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their judgements towards me.' EARL OF STRAFFORD.
A pain is acute when it resembles that produced by
piercing deep;
Wisdom's eye
Acute for what? To spy more miseries. YOUNG.

Acute, in French acute, Latin acutus, from acus
a needle, signifies the quality of sharpness and point-
edness peculiar to a needle; keen, in Saxon cene, pro-
bably comes from snidan to cut; signifying the quality Words are keen when they cut deep and wide;

To this great end keen instinct stings him on. YOUNG.

of being able to cut; shrewd, probably from the Teutonic beschreyen to enchant, signifies inspired or endowed with a strong portion of intuitive intellect.

In the natural sense, a fitness to pierce is predomi- TO PENETRATE, PIERCE, PERFORATE, nant in the word acute; and that of cutting, or a fitness for cutting, in the word keen. The same difference is observable in their figurative acceptation. An acute understanding is quick at discovering



truth in the midst of falsehood; it fixes itself on a single point with wonderful celerity; His acuteness was most eminently signalized at the masquerade, where he discovered his acquaintance through their disguises with such wonderful facility.' JOHNSON. A keen understanding cuts or removes away the artificial veil under which the truth lies hidden from the view; The village songs and festivities of Bacchus gave a scope to the wildest extravagancies of mummery and grimace, mixed with coarse but keen raillery.' CUMBERLAND. A shrewd understanding is rather quick at discovering new truths, than at distinguishing truth

from falsehood;

You statesmen are so shrewd in forming schemes!

Acuteness is requisite in speculative and abstruse discussions; keenness in penetrating characters and springs of action; shrewdness in eliciting remarks and new ideas. The acute man detects errors, and the keen man falsehoods. The shrewd man exposes fol

lies. Arguments may be acute, reproaches keen, and replies or retorts shrewd. A polemic, or a lawyer,

must be acute, a satirist keen, and a wit shrewd.


The general property expressed by these epithets is that of sharpness or an ability to cut. The term sharp, from the German scharf and scheren to cut, is generic and indefinite; the two others are modes of sharpness differing in the circumstance or the degree: the acute (v. Acute) is not only more than sharp in the common sense, but signifies also sharp-pointed: a knife may be sharp; but a needle is properly acute. Things are sharp that have either a long or a pointed edge; but the keen is applicable only to the long edge; and that in the highest degree of sharpness: a common knife may be sharp; but a razor or a lancet are properly said to be keen. These terms preserve the same distinction in their figurative use. Every pain is sharp which may resemble that which is produced by cutting; Be sure you avoid as much as you can to enquire after those that have been sharp in


Penetrate, v. Discernment; pierce, in French percer, comes probably from the Hebrew pr to break or rend; perforate, from the Latin foris a door, signifies to make a door through; bore, in Saxon borian, is probably changed from fore or foris a door, signifying to make a door or passage.

To penetrate is simply to make an entrance into any substance; to pierce is to go still deeper: to perforate and to bore are to go through, or at all events to make a considerable hollow. To penetrate is a natural and gradual process; in this manner rust penetrates iron, water penetrates wood: to pierce is a violent, and commonly artificial, process; thus an arrow or a bullet pierces through wood. The instrument by which the act of penetration is performed is in no case defined; but that of piercing commonly proceeds by some pointed instrument: we may penetrate the earth by means of a spade, a plough, a knife, or various other instruments; but one pierces the flesh by means of a needle, or one pierces the ground or a wall by means of a mattock.

To perforate and bore are modes of piercing that vary in the circumstances of the action, and the obsudden action by which a hollow is produced in any jects acted upon: to pierce, in its peculiar use, is a substance; but to perforate and bore are commonly the effect of mechanical art. The body of an animal is pierced by a dart; but cannon is made by perforating or boring the iron: channels are formed under ground by perforating the earth; holes are made in the ear by perforation; Mountains were perforated, and bold arches thrown over the broadest and most rapid streams (by the Romans).' GIBBON. Holes are made in leather, or in wood, by boring;


But Capys, and the graver sort, thought fit,
The Greeks' suspected present to commit
To seas or flames, at least to search or bore
The sides, and what that space contains t' explore.

