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thoughts into the fewest possible words, i bubbles, foam, nurses, twins, goddesses, and those the most significant, avoiding all spurs, &c., arrive from all quarters with ** matter needless, of importless burden,” the alacrity of applicants for a vacant situand being especially wary against adjectives, ation, on the least chance of being employed. and epithets involving tautology. A judi- In Angust, eight Councillors sent * excelcious economy is as wise in words as in sior" as a definition of "progress," and as money. But, as in seeking a pithy brevity representatives of " vanity" three dawa, and endeavouring to distil the quintessence five peacocks, and three asses in lion's
skins of a word, we may so easily lose ourselves escaped from the custody of the fabulist in obscurity, do not press to the extreme and strutted upon the stage. In Sepand become unintelligible. Nor need we tember, cynical allusions to lovers “soft' prune so closely as to retrench all ornament, nothings, Punch and Judy, and Lord Dunleaving the dry and barren sentence desti? dreary, appropriately divided public favour ante of grace and beauty. We must hit as "nonsense." In October, above a score the happy medium.
of dietionary meanings, “expressions of VAGUENESS aetually increases in the gratitude,” with variations, claimed our definitions. If they were shaken in a “thanks.". Owing to some Councillors lottery-wheel, and then distributed at regarding the word from a pecuniary point tandem to the various text-words given, of view, we had delicate mention of "rent many scarcely could be less applicable and " wages," and eight “coins," with Perhaps some Councillors work on the small change,” a “note of hand," and plan of the clergyman, who, collecting the other “remuneration," provided as the stray fancies and images floating on his "currency" in which to make “payment”: -- Inemory, sattered them at intervals over of the "debt." To gain our "regards,”
his manuscript leaves, filled the space Johnson, Walker, and Co., proffered, between with the most relevant thoughts through fifteen agents, their respect and he could eatch, and, finally, selected a trat esteem,” together or separate. In Novemfor this anomalous sermon.
A new pas- ber, four si Will-o'-th'-wisps" and three time has been suggested to me by these " ignis fatui” flitted past in a shadowy ague definitions--that of guessing from chase of " pleasure." And "nothing;" how the definition the word defined. First, that poor word was wasted! I have seen we must insist on a strict conformity to the two lengthy sets of verses on nothing; and Tales of grammar. Then, we must not be Fielding, who discovered “the highest so land of adopting any word that offers degree of nothing, the nothingest of all itself, but select the best word for our nothings,” wrote an “Essay upon Nopurpose. That was a high compliment thing But the Councillors, forgetting paid by Fox to Pitt :—"For my own part,” what Beaumont and Fletcher remembered, said Fuz, “I cannot say I am ever much at the a loss for a word; but the honourable
World of businesses, -member has not only a word, but the word,
Which by interpretation are mere nothings, the tery word, to express his meaning." too hastily concluded that “out of nothing For these "very words," choose racy, nothing can be made.” Therefore ten, in nervous, pure English, shunning Scotti- giving cisms, Gallicisms, and all vulgar slang; and
To airy nothing this patient elaboration will give to a sen
A local habitation and a name tence the beautiful finish of mosaic. Half unpacked "nonentity" from their “Imthe effect of the finest brilliant may be lost perial," and eleven borrowed “a footless inatasteless setting; and a genuine diamond, stocking without a leg” from the Irish for want of skilful cutting, may be despised school-master. as no more than common glass. A really This paucity of ideas leads sometimes good idea, whether it be a sparkling gem to plagiarism, more frequently to acknowA wit or a more precious jewel of profound ledged quotation, even when the copyists thought, pays well for polishing, and the are capable of equalling, and possibly ex. Zaburious wordy sentence, with due care, celling, the passage quoted. Perhaps their will assume a neater expression, and appear consciousness of this latter fact renders them in its perfected form to win admiration for indifferent in the matter
: as a Winchester ats painted and comprehensive brevity. school-boy once said—"Never mind if I do
Probably much vagueness arises from take a fancy to another's verses sometimes, that paucity
