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may take place either by degrees, or by an instanta- are menaced by persons only; a person is threatened neous act: straining of the eyes impairs the sight, but with a look ; he is menaced with a prosecution by his a blow injures rather than impairs the eye. A man's adversary; health may be impaired or injured by his vices, but
By turns put on the suppliant and the lord ; his limbs are injured rather than impaired by a fall.
Threaten'd this moment, and the next implor'd.. A person's circumstances are impaired by a succession
PRIOR. of misfortunes ; they are injured by a sudden turn of
Of the sharp axe fortune. The same distinction is preserved in their Regardless, that o'er his devoted head figurative application ; . It is painful to consider that Hangs menacing. SOMERVILLE. this sublime enjoyment of friendship may be impaired by innumerable causes. Johnson.
EVIL OR ILL, MISFORTUNE, HARM, Who lives to nature rarely can be poor,
Evil in its full sense comprehends every quality
which is not good, and consequently the other terms express only modifications of evil.
The word is however more limited in its application
than its meaning, and admits therefore of a just comIMMINENT, IMPENDING,
parison with the other words here mentioned. They THREATENING.
are all taken in the sense of evils produced by some
external cause, or evils inherent in the object and Imminent, in Latin imminens, from in and maneo to remain, signifies resting or coming upon; impending, the ill, befalls a person ; the misfortune comes upon
arising out of it. The evil, or, in its contracted form, from the Latin pendeo to hang, signifies hanging ; him ; the harm is taken, or he receives the harm ; the threatening is used in the sense of the verb to
mischief is done him. Evil in its limited application threaten.
is taken for evils of the greatest magnitude ; it is that All these terms are used in regard to some evil that
which is evil without any mitigation or qualification of is exceedingly near : imminent conveys no idea of du
circumstances. The misfortune is a minor evil; it ration ; impending excludes the idea of what is momentary: A person may be in imminent danger of individual - what is å misfortune in one respect may
depends upon the opinion and circumstances of the losing his life in one instant, and the danger may be
be the contrary in another respect. An untimely over the next instant: but an impending danger is death, the fracture or loss of a limb, are denominated that which has been long in existence, and gradually evils; the loss of a vessel, the overturning of a carapproaching; • There was an opinion, if we may riage, and the like, are misfortunes, inasmuch as they believe the Spanish historians, almost universal among the Americans, that some dreadful calamity was im
tend to the diminution of property; but as all the
casualties of life may produce various consequences, it pending over their heads.' ROBERTSON. seldom escape imminent danger by any efforts of one's
may sometimes happen that that which seems to have own; but we may be successfully warned to escape
come upon us by our ill fortune turns out ultimately
of the greatest benefit ; in this respect, therefore, the from an impending danger. Imminent and impend- misfortune is but a partial evil : of evil it is likewise ing are said of dangers that are not discoverable ; but observable, that it has no respect to the sufferer as a a threatening evil gives intimations of its own ap
moral agent; but misfortune is used in regard to such proach; we perceive the threatening tempest in the things as are controllable or otherwise by human foreblackness of the sky; we hear the threatening sounds of the enemy's clashing swords ; · The threatening
sight; voice and fierce gestures with which these words were Misfortune stands with her bow ever bent uttered, struck Montezuma. He saw his own danger
Over the world ; and he who wounds another,
Directs the goddess by that part where he wounds was imminent, the necessity unavoidable.' ROBERTSON.
There to strike deep her arrows in himself. YOUNG.
The evil which befalls a man is opposed only to the THREAT, MENACE.
good which he in general experiences; but the mis
fortune is opposed to the good fortune or the prudence Threat is of Saxon origin; menace is of Latin of the individual. Sickness is an evil, let it be endured extraction. They do not differ in signification ; but, or caused by whatever circumstances it may; it is a as is frequently the case, the Saxon is the familiar misfortune for an individual to come in the way of term, and the Latin word is employed only in the having this evil brought on himself: his own relative higher style. We may be threatened with either condition in the scale of being is here referred to. small or great evils ; but we are menaced only with The harm and mischief are species of minor evils; great evils. One individual threatens to strike an- the former of which is much less specific than the other: a general menaces the enemy with an attack. latter both in the nature and cause of the evil. A We are threatened by things as well as persons: we person takes harm from circumstances that are not
known; the mischief is done to him from some posi- pany is pernicious to the morals; or the doctrines of tive and immediate circumstance. He who takes cold freethinkers are pernicious to the well-being of society; takes harm; the cause of which, however, may not be
Of strength, pernicious to myself, I boast, known or suspected: a fall from a horse is attended
The powers I have were given me to my cost. Lewis. with mischief, if it occasion a fracture or any evil to the body. Evil and misfortune respect persons only Noxious and noisome are species of the hurtful : as the objects ; harm and mischief are said of inani- things may be hurtful both to body and mind; noxmate things as the object. A tender plant takes harm ious and noisome only to the body: that which is from being exposed to the cold air: mischief is done noxious inflicts a direct injury; to it when its branches are violently broken off or its
The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field, roots are laid bare.
