 reign, 

O'er dent fubje£h and a defert plain : 

Ere brook their pride I'll fpread a general doom. 

And every ftep (hall be froqi tomb to tomb. 



RACE, BREED, FAMILY, LINE; ANCESTRY, 

DESCENT. 



A SYNONYMY not quite fafe from ex- 
panfion in the hands. of a native of Wales, 
where the Englifh always confider it as 
rated beyond its worth : — yet do they ftu- 
dy diligently the prefervation of a horfe's 
breed, as if they thought fome excellen- 
cies tranfmiffible from family confidera- 
tions, and that a long line of ancestry 
is defirable in brute animals, which certain^ 
ly rife in value proportionate to their 

RACE. 



When from the mingling duft (hall rife 
A race of dogs as good and wife— 



fays 



190 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fays the learned G. Harris in his epitaph 
on his old friend's dog Pompey. Why then 
fhould it be efteemed philofophical or inge- 
nious to find reafons for defpifing Descent 
in Man ? feeing that 'tis one of the earMeft, 
the bed chofen, the leaft difputable of all 
diftin&ions. Descent does not like rank 
depend on kingly breath : descent derives 
its dignity from higher fources ; descent's 
an attribute, no fatellite of fovereignty ; de- 
scent demands refpe£t from human crea- 
tures, as having been honoured with attcn- 
tion even from God. — And that fo furely, 
each page of Holy Writ fhews how the 
mod atrocious crimes alone were capable of 
fuperfeding that primogeniture held in old 
days fo facred and fo folemn, that Efau's 
punifhment for contemning it was terrible, 
when, like a true democrate of the prefeot 
day, he philofophically preferred the folid 
comforts of a mefs of pottage to all the airy 
advantages — fuch he thought them doubt- 

lefs-^ 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 191 

fefs — of a parent's prophetic bleffing. Nor 
has it ever been obferved that thofe who 
defpifed descent, prided themfelves in 
any thing much better ; or forbore endea- 
vouring to, found a family, although they 
were themfelves of mean original. Leo the 
Fourth, who was hafty to abolifh the order 
.of patricians at Rome, was yet willing to 
call the city he built, or rather fortified 
againft the Saracens' incurfions— 'Lcopolis ; 
defiring apparently to continue his affumcd 
name's remembrance : and how has the 
Houfe of Auftria had rfcafon to repent their 
fpirit of crufhing the old families under 
their dominion in various parts of Italy ! 
One ftar exceeds another ftar in glory, fays 
Saint Paul : why then thefe painful efforts 
to render the human race all alike ? Car- 
nelions are good to receive impreflion, dia- 
monds to make it. Let each fill up the place 
affigned to him by Providence ; and let us 
not, like the filthy dreamers prophefied of 
3 by 



i 9 * BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

by Saint Peter, become dejpifcrs ofdignitict. 
Time is the only river where heavy bodies 
fwim, and light ones fink ; nor can it be de- 
nied that an old family which has long 
preferved its name and character, muft 
have poffefled a very folid one, or in the 
courfe of fo many centuries it would have 
been fhaken away. New-made nobility 
fliines from its luftrc frefh out of the mint : 
old anceftry (hews its venerable ruft ; and 
by true connoifleurs a Queen Anne's far- 
thing: is preferred to a George the Third'* 



guinea. 



RARE, CURIOUS, UNFREQUENT, SCARCE, 

SELDOM FOUND, 



ARE all epithets fynonymous if fpeaking 

of the fifli preferved in flate, which were 

ibme years ago difcovercd by Vincenzo 

5 Bozza 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 193 

Bozza in a mountain near Verona; and 
ferving as a proof of the deluge, becaufe 
fome inhabitants of the fouthern feas be- 
ing obferved among them, fhews there 
mud have been a wonderful concufllon 
of the terraqueous globe before thofe wa- 
ters could have forced their contents into 
the hollow bofom of a rock now feventy- 
two miles diftant from any fea. To this 
accident the writer once alluded in her pre- 
face, when fhe publifhed DoSor Johnfon's 
letters and fome of her own ; — and al- 
though the Critical Review of April 1788 
faid fhe intended to elevate and furprife^ 
there certainly was meant at moft a modeft 
confeflion, that the trifling anecdotes thofe 
letters contained were valuable but as they 
were connected with his name. We have 
read of one author preferved in the amber 
of another, before now ; and have faid with 
Mr. Pope : 

vol* ii- Such 



194 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Such things we know are neither rich nor RA&t, 
But wonder how the devil they got there ! 

And I fee not why this paffage fhould have 
been unintelligible. A cart-wheel is cer* 
tainly no scarce or curious thing in it- 
felf, yet has been seldom found ftuck 
in a rock under ground, as it is at livolij 
where thofe who fee it are led to wonder 
how long it could have been there, how 
many ages would take to turn it into flone^ 
&c. and fo go oi\ fpeculating upon the; 
antiquity of the Earth. 'Twas thus I ob-. 
ferved that trifles obtained attention by the 
place they flood in j and fure the criticifms 
ppon thofe letters to Dodor Johnfon have 
proved the allufion juft : they were worth 
criticifing only becaufe they were written ia 
anfwer to bis. 



RASH, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 195 



RASH, HASTY, VIOLENT, PRECIPITATE. 



ALL dangerous qualities of the mind, 
prefled by adje&ives net far from fyno- 
aymous ; yet although it would be a hasty 
idecHion to fay they were wholly fo, we 
fliould juftly provoke laughter by calling 
fuch a flight error precipitate, as the 
very word itfelf implies danger of a more fe- 
nous kind than is tempted by giving offence 
to the critics. Truth is, mankind have a 
natural tendency to forgive thefe faults in a 
charadter, chiefly becaufe of their aflbcia- 
tion with youth and hardihood : — yet have 
I not feldom feen rash pretenders to mu- 
fical, or, what is much worfe, medical (kill, 
who fucceed beyond defert, though long 
paft that lovely feafon of life which gives 
to every thing a tindt of its own greennefs, 
a portion of its own increafing vigour. The 

O 2 young 



196 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

young fellow who has once found fuccefs 
when he acknowledges himfelf to have been 
rash, is likely enough to encourage him- 
felf in hasty pra&ices, till he becomes 
violent in his nature, perhaps precipi- 
tate in his end. Phyficians have told me, 
that the quack bleeders, or tooth-drawers, 
who rarely mifs their aim, would, if once 
well inftru&ed in the art of furgery, trem- 
ble to recollect the rifques they had former- 
ly run of endangering, by their preci- 
pitate conduct, lives of immenfe value 
to fociety ; and Prati the mufical compofer 
faid once in my hearing at Leghorn, that 
no prcfeflional powers then alive were equal 
to a fong the famous was to exe- 
cute that night : yet, added he, 'twill be no 
difficulty to her, who has not knowledge 
enough for finding out the dlanger fhe is in 
of failing at the attempt ;— fo fhe will not fail, 
I fuppofe. Prati predicted right ; the finger 
was infinitely applauded, and immenfely 

paid 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 197 

paid. But thefe are the accidents which 
lower in common eyes die value of learn- 
ing, and give all praife to that genius 
which fo readily difcovers its own fufficien- 
cy> and the little neceflity of ftudying hard 
to obtain fame or fortune ; while rash en- 
terprife can violently feize the fruit by 
fuddenly climbing the tree of fcience with- 
out fear of breaking its boughs, and with- 
out thought of falling, by fuch hasty mea- 
fures, in a precipitate manner to the 
ground. 



TO HAVE RVTHER, TO PREFER, 
TO LIKE BETTER. 



JOHNSON fays the firft of thefe is not 
Englifh, and I truft he's right ; yet Shake- 
fpeare's plays and common ufage fhield it 
from criticifm, and foreigners are fafe when 

O 3 they 



198 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

they fay, that although Dante was a greatef 
poetical genius than TafTo, and ought to be 
preferred to him, yet ftiH they had 
rather read the Gierufalemme, or even 
Metaftafio's Dramas, than his great work ; 
and when they ftudy Englifh, they liki 
better to read Young's Night Thoughts 
than Milton's Paradife Loft. 



tsz 



TO RATIFY, TO CONFIRM, TO SETTLE, 



ARE not exactly fynonymous, white 
We fay that reports are confirmed, treaties 
ratified, and affairs settled. In cafe* 
of importance infinitely higher, our church 
willingly confirms him who has SET-' 
tled in himfelf a fixt intention folemnly 
to ratify, at years of difcretion, the cove-' 
nant taken with Heaven by his fponfbr&i 
in that vow which they made in his name 

wfce» 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 199 

When firft admitted among Chriftians by 
tiie ceremony of baptifm. 



READY, PROMPT. 

THE ufe of thefe words is fixed for 
flight I fee folely by cuftom : yet fo far are 
they from fynonymy, that the firft feeiris 
always to imply excellence, while the other 
ufually contains fomcwhat of reproach. 
You were too prompt in your replies, fays 

1 

Dryden ; and Prior tells us 

How rofe fome rebel flave, 
Prompter to fink the (late, than he to fare. 

■ 

But without going up to written authorities* 
We praife the girl that is ready with her lef- 
ifon, and deteft a prompt mifs who keeps 
an tofwer or excufe at her fingers ends — as 
We fay — to fling in the face of her governefs# 

O 4 Lord 



aoo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Lord Bacon fays finely, that much reading 
makes a full man, conference a ready 
man, and writing an exadt man. The other 
word in this place would miflead one to 
think he meant a fdf-fufficient man, which 
was furtheft from his intent. I lay the 
greater ftrefs upon this article, becaufe deri- 
vation would in this uncommon cafe draw 

4 

French and Italian ftudents to the coarfer 
word ; and I believe the true reafon why 
their broken Englifh founds lefs unpleafing 
to a Britifh ear, than the firft efforts of a 
German, may be refolved fimply into this 
caufe. 

We have almoft always two words, one 
of Roman, and one of Saxon etymology, 
fignifying nearly though not exa&ly the 
fame thing. Our neighbours naturally 
choofe that which is raoft congenial to their 
own tongue, and the claflical one is nine 
times in ten the moft delicate ; for this rea- 
fon the miftakes are totally different. A 
8 Tufcan 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 201 

Tufcan tells you he will go through Hamp- 
ftead becaufe of its propinquity to Hendon, 
though not exa&ly in the road — this word 
lying clofer to him than nearnefs ; — while a 
German will fayfmeared inftead of anointed 
perhaps, and that even upon a folemn bc- 
cafion. Thefe are equally wrong : — the 
fee on d is, however, leaft inoffenfive. In the 
two words before us — as every rule has its 
exceptions — the Latin word is the worft. 



REASON, UNDERSTANDING, JUDGMENT, 

SAGACITY. 



OF thefe the metaphyfical diftin&ions and 
differences are endlefs, and, to fay truth, dis- 
cover more the sagacity of mortals to 
form and trace them, than any extraordi- 
nary clearnefs of reason, or even ftrength 
of understanding. One thing feems 

certain. 



f • 



i6z BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

certaiii, and 'tis this : A powerful fpeakd* 
or wife writer having sagacity to difcerh 
hbw neceflary it is to make coarfe minds 
comprehend and approve his tenets, will 
fhow great judgment in forbearing all 
allufion to fciences they cannot compre^ 
hend^ becaufe fuch lights only dazzle, and 
do not illuftrate ; and I really think the ex- 
uberance of imagination and dignity of feh- 
timent, which adorn the political pamphlets 
bf Burke and Johnfon, will, whenever they 
do die — if die they tan — prove the tinde- 
ferved caufe of their mortality. — That oyfter 
lives not long which breeds many pearls ; 
and the famous race-horfes Eclipfe and 
Childers became from too great fuperiority 
tifelefs to their owners^ when no competi- 
tor could be found to take the field againft 
them. Who now reads Boyle's Medita- 
tions, pregnant as they are with thought* 
and fraught with fancy? Swift's Medi- 
tation on a Brbomftick laughed them out 

of 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 20$ 

tjf doors ; and although in fo doing it did 
the world np fervice, it fhewed his notion 
of proper words in proper places very com- 
pletely. So did his unadorned Condu& of 
the Allies, which, for that very reafon pot 
iibly* ran through eleven thoufand copies 
in three months, when readers were lefc 
Numerous than now. With regard to fo- 
reigners, they will foon fee that sagacity 

diicerns what 'tis the province of R^ASotf 
to approve, and of judgment to diftin-* 
guifli ; while thofe who a& according to 
all of thefe, are men of found under- 
standing. The tale told by Baretti* 
from Gafparo Gozzi, in a book little read, 
elucidates all our fynonymy very well, and 

toay lighten the weight of a dull article or 
chapter. 

I was walking then, fays the gay Vene-' 
tian, upon our Rialto yefter evening, and 
flopped to obferve a blind old man, led 
by a beautiful woman in the prime of life.- 

She 



204 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 

She wifhed to (hew him the way, I found, 
down that fide of ;he bridge where its fteps 
are frequent and low ; but he would needs 
force her to keep that other part of the walk 
where there are few fteps at all, and thofe 
few very high and inconvenient. Her sa- 
gacity was obvious ; for where the grada- 
tions of defcent were regular, even a perfon 
who could fee was in lefs danger of ftum- 
bling; whereas, no warning given ~T)y the 
guide herfelf, whofe judgment was indu- 
bitable, could poffibly avail in a place where 
the fteps were all unequal, and large inter- 
vals every now and then. It was neverthe- 
lefs out of her power to perfuade her ftub- 
born felf-willed companion. So while fhe 

was endeavouring, though weakly, to draw 
him one way, he with ftrength adequate to 
his perverfenefs' forcibly and quickly pulled 
her the other, till down they both came head- 
long ; and rifing up, each mutually accufed 
die partner, as having caufed a difafter 

which 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 205 

which no fpeftator of common- under- 
standing could help feeing mud necef- 
farily happen to both ; for fuch was the wo- 
man's fidelity, fhe would not, though vexed 
and mortified, leave him, as he often wiflied 
her, wholly £0 himfelf. So I went along, 
continues the author, thinking what a foolifh 
fellow that was, and how happy he ought 
to have made himfelf under the guidance of 
fo kind and lovely a perfon j till on a 
fudden it came acrofs my head to reflect, 
Why fhould I trouble myfelf about other 
people's affairs ? Have not I, and has not 
every human being, a blind old blockhead, 
and a charming clear-fighted condu&refs in 
our own breafts?— one who is inceilantly 
warning her perverfe companion of thofe 
dangers he is ever defirous of plunging 
into ? Yet how feldom will he obey thefe 
ufeful admonitions of reason! How often, 
as in very fpite to her, will he choofe the 
path he ought above all others to fhun, and 

break 



%o6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

break both their nofes with the fall his ftu? 
pid obftinacy occafioned ! 

So far the ingenious Gozzi, whole power 
of attracting general notice to his book, con- 
lifts chiefly in drawing unexpected infer- 
ences from vulgar and common occurrence*. 
*Twas by this art our Whitfield obtained 
followers — and 'tfs natural ; for whi;ft an 
arrow's ppint conveys the final effect of odr 
fhooting, a feather guides it to that mark 
propofed ; and if flight things may thus be 
found ufeful in furthering thofe of more 
importance, who knows but this little work, 
£imfy as it is, may boaft fome utility ? an 
ample compenfation, furely, for all the cen* 
fure and all the fatire it may provoke. 



RELIGION, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ^ 



RELIGION, WORSHIP, 



ARE fo far fynonymous, that both im- 
ply that immediate duty to God which he 
himfelf enjoined in the four firft command- 
jnents of the Decalogue j while the fix others, 

laft in place, though more in number, relate 
to moral obligations, and refer to the articles 
Virtue and Morality, What God has fo 
united, therefore, let not man put afunder j 
for it is virtue to maintain religion facred 
in a great community, and 'tis a moral oblir* 
gation each to other, that good example be 
fet of attending public worship. Myftic 
piety is not unfrequent in England, which 
has of late been too much divided between 
infidelity and fanaticifm ; 'tis orthodox writ- 
ing, true Chriftian preaching, and devoutlj 
attentive hearing, that is wanted in our 
jUand, where the church has no power but 

7 of 



tot BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

of well doing, and ought to fee for that rca- 
fon obedient fubmiflion follow each ecclefi- 
aftical precept — where the court and miniftrjr 
afford examples of goodnefs unthought of 
in other nations — where the bifhops and 
clergy really do pofTefs a degree of learning 
which our neighbours have no chance to 
come in fight of — where decency marks 
the clerical chara&er even in the loweft 
ranks, and every houfe — I hope I may add 
every cottage of ten pounds annual value 
through Great Britain, contains a Bible, a 
Teftament, and a Grammar, with one per- 
fon at leaft capable of reading them to the 
reft. 

Great and ineftimable privilege ! denied by 
the Romifh church, that now runs to ruin 
in confequence of fuch worldly caution ; and 
will perhaps learn from her prefent diftrefs, 
how the knowledge of true religion is 
neceflary to its veneration, and how that 
ignorance fhe long encouraged will at length 

loofe 



BRITISH SYNQNYMY* ao» 

loofc its blind rage againft that rery wor* 
• hip St was intended to fliield — whilft 

Our church, fecure on Truth's firm rock, 
Still mocks each facrilegious hand * 

Proof even againft electric (hock, 
Our Heaven-defended fteeples ftand. 

Popular Ballad* 



REPLY, REJOINDER, ANSWER and RESPONSE. 



OF thefe fynonymes the firft feems the 
political term. Caius fpoke well in the 
houfe this morning ; but Marcus, who rifet 
like a giant on the REPLY, obtained moft 
attention and applaufe. Rejoinder is ak 
moft wholly a law term, and response 
feems dedicated to the fchools. Conver- 
fation finds answer diffident, and delights 
in recording thofe happy ones which con- 
tain a pungent fait in them. There are, 
> yol. ii. P however, 



no BRITISH SlfttdNYMY. 

however, fome (hades of difference. When 
Queen Elizabeth afked her negle&ed ' cour- 
tier on what he was employing his thoughts, 
one day, and received this unexpe&ed re- 
turn to her enquiry* — u Madam, I was 
thinking on a woman's promife j" we call 
k a fhArp and biting answer. — But when 
the Conqueror's favourite advifed his mafter 
to make an early peace, faying, / would a£- 
cgpt thefe terms if I were Alexander ; and the 
king gave him the well-known retort of— 
So would I accept them too, were I Parme- 
nio: it feems rather a fcoffing reply, pro- 
voked by the pertrtefs of a fellow who pre- 
; fuAc!d dn the prince's tame endurance*— 
'Tis obfervable enough too, that this bitter 
taunt was a Greek one ; for their answers 
and epigrams are generally, fb far as I cm 
find,' more elegantly Ample? than piercingly 
keen, and have little of that efFe& which 
"penetrates one's head, when darted by Maf- 
tiaiV pen, like a ray of light, and drives at 

ones 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. an 

fciie's heart like a dagger, when urged by 
the hands of Boileau, Young, or Swift. 

When Mademoifelle de Gouniay, one of 
the beft Greek and Latin fcholars in France, 
rthen learning there flood on its pinnacle, 
had been teafing Racan the poet with ex- 
plaining to him; who knew no more on't 
than myfelf, fome epigrams in the Antho- 
logia fori which he had no tafte ; tormenting 
hinr with extolling their fuperior merit, .and 
preferring their fimplicity to all modern ex- 
ceUerice^ he fjrew tired; and telling her 
'twas; time to go to dintfer,. fhe ordered it 
up'; and helping her friend to fom^foup, 
which was, it feems, particularly ihfipid and 
rflat: Madtmolfclky faid he, e'eji icy une 
foupe digne dc voids, tine foufc vfpyment a U 
Grecque. 

Thi$ifra$ a witty remark, to which the 
lady made no re*ly. 



P 2 RESENT- 



ji« BRITISH SYNONYMY; 



RESENTMENT, DISPLEASURE, IN13IGNATKM* 



PAINFUL affedions of a feeling heart, 
and too nearly fynonytaous; though the 
firft word is moft expreffive bf that deep 
fenfe of injury fo likely to pervade a gene* 
rous mind— even in fpite of true Chriftiart 
humility, which 5 ris our duty fteadily to 
maintain: for though ingratitude, or un- 
merited idfult, juftly incurs oor very feriota 
Displeasure, they ought not to excite 
lafting JUSENTMINT towards the guilty 
individual, but only fuch honeft i if dion A* 
*ion againft the vice, as may guard ui 
from all iedu&tori to (imilar offences. 

A wife man, however, will make hade 
to forgive, bccaufe resentment is a pain- 
ful fenfation, and he defires to feel himfclf 
at eafe; a great man pardons readily, be* 
caufe he finds few things worthy of his fe- 

riout 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ai* 

f 

nous and deep resentment; and a pious 
MAN will qever refent at all, refle&ing how 
much he has himfelf to be forgiven. 



+ •' .!■■■■■ ■ ■ ■■ — 



^ 



REVENGEFUL and VINDICTIVE. 



*. 



THE firft of thefe words exprefles the 
diabolical quality oftener as an adje&tve, I 
think 5 the fecond is commonly ufed adver- 
bially, which difference alone hinders theit 
exa& fynonymy. Catiline is ft fad RI- 
vengeful fellow, fays one, and of a ten** 
per fo cruelly vindictive, he lets no of- 
fence pafs by him unrequited —thinking 
perhaps to put himfelf in the place of Hea* 
veil, and difpenfe punifhments at his own 
pleafure ; not refle&ing that he who made 
man can alone diftinguifh guilt from error 
in many cafes j that to him is juftly referved •" 
tf*C privilege of chaftifmgj and that from 

P3 his 



«i 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

his happinefs and his perfe&ion no creature 
can be more diftantly removed, than he 
who is difpofed to be vindictive towards 
a companion in frailty, and of a revenge^ 
ful temper while ranging through the 
walks of common life 

Tis charged on foreigners that they fcek 
REVENGE ; and thofe philofophers who are 
willing to. confider Virtue and Vice as am- 
bulatory, lay the fault upon a warm climate. 
In Italy, however, 'tis merely the mildnefs 
of then; criminal law, fo flow to puniih, 
fo eafy to elude, that leaves every man to 
be judge and executioner in his own caufe ; 
and how an Englishman would endure to 

« 

hear of his only fon's murder, by the hand 
of a worthlefs rival, will I hope and tru$ 
never be known in Great Britain, where, 
eonfcious that his country will make a 
dreadful example of his ityurer, be has 
only to lament a lofs fo heavy and grievous. 
Were the murderer fuffered filently to-efcape* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, ti£ 

or be openly prote&ed at the door of a 
church, or iq the palace of a rich nobleman, 
we fhould fee if John Bull were lefs vin- 
dictive than Pietro the Italian ; I fear he 
would, like' the lad named, watch the rogue 
out of his lurking-hole, and flab him when 
he could. 

It does indeed appear that one fet of peo- 
ple are little better or worfe than another 
fet-rby nature as we call it. "lis the in- 
fluence or neglect of religion and the laws 
that operates upon our condud ; and, with 
regard tQ individuals, few I'm afraid are 
guided by principle, and a fteady care to 
pleafe God in all their actions; without 
whi?h vivjfying caufe, our morality is mere 
habit, and our virtue fuch as a change of 
Ujofe habits would entirely dp away. 



P4 " REVERSE, 



1 1 6T- BRITISH SYNON\ MY. 



