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be used, and use for that which actually is used; thus things may be said to be of general utility, or of particular use; Those things which have long gone together are confederate; whereas new things piece not so well; but, though they help by their utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity. BACON. When will my friendship be of use to you?' PHILLIPS. Use comprehends in it whatever is derived from the use of a thing; service may imply that which serves for a particular purpose; avail implies that kind of service which may possibly be procured from any object, but which also may not be procured; it is therefore used in problematical cases, or in a negative sense. Prudence forbids us to destroy any thing that can be turned to a use; A man with great talents, but void of discretion, is like Polyphemus in the fable, strong and blind, endued with an irresistible force, which for want of sight is of no use to him.' ADDISON. Economy enjoins that we should not throw aside a thing so long as it is fit for service; The Greeks in the heroic age seem to have been unacquainted with the use of iron, the most serviceable of all the metals.' ROBERTSON. When entreaties are found to be of no avail, females sometimes try the force of tears; What does it avail, though Seneca had taught as good morality as Christ himself from the mount?" CUMBERLAND.



The intercession of a friend may be available to avert the resentment of one who is offended: useful lessons of experience may be drawn from all the events of life: whatever is of the best quality will be found most serviceable.


Employ, from the Latin implico, signifies to implicate, or apply for any special purpose; use, from the Latin usus and utor, signifies to enjoy or derive benefit from.

Employ expresses less than use; it is in fact a species of partial using: we always employ when we use; but we do not always use when we employ. We employ whatever we take into our service, or make sub

servient to our convenience for a time; we use whatever we entirely devote to our purpose. Whatever is employed by one person may, in its turn, be employed by another, or at different times be employed by the same person; but what is used is frequently consumed or rendered unfit for a similar use. What we employ may frequently belong to another; but what one uses is supposed to be his exclusive property. On this ground we may speak of employing persons as well as things; but we speak of using things only, and not persons, except in the most degrading sense. Persons, time, strength, and power, are employed;

I Thou, Godlike Hector! all thy force employ; Assemble all th' united band of Troy. POPE.

Houses, furniture, and all materials, of which either necessities or conveniences are composed, are used;

Straight the broad belt, with gay embroid'ry grac'd, He loos'd, the corslet from his breast unbrac'd, Then suck'd the blood, and sovʼreign balm infus'd, Which Chiron gave, and Æsculapius us'd. POPE.

It is a part of wisdom to employ well the short portion of time which is allotted to us in this sublunary state, and to use the things of this world so as not to abuse them. No one is exculpated from the guilt of an immoral action, by suffering himself to be employed as an instrument to serve the purposes of another: we ought to use our utmost endeavours to abstain from all connexion with such as wish to implicate us in their guilty practices.


Instrument, in Latin instrumentum, from instruo, signifies the thing by which an effect is produced; tool, comes probably from toil, signifying the thing with which one toils. These terms are both employed to express the means of producing an end; they differ principally in this, that the former is used in a good or an indifferent sense, the latter only in a bad sense, the instruments in bringing about great changes in for persons. Individuals in high stations are often nations; Devotion has often been found a powerful instrument in humanizing the manners of men. Blair. Spies and informers are the worthless tools of government;

Poor York! the harmless tool of others' hate,
He sues for pardon, and repents too late. SWIFT.


Abuse, in Latin abusus, participle of abutor, compounded of ab from and utor to use, signifies to use away or wear away with using; in distinction from misuse, which signifies to use amiss. Every thing is abused which receives any sort of injury; it is misused, if not used at all, or turned to a wrong


Young people are too prone to abuse books for want of setting a proper value on their contents; I know no evil so great as the abuse of the understanding, and yet there is no one vice more common.' STEELE. People misuse books when they read for amusement only instead of improvement;

You misuse the reverence of your place, As a false favourite doth his princes name In deeds dishon'rable. SHAKSPEARE.

