Графични страници
PDF файл

gratulate, from gratus pleasant or agreeable, is to make agreeable, and is applicable either to ourselves or others: we felicitate ourselves on having escaped the danger; we congratulate others on their good fortune; The astronomers, indeed, expect her (night) with impatience, and felicitate themselves upon her arrival.' JOHNSON. The fierce young hero who had overcome the Curiatii, instead of being congratulated by his sister for his victory, was upbraided by her for having slain her lover.' ADDISON.



Fortunate signifies having fortune (v. Chance, for tune); lucky, having luck, which is in German gluck, and in all probability comes from gelingen or lingen to succeed fortuitous, after the manner of fortune; prosperous, having prosperity; successful, i. e. full of success, enabled to succeed.

The fortunate and lucky are both applied to that which happens without the control of man; but lucky, which is a collateral term, describes the capricious goddess fortune in her most freakish humors, and fortunate represents her in her most sober mood: in other words, the fortunate is more according to the ordinary course of things; the lucky is something sudden, unaccountable, and singular; a circumstance is said to be fortunate which turns up suitably to our purpose; it is said to be lucky when it comes upon us unexpectedly, at the moment that it is wanted;

[blocks in formation]


are both greatly aided by good fortune. Fortunate and lucky are applied as much to the removal of evil as to the attainment of good; prosperous and successful are concerned only in what is good, or esteemed as such: we may be fortunate in making our escape; we are prosperous in the acquirement of wealth. Fortunate is employed for single circumstances; prosperous only for a train of circumstances; a man may be fortunate in meeting with the approbation of a superior; he is prosperous in his business; Prosperous people (for happy there are none) are hurried away with a fond sense of their present condition, and thoughtless of the mutability of fortune.' STEELE. Prosperity is extended to whatever is the object of our wishes in this world; success is that degree of prosperity which children, and all outward circumstances, constitute immediately attends our endeavours: wealth, honors, prosperity, whence the epithet prosperous may be applied to the winds as far as they favor our designs;

Ye gods, presiding over lands and seas,
And you who raging winds and waves appease,
Breathe on our swelling sails a prosp'rous wind.

[blocks in formation]

Flourish and thrive are taken likewise in the moral sense; prosper is employed only in this sense: flourish is said either of individuals or communities of men; thrive and prosper only of individuals. To flourish is to be in full possession of one's powers, physical, intellectual, and incidental; an author flourishes at a certain period; an institution flourishes; literature or trade flourishes; a nation flourishes. To thrive is to carry on one's concerns to the advantage of one's circumstances; it is a term of familiar use for those who

gain by positive labor: the industrious tradesman thrives. To prosper is to be already in advantageous circumstances: men prosper who accumulate wealth agreeably to their wishes, and beyond their expecta



Flourish and thrive are always taken in the good sense nothing flourishes but what ought to flourish; the word bespeaks the possession of that which ought to be possessed: when a poet flourishes he is the ornament of his country, the pride of human nature, the boast of literature: when a city flourishes it attains all the ends of civil association; it is advantageous not only to its own members, but to the world at large; There have been times in which no power has been brought so low as France. Few have ever flourished in greater glory.' BURKE. No one thrives without merit what is gained by the thriving man is gained by those qualities which entitle him to all he has; Every thriving grazier can think himself but ill dealt with, if within his own country he is not courted.' SOUTH. To prosper admits of different view: one may prosper by that which is bad, or prosper in that which is bad, or become bad by prospering; the attainment of one's ends, be they what they may, constitutes the prosperity; a man may prosper by means of fraud and injustice; he may prosper in the attainment of inordinate wealth or power; and he may become proud, unfeeling, and selfish, by his prosperity: so great an enemy has prosperity been considered to the virtue of man, that every good man has trembled to be in that condition; Betimes inure yourself to examine how your estate prospers.' WENTWORTH.