REVERSE, CONTRARY, EXERGUE, 



ARE not fynonymous certainly ; neither 
would the laft word hare found a place hoe 
A cSti dcs autre* % if I had not fancied that 
fomc people one has feen, who wifh not to 
be thought ignorant, imagined exergue to 
be the reverse, or contrary, or, as we 
iky, the wrong fide of a medal or coin. It 
is not fo, however : fcholars could tell them 
that it means little more than the Latin 
fecit in Greek ; and that being commonly 
written on reveries, though fometijnes it is 
found on front fides too, it has been mis- 
taken as meaning, reverse. The fymbol 
of Rome often obferved on oid gems, &c. 
is an exergus : fo is the carnation in Ben- 
vtnuto GarofanPs pi&ures ; for though there 
may be a written exergue, 'tis oftener ^ 
fort of hieroglyphic. Evelyn writes the worcj 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 317. 

txurge, but I believe 'twas Marmontel'a 
Tale that brought it into Englifh converla- 
tkm language ; it ufed to be a mere book* 
word The other two are nearer to each 
other. We fay familiarly, that ficknefs is 
the reverse of health, for example, and 

youth the reverse of age : but 'tis more 

» 

elegant to call vice virtue's contrary, I 
fuppofe becaufe of their ftanding in oppofi- 
turn. And a mean woman once in my fight 
let a whole company into laughter, when, 
her patron aiking of what profeffion her hu£> 
band was, that he might ferve her— adding, 
But he is an apothecary— is he not ? flxe re- 
plied, " Oh no, Sir, quite the reverse." 
Foreigners will fcarce perceive how comi- 
cally abfurd the reply was, till they are told 
that fhe ought to have faid, On the con- 
trary, my hufband keeps a public- houfe — 
for fo he did — a bufinefs diftindt enough 
from, and oppofite enough to that her friend 
imagined. But what coulfl be the referse 

of 



aiS BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

# 

ef an apothecary, fet them aU oVondeiing 
till ihe informed themi If the cohnoifTeurs 
objeft ta what 1 have laid concerning the 
exergue, they muft remember 1 fpe^k to 
learners, not the learned, and I thinfc ray 
account a good one. Exeigub is a device, 
a vifibfe metaphor ; and I really know not 
what to call the LN.R.L upon the crofs, of 
the S.P.Q^R. upon the Roman banners, if 
they be not written exergues. Mottoe* 
arc they not ; for to be a motto, fome word 
is neceflary, and one word is beft ; when 
there are more, his better to fay Icgcnda^ in 
pure itrictneft. The Bourbon motto was 
IFJperancc — Shakefpeare alludes to it in the 
hiftorical plays.— The Hamikons is Tbrougb % 
alluding to their coat armour; the Dou- 
glas's Forward^ if I remember. Sentences 
jhew lefs refearch : — as under the Bertie 
arms, three battering rams^ we read, Virtus 
Arictefcrtior ; under the Salifbury lon> in 
{he fame taftc, Sat tjl profrnjfc Leoni, and 
4 th$ 



BRITISH SYNONYM*. 119 

fhe like : but R.I.P. which diftinguifhes the 
tpmbs of Romanifts in our churches, is an 
jtXERCUE, meaning Requiefcat tnpace^ whid} 
I know not why is fo peculiarly appropri- 
ated to one fe£t of Chriitians mofe than 
another. We all alike defire to reft in peace, 
and in our confecrated ground fo may they 
ever reft ! who yet unfeelingly exclude us 
from tktirs upon jhe continent. — But furtly 
the ftorm which gathers over all our heads, 
and has already begun to fall on theirs, will 
unite all feds, all ranks, all denominations 
of Chriftians to defend that religion efta- 
blifhed in the facred blood of our common 
Mafter, and to protect his worfhip with all 
to due rites and folemn appendages* 



ItlDDLEff, 



**• BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



RIDDLES, REBUSES, JENIGMA8, CHARADES, 



HAVE doubtlefs a very dole affinity 
without being fynonymous terms. The 
firft, of Saxon origin, feems to imply, from 
ancient ufage of the word in England, 
fomcwhat like a trial of {kill — as the Die pa* 
bus in ttrris among the Romans* Riddle 
me this, and riddle me that, is a common 
verb in our old poems, for Explain me this, 

■ 

and expound me that* So late as Milton 
we read- 
Be lefs abftrufe, my riddling days are o'er— 

from the mouth of Sampfon Agoniftes. A 
riddle however, now, in mere converfa* 
tion language, means little elfe than an 
iENiGMA, and little more than what Pert 
Boubours, in Les Metnoires dc Trevoux, de* 
{bribes as a fubtle and ingenious difcourfc 
including fome concealed meaning. 



*■ 
* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* # fix 

When ifonpe is fpun* 
England's done, 

was an enigmatical prophecy, Lord Bacon 
4ajrs f which the riddlers of his time con- 
ftrued thus: That after i/enry, jEdward, 
Mzxjy Philip, and -Elizabeth had reigned— 
England fliould be no more— or England 
fhould ceq/e 9 was the word : — and fo it did, 
fays he, in a manner, for after that our 
king's ftyle was Great Britain — the ini- 
tials of their names having completed the 
word as then fpelt Hempc* 

JEnigma is I learn of Greek derivation, 
and the oldeft books give us the beft exam-* 
pies — Sampfon's in the book of Judges — 
and mythological ones innumerable at a 
time when aimed: all literature was drawn 
from iEgypt, the true land of myftery and 
hierolyphic. *Tis now a mere fpott and 
play of words, and ranks among thofe fpe- 
cies of falfe wit which are commendably 

exploded 



22* BRITISH SYNONYMTr 

exploded. Yet Dumay fhe agreeable comi- 
fellor at Paris, after he was blind, fent Me* 
nage thefe two lines* having previoufly 
been told that his friend was laid up wtk 
the gout : 

«. • • 4 

4* 

Qui mala noftra tulit pneftanti dote valcbat- 
Ede viri nomcn, dos tibi talis criu 

T6 which Menage inftantly replied &y 
the fervaftt who waited* 

CEdipodem tecum facio. Tumet xger uterque 
Pes mini. Caligat lumen utrumque tibi. 

The anfwer is pretticfti 

In OEdipiis alone I read 

. • ■ , ,. 

Our mifcriss united ; 

* * • * 

My lamcncft was to him decreed, 
His eyes like yours benighted* 

J could do nothing with the ftfDDLE it- 
felf — Mr. Gray did me the honour to turn 
it thus : 



He 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. aij 

He wid om Sis united bare t 

The art of diviruiion knew ; 
If yoa die prophet's naaie declare, 

ni hail you prophet too. 

And while the ^sorld owes him iolid obfi* 
gatioas, let him neither be angry nor 
alhamed that it fees he can trifle to oblige 
or divert a friend. 

The rebus meantime, fuch as Menage 
or Camden describes, is a ftill meaner con- 
trivance, as things now Hand, than the lail 
mentioned ; yet an acquaintance with them 
may aflifl men in decyphcring old families* 
which fhewed their names by devices : as 
Sir Anthony Wingficltl, who with the croJs 
and red rofe, which latter denotes a Lancai- 
trian Partizan, gave a wide extended wirtg, 
with thefe four letters round, RE.L.D.* 
while Fuller of Rofe-Hill chofc for his re* 
bus, device, or exergue, 

A Roje, a Hill, an £ye f a Loaf and a Well* 

Rqfc Hill I love well, being implied. Thefe 

tricks 



224 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tricks were taught us in the eatly ages by 
the French, among whom they are (till 
called Rebus de Picardie. But they have been 
always in the world, I believe; nor did 
Lucius Floras, nor Julius Caefar himfel£ 
fcorn a contrivance of the fame nature, 
when the hiftorian gave a flower fignifying 
bis appellation, as Benvenuto Garofani, the 
painter in the fame country, did a good 
thousand years after : — and 'tis faid by the 
connoifieurs how Julius Csefar put an ele- 
phant upon his coin, becaufe Csefar means 
elephant in the Mauritanian tongue. Nay, 
I doubt not but the Czar^ which means 
Cafar % gives a true rebus at this very 
day in the order of the Elephant, upon 
that very principle. The difcriminating 
difference feems to be this : the riddle 
may be profe, and the fubje& is totally at 
his choice who makes it. The jenigma 
fhould be verfe, and a fhort diftich is mod 
claflical; while the rebus muft include a 

name. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 525 

name ) which to the exergue is not ne- 
ceflary. 

Charade is a new device of the fame 
kind I never heard its origin, but know that 
when the Spectator had driven out this la$ 
abfurdity, and Garrick helped its exit by 
his' revival of Abel Drugger ; ingenious 
dulnefs invented a new one, and covered 
our fans, fcreens, &c* with charades 
newly brought from France. The fubtlety 
here confifts in making two different qua* 
lities agree in a third ; one is fufficient for 
a fpecimen : 

My firft runs at you, 
My fecond runs into you, 
My third runs through you, 

is as -good as any of them ; "lis buck-thorn 
aafwers the defcription. 



VOL. II. Q^ RIDICULE, 



»6 BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



JUDICULE, RAILLERY, DERISION, BANTER, 



ARE much too nearly allied— yet natu- 
. rally at a good diftance from ftridt fyno* 
nymy; the fecond and the fourth being 
agreeable fources of amufement and inno- 
cent mirth, while the other two are odious 
and terrifying. Yet nothing is furer than 
that a man, or fcience, or a quality of die 
mind, or a flight affe&ation in the perfbn 
of a friend, which has been only once the* 
fubje& of banter or raillery in a fet 
of gay companions, becomes quickly a 
theme of derision to fools, who learn 
laughing more eafily than difcernment in 
the choice of obje&s where ridicule U 
juftly permitted. Addifon, though pot 
fefled of humorous powers beyond every 
other writer in our language— Shakefpeare 
alone excepted — detefts all drollery on feri- 

ous 



British synonymy. 227 

•Us fiibjet3», and fays in his Freeholder, that 
a quotation out of HudibraS fhall make 
fome blockheads treat with levity an obli- 
gatlort wherein their welfare is concerned 
in this world and the next. Such rail- 
lery, adds he, is enough to make the 
hearers tremble. And I do think the fpirit 
of derision (become either fo natural or 
fo infe&ious among Britons, that the very 
babies of our ifland are tainted with it) 
never did find a way to gain applaufe as 
now in fafhionable circles, till my Lord 
Shaftefbury had fliown us how happily and 
airily we might laugh at Heaven and its 
judgments : for although the noble author's 
own {hafts of ridicule were feverely and 

1 

with much humour retorted upon him again 
by Mandeville, in the firft dialogue of his 
fecond volume, where the laugh and parody 
are admirable ; and although numberlefs 
good anfwers have been made to the Cha- 
ra&eriflics, one in particular, very little 

Q^2 read, 



tit BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

read, in a novel called The Cry ; my heart 
prompts me to fancy, and experience con* 
firms the notion, that flnce that book ap- 
peared, which taught mankind how ridi- 
cule alone was to be confidered as a teft 
pf truth, every chara&er, however venera- 
ble by virtue of condu& or dignity of fili- 
ation — every tranfa&ion, however trifling in 
itfelf, has. .been torn out and hung before 
the public eye to excite derision of au- 
thority, and promote banter where 'tis 
difficult to imitate merit 

South fays, that it was out of Titus's 
power not to be derided, but in his power 
not to be ridiculous ; and this is the bell 
comfort for thofe whofe delicacy has fuf- 
fered by modern wit Yet a man may lofe 
his eye from the ftroke of a boy's pop-gun, 
if not aware of its fudden approach ; and 
'tis obfervable enough too, that as the pre- 
fent are beyond all preceding times fruit- 
ful in farcaftic merriment, fo I recollect no 

age 



X 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 22J 

age Ids fertile of elegant humour and harm- 
lefs gaiety than the prefent. Broad mirth and 
coarfe reprefentation of mean manners, and 
the rough fcenes of life, beft fix the atten- 
tion of high people fo the ftage, where they 
contemplate the tricks of Mifs Hoyden and 
Mifs Tomboy with the fame difgraceful ea- 
gernefs that detains a lower fet with liquor- 
ifli hope of feeing fomewhat at a print* 
fliop window capable to inflame appetite in 
unintelledual and empty youth, or to re- 
ftbre it in debauched though half inert old 
age. Such is the retrograde progrefs of 
falfe refinement, and ill diredted opulence : 
— juft theme of indignant fatire to thofe 
who write^ of pointed raillery (q fuclj 
as have talents for converfation. 



Q, 3 * ULB : 



ijc E&JTISH SYNONYMY. 



ARE not proc&ly fja o py po^ tboogfc 
fimilar. Sway has bjr fir the gndct 
meaning of the three : its derivation firm 
a German wordjebmekm, expreffiTe of mo- 
dulatory motion, implies a degree of Jbft- 
nefc fittle confonant id the other two ; and 
we fey without impropriety eiril or gram- 
matical, that in thofe countries where abfi>- 
hite rule fits defpotk: on the lips, almoft 
upon the eye of the fovereign, a favourite 
may (till bear confiderable sway, and guide 
to his own fancy the fceptre of govern- 
ment. If *re turn our looks towards the 
verbs formed from thefe nouns, we may like- 
wife obferve minds of peculiar make, which, 
though they refift being ruled, will eafily 
permit their opinions to be led, and their 
judgment swayed; and Yis well known 

that 



• BRITISH SYNONYMY. *$i 

that men of this defcription muft be go- 
verned by influence : for, as a great ftatef*- 
man of old fays, " If you will work on 

r 

any tnan, you muft either know his nature 

r 

and faftiions, and fo lead him; or his 
ends, andrfo perfuade him ; or his weaknefs, 
and fd awe him ; or his interefts, and fo go- 
vern him/' *Tis therefore that I flow 
ceafe to wonder what thofe people would 
have, tvho complain not only of the authority 
Jbut the influence of government. There 

_ * ^ 

are but three ways fo choofe out of: we 
fntrft be each wholly independent of other, 
and, acknowledging no head or heads, no 
fubordination, no fociefy, live like foirie 
folitary Indians, in a ftate of total freedom 
from every divine and every human tie j — 
or we muft be governed Jbmebow— eithet 
by ruie, as a hufband in his houfe, wh^re 
all acknowledge his authority; orhk© a- 
wife in her family, who sways by influ- 
ence, and holds her limited power by per- 

(^4 petual 



i& BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

pedal attention not to difguft by its top 
rough exertions. Dcfpotic fovereigns aic 
obeyed as the man is ifl this pafe ;— limited 
monarch* are contented to carry every 
point as a woman in her circle, 

And win their war by yielding to die titles 

pnly adopting Hull inftead of ftrength* Nor*- 
den tells us, in his account of Cornwall, 
fomething concerning the Pendre {tone 
analogous enough to our government 
here in Great Britain, 

u It is (fays he) a rocke upon the toppe 
of a hill near Blifton, on which ftandeth a 

* 

beacon, and on the tpppe of the rpckp lyeth 
a flone, three yardes and a haulfc long, four 
foote bro*d, and twp and 4 haulfe thick ; 
and it is fo equally balanced that a touch 
jnay move it, whereof 1 have had true expe- 
dience. Yet whereas a man with his little 
finger cap eafily ftirr the fame, the ftrength 
of many men cannott ever move it or re* 
move away," 

If 



•x » 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 233 

If therefore people fancy there is Tome- 
thing great in refuting to be awed by ma- 
jefty, or ruled by power, let them at 
lead, like their own huge and rugged mafles 
of (lone in Wiltfhire and in Cornwall, fhew 
themfelves eafy to be swayed with a foft 
touch and gentle hand, nor complain alike 
of influence and of authority ; fince we fee 
dearly that fome government is necet- 
fary to every country : and how fociety is 
carried on where all will bear rule, and 
none will fuffer it, a neighbouring nation 
(hews. Let ours take warning from the 
dread example, refleding that thefe monu- 
mental ftones would not have flood fo 
long, had not their balance been fo nicely 
fcept. The venerably ancient, the almoft 
felf-exiftent rpek* of royalty may yet, as we 
. fee, be at length deftroyed by mean but 
long continued efforts to undermine it; 
though, when it fplits f infulting curiofity is 
wounded by the fragments, and calm fpec- 

. tators 



234 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

tators lie erufhed beneath its fall: while 
thefe apparently works of art, as Bryant 
judges from their repetition, muft, when 
tbty fink, drop all at once together — fo clofo 
iy united are the fuftainers and fuftained. 



* ' ■ » 



RURAL and RUSTIC 



F ' ■ 



MUST ncceflarily feem fynonymous to 
foreigners, who fee them ufed perpetually 
for each other in our beft authors — or think 
they do— becaufe the words are commonly 
appropriated with a fele&ion exa£t enough* 
Ehgland, fay we, affords more fituations 
that one may juftly term rural, than any 
nation or country in Europe ; for in France, 
Italy and Germany, at leaft, you are always 
too near, or too far from a great city ; fo 
that the prominent features of every land- 
scape exhibit either wildnefo approaching 

to 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 23$ 

to barbarity, or elfe cultivation refetpbling 
a garden more than fields ; — whereas ia 
Great Britain, where opulence is more 
difFufed, and knowledge lefs concentrated, 
Nature accepts the character of individuals, 
and every place poffefles fome agreeable 
ornaments which tend to its embellifli- 
gnent — though no fpot is by the accumula- 
tion of fuch ornaments made more fplendid 
than beautiful. Rural elegance is the 
pride and pleafure of our happy ifland, 
whence rustic groflhefs and rough fee- 
nery are fo .nearly expelled, that you feek for 
{hem in vain at a great diftance from the 
capital, among the lakes of Weftmoreland, 
or along the fea-coafts of Devonfhire. 
Whence our faftidious travellers, perhaps, 

TVd of the tedious and dUVeli&'d good, 
{Seek for their folace in acknpwiedg'd iU» 
Panger, and toil, and pain. 

GR AH All's TlLfiMACHCS. 

We 



* 3 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

We climb the Alps of Switzerland and 
Savoy, or journey round the Hebrides in 
fearch of contrail and variety, delighting 
to penetrate the hidden recedes of Nature, 
and 

Call her where ihe fits alone, 
Majeftic on her craggy throne. 

Such views indeed produce magnificent 
ideas in the mind, but they are ideas of 
God, not man. He always feems debafed 
on fuch a theatre, and, to fay true, go* 
nerally zGts his part upon them with rus- 
TiciTY enough : while foreigners are often 
heard to admire our peafantry both in the 
north and weft of England, each with his 
watch, his little fhelf of boolcs, trimmed 
hedge, clean fhirt, and planted garden; 
enjoying that rural fimplicity, and ele- 

* 

gant competence — glory of Britons ! — great 
and enviable refult of equal laws and mild 
adoriniftration ! 

Let 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. t 3 f 

Let them remember then thofe laws, thofe rights, 
That generous plan of pow'r deliver'd down 
From age to age by their renown'd forefathers, 
So dearly bought, the price of fo 4»uch blood. 

Addison's Cato. 



TO SAUNTER, TO LOITER, TO LINGER, TO 
DELAY, TO BE SLUGGISH, DILATORY, 

AND TEDIOUS. 



UNPLEASING qualities varioufly ex- 
prefled by all thefe verbs and adverbs, which 
are nearly though not clofely fynonymous. 
We apply fome of them to perfons chiefly, 
and fome to things. 

What plagues, what torments are in (tore for thee, 
Thou sluggish idler, DiLATORY # flave f 

fays the Turk in Johnfon's Irene, He had 
indeed an averfion to fuch people amount- 
ing almoft to antipathy, though he confi- 

dered 



*jg BRITISH StNONTMY. 

dercd himfclf among the number, and paffed 
his life in forming and breaking refolutions 
of a£iive diligence. He faid that the verb 
saunter came originally from Sainte Terrc 
the Holy Land ; for that in crufading times, 
when a fellow was found loitering about, 
unable or unwilling to give account of him- 
ft If and his defigns, if afked whither he was 
going, the ufual reply was, a la Sainte Terrc : 
and from that caufe, people who lingered 
about a houfe, trefpaffing upon that hofpi- 
tality which in fuch days was with difficulty 
refufed, were called by corruption Saintc- 
terrers and saunterers. Delay, mean- 
time, is a word that may often be ufed in 
an excellent fenfe as a part of policy and 
military fkill : witnefs the conduct of Fabius, 
who we are told faved Rome by procrafli- 
nation, and drawing out the war into length; 
fatiguing his enemy and wearying the pa- 
tience of troops, who fighting in a foreign 
land need no enemy but patience for tfieir 

utter 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. * 39 

utter extirpation ; while thofe who $e can 
never be replaced, and every village affords 
refuge for the afTailed, and ruin to the at 
failants. 

Fortune, in great matters as well as final 1, 
refembles the market: if you can wait a 
while the price will falL That delays are 
dangerous is on the other hand no falfc 
proverb: but the meaning here is, when 

you come to the moment of execution, do 
quickly that which you have confidered lei— 
fqrely ; for as the motion of a boy's top 
turned fwiftly round appears to ftand ftill, 
fo no fecrecy can be ever comparable to cele- 
rity in bufinefs. That arrow is fureft to 
hit the mark which is raoft fuddenly and 
fwiftly fhot. 

I faw a pretty quibbling epigram once 
upon a man whofe name was Baddeley, and 
who owed the writer money, if I remember: 
— it ran thus : 

Delay is bad— and I may fay, 
There's nought but bad in Baddelaj. 

3 SEDITIONS, 



24o BRITISH SYNON 



SEDITIONS, TROUBLES, FACTIONS, 
DISTURBANCES, 



ARE nearly allied certainly, yet not 
quite fynonymous ; for troubles ipring 
up many times in dates from caufes not 
cafy to cure — as tedious wars abroad, which 
caufing heavy debts at home, produce dif- 
trefs from mere inanition, like the alkaline 
fever brought on a human body by too long 
abdinence from food. There are likewife 
troubles enough from repletion, when ill 
humours are afloat. But nations not kept 
ignorant of the difeafe or remedy, will be 
little fubjeft to disturbance, even from 
the worft of thefe caufes; having learned 
from knowledge of pad ages, or experience 
of prefent, that unlefs the date is intrinfi- 
cally poor, and fo enfeebled from lofs of 
commerce that it can with difficulty redore 

itfelf 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 241 

kfelf to health and vigour, or fuddenly of- 
fended by innovations, 'twill not be eafy 
to excite sedition among the common 
people, who are always more difpofed to 
quiet than their agitators expe&ed to find 
them; (low to move, although powerful 
when once fet in motion ; and ever more 
inclined by nature and cuftom to obey the 
King de faElo y than any newly fprung-up 
body of nobles, or felf-created demagogues 
delighting in confufion, in which our en- 
lightened commonalty fee far off that they 
fhall only be made inftruments of advance- 
ment to fellows no better than themfelves, 
who for the purpofes of faction climb on 
the fhoulders of the people to reach at and 
deftroy the King's prerogative. A monarch 
is fafe againft all fuch, however, while he 
poflefles the good-will of his common peo- 
ple ; and every child's Pantheon can remind 
us, that when the inferior deities, nobles ot 
the fky, made a fa&iouft combination to 
VOL H. R bind 



t A z BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

bind or confine Jupiter, Briareus came iA 
with his hundred hands (meaning the mul- 
titude), and unloofed every knot. But al* 
though a ftate nicely balanced is leaft fubjeft 
to ferious disturbances of any other, it 
may naturally be obnoxious enough to petty 
Troubles, as winds are always higheft 
when the fun is in Aries or Libra, and e%ui* 
no&ial tides are proverbial. 

Let not oar neighbours fancy, however, 
that fuch wear out our ftate. Oppofition is 
exercife, and contributes to the long life of 
a mixed government ; and thofe who take 
"pains to convince us that every brifk gale 
mud needs end in a hurricane, lie under a 

phyfical as well as a political miftake. The 
dead calm that precedes fuch a convulfion 

of nature, or of civil polity* is the dreadfbl 
fymptom, the figftal for experienced pilots 
to draw in all the fails, and collect clofe to- 
gether, that fo the tempeft's fury may be 
fnent in vain. 

SERTI* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 24$ 



teSTfltENT, THOUGHT, NOTION, OPINION* 



ARE hearly fynonymous in books, but 
hot in talk, where the firft has of late ufurp- 

* 

ed a wider dominion than our tongue regu- 
larly granted. We fay in good ftri&nefs* 
how 'twas our firm opinion till laft week* 
that our old friend Ruggiero had more 
thought in him, and better notions 
both of honour and propriety * than thus to 
betray his sentiments at the requeft of a 
paltry creature, who courted him out of 
them for interefted purpofes alone— a mere 
felt-lover* who would willingly fet any 
body's houfe on fire for the feke of roafting 
her own eggs; This example, however, is 
exceedingly imperfect. A lady of delicacy 
is now called, I know not why, a lady of 
sentiment ; and a perfon who, as Addi-t 
fon's Sempronius fays of Cato, is grqwn by 

K a being 



*44 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

being long liftened to, ambitioujlj fententious % 
has been of late derided by the appellation 
of a man of sentiment— in allufion, as I 
fuppofe, to Mr. Sheridan's play. Favourite 
dramas have, among theEnglifh, a temporary 
influence over language that would amaze 
one. The Duke of Buckingham's Rehear- 
fal drove out of fafhionable company the 
filly phrafe of Egad and all that ; and I havt 
been told that Dryden's Sir Martin cleared 
the elegant tables of their then favourite in- 
tercalation Injine y Sir. New ones meanwhile 
fpriftg up every day, like thefe, dully to take 
their turn and be forgotten, to the no fmall 
incumbrance of converfation, and fatigue of 
one's ear j for living, as Collins laid, under 
the dominion of a word, whether senti- 
ment, or rage, or bore y or pledge one % sfelf\ 
or whatever abfurdity determines choke, 
muft furely be a defpicable mode of prov- 
ing our good breeding, which rather con- 
fifts in the art of banifhing fuch pedantry 

than 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 245 

than inviting it. Indeed the pedantry of a 
drawing-room is no lefs offenfive than that 
of a college^ or an army coffee-houfe, or a 
merchant's compting-houfe ; — all ate. tedious 
and difgraceful, and fhould be fwept away. 
Let the players fet the example, and, by re- 
forming the defpicable cant of their green- 
rooms, fliew themfelves fit to mend the foi- 
bles of the age. 

When the old poet Maynard came to 
Paris a little while before his death, ywrhat- 
ever he faid ong night almoft wh< 
friends and he met at a tavern, fond 
other of them cried out, Ce mot la n0±„ 
plus en ufqge. Wearied at length with theit 
fafhionable criticifms, he called for a fheet 

sj m 

of paper, and wrote thefe verfes upon it 
impromptu ; 

En ch^rcux Manes il me faut douc sdle* 
Comme un enfant tous les jours it 1'ecolei 
Que je ferois fou d'apprendre a parler, 
Lorfquc la mort vienc m'oter la parole ! 

