Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

6

whatever he can of his enjoyments; The most miserable of all beings is the most envious; as on the other hand the most communicative is the happiest.' GROVE. 'Aristophanes was in private life of a free, open, and companionable temper.' CUMBERLAND.

COMMUNION, CONVERSE.

Communion, from commune and common, signifies the act of making common (". Common); converse, from the Latin converto to convert or translate, signifies a transferring.

Both these terms imply a communication between minds; but the former may take place without corporeal agency, the latter never does; spirits hold communion with each other, or men may hold spiritual communion with God; Where a long course of piety and close communion with God has purged the heart and rectified the will, knowledge will break in upon such a soul.' SOUTH. People hold converse together;

In varied converse softening every theme, You frequent pausing turn; and from her eyes, Where meeken'd sense, and amiable grace, And lively sweetness dwell, enraptured drink That nameless spirit of ethereal joy. THOMSON. For the same reason a man may hold communion with himself; he holds converse always with another.

COMMUNITY, SOCIETY.

Both these terms are employed for a body of rational beings; community, from communitas and communis common (v. Common), signifies abstractedly the state of being common, and in an extended sense those who are in a state of common possession; society, in Latin societas, from socius a companion, signifies the state of being companions, or those who

are in that state.

Community in any thing constitutes a community; a common interest, a common language, a common government, is the basis of that community which is formed by any number of individuals; communities are therefore divisible into large or small; the former may be states, the latter families; Was there ever any community so corrupt as not to include within it individuals of real worth?' BLAIR. The coming together of many constitutes a society; societies are either private or public, according to the purpose for which they meet together; friends form societies for the purpose of pleasure; indifferent persons form societies for the purposes of business; The great community of mankind is necessarily broken into smaller independent societies.' JOHNSON.

Community has always a restrictive and relative sense; society has a general and unlimited import: the most dangerous members of the community are

those who attempt to poison the minds of youth with contempt for religion and disaffection to the state; the morals of society are thus corrupted as it were at the fountain head.

Community refers to spiritual as well as corporeal agents; society mostly to human beings only: the angels, the saints, and the spirits of just men made perfect, constitute a community; with them there is more communion than association.

CONVIVIAL, SOCIAL, SOCIABLE.

Convivial, in Latin convivialis, from convivo to live together, signifies being entertained together; social, from socius a companion, signifies pertaining to

company.

The prominent idea in convivial is that of sensual indulgence; the prominent idea in social is that of enjoyment from an intercourse with society. The convivial is a species of the social; it is the social in matters of festivity. What is convivial is social, but what is social is something more; the former is excelled by the latter as much as the body is excelled by the mind. We speak of convivial meetings, convivial enjoyments or the convivial board; but social intercourse, social pleasure, social amusements, and the like; It is related by Carte, of the Duke of Ormond, that he used often to pass a night with Dryden, and those with whom Dryden consorted; who they were Carte has not told, but certainly the convivial table at which Ormond sat was not surrounded with a plebeian society.' JOHNSON. Plato and Socrates shared many social hours with Aristophanes.' CUMBERLAND.

Social signifies belonging or allied to a companion, having the disposition of a companion; sociable, from the same root, signifies able or fit to be a companion; the former is an active, the latter a passive quality: social people seek others; sociable people are sought for by others. It is possible for a man to be social and not sociable; to be sociable and not social: he who draws his pleasures from society without communicating his share to the common stock of entertainments is social but not sociable; men of a taciturn disposition are often in this case; they receive more than they give: he on the contrary who has talents to please company, but not the inclination to go into company, may be sociable but is seldom social; of this description are humorists who go into company to gratify their pride, and stay away to indulge their humor. Social and sociable are likewise applicable to things, with a similar distinction; social intercourse is that intercourse which men have together for the purposes of society; social pleasures are what they enjoy by associating together;

Social friends,
Attun'd to happy unison of soul. THOMSON.

A path or a carriage is denominated sociable which

encourages the association of many; Sciences are of a sociable disposition, and flourish best in the neighbourhood of each other.' BLACKSTONE.

SOCIETY, COMPANY.

Society (v. Association) and company (v. Association) here express either the persons associating or the act of associating.

In either case society is a general, and company a particular, term; as respects persons associating, society comprehends either all the associated part of mankind; as when we speak of the laws of society, the well-being of society; or it is said only of a particular

number of individuals associated: in which latter case it comes nearest to company, and differs from it only as to the purpose of the association. A society is always formed for some solid purpose, as the Humane Society; and the company is always brought together for pleasure or profit as has already been observed.