Well-being may be said of one or many, but more generally of a body; the well-being of society depends upon a due subordination of the different ranks of which it is composed; Have free-thinkers been authors of any inventions that conduce to the well-being of mankind?" BERKELEY. Welfare, or faring well, from the German fahren to go, respects the good condition of an individual; a parent is naturally anxious for the welfare of his child;


Acquire, in French acquirer, Latin acquiro, is compounded of ac or ad and quæro to seek, signifying to seek or get to one's self; obtain, in French obtenir, Latin obtineo, is compounded of ob and teneo to hold, signifying to lay hold or secure within one's h; gain and win are derived from the same source; namely, the French gagner, German gewinnen, Saxon winnen, from the Latin vinco, Greek xaivuuas or vixa to conquer, signifying to get the mastery over, to get into one's possession; earn comes from the Saxon tharnan, German erndten, Friezlandish arnan to reap, which is connected with the Greek apvuμau to take or get.

The idea of getting is common to these terms, but the circumstances of the action vary. We acquire by our own efforts; we obtain by the efforts of others, as well as of ourselves; we gain or win by striving; we acquiring; what we acquire comes gradually to us in earn by labor. Talents and industry are requisite for consequence of the regular exercise of our abilities; in this manner, knowledge, honor, and reputation, are acquired; It is Sallust's remark upon Cato, that the less he coveted glory, the more he acquired it.' ADDISON. Things are obtained by all means, honest or dishonest; whatever comes into our possession agreeable to our wishes is obtained; favors and reWELL-BEING, WELFARE, PROSPERITY, quests are always obtained; Were not this desire of



fame very strong, the difficulty of obtaining it, and the danger of losing it when obtained, would be suffiFortune assists in both gaining and winning, but cient to deter a man from so vain a pursuit.' ADDISON. particularly in the latter case: a subsistence, a superiority, a victory or battle, an advantage, or a pleaacquisition or improvement of a fortune, not only sure, is gained; He whose mind is engaged by the escapes the insipidity of indifference and the tediousness of inactivity, but gains enjoyments wholly unknown to those who live lazily on the toils of others.' JOHNSON. A game or a prize in the lottery is literally



For his own sake no duty he can ask,
The common welfare is our only task. JENYNS.

gotten that happiness properly lies only in the mind, and that consequently prosperity may exist without happiness; but happiness, at least as far as respects a body of men, cannot exist without some portion of prosperity.


Well-being and welfare consist of such things as more immediately affect our existence: prosperity, which comprehends both well-being and welfare, includes likewise all that can add to the enjoyments of The prosperity of a state, or of an individual, therefore, consists in the increase of wealth, power, honors, and the like; Religion affords to good men peculiar security in the enjoyment of their prosperity.' BLAIR. As outward circumstances more or less affect the happiness of man: happiness is, therefore, often substituted for prosperity; but it must never be for



An honest man may freely take his own;

The goat was mine, by singing fairly won. DRYDEN. But we may win many things, in the gaining of which fortune is more concerned than one's own exertions; 'Where the danger ends, the hero ceases: when he has won an empire, or gained his mistress, the rest of his story is not worth relating.' STEELE. A good constitution and full employment are all that is necessary for earning a livelihood; They who have earned their fortune by a laborious and industrious life are naturally tenacious of what they have painfully ac

quired.' BLAIR. Fortunes are acquired after a course of years; they are obtained by inheritance, or gained in trade; they are sometimes won at the gaming table, but seldom earned.

What is acquired is solid, and produces lasting benefit: what is obtained may often be injurious to one's health, one's interest, or one's morals: what is gained or won is often only a partial advantage, and transitory in its nature; it is gained or won only to be lost: what is earned serves only to supply the necessity of the moment; it is hardly got and quickly spent. Scholars acquire learning, obtain rewards, gain applause, and win prizes, which are often hardly earned by

the loss of health.


To acquire (v. To acquire) is a progressive and permanent action; to attain, from the Latin attineo, compounded of ac or ad and teneo to hold, signifying to rest at a thing, is a perfect and finished action: we always go on acquiring; but we stop when we have attained. What is acquired is something got into the possession; what is attained is the point arrived at. acquire a language; we attain a certain We acquire a language; we attain to a certain degree of perfection.