& 3 Ho* 




\ 4 «. 



246 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



How fenfcSefs were I to be carried a!oag 
Ifi grey tail* to your sew modlfli ficfcool ! 

S«re death von2d a day foocer palfy my tgw% p^r^ 
Shoold it prove me fo errant a fbaL 



* 



SIGNS, PICTURES AT SHCP-DOORS, MARES, 

TOK1NS, PAINTED NOT!CE> THAT 

SOMETHING IS SOLD WITHIN. 



TH £ firft is the popular word for what 
the * others rather defcribe than exprefs. 
Swift lays fomewhat haftily, that wit and 
fancy zn not employed in any one article, 
fo much as in the contriving of signs to 
Jung before houfes. I rather think that it 
requires fome wit and fancy to explain the 
meaning of many yet unintelligible ones; 
though the Spe&ator, and fince him the 
Looker-on, in a paper fuggefted by a friend, 
have thrown much light upon the fubjed ; 

a very 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. *47 

* very trivial one to people like that friend 
capable of benefiting literature by things of 
greater importance. 

In the thirty-fecond number of the laft* 
mentioned paper, however, we firft are in- 
formed that 'tis to the heraldic diftin&ion of 
the neighbouring noblemen that we are 
obliged for the multitude of monfiers — as 
the Red Lion, the Black Swan, Blue Boar, 
&c a Swan fable, a Boar azure, a Lion gules, 
&c bring the coat armour of fome man of 
eonfequence in the neighbourhood This is 
fb true, that the Harcourt Arms, the Pem- 
broke and Marlborough Arms are even now 
hung as signs in the vicinage of Blenheim, 
Wilton, or Nuneham. The Green Man is 
however an exception ; he is I believe an al- 
lufion to Bold Robin Hood ; and if the fixe 
of the pi&ure admits, Little John is com- 
monly vifible in the pgrfpeQive. The Two 
Maidens at or near Kennelworth, one with 
a red rofe, and I think drefled in pink too ; 

R4 the 



1 48 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



the other with a white rofe, are appare ntl y 
the Princefles Mary and Elizabeth, let up 
by fome wife fellow, who refolved to enter- 
tain the partifans of both families at his 
houfe, if poflible. Sro&s and tokjtns of 
every fort, however, are going out, in pro- 
portion as literature comes in. Formerly 
brothers or friends, married and fettled 
in different and diftant provinces, feat 
tokens to each other, as proofs of their 
y£t continued exiftenee and welfare'; but 
now the conveyance of letters by- regular 
pods is eftabliflied, fuch marks are ren- 
dered unneceflary. The cuftom, however, 
ftill obtains in Poland, 1 underftand, and is 
fcarcely worn out in Moravia. Signs at 
elegant traders' will very foon be out of 
cuftom, I fee plainly. Brewers were woikt 
to fet up an Anchor or a Peacock, * &c. but 
they are fallen into difufe ; and I recoiled 
no sign at any bankers now, unlefs the 
Three Squirrels ftill Hand in view at Tern- 

s pfc 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 249 

pie Bar $ which, from the analogy perhaps 
between that hoarding animal and a money* 
dealer's {hop, may have been longer preferr- 
ed than the reft. 'Tis now growing familiar f 
I obferve, to write the Prince's Head, or the 
White Lion, inftead of painting them ; and 

* 

forae would certainly be with difficulty f$- 

prefedted to the eye, as a Nimble Nine- 
pence! which was nothing more, probably, 
than a little coin twirled about as the defig- 
-nation of a gaming-houfe. The Round of 
-Beef at fome cook's fliop near St. Giles's 
-tempted Cox the merry dancing-mafic^ of 
Ifacetious memory, when he (aw thefe words 
•under, Good boiled beef hot every day, to 
rub the top of the b out, fo that it flood 
thus, not every day ; and the people did not 
know where to apply for their dinners ; fo 
looked them out another place for that pur- 
pofe. 

Pious signs too, as the Lamb and Stan- 
dard, 



1 **•■ 



* 5 » BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



I, from a verfe in St John's Apocalypfe j 
the Dove and Mitre, which ftill remains at 
Hereford ; with the Nun and Crucifix, &c 
wear out every day, as religion grows more 
delicate and left fervent among us. The 
Hare running— over the Heads of Three 
Nuns, which ufed to ftand at Charing Crofs* 
was manifeftly nothing more than bad fpell- 
ing. Nuns of fome religious orders wear a 
maim cloth or cilice next their fkUi r for 

* ■ 

puipofes of mortification, -and this article 
Sw fold at the linen-drapers', who furnifh- 
*cd the whole of their drefs j but the practice 
growing obfolete, I fuppofe, and the idea (till 
continuing of fome connexion betwixt a 
nun and a hair fkin, they thought it a 
hare fkin, and fet up the figure of that 
'animal accordingly. 

Enough on this fynonymy of signs and 
marks and tokens at Jhop-doors^ whence 
they will foon be banUhed, I belieye. Under 

the 



■* > 



/BRITISH SYNONYMY. «jj 

the article symbol much will occur of f«* 
fious matter siGNifitd by yifible FipURU, 

>I ARKS, and TOKENSr 



S5S 



SII-LY, IGNORANT, SENSELESS, 



ARE not fynonymous, except in the 
mouths and Opinions of fuch as are sense- 
less by nature, or ignorant with regard 
to language, Dr. Johnfon ufed to fay, and 
I have read it recorded by fome of his bio- 
graphers, that the heaping loads of litera- 
ture on a head qnftpniflied with the prae- 
cognita of knowledge, a senseless foul, as 
lie often called fuch people, was like fetting 
diamonds or other precious jewels in lead, 
which could but obfeure the luftre of the 
done, and make the poffeflbr afhamed on*L 

Had he lived in Italy, this obfervation 
|*ad been loft ; for as among our countrymen 

may 



aft BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



^mzj \k imwd aumy m t ji ^£ wcrj waeam and 
hooted po w ers , who yet are excellently 
taught, and for that reafan far from igxo- 
mAVT, although silly enough on occafions 
where no fcience comes in play, and mat- 
ters «f mere common fenfe are made the 
fubje&s of con verfation — fo in Italy, where 
little cultivation is thought neceflary, 'tis 
<eKceedifigiy rare to hear a gentleman or 
iady di%race themfclres by a ienselms 
or weak manner, either of ading or of 
fpeaking, however ion o* ant they may 
prore of what we EnglHh confider as al- 
rooft indifpeafable literature — the know- 
ledge <*f our own tongue, for example, and 
fo much of geography as may keep us from 
being told impoffibilities, and then laughed 
at An inftance will contribute to explain 
my meaning, in thefe pofitions. 

The Spanifh ambaflador to our court in 
Charles the Second's time was accounted, 
and juftly, a man of large capacity, deep 

political 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. % sl 

i 

political thinking, a&ive in bufinefs, and, ift 
a word, far too cunning for our thoUghtlefs 

» 

monarch's counfellors to cope with; but 
although nothing lefs than silly, he fet 
thofe o'laughing at his ignorance to 
whom he was himfelf fuperior in parts and 
judgment, when the Royal Society being 
defirous of putting in practice Torricelli's 
experiments, thought the Peak of Tenerifff 
a good place to prove their efficacy, and 
deputed two members to folicit from his 
excellency letters of recommendation for 
the Canary I lies. The ambaflador mean- 
time, never doubting but that their intention 
was to fetch away wine, not knowledge, 
enquired what quantity they propofed bring- 
ing home ; to which when the deputies re- 
plied, that their bufinefs was only to weigh 
the air upon the mountain's top, he drove 
them from his houfe like madmen, and un 
himfelf to Whitehall, crying out that fbme 
crazy Englifhmen had infulted his avoca- 
tion,. 



t 5 * BRITISH SYKONYMf: 

rfon, and begged permiffion to weigh txi6 
mt in his matter's dMnimon — as if fiich 
dungs wefte poffible. Charles and his bio* 
{her, who were no mean phiiofophets, con^ 
cealed, from good breeding, their contempt 
of this iGNOftANT Spaniard; but the in*- 
poffibility of weighing ah* fbon became 1 
hack joke among the courtiers to divert the 
king in private* But why took fo far 
back? An intelligent nobleman £rbm the 
Continent aflc6d me not more than feven 
years ago, where that Mr. Lcndini lived, 
that made fo many and fo good mufical 
Inftruments, particularly the piano e fortes, 
trhich always bore his name in front. This 
was being fomewhat behind hand with 
the reft 6f mankind, no doubt, yet was 
there no intelle&iial weaknefs difcoverable* 
btit the contrary j and a man lefs silLY 
or senseless than he hate I not often 
Inown. 

Of Englifh fimplicity combined whh 
7 found 



BRITISH SYNONYM*. a 5 j 

found learning, numberlefs examples crowd 
about one's remembrance, and preis for the 
place of diftin&ion* The firft that prefents 
itfelf is that of a gentleman eminent for 
claffic knowledge, a capital orientalift, and 
a perfon to whom the laft related (lory will 
be mod welcome if he reads it Returning 
from India once, he {hewed me a curious 
gem given him by fome prince of the coun- 
try, its colour a rich heavy green, its 
thicknefs aftonifhing, and the degree of 
transparency vifible in fo folid a body- 
wonderful. I admired its uncommon beau- 
ty and value, and loft fight of the pofleffor 
for three or four years ; at the end of which 
time chance threw us once more into the 
fame afTembly-room, but in a different part 
of Europe. I hoped his gem was fafe. 
Oh yes! replied my countryman, 'tis cut 
into a ring now, and has half ruined me 
in paying for the inftruments it broke dur- 
ing the operation ; for, continued he* *tis 

verjr 



t$t BUT1SH SYNONYMY, 



scar a dbmrmd itfidf : bat we ipfit k 
up at laft, and I made inch a jeweller — 
ytatwing him— engrave a figme oa it, due 
k slight be inttrefiimg. What figure ? find 
I anxkmfly. Why, 'faith, madam » I cannot 
tell ; I have fcarce looked at h fince ; bat 
k was what the gddfmkh thought pro- 
per — for there £hould be fomething on a 
ring, yon know. Was not this conduit 
and mode of reafoning senseless ? Doc- 
tor Johnfon's ftory of a young woman he 
once knew, who laid by*he bones off her 
own plate at dinner, when (he had been 
eating chicken, to feed a friend's hoife 
whom (he expected to call in the evening, 
ufed to furnifh us matter of diipute. I 
thought her an idect^ while he contended 
that fhe was only ignorant of what a 
milliner's 'prentice had no means of know- 
ing. She did not betray fymptoms of folly 
in her bufinefs, (aid he, nor yet dream of 
laying up oats and hay to feed the lap-dog 

— how* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 257 

—-however (he might miftake the nature of 
an animal who came little in her way, and 
might be carnivorous for aught fhe had op- 
portunity to obferve. Something however 
muft| I believe, have been radically and 
from the beginning defe&ive in a mind fo 
senseless) that it could not at the age of 
twenty years procure to itfelf better infor- 
mation than this. 






TO SLIP, TO SLIDE. 



THESE verbs are fo very clofely allied, 
that foreigners will be in perpetual danger 
ofchoofing the wrong ; yet like reafon and 
inftind, as Mr. Pope fays, they are 

For ever feparate, yet for ever near. 

The fynonymy is by no means exadt, 
VOL, II. S and 



%z% BfclTISH SYNONYMY. 

and thofc who are not attentive may be 
eafily led to slip, or to make a slip — for fo 
a flight error is often called in Englifh : bat 
fhould you in that very cafe fay fuch a per- 
fon has made a slide, all would liiigh ; 
only becaufe in figurative language the laft 
word is feldom ufed in a bad fenie ; and 
though Thomfon does bid the ladies take 
care of their sliding hearts oddly enough, 
it would not be borne in converfation* In 
its direS fenfe too, natives know inftin&hrc- 
ly the quantity of meaning each word bears, 
and the mod illiterate mother bids her little 
boys take care not to slip down, when 
they go purpofely o'sliding on the ice: 
although fhe may not have feen the French 
epigram upon fome young men fkaiting : 

Sur un mince cryftal lTiyver conduit leurs pas, 

Lc precipice eft fous la glace : 
Telle eft de nos plaifirs la legere furfacc, 

Gliffez, mortcls ! n'appuyez pas* 

Thus 



BRITISH SYN6NYMY. d$g 

Thus o'e? the dangerous gulf below 
Is pleafure's slippery furface fpread ; 

On tender fteps with caution go, 
They fooneft fink who boldeft tread. 

And 'tis ho incurious or ufelcfs . reflection 
to obferve how from this uncertain opera- 
ti6n— this slipping of one fmooth body 
over another — the fiudy of mechanics has 
found out the fecret to draw our moft infal- 
lible and perfed method of gauging, mea- 
fcring, &c without any afliftance from 
compafles ; merely by the sliding of one 
part of an mftrutnent againft another— while 
tikxtfupcrincejfus radens^ in Everard's famous 
machine, gives the* anfwer on a marked 
rule to men no way (killed I fuppofc in 
mathematics j a common excifeman being 
able to tell upon infpe&ion the contents 
of a cafk of whatever magnitude, to an 
exaftnefs that would puzzle a philofopher. 
On thefe occafions wonder is the natural 
confluence of inexperience) nay, the pro- 

S a per 



./ 



tfo BRITISH STNGSTMT. 

per amSoqpaiot i for Mm Miirjafo arfy miS 
£ul to be finpriJcd when they 4ae am c&ck 
produced without an apparency adesjoast 
caiiie. And here, afcboagh I mar jafi2j he 
charged iriihJbtfiiMg my guiund aaul a^3>» 
rxc away from the fnbjcO, I caaxact 4ar- 
bear relating a ftory, which, if k has net ail- 
ready got into print, may ferre to (bow due 

juft amazement of lavage nations at Eu- 
ropean ingenuity. — An Fngfifh gentleman 
walked into the woods of America with a 
friend, taking as a guide wkh them how- 
ever an Indian youth. In the coarte cf the 
day's amuieaient they fcparated, and one 
of them finding ibme curious fruit or ber- 
ries, fent them to his companion by the 
lad, with a note of their number traced by 
his pencil on a bit of paper. Some being 
loft on the way, he who received the pre- 
fcnt reprimanded the hringer for eating or 
losing them, and drove him back for more 
The gentleman £ent him again with the 

number 



BRITISH SYNONYM*. 261 

number marked on the note, which proved 
the boy had played the fame trick with this 
fecond parcel as with the firft, and pro- 
cured him a new fcolding. The Indian 
now fell on his knees, and kiffed the paper; 
which, fays he, I found out was a witch or 
conjurer the firft time ; — but now he has 
proved hi$ power fupernatural indeed, be- 
caufe he tells that which be did not fee : for 
when I flung away thefe laft berries for ex- 
periment fake, I too£ care to slip the note 
under a Jlone^ that it might not know what 
was palling. 



■ '• ■ * " - • " 



SLOPE, DECLIVITY. 



MANKIND having obferved, no doubt, 
how beautiful nature is in her fpontaneou3 
undulations ; how graceful is the slope, 
and how elegant the declivity; thought 

S 3 they 



a62 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

they would cmbellifh their inclofures with 
artificial imitation of fuch charms, and con- 
trived the terrace built upon a slope in the 
Tery early days of building and horticul- 
ture. Semiramis'8 hanging gardens are an 
inftance of this amufement's antiquity ; the 
glacis in fortification affords daily proof of 
its ufefulnefs, while thtjlippery turf betrays 
the affailants to their ruin, and well deferves 
its name ; Which fhould not be confounded 
with that of countcrfcqrp^ this laft relating 
merely to the pointed fhape or form of the 
glacis \ and is taken from a woman's fhoe t 
or clog ; contra fcarpa. So fafhionable 
were thefe acclivities in our own pleafure- 
grounds, forty years ago, that we find Pope 
ridiculing them in his admirable Epiftle 
upon Tafte : 

And when up ten fteep Jlopes you've dragg'd your thighs, 
Juft at his ftudy-door he'll blcfs your eyes. 

Such perverfenefs was well exploded ; 

and 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 263 

and a more p leafing though' lefs elaborate 
imitation of nature called in to fupply its 
place. The Ifola Bella upon Lago Maggiore^ 
notwithftanding, owes its peculiar beauties 
to a fimilar conftrudtion of terrace and turf- 
afcent j nor can any difpofition of ground 
produce an effect equally ftriking and lovely 
— fo certain is it that we fhould * 

Confult the genius of the place in all ; 

nor haftily condemn an ornament, which, 
though incapable of embellifhing one fpot, 
may yet increafe the elegance of another: — 
the lefs. haftily fhould we condemn this, as 
it is generally tliought a line laid 



SLOPING or OBLIQUELY 



MAY be confidered as more beautiful 
icr fe than a flraight one. We leave the 

S 4 waving 



1*4 BRITISH SYNONYMT. 

waving or curve line, emphatically acknow- 
ledged, fince Hogarth's time, as the precipe 
line of grace, out of the queftion ; indeed 
neceflarily, becaufe though Sloping it is 

not 03LIQUJU 

EXAMPLE* 

The fun's path (as the Zodiac is popu- 
larly called) defcribes that eminently per* 
fiSt line whofe curve is confidered by Ho* 
garth as eflential to true beauty; whilft die 
angle that line makes with the equator 
is juftly called the obliquity of the 
ecliptic, which fome authors — Chevalier de 
Louville In particular — wifh to believe di* 
minifhes perpetually.— Had his calculation 
of half a minute loft every fifty years been 
exadt, however, our fphere would have 
been no longer an oblique one ; and we 
who inhabit the temperate zones would 
no longer have experienced the inequality 
of nights and days. 

SLY, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 2*5 



SLY, ARTFUL, CUNNING, CRAFTY, INSIDIOUS, 

KNOWING. 



*-« 



THESE odious adje&ives, alike defcrip- 
tive of one mean perfe&ion, are furely not 
far from an exa£ fynonymy. Yet the 
truly artful man, whofe long pradtice 
makes him an adept in the crooked paths . 
which lead to the temple of this left-hand- 
ed wifdom, will not only be crafty in 
his deep-laid defigns to arrive there, but 
cunning enough to conceal his intention 
of ftarting at all, and insidious to catch 
and overthrow his competitors in the race, 
by keeping at a. diftance perhaps, and 
watching the others' fall with what Milton 
fo finely terms sly circumfpe&ion, when 
he defcribes Satan as the original inventor 
of thefe qualities, found by him efficacious 

to 



266 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

to obtain our firft parents 9 ruin. Thole 
who by legerdemain beft pack the cards, 
however, are often moft unfkilfhl at the 
game ; and I have read in fome old Rnglifli 
author, that the cunning fellow's mind 
is like an ill-built houfe ; full of convenient 
clofets, and fecret pafiages, with excellent 
back-flairs; but never a good room or hand* 
fome entrance. Do£tor Goldfmith, in his 
charming Vicar of Wakefield, lays, the 
knowing one appears to him the fooKfh- 
eft blockhead of all, when his life and fyf- 
tem come to be reviewed ; He tricks his ho- 
ncft neighbour once o'year at the fair, yet 
is always himfelf leading a life of anxiety 
and efcape— dying at laft probably in fome 
prifon ; while the farmer he cheated grows 
rich, and happy, and fat, and gives good 
portions to his family, without having ufed 
any arts but induftry, or ftudied inven- 
tions except how to pay his debts pun&u- 

3 al, y* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. a6; 

*lly, and bijy goods at the beft market. 
•The word knowing i3 however a vulgar 
ope, as it belongs tQ a pedantry in ufe 
among gamefters, horfe-jockeys, &c. 



SNEAKING, CROUCHING, SERVILE j MEANLY 

OBSEQUIOUS. 



IN thefe fynonymes, as in fome few 

others, we (hall find that although the 
words of claflic derivation are neateft and 
moft elegant, the Saxon ones carry a 
ftronger energy and bolder expreffion. — 
Pope choofes the meaner word for that very 
reafon, in his poem to Lord Oxford, where 
he fays, 

When Intereft call'd off all her sneaking train, 
And aU th« obliged defert— and all the vain. 

Servile 



iM BRITISH STXOXTMT. 

Soltili woakf lure heat xze &fi ta cx~ 
pre6 his jeft indrgnatkn jt a corrrfnifE ex- 
prrirncni by many p ccp&e faefides Hariicy, 
the nadcra's great foppctt, as dac pods de- 

lighted to call him. Many frnffTKT% mean- 
time, might be contrived to caE thefe ad- 
verbs very dcie together without imputa- 
tion of tautology, were we to fay that thofe 
*xeaki>g half-neglected flatterers tint 
cling round aJI who have either fortune cr 
power, hoping by mean obsequious- 
ness to obtain their favour, are ever firil 
and Ukelieft to carry their servile talents 
to another houfe, when they fee that fhut 
up, which once was open to receive and 
entertain them as friends. He too who 
frights a whole family by his vehemence, 
and tyrannizes over a field y wife, and poor 
dependant fitter, who marrying ill in her 
early youth came back a widow in five 
years, with two babies deftitute of provi- 

fion, 



BRITISH SYNONYM!. 269 

flon, and is forced to cultivate a crouch- 
1 no temper, to procure from this wretch 
a precarious fubfiftence — is probably, when 
you have followed him to another table, 
the moil servile admirer of fome haugh- 
ty demagogue, head of his party, who 

Bawl for freedom in their fenfelefs mood, 

-as Milton fays ; and, while they exert the 
fevereft difcipline in their own families, 
profefs an ardent love of liberty j defiring 
however, as it fhould feem, nothing much 
more or better than the power of exerting 
rough rule, though they will nt>t fubmit to 
endure even the gentleftywary. 



SOJX, 



* 7 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



SOIL, EARTH, GROUND, 



ARE not fynonymous. We fay the wifeft 
man now on earth, not on ground, be* 
caufe we mean of the whole earth col- 
lectively when fpeaking thus in hyperbole. 
Yet foreigners will immediately recoiled 
Pope's verfes, which run perfe&ly right tofy 

as contradictory to my aflertion : 

Led by her hand, he faunterM Europe round, 

And gathcr'd every vice on Chriftian ground. 



Here, however, is no contradi&ion ; tis 
hyperbolical certainly, but the ground is 
pointed out. When we fay, Such a country 
is our native soil, 'tis always half in a figu- 
rative fenfe, as if we grew there, and could 
not, like fome vegetables, bear tranfplanta- 
tion. The word is peculiarly energetic in the 

mouth 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 271 

mouth and from the charader of Eve, whofe 
inexperience calls forth all our tendernefs, 
when {he exclaims, 

Mull I then leave thee, Paradife ! 
Thee, native soil ! 

Thofe who are fpeaking with agricolifts 
will obferve, that soil is the word in ufc 
when we defcribe the nature of its two fy- 
nonymes, improperly fo called: but they 
who pay juft attention to man's original 
and proper employment, know that when 
they till the ground, various kinds of 
soils are prefented to their examination, 
among which that we call loam is fuppofed* 
to poffcfs the properties of real and ge- 
nuine iarth above all the reft ; and 'tis 
obferved, I think, that the fuperftrata are 
commonly mod excellent in hot countries, 
the fubftfata in cold. 

SaXqnT) fo' named perhaps from its 
numerous and beautiful precious Jloncs^ 
though lying north, contains a wonderful 

quantity 



*7o BRITISH SYNONY? 

jfitf 

>e fur- 

SOIL, EARTH ^ onc 

, aAA was 

ADr r aate ftill-Ltf 

ARL not fynony- 

ariofity was (hewn 
man now on £/ 

~ ^ mufeum, where the 

cauie we mer 

, _ . , , companied us about, took 

lechvely wr 

._ _ . .to inform me of the fad and 
let forej 

p * -lying* he doubted not but the 

/Aere, meaning near Hudfon's Bay, 
as cor !' # # 

• rhl by dint of cultivation produce much 

.^s; and what I fhall have the honour 
^ fell you concerning France is (continued 
be) worth your remembering — that where 
the fuperficies of the ground is fo fine and 
fertile, the fubftrata deny all reward to the 
toils of us deep fellows, in a manner not to 
be credited but by thofe who are (killed in 
the nature of earth and its various pro- 
perties : the reafon, he added, at leaft the 
immediate reafon, is want of neceflary phlo- 

gifton. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 273 

gifton. If our good German friend be now 
alive* he may delight to draw a parallel 
from the soil to the minds of thefe French- 
men, and kindle in himfelf a hope, that their 
fire, lying all near the top, may foon blaze 
itfelf away ; while the concentrated warmth 
of Auftrian courage will long be likely to 
invigorate their meafures, their country and 
its inhabitants, as the fteady heat of col- 
le&ed embers is feen to remain long after 
the flame is confumed. 