Good sense teaches us the necessity of conforming to the rules of the society to which we belong good breeding prescribes to us to render ourselves agreeable to the company of which we form a part.

When expressing the abstract action of associating, society is even more general and indefinite than before; it expresses that which is common to mankind; and company that which is peculiar to individuals. The love of society is inherent in our nature; it is weakened or destroyed only by the vice of our constitution, or the derangement of our system;

Solitude sometimes is best society,

And short retirement urges sweet return. MILTON. Every one naturally likes the company of his own friends and connections in preference to that of strangers. Society is a permanent and habitual act; company is only a particular act suited to the occasion; it behoves us to shun the society of those from whom we can learn no good, although we may sometimes be obliged to be in their company. The society of intelligent men is desirable for those who are entering life; the company of facetious men is agreeable in travelling; Company, though it may reprieve a man from his melancholy, cannot secure him from his

6

conscience.' SOUTH.

SON.

many struggling single about the world, unhappy for want of an associate, and pining with the necessity of confining their sentiments to their own bosoms.' JOHNMany men may be admitted as companions, who would not altogether be fit as associates; There is a degree of want by which the freedom of agency is almost destroyed, and long association with fortuitous companions will at last relax the strictness of truth, and abate the fervor of sincerity.' JOHNSON.

6

An associate may take part with us in some business, and share with us in the labor; Addison contributed more than a fourth part (of the last volume of the Spectator), and the other contributors are by no means unworthy of appearing as his associates." JOHNSON. A companion takes part with us in some concern, and shares with us in the pleasure or the pain;

ASSOCIATE, COMPANION.

Associate, in Latin associatus, participle of associo, compounded of as or ad and socio to ally, signifies one united with a person; companion, from company, signifies one that bears company (v. To accompany).

Associates are habitually together; companions are only occasionally in each other's company; as our habits are formed from our associates, we ought to be particular in our choice of them as our companions contribute much to our enjoyments, we ought to choose such as are suitable to ourselves; We see

Thus while the cordage stretch'd ashore may guide
Our brave companions thro' the swelling tide;
This floating lumber shall sustain them o'er
The rocky shelves, in safety to the shore. FALCONER.

ASSOCIATION, SOCIETY, COMPANY, PARTNERSHIP.

All these terms denote a union of several persons into one body.

Association (v. To associate) is general, the rest specific. Whenever we habitually or frequently meet together for some common object it is an association. Associations are therefore political, religious, commercial, and literary; a society is an association for some specific purpose, moral or religious, civil or political; a company is, in this application of the term, an association of many for the purpose of trade; a partnership is an association of a few for the same object.

Whenever association is used in distinction from the others, it denotes that which is partial in its object and temporary in its duration. It is founded on unity of sentiment as well as unity of object; but it is mostly unorganized, and kept together only by the spirit which gives rise to it. It is not, however, the less dangerous on this account; and when politics are the subject, it commonly breathes a spirit hostile to the established order of things; as the last thirty years have evinced to us by woful experience; For my own part, I could wish that all honest men would enter into an association for the support of one another against the endeavours of those whom they ought to look upon as their common enemies, whatever side they may belong to.' ADDISON.

A society requires nothing but unity of object, which is permanent in its nature; it is well organized, and commonly set on foot to promote the cause of humanity, literature, or religion. No country can boast such numerous and excellent societies, whether of a charitable, a religious, or a literary description, as England; What I humbly propose to the public is, that there may be a society erected in London,

6

to consist of the most skilful persons of both sexes, for the inspection of modes and fashions.' BUDGELL.

Companies are brought together for the purposes of interest, and are dissolved when that object ceases to exist their duration depends on the contingencies of profit and loss. The South-sea company, which was founded on an idle speculation, was formed for the ruin of many, and dispersed almost as soon as it was formed. The East India company on the other hand, which is one of the grandest that ever was raised, promises as much permanency as is commonly allotted to human transactions; The nation is a company of players.' ADDISON.

(

Partnerships are altogether of an individual and private nature. As they are without organization and system, they are more precarious than any other association. Their duration depends not only on the chances of trade, but the compatibility of individuals to co-operate in a close point of union. They are often begun rashly and end ruinously; Gay was the general favorite of the whole association of wits; but they regarded him as a playfellow rather than a partner, and treated him with more fondness than respect.' JOHNSON. The term partnership is sometimes used figuratively, in reference to other objects; Society is a partnership in all science; a partnership in every virtue and in all perfection.' BURKE.

ASSOCIATION, COMBINATION.