Money is abused when it is clipped, or its value any way lessened; it is misused when it is spent in excess and debauchery.



Treatment implies the act of treating, and usage that of using: treatment may be partial or temporary; but usage is properly employed for that which is permanent or continued: a passer-by may meet with illtreatment; but children and domestics are liable to meet with ill-usage. All persons may meet with treatment from others with whom they casually come in connexion; By promises of more indulgent treatment, if they would unite with him (Cortez) against their oppressors, he prevailed on the people to supply the Spanish camp with provisions.' ROBERTSON. Usage is applied more properly to those who are more or less in the power of others: children may receive good or ill usage from those who have the charge of them, servants from their masters, or wives from their husbands; If we look further into the world, 6 we shall find this usage (of our Saviour from his own) not so very strange; for kindred is not friendship.' SOUTH.


Provide, in Latin provideo, signifies literally to see before, but figuratively to get in readiness for some future purpose; procure, v. To get; furnish, in French fournir, may possibly be connected with the Latin ferro to bring; supply, in French suppleer, Latin suppleo, from sub and pleo, signifies to fill up a deficiency, or make up what is wanting.

Provide and procure are both actions that have a special reference to the future; furnish and supply are employed for that which is of immediate concern: one provides a dinner in the contemplation that some persons are coming to partake of it; one procures help in the contemplation that it may be wanted; one furnishes a room, as we find it necessary for the present purpose; one supplies a family with any article of domestic use. Calculation is necessary in providing; one does not wish to provide too much or too little; 'A rude hand may build walls, form roofs, and lay floors, and provide all that warmth and security require.' JOHNSON. Labor and management are requisite in procuring; when the thing is not always at hand, or not easily come at, one must exercise one's strength or ingenuity to procure it; Such dress as may enable the body to endure the different seasons, the most unenlightened nations have been able to procure.' JOHNSON. Judgement is requisite in furnishing; what one furnishes ought to be selected with due regard to the circumstances of the individual who furnishes, or for whom it is furnished; Auria having driven the Turks from Corone, both by sea and land, furnished the city with corn, wine, victual, and powder.' KNOLLES. Care and attention are wanted in supplying; we must be careful to know what a


person really wants, in order to supply him to his satisfaction;

Although I neither lend nor borrow,

Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend, I'll break a custom. SHAKSPEARE.

One provides against all contingencies; one procures all necessaries; one furnishes all comforts; one supplies all deficiencies. Provide and procure are the acts of persons only; furnish and supply are the acts of unconscious agents. A person's garden and orchard may be said to furnish him with delicacies; the earth supplies us with food. supplies us with food. So in the improper application: the daily occurrences of a great city furnish materials for a newspaper; a newspaper to an Englishman, supplies almost every other want; 'Your ideas are new, and borrowed from a mountainous country, the only one that can furnish truly picturesque scenery. GRAY.

And clouds, dissolv'd, the thirsty ground supply. DRYDEN.


Providence and prudence are both derived from the verb to provide; but the former expresses the particular act of providing; the latter the habit of providing. The former is applied both to animals and men; the latter is employed only as a characteristic of We may admire the providence of the ant in laying up a store for the winter;


In Albion's isle, when glorious Edgar reign'd, He, wisely provident, from her white cliff's Launch'd half her forests. SOMERVILLE.

The prudence of a parent is displayed in his concern for the future settlement of his child; Prudence operates on life, in the same manner as rules on composition; it produces vigilance rather than elevation.' JOHNSON. It is provident in a person to adopt measures of for himself, in certain situations of peculiar danger; it is prudent to be always prepared for all contingencies.