* 1 ' 1 ■ ■ ■ ■ -= sae 



SOURCE, SPRING, FOUNTAIN, WELL, 



ARE not fynonymous to the naturalifts, 
though nearly fo in converfation. We call 
thofe fountains, however, which play 
fo beautifully before St. Peter's church at 
Rome j and the extraordinary water which 

vol, ii. T takes 



274 BRITISH SYNONYMT. 

■ 

takes fire with a candle at Brofeley in Eng- 
land, we call the burning well. The hot 
springs at Bath meantime, and the mine* 
ral ones at Aix la Chapelle, are juftly famous; 
while we join in obferving how ftrange it 
. is, that fo great a river as the Nile fhould 
flow from a source fcarce difcoverable 
by travellers. Source and spring are 
ufed figuratively too with great familiarity, 
but we don't fay well at all, except in a 
pofitive fenfe ; and though we agree that 
our King is the fountain of honour, I 
recollect no place where the other word ad- 
mits of fuch ufage. Source of my life, 
and spring of all our actions, are common, 
figures in difcourfe as in writing. 



STYit, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 175 



STYLE, MANNER. 



I HAVE read fomewhere a pretty obfer- 
Vation, that to write a good style muft have 
been originally as coarfe and as pedantic an 
expreflion, as we now think it, when a 
rough man, inftead of praifing Cramer's tafte 
end (kill, fays be plays a goodjiddlcy or plies 

bis flick to a miracle j — for the style was 

« 

once the inflrument \ and I doubt not but 
there may be ftill many a reader at Briftol, 
who delights to think how Mifs Hannah 
More 1/ a Jine lady at ber pen, upon the 
fame principle ; while wits and fcholars and 
critics are admiring to fee fuch valuable 
thoughts delivered in fo admirable a style* 
There is however a manner diftinft 
from style in every art, fo far as my weak 
fight can penetrate into their arcana : fome* 
thing like the differences in natural hiftory, 

T 2 whtrt 



ft 



ty6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

where the animal of one kind is refembled 
by^fome particular creature of another — 
which is, notwithstanding that refemblance, 
referred yet to another clafs. Johnfon's 
style, for example, is my Lord Bacon's; 
but he caught a {hade of Brawn's manner 
in the expreflion. "Tis well known that 
Teniers poflefled a style of painting all 
his own,, while endowed with a peculiar 
power of imitating almoft every other pain* 
ter's manner ; whilft, in mufic, daily mis- 
takes are made by thofe who flatter them- 
felves they are compofing in the style of 
mailers, whofe manner only, and perhaps 
the worft part of that too, is all they have 
obtained. Singularities are foon picked up 
even by the mod curfory obfervers, if very 
prominent; and numberlefs have for that 
reafon been the parodifts of Johnfon, and 
the imitators of Sterne ; whilft Young re- 
tards counterfeits by his difficult and angu- 
lar 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 477 

lar fharpnefs, and Swift eludes them by his 
fmooth and voluble uniformity. In modern 
times, at leaft during thefe laft few years, 
the literary conteft between Delia Crufca 
and his admirers filled the newfpapers, ma- 
gazines, &c. His cluttering garland of or- 
namented di&ion pleafed fo well, that arti- 
ficial flowers fprung round us on every fide, 
till the temple of Flora was opened in vain, 
for none would go in. 

t>iffufion and diverfity delight from the 
idea of abundance which they convey j— - 
but if there be not a portion of thinking fu£- 
ficient to invigorate fuch expanfe, it muft of 
neceflity difperfe, and diffipate its perfume 
in the air. •'Evaporation would mend the 
style of Delia Crufca, as cold condenfes 
the virtue of rich wines, by freezing all the 
aqueous particles, and leaving the noble li- 
quor untouched and pure — a cordial in the 
heart of the cafk. Such chymiftry would, 
however, ruin his counterfeits j they would 

T 3 turn 



*;8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

turn all to iced Water, and that water dirty 
when again diffolved. 



SULLEN, AUSTERE, CHURLISH, SOUR, SURLY, 



THIS unpleafing fynonymy fhould not 
be dwelt on — but that our foreign reader* 

will be apt to fay, An Englifh writer ought 
not to have pafled over lightly, qualities fo 
defcriptive of her country manners ; and to 
this charge I wifh not to plead guilty. Mean- 
while the words are really not fynonymous, 
We fay a sullen girl when young, is likely 
to end her days a sour old maid ; and that 
a churlish boy, who eats his apple behind 
the door, refufing a {hare to his fchool-fet- 
lows, gives intimation of being at the clofe 
of life, either an austere father, if he mar«? 
ties early, or elfe a surly old bachelor, if 
he never marrtes at all, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 279 

So certain is it, that even in the mere 
tonverfation ufe of thefe words, both age 
and fex may be faintly difcerned at a dis- 
tance. Tempers of the kind here defcribed 
are likewife attributed to Englishmen in ge- 
neral, not without reafon, as our national 
chara&er is well painted under the name of 
our great minifter Cardinal Wolfey, by 
Shakefpeare, who fays he was 

JLiofty 2nd soira to them who lik'd him not, 

But to fuch friends as fought him — fweet as fummer. 

The nation too colle&ively, as a nation, 
does I fear lean towards a rough and sour 
difpofition, like their indigenous fruits the 
bullace and the crab apple. Induftry ever 
feels a fort of pleafure in its acquired right 
to be rude ; and plenty produced by artifi- 
cial means produces faftidioufnefs not ob- 
fervable in countries which owe their opu- 
lence immediately > not remotely^ to Heaven. 
They are for that reafon difpofed to fenfu- 

T 4 ality, 



aSo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ality, but with gratitude : we grow austere 
and thankless : they think too much with 
Mr. Pope, that t * enjoy is to obey ; and they 
pra&ife little obedience except to that agree- 
able precept We find fault even with the 
enjoyments we poffefs, and delight moft in 
thofe who condemn the very luxuries we 
cannot endure to relinquifh. 



SUSPICION, JEALOUSY, 



ARE not fynonymous, while women flill 
confider the latter as half a compliment, the 
former as a cruel and heavy offence. 

Oh fly ! 'tis dire suspicion's mien j 
And meditating plagues unfeen, 

The forcerefs hither bends j 
Behold her hands in gore imbrued ! 
Look how her garments drop with blood 

Of lovers and of friends ! 

But 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 281 

But we need call no help from poetry to 
exprefs abhorrence of a suspicious cha- 
rafter, while few things touch one more 
tenderly in life, Or its beft reprefentative the 
theatre, than a generous unfufpe&ing cha- 
racter wrought up to jealous anguifh.— 
Ofmyn and Othello, as I have feen them 
both exquifitely a&ed by Mr. Barry, car- 
lied away much of our compaffion, I re- 
member, from Zara and Defdemona ; — and 
this is fo true, that mifers — meaneft of man- 
kind — are notorioufly moil difturbed by bafe 
suspicions ; while they find it perhaps 

1 

moil difficult of comprehenfion how any 
reafonable mortal can confefs himfelf weak 
enough to fuffer pain from fo empty a caufe 
as that of jealousy. Again, it were per- 
haps too hard even for the gentleft p^ilan- 
thropift not to feel fome little pleafure when 
he fees the suspicious fellow over-reached, 
while few hearts are callous to the torment 

produced 



t8s BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

produced by jealousy in a feeling tern* 
per j and Metaftafio fays well t that 

Chi ciecamente crede 
Impcgna a ferbar fede j 
Chi fempre inganni afpetta, 
Alletta ad ingannar, 

JIc who blindly trafb will find 
Faith from every generous mind ; 
He who ftill experts deceit, 
Only teaches how to ch$at. 



=? 



SWEARING, CURSING, PROFANE OATHS IN 

DISCOURSE, 



FORM a horrible and hateful fynonymyj 
yet although this unaccountable fin, this fin 
without temptation, iince no appetite is gra- 
tified, or hope enlarged by it, obtains in 

every 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 2 S$ 

every Chriftian country, although uncoo* 
9ie&ed with power, pleafure and riches, the 
three grand feducers of mankind, we may 
fafely affert, that ours is leaft infe&ed with 
it of any country I have travelled through ; 
in each and all of which fuch profane 
phrafes, whether oaths or not I cannot 
iay, are fo exceedingly frequent, that one's 
heart hardens into a difregard of them at 
laft. Words fo ftrange and (hocking are they 
too, that our vericft blackguards would fliud- 
der at them ; and I once faw an old rafcal 
(land in the pillory at Charing Crofs, with a 
label, on which was written Blafphemy^ over 
Jiis head, for having ufed an exprefiion fa- 
miliar in the ftreets of Naples and of Rome 
as our Englifh G — d — in thofe of Weft- 
luinfter or Southward With this bitter 
taode of cursing our neighbours on everjr 
trivial offence, foreigners juftly reproach us ; 
while they terrify their hearers by calling the 
fBoft fearful imprecations upon the bleffed 

faints, 



2*4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

faints, angels, deceafed martyrs, &c. for not 
prote&ng them from ill fortune, or for not 
procuring them fome good, of which they 
feem fo very little deferring. When I have 
reproved an Italian fervant for fuch blas- 
phemous folly, the anfwer has been com- 
monly, Oh, I am a Venetian, or I am a 
Neapolitan — we all do fo ; and one fellow 
told me this ftory for a truth : — That his 
friend, a poflillion from Naples, having two 
grave gentlemen in his chaife, Priefts I be- 
lieve, they promifed to pay him double if 

. he would not swear. The bargain was 
complied with, and fome miles were tra- 
velled, when they perceiving he could hard- 
ly (it his horfe, afked if he were ill ; — 111 ! 
dear mailers! fays the man, to be fure I 
am; have you endeavoured to burft me 

, with paflion, and do you afk what ails me ? 
Give me permiflion but for one round oath, 
and I fhall perhaps recover.— They gave 
leave laughingly. 

And 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. a8| 



And now, cries the fellow, may every 
blcfled foul fince Adam's time, my own 
father's in particular, be plucked from Hea- 
ven, and plunged in everlafting torments ! 
The journey was then continued. 

Meantime it appears, that folemnity of 
afleveration goes faft out of faftiion upon 
the continent. Juftinian, who inftituted the 
famous code, inftituted likcwife the cuftom 
of swearing on the Evangelifts ; and faid 
on that memorable occafion, that when that 
practice fhould be changed or flighted, con- 
fufion would enfue in the Chriftian world. 
France has got rid of the cuftom, and con- 
fufion does f$em to come forward with hafty 
ftrides. 



Syco- 



sS6 BRITBH SYNOKYMtt 



StCOFHANI*, PARASITE, INFORMER* 



W E are always told, and truly I fup- 
pofe, that the firft of thefe words was ori* 
ginally a name beftowed on a government 
runner at Athens, where the duty on figs 
being eafily eluded tempted rafcally in- 
formers to make a merit and a profit of 
their difcoveries; the word sycophant 
being derived from two Greek words indi* 
eating a perfon who laid an information 
againft his neighbour for exporting figs, in 
a time of fcarcity, contrary to law. — The 
Romans however, from whom we had it> 
ufed it our way, as fynonymous to flatterer 
and parasite, I think. The modern Ita* 
Hans call fuch a fellow Cavalier del Dent c 
humoroufly enough; and Martial feemed 
to know how thofe fellows lived in his day, 
as exa&ly as Dodor Goldfmith defcribed 

7 them 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 28? 

them fifteen or twenty years ago. I re- 
member, however, when they were much 
more frequent and common in our country 
than at prefent, and known at every great 
Englifh table by the ftyle and title of Led 
Captain. General independence, and a 
broader ftate of equality, make fuch crea- 
tures grown rare in a commercial nation, 
except in diftri&s remote from the capital ; 
ahd it will fhortly be confidered perhaps as the 
province of antiquarians to explain the deri- 
vation of this laft term, though it lies no deep- 
er than this : — At the clofe of Queen Anne's 
wars, our armies were diibanded, and the 
officers turned loofe upon the world, where 
fome fattened on their own, fome on their 
neighbour's families, and every man of 
large property had a captain who lived with 
him in a ftate of convenient friendfhip — 
to be taken or left at pleafure of the mailer, 

like his kd-horfe j and thence came the 
phrafe. 

SYMBOL, 



288 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



SYMBOL, TYPE, EMBLEM, FIGURE, SIGN, 
1MPRESE, DEVICE, Sec 



THE firft of thefe words feems beft 
adapted to converfations upon ancient lite- 
rature. We fay the Egyptian Hierogly- 
phics were symbols, fometimes of the 
things they meant to bring before our. 
minds, fometimes of thofe things' virtues or 
attributes — becoming by this means both 
pidure and character ; the firft exoteric, for 
all to underftand j the fecond efoteric, in- 
tended for the ufe of fcholars only. Types 
are feemingly more fhadowy than sym- 
bols are, on one fide — yet lefs fo on the 
other. The brazen ferpent was a type of 
our Saviour's crucifixion, and of its imme- 
diate benefit to thofe who look up to it 
with faith, wounded by the fiery ferpent, 
but wounded in vain. — The facrifice of a 
5 lamb 



BRITtsti SYNONYMY. 189 

Iamb Without blemifh was typical in like 
manner of our redemption by the blood of 
Jefus ; and perhaps it may one day be 
found— for types are no types till what 
they prefigure is embodied by time-— that 
Chrift's injunctions to prevent his apoftles 
ftruggling for the higheft places at a feaft, 
meant to contain a ty'pical fhadowing 
out of what is now realizing among the 
churches they founded, where 'tis methinks 
fomewhat loudly faid to the once haughty 
Romanifts, — Give this man place j — and they 
do a&ually and literally begin witbjbame to 
take the lower room. Of emblems facred 
and profane there is no end ; every prayer- 
book exhibits the ox, the eagle, the man, 
and the lion, as attendants on the four 
Evangelifts j nor does even a fign-painter 
or a houfe-painter in London negledfc, when 
he fets up Saint Luke at his door, to place 
the ox's head at his right hand — although 
he may not be aware perhaps, that thefe 

VOL. II, U 



s 9 o BRITISH SYNONYMT. 

animals were originally the old emblems 
by which were diftinguiihed the four priii* 
cipal tribes among the Jews ; Judah, Reu- 
hen, Ephraim, and Dan, Thefe fame 
beafts, befide, we may obferve drawing the 
myftic chariot feen in vifion by Ezekiel, 
chap, i. ver. 10; and Chriftians adopted 
them, doubtlefs, becaufe the fame creatures 
were exhibited in the Ifle of Patraos to 
Saint John, as he tells us — Vid* Apoca- 
iypfe, chap. iv. ver. 7* The republic of 
Venice ftill venerates the winged lion as an 
CMblem of San Marco, but it was from 
Doctor Johnfon that I learned the follow- 
ing verfes upon the fubjeft ; he laid they 
were very ancient, and very imperfeft— 
but bid me write them thus ; 

Hie Matthcus agens homincm generaliter knplct 5 
Marcus in alta frcmit, vox per deferta leonis j 
* Jura facerdotis, Lucas tenet ore juvenci, 
More volans aquitoe rcrbo petit aftrar Johannes* 

1* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. a 9 i 

In thefe latter days the tafte for em- 
blems and emblematical devices, which 
are* all of oriental original, is fallen int© 
decay from the mere propagation of litera- 
ture, as beacons are ufelefs in a broad noon- 
day fun t the laft I recollect was ^hen the 
famous witty Lord Chefterfield was fent 
ambaflador to fome foreign court, I forget 
which* — The nobleman Envoye de Louit 
$>uimze at the fame place, being called upon 
for a health, drank that of his Hiaftet under* 
die emblem of the fun — taken by his pre- 
deceflbr — (The fcene of our ftory is laid at a 
public feaft) — when the Rtiffian ftanding iip 
begged leave to toaft his empfefs under the 
emblem of a rifing moon. Next came Great 
Britain in turn ; and it was then Lord Chef- 
terfield, though unaccuftomed to fuch De- 
vices, fhewed his pfomptnefs of invention, 
by faying readily, 111 give you, gentlemen, at 
my king's emblem, then, Jojhua the leader 

Va- of 



2 9 * BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

of Heavens chofen hofl, at wbofe command the 

fun and moon flopped in the midft of their career. 

How ingenious that reply was, and how 

a-propos, time has fhown ; it has {hewn 

too, how upon the very Place de Caroufel, 

fo named from the caroufals and pageants 

made by Lewis the Fourteenth in honour of 

his then favourite miftrefs Mademoifelle de 

la Valiere, his haplefs fucceflbr was hooted, 

infulted, cannonaded, purfued to death, 

and fuffered though innocent, to convince 

mankind that the hand of the Lord is not 

fhortened, as fays the Scripture. How little 

does the prefent day of perturbation and dif- 

trefs, confufion and perplexity, in Paris, 

refemble thofe moments of triumph, when 

her proud monarch, after mortifying the 

Pope, and maflacring the puritans, fat on 

his triumphal car, with his new imprese 

the fun glowing at the back on't ; and, dif- 

miifing the old Bourbon legenda, Orbi bonus, 

took 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 293 

took that "which offended all Europe to re- 
peat, viz. Necpluribus tmpar ; and on which 
Benferade made thefe verfes : 

To His Majefty of France reprefenttng the Sun. 

Je doute qu'on le prenne avec vous fur le ton 

De Daphne ni de Phaeton, 
Lui trop ambitieux, elle trop inhumaine ; 
U n'eft point la de piege ou vous puifliez donner 

Le moyen de s'imaginer 
Qu'une femme vous fuit, ou qu'un homme vous 
mene ! 



Nor Phaeton's rafbnefs, nor Daphne's cold pride, 
Will dare in the train of this pageant to follow, 

Since what hero would venture your chariot to guide, 
What female would fly from our modern Apollo? 

* 

And fo certain is it that all thefe gaieties 
had for their objedt the diverfion of La 
Valiere, and the quieting her confcience to 
a temporary repofe, that Prior, who was 
witnefs to fome of them, records in his So- 
lomon many gaudy amufements given by 

U 3 that 



* 9 4 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

that eaftcrn monarch to Abra, mod of which 
were copies from what he had himfelf wit-; 
nefled of the French king's gallantries and 
glories, when he fays 

I court her various in each (hape and drefs* 
That luxury can form, or tafte exprefs. 

With regard to the other two words erf 
our fynonymy, signs, and fiqtjues, moft 
oriental writings, and in particular (he Holy 
Scriptures, are found full of them. The 
woman in the Revelations, who fits upon a 
fcarlet-coloured beaft, is exprefsly faid to be 
that great city which reigneth over the 
kings of the earth — a difcrimination that 
could agree only with Rome at that period, 
ch&p, xvii. verfe 18. This is a figure; 
fo was the Roman eagle in vifion to Efdras, 
book II. chap. xi. and xii. where the re-? 
public — with the voice proceeding from he? 
body not her bead — the empire under the 
twelvp Caefars^ and the papacy with triple 

crown^ 



BRITISH SYNONYMYJ 395- 

crown, are clearly figured out and ex- 
plained. But the rainbow in Genefis is a 
sign promifed by God as an everlafting 
token that he will no more drown the 
world ; but that, whilft earth remains, feed- 
time and harveft, and cold and heat, fum- 
mer and winter, and day and night fhall 
fiot ceafe. Vid. Genefis, chap. viii. verfe 
f.2 ; and chap. ix. verfe 15. In confequence 
of this, when Jefus's difciples (Matt, xxiv.) 
defire to know what fhall be the sign of 
his return, and of this world's final deftina- 
tion — our Lord confirms the faying of the 
Old Teftament, and adds — (although he tells 
them how the fun fhall be darkened, and 
the moon fhall not give her light, with 
other dreadful occurrences) — that as the 
days of Noe were, fo fhall the coming of 
the Son of Man be j for as in the time of 
Noe they were eating and drinking, marry- 
ing and giving in marriage, till the Flood 
came and took them all away, fo fhall it be 

U 4 that 



296 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

that our Saviour's fecond coming will equal* 
ly furprife apd take men unawares. Now 
one wcyld fuppofe that utterly impoffible, 
were fuch truly unequivocal signs as thefc 
literally to precede his approach ; the world's 
end muft then be apparent to the moft flu* 
pid of mortals, and believed by the moft 
incredulous : but fhould thefe tokens be 

FIGURATIVE and EMBLEMATICAL, fhould 

thofe empires and monarchies who take the 
fun and moon for their emblems be dark- 
ened, and diminifhed, and turned into 
blood: fhould Mr. Fleming's manner of ex- 
plaining the judgments upon France be 
found as ingenious as his calculations have 
hitherto appeared to be apcurate ; the pow- 
ers from Heaven may indeed be fbaicn> 
and all the signs promifed by our Saviour 
Jiimfelf, his praecurfors and his followers, 
jnay come upon the earth, and yet his ar- 
rival be no lefs fudden and unprepared for 
— like a thief in the night — while fupimer 

and 



BJUTISH SYNONYMY. 197 

jmd winter, feed-time and harveft, may yet 

continue their uninterrupted courfe ; which 
could never be, methinks, were the third 
part of the fun to be literally fmitten, fo 
that the day thine not But thus have signs 
and figures been always miftaken j while 
each predided event has failed not to ar- 
rive, yet each Reaping notice a; the mo* 
ment of its arrival ; for was it not thus 
with the Jews upon Mefliah's firft ap- 
pearance in the flefh ? — Every fcripture was 
exa&ly fulfilled, but they perceived it not — 
So will it be ag^in —for Heaven and Earth 
will at length pafs away ; but one tittle of 
(hat book we know will never pais aw^y. 



TALE, 



9 9 f BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



TALE, STORY, NOVEL, ROMANCE, 



ARE not fynonymous, though very near* 
ly allied. A tale of late in common don- 
verfation feems to imply a fhort narrative, 
of which the texture is flight, bqt the ap- 
plication neatly fitted, and the whole (hould 
aUb be related in eafy verfe j 'tis fuperfluous 
to add that the a&ors (Hould not be of the 
Jiigheft or upper rants of life — lefs ftill of 
heroic or fabulous race. Prior has written 
fome admirable ones, but none which exhi? 
tit a reach of mind, and knowledge of 
manners, fuch as Mr, Pope difplays, when, 
to relieve his readers from a rhyming fer* 
xnon on the ufe of riches, he fays, 

But you are tir'd, I'll tell a tale. — Agreed. 

He does then proceed to tell the moft ex- 
cellent, the woft captivating to me of all 

tales; 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 299 

tales ; and often have I regretted that Ho» 
garth dicl not live to make a feries of print* 
from it, as I well remember my father pro* 
pofing to him, and his agreeing, upon my 
repeating the verfes, which he had never 
heard till then, but admired the moment h& 
did hear, 

A mere story is in familiar acceptation- 
always underflood, I think, to be told in profe. 
Its merit is firft a happy choice, plenitude 
of incident without confufion, and of adven- 
ture without grofs improbability, becaufc 
pf the old precept incredulus odi. Among, 
the crowds of stqries related for our dak 
\j amufement, I know none which pofleC. 
fes thefe peculiar charms in equal degree 
with the firft volume of Mifs Lee's Recefs* 
for whether it be, as Dodtor Johnfon faid, 
that our minds comprehend few of life's 
poffibilities, or whether it be that life itf?lf 
affords little variety, every one who haa 
pried can tell how much labour it will coft 

to 



3oo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

to form a combination of circumftances, or 
story, fb as to have at once all the graces 
of novelty and credibility, and delight fan- 
cy without immediate violence to reafon. 
The old romances fhocked belief much 
lefs when they were firft written than they 
do now, when daily manners militate 
againft every page ; but chivalry was Once 
fafhionable enough to make their wildeft 
exploits only juft improbable among plain 
people, a§ the Recefs is at this moment ; — 
while, as Sir Philip Sydney exprefles it, 
• Man's high-ere&ed thoughts were then 
feated in a heart of cqurtefy," and the hel- 
met was hung out at the hall-door, as an en- 
fign of hofpitality ; while every knight was 
fure of a reception, every fair lady certain of 
defence ; when V amour de Dieu et des Dames 
was the modifh ftudy, interrupted perhaps 
by Perceforeft, or books of a like tendency, 
among noble readers — till induftry and 
commerce coming forward, ran their level- 
2 ling 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 301 

ling plough over the high-raifed ranks of 
focicty, an d x&ade even that delightful, 
that exquifite novel The Female Quixote, 
almoft obfolete. The novdlift indeed, who 
copies after manners merely, as Burner 
Fielding, Smollef, and a long etcaetera, 
muft content their love of fame with a li-« 
mited exiftence, and muft be fatisfied with 
old age— not expe&ing immortality— like 
portraits drefled according to the fafhion 
of the day, where the refemblance is 
ftrengthened by it at firft ; but fades away 
gradually with change of times and cu£» 
toms, till to that very drefs the pi&ure 
owes its ruin. Richardfon, RouiFeau, and 
Sterne meantime, to whofe powers of 
piercing, or foothing, or tearing the human 
heart, all imitation of manners becomes 
fecondary — even adventure and combina- 
tion of story fuperfluous — will continue 
to be wondered and wept over while lan- 
guage lives to record the names of Clarifla, 

Julie, 



$*i BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Julie, and Le Fevre. So laft, and fo will 
ever laft the Pieti of Annibal Caracci, thtf 
Sigifinunda di Furino, and Gliido's Tender 
Mother watching her expiring infant at 
Bologna. Another clafe there is of writers 
who delight not in difrobed meaning, fo 
wrap it in a fi&ion. We call thefe morale 
or political, or mythological romances J 
and bere y after the great names of Fenelon 
and Johnfon, who purchafed jiril praife by 
his Prince of Abyffinia* as the Bifhop bf 
his Telemaqtie, come in Sir Charles Ram* 
fey, and the learned Cornelia Knight. Wt 
travels of Cyrus, and her Marcos Flaminius* 
are books which all who read admire ; and 
all who neglect to read, lofe much inftruc* 
tion and delight. 