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes, Misfortune is the incidental property of persons And hairy mane, terrific, though to thee who are its involuntary subjects; but evil, harm, and
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call. Milton. mischief, are the inherent and active properties of That which is noisome inflicts the injury indirectly : things that flow out of them as effects from their noxious insects are such as wound; noisome vapors causes: evil is said either to lie in a thing or attend it are such as tend to create disorders ; as a companion or follower ; ' A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the
The only prison that enslaves the soul
Is the dark habitation, where she dwells temper of the sufferer.' Addison. Harm properly lies
As in a noisome dungeon. BELLINGHAM. in the thing;
Ireland is said to be free from every noxious weed or To me the labours of the field resign;
animal ; where filth is brought together, there will Me Paris injured : all the war be mine, Fall he that must beneath his rival's arms,
always be noisome smells. And leave the rest secure of future harms. Pope. Mischief properly attends the thing as a consequence;
CALAMITY, DISASTER, MISFORTUNE, To mourn a mischief that is past and gone,
MISCHANCE, MISHAP. Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
Calamity, in French calamité, Latin calamitas, In political revolutions there is evil in the thing and from calamus a stalk; because hail or whatever inévil from the thing ; evil when it begins, evil when it jured the stalks of corn was termed a calamity ; disends, and evil long after it has ceased ;
aster, in French désastre, is compounded of the pri
vative des or dis and astre, in Latin astrum a star, Yet think not thus, when freedom's ills I state, I mean to flatter kings or court the great. GOLDSMITH.
signifying what came from the adverse influence of
the stars; misfortune, mischance, and mishap, naIt is a dangerous question for any young person to put turally express what comes amiss. to himself-what harm is there in this or that in- The idea of a painful event is common to all these dulgence ? He who is disposed to put this question terms, but they differ in the degree of importance. to himself will not hesitate to answer it according to A calamity is a great disaster or misfortune ; a his own wishes. The mischiefs which arise from the misfortune a great mischance or mishap: whatever unskilfulness of those who undertake to be their own is attended with destruction is a calamity; whatever coachmen are of so serious a nature that in course of occasions mischief to the person, defeats or interrupts time they will probably deter men from performing plans, is a disaster ; whatever is accompanied with a such unsuitable offices.
loss of property, or the deprivation of health, is a misfortune; whatever diminishes the beauty or utility of objects is a mischance or mishap: the devastation of
a country by hurricanes or earthquakes, or the desolaHURTFUL, PERNICIOUS, NOXIOUS, tion of its inhabitants by famine or plague, are great NOISOME.
calamities; the overturning of a carriage, or the frac
ture of a limb, are disasters; losses in trade are misHurtful signifies full of hurt, or causing much fortunes ; the spoiling of a book is, to a greater or hurt ; pernicious, v. Destructive; noxious and less extent, a mischance or mishap. noisome, from the Latin novius and noceo to hurt, A calamity seldom arises from the direct agency of signifies the same originally as hurtful.
man ; the elements, or the natural course of things, Between hurtful and pernicious there is the same are mostly concerned in producing this source of midistinction as between hurting and destroying : that sery to men; the rest may be ascribed to chance, as which is hurtful may hurt in various ways;
distinguished from design; · They observed that The hurtful hazel in thy vineyard shun. DRYDEN.
several blessings had degenerated into calamities, and
that several calamities had improved into blessings, That which is pernicious necessarily tends to destruc- according as they fell into the possession of wise or tion : confinement is hurtful to the health : bad com- foolishmen.' ADDISON. Disasters mostly arise from some specific known cause, either the carelessness of of want, deprived of friends and all prospect of relief, persons, or the unfitness of things for their use; as his situation is that of real distress ; Most men, who they generally serve to derange some preconcerted are at length delivered from any great distress, indeed, scheme or undertaking, they seem as if they were pro- find that they are so by ways they never thought of.' duced by some secret influence;
South. There in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
Adversity is trying, distress is overwhelming. Every The village master taught his little school :
man is liable to adversity, although few are reduced to A man severe he was, and stern to view,
distress but by their own fault.