Prudent (v. Judgement), characterizes the person or the thing; prudential characterizes only the thing. Prudent, signifies having prudence; prudential, according to the rules of prudence, or as respects prudence. The prudent is opposed to the imprudent and inconsiderate; the prudential is opposed to the voluntary; the counsel is prudent which accords with the principles of prudence;

Ulysses first in public care she found,

For prudent counsel like the gods renown'd. POPE. The reason or motive is prudential, as flowing out of circumstances of prudence or necessity; Those who

possess elevated understandings, are naturally apt to consider all prudential maxims as below their regard.' JOHNSON. Every one is called upon at certain times to adopt prudent measures; those who are obliged to consult their means in the management of their expenses, must act upon prudential motives.


Foresight, from seeing before, and forethought, from thinking beforehand, denote the simple act of

the mind in seeing a thing before it happens: forecast,

from casting the thoughts onward, signifies coming at the knowledge of a thing beforehand by means of calculation: premeditation, from pre before, and meditate signifies obtaining the same knowledge by force of meditating, or reflecting deeply on a thing beforehand. Foresight and forethought are general and indefinite terms; we employ them either on ordinary or extraordinary occasions; but forethought is of the two the most familiar term; forecast and premeditation mostly in the latter case: all business requires foresight; state concerns require forecast: foresight and forecast respect what is to happen; they are the operations of the mind in calculating futurity: premeditation respects what is to be said or done; it is a preparation of the thoughts and designs for action: by foresight and forecast we guard against evils and provide for contingencies; by premeditation we guard against errors of conduct. A man betrays his want of foresight who does not provide against losses in trade;

The wary crane foresees it first, and sails

Above the storm, and leaves the lowly vales. DRYDEN. A person shows his want of forecast who does not provide against old age;

Let him forecast his work with timely care, Which else is huddled, when the skies are fair.

DRYDEN. A man shows his want of premeditation who acts or speaks on the impulse of the moment; the man therefore who does a wicked act without premeditation lessens his guilt; The tongue may fail and faulter in her sudden extemporal expressions, but the pen having a greater advantage of premeditation is not so subject to error.' HOWELL.


These terms are all employed to express the various modes of practical wisdom, which serve to regulate the conduct of men in ordinary life. The judgement is that faculty which enables a person to distinguish right and wrong in general; discretion and prudence serve the same purpose in particular cases. The judgement is conclusive; it decides by positive inference; it en

ables a person to discover the truth: discretion is intuitive (v. Discernment); it discerns or perceives what is in all probability right. The judgement acts by a fixed rule; it admits of no question or variation: the discretion acts according to circumstances, and is its own rule. The judgement determines in the choice of what is good: the discretion sometimes only guards against error or direct mistakes; it chooses what is nearest to the truth. The judgement requires knowledge and actual experience; the discretion requires reflection and consideration: a general exercises his mode of attack; whilst he is following the rules of judgement in the disposition of his army, and in the military art he exercises his discretion in the choice of officers for different posts, in the treatment of his men, in his negotiations with the enemy, and various other measures which depend upon contingencies; "If a man have that penetration of judgement as he can discern what things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted, to him a habit of dissimulation is a hindrance and a poorness.' BACON.

Let your own Discretion be your tutor. Suit the action To the words. SHAKSPEARE.

Discretion looks to the present; prudence, which is the same as providence or foresight, calculates on the future: discretion takes a wide survey of the case that offers; it looks to the moral fitness of the thing, as well as the consequences which may follow from it; it determines according to the real propriety of the thing, as well as the ultimate advantages which it may produce: prudence looks only to the good or evil which may result from the thing; it is, therefore, but a mode or accompaniment of discretion: we must have prudence when we have discretion, but we may have prudence where there is no occasion for discretion. Those who have the conduct or direction of others require discretion; those who have the management of their own concerns require prudence. For want of discretion the master of a school, or the general of an army, may lose his authority: for want of prudence the merchant may involve himself in ruin; or the man of fortune may be brought to beggary; The ignorance in which we are left concerning good and evil, is not such as to supersede prudence in conduct.' BLAIR.