TASTE. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ^oj 



TASTE, INTELLECTUAL RELISH, NICE PER. 
CEPTIONQF EXCELLENCE, FINE DISCERN. 
MENT. 



4«to 



T;H E firft is the true word, which in ft 
breath expfeffes what all the reft, although 

* 

fynonyfllous, defcribe by ctrctimlocution. — > 
The firft is* the word profaned by (o many 
coxcombs, who repeating opinions from meft 

* • 

vrifer fhah themfelves, profefs a taste fbf 
1* hat they do not even underftand — poetry* 
painting, of the beauties of nature, which Ma 
the peculiar province of poets and painters to 
defcribe. Italians have, however, little need 

of eoUnfel here : they never, I think, pretend 
to have a taste for any thing they do not 
(incerely delight in, and have no notion of 
valuing themfelves on their nice percep- 
tions of Rafaelle's excellence,' or Petrarch's 
fbnnets ; and they wonder rationally enough 
how Englilhmen become endowed with 
7 fuch 



304 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fuch fine discernment of matters which 
depend exceedingly upon habits of life, on 
cuftoms peculiar to every country : they do 
not think it neceffary to admire Pope or 
Shakefpeare as a proof of their taste, and 
they are in the right. Pope gives them no 
real pleafure as ajtoet ; and they think truly 
enough, that, as a moralift, Seneca gives 
better precepts. Shakefpeare is intelligible 
to them only in the parts they like leaft. A 
man with bad eyes looking at a pi&ure of 
Rembrandt, is on the footing of a foreigner 
reading our hiftorical plays — Whatever is 
brightly illuminated, fays he, feems coarfe, 
and the reft I cannot difcern. A Britifh 
reader, were he equally honeft, would con- 
fefs that Dante he does not underftand, and 
that Petrarch gives back to his mind no 
image of his own, but one as romantic and 
grotefque as that of Amadis de Gaul ; where 
the love is no more unnatural (as he would 
call it), and the adventures more diverting. 

ATufcaa 



BRITISH SYNONYMT. 305 

A Tufcan meantime is entertained by the 
one, and enchanted by the other, only be* 
caufe he underflands and feels both, as wc 
underftand the Dunciad and feel the inro- 
cation — Oh for a mufe of fire ! &c* even 
into our very bones. 

Confult the genius of the place in all. 

•lis folly to fix any other criterion of true 
taste ; for although many people from 
many places may agree in praife of one 
poet, one painter, one ftyle in mufic, drefs, 
or gardening — 'tis ftill fome accident directs 
the congrefs, becaufe, on a ftri<3: fcrutiny f 
you will find all their opinions inftin&ively 
different. National character admits modi* 
fication doubtlefs, yet is it never altered 
fundamentally; you fee the indelible im- 
preflion made by the hand of nature at the 
beginning fcarce ever totally effaced. Laws 
may unite kingdoms in one common in-* 
ter^ft, 

But minds will dill look back to their own choice ; 

VOL. ii« X nor 



5 *6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

nor can adventitious circumftanccs deftray 
the germ of difference. This geim is mod 
vifiblc in T A s te , I think. A Scot or French* 
man will no more think like the Englifhman 
within thirty miles of whom he was born 
and bred, than will the fait of one plant be 
miftaken for that of another growing clofe 
to it, even after they have both been tor- 
tured into various forms and ihapes by the 
operations of chymiftry. 



Even from tfic tomb the voice of nature erics^ 
Even in our afhes live their wonted fires. 



The native of a warm climate delights K> 
loiter in a vaft but trim garden, where a 
full but gentle river glides flowly down a 
broad green flope, into a dark oblivious 
lake at the bottom, aim oft without appear- 
ing to difturb it ; while fuch a tranquil fcene 
fooths the fufpended faculties of reafon, and 
induces a difpofitlon towards calming all 

refllefs 



JJBLlTt8H SYNDBETMDfc $97 



4tftle& .thoughts .Jfrdm the ^ cdiififl eritLoa itrf 
fFime's eternal ftiuc-^aod the fwe*t rcrfe ; j* 






Labitur et labetur iri omne voliibtfis sevum- k -" 



. ^1 



is the only poetry capable of deepening the 
impreflion of fuch a landfcape- 

Meantime Mr. Gilpin would foon tell us, 
And truly too, that the chara&eriftic beauty 
.of a waterfall is not its gloffy fmppthnef^ :— 
u no j a rapid ftream broken by rocks," ,&5» 
he, " and forcing, its way through them wjth 
impetuous an^ ill re^rainedifuiy^ is the inter- 
efting feature . in a fcene ^removed from ws>ir 
tal tread. A cjafcade- like tkat defqribed but 
how, has np jperk. at all } -.the Iftke.woyld 
be better without it,-an.d every painter wpuld 
be of my opinion," J^e would oo, fjbulib 
JMr, Gilpin ; but the inhabitant of that warm 
climate,. 1 1 was 'mentioning^ did . not retire 
there with an intent to paint the view n but 
to enjoy it, Defcriptfons vary according to 

X 2 the 



3 o8 JBUTISH SYNONYMY. 

the defcriber's turn of mind j whilft each 
arraigns the taste of him who fpoke laft 
upon the fubje£t, though perhaps all are 
fight 



* ** 



TENDENCY, COURSE, DRIFT, 



ARE not fynonymoua ; the derivation of 
each explains its immediate and peculiar 
meaning. A bowl has tendency to foch 
a points but the flilp keeps her Heady 
course we fay to .the weftward, while 
the (harp winds fend the fnows in large 
drifts about the months of December or 
January, fo as to frighten thofe who are 
obliged to pafs the mountains at that incle- 
ment fcafon. In a figurative fenfe alfo, the 
literal meaning is always followed, or ought 
to be. 

A candid critic would perhaps exprefs 

himfelf 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 309 

himfelf thus, in fpeaking about the Fable of 
the Bees : " One cannot toa much applaud 
the writing of thefe volumes, but the TEN- 
Denc yls blame-worthy,becaufe the course 
of every argument is intended, if poflible, to 
adduce fome proofs of a pofition evil in it- 
felf, and terrifying in its confluences. I 
fliould have hoped, however, that this was 
not the author's original intention, but ra- 
ther an accidental drift— had not his 
other works confirmed the belief of his be- 
ing made by too much fubtlety a dupe to 
arguments, winch, had they arifen prima- 
rily from others, he perhaps would have 
Admirably refuted ; but 

To observations which ourfelves we make 
T/f e grow too partial— for the obferyer's fake. 



X 3 THICK, 



« ■ 



3 iO WWTKtf SYNDN¥MYl 

» ff'TI '*» * • 

*■« • •■*.• I t t .1 1 f " ~ * *•- > i -»-•., 






■\ r ■ ■ 



r.ARE adjeCHTC$ applicable to wqathe* 
chiefly^-^for thick, if fpea&ng of a foU4 
lody* means deafe* They *fc?wocdfc vitfy 
fcldom ufbd 1 in a figurative feafc,' aUbtiHgll 
we do fay fuch a one is of a" clq&dy tejfet 
per, and if 'twere. added nowsand then, that 
he is of a foggy one, I fecstiot mud* ami/a 
in the expreffioh j it would be defcriptive 
enough of thofe minds where the gloom is 
lefs natural than cafual, proceeding frdrn 
heavy vapours and too long ftagnatkm. 

With regard to ftate of the air, the firft 
word feems peculiarly adapted to that cali- 
ginous atmofphere which fills London to* 
wards the ioth of November, when our 
lungs are notorioufly impeded from free 
exertion, when the whole body in fhort is 
fo generally affe&ed, that the mind is fup- 

pofecj 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* &* 

"pofed to fympathize with her companion ; 
and fome people imagine it utterly impofli- 
ble to enjoy even a bright thought in a 
in i sty day. Here, however, they are I 
hope miftaken j for the mental mist will 
clear by efibrt, whilft a HAZYnefs in the 
^tmoiphere is alrnoft fare to continue ae 
long as th§ wind fits in that particular cor- 
ner which caufed it. Seamen remark that 
the tide has fome effect on thefe phaeno- 
snena ; but I am inclined to think it rather 

marks the moment, than produces theefie<Sfcc 

. Meanwhile our foreign friends from It^ly 

«• * 

and Spain have difgufts of £agli£h weather r 
half ridiculous to us, though ferious enough 
to them. That it fent back Julius .-Cagfaci 
from our coaft I half believe j certain It is,, 
that Eutropius mentions it with energy wel| 
worthy a modern Italian — 

Subje& to every (kycy influence, 



as Shakefpeare fays. 



X 4 TITLES^ 



jil BRITISH STNONTMT. 



TITLES, DISTINCTIONS, ORDERS- 



If (bch magmfic titles yet 
Not merely tkubr, 

SATS Mikon, though a ftanndi repub- 
lican, thinking 'tis plain dial there's a hie- 
rarchy in heaven. Meantime the dunce 
words on the lift are not fyoonymotis, fee 
titles and orders are alike distinc- 
tions, intended to ftimulate men to ho- 
nourable exertions ; nor can plain fcnle ap- 
plaud the prqjcd for annihilating them. 

Learning and arms have ever been the 
fources of honour, as commerce has of late 
profefled to create riches even in a barren 
faSL A wife ftate will encourage thefe to 
mutual friendfhip, by (hewing each their de- 
em the other, till 



• mtti (*« 



True tdf lore and fbchl arc die fame. 



T* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. jtf 

'Tis for the benefit of trade and labour 
that arms are painted, liveries are made, that 
robes are woven, and coronets are fet. Thpfi; 
ia our happy country, which 

To all ranks fpreads forth ambition's field, 

that toil to weave the ribbon of an order, 
know that 'tis poffible their fon$ may wear 
it How very fenfelefs then were it to hope; 
that fiich men in fuch a kingdom ever fhould 
be led fo to betray the fuccours of reafon, 
as like the unenlightened populace of France; 
they would ever defire and effed the deftruc- 

tion of DISTINCTIONS, ORDERS, TITLES ! 

In *rtf in nature, never was body found with- 
out a head, a pyramid without a point* 
'Tis not from partiality to officers that they 
are drefled in uniform, or that they are call* 
ed lieutenant, captain, general. Yet in thefe 
laft fourteen or fifteen months we have bee$ 
told, as if for news, that titles are tran~ 
fient things, and that men fhould defpife 

them, 



% H BRITISH SYNONYMY; 

them* Tranfient they are, but defpkable 
not ; becaufe they are both ufef ul and ne- 
ecflary :-~and he is the baby who' looks with 
envy on the crown and ball, feeking to break 
it, and find out what is within. 

When Fifcher was playing on the haut- 
Ijcjl at Vauxhall fiVe-and-twenty years ago, 
z dawn near where our party flood to lifted, 
cried out fuddenly, " What a wonder the 
folk de-make about that little thing there ! 
why, I could knock it all in bits with my 



LCA* 



Thus, or in no more enlightened manner 
certainly, prates againft fubordination a iell- 
created politician of our day ; who, incapa- 
ble of obtaining distinction among the 
ranks of fociety, fought like the clown to 
trcah than ell in pieces ', and fo dcjlrtj that 
harmony he had not Hull to comprehend. 
Thc-fe who can procure attention but from 
ir.ilchief, are furely like enough to leek it 
there. Yet m^r.y zl tLis moment muit, I 



BRITISH SYNONTMY. 315 

< 

think, ->fc looking round them with Tome 
degree -of horror and furprife at their own 
p©4?er of difturbing the tranquillity of na* 
tibiis, when like Sin herfelf, defcribed by 
Milton as feeding fomewhat of a iirailar fen* 
iktion, 

;*- v< — — ■ * " ' She ope#j> but to first 

,.i ExcelFd herpowV : the gates wide open flood, 

.. . f j ^VJuJc to their eyf $ ii\ fu^den view app^ar'd 

The fecrets of the hoary deep : a dark 

. . . » * • 

Illimitable ocean ; 'without bound, 

T&ithout dimenjtotiy where length, breadth, andhe\ght % 

And time and place are hjl % ■ : " . 



.V'J 



33=; 



TOLERANCE, TOLERATION, 



A DANGEROUS fynonymy to touch 
Upon, but which will be perfectly under- 
flood by foreigners of the Romifh church, 
when I acknowledge their kind and friendly 
tolerance whilft I lived among them, 

who 



3 i6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

who hid fo Iktlc idea of toleration ttv 
wards my religious opinions, that even 
conformity to the rites of their eftahtiftod 
church would not, after twenty years resi- 
dence in their country, have procured my 
corpfe burial in any confecrated ground, 
without a formal abjuration of here fy. Such 
I hlefs God is not our difpofition towards 
tbem % while we haften daily to (often the 
rigour of thofe laws, the feverity of which 
was at firft fuggefted, Heaven lenows by 
fear, not by refentment ; a pafiion brother 
Martin's honeft heart retains not, and who 
ihall dare to confound laxity of principles witb 
Chriftian benevolence? Gallic contempt of 
their Redeemers miffion, with Britifli tender? 
nefs to all who acknowledge and adore him ? 
But a great writer, who figns dissenter at 
tlje end of an adtfrefs to thofe members who. 
oppofed the repeal of the Tell A&, refufes 
tp acknowledge toleration as a favour 
frpiji the Anglican church, and loudly dp- 
% cfyres 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, $iy 

clares they claim it as a debt ; nay, gives a 
hint that 'tis they that tolerat* us, and 
not we who tolerate them ; while re* 
preaching our church with her uneafy fitu* 
ation, prefTed, as this author truly fays, be- 
tween the open invafions of Romanifts on 
the one hand, and the undermining fubtle- 
ties of Separatifts on the other, he boldly 
predicts its fpeedy fall, and views with far- 
caftic fneer its prefent ftate — a date in which, 
however, I fee no oilier danger than that 
which threatens every religious eftablifh- 
ment. The lad earthquakes alone will pro- 
cure the complete overthrow of our large 
majeftic venerable oak, which now lays 
bare to view its ili-deferved injuries in many 
a blafted branch; though ftill affording 
fhelter and confolation even to enemies feek- 
ing repofe and refuge in his (hade ; pride, 
profit, and delight to thofe who mark his 
yet undecaying vigour : — and what if nox- 
ious infe&s nourifhed by his jbices do make 

their 



3 i8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

their fpongjr nidufes upon his leaves ? ga- 
ther not the village boys and girls thefe oak- 
apples to be gilt as trophies, and, wearing 
them upon the (acred day it fared the fove- 
reign — convert their enmity to ornament? 
Yes ! the diffenters are ftiil attentive to dif- 
fenfton ; they cannot be accufed of relaxing 
from the old Oiiverian principles, however 
their own writers confefs their practice as 
puritans may be obferved to degenerate. Ever 
ready to lend their aid againft the church 
of England, fee them as when in former 
days they fought alliance with that of Home 
in order to haften our partial dellruciion ; 
fee them now blowing forward the cloud of 
eonfufion that hopes to enwrap the whole 
catholic world at once. Oh bitter have for 
ever been their droppings ! and fatally per- 
nicious would they be to the old oak ! did 
not his roots run downward and take pof- 
fefiion at the centre : — had they been fuper- 
ficial only, ruin might (till enfue. 

TRUTH, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY: 31? 



TRUTH AtfD VERACITY. 



THESE lovely, thefe valuable fubftai*. 
lives are not fyaonymous — at leaft in com- 
mon chat. We call him a man of vera- 
city, on whofe word we may rely when 
he relates a fad, although his own fame 
and intereft be concerned in the relation 1 
but when we hunt falfehood through all her 
doublings in order to detett what (he is ftu- 
dious to difguife or conceal, the ineftimable 
prize when once obtained, is truth. To 
tell the truth is our firft maxim learned 
in childhood, never pra&ifed, however, ex- 
cept by the wife and brave. — Infancy can 
fcarcely be expedted to have courage enough 
to hazard a punifhment rather than violate 
veracity ; and age lias been too long in 
learning evafions, not to pra&ife them at 
6 the 



s *o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

thedofe of life: (torn the young, and die 
mature in reafon, can alone be hoped atten- 
tion to fuch qualities ; from the laft men- 
tioned we have a right to claim it, becaufe 
truth is that central point in a wife man's 
mind, from which beyond a certain di£» 
tance he can never deviate — preferving a 
never varying centripetal force operating as 
a ftrong attraction, which holds him firm to 
principle and virtue. — Una refembles a pearl, 
lovelieft in a ftrong and open daylight, where 
all her nitid beauties £hew mod clearly.— 
Duefla is happily reprefented by an opal ; 
prized for the variety and changeablenefs of 
her colours, while mutable elegance ftill 
contrives to fubflitute fome new charm for 
every one that enquiry chafes away. Such 
gems (hew bed by candle light. 

Truth meantime is fought with moft 
fuccef3 by him who pra&ifes and loves VE- 
RACITY; and while fophiftical reafoners 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 3a « 

ftrive to difguife, to mutilate, or bury her ; 
Beattie purfues, and ftrips, and brings her 
forth to view. 



TYRANNY and OPPRESSION. 



SUBSTANTIVES of ftrong affinity, 
though not perhaps exa&ly fynonymous. — 
When Caligula wifhed the whole empire 
had but one neck, that he might have the 
pleafure of cutting it off, he exprefled a 
tyranny the moft diabolical. When one 
of our own kings, to extort money from a 
wretched Jew, caufed him to have a tooth 
drawn every day till the fum was paid 
which he infilled on the man's lending 
him, oppression was the true word for 
fuch proceeding ; and thefe qualities have at 
length been the entire ruin of focial life. 
Had princes not delighted to exert their 

vol. 11. Y power 



3 2* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

power with tyranny and oppreffion, man- 
kind would have remained contented with 
their original form of govefinment, nor 
given to clement and peaceful fovereigns 
the caufe they now have to regret the ill 
condudt of their predecefTors, whilft autho- 
rity was refpe&ed, and royalty revered. 
No tyrants, however, no oppreflbrs have 
outgone the crimes committed by the new 
law-givers of France. The peuph fouverain 
content not themfelves with wifliing their 
country's deftru&ion, and that of all others 
which may come within their grafp : — they 
actually do cut off the head of their own em- 
pire, and ftrike at thole of their neighbours 
— they mafiacre innocent and confeientious 
priefts in the very churches, on the very al- 
tars — to which feventeen helplefs creatures 
clung, and, finging the 51ft Pfalm— Mife- 
rerc mei> Dens ! — were killed in cold blood, 
giving no provocation whatever. The 
pen fie fouverain ftrip the nobles only for be- 
ing 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 323 

ing fuch ; and make at length illegal feizure 
of a privilege deemed tifurpation even in 
the Popedom : I mean the privilege of 
loofening all fubje&s from their natural 
bond of allegiance, which power they now 
endeavour to exercife (as if by fome ftrange 
judgment) againft the Pope himfelf — nay, 
nay ! they prefs the point ftill further, diC- 
folving the voluntary contra&s made with 
Heaven, and, by fetting wide convent doors, 
openly claim authority no tyrant yet ever 
pretended to — even that of breaking the 
moil folemn oaths made by free agents 
when at years of difcretion — vows not 
made to man, nor in his power to abfolve ; 
while, tearing down the retreats of forrow 
and difappointmcnt, they without mercy 
drive out Innocence to wander, with Igno- 
rance alone for her guide. That fuch un- 
commanded feclufion is evil for fociety, or 
that fuch contracts are in themfelves un- 
plcafing to God, is no excufe for thefe im- 

Y 2 pieties 



324 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

pieties — infpired by rapacity, not zeal. Of 
the nuns in France and Italy, not a fiftieth 
part have read Saint Matthew's Gofpel— 
of the friars, perhaps a tenth part : — they 
are therefore, as the lady faid to Do&or 
Moore, bien a plaindrc. What then fhall 
we fay ? Why this — That when Heaven 
is weary with looking on the wickednefs 
of this world — where power concentrated 
too often concludes in tyranny, and 
power diffufed degenerates into the moft 
dreadful oppression — where meeknefs 
fufFers infult, and harmlefs piety can find 
no refuge — the crifis muft furely be at 
hand ; for, as certainly as we know that the 
fafhion of this terraqueous globe will pafs 
away, fo furely do we know that it cannot 
furvive the feparation of its parts. Cohefion 
kept all firm, diflblution muft follow when 
union is no more. Thus natural caufes will 
be found to co-operate with the grand 
fcheme : yet, whilft every prophecy haftens 

to 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 325 

to completion, Incredulity herfelf will con- 
tribute to prove that the laft days are com- 
ing, in which we are exprefsly told how 
fcoffers fhall appear prefumptuous, felf- 
willed, defpifers of government, being not 
afraid to fpeak evil of dignities, &c. 2 Peter, 
chap. ii. 



VACANT, EMPTY, UNFILLED, VOID, 
THOUGHTLESS, 



ARE fynonymous certainly when applied 
to mental capacity: — in corporeal matters 
the laft word upon the lift can have no 
place, 'tis plain, A fentence might eafily be 
formed fo as to include them all without 
tautology, however. 

Ranelagh (fay we) was nearly empty 
laft night ; I never faw fo many feats and 
boxes vacant. Indeed, if the town were 

Y 3 not 



326 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

not void of all other amufements in fum- 
mer, I think it would be oftener unfilled 
than it is. But thoughtless perfons, who 
cannot find entertainment in their own 
minds, run in flocks to efcape refle&ion ; 
and fo the theatres and places of public 
diverfion are crowded with men and women 
falfely called gay, merely becaufe they 
haunt receptacles of people in fearch of 
gaiety ; while true cheerfulnefs delights in 
exhilarating a fmall circle of friends with 
reciprocation of elegant and playful ideas. 



VALE, VALLEY, DALE, DINGLE, DELL. 



OF thefc nearly fynonymous fubftan- 
tives, the firft upon the lift feems the firft 
in rank. We fay the vale of Evefham in 
England, the vale of Arno in Italy, the 
vale of Llwydd in Wales, vale Royal 

in 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 327 

in Cheftiire : the others imply fmaller (pace ; 
—and I know not how to exprefs myfelf, 
but our ideas always connedt fomething de- 
lightful to the firft word, fomething fublimer 
to the fee on d. 

The valleys between Alpine heights 
in Switzerland and Savoy terrify the 
mind, whilft they relieve the eye; and 
fhow the contrafting power of thofe rocks, 
which, rearing up their heads in {harp 
points — far, far above the clouds — are capa- 
ble of forming valleys, and do a&ually 
form them, among the very pinnacles of 
the mountain — places where the foot can- 
not flip, but the fancy can. 

In another ftyle of fublimity, pafling on 
from Arrachar, where the highlands of 

Scotland take a new appearance, and the 

wild fcenery roughens at every ftep, the 

valley of Glencroe exhibits a theatre of 

horror to thofe who never wandered over 

the Apennines, which in many cafes it re- 

,Y 4 femblcs 



3 aS BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

fembles clofely — only that, inftead of wind* 
ing up pine-clad fummits, as in Italy, to an ' 
incredible height, whence is heard the hea- 
vy roar of waters dafhing through a bot- 
tom almoft viewlefs, w£ pace iadly by the 
fide of our Scotch river, and look up the 
denuded hills, productive of blank forrow 
in the foul, more than of a&ive fear : [or if 
terror dots obtrude itfelf, 'tis in a different 
fhape; whilft apprehenfion once let loofe 
creates banditti, and refleds upon the hor- 
rid poffibiluy of outrages committed by fa- 
mifhed barbarity : for here is no help, no 
hope of a human creature within call, 
where all is even chaotic wildnefs and fa- 
vage vacuity. How fublime is the fenfa- 
tion at this valley's end, when we read 
the motto left upon a ftone, Reft y and be 
tbanlful ! 

A dale, my foreign readers muft be 
told, is dee^ but not extenfive: that be- 
tween Worcefterihire and Shrewfbury t 

where 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 319 

where the miners tear up their mother earth 
for profit, is bed worth the attention of 
Germans for the fcience* fake, of Italians 
for mere amufement. Colebrook dale is 

* 

really a Tartarus in Tempe : the iron bridge 
there is a juft fource of admiration ; the 
nightly fires, of a fentiment lefs pleafing 
than gloomy ; — artificial Stromboli as they 
are, wonderful imitations of Nature's dread 
volcanoes. Such a fight reminds me beft of 
Milton's fecond book, where Mammon ac- 
tually projects fuch an improvement in 
Hell, which this place not ill refembles : and 
let it alfo be remembered, 'twas the fame 
induftrious fpirit of money-getting pro- 
duced it here on earth. A dingle is in a 
pretty country juft what a dimple is in a 
pretty face ; a dingle is an unexpe&cd 
little valley in a flat country. The moft 
perfett fpecimen of a dingle is at the feat 
pf Mr. Hawkins Brown in Shropftiire or 
8 Stafford- 



330 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

StafFordfhire, I forget which. A DELL is 
that dingle ornamented* Hawthorn dell 
near Edinburgh excels in this foft kind of 
beauty ; I have fcen no fpot of fuch minute 
elegance, replete with fo many charms. 
Sweetnefe and amoenity were never, fure, 
fo happily concentrated as in the tiny fpot 
called Hawthorn Dell, fit habitation for a 
Fairy Queen. 