By abilities and perseverance we may acquire a considerable fluency in speaking several languages: but we can scarcely expect to attain to the perfection of a native in any foreign language. Ordinary powers coupled with diligence will enable a person to acquire whatever is useful; A genius is never to be acquired by art, but is the gift of nature.' GAY. We cannot attain to superiority without extraordinary talents and determined perseverance; Inquiries after happiness, and rules for attaining it, are not so necessary and useful to mankind as the arts of consolation, and supporting one's self under affliction.' SHEPHARD. Acquirements are always serviceable; attainments always




Are two abstract nouns from the same verb, denoting the thing acquired.

Acquirement implies the thing acquired for and by ourselves; acquisition, that which is acquired for another, or to the advantage of another.


People can expect to make but slender acquirements without a considerable share of industry; Men of the greatest application and acquirements can look back upon many vacant spaces and neglected parts of time.' HUGHES. Men of slender acquirements will be no acquisition to the community to which they have attached themselves; To me, who have taken pains to look at beauty, abstracted from the consideration of its being an object of desire; at power only as it sits upon another without any hopes of partaking any share of it; at wisdom and capacity without any pretension to rival or envy its acquisitions; the world is not only a mere scene, but a pleasant one.' STEELle.


Acquirement respects rather the exertions employed; acquisition, the benefit or gain accruing. To learn a language is an acquirement; to gain a class or a degree, an acquisition. The acquirements of literature far exceed in value the acquisitions of fortune.

TO GET, GAIN, OBTAIN, PROCURE. To get signifies simply to cause to have or possess ; it is generic, and the rest specific: to gain (v. To acquire) is to get the thing one wishes, or that is for one's advantage: to obtain is to get the thing aimed at or striven after to procure, from pro and curo to care for, is to get the thing wanted or sought for.

Get is not only the most general in its sense, but in its application; it may be substituted in almost every case for the other terms, for we may say to get or gain a prize, to get or obtain a reward, to get or procure a book; and it is also employed in numberless familiar cases, where the other terms would be less suitable, for what this word gains in familiarity, it loses in dignity: hence we may with propriety talk of a servant's getting some water, or a person getting a book off a shelf, or getting meat from the butcher, with numberless similar cases in which the other terms could not be employed without losing their dignity. Moreover, get is promiscuously used for whatever comes to the hand, whether good or bad, desirable or not desirable, sought for or not; The miser is more industrious than the saint: the pains of getting, the fears of losing, and the inability of enjoying his wealth, have been the mark of satire in all ages.' SPECTATOR. wishes, or the instrumentality of the agent, or both Gain, obtain, and procure, always include either the fever, a good or an ill name, without specifying any of together. Thus a person is said to get a cold, or a

the circumstances of the action: but he is said to

gain that approbation which is gratifying to his feelings; to obtain a recompence which is the object of his exertions; to procure a situation which is the end of his endeavours.

The word gain is peculiarly applicable to whatever comes to us fortuitously; what we gain constitutes our good fortune; we gain a victory, or we gain a cause; the result in both cases may be independent of our exertions; Neither Virgil nor Horace would have gained so great reputation in the world had they not been the friends and admirers of each other.' ADDISON. To obtain and procure exclude the idea of chance, and suppose exertions directed to a specific end; but the former may include the exertions of others; the latter is particularly employed for one's own personal exertions. A person obtains a situation through the recommendation of a friend: he procures a situation by applying for it. Obtain is likewise employed only in that which requires particular efforts, that which is not immediately within our reach;

All things are blended, changeable, and vain!
No hope, no wish, we perfectly obtain. JENYNS.

Procure is applicable to that which is to be got with ease, by the simple exertion of a walk, or of asking for; Ambition pushes the soul to such actions as are apt to procure honour and reputation to the actor." ADDISON.



Gain signifies in general what is gained (v. To acquire); profit, in French profit, Latin profectus, participle of proficio, i. e. pro and facio, signifies that which makes for one's good; emolument, from emolior, signifies to work out or get by working; lucre is in Latin lucrum gain, which probably comes from luo to pay, signifying that which comes to a man's purse.