These two last words do not differ in sense, but in application; the latter being a term of vulgar use.

To penetrate and pierce are likewise employed in an improper sense; to perforate and bore are employed only in the proper sense. The two first bear the same relation to each other as in the former: penetrate is, however, only employed as the act of persons; pierce is used in regard to things. There is a

power in the mind to penetrate the looks and actions, the nests of bees, ants, beavers, and the like; In so as justly to interpret their meaning;

less than a minute he had thrust his little person through the aperture, and again and again perches upon his neighbour's cage.' CowPER. The opening or aperture is the commencement of an inclosure; the cavity is the whole inclosure: hence the first two are frequently as a part to the whole: many animals make a cavity in the earth for their nest with only a small aperture for their egress and ingress; In the centre of every floor, from top to bottom is the chief room, of no great extent, round which there are narrow cavities or recesses.' JOHNSON.


For if when dead we are but dust or clay,
Why think of what posterity shall say?
Their praise or censure cannot us concern,
Nor ever penetrate the silent urn. JENYNS.
The eye of the Almighty is said to pierce the thickest
veil of darkness;

Subtle as lightning, bright, and quick and fierce,
Gold through doors and walls did pierce. CowLey.

Affairs are sometimes involved in such mystery, that the most enlightened mind is unable to penetrate either the end or the beginning; the shrieks of distress are sometimes so loud as to seem to pierce the



Orifice, in Latin orificium or orifacium, from os and factum, signifies a made mouth, that is an opening made, as it were; perforation, in Latin perforatio, from perforo, signifies a piercing through.

These terms are both scientifically employed by medical men, to designate certain cavities in the human body; but the former respects that which is natural, the latter that which is artificial: all the vessels of the human body have their orifices which are so constructed as to open or close of themselves. Surgeons are frequently obliged to make perforations into the bones. Sometimes the term perforation may describe what comes from a natural process, but it denotes a cavity made through a solid substance; but the orifice is particularly applicable to such openings as most resemble the mouth in form and use. In this manner the words may be extended in their application to other bodies besides animal substances, and in other sciences besides anatomy: hence we speak of the orifice of a tube: the orifice of any flower, and the like; or the perforation of a tree, by means of a cannon ball or an iron instrument.


Opening signifies in general any place left open, without defining any circumstances; the aperture is generally a specific kind of opening which is considered scientifically there are openings in a wood when the trees are partly cut away; openings in streets by the removal of houses; or openings in a fence that has been broken down;

The scented dew
Betrays her early labyrinth, and deep
In scattered sullen openings far behind,

With every breeze she hears the coming storm.

Anatomists speak of apertures in the skull or in the
heart, and the naturalist describes the apertures in

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surpassed the maze in the same proportion as the ancients surpassed the moderns in all other works of art; it was constructed on so prodigious a scale, and with so many windings, that when a person was once entered, he could not find his way out without the assistance of a clue or thread. probably from the Saxon mase a gulf, is a modern term for a similar structure on a smaller scale, which is frequently made by of ornament in large gardens. From the proper way meaning of the two words we may easily see the ground of their metaphorical application: political and polemical discussions are compared to a labyrinth;

because the mind that is once entangled in them is unable to extricate itself by any efforts of its own;

From the slow mistress of this school, Experience,
And her assistant, pausing, pale Distrust,
Purchase a dear-bought clue to lead his youth
Through serpentine obliquities of human life,
And the dark labyrinth of human hearts. YOUNG.

On the other hand, that perplexity and confusion into which the mind is thrown by unexpected or inexplicable events, is termed a maze; because, for the time, it is bereft of its power to pursue its ordinary functions of recollection and combination;

To measur'd notes whilst they advance,
He in wild maze shall lead the dance. CUMBERLAND.