. Misfortune is frequently assignable to no specific DISTRESS, ANXIETY, ANGUISH, AGONY. cause, it is the bad fortune of an individual ; a link in
Distress, v. Adversity; anxiety, in French anxieté, the chain of his destiny; an evil independent of him- and anguish, in French angoisse, both come from the self, as distinguished from a fault; "She daily exer- Latin ango, anxi to strangle; agony, in French cises her benevolence by pitying every misfortune agonie, Latin agonia, Greek Sycovice
, from áryovview to that happens to every family within her circle of contend or strive, signifies a severe struggle with pain notice.' JOHNSON. Mischance and mishap are mis- and suffering. fortunes of comparatively so trivial a nature, that it Distress is the pain felt when in a strait from which would not be worth while to inquire into their cause, we see no means of extricating ourselves; anxiety is or to dwell upon their consequences ;
that pain which one feels on the prospect of an evil. Permit thy daughter, Gracious Jove, to tell,
The distress always depends upon some outward How this mischance the Cyprian Queen befell. Pope.
cause; the anxiety often lies in the imagination.
The distress is produced by the present, but not For pity's sake tells undeserv'd mishaps, And their applause to gain, recounts his claps.
always immediate, evil; CHURCHILL.
How many, rack'd with honest passions, droop A calamity is dreadful ; a disaster melancholy; a mis- .
In deep retir'd distress! How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends, fortune grievous or heavy; a mischance or mishap
And point the parting anguish. Thomson. slight or trivial. A calamity is either public or private, but more fre- The anxiety respects that which is future; If
you quently the former : a disaster is rather particular have any affection for me, let not your anxiety, on my than private ; it affects things rather than persons ; account, injure your health.' MELMOTH (Letters of journeys, expeditions, and military movements, are
Cicero). Ånguish arises from the reflection on the commonly attended with disasters : misfortunes are
evil that is past; In the anguish of his heart, Adam altogether personal; they immediately affect the inter- expostulates with his Creator for having given him an ests of the individual : mischances and mishaps are
unasked existence. Addison. Agony springs from altogether domestic. We speak of a calamitous witnessing that which is immediate or before the eye;
; period, a disastrous expedition, an unfortunate per- These are the charming agonies of love, son, little mischances or mishaps.
Whose misery delights. But through the heart
agony unmixed. Thomson.
Distress is not peculiar to any age, where there is a Adversity, v. Adverse; distress, from the Latin dis- consciousness of good and evil, pain and pleasure; tringo, compounded of dis twice, and stringo to bind, it will inevitably arise from some circumstance signifies that which binds very tight, or brings into a or another. Anviety, anguish, and agony, belong to
riper years: infancy and childhood are deemed the Adversity respects external circumstances ; distress happy periods of human existence; because they are regards either external circumstances or inward feel- exempt from the anxieties attendant on every one ings. Adversity is opposed to prosperity ; distress to who has a station to fill, and duties to discharge.
Anguish and agony are species of distress, of the Adversity is a general condition, distress a particular severer kind, which spring altogether from the mastate. Distress is properly the highest degree of ad- turity of reflection, and the full consciousness of evil. versity. When a man's affairs go altogether adverse A child is in distress when it loses its mother, and the to his wishes and hopes, when accidents deprive him mother is also in distress when she misses her child. of his possessions or blast his prospects, he is said to The station of a parent is, indeed, that which is most be in adversity ; · The other extreme which these productive, not only of distress, but anxiety, anguish, considerations should arm the heart of a man against, and agony: the mother has her peculiar anxieties for is utter despondency of mind in a time of pressing the child, whilst rearing it in its infant state : the adversity.' South. When a man is reduced to a state father has his anxiety for its welfare on its entrance
into the world: they both suffer the deepest anguish fying the labor or pain of a struggle ; anguish comes when the child disappoints their dearest hopes, by from the Latin ango, contracted from ante and ago, running a career of vice, and finishing its wicked to act against, or in direct opposition to, and signifies course by an untimely, and sometimes ignominious the pain arising from severe pressure. end: not unfrequently they are doomed to suffer the Pain, which expresses the feeling that is most reagony of seeing a child encircled in flames from which
pugnant to the nature of all sensible beings, is here he cannot be snatched, or sinking into a watery grave the generic, and the rest specific terms: pain and from which he cannot be rescued.