As epithets, judicious is applied to things oftener than to persons; discreet is applied to persons rather than to things; prudent is applied to both: a remark, or a military movement is judicious; it displays the judgement of the individual from whom they emanate;

So bold, yet so judiciously you dare,

That your least praise is to be regular. DRYDEN. A matron is discreet, who by dint of years, experience, and long reflection, is enabled to determine on what is befitting the case;

To elder years to be discreet and grave,
Then to old age maturity she gave. DENHAM.

A person is prudent who does not inconsiderately expose himself to danger; a measure is prudent that guards against the chances of evil;

The monarch rose preventing all reply,
Prudent lest from his resolution rais'd

Others among the chiefs might offer. MILTON.

Counsels will be injudicious which are given by those who are ignorant of the subject: it is dangerous to entrust a secret to one who is indiscreet: the impetuosity of youth naturally impels them to be imprudent; an imprudent marriage is seldom followed by prudent conduct in the parties that have involved

themselves in it.


Wisdom (v. Wit) consists in speculative knowledge; prudence (v. Prudent) in that which is practical: the former knows what is past; the latter by foresight knows what is to come; many wise men are remarkable for their want of prudence; and those who are remarkable for prudence have frequently no other knowledge of which they can boast; Two things speak much the wisdom of a nation: good laws, and a prudent management of them.' STILLINGFLEET.



Folly is the abstract of foolish, and characterizes the thing; foolery the abstract of fool, and characterizes the person: we may commit an act of folly without being chargeable with weakness or folly; but none are guilty of fooleries who are not themselves fools, either habitually or temporarily young people are perpetually committing follies if not under proper control; This peculiar ill property has folly, that it enlarges men's desires while it lessens their capacities.' SOUTH. Fashionable people only lay aside one foolery to take up another; If you are so much transported with the sight of beautiful persons, to what ecstacy would it raise you to behold the original beauty, not filled up with flesh and blood, or varnished with a fading mixture of colours, and the rest of mortal trifles and fooleries.' WALSH.



Fool is doubtless connected with our word foul, in German faul, which is either nasty or lazy, and the Greek paulos which signifies worthless or good for nothing; idiot comes from the Greek idiúrns, signifying either a private person or one that is rude and unskilled in the ways of the world; buffoon, in French bouffon, is in all probability connected with our word beef, buffalo, and bull, signifying a senseless fellow.

The fool is either naturally or artificially a fool; Thought's the slave of life, and life's time's fool. SHAKSPEARE.




The idiot is a natural fool; Idiots are still in request in most of the courts of Germany, where there a prince of any great magnificence who has not two or three dressed, distinguished, undisputed fools in his retinue.' ADDISON. The buffoon is an artificial fool; Homer has described a Vulcan that is a buffoon among his gods, and a Thersites among his mortals.' ADDISON. Whoever violates common sense in his actions is a fool; whoever is unable to act according to common sense is an idiot; whoever intentionally violates common sense is a buffoon.


ple; foolish signifies like a fool (v. Fool). Simple, v. Simple; silly is but a variation of sim

The simple, when applied to the understanding, implies such a contracted power as is incapable of combination; silly and foolish rise in sense upon the former, signifying either the perversion or the total deficiency of understanding; the behaviour of a person may be silly, who from any excess of feeling loses his sense of propriety; the conduct of a person will be foolish who has not judgement to direct himself. Country people may be simple owing to their want of knowledge;

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Stupid, in Latin stupidus, from stupeo to be amazed or bewildered, expresses an amazement which is equivalent to a deprivation of understanding; dull, through the medium of the German toll, and Swedish stollig, comes from the Latin stultus simple or foolish, and denotes a simple deficiency. Stupidity in its proper sense is natural to a man, although a particular circumstance may have a similar effect upon the understanding; he who is questioned in the presence of others may appear very stupid in that which is other

wise very familiar to him; A stupid butt is only fit for the conversation of ordinary people.' ADDISON. Dull is an incidental quality, arising principally from the state of the animal spirits. A writer may sometimes be dull who is otherwise vivacious and pointed; a be dull in a large circle while he is lively in private intercourse; 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.