of idea which is so evident everybody knows I can make the best in From the similiarity of the definitions con- the school." In our Christmas volume, tributed by different Councillors. Froth, sixty-nine quotations were made, sixteen being from Longfellow, the rest from overstepped, and we are reminded of Shakspeare, &c., some forming an entire country passengers at a railway station, definition, others worked up as parts. To the second-class blundering into the thirdsay the least, this seems scarcely consistent class carriages, the third usurping the places with the aim of the department, which is of the second; while for Busk to turn to encourage and develope thought, and "guard” every month, as in October, is familiarise us with words, the true meaning too much to expect. and beauty of which we have personally Figurative language is natural and neascertained. Were the limited choice cessary, even in ordinary conversation, unavoidable, nicely culled quotations are occurring in almost every sentence we utter. certainly preferable to the trite maxims, Imagination, the thought-creator, tempts the common-place sentiments, and old, old us by pleasant magic and a luxuriance of ideas that revolve in cycles in the firma- images to forsake the plain definition; it ment of the Council. But why cannot we is difficult for a lively fancy to single out have originality ? Complete novelty in one idea and regard it alone; others cluster idea is rare, and a strong memory often rapidly around it, coaxing our looks and compounds meum with tuun; so much winning their way to our love, till we are so that Dr. Johnson once projected a work loth to part with them. Illustrations to show how little real fiction there is in decidedly afford a wider scope for ingenthe world, and how the same images, with uity and art than mere definitions; and slight variation, have served all the authors if the comparison is carefully drawn, who have ever written. But if, uncon- letting the resemblances be neither too sciously or not, we borrow the wit or the obvious nor too obscure, the opposite wisdom of others, let us reproduce it in a simile adorns while it explains, and pleases new and more perfect form, enriched with while it instructs. fresh graces. To read and profit, but let The definition, then, being explanatory, neither thought nor expression be traceable and the simile illustrative, the example to books, should be our aim. Let the furnishes a safety-valve for humour; all mind be a reservoir, and guide into it as the gradations of wit are admissible heremany streams as you will, so the waters be broad fun, refined drollery, or quiet satire, pure'; but fix a fountain in its centre, so that they do not degenerate into the through which these mingled waters may ridiculous. jet out in a play of fancy and a variety of The monthly definition prize must be beauty all your own.
sustained; with fifty to sixty regular conIt is unwise in a Councillor to contribute tributors, a little help from each will effect too many definitions of one word. The this object without taxing our worthy inferior destroy the effect of the superior; President. it is like placing beside a painter's master- The following, gathered from past vopiece his ruder and more careless sketches. lumes of the Family Friend,” well À certain draper whose lowest-priced gloves deserve resurrection as models, as simple were what he called best, had yet five and illustrative definitions :qualities—best, better than best, best of Misery.-Unpitied sorrow. all, better than best of all, and real best. Joy.-Hope realised. Now, if we happen to have five definitions Proverb. - The wisdom of many and the of one word, let us select only the real wit of one. best” for our representative; quality is Promise.-A mortgage on character. far more desirable than quantity, and space Conscience.- A “wide-awake," which will be saved to advantage. Of course, if is "felt.” a pair of real best is producable, all the Pique.- The bud of the “passionbetter-send the pair.
flower." When a word is not exactly to the taste Faith.- Trusting where we cannot see. of any Councillor to define, would it not be Neighbour.-One who dwells without wise to remain pro tem. a total abstainer, walls, but within our hearts. than to force imagination to an unwilling Wife.—The bachelor's extinguisher. effort? “Wherefore wilt thou jun, seeing Husband.-A “fast” man. that thou hast no tidings ready?".
Tact.--Practical wisdom. A simple division into “definitions" and Persuasion.- Argument enforced by “illustrations" would have been less liable similes and sealed with kisses, to trespass than the triple classification in- Union.-A first-class joiner, strongly troduced by Busk. As it is, the distinction recommended to families, and to persons between simile and example is constantly about to marry.
Credulity.-A mind without a sentinel the deficiencies of my own definitions, of at the door.
wbich I am painfully aware, should lessen Libel.-A word that is often followed by the effect of these remarks. But as Engan " action."
lish honesty leads me out of "cog,” I trust Doubt.-Infidelity's booking-office. that none of my fellow Councillors will be Incorrigible-Too bad to be mended offended, in any way, by my assumption of except by the maker.
a temporary censorship, solely in the hope Philosophy.-Common sense well ap- of removing some obstacles to their proplied.
gress, and placing here and there a guideConundrum. — Wit in an inquisitive post in the easiest paths. I only hint my mood.
thoughts, with submission to better judgAntipathy.-Dislike run wild.
ments, as being one Labour - A perpetual sin-tax. Coward.-One whose courage generally
“Who would his thoughts to some perfection raise,
A wisdom-lover, willing to be wise." gets into the heels.