Gain is here a general term, the other terms are specific the gain is that which comes to a man; it is the fruit of his exertions, or agreeable to his wish: the profit is that which accrues from the thing. Thus when applied to riches that which increases a man's estate are his gains; The gains of ordinary trades and vocations are honest and furthered by two things, chiefly by diligence and by a good name." BACON. That which flows out of his trade are his profits; that is, they are his gains upon dealing; Why may not a whole. estate, thrown into a kind of garden, turn as much to the profit as the pleasure of the owner?' ADDISON. Emolument is a species of gain from labor, or a collateral gain; of this description are a man's emoluments from an office; Except the salary of the Laureat, to which King James added the office of Historiographer, perhaps with some additional emoluments, Dryden's



whole revenue seems to have been casual.' JOHNSON. A man estimates his gains by what he receives in the year; he estimates his profits by what he receives on every article; he estimates his emoluments according to the nature of the service which he has to perform: the merchant talks of his gains; the retail dealer of his profits; the place-man of his emoluments.

Gain and profit are also taken in an abstract sense; lucre is never used otherwise; but the latter always conveys a bad meaning; it is, strictly speaking, unhallowed gain an immoderate thirst for gain is the vice of men who are always calculating profit and loss; a thirst for lucre deadens every generous feeling of the mind;

O sacred hunger of pernicious gold!
What bands of faith can impious lucre hold. DRYDEN.

Gain and profit may be extended to other objects, and sometimes opposed to each other; for as that which we gain is what we wish only, it is often the reverse of profitable: hence the force of that important question in Scripture, What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?


Good, which under different forms runs through all the northern languages, and has a great affinity to the

Greek avabos, is supposed by Adelung to be derived from the Latin gaudeo, Greek ynew, and Hebrew nп, signifying to be joyful, joy or happiness being derived from that which is good.

Good and goodness are abstract terms, drawn from the same word; the former to denote the thing that is good, the latter the inherent good property of a thing. All good comes from God, whose goodness towards his creatures is unbounded.

The good we do is determined by the tendency of the action; but our goodness in doing it is determined by the motive of our actions. Good is of a two-fold nature, physical and moral, and is opposed to evil; goodness is applicable either to the disposition of moral agents or the qualities of inanimate objects; it is opposed to badness. By the order of Providence the most horrible convulsions are made to bring about good;

Each form'd for all, promotes through private care The public good, and justly takes its share. JENYNS. The goodness or badness of any fruit depends upon its fitness to be enjoyed; The reigning error of his life was, that Savage mistook the love for the practice of virtue, and was indeed not so much a good man as the friend of goodness.' JOHNSON.


Good is an abstract universal term, which in its un

limited sense comprehends every thing that can be conceived of, as suited in all its parts to the end proposed. In this sense benefit and advantage, as well good; but the term good has likewise a limited applias utility, service, profit, &c. are all modifications of cation, which brings it to a just point of comparison

with the other terms here chosen the common idea which allies these words to each other is that of good ployed indefinitely; benefit and advantage are specias it respects a particular object. Good is here emfied by some collateral circumstances. Good is done without regard to the person who does it, or him to relative condition of the giver and receiver, who must whom it is done; but benefit has always respect to the be both specified. Hence we say of a charitable man, that he does much good, or that he bestows benefits upon this or that individual. In like manner, when speaking of particular communities or society at large, we may say that it is for the good of society or for the good of mankind that every one submits to the sacriintended for the benefit of the poorer orders that the fice of some portion of his natural liberty; but it is charitably disposed employ so much time and money in giving them instruction.

Good is limited to no mode or manner, no condition of the person or the thing; it is applied indiscriminately;

Our present good the easy task is made,

To earn superior bliss when this shall fade. JENYNS.

Benefit is more particularly applicable to the external circumstances of a person, as to his health, his improvement, his pecuniary condition, and the like; it is likewise confined in its application to persons only we may counsel another for his good, although we do not counsel him for his benefit; but we labor for the benefit of another when we set apart for him the fruits of our labor: exercise is always attended with some good to all persons; it is of particular benefit to those who are of a lethargic habit: an indiscreet zeal does more harm than good to the cause of religion; a patient cannot expect to derive benefit from a medicine when he counteracts its effects; Unless men were endowed by nature with some sense of duty or moral obligation, they could reap no benefit from revelation.' BLAIR.