Youthful signifies full of youth, or in the complete state of youth: juvenile, from the Latin juvenis, signifies the same; but puerile, from puer a boy, signifies literally boyish. Hence the first two terms are taken in an indifferent sense; but the latter in a bad sense, or at least always in the sense of what is suitable to a boy only: thus we speak of youthful vigor, youthful employments, juvenile performances, juvenile years, and the like: but puerile objections, puerile conduct, and the like. Sometimes juvenile is taken in the bad sense when speaking of youth in contrast with men, as juvenile tricks; but puerile is a much stronger term of reproach, and marks the absence of manhood in those who ought to be men. We expect nothing from a youth but what is juvenile; we are surprized and dissatisfied to see what is puerile

in a man;

Chorobus then, with youthful hopes beguil'd,
Swoln with success, and of a daring mind,
This new invention fatally design'd. DRYDEN.

• Raw juvenile writers imagine that, by pouring forth figures often, they render their compositions warm and animated.' BLAIR. After the common course of puerile studies, he was put an apprentice to a brewer.' JOHNSON.


Childish is in the manner of a child; infantine is in the manner of an infant.


What children do is frequently simple or foolish; what infants do is commonly pretty and engaging; therefore childish is taken in the bad, and infantine in the good or indifferent sense. Childish manners are very offensive in those who have ceased according to their years to be children; It may frequently be remarked of the studious and speculative, that they are proud of trifles, and that their amusements seem frivolous and childish.' JOHNSON. The infantine actions of some children evince a simplicity of character; The sole comfort of his declining years, almost in infantine imbecility.' BURKE.

PENETRATION, ACUTENESS, SAGACITY. As characteristics of mind, these terms have much more in them in which they differ than in what they agree: penetration is a necessary property of mind; it exists to a greater or less degree in every rational being that has the due exercise of its rational powers: acuteness is an accidental property that belongs to the mind only, under certain circumstances. As penetra into substances physically or morally, so acuteness, tion (v. Discernment) denotes the process of entering which is the same as sharpness, denotes the fitness of the thing that performs this process; and as the mind is in both cases the thing that is spoken of, the terms penetration and acuteness are in this particular closely allied. It is clear, however, that the mind may have penetration without having acuteness, although one cannot have acuteness without penetration. If by penetration we are commonly enabled to get at the truth which lies concealed, by acuteness we succeed in piercing the veil that hides it from our view; the former is, therefore, an ordinary, and the latter an extraordinary gift; Fairfax having neither talents himself for cabal, nor penetration to discover the cabals of others, had given his entire confidence to Cromwell.' HUME. Chillingworth was an acute disputant against the papists.' HUME.



Sagacity, in Latin sagacitas and sagio to perceive quickly, comes in all probability from the Persian sag a dog, whence the term has been peculiarly applied to dogs, and from thence extended to all brutes which discover an intuitive wisdom, and also to children, or uneducated persons, in whom there is more penetration than may be expected from the narrow compass of their knowledge; hence, properly speaking, sagacity is natural or uncultivated acuteness; Activity to seize, not sagacity to discern, is the requisite which youth value.' BLAIR.


Sage and sagacious are variations from the Latin sagax and sagio (v. Penetration); sapient is in Latin sapiens, from sapio, which comes probably from the Greek σοφὸς wise.

The first of these terms has a good sense, in application to men, to denote the faculty of discerning immediately, which is the fruit of experience, and very similar to that sagacity in brutes which instinctively perceives the truth of a thing without the deductions

of reason;

So strange they will appear, but so it happen'd,
That these most sage Academicians sate

In solemn consultation-on a cabbage. CUMBERLAND, Sagacious all to trace the smallest game, And bold to seize the greatest. YOUNG. Sapient, which has very different meanings, in the original, is now employed only in regard to animals which are trained up to particular arts; its use is therefore mostly burlesque.

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