agony are applied indiscriminately to what is physical and mental ; pang and anguish mostly respect that which is mental: pain signifies either an individual
feeling or a permanent state; pang is only a particular TO DISTRESS, HARASS, PERPLEX.
feeling; agony is sometimes employed for the indiDistress, o. Distress; harass, in French harasser, vidual feeling, but more commonly for the state ; probably from the Greek cipácow to beat; perplex, in anguish is always employed for the state. Pain is Latin perplexus, participle of perplector, compounded
indefinite with regard to the degree; it may rise to the of per and plector, signifies to wind round and highest, or sink to the lowest possible degree; the rest entangle.
are positively high degrees of pain: the pang is a A person is distressed either in his outward circum- sharp pain; the agony is a severe and permanent stances or his feelings; he is harassed mentally or
pain; the anguish is an overwhelming pain. corporeally; he is perplexed in his understanding,
The causes of pain are as various as the modes of more than in his feelings: a deprivation distresses ; pain, or as the circumstances of sensible beings; it provocations and hostile measures harass ; stratagems attends disease, want, and sin, in an infinite variety and ambiguous measures perplex : a besieged town is
of forms; • We should pass on from crime to crime distressed by the cutting off its resources of water and heedless and remorseless, if misery did not stand in provisions ;
our way, and our own pains admonish us of our folly.'
Johnson. The pangs of conscience frequently trouble O friend ! Ulysses' shouts invade my ear;
the man who is not yet hardened in guilt: the pangs Distress'd he seems, and no assistance near POPE.
of disappointed love are among the severest to be The besieged in a town are harassed by perpetual borne ; attacks; • Persons who have been long harassed with
What pangs the tender breast of Dido tore! Dryden. business and care, sometimes imagine that when life declines, they cannot make their retirement from the Agony and anguish are produced by violent causes, world too complete.' Blair. The besiegers of a town and disease in its most terrible shape; wounds and are sometimes perplexed in all their manœuvres and torments naturally produce corporeal agony; a guilty plans, by the counter-manæuvres and contrivances of conscience that is awakened to a sense of guilt will their opponents : or a person is perplexed by the con
suffer mental agony; tradictory points of view in which an affair appears to him: : a tale of woe distresses ; continual alarms and
Thou shalt behold him stretch'd in all the agonies incessant labor harass ; unexpected obstacles and
Of a tormenting and a shameful death. OTWAY. inextricable difficulties perplex;
Anguish arises altogether from moral causes; the Would being end with our expiring breath,
miseries and distresses of others, particularly of those How soon misfortunes would be puff’d away,
who are nearly related, are most calculated to excite A trifling shock can shiver us to the dust,
anguish ; a mother suffers anguish when she sees her But th' existence of the immortal soul,
child laboring under severe pain, or in danger of Futurity's dark road perplexes still. GENTLEMAN.
losing its life, without having the power to relieve it ; We are distressed and perplexed by circumstances ;
Are these the parting pangs which nature feels,
Torment (v. To tease) and torture, both come PAIN, PANG, AGONY, ANGUISH.
from torqueo to twist, and express the agony which
arises from a violent twisting or griping of any part ; Pain is to be traced, through the French and but the latter, which is more immediately derived from northern languages, to the Latin and Greek mom the verb, expresses much greater violence and consepunishment, nóvos labor, and névouas to be poor or in quent pain than the former. Torture is an excess of trouble
. Pang is but a variation of pain, contracted torment. We may be tormented by a variety of from the Teutonic peinigert to torment; agony comes indirect means; but we are tortured only by the from the Greek árycovísa to struggle or contend, signi- direct means of the rack, or similar instruments.