Association, v. Associate; combination, from the Latin combino, or con and binus, signifies tying two into one.

An association is something less binding than a combination; associations are formed for purposes of convenience; combinations are formed to serve either the interests or passions of men. The word association is therefore always taken in a good or an indifferent sense; combination in an indifferent or bad sense. An association is public; it embraces all classes of men: a combination is often private, and includes only a particular description of persons. Associations are formed for some general purpose; 'In my yesterday's paper I proposed that the honest men of all parties should enter into a kind of association for the defence of one another.' ADDISON. Combinations are frequently formed for particular purposes, which respect the interest of the few, to the injury of many; 'The cry of the people in cities and towns, though unfortunately (from a fear of their multitude and combination) the most regarded, ought in fact to be the least regarded, on the subject of monopoly.' Burke. Associations are formed by good citizens; combinations by discontented mechanics, or low persons in general. The latter term may, however, be used in a good sense when taken for the general act of combining, in which case it expresses a closer union than association; There is no doubt but all the safety,

6

happiness, and convenience that men enjoy in this life, is from the combination of particular persons into societies or corporations.' SOUTH.

When used for things, association is a natural action; combination an arbitrary action. Things associate of themselves, but combinations are formed either by design or accident. Nothing will associate but what harmonises; things the most opposite in their nature are combined together. We associate persons with places, or events with names; discordant properties are combined in the same body. With the name of one's birth-place are associated pleasurable recollections; virtue and vice are often so combined in the same character as to form a contrast. The association of ideas is a remarkable phenomenon of the human mind, but it can never be admitted as solving any difficulty respecting the structure and composition of the soul; Meekness and courtesy will always recommend the first address, but soon pall and nauseate unless they are associated with more sprightly qualities.' JOHNSON. The combination of letters forms syllables, and that of syllables forms words; Before the time of Dryden, those happy combinations of words which distinguish poetry from prose had been rarely attempted.' JOHNSON.

6

COMBINATION, CABAL, PLOT,

CONSPIRACY.

Combination, v. Association, combination; cabal, in French cabale, comes from the Hebrew kabala, signifying a secret science, pretended to by the Jewish Rabbi, whence it is applied to any association that has a pretended secret; plot, in French complot, is derived like the word complicate, from the Latin plico to entangle, signifying any intricate or dark concern; conspiracy, in French conspiration, from con and spiro to breathe together, signifies the having one spirit.

A

An association for a bad purpose is the idea common to all these terms, and peculiar to combination. combination may be either secret or open, but secrecy forms a necessary part in the signification of the other terms; a cabal is secret as to its end; à plot and conspiracy are secret, both as to the means and the end.

Combination is the close adherence of many for their mutual defence in obtaining their demands, or resisting the claims of others. *A cabal is the intrigue of a party or faction, formed by cunning practices in order to give a turn to the course of things to its own advantage: the natural and ruling idea in cabal is that of assembling a number, and manœuvring secretly with address. A plot is a clandestine union of some persons for the purpose of mischief: the ruling idea in a plot is that of a complicated enterprise formed in secret, by two or more persons. A conspiracy is a general intelligence among persons united to effect some serious change: the ruling and natural

Vide Roubaud: "Cabale, complot, conspiration, conjuration."

[blocks in formation]

of a conspiracy is oftener to bring about some evil change in public than in private concerns; it is commonly directed against the governor, in order to overturn the government: in a republic, conspiracies are justified and hailed as glorious events when sanctioned by success: the conspiracy of Brutus against Cæsar is always represented by the favorers of a republic as a magnanimous exploit. Where every man can rule, there will always be usurpers and tyrants, and where every man has an equal right to set himself up against his ruler, there will never be wanting conspiracies to crush the usurpers; hence usurpations and conspiracies succeed each other as properly and naturally in republics as cause and effect; the right of the strongest, the most daring, or the most unprincipled, is the only right which can be acknowledged upon the principles of republican equality: on the contrary, in a monarchy where the person of the sovereign and his authority are alike sacred, every conspirator to his country, and every conspiracy, does no less violence to the laws of God, than to those of man.