Wonder, in German wunder, is in all probability a variation of wander, because wonder throws the mind off its bias; admiration, from the Latin miror, and the Hebrew л vision or looking at, signifies looking at attentively; surprize, compounded of sur and prize, or the Latin prehendo, signifies to take on a sudden; astonish, from the Latin attonitus, and tonitru thunder, signifies to strike as it were with the overpowering noise of thunder; amaze signifies to be in a maze, so as not to be able to collect one's self.

That particular feeling which any thing unusual produces on our minds is expressed by all these terms, but under various modifications. Wonder is the most indefinite in its signification or application, but it is still the least vivid sentiment of all: it amounts to little more than a pausing of the mind, a suspension of the thinking faculty, an incapacity to fix on a discernible point in an object that rouses our curiosity it is that state which all must experience at times, but none so much as those who are ignorant: they wonder at every thing because they know nothing; Thereader of the Seasons' wonders that he never saw before what Thomson shows him.' JOHNSON. Admi ration is wonder mixed with esteem or veneration : the admirer suspends his thoughts, not from the vacancy but the fulness of his mind: he is rivetted to an object which for a time absorbs his faculties: nothing but what is great and good excites admiration, and none but cultivated minds are susceptible of it:

an ignorant person cannot admire, because he cannot appreciate the value of any thing;

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With eyes insatiate and tumultuous joy,

Beholds the presents, and admires the boy. DRYDEN.

Surprise and astonishment both arise from that which happens unexpectedly; they are species of wonder differing in degree, and produced only by the takes us unawares; we are surprised if that does not events of life: the surprize, as its derivation implies, happen which we calculate upon, as the absence of a friend whom we looked for; or we are surprized if that happens which we did not calculate upon; thus we are surprized to see a friend returned whom we supposed was on his journey: astonishment may be awakened by similar events which are more unexpected and more unaccountable: thus we are astonished to find a friend at our house whom we had every reason to suppose was many hundred miles off; or we are astonished to hear that a person has got safely through a road which we conceived to be absolutely impassa ble; So little do we accustom ourselves to consider the effects of time, that things necessary and certain often surprize us like unexpected contingencies.' JOHNSON. I have often been astonished, considering that the mutual intercourse between the two countries (France and England) has lately been very great, to find how little you seem to know of us.' BURKE.


Surprize may for a moment startle; astonishment may stupefy and cause an entire suspension of the faculties; but amazement has also a mixture of perturbation. We may be surprized and astonished at things in which we have no particular interest: we are mostly amazed at that which immediately concerns us. We may be surprized agreeably or otherwise; we may be astonished at that which is agreeable, although astonishment is not itself a pleasure; but we are amazed at that which happens contrary to our inclination. We are agreeably surprized to see our friends: we are astonished how we ever got through the difficulty: we are amazed at the sudden and unexpected events which have come upon us to our ruin. A man of experience will not have much to wonder at, for his observation will supply him with corresponding examples of whatever passes: a wise man will have but tainty of human life, few things of importance will momentary surprizes; as he has estimated the uncerhappen contrary to his expectations: a generous mind will be astonished at gross instances of perfidy in thrown into amazement at the awful dispensations of others: there is no mind that may not sometimes be

Providence ;

Amazement seizes all; the gen'ral cry

Proclaims Laocoon justly doom'd to die. DRYDEN.



Wonder is that which causes wonder (v. Wonder); miracle, in Latin miraculum, from miror to wonder, has the same signification, signifying that which strikes

the sense; marvel is a variation of miracle; prodigy, in Latin prodigium, from prodigo, or procul and ago to launch forth, signifies the thing launching forth; monster, in Latin monstrum, comes from monstro to point out, and moneo to advise or give notice; because among the Romans any unaccountable appearance was considered as an indication of some future event.

Wonders are natural: miracles are supernatural. The whole Creation is full of wonders; the Bible contains an account of the miracles which happened in those days. Sometimes the term miracle or miraculous may be employed hyperbolically for what is exceedingly wonderful;

Murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most mirac'lous organ. SHAKSPEARE.