VARIETY, DIVERSITY, FLUCTUATION, 

CHANGE, MUTABILITY, 

VICISSITUDE. 



AMONG thefe words though analogy 
may be found, fynonymy can hardly be 
fought : the propriety depends upon the 
place in which they (land : we may there- 
fore, in order to bring them clofe together, 
cbferve, how through the numberlcfs vi- 
cissitudes 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 331 

j 

cissitudes in nature and in life, there 
is yet lefs real change than fluctua- 
tion of events, lefs true diversity per- 
haps than unremarked revolution. Even 
in the toflings of that fea, whence the third 
fubftantive upon our lift is derived, I have 
thought there was not fo much mutabi t 
lity as a light obferver would imagine. 
The fame waves probably for many years 
wafh the fame coafts — The fhells they leave 
behind them exhibit no variety. Fifh 
of the fame kind haunt the fame fhores, 

and no flight of time brings turtle to the bay 
of Dublin, or falmon to Genoa : — I mean, 
not in fufficient quantity to difprove this 
obfervation ; for now and then an extraor- 
dinary thing will happen, and flying-fifhes 

from the Pacific Ocean are at this hour 
digging out of a mountain near Verona. 

Pennant will tell us, that the fame fwallow 
occupies the fame neft every year ; and 
Do&or Johnfon faid, that no poet could 

invent 



332 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

invent a feries or combination of incidents 
the pnecognita of which might not be 
found in Homer : and fhould we claim 
an exception or two in favour of Shake- 
fpeare and Ariofto, thofe exceptions would 
only prove the rule» 

Herfchel informs us, that all nature's 
works are rotatory : if then each ftar, how- 
ever firmly fixed, has in itfelf a motion 
round its own axis, the folid contents of 
every fuch globe may be fuppofed to par* 
ticipate this fpirit of rotation. In our own 
we fee truth and error, land and fea drift- 
ing their ftaiicns with more vicissitude 
than a&ual change ; and while the natural 
fun rifes to one half of us mortals, while 
it fets to the others, we difcern in like 
manner whole regions immerfed in dark- 
nefs at beginning, now brightly illumi- 
nated with Revelation's beam ; and the trach 
of country firft irradiated, funk into fad 
opacity. 

This 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 333 

This feems indeed the evening of our 
Earth's natural day — 

Night fucceeds impervious night. 
What thofe dreadful glooms conceal. 
Fancy's glafs can ne'er reveal : 
When fliall Light the fcene improve ? 
When (hall Time the veil remove ? 
When (hall Truth my doubts difpel ? 

Awful period ! who can tell ! 

Hawkesworth. 



VENAL, MERCENARY, CORRUPT, 



ARE three adverbial adje&ives approach- 
ing to fynonymy, and that nearer, as it 
fhould feem, in nature than in common 
ufe. An individual (fay we) muftbe cor- 
rupt indeed, before he can become fo ve- 
nal as to hire or fell his perfon in a mter- 
eENARY manner for the purpofes of ano- 
ther either in love or war ; confidering that 

money 



j 3 4 BRITISH 

money which pays him as his folfc reward : 
and 'tis the fame with our political opinions 
which whofoever fells is juftly coniidered as 
guilty of proftituting the mind ; — while the 
wretches before mentioned fet to fale their 
corporeal powers, like flares in the mar- 
kets of Cairo or Conftantinople, where hu- 
roan creatures of both fexes are publicly 
purchafed for ufes of bufineis or pleafure to 
the rich and fenfual Aflatics. 



VESTURE. CLOTHES, RAIMENT, 



ARE fvnonynious in books, but not in 
converfatica — whence the firft £nd iafi are 
totally excluded, unlefs the cliicourfe turns 
upcn very ferious fubjccls indeed : for on 
fuch occasions we Anglicans quote the pri- 
mitive fathers of the Church, and lay, In 
vefte var'utasjit^fci/fura nonfit^ recollect- 



ing 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 335 



ingthat although Chrifts vesture had no 
feam, yet was it notwithftanding of divers 
colours— for unity and uniformity are no 
fynonyroes with us, however Romanifts 
are difpofed to explain them. Meantime 
raiment is an old-fafhioned word, and 
clothes is the expreflion mod in common 
life. 



■ >■ ■ 



TO VEX, TO TORMENT, TO PLAGUE, 

TO HARASS, 



ARE fynonymous, or nearly fo in com- 
mon acceptation ; yet foreigners may eafily 
make miftakes : for we do not tell how the 
Cherokee Indians vex the prifoners they 

take in war, but how they torment 
them, till torpor fucceeds to anguifh, and 
wcarinefs gets the better even of fmarting 
pain. The fame may almoft be predicated 

2 of 



S3 $ BRITISH SYNONYM*. 

of mental miiery : and when two peopSf 
Jiving together fbrive to tc*j*£XT irrRfad 
of endeavouring to pleafe each other, tint 
part j has moii chance of faceefs, which has 
nxeft ikill to find the vulnerable port cf las 
compassion's chara&er ; for there arc hits* 
minds very difficult to vex, though apaUe 
enough of being harassed from mar 
fatigue ; and Doctor Golrifmhh ufed Id uB 
hutnorouflv of a. man and his wife duff 
had pl AC U£i) one another mutually for 
fereral years, till at length the hnihanrt 
found out hew he was more harassed 
and tired by the trouble cf winning eTery 
battle, than the pertinacious lady was with 
refilling, although fhe never gained a vk- 
tory ; her fpirit and genius for TO*M£ST- 
i ng being keener, as it appears, whiift her 
fallibility to vexation was duller. 



VICTIM 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 137 



VICTIM AMb SACRIFICE. 



-MlftMil 



THESE two nouns are vefry nearly 
allied, only that the fecond has other fig- 
nifications not fynonymous to the fifft — 
sacrifice being the ad of facrificing as 
wdl as the creature facrificed. Othello fays, 
when Defdemona fwears fhe is innocent, . 

Oh perjurM woman ! thou doft done my heart, 
And mak'ft me call what I intend to do, 
A murder, where I meant a sacrifice. 

The difference between our two words 
will be feert by reading Johnfon's note upon 
the pafTage, which he thus explains : Thou 
haft hardened my heart, and makeft me kill 

* 

thee with the rage of a murderer, when I 
thought to have facrificed thee to juftice 
with the calmnefs of a prieft ftriking a vic- 
tim ; for fb in old pagan days flood the 

VOL. IK Z Ag09€S y 



ZtS BRITISH SYNONYMY, 



*> 



JiTn£3 % certain i^x&aa% io rJ^A k be- 
ra.'.ftfy frnnSmg before the victim, they 
cried id tbs Fosdfcx Miximns who pre- 
fixed 21 t jC SACRIFICE, jlgySC ? Shall I tO 

work: raraning — Shall I kill him now? 
The Frra^rhmfn of our times, who fanny 
hack to hrarhrnilm with hafly fteps, pro- 
- cecd in fomewLat like the lame w»*™yr ia 
their mock trials, when die human vic- 
tim deftined to ghit die rage of their new 
idol, falfely called Liberty, is brought forth 
• — and Jlgoncf fhall we to work? is the 
cry ; — when thev cboofe the nohleft of the 
herd for sacrifice, but kill, as OtheEo 
£vs, with ftonv hearts* and mere than 
murderous rage ; when protections cf in- 
nocence are confidered as excitements to 
fury ; and fuperiority of beauty, birth or 
talents but ferve to edge the knife for 
daughter with more keennefs. Is this the 
nation that gave to mankind a Fenelon, a 
Eourdaloue, a Boileau? that poet, who 

in 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 339 

in> his twentieth year, kindling with indig- 
nation at hearing of the death of King 
Charles the Firft, made the ftanza fo hap- 
pily quoted by Mr. Murphy in his notes 
upon Tacitus : 

Quoi! cc pcuplc aveugle en fon crime, 
Qui prenant fon Roi pour victime 

Tit du trone un theatre afrreux, 
Penfe-t-il que le Ciel, complice 
D'un fi funefte sacrifice, 

N'a pour lui ni foudre ni feuz ? 

s 

Arme toi, France ! prend la foudre, 
C'eft a toi de reduire en poudre 

Ce« fanglans ennemis des loix : 
Sui la Vi&oire qui t'appelle, 
Et varfur ce peuple rebelle 

Venger la quereile dee Roig. 

How ealily might a better poet than myfelf 
now turn thefe verfes againft them ! — But / 
cannot help exclaiming, 

Z % Can 



340 BRITISH 

Can impious France, thctagh frantic gfowo r 
Drag her pale victims from the throne 

While royal blood is fpilt I 
Ttct think conniving Heaven will fpare 
To hurl down thunder-bolts, and (hare 

In fuch gigantic guilt? 

No; tardy-footed Vengeance (talks* 
Round her depopulated walks, 

And waits the, dreadful hour 
' When defp'rate Wretchednefs fliall rav^ 
And hot Contagion fill the grave, 

And Famine bid devour. 



Rife warriors* rife ! with hoftile fway 
Accelerate the deftin'd day, 

Revenge the royal caufe ; 
Exerting well-united force, 
Tear thofe decrees that would divorce 

True liberty from laws. 



VIGILANT, 



BRITISH SYtfONYMY. 341 



VIGILANT, WATCHFUL, CIRCUMSPECT. 



EQUALLY attentive to intereft as duty f 
thefe adverbial adje&ives exprefs with a 
prodigious clofenefs in affinity how the 
mifer is circumspect, the faint is vigi- 
lant, and the foldier watchful. For 
though the two laft are fyiionymous, ftriftly 
{peaking ; and their derivation the fame, as 
to meaning; we fay truly enough, that 
the firft (its like a hare upon her form, 
looking round on every fide for fear of a fur- 
prife; the fecond, 

Eyes with tedious vigils red, 

borrows from the night, hours of con- 
verting with Heaven where no night is; 
and the third keeps himfelf ready to repel 
any fudden affault, fearlefs, but unfufpicious, 
yet well prepared againft attempts of cow- 
ardice or meannefs. The circumspect 
charader trufts wholly to his own quick and 

Z 3 comprc- 



34* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

comp rehenfire fight ; the tigilast 
< VaA»ntT>g each feding dEieaSt by continual 

encourages none bat 




• ir vb»L»>» 



while die watchful gnanfian of his conn- 
try's happinefs defies attack, and defpifes coo- 
{piracy : they will find him crer at Us poft. 



TO VINDICATE, TO JUSTIFY, TO SUPPORT, 

TO MAINTAIN. 



THESE wprds are very near to fynony- 
mous when there is an opinion to be vin- 
dicated, an argument supported, a po- 
sition maintained, or a previous conver- 
sation upon the fubje£t justified. Yet if 
the difpute has been occafioned more by 
words than things, I fhould find it difficult 
to justify a man for supporting with 
unneceflary ftrength a comfe of reafoning 

nearly 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 343- 

nearly able to convince without extraneous 
force ; feeing that when a propofition is 
tenable, the beft way is to maintain it 
fteadily with fome concurrent teftimony, 
and not exhauft the powers of language, as 
Mr. Pope does, to prove felf-evident truths : 
fuch as, Though mans a fool, yet God is wife : 
or this, Thai if your part is ajhort one, a£ting 
that part well confers much honour > and the 
Eke; which he calls vindicating the 
ways of God to man. And Doctor John- 
fon fays, that fo much does the melody of 
numbers delight the fancy, and fo certainly 
do the flowers of rhetoric adorn it, that the 
reader of Pope's EfTay on Man is made to 
believe he is hearing fomewhat new, nor can 
recoiled, under a iiifguife fo gay, the old 
familiar talk of his mother and his nurfe. 



Z4 ON- 



f«* ramai STJBOSmSY. 



v.c* ir.> ,\ ia.^11' 



FGSUXFFT 



IHrSfc. vuubst iysaeBjnBKJHH^ or Ttay 
jarasiSy fc, ia axasaoa due, •Briaos^ ait»- 
pBByfacfcShr die feift fcfirriA to nave snoft. tt> do 
«£& wiifc AriScffV o£* rncimiftrmc^ or a 
power to irmnfrAfT ; *Jae fcmral f vkhting 
Begged, or iraflt cf ob&sratkm, which makes 
ttiEgf Bc!c attended to oBy fagotto- 

To ipcak ia pfekaer tens** a fact far in* 
fiancc,crapa£^emimif3c,Graoexpffcflbn 
cf a favourite author, although ai this mo- 
ment by me cxr£membl*£D, may, by 
looking my mind over, be pebbly recollect- 
ed ; whilft other facts, paflages, OT exprcfc 
fions, though equaKy true and ^leafing, have, 
by cot catching my attention, ar«d feizing it 
as forcibly, dipt my memory, as we fay ; and 
are now totally, hopele&y, and completely 
JORGOTTIN, fa as to defy all poflibUity of 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 34$ 

ever calling them back j for remembrance 
depends almoft wholly upon obfervation. — 
Whatever interefts the mind very ftrong- 
ly is never effaced, unlefs by efforts much 
more violent than any we can make towards 
reminifcence; — whatever does not intereft 
us, we forget* 

EXAMPLE* 

Take an intelligent old fhopkeeper from 
his defk in Cheapfide, and fhew him the 
tranfit of Mercijry over the fun's difk ; if 
four years afterwards he has forgotten it, 
tis no proof to me of his decaying memory, 
though he may make that the excufe : — he 
will remember * his brother's bankruptcy, 
which happened fix months before, with 
minute exa&nefs, recolle&ing particular cir- 
cumftances of the creditors' kindnefs or bru- 
tality, which his fons and daughters have 
forgotten: — but an aftronomical event did 
not intereft him ; fo he obferved it faintly^ 
&i)d the idea faded away; 

Again: 



tA 



346 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Again : Let ap Englifli lady prefented at 
the court of Peterfburgh find the Emprefs 
feized with a fudden fit of coughing at the 
moment fhe took her hand to kifs, nothing 
would obliterate that accident from her me- 
mory — while the courtiers and maids in 
waiting would as furely forget it; for to 
them there would be nothing new or parti- 
cularly interefting in hearing the Emprefs 

* 

cough : they would obferve it weakly, con- 
found it with a like event of the fame na- 
ture to which they had been prefent twenty 
times, and leave it loofe in their minds, un- 
remembered certainly, if not forgot- 
ten. Talking contributes much to reite- 
rate impreflions on the memory. Carthufian 
friars, and nuns of the poor Clare's order, 
are faid to remember little : their filence is 
one caufe, the flight intereft they take in 
what pafles, is another. Children delight 
in repeating every trifle to every body that 
will hear them j and when they have wearied 

all 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 347 

all around them with repetition of the fame 
remark or tale, or whatfoever 'tis, we won- 
der at their ftrength of memory. Old men 
forget, becaufe they care not whether they 
remember or no, that which is pafling be- 
fore them : the prefent world interefts them 
not ; the events of paft times, which did ii*- 
tereft them, they fail not to recolledt, and 
are moft happy to talk about — 

Laudatores temporis a£U 

Horace. 

Peafants who labour very hard, and peo- 
ple with minds pre-occupied by care for fub- 
fiftence, have little powers of recolle&ion ; 
and Captain Cook met with fome favagea 
who took no notice at all of him, or of hi$ 
fliip : had it pafled by when they were left 
bufily employed, it might not have been 
forgotten, but they had no leifure to 
cultivate curiofity. 

Enough upon this fubjedt, in a book 
3 written 



34 8 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

written for the ufe of foreigners, among 
whom Italians in particular find nothing 
lefs interefting to them than inveftigation 
of their own minds. 

A London mifs, or Bath valetudinarian, 
does not more feduloufly defire that all fuch 
Undies may be by them not only UN RE- 
MEMBERED, but wholly FORGOTTEN. 



TO WAIT, TO EXPECT, TO STAY, 



ARE three verbs, which by their near 
affinity, though not fynonymous, are a per- 
petual diftrefs to foreigners, Italians above 
all feel a propenfity to ufe the fecond upon 
every occafion, perhaps becaufe it refembles 
in found their word afpetta^ which means 
stay ; for when one man fpeaks, and ano- 
ther wifties to reply before the firft has 
finifhed, he cries JJpetta, as we do stay, or 
7 wait 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 349 
wait a little: but bidding a perfon EX- 

1 

pect what I am about to urge, would be 
a ludicrous demand for unmerited refpe&, 
and fet the hearers laughing* Yet is this 
fecond verb a very necefiary and a very 
common one. 

EXAMPLE. 

I expect to stay late this eveniog at 
the theatre, becajufe ladies are dilatory, and 
make a man wait till the crowd is gone, 
before they will venture to move. — In thi$ 
example no word can be changed for its ap- 
parent fynonyme, without manifeft violation 
of propriety. 

We fay likewife, I stay long in London 
this year for the purpofe of confulting phy- 
ficians who never leave town, and front 
whofe-ikill I expect much benefit. Goul4 
a perfect cure be obtained, it were a blei£n£ 
well worth waiting for. 



WA* 



350 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



WAR and HOSTILITY 



ARE not ftri&ly fynonymfcus: war is 
indeed a ftate of hostility, or a ftate in 
which hostilities are permitted fo far as 
is confident with the old ufages amongft 
civilized nations j but there may be hosti- 
lities unallowed by the laws of war. 

* 

In this defcription of the words 1 analogy, 
is contained an example for their ufe; the 
two fubftanthres cannot without impropriety 
be reverfed. Meantime I have read fome- 
where, that contention is exercife, but war 
is fatigue ; and that a ftate of hostilities 
with fome neighbouring power may be con- 
fidered as medicine for a ftate, rough no 
doubt and draftic, but poffibly ufeful, whilft 
a civil war is little better than a domeftic 
or culinary poifon. 



WARMTH 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ,351 



WARMTH and HEAT 



ARE in like manner allied in affinity, 
yet fynonymous in no fenfe literal or figu- 
rative. The firft is a degree of the fecond, 
mild and friendly ; the fecond is eflentiaily 
the firft kindled into rage by violent motion, 
deftru£tive in its nature, dreadful in its ef- 
feds. The two words keep thefe very 
places in our minds, when ufed in allufivc 
fignifications. The heat of paffion, the 
warmth of affe&ion. The warmth df 
patriotifm, we fay, vifible amctag the happy 
fubje&s of our Britifh etnpire, produces that 
folid texture in the conftitution which its 
members fo well know how to value, ami 
that ftrong fpirit of cobefion among individd- 
als which alone can render it immortal; while 
the heat of democratic furor hi Francie 
a&s as a dijfolvcnty melting all ranks dowa 



«S*£SD£rB! 




+ n 



*Tj* lie srik pii&f e raai ^?-fr # 




v&happy mortaK pnfleflrd with a 

&> dzodfid, let them beware of all things 




fare during thdc hft four yezis bbated 
them&ves wp exactly into that £cal deS- 
rium which Jailors kmg kept on fait pnm- 
fions are (object to, when they imagine 
green meadows are fpread before them 
watered with frefh rivulets, whkh their 
companions endeavour mod tyrannically to 
Jteep them from fharing. On the firft op* 
portnnity, however, if not forcibly v* "thheld, 
they plunge into the deep, and (ink for ever. 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 553 

Thus by a calenture milled, 

The mariner with Capture fees f 
On the fmooih ocean's azure bed, 

EnamelPd fields and verdant trees : 
With eager hafte he longs to rove 

In that farttaftic fcene, and thinks 
It muft be fome enchanted grove— 

So in he leaps, tnd down he finks. 

Swift. 



X=£ 



WAVY and UNDULATING, 



I KNOW not whether here the Saxon 
word be not the mod poetical, and the claf- 
Tical one mod commonly ufed on familiar 
occafions. We fay, The wavy corn floats 
very beautifully upon the undulating 
downs between Lewes and Brighthelmftone : 
the words could not be tranfpofed : they are 
not therefore ftri&ly fynonymous, though 
both mean the fame thing. If we are tell* 

TOL. 11. A a ing 



354 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ing how founds are conveyed through the 
undul ATlJffi air, foreigners muft be care- 
ful not to ufe the firft inftead of the fecond 
adje&ive } and if he has a mind to praife a 
lady's fine hair, he muft take our old Saxon 
appellative for the curls, and call them, wavy, 

not UNDULATING. 



an- 



WAY, MANNER, MODE, MIEN, 



ARE analogous enough, certainly: the 
firft is moft comprehend ve : way in an in- 
dividual is like manners in an aggregate, 
the difcriminating peculiarity which marks 
a character. What Johnfon tells us (fays 
Lord Pembroke) would not (hike one fo 
much, were it not for his bow-wow wa r. 
Thefc tltms have been touched on before, 
under the articles Habit and Cuftom. Wat 
is however the trae word, and LoFd Pem~ 

broke'* 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 35s 

broke'sboh mot, if it is one, could have 1 ended 
with no other. The Mien of a lady is include 
ed in her way* If {he has a haughty mien, 
we fliall be apt to catch her receiv.ing.and re- 
turning common compliments with a proud 
forbidding way ; and thofe who beft know 
the world agree, that, as more elegance of ex* 
terior is juftly expected from the female fex f 
a pleating manner is more indifpenfable 
in women than in men ; for without fome- 
thing for which we have at laft no neater 
phrafe than a gentle manner and a win- 
ning way, expreflion is apt to heighten 

into ficrcenefs, and fymmetrical perfe&on 
degenerate into mere infipidity. 



■ .. 1 i t ■ ' ■■ , 1 1 1 t. 



WAYLESS, PATHLESS, UNTRACKED, 



ARE fynonymous in verfe, I dunk ; but 
the firft is ftldom if ever chofen for conver- 
fation, though a ufefulword, and expreffive 

A a a enough, 



35$ BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

enough, were we to fpeak of Byron's croflk 
ing the continent of America on foot, as 
we all know he did towards the fouthern 
parts of it, before he had reached the ag* 
of twenty years — without language to en- 
quire his way, when chance brought him 
near to fome wretched habitation for hu- 
manity, through the vaft untracked 
regions and pathless woods did he and 
his companions wander, giving mankind 
an example of what hope and youth and 
courage can perform — Happy had they like- 
wife left us an example of good fellowfliip 
and union to each other, cemented as theirs 
might have been expected by fuch lingu- 
lar and fad calamities. But 'tis not from 
wanderers we can hope much virtue. Who- 
ever lives by chance will live carelefsly ; and 
he who is in hourly and anxious care for 
his own fubfiftence, will have little tender- 
nefs to fpare for others, whofe diftrefs he 
will feldom believe equal to his own. The 
2 French 



"BRITISH SYNONYMY. z$ 7 

Trench emigrants have 'indeed in fome fort 
nobly contradicted my aflertion by their 
conduft, many of thefe having laid by, for 
their dill more unhappy countrymen, a 
portion of what they themfelves received 
as alms from the generous hand of a hofpi- 
table nation. But where thefe haplefs crea- 
tures will betake themfelves, when that 
hand becomes wearied of fupporting their 
neceflities, I cannot guefs : degraded a fecond 
time, perhaps, even from the rank of wan. 
derers to that of vagabonds, they may feek 
unfound fhelrer from countries yet un- 
tucked, and perifh in the pathless 
foreft, hunted by revenge and cruelty infa- 
tiable. — Let us once more endeavour to do 
fomething for them j and refcue the ram- 
bling nobleman from the ftate of a vagrant 
obnoxious to every infult, and rendered 
unworthy the protecting hand of friendflnp. 
Foreigners will under this article, and in 

A a 3 this 



3J$ BRITISH STNONTMT. 





d& Haft poracd^ fBEssscfaoor 

wtcsSe I iriafie id cacaa a SLHEfnig, ftorrtferit 
nssy p£EaMip& naBptrtfei iff £51 ntsint Bondbfiy 
npoi lEck fiU2£& TC*a Ptoses Gosza- 
£i <S Cafngfigpe tt» ia EargEaad, be dmed 
in cfiiftjUBT wk&. IXsczor Jcfesibm at die 
hcxtit cf a coaunaa &end ; asad, tfimUMg 
k wa* a poike, a$ wdl a* gar thing to 
drink the Docker's hea&i with fane proof 
that he had read his weeks, called out from 
the top of the tabic to the bottom, that tabic 
filled with company — Ai y&r good bca*tk, 
Mr- Vagabond^ inficad cf Mr. Rawbltr\ 
which was the word he ought to have tiled, 
but to which he considered the other as 
fynonymous, for wast of z minuter atten- 
tion and better information , — though he 
/poke Engiifh for the moil part rery well, 
and by fo doing had gained a confidence in 

himfelf, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY; 3 ft 

himfelf, that this accident contributed to re* 
prefs, while it put every body in the room 
out of countenance. 