Good is mostly employed for some positive and direct good; advantage for an adventitious and indirect good: the good is that which would be good to all; the advantage is that which is partially good, or good only in particular cases: it is good for a man to exert his talents; it is an advantage to him if in addition to his own efforts he has the support of friends: it may however frequently happen that he who has the most advantages derives the least good: talents, person, voice, powerful interest, a pleasing address, are all advantages; but they may produce evil instead of good if they are not directed to the right purpose; No The true art of memory is the art of attention. man will read with much advantage who is not able at pleasure to evacuate his mind.' JOHNSON.


Advantage, in French avantage, probably comes from the Latin adventum, participle of advenio, compounded of ad and venio to come to, signifying to come to any one according to his desire, or agreeable to his purpose; profit, in French profite, Latin profectus, participle of proficio, signifies that which makes for one's good.

The idea common to these terms is of some good received by a person. Advantage is general; it respects every thing which can contribute to the wishes, wants, and comforts of life: profit in its proper sense is specific; it regards only pecuniary advantage. Situations have their advantages; trade has its profits. Whatever we estimate as an advantage is so to the individual; but profits are something real: the former is a relative term, it depends on the sentiments of the person: what is an advantage to one may be a disadvantage to another;

For he in all his am'rous battles


N' advantage finds like goods and chattels. BUTLER. The latter is an absolute term: profit is alike to all under all circumstances; He does the office of a counsellor, a judge, an executor, and a friend, to all his acquaintance, without the profits which attend such offices. STEELE.


Advantage has the same signification as in the preceding article; benefit, in French bienfait, Latin benefactum, compounded of bene well, and factum done, signifies done or made to one's wishes; utility, in French utilité, Latin utilitas, and utilis useful, from utor to use, signifies the quality of being able to be used, which is also the meaning of use; service, in French service, Latin servitium, from servio to serve, signifies the quality of serving one's purpose; avail, compounded of a or ad and valeo to be strong, signifies to be strong for a purpose.

Advantage respects external or extrinsic circumstances of profit, honor, and convenience; benefit respects the consequences of actions and events; utility and service respect the good which can be drawn from the use of any object. Utility implies the intrinsic good quality which renders a thing fit for use; service the actual state of a thing which may fit it for immediate use: a thing has its utility and is made of



A large house has its advantages: suitable exercise is attended with benefit: sun-dials have their utility in ascertaining the hour precisely by the sun; and may be made serviceable at times in lieu of watches. Things are sold to advantage, or advantages are derived from buying and selling; It is the great advantage of a trading nation, that there are very few in it so dull and heavy, who may not be placed in stations of life, which may give them an opportunity of making their fortunes.' ADDISON. Persons ride or walk for the benefit of their health; For the benefit of the gentle reader, I will show what to turn over unread, and what to peruse.' STEELE. Things are purchased for their utility; If the gibbet does not produce virtue, it is yet of such incontestible utility, that I believe those gentlemen would be very unwilling that it should be removed, who are notwithstanding so zealous to steel every breast against damnation.' HAWKESWORTH. Things are retained when they are found serviceable; His wisdom and knowledge are serviceable to all who think fit to make use of them." STEELE.


A good education has always its advantages, although every one cannot derive the same benefit from the cultivation of his talents, as all have not the happy art of employing their acquirements to the right objects: riches are of no utility unless rightly employed: and edge tools are of no service which are not properly sharpened. It is of great advantage to young people to form good connections on their entrance into life it is no less beneficial to their morals to be under the guidance of the aged and experienced, from whom they may draw many useful directions for their future conduct, and many serviceable hints by way of admo


Utility, use, service, and avail, all express the idea of fitness to be employed to advantage. Utility, is applied mostly in a general sense for that which may

« ПредишнаНапред »