Humility.--Greatness in simplicity. Brethren and sistren of the Council, Practice.-A finishing-master.
accept the heartiest wishes that you may I should have preferred to remain incog., have a happy new year from and subscribed myself L'Inconnu, Ignotus, Innominabilis, or something that lest
EDWARD W. H.
FAMILY PASTIM E.
The result of the proper enjoyment of comfort
and pleasure.—ELIZABETH H. HAPPINESS,
That which is often farthest from us when it is HAPPINESS is the greatest good (1), and, like within our very grasp.---PERSEVERANCE. mercy (2), blesses both giver and receiver. Its
The feeling pervading the heart when Will has fairest illustration is a little child basking in a compelled Power to benefit mankind.--A blooming, mother's love (3).- MARY W.
odorous flower, borne on the branches of our good Yoath's prerogatire and age's consolation. deeds, grafted on the tree of religion. The philan
CORDELIA. thropist's dream.-A girl's illusion.—A paradox, What we all long for, but which few obtain. that we always miss in seeking.-Love's ideal.-A
OLD YOUNG BOY.
mirror that we shatter in endeavouring to bring to A feeling never experienced by the wicked. a high polish.- A piece of patchwork, incomplete
through the ill-harmonised colours.--" Virtue alone The butterfly which the rotary of the world in
is happiness below."- REBECCA. rain pursues. Elading his eager grasp. it mocks Felicity; bliss; that for which every soul longs. his vain endeavour, and, giving him the lie,
MARIA. leaves him."-TERRA COTTA.
Felicity; state in which our desires are satisfied. Contentment. The atmosphere of love. - The
CONSTANCE DANA. sbject of life, which we lose by making it such. What we never thoroughly realise here on earth. RUTH.
EMMA S. P. 1. The three W's-plenty of work, plenty of A light which, when reflected from earthly pages, and plenty of wittles.
things alone, is fearfully transitory.-ILLA. 2. Winning the Definition Prize.
1. Harmony with God. 3. The brightest flower in life's garden.
2. The sunshine of the soul. BLANCHE ALSINGTOX.
3. To love and to be loved, to hope, to pray, To sit by the fire, with nothing to do but read the Do good to all, and trust in heaven alway. *Family friend." -LEONA.
EDWARD W. H. A party of juveniles, with light hearts and merry A delightful feeling, which springs from the foes, sitting round a good fire on a winter's night. enjoyment of doing good. -Oh, happiness! our
J.J. GORTON. being's end and aim.-STANTONVILLE. 1. A laughing child. 2. The oil of peace flowing out of a contented quantities, and very precious.--AMELIA.
Like gold, rarely to be procured but in small mind, and leaving its source in a charitable heart.
Faith in one, and love to all.-That which con3. A state of felicity seldom attained.-DEBUT.
sists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness. A state of bliss; intense pleasure; the sunshine -A stranger to a guilty conscience.-A resident in life.-CECILIA.
the realms of imagination. The crown we gain by "doing unto others as we A lover of shade and solitude; tald be done by."-Twin-sister to contentment.
A foe to pomp and noise ; Aa entire virtue, full of generosity, because it gives The true enjoyment of one's self; a rell as receives pleasure - JUSTITIA.
The fruition of social joys.-Trip.
In heaven a reality, on earth a dream.-IAGO. An agreeable sensation, which springs from the Union of hearts and hands. - Meeting one you diction, because the more we bestow upon others.
enjoyment of good (1). Happiness is like a contradearly love after a long separation.-JANE C.
the more we have for ourselves (2); a plant which That tranquil joy which is born of contentment. loves not the bleak broad road, whose flowers are “Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agree only huug upon the hedge that lines the narrow able consciousness." -Johnson. Addison's detini. way (3). - DAPHNE. tion is : " True happiness is of a retired nature, and The goal of all, the treasure-trove of few. an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first
GORGONIA. place, from the enjoyment of one's self; and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few
What is enjoyed by the successful contributors to select companions . . . In short, it feels everything
the F. F.-ELSOL. it wants within itself, and receives no addition
The state of bliss in which a man is when be from multitudes of witnesses." -ZAXONI.
has been accepted.-AGESALAUS. A sunbeam which sheds its halo over our minds,
True piety:-DORA. and makes us think of others as well as ourselves.