Torment may be permanent: torture is only for a Afflictions may be turned to benefits if they lead a time, or on certain occasions. It is related in history man to turn inwardly into himself, and examine the that a person was once tormented to death, by a state of his heart and conscience in the sight of his violent and incessant beating of drums in his prison; Maker. The distresses of human life often serve only the Indians practise every species of torture upon
to enhance the value of our pleasures when we regain their prisoners. A guilty conscience may torment a them. Among the troubles with which we are daily man all his life ;
assailed, many of them are too trifling for us to be
troubled by them. Yet in his empire o'er thy abject breast,
His flames and torments only are exprest. Prior. The horrors of an awakened conscience are a torture to one who is on his death-bed ;
AFFLICTION, GRIEF, SORROW. To a wild sonnet or a wanton air,
Affliction, v. To afflict; grief from grieve, in Offence and torture to a sober ear. PRIOR.
German grämen, Swedish gramga, &c.; sorrow, in
All these words mark a state of suffering which
differs either in the degree or the cause, or in both. TO AFFLICT, DISTRESS, TROUBLE.
Affliction is much stronger than grief, it lies deeper Afflict, in Latin afflictus, participle of affligo, com
in the soul, and arises from a more powerful cause ; pounded of af or ad and fligo, in Greek Oxißw to press
the loss of what is most dear; the continued sickness hard, signifies to bear upon any one ; distress, v. Ad
of our friends, or a reverse of fortune, will all cause versity ; trouble signifies to cause a tumult, from the affliction ; Some virtues are only seen in affliction, Latin turbα, Greek τύρβη or θόρυβος a tumult.
and some in prosperity.' Addison. The misfortunes When these terms relate to outward circumstances,
of others; the failure of our favorite schemes ; the the first expresses more than the second, and the troubles of our country will occasion us grief ; - The second more than the third.
melancholy silence that follows hereupon, and conPeople are afflicted with grievous maladies ;
tinues until he has recovered himself enough to reveal
his mind to his friend, raises in the spectators a grief A melancholy tear afflicts my eye,
that is inexpressible.' Addison. And my heart labours with a sudden sigh. PRIOR.
Sorrow is less than grief; it arises from the untoThe mariner is distressed for want of water in the ward circumstances which perpetually arise in life. А midst of the wide ocean, or an embarrassed tradesman disappointment, the loss of a game, our own mistake, is distressed for money to maintain his credit; or the negligences of others, cause sorrow.
serious objects awaken sorrow the feeling is less I often did beguile her of her tears, When I did speak of some distressful stroke,
poignant than that of grief; 'The most agreeable That my youth suffered. SHAKSPEARE.
objects recall the sorrow for her, with whom he used
to enjoy them.' Addison. The mechanic is troubled for want of proper tools, or
Affliction lies too deep to be vehement; it discovers the head of a family for want of good domestics; itself by no striking marks in the exterior; it is lasting The boy so troubles me,
and does not cease when the external cause ceases to 'Tis past enduring. SHAKSPEARE.
act; grief may be violent, and discover itself by loud
and indecorous signs; it is transitory, and ceases even When they respect the inward feelings, afflict con
before the cause which gave birth to it; sorrow disveys the idea of deep sorrow, distress that of sorrow, mixed with anxiety ; trouble that of pain in a smaller
covers itself by a simple expression; it is still more
transient than grief, not existing beyond the moment degree. The death of a parent afflicts ; 'We last
in which it is produced. night received a piece of ill-news at our club which
A person of a tender mind is afflicted at the revery sensibly aflicted every one of us. I question not
membrance of his sins; he is grieved at the consciousbut my readers themselves will be troubled at the hearing of it. To keep them no longer in suspense,
ness of his fallability and proneness to error; he is, sorry
for the faults which he has committed. Sir Roger de. Coverly is dead.' Addison. The misfortunes of our family and friends distress ; " While
Affliction is allayed; grief subsides; sorrow is
soothed. the mind contemplates distress, it is acted upon and never acts, and by indulging in this contemplation it becomes more and more unfit for action. C G.
TO GRIEVE, MOURN, LAMENT. Crosses in trade and domestic inconveniences trouble.
In the season of affliction prayer affords the best Grieve, v. Affliction; mourn, like moan and consolation and surest supports. The assistance and murmur, is probably but an imitation of the sound sympathy of friends serve to relieve distress. We which is produced by pain. may often help ourselves out of our troubles, and re- To grieve is the general term; mourn the partimove the evil by patience and perseverance.
cular term. To grieve, in its limited sense, is an