Wonders are real; marvels are often fictitious; prodigies are extravagant and imaginary. Natural history

is full of wonders;

His wisdom such as once it did appear Three kingdoms' wonder, and three kingdoms' fear. DENHAM. Travels abound in marvels or in marvellous stories, which are the inventions either of the artful or the ignorant and credulous: ancient history contains numberless accounts of prodigies. Wonders agreeable to the laws of nature; they are wonderful only as respects ourselves: monsters are violations of the laws of nature. The production of a tree from a grain of seed is a wonder; but the production of a calf with two heads is a monster;


Ill omens may the guilty tremble at,
Make every accident a prodigy,

And monsters frame where nature never err'd. LEE.


Disadvantage implies the absence of an advantage (v. Advantage); injury, in Latin injuria, from jus, properly signifies what is contrary to right or justice, but extends in its sense to every loss or deficiency which is occasioned; hurt signifies in the northern languages beaten or wounded; detriment, in Latin detrimentum, from detritum and deterrere to wear away, signifies the effect of being worn out; prejudice, in the improper sense of the word (v. Bias), implies the ill which is supposed to result from prejudice.

The disadvantage is rather the absence of a good; the injury is a positive evil: the want of education may frequently be a disadvantage to a person by retarding his advancement; 'Even the greatest actions of a celebrated person labor under this disadvantage, that however surprising and extraordinary they may be, they are no more than what are expected from him.' ADDISON. The ill word of another may be an injury by depriving us of friends; The places were acquired by just title of victory, and therefore in keeping of them no injury was offered.' HAYWARD. The disadvantage, therefore, is applied to such things as are of an adventitious nature: the injury to that which is of essential importance. The



hurt, detriment, and prejudice, are all species of injuries. Injury, in general, implies whatever ill befals an object by the external action of other objects, whether taken in relation to physical or moral evil to persons or to things; hurt is that species of injury which is produced by more direct violence; too close application to study is injurious to the health; reading by an improper light is hurtful to the eyes: so in a moral sense, the light reading which a circulating library supplies is often injurious to the morals of young people; Our repentance is not real, because we have not done what we can to undo our faults, or at least to hinder the injurious consequences of them from proceeding.' TILLOTSON. All violent affections are hurtful to the mind; The number of those who able, in respect of them who are hurtful to mankind by abstracted thoughts become useless is inconsiderby an active and restless disposition.' BARtlett. The detriment and prejudice are species of injury which affect only the outward circumstances of a person; the former implying what may lessen the value of an object, the latter what may lower it in the esteem of others. Whatever affects the stability of a merchant's credit is highly detrimental to his interests; In many instances we clearly perceive that more or less knowledge dispensed to man would have proved detrimental to his state.' BLAIR. Whatever is prejudicial to the character of a man should not be made the subject of indiscriminate conversation; That the heathens have spoken things to the same sense of this saying of our Saviour is so far from being any prejudice to this saying, that it is a great commendation of it.' TILLOTSON.


It is prudent to conceal that which will be to our disadvantage, unless we are called upon to make the acknowledgement. There is nothing material that is not exposed to the injuries of time, if not to those of actual violence. Excesses of every kind carry their own punishment with them, for they are always hurtful to the body. The price of a book is often detrimental to its sale. The intemperate zeal, or the inconsistent conduct of religious professors, is highly prejudicial to the spread of religion.


Lose, in all probability, is but a variation of loose, because what gets loose or away from a person is lost to him; to miss, probably from the particle mis, implying a defect, signifies to lose by mistake.

What is lost is not at hand: what is missing is not to be seen it does not depend upon ourselves to recover what is lost, it is supposed to be irrevocably gone; what we miss one time, we may by diligence and care recover at another time. A person loses his health and strength by a decay of nature, and must submit patiently to the loss which cannot be repaired; Some ants are so unfortunate as to fall down with their load when they almost come home; when this happens they seldom lose their corn, but carry it up

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again.' ADDISON. If a person misses the opportunity of improvement in his youth, he will never have another opportunity that is equally good;

For a time caught up to God, as once
Moses was in the mount, and missing long. MILTON.