To enjoy ourselves at all social parties.-TAPLIS,
FORGET-ME-NOT. The redeemed spirit about to meet its God. The reward of a well-spent life.—That after
Anna Grey. which all seek, but few attain.--That which the The bridegroom's feelings-Oxox. world alone cannot give.-IMOGINE.
The sunshine of the heart (1). “Love is happi. Life's creme de la creme. --Sorrow's antidote ; ness, and happiness is love" (2); a golden gleam uninterrupted harmony; virtue's reward. — The from the portals of Paradis , lighting up the darkcrown with which, from time to time, our inward ness of earth's wilderness way, and foretelling the monitor encircies us. The ideal of our day dreams; glorious reality of that perfect happiness ” which the heart's sunshine; the men'al pass our imagina- awaits us in eternity (3).-HEATHERBELL. tion effects o'er the bridge of fancies.—The bosomfriend of Joy, nursed in the lap of Repose.
An enigma ; for we can often bestow it on others MIGNONETTE.
when we have it not, and, by the bestowing, gain
some portion for ourselves.-KATE SYDNAS. 1. The fruition of hope.
The continuing enjoyment of predominant good; 2. To all who seek for worldly bliss,
a feeling experienced by school-girls when they The voice of Wisdom cries,
come home for the holidays; the fruit of a holy "True happiness but buds on earth, life. - META. It blossoms in the skier,'' GILBERT ASHTON.
The sun of human existence.--That for which all
hope, and many may make for themselves by giving it My feeling after a quarter of an hour's sleep after to others. Its durability depends, in a great degree, a week's toothache.-EuPIKOSYNE.
upon its foundation, but, like a shadow, it often Life's ignis fatuus ; always sought, but seldom flees before us, and eludes our grasp. found without alloy.--CHARLIR F.
A. DE YOUNGE, Childhood's possession, youth's dream, manhood's hope, and old age's retrospect.-Rosina.
EXPRESSION. Love's phantasy, difficult to hold, and when possessed not fully valued.-VICTORINA.
The forms of language, thought, or feature (1), The cheat of imagination (1), which, like the like the prominent points of a landscape (2), prevision of night (2), are more beautiful in reflection
sent to the mind a representation of ideas (3).
MARY W. than in reality. --Sophy E.
The heart's exemplar.- ROSINA. The soul of music; a smile on the lips, and a light in the eyes, which a magical charm to the sentative of inner thought ; the outward utterance
The silent language of the mind; the reprefeatures supplies; the language of the eyes.
of force.-OLD YOUNG BOY. 1. The dream of childhood; a boy riding see-saw
A mode in which
heart speaks to heart through on a gate; "I am as happy as a king.”
eye and features. - VICTORINA. 2. What only a pious Christian cau truly feel.
The act of representing thought (1), as the riret 3. A summit that many strive to attain, but few flows to the sea (2), through the barriers of speech arrive at.
and feeling (8).-SOPHY E. 4. The bliss of innocence.-SPECTATOR.
The language of the eye.-CHARLIE F. What a contented mind will bring to ourselves, Imparts elegance of language to the orator, and and every one around us.-HATTIE
beauty to the painter's art - SPECTATOK. 1. The object of a universal search, but which The ever-varying lights and shades which real often, like a shadow, defies pursuit.
feeling gives to the face (1) are like suplight and 2. A beautiful flower that springs up spontane. shadow on a lovely landscape, which make it more ously in the pathway of duty. -LILY H.
lovely or more gloomy as the case may be (2). The prize in the race of life; a jewel we seldom
DAPHNE. seck for in the right way. Fullness of joy ; a fruit The “human voice divine” (1); eye-converse which seldom ripeus completely upon earth, but (2); literary “sauce"-without which no sally. which will be tasted in full perfection in heaven. however witty; no satire, however pungeut; no
Isabet. eloquence, however fervid, can fulfil its mission A young mother's love.-MAUDE.
and be rightfully understood (3).-HEATHERBELL
1. The invoice of the mind.
The soul of music.-What the sun is to the 2. That without which features soon cease to earth, so is expression to the face.-DEBUT. please, painting is nought, and music has no What the painter gives to the canvas.-What our charn-GORGONIA.
face is of our feelings.--Sometimes like glass, the Such as a skilful player will prodace from his window of our heart; and sometimes like wood, favourite instrument.--ELSOL.
the shutter to it.-AMELIA. The intoning of the prayers.-AGESALAUS. The clothing of sentiment. The silent eloquence Rays of sense, like those of the sun, acquiring that breathes and lives in the soul-speaking force by converging, and
acting more vigorously in countenance.-Life and emphasis, whether in word, a narrow compass.-DORA.
look, or performance. -LILY H. To lay the proper emphasis upon words.