The object of a combination, although not less formidable than the others, is not always so criminal; it rests on a question of claims which it proposes to decide by force; the end is commonly as unjustifiable as the means of this description are the combinations formed by journeymen against their masters, which are expressly contrary to law. The object of a cabal is always petty, and mostly contemptible; its end is to gain favor, credit, and influence; to be the distributor of places, honors, emoluments, reputation, and all such contingencies as are eagerly sought for by the great mass of mankind: at court it makes and unmakes ministers, generals, and officers; in the republic of letters it destroys the reputation of authors, and blasts the success of their works; in public societies it stops the course of equity, and nips merit in the bud; in the world at large it is the never-ending source of vexation, broils, and animosities. A plot has always the object of committing some atrocity, whether of a private or public nature, as the murder or plunder of individuals, the traitorous surrender of a town, or the destruction of something very valuable. Astarba in Telemachus is represented as having formed a plot for the poisoning of Pygmalion: the annihilation of the English government was the object of that plot which received the name of gunpowder treason. The object

[blocks in formation]

TO ASSEMBLE, MUSTER, COLLECT.

Assemble, in French assembler, Latin adsimulare, or assimulare, from similis like and simul together, signifies to make alike or bring together; muster, in German mustern to set out for inspection, comes from the Latin monstror to show or display; collect, in Latin collectus, participle of colligo, compounded of col or con and lego to bind, signifies to bring together, or into one point.

Assemble is said of persons only; muster and collect of persons or things. To assemble is to bring together by a call or invitation; to muster is to bring together by an act of authority, into one point of view, at one time, and from one quarter; to collect is to bring together at different times, and from different quarters: the Parliament is assembled, soldiers are

[blocks in formation]

TO ASSEMBLE, CONVENE, CONVOKE.

Assemble, v. To assemble, muster; convene, in Latin convenio, signifies to come or bring together; convoke, in Latin convoco, signifies to call together.

The idea of collecting many persons into one place, for a specific purpose, is common to all these terms. Assemble conveys this sense without any addition; convene and convoke include likewise some collateral idea: people are assembled, whenever they are convened or convoked, but not vice versa. Assembling is mostly by the wish of one; convening by that of several: a crowd is assembled by an individual in the streets; a meeting is convened at the desire of a certain number of persons: people are assembled either on public or private business; they are always convened on a public occasion. A king assembles his parliament; a particular individual assembles his friends;

-He ceas'd; the assembled warriors all assent, All but Atrides. CUMBERLAND.

There is nothing imperative on the part of those that assemble or convene, and nothing binding on those assembled or convened: one assembles or convenes by invitation or request; one attends to the notice or not at pleasure. To convoke, on the other hand, is an act of authority: it is the call of one who has the authority to give the call; it is heeded by those who feel themselves bound to attend. Assembling and convening are always for domestic or civil purposes; convoking is always employed in civil or spiritual matters: a dying man assembles his friends round his death-bed; a meeting is convened in order to present an address; the dignitaries in the church are convoked by the supreme authority, or a king convokes his council;

The inhabitants of a district are convened;

They form one social shade, as if conven'd

By magic summons of the Orphean lyre. Cowper. Animals also as well as men may be said to be assembled or convened;

Where on the mingling boughs they sit embowered
All the hot noon, till cooler hours arrive.
Faint underneath, the household fowls convene.

THOMSON.

Here cease thy fury, and the chiefs and kings, Convoke to council, weigh the sum of things. POPE.

ASSEMBLY, ASSEMBLAGE, GROUP,
COLLECTION.

Assembly, assemblage, are collective terms derived from the verb assemble; group comes from the Italian gruppo, which among painters signifies an assemblage of figures in one place; collection expresses the act of collecting, or the body collected (v. To assemble, muster).

Assembly respects persons only; assemblage, things only; group and collection, persons or things: an assembly is any number either brought together, or come together of themselves; an assemblage is any number standing together; a group is come together by accident, or put together by design; a collection is mostly put or brought together by design.

A general alarm will cause an assembly to disperse ; Love and marriage are the natural effects of these anniversary assemblies.' BUDGELL. An agreeable assemblage of rural objects, whether in nature or in representation, constitutes a landscape;

O Hertford! fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
With innocence and meditation join'd

In soft assemblage, listen to my song. THOMSON. A painting will sometimes consist only of a group of figures, but if they be well chosen it will sometimes produce a wonderful effect: a collection of evil-minded persons ought to be immediately dispersed by the authority of the magistrate. In a large assembly you may sometimes observe a singular assemblage of characters, countenances, and figures: when people come together in great numbers on any occasion, they will often form themselves into distinct groups;

(

A lifeless group the blasted cattle lie. THOMSON. The collection of scarce books and curious editions has become a passion, which is justly ridiculed under the title of Bibliomania; There is a manuscript at Oxford containing the lives of an hundred and thirtyfive of the finest Persian poets, most of whom left very ample collections of their poems behind them.' SIR W. JONES.

« ПредишнаНапред »