Loss signifies the act of losing or the thing lost; damage, in French dommage, Latin damnum, from demo to take away, signifies the thing taken away; detriment, v. Disadvantageous.


Loss is here the generic term; damage and detriment are species or modes of loss. The person sustains the loss, the thing suffers the damage or detriment. Whatever is gone from us which we wish to retain is a loss; hence we may sustain a loss in our property, in our reputation, in our influence, in our intellect, and every other object of possession; What trader would purchase such airy satisfaction (as the charms of conversation) by the loss of solid gain.' JOHNSON. Whatever renders an object less serviceable or valuable, by any external violence, is a damage; as a vessel suffers a damage in a storm; The ants were still troubled with the rain, and the next day they took a world of pains to repair the damage.' ADDISON. Whatever is calculated to cross a man's is purpose a detriment; the bare want of a good name may be a detriment to a young tradesman; the want of prudence is always a great detriment to the prosperity of a family; The expenditure should be with the least


possible detriment to the morals of those who expend.'



The idea of making a thing otherwise than it ought is common to these terms. Injury (v. Disadvantage) is the most general term, simply implying what happens contrary to right; the rest are but modes of injury: damage, from the Latin damnum loss, is the injury which takes away from the value of a thing: hurt (v. Disadvantage) is the injury which destroys the soundness or wholeness of a thing: harm (v. Evil) is the injury which is attended with trouble and inconvenience: mischief is the injury which interrupts the order and consistency of things. The injury is applicable to all bodies physical and moral: damage is applicable only to physical bodies. Trade may suffer an injury; a building may suffer an injury: but a building, a vessel, a merchandize, suffer damage. When applied both to physical bodies, the injury comprehends every thing which makes an object otherwise than it ought to be: that is to say, all collateral circumstances which are connected with the end and purpose of things; but damage implies that actual injury which affects the structure and materials of the object: the situation of some buildings is an injury to them; the falling of a chimney, or the breaking of

a roof, is a damage: the injury may not be easily removed; the damage may be easily repaired.

Injury and hurt are both applied to persons; but the injury may either affect their bodies, their circumstances, or their minds; the hurt in its proper sense affects only their bodies. We may receive an injury or a hurt by a fall; but the former is employed when the health or spirits of a person suffer, the latter when any fracture or wound is produced. A person sometimes sustains an injury from a fall, either by losing the use of a limb, or by the deprivation of his senses; 'Great injuries mice and rats do in a field.' MORTIMER. A sprain, a cut, or a bruise, are little hurts which are easily cured;

No plough shall hurt the glebe, no pruning hook the vine. DRYDEN.

The hurt is sometimes figuratively employed as it respects the circumstances of a man, where the idea of inflicting a wound or a pain is implied; as in hurting a man's good name, hurting his reputation, hurting his morals, and other such cases, in which the specific term hurt may be substituted for the general term injury;

In arms and science 'tis the same,
Our rival's hurt creates our fame. PRIOR.

The injury, harm, and mischief, are all employed for the circumstances of either things or men; but the injury comprehends cause and effect; the harm and mischief respect the evil as it is. If we say that the injury is done, we always think of either the agent by which it is done, or the object to which it is done, or dwelling upon trifling arguments. WATTS. When Many times we do to a cause by

we speak of the harm and mischief, we only think of the nature and measure of the one or the other. It is an injury to society to let public offenders go free; young people do not always consider the harm which there may be in some of their most imprudent actions; After their young are hatched, they brood them under their wings, lest the cold, and sometimes the heat should harm them.' RAY. The mischief of disseminating free principles among the young and the ignorant has now been found to exceed all the good which might result from the superior cultivation of the human mind, and the more extended diffusion of knowledge;

But furious Dido, with dark thoughts involv'd,
Shook at the mighty mischief she resolv'd. Dryden.


Impair comes from the Latin im and pejoro or pejor worse, signifying to make worse; injure, from in and jus against right, signifies to make otherwise than it ought to be.

Impair seems to be in regard to injure as the species to the genus; what is impaired is injured, but what is injured is not necessarily impaired. To impair is a progressive mode of injuring: an injury

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