That by which we tell character.-HATTIE.
TAPLIN. The mute language of the face, by which we The lorer's answer in the maiden's eye.
often unconsciously manifest our most inward Anna GREY.
thoughts and feelings.-Cecilia. " He looked daggers at me.”-Oxox.
The outward sign of inward thoughts and feel. Pasion's indicator.–The arrow of eloquence. - lose half its charm.-MARIA.
ings.—The talisman, without which music would The aim of the photographer and sculptor.--TRP.
Tbat which gives the charm to the countenance. “My love," in public; and “ You brute," in
MACD. private.- EMMA S.P.
The reflection of the soul on the countenance. Vocal thought.-- ILLA.
GILBERT ASHTON. Visible thought-The barometer of the mind. What is wanting in many brilliant pianists. Advocate Ese pleading for Solicitor Tongue.
EUPHROSYSE EDWARD W. H. Cider.-TERRA COTTA. What we learn from the power of reasoning, and “Sir, you are a gentleman."-ST. CLAIR. the form in which our thoughts are made known.
Speaking as you think, in as apt and flowing STANTONVILLE.
language as you can command.-LEONA. The light of the soul glancing through the veil of The eyes, when beaming with love, hate, or fesh.-KATE SIDSAS.
passion.-J. J. GORTOX. The soul of music.-The flower of the bad of The varied modes which indicate the thoughts of thought. -The language of the eyes. — Feeling the mind.--The different methods of telling one's poured forth in Fords.-The life of language.-The thoughts, so as to be understood in a clear and index of the face, and often its greatest charm.- feasible manner.-JUSTITIA. An enchanter, who affects many transformations.
The language of the eye.---A gleam of bright sunA. DR YOUNGE.
shine bursting forth from the clouds, illuminating The catward signs which make known internal the most dreary landscape.-ELIZABETH H. feeling.-META.
The magnet which attracts the heart to the eye. May fortune smile, and may content,
PERSEVERANCE. And peace, and joy attend
The power of representing our feelings, and the Each F. F.C. and President
form of language in which any thoughts are uttered. Of this, our " Family Friend.”—IAGO.
CONSTANCE DANA. The soul speaking in every feature of the face.
The soul's artist. perfected by the mind's JANE C.
mechanism.-Hieroglyphics, to which only a key is The words in which the tongue utters the wanting.--Policy's guide-Unspoken speech.--A thoughts of the mind, as directed by the will.-A thread which often leads us to solve the problem of mirroz in which the mind is reflected; if the mind character.-Speech in the superlative degree.-A be pure, the expression will be pure also; while an tableau vivant.-Beauty's charm.-A divive attriimpure expression is the shadow, the visible shadow bute, used by the few, and abused by the many.-of an impare mind.-ZANONI.
Deceit's domino.- REBECCA. The soul oozing out at eyes and mouth.- Ruth.
AFFECTIONATE The difference between a wax doll and a hand
Full of warm sentient love (1); like the tender une woman.-Music's greatest charm.-The but
caress of a child 2), the affectionate heart is its tartly that artists are often chasing, but seldom atch.-BLANCHE ALSINGTON.
own interpreter (3).-MAKY W. That which gives beauty to a face. What a
To be affectionate is to be true and fond.
CHARLIE F. portrait painter tries to catch for his pictures.
Affectionate hearts are easily touched by the Imagination's bandwriting.-The finishing touch,
woes of others; and not only touched, but prone to
relief.-RosinA. sithoat which nothing, however beautiful otherwise, is really perfect - IMOGINE.
Warm and zealous in friendship, tender in love,
and firm in purpose, the affectionate mother i An individuality stamped by nature on human the model of truth and kindness. - VICTORINA. ratare.-Mute eloquence, the mind's index; mobility of feature; a charm sooner felt than seen.
Fruitful in tenderness (1), as the sun's rays are
full of warmth (2), the affectionate are ever ready MIGNONETTE.
to excuse the shortcomings of those on whom their The mind's messenger. -CORDELIA.
good-will is bestowed.--SOPHY E.