WAYWARD, FROWARD, PERVERSE, 



FORM an exceedingly unpleafant fet of 
fynonymes, ufually meaning the fame thing 
too, or very nearly ; only that the two firft 
are ufually chofen when we fpeak of baby- 
hood ; the laft, when man or woinan hating 
to be happy, or perhaps incapable of being 
pleafed, rejcd each attempt to entertain 

them, with a degree of pcrvcrferufs that 
damps all our powers of pleafing, and pro- 
cures pardon from moft of the by-ftanders if 
we forbear to undertake that talk any more. 
I am however, for my own part, inclined to 
believe that body has as much to do as mind 
with all fqch temper?. We feldom find * 

A a 4 healthy 



3 6o BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

healthy child a mow aid one; and at 
though people may, by dint of virtue and 
religion, fo fubdue their difpofitions as to 
let no wayward expreffions or appear- 
ance of a perverse temper efcape them, 
even through the persecutions of a long ill- 
nefs j yet every one who is fick feels temp* 
tation to be peevifh certainly : and nothing 
is fo fure a proof of a ftroug conftitution, 
as freedom from ill-humour and from prone* 
nefs to a perverse manner of receiving ge- 
neral civilities — mifconftruing every attempt 
to footh or to divert them. It is obfervable 
that thefe maladies of the mind are greatly 
extinguished by poverty, while people of 



\YEALTH, RICHES, OPULENCE* 



CLAIM thefe unworthy diftm&ions as their 
(hie, in$ead of coufidering their poflef- 

fions 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. ^61 

lions as a bank referred for the poor, who 
have no leifure from anxiety to indulge a 
fretful difpofition. Meanwhile the three 
fubftantives *t the head of this laft article 
are very nearly fynonymous — except that 
riches implies fertility ; while, notwith- 
ftanding that fruitfulnefs of foil mud nece£» 
farily be one great fource of the wealth 
of nations, we cannot commend the opu- 
LENce of the ground, but its richness 
and fpontaneity. A fmall glance caft back 
upon their derivations fh^ws us the rea- 
fon why. Riches are compared by Do&or 
Young to learning, while genius he fays 
is like virtue ; and he ingenioufly adds, that 
as riches are mod wanted where there is 
leaft virtue, fo is learning mod in retjqeft 
where there is leaft genius; — and Lord 
Bacon calls riches the baggage of virtue, 
ever retarding her progrefs through the 
walks of human life. Neither of the other 
words would have ferved thefe authors* 

turn. 



5 r; 2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

turn. Riches feem almoft always to imply 
portable wealth, and opulence imme- 
diately vifible to every eye. Ccpioufnds of 
every kind takes in that term 4s illuftrative, 
leaving the other two. We lay a rich 
language, a rich perfume, rich foups, 
wines, every thing that feems to contain 9 
quantity or fiilnefe of perfection ; and that 
man mud, we fay, be abfurdly oftentatiou* 
of his wealth, who wears rich drefles 
in fummer for the fake of difplaying his 
opulence, when light ones are confefled- 
ly confidered as more elegant. Wealth 
however takes in a fenfe of general weal 
or welfare, which the other words have 
not. We pray for the King's wealth : it 
•^would be ridiculous to beg of God Al- 
mighty that he fhould make him rich or 

OPULENT. 



WEARY, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- 364 



WEARY, TI£ED, FATIGUED. 



OF thefe terms the reader may take his 
choice, now he is fo near the dofe of this 
Jittje book : perhaps he may find them fy- 
nonymous too, when he reads the charac- 
ter of it given in the Reviews. We are 
tired, &y they, of the faint repetitions,, 
and fatigued with the affe&ed examina- 
tion of arguments, already fo often difcufled, 
that one is fincerely weary of going over 
them again* This is the fatal difeafe fufeft 
to bring death upon the haplefs author, 
whofe works, when they have caught it, 
pine away as in an atrophy ; for weari- 
ness is a plant propagating itfelf : who- 
ever is weary the firft hour is more wea- 
ry the fecond, and a book dropping Once 
out of a hand half afleep— -falls > to rife Ho 

Madame 



5*4 BRtTISrt SYNONYMY. 

Madame dc Maintenon told her confef- 
for, that (he would willingly pra&ife any 
form of mortification, by which her future 
felicity might in fome meafure be forward- 
' ed. He counfelled her to forbear thofc 
failfies of pleafantry and airy good hu- 
jnour, by which fhe engaged all hearts to 
her fervice, and fafcinated all hearers to her 
converfation. The lady tried j but find- 
ing, as fhe exptefles it, that, yawning herfclf 
from pure fatigue of her own company, 
fhe fet her friends and companions o'yawn* 
ing too, the penance became infupport- 
able ; and when fhe grew abfolutely tired, 
fhe left' off, left a continuance of fuch be- 
haviour might have had the very worft of 
confequences, in making her weary even 
of piety itfelf. 



WICKED| 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 365 



WICKED, GUILTY, CORRUPT, DEPRAVED, * 

FLAGITIOUS. • 



THESE odious words, notwithftanding 
their clofe affinity, are lefs ftri&ly fynony- 
mous than one would at firft imagine ; for 
which reafott the reader naturally wifhes 
repentance to the firft, feels that remorJfe 
muft for ever purfue the fecond, fees that 
regeneration alone can purify thofe which 
immediately follow; — while a whipping- 
poft fliould be the portion of their rafcally 
brother at the end. Thofe writer* who — 
doubtlefs with excellent intentions to mend 
the world-— delight in tracing villainy 
through its deeped recefles, and (hew their 
own fkill in the gradations of atrocity, 
muft correct me in this article, if I give a 
wrong account. The firft word then upon 
this detefted lift defcribes to my particular 

feelings, 



3&6 BRITISH SYNONYMti 

feelings, a man not yet wholly criminal* 
^yet haftening to be fo j while his ftrong avi- 
dity in the purfuit of fin feems fomewhat 
reftrained by immediate fear of failing in 
the grafp. The patient perfeveriftg fpirit 
of a ferpent feems for this caufe the bed 
adapted fymbolof the wicked Monckton; 
while Ferdinand Count Fathom is clearly 
flagitious, Mackenzie's Sindal vicioufly 
depraved, and Moore's Zeluco, from a 
corrupt and hateful education, becomes at 
length a truly impious chara&er, blackened 
with the guiltiest deeds* 



WISELY, JUDICIOUSLY, DISCREETLY, 

PRUDENTLY. 



\ 



IF Do&or Johnfon's notion of a fex it 
words be juft, the two firft of thefe natu* 
rally belong to men, the two laft to women ; 

for 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 367 

fat they, placed happily for tbem by Pro- 
vidence in ^ 

Life's low vale, tjic foil the virtues like, 

have feldom cccafion to a£t wisely and 
judiciously — adverbs whicjh imply a. 
choice of profeffion or fituation— feldom ia 
their power ; aftive principles of induftry, 
art, or ftrength— with which they have fel* 
dom aught to do ; although by managing 

PRUDENTLY and DISCREETLY thofe dlf- 

ftrifts which fall particularly under femalt 
infpeftion, they may doubtlefs take much of 
the burden from their companion's (boulder*, 

and lighten the load of life to mortal man. 
Towards each other I have fometimc* 
known too much discretion end in too 
little prudence. The world will now and 
then forget to reward its worfhippers, and 
after all, the wary fide is fafeft. Where 
friendfhip alone is wounded— ^/&* will 01& 
of t enderne & forbear complaint. 
;.i.". 7 ^ Meantime,, 



368 BRITISH StNOMYMT. 

Meantime, that women have a naturally 
qpitious temper, may be feen in numberlef* 
inftances. Men engaged deeply in commer- 
cial bufinefs delight to rifque much, that 
they may gun more ; while women truft in 
petty favings, and endeavour to grow rich 
rather by frugality than hazard. Female po- 
liticians confide in negociation. Elizabeth 
of England, Ifabella of Spain, hated war, 
and took every poffibte method to avoid it ; 
while Queen Anne's natural ardour to con* 
elude the peace of Utrecht coll her almoft 
her life. Prudence and discretion 
are domeftic virtues: wisdom and judg- 
ment are requifites in a ftatefman, a fol- 
dier, and a fcholar. May thofe our land 
now boafts be careful to employ thefe ex- 
cellent qualifications prudently and Bis- 
creetly ! not in forcing forward ill-timed 
reforms or dangerous innovations ; not in 
haftily driving force againft force, wheye 
the effed is at beft uncertain j not in dif- 

guifing 



rs T . 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 369 

. gulfing falfehood or palliating error, much 
• Ids in labouring by fophiftns to fubvert the 
foundations of truth j but with fomething 
like female candour acknowledging that no 
government devifed by human (kill can be 
perfect — confefs with thankfulnefs that our 
own is moft nearly fo. That found peti- 
tion once well eftablifhed in every Englifh 
heart, 

Old Britilh lenfe and Bririfh fire 
Shall guaird that freedom we poffefs ; 

Honed ambition looks no higher, 

Wifhing no more, we'll fear no lefs. j 

Fopular Ballad. 

* 

' ' '. * ' ■ ■ ■ ■ ' ' ■ t aastf 

WIT, FERTILITY OF IMAGERY, POWERS OF 
COMBINATION, VIVACITY, rilLARITY, PLEA- 
SANTRY, BRILLIANCY IN WRITING o* CON- 

- VERSATION, 



. ARE nearly, not ftridly fynemymous* 
The firft word includes all the reft, al- 
. vol. 11, B b though 



370 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

though there may be certainty orach plea- 
santry in a chara&er, whence wit pro- 
perly deferring that name never did pro* 
ceed ; and many a delightful evening may 
be fpent where natural vivacity spring- 
ing from confidence in the company, en- 
livens a circle of cheerful friends with re- 
ciprocation of elegant fprightlineft, and fa- 
cetious good humour, — feldom met with in 
thofe focieties where all powers of com- 
bination are forcibly concentrated, in 
order to produce iparkHfig concetto; or 
ftrained, for the purpofe of drawing remote 
images together. On fuch occafions, I 
think, that conftitutional hilarity which 
infpires whilft expreffing the unaffedted fenfe 
of pleafure that it feels ; is exceedingly ill 
exchanged for all the fcintillating efie&s of 
real wit, and brilliancy in conver- 
sation. I would not be underftood as if 
inclined to divert myfelf by mere fashiona- 
ble levities, - ia preference to good fe&fe ; 
„ 2 • - foch 



BRITISH SYNONYMS 371 

fuch talk delights no one, but the boys and 
girls who break mottoes together after din- 
ner : 

1 ■ 

Triflers not even in trifling can excel ; 
*Tis only folid bodies polifli well— 

£178 Do£tor Young, in whofc habit and 
conftitution the quality of wit was fo com* 
pletely incorporated, that devotion's felf 
could with difficulty fublime, or indigna- 
tion oblige it to precipitate. — Satires, Night- 
Thoughts, Eftimate of Human Life, all turn 
to epigram touched by the pen of Do&or 
Young j and all evince fertility o? 
imagery fpringing 'from the richeft foil—* 
as Johnfon told me Male cultivated ; but 
proving that principle which to obferve 
gives comfort to every heart, that invigo- 
rating principle which Bi&op Horfley fo 
tlegantly, fo emphatically calls — the^atf- 
tanezty of man. I muft teH why Do&or 

Johnfon defpifed Young's quantity of com- 

B b z mon 



37* BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

mon knowledge as comparatively finall : 
Twa» only becaufe {peaking once upon the 
fubje& of metrical compofition, our courtier 
Itemed totally ignorant of what are called 
ihepalick or rhopalick verfes, from the Greek 
word, a club, I believe, — of which I have 
read fome Latin ones preferved in the Pafle 
Terns Poetiques, very pretty. Aufonius 
gives this as a fpecimen : 

Spes deus xternac ftatk>ni$ conciliator. 

The contrivance is foon feen through ; each 
word muft be a fyllable longer than that 
which goes before, as the Club begins with 
a tip, and thickens gradually to the other 
end. Thefe verfes were intended as a label 
to be twifted fpirally round the club of 
Efculapius, I think' I have heard, but can- 
not now find the French diflertation whence 
I gained the piece of learning, — if learning 
it is, — fo unluckily miffed by Do&or Young. 

In the conjectures upon original compofi- 

tion 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 373 

1 

tlon however, written by that man of ge- 
nius, We fhall perhaps read the wittiest 
piece of profe our whole language has to 
boaft j yet from its over twinkling it feems 
little gazed at, and too lktie admired per- 
haps; fo will it ever be when authors 
feek to dazzle, not to pleafe: and evca 
when Congreve purpofely combines his 
brilliancy with pertnefs, to make it pa- 
latable for common minds, we are dill apt 
to turn away from the firft adt of Love 
for Love, and run for relief tp Trinculo oy 
Touchftone t 

* 

for 'tis not to adprq and gild each part— 
* That (hows more coft than art ; 
Jewels at nofe and lips but ill appear : 
Rather than all things wit, let none be there j 
Several lights will not be feen, 
If fhere is nothing elfe between ; a 

^Jen doul?t, fcecaufe they (land fo thick i'th'fkvj 
If thofe be ftars that paint the galaxy. 

And if fuch be the well-exemplified precept 

Bb3 of 



374 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

of Cowley, who excelled io fruitfulnefs ci 
fancy, and power of exciting ideas in richly 
furniihed minds, the neceffity of obferving 

that precept is mod certain* He was him-* 
felf aware perhaps that his verfes were fo 
truly what Hamlet calls caviare to the mil- 
lion, that none but infiru&ed readers can 
$od amufement from Cowley, whole com- 
xnbo pra&ice is to illufirate a thing not very 
plain, by another dill more obfeure and re- 
condite. 

In thefe days, hpweVer, there needs little 
caution againft overdofing our compofitions 
vnxh fheer wit, or far-fetched metaphor. 
Studied thoughts have given way to embel- 
lifhmcnts of expreffion, we gild the leaves 
now, not the fruit, while a tide of eloquence 
pver-runs all we read. 

Books are no longer written to inform^ 
but touch the mind, and every writer now 
refers from our judgment to our feelings, 
unlike the fujlen Gj$$k pfwhpm hiftorian* 

tell 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 375 

tell us, that made his grave appeal from 
Philip drunk, to Philip fober. 

Such performance* do certainly, as does 
the mufic of a finger, put us out of humour 

for a moment with folid erudition, as with 
found harmony ; but let their rhetoric be 
never fo radiant, their fweetnefs never fb 
fafcinating, when once the gay delirium fhali 
be over, we return to our old inftrudtors in 
every fcience ; and connoifleurs in convi- 
vial pleafures have allured me, that neither 
the rich cellars of Conftantia, nor the fpark- 
ling vintage of Champagne, afford the true 
and wholefome wine that a man can fit (tea* 
dily down to. — Enough upon this fubjeft. 



Bb4 16 



376 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 



TO WITHEJL, TO FAPE, TO BE BLIGHTED. 

TO DIE. 



NEUTER verbs, and neariy though not 
wholly fynonymous, when re ferred to vegp- 
table fubftances ; or figuratively taken up as 
illuftradve of out own lituation in this fub- 
lunary world, where, as Young lays in his 
True Eflimatc, u Sorrow is as the root and 
Hem of life, joy but as its flower, expeded 
at remote feafons only, then often blight- 
ed ; or if it blooms, blooming it dies" 
When I have plucked thy rofe (fays Othello 

to his fleeping Defdemona) I cannot give it 

■ » 

vital growth again — it needs muft wither* 
Let thofe therefore, that tear down the few 
flowers ftrewed ia the path pf life to make 
it lefs infupportable by giving variety to its 
windings, diftindion to its rifing grounds > 
$cc. reflect, that when once plucked, they 
J ne'er 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. . 377 

ne'er can give them vital growth again. Oh 
let them fade naturally ! nor quarrel with 
the rofe becaufe it bears a thorn. Such re-* 
formation can but end in ruin. 



TO WITHHOLD, TO RESTRAIN, TO KEEP 

FROM ACTION. 



ALL words or phrafes which feem to be 
drawn from the fcience of horfemanfhip.— 
Addifon fays 

I bridle in my ftruggling mufe with pain, 
That long; to launch into a nobler (train. 

It w^s Dr. Johnfon's fport to ridicule this 
paflage always, as a broken metaphor be- 
tween riding and failing, neither of which 
were, as he faid, particularly applicable to 
the mufe; but her poet fliould have~^iE- 
strained his run-away fancy from either 

tjie 



yjl 9VT0SH SYSO&YWf. 



see ts 33* «sa*r, m e&> 



^'iii! r»:ji 







war, tfcat k if dsJEcauff ts> icafrrp t&oa riox 
ACTIOS; aai wki jdfeioc — «MIc assorted 
bjr a casar to nstzatiaSj dscsr cxncarage can 
Ibneij be withheld: cmfidciing the 
though load report of their 



*%,4 t II* 



• *_,r_? 



» . - 1 




jfld arms, and IbrercigiitT^-HQot as a kncS 
to thefc deputed power* (a tboogjbt would 

danip the ipiH: of their trocps,) hut as a 
triinipet IzSplnng martial ardour to fubdue 
them ; for Drjdea &V3 we!!, though coarfdy, 



K~£ g*cz 23 tcu I't- jourfehres, withhold 
Tour tatons frcn the htnn'd and the bold ; 
*S<jt tempt the br^TC yid needy to defpair, 
For though vour tzclezcc &ouid leave them bare 
Of gold ir.£ £1y£t— fvords and dans remain, &c. 

A confideratioii worthy the notice of thefe 
ftlf-created defpots, whom piety cannot awe 

nor 



BRITISH SYNONYM*. 379 

nor tendernefe restrain. Men, whofe 
enormities increafing in magnitude the 
longer we are left to contemplate thenv 
confound refle&ion, and by fwelling ftill, 
and ftretchiqg up, like the gigantic fpe&rea 
fpoken of by the old poets, annihilate all 
hope of defcribing them to futurity, and 
leave our mind* poffeft alon§ of amazement, 



,j j 



WONDER, ASTONISHMENT, AND STUPOR 
CAUSED BY SURPRIZE. 



THESE qualities are not, however, fyno- 
pymous in common chat. A phrafe per- 
petually occurs in converfation where the 
firft word on the lift could alone ferve our 
purpofe, and none pf the others would at 
all fupply its place. They talk of a plague 
in "prance," fays one: — "No wonder,'* 
replies {he hearer, " people who make a 

ihambles 



$Z* BRITISH SYXONYMY. 

iharabfes cf their iLitkn, need not think it 
Arange that (6 many dead bodies thould 
create a pefti ferula! fercr from natural canfes 
mere!?, without latins a wGrd of God*s 
judgment provoked by fb fenfeleis and cruel 
an cSuiicn of human blood. Wonder too 
eafiiy becomes a fubflantive of nature far 
more pofitive, that may be fcen, heard, and 
felt, as well as understood. We fay the 
feven wonders of the world, which could 
not be furveyed without astonishment, 
are now fallen into decay, fq that I think 
none of thofe celebrated fabrics yet remain, 
except the pyramids of Egypt — monuments 
of ill-employed power, which, while we ad- 
mire, we cannot rationally approve; although 
whatever work of man's hands has lafted all 
thefc centuries, may juftly be confidered ay 
proof of ingenuity and flrength beyond the 
credibility of after ages. 

Late timc3 fhall wonder — that my joy mud raifc, 
Fob wonder is involuntary prajfe, " 

fay 



s 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 5S1 

fays Zanga, fhowing this word in its capa- 
city of verb befides all the reft, and as a verb 

'tis ufed moft frequently in difcourfc. 

Stupor occafioned by surprize mean- 
time, appears to be rather a natural and phy- 
fical effedt from a mental caufe ; when 9 
man is literally, not figuratively ama%cd t and 
planet-ftruck, as we call it, on fome fuddea 
occurrence of joy or forrow in the extreme: 
nor happens this feldom to weak-nerved, or 
over delicate people — Feeblenefs muft be the 
parent of fuch stupor, as ignorance is laid 
to be the mother of wonder ; yet thofc 
who call it fo fhould recoiled! that there are 
things which no human knowledge caa 
reach, and which 'tis therefore no difgrace 
to wonder at, exhibited every day to our 
contemplation ; and he who forbears regard- 
ing them with juft astonishment, is 
more to be pitied for his infenfibility, than 
envied for the depth of his fcience. 



wood, 



3*2 fclUTISH 



WOOD, FOREST, GROVE t 



SHOULD not be confidered as fynony- 
mous by foreigners, though they find one 
often fubftituted for the other in poetry. — 
Difcourfe keeps them feparate (till, and he 
who fhould dignify the fweet groves view- 
ed from Richmond Hill, or even the fine 
woods near Nuneham, by the name of 
forest, would be laughed at. Things of 
this kind are always rated by comparifon : 
and he who has traverfed through the fo- 
rests of America, would probably call thofe 
immenfe tradts of wood land which clothe 
the plains of Bavaria, a mere grove. To my 
mind, they brought many romantic, and 
many tremendous images, when people told 
me there were yet two days journey to be 
taken through plantations made by nature 
certainly, not art, within which were lodged 

a variety 



BRITISH SYNONYMY, 3*3 



* rarfety of aniittals,— -the wild h6& $ the 
black bear, fed deer and fckeft iniiuftcfafcfc, 
trith the Glutton* or American Catfcajoa 
ready to dart upoft them from the tft@*, and 
fattening his fangs in the vifual nerve, drlvfe 
thAft* to tfiadnefs and death for his 6\*ft ad*- 
vafrtige. There fe befide anothef diktat©- 
tion neeeflary for (bangers to be tattght t»- 
f#fee» what we aativtes naturttty kflotf If 

* ■ 

(he frames of 



<<^*^^— ^^f^fc»— p*>—^>» ^. ■ p » ii — r -..i n ■■■■■■ 1 ■■ il l » » ■*>■ 



-t-^ 



WOOD anb TIMBER. 



THE laft of which means thofe particu- 
lar trees ^hich are ufed in building, carpen- 
try, turnery ; and among thefe oak (lands 
firft, though elm is neceflary for pipes to 
carry off water ; and afh, for nothing ill, as 
Spencer fays, that makes our ploughing 
utenfils* All thefe grow to a nobler fize 

where 



3 g 4 BRITISH STNOXYMT. 

where they arc noc too thick ; and I hare isea 
.finer oaks Handing widely (cparzzc in Wcd- 
phalia — even in Hagky park tec, than any 
I could pitch upon in the fotuhera pro- 
vinces of German v t where the weeds ieeo 
ed nearly impenetrable, and where of comic 
one tree robbing another of its nutriment, 
ihe timber cannot rile to fo refpectabie a 
growth. Lord Fife's immenfe plantations 
will ferve future ages, if the world laib much 
longer, for examples of wood, grove, and 
fORRST. And well will his fucceflbrs dc- 
lerve advantage from timber planted from 
fo noble, fo difinterefted a motive by their 
truly liberal anceftor. 



WORLD, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 385 



WORLD, EARTH, GLOBE, UNIVERSE, 



ARE fo far from being philofophically 
fynonymous, that converfation language ad- 
mitting of incredible hyperbole, would fay 
the very earth was filled with books writ- 
ten to prove their difference. Popularly 
ipeaking, however, we fay that a man's 
knowledge of the world, means his ac- 
quaintance with the common forms and 
ceremonies of life, not ill called by French- 
men, the ff avoir vivre, fince he who is igno- 
rant of the world even in this limited fenfe, 
will foon be in a figurative fenfe warned to 
go out of it ; fo indifpenfably neceffary is 
that knowledge, to every day's obfervation 
and pra&ice ; nor have I often read a more 
humorous pi&ure of manners, than in 
fome play of Mr. Cumberland's — I forget 
its name— where two brothers difputing 

vol. 11. C c upon 



3 86 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

upon a point of propriety, one fays, truly 
enough, as I remember, u Dear brother !" you 
know nothing of the world." " Will you 
tell me that ?" replies his incenfed antago- 
nist, a when I hare traverfed the globe 
fo often ! crofled the line twice, and felt the 
frofts within the arctic circle : a man bred 
in London, and living always in its environs, 
has an admirable aflurance when he ufes 
that expreffion to me^ who have been wreck- 
ed on the coafts of Barbary, and (hick faft 
in the quickfands of Terra del JFuego, &c 
&c," My quotation is from memory, and 
twenty-five years at lead have elapfed fince 
I looked into the comedy by mere chance in 
a bookfeller's (hep at Brighthelmftone. But 
the pleafantry of two men taking the word 
world in a different way, with fome de- 
gree of right on both fides, ftruck me as 
comical and pretty, becaufc within the bounds 
of credibility. That grace alone is wanting 
to a dialogue once fliewa to me in manu- 

fcript, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 387 

fcript, written by the learned James Harris, 
of Salisbury, who makes one of two friends 
walking in St. James's Park, fay of a third 
that pafles by^ — " There goes a man eminent 
for his knowledge of the world." To which 
the other replies, " Ay, that indeed is a de- 
lirable companion, a perfon whofe acquaint* 
ance I fhould particularly value, as he no 
doubt could fettle the point between Tycho 
and Riccioli, concerning the fun's horizon- 
tal parallax, in which thofe two fo great 
aftronomeri contrive to differ, at leaft two 
minutes and a half. He too could perhaps 
help us to decide upon the controverfy whe- 
ther this universe is bounded by the grand 
concameration or firmament forming a vifi- 
ble arch, or whether 'tis ftretched into an 
immenfurabie fpace, occupied however at 
due diftances by a variety of revolving 
globes, differing in magnitude : fome bril- 
liant, as funs, rich in inherent fire; fome 
opaque, and habitable, as earths* attended 

.Cca by 



3 88 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

by fatellites of inferior luftre and dignity,** 
When his companion flopping him, protefb 
that the man in queftion knows nothing of 
thefe matters. u Oh then," replies the other, 

" he confines his knowledge perhaps mere- 
ly to our own planet, where doubtlefs much 
matter is afforded for reflection, — *£bcrc y 
however, mailer of the hiflorical, geogra- 
phical, and political world, be can give ac- 
count of all the difeoveries, revolutions, and 
productions, contained in thofe four conti- 
nents at lead, which compofe this terraque- 
ous globe; and leaving out marine enqui- 
ries — it is from bim we mud hope to obtain 
the cleared reafoning upon the didin&ions 
made by nature and education betwixt man 
and man ; the caufe of their different co- 
lours, and their fo fudden, or ibmetimes 
Went lapfes from perfe&ion to decay. His 
information now would be above all times 
defirable, as we are yet much perplexed 
concerning fome cuftoms of the old inhabi- 
i tants 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 389 

tants of China ; and it would be well for 
him at his leifure hours, to collate fome ob- 
fcure paflages of the Veidam with the Edda, 
&c." When this topic is exhaufted, and 
others examined in turn, and the friend 
finds out that the gentleman pa fling by knew 
the world only as a fruiterer in St. James's 
ftreet is capable of knowing it — from repeat- 
edly hearing the debts, intrigues, connec- 
tions, and (ituations of a few fafhionable 
gentleman and ladies, he ends the dialogue 
in difguft, that a creature fuperior, as he 
obferves, in no mental qualification to the 
chairman who carries him home from his 
club of an evening, fhould thus be celebrat- 
ed for fo fublime a fcience as knowledge of 

the WORLD. 

Let me not clofe this article without pro- 
tefting that I never read the dialogue in my 
life but once, above thirty years ago, and 
that I only quote the turn of it, and mull 
not be expected to remember words, or even 

C c 3 periods. 



39 o BRITISH SYNONYMY- 

periods. My imitation would be then too 
great a difgrace to his name whom I was 
early inflru&ed to hold in the higheft vene- 
ration : The defign was too ftriking to be 
ever forgotten, and for the defign alone do I 
mean to be anfwerable ; — 'twas done by me 
merely to gratify my recolle&ion of paft 
times and ftudifcs, whilft it ferved well 
enough befides to bring in our fynonymy. 

Mr. Harris delighted much in writing 
dialogues. Thi>fe at the end of David Sim-? 
pie are his, and exquifite are they in their 
kind. There are fome in the world of his 
and Floyer Sydenham's both, I believe, which 
have never been printed certainly — perhaps 
never deftroyed. 



WORTH) 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. I9 * 



WORTH, PRICE, INTRINSIC VALUE, 



ARE not as near fynonymy as they are 
wifhed to be — many commodities being 
fold and bought at prices above or below 
their intrinsic value from the mere 
caprice or particular tafte of their purchafer : 
which in Italy is prettily enough termed— 
Prezzo (TAffctto. Sapphires, for example, 
are of more intrinsic value than eme- 
ralds ; — becaufe they approach nearer in 
hardnefs to a diamond, and like wife becaufe 
they poflefs a power of attracting certain 
light fubftances which the other gems do 
not : thirdly, becaufe chymifts have a way 
to difcharge the colour, fo as to impofe 
on lapidaries, and making them believe it 
a diamond, fell it for more ftili than it is 
really worth ; though he mull indeed 
have little fkill in gems, that will be fo 

C c 4 takea 



S9 i BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

taken into the net If, however, I am making 
up a ftt of jewels, like Maria Therefa's fa- 
mous nofegay, and am in want oiJalk y not 
flowers ; 'tis natural enough for me to pay 
a better price for emeralds than fapphires, 
of which my number and quantity is alrea- 
dy complete for the work. 

We have named here perhaps the only 
things which can boaft intrinsic value, 
unlefs gold in ingots or uncoined wedges 
may be added : for the worth even of 
money itfelf fluctuates daily in our own 
Hate, and every one knows that there are 
times and places in which gold is of no ufe, 
and confequently of' no value whatever. 
Even genius bears a different price in one 
age from another, while Milton's Paradife 
Loft, brought the author for his copy-right, 
only twenty pounds. Beauty, courage, 
wifdom and virtue are however of undoubt- 
ed and intrinsic value; fince a man 
fo endowed, would pafs his life on a defo- 

latc 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 39 j 

late ifland, in complete folitude, better-than 
one who was wanting in any of thofe per- 
fections. And thofe have been but light ob- 
fervers, who will cavil at the utility of the 
Jirfi j — a little recollection foon convincing 
us, that a mean or diminutive, a feeble or 
deformed body, could never endure the 
labour of providing for its own neceffities, 
while ftrength and agility (beft fecured by 
harmony of proportion,) is beyond ill 
things neceflary to the chafe of favage ani- 
mals, the fupporting fatigue, and the reno- 
vation of health and fpirits after exerting 
them to wearinefs. Such qualities are of 
real worth in every fituation humanity 
can be placed in ; but no price can ever 
obtain them. 



WORTHY, 



194 BRITISH SYNONYM^ 



WORTHY, ESTIMABLE. 



THESE agreeable adjectives are fynony- 
mous, chiefly when applied to chara&era, 
not things, and are the epithets very com* 
monly and very juftly beftowed, not on 
heroes, patriots or romantic lovers, but on 
our old Englifh country gentleman, whofe 

life affords happily, few opportunities of 
exerting prodigies of valour, or burfting 
out into fudden effufions of genius ; — but 
from its even and temperate courfe is per- 
haps particularly favourable to that fteady 
and honourable conduft, that truly esti* 
mable and worthy difpofition, which 
never glowing up into enthufiaftic fervour 
of liberality, is yet incapable of degenerat- 
ing into meannefs, or fuSering a bafe 
action to infect their family, — while their 
notion of patrictifm confiding chiefly in 

preferring 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 395 

jpreferving themfelves from dependence on 
any defcription of men, that fo they may 
never be at call of a fa&ion, they ki ep 
what talents they poflefs ready for the ufe- 
ful fervice of their king and country : like 
that good old Sir John St. Aubyn, whofe 
name was ballotted into every committee, 
at time when party rage ran higheft in 
Great Britain, and opinions, though fa 
greatly divided, met in one point at leaft ; 
that of acknowledging his character and be- , 
haviour to have been in every body's eyes 
pqually estimable and worthy. 



WRACK, WRECK, RACK. 



FOREIGNERS fhould be careful not to 
miftitke, or mifufe thefe words, fancying 
them fynonymous ; for though the deriva- 
tion is nearly the fame, and all mean break- 



in^ 



39 6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ing, or being broken as the old Englifh 
language exprefles it, we appropriate the 
firft words chiefly now, if not entirely, to 
the clouds, when a great (form or land tem- 
ped is coming on, and even the brutes ap- 
pear to expedl what is about to befall them j 
when the countryman calls home his cattle, 
obferving how the wrack rides before the 
wind, and the fheep quit the hills from 
fear. The fecond fubftantive is expreflivc 
of a fhip bulging with weight of waters, 
driven on a rock that fplits her hulk, and 
rendering her unable to Tefift the waVes, 
incapacitates her likewife from yielding to 
their violence, by toffing up and down 
with her former graceful motion ; and 
leaves her half fixed, and ftruggling with 
her fate, a fad, a hopelefs WRECK. 

The laft word upon the lift means broken 
bones and tortures, which 'tis to be hoped 
will never more be ufed in our quarter of 
the globe ; which although it looks on maf- 

facrc 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 397 

facre and murder with fomewhat more of 
aftonifliment than juft indignation, — has yet 
in thefe latter times contented its barbarity 
with fevering the limbs after death — not be- 
fore: — and whilft it tamely endures the 
fwift-fpeeding guillotine, abolifhes all qucf- 
t'ton — and banifhes the rack. 



TO WRANGLE, TO DISPUTE, TO ALTERCATE, 



ARE furely not fynonymous; the firft 
and laft are hateful words, I think, while 
the fecond verb upon our lift's a noble one. 
Were all dispute, all argument annihi- 
lated, falfehood would foon ufurp the fove- 
reignty, and truth with Aftrea return to 
her native flues. Meantime an innate dif- 
pofition towards wrangling is the bane 
of knowledge, and a torment to fociety ; he 
who controverts every point, and delights 
in making trifles the fubj^ft of alterca- 
tion, 



39l BRITTSH SV 

tion (for the nouri 
than the verb) ; hen 
he cannot prove, or 
own fenfes, for the 
cling other men out 
than the Indians, who 
firm upon an elephant's 
decs the elephant ftai 
toife. And on what dc 
— / ccrnnit tell. Sucl 
though perhaps lefs d 
better than fome of 
phcrs, who removing 
and tortciic, declare t 
the war! J cxiiU at a!! ; 
du'./ui.f, live their cw 
o;.!NG, and defire of 
ants. The ancients 
temporaries little to ir 
/.'.V art, and h 
th-n Frotag 
tweeu hiwfdi 




BRlTISll SYNONYMYV 39$ 

judges as old ftory tells, \*ith a dilemma 
not ill worth repeating. A rich young 
man, Evathlus by name, defired to learn 
his method of puzzling caufes, and paying 
him half the fum agreed upon, at firft ; 
promifed him the other half when he flxould 
have gained his firft caufe. When the time 
of ftudy was paft, Evathlus, called away to 
fome other employment, forbore pleading 
in the courts ; and Protagoras, weary of 
waiting, fued him Tor the money, — urging 
this (as he hoped) unanfwerable argument. 
Either I gain my caufe, and you Evathlus 
will be condemned to pay ; or you having 
gained it, will be obliged to pay, according 
to the original terms of our agreement. 

But the young man having learned to 
wrangle as well as his matter, foon re- 
torted upon him the following dilemma. 

Either the judge3 difcharge me, and of 
courfe the debt is made void j or they con- 
demn me, by which event I equally fave 
^6 my 



4oo BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

my moaey; for bang condemned to lofe 
I have cleariy not gained my fiift canie. 

*Tis laid that the matter remained eve 
undecided; yet from this perhaps, the young 
mea obtaining the firft mathematical honours 
at Cambridge are termed wmuxglers. 



TO WREST, TO DISTORT, TO PERVERT, 



IF meant cf language naturally enough 
follow the lad article, yet will ignorance 
often fliow powers of this kind as plainly 
as fcienee herfel£ Newfpapers, magazines 
and other periodical publications, are fur- 
prizingly fkilful in the art of DISTORTING 
metaphor, and perverting in its turn 
every figure of grammar and rhetoric ; nor 
would it be difficult to wrest all their 
common places into a fhort paffage by lefc 

violence 



BRITISH SYNONYMY* 4 qi 

violence than they are daily doing to their 
mother tongue, were we to fay in imitation 
qf a herd of novel-writers, Ricardo was 
a young fellow of fne hopes ', and made it 
bis point to cut a figure in the treafury line. 
His uncle being a m*n who faw things in 
a right light \ undertook to put his boy upon 
as rejpeftable a foot as any of his young 
companions of the fame Jlamp ; — on this 
bead therefore, little more needs be under- 
floods than that Ricardo under fuch circum- 
fiances was very happy, and foon drew 
afide the bright eyes of Mifs Julia, daugh- 
ter to his uncle's friend, a man of the fame 
defcription — a rough diamond, but who, &c 
.Of fuch twifted, fuch distorted, fuch dif. 
located language, every morning's literary 
hafh prefents us an example: nor is it 
neceflary to look in print for thefe ftored 
up allufions ; every compting-houfe exhi- 
bits choice of metaphor, beyond all that 

Sanyo's proverbs can pretend to ; and I 
vol. ii. Dd eace 



4 02 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

once was witnefs to a conversation of that 
kind, where a firing of disjointed meto- 
nymy fent me out of the room to laugh, 
when I had heard what follows. 

" MHo is expe&ed te become a bank* 
rupt foon, — have you endeavoured to get 
that money from him which is owing to 
our houfe ?" 

Anf. " Why, fir, that fellow did run up- 
on a rope to be fore, till at length he came 
to a fiand-JMl ; and they fay will now very 
toon jlick in the mud: when I heard that, 
being determined to ftrile a great Jlroke r 
you may be fare I thought k proper to 
purge him pretty brifkly ; but finding that 
the gray mare was the better borft % I re- 
folved to wait till this morning, and then 
begin to plough with the heifer ; which I 
{hall moft certainly fet about dire&ly tooth 
and nail." 

This jargon, which I defy a folitary fcho- 
lar to coaftrue, mdant only that Milo .bad 

been 



BRITISH SYNONYMY- 463 

been expenfive, and was in confequence of 
his extravagance expe&ed to ftop payment : 
that the clerk had tormented him for the 
money, but that Mild leaving his pecu- 
niary affairs in the hand of his wife, the 
clerk refolved to call on her next morning, 
and either fright or perfuade her to difcharge 
the debt, by every method in his power. 



YEARLY, ANNUAL. 



THESE words make fomewhat of an 
exception to our general rule of preferring 
rather the word of Latin, than the word of 
Saxon derivation : when two terms nearly 
fynonymous offer to our choice, the firft of 
thefe is the mod elegant, I think, annual 
being fomewhat foiled by perpetual ufe 
among traders, lawyers, public offices, and 
the like : whilft yearly has in fome mea- 

Dd 2 fure 



4Q4 BRITISH 

fure acquired dignity from the mentioning 
it. in treaties, conventions, and above all 
in (acred writ, where the yearly facrifice 
imprefies one with reverence. They are 
not fynonymous however, for this adverb 
cannot turn fubftantive as does the other, 
when a gardener calls certain plants annu- 
als, a word now accepted into the lan- 
guage, and ufed in oppofition to perennials 
both in books and converfation, I believe, 
whereas, it formerly had iis bed exiftence 
in an inferior form, when Pcpe £ud fo 
beautifully, 



AsxriL for nie, the grape, the rofc recrar, 
The juice cectareous, and the bilrav dew. 



TO 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 405 



TO YIELD, TO CEDE, TO SUBMIT, 
TO SURRENDER. 



DOCTOR Johnson would fcarcely have 
endured to read even the lift of words that 
I have given to this article, as nearly fyno- 
nymous ; the fecond of them being a new- 
ly introduced one, to which innovation he 
would not, I think, have contentedly sur- 
rendered his judgment, or submitted 
his opinion : yet it is fo neat a word, fo 
elegant, fo eafily underftood as being of 
Roman original j and I am fo defirous of 
implanting a preference of thofe to the Teu- 
tonic phrafes, that I can hardly perfuade 
myfelf to yield even to the arguments I am 
well aware he would have ufed. Speaking 
of iflands given up by one nation to ano- 
ther, when peace is made, what word can 
be fo proper to call them by, as the iflands 
newly ceded to Great Britain ? The verbs 

however are not fynonymous j we fay, Will 

D d 3 the 



4 o6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

the French yield or no? will they sub- 
mit when they fee their nation's wicked- 
nefs provoke all Europe into league againft 
them ? or will they give a proof againft 
themfelves ? — in as much as we are morally 
fure no king would thus furvey his mutilated 
empire with mad indifference, but, recollect- 
ing his own and his fon's intereft in the 
country, lave what remained in time, be- 
fore all power of renovation fhould be loft ; 
while thefe men having no other means of 
tranfmitting their names to pofterity, go on 
till a&ual ruin overwhelms them, and in- 
ftead of ceding fome places to purchafe 
quiet poffeffion of the reft, drive forwan} 
till they become forced to surrender 
wholly at their incenfed enemy's difcretion, 
perhaps to fee their native land divided — if 
not deftroyed : — and this is done under the 
mafk of patriotifm, in good time ! and pure 
love of their country ! 

What a perverfion of language ! 

ZANY, 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 407 



ZANY, JACK-PUDDEN, BUFFOON, 
MERRY-ANDREW. 



THE third of thefe is the true and tran- 
fcendental word, for which all the reft are 
mere familiar appellatives. Our two firft 
are more nearly related than they think for, 
as I believe zaki is of Venetian etymo- 
logy ; Skinner himfelf derives it from Gio- 
vanni, but forgets to fay that thofe who 
firft ufed the laft fyllable as a tender abbre- 
viation by the grammatical figure aphae- 
refis, were natives of that diftridfc whofe 
gentle inhabitants foften every thing into 
a Aiding pronunciation, delighting to call 
San Giorgio, Sanzorzo ; the Judaica, la Zue- 
ca ; with a thoufand more. Buffoonery too 
is in its higheft perfection at Venice, and 
their zani, Pagliazzo, or Macaroni, is far 

Dd4 lefs 



jot BRITISH STNONTMT. 

Ids grofcly (firming than our Engfifh 

JACK-PUDDEN, die Scotch ME2RY-AN- 

Bt£W 9 or French jean-pot age. One 
of the papers in Addifhn's Spe&ator tells us 
how every nation calls their Buffo fay the 
name of fome favourite difh ; they call him 
fikewife by the name moft familiar in con- 
versation — Jack or Pier mt<> or as we did 
Tonj y when Anthony was a commoner 
name than now — and zani is as near to 
John as Hans is, which we know comes 
from Johannes ^ as zani from zoanni, 
corrupted zani. Our Britifh critic how- 
ever, thinks that Macaroni, Potage, and 
Pudden, are the meny fellows* names, be- 
caufe they are excellent for repairing the 
fpirits no doubt, and animating that lan- 
guor, which once permitted to faften upon 
the mind, quits it no more ; but taking 
firm hold of a favourite foil, exerts thofe 
powers of reproduction, once falfely afcribed 
to lead, fymbol of dulnefs in the mineral 

world — 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 409 

world — where mercury makes the oppofite ; 
as in the focial world — mirth. 

While fuch is life, how happy are thofe 
countries where people who have a mind to 
laugh, laugh as in Italy, at ZANI, or Pdici- 
nelloj inftead of deriding with bitternefs the 
foibles of their neighbours, heightening rail- 
lery into ridicule, and making men no way 
deficient in virtue or in learning, from fome 
trifling fault ia their perfons or drefs per- 
haps, 

A proper figure for the hand of Scorn 
To point his flow and moving finger at ! 



ZEALOUS, EARNEST, IMPORTUNATE, 



ARE words and qualities very nearly 
allied in fynonymy, though we never ufe 
the laft of them at all ; till our friends and 
advifers grow too zealous for civil endur- 
ance, 



4 io BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

ance, and too earnest not to be exceflrvely 
troublefome. Nothing can be a more evi- 
dent breach of .good manners, than the im- 
(Fortunate prefling a companion to do 
any thing that he has twice refilled, although 
apparently for his benefit or pleafure, not 
our own, foliciting one's friend to eat, drink, 
dance, ride, fing, or the like. 

Some ill-bred people do, however, carry 
their difoeffing vehemence ftill further, urg- 
ing thofe who come unluckily within the 
fcope of their pretended regard — to buy or 
fell eftates ; to marry, or forbear marrying, 
as fuits the folicitor's notion of his neigh- 
bour's intereft, or of general propriety. Nor 
can the beft-informed Romanifts readily 
prevail upon themfelves to forbear ftrong 
and earnest, though often very ill-timed, 
and worfe managed, exhortations to mem- 
bers of any Chriftian church — not their own 
— for a change of opinion indifpenfable as 
they think it to our future felicity. Nor 

arc 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 411 

are thefe felicitations wholly difintereftcd, 
or, as I would fain have hoped they wero, 
merely zealous : while many moral faults^ 
faults I mean committed againft morality, 
are by them fuppofed to receive free pardon 
in confequence of one profelyte made over, 
—not to Chriftianity ; but from one fe£fc of 
Chriftians to another — Vain imagination ! 



ZONE, GIRDLE, CIRCUIT, BOUNDARY, LIMIT. 



ril put a girdle round about the earth 
In forty minutes, 

SAYS Nimble Puck, in the Midfummer 
Night's Dream : but Oberon fpared him the 
employment, recolle&ing probably, that it 
was already put there, and known by name 
of the torrid zone, which certainly does 
form a circuit, binding our terraqueous 
globe, and fixing from its middle line called 

the 



Vi2 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

the equator, degrees of latitude, and jul 
limits, whence menfuration of fpace, i 
not of time too, may be taken. 

Utqne dux dextra ccclum totidemque finiftra 

Parte fecaxit zon* , quinta eft ardentior illis ; 
Sic onus inclufum numero diilinxit eodem, 
Cura Dei j totidemque plagx tcilure premuntur. 

But though the five zones a£t as boun 
DA R i es without doubt, the words are b] 
no means fynonymous: a lady's girdle 
or fafli, may jeftingly be called her zone 
perhaps in allufion to antiquity and poeti* 
ufage ; but we fay the limits of an empire 
the boundaries of a parifh, and tell ho\^ 
Lord Anfon or Captain Cook made th< 
circuit of the globe. 

Meantime, fince that portion of the hea- 
vens which prefents itfelf to our obfervation 
and that earth which is given us to inhabit 
are all circumfcribed by fome limits, anc 
fubje&ed to fome regular boundaries 

no 



», 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. 413^ 

not to be pafled without danger of confu- 
fion and diforder, fatal to the whole aftro- 
nbmic world : let us never ceafe to wonder 
at thofe writers who encourage the prefent 
race of political madmen in their frenzy, 
and feem to enjoy as fport the confequences 
of a mania, new in its appearance, danger- 
ous in its fymptoms, dreadful in its effects 
upon the moral world j — a frenzy which 
profeffes, as thofe very writers acknowledge, 
" openly to avow, what once it was daring, 
but to think upon j" while the fame author 
fays mod truly, moil folemnly, moft fub-^ 
limely, — " That the minds of men are in 
movement from the Boryfthenes to the At- 
lantic — that obfcure murmurs .gather and 
fwell into a tempeft — that what but an in- 

ftant before feemed firm, and fpread for 
many a league like a floor of folid marble, 
at once with a tremendous noife gives way ; 
long fiflures fpread in every direction, and 
2 the 



4*4 BRITISH SYMONYMY. 

the air rrfounds with the clafh of floating 
fragments which every hour are brokei 
from the mafi." Yet does this fame atxthcx 
counfel the continuance of that condud 
which fhatteis thus, and thus endeavotus tc 
confound God's fur creation, while it de- 
nies his providence. 

u Go on" fays fhe, u generous nation! be 
our model \ go on to deftroj the empire of 
prejudices j that empire of gigantic Jbadows, 
which are formidable only while they are 
not attacked. The genius of philofophy is 
walking abroad." — But I will tranferibe no 
more. 

Terrified with this new flaming Phaeton 
that thus aeftuates the temperate, as the fun 
never heated even the torrid zone, with 
facrilegious fury, I can but deprecate the 
hour when chaftifement {hall aflume its 
right, and long endurance end in exemplary 
puniihment — An hour which as expe&ants 

8 of 



BRITISH SYNONYMY. \ 415? 

of the dreadful fcene, while maniiivdfear^ 
they muft hope too; fofc if- it never ftiould 
arrive, worfe will en£*e. — A genius ? *r 
abroad'; |he* genius of anaicay, obfcority 
and barbatlfm. w 



She comes* (he comes ! the fable throne behold 
Of Night primaeval and of Chaos old ! 
Before her, fancy's gilded elouds decay, 
And all its varying rainbows fade away. 
Wit {hoots in vain its momentary fires,. 
The meteor falls, and in a flafh expires. 
As one by one at dread Medea's (train, 
The fick'nmg dais fade offth* ethereal plain ; 

As Argus' eyes, by Hermes' wand oppreft, 
Clos'd one by one to evcrlafting reft ; 

Thus at hzrfilt approach, and fecret might. 
Art after art goes out *, and all is night. 
See Jkulkmg Truth to her old cavern fled, 
Mountains of cafuiftry heaped o'er her head ; 
Fhilofophy, which lean'd on Heav'n before, 
Shrinks to her fecond caufe, and is no jnorc ; 
Religion blufliing veils her facred (ires, 
An4 unawares Morality expires. 

Nor 



4 i6 BRITISH SYNONYMY. 

Nor public flame, nor private dares to fhine, 
Nor human fpark is left, nor glimpfe divine* 
Lo! tfiy dreid empire, Chaos, isreftorM, 
light dies befovthy uncreating word, 
Thy hand, greaMkNARCH ! lets the ctutain bB 9 
Au4; nai verfaJ dadspei* buries all,— 



FINIS. 



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