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Aught, pron.*


Ought, v.

Should, in duty bound to.

Aught, that commences with an a,
Aught, anything, will show ;

But ought, spelt o-u-g-h-t,

Of duty tells, we know.


For aught I know, the goods are at the wharf.-' An Englishman may look, and ought to look, on the growing grandeur of the Americans with no small degree of generous sympathy and satisfaction. They, like ourselves, are members of the great Anglo-Saxon nation.'

'Save me alike from foolish pride
Or impious discontent

At aught Thy wisdom has denied,
Or aught Thy goodness lent.'

'Sacred Interpreter of human thought,
How few respect or use thee as they ought!
But all shall give account of every wrong,
Who dare dishonour or defile the tongue.'

Bait, v.

Bait, s. A temptation; a re- To set dogs on to To freshment.


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Bait with an i if you would spell aright,
"Tis bait, refresh, allure-bait, make beasts fight.
If bate you spell with e, it is to mention
Bate, cheapen goods, or lower a pretension.


Arthur stopped to bait his horse, while Julius went to buy fishing-tackle and bait for angling.-Notwithstanding the juxtaposition of so many discordant elements, notwithstanding the bait held out to them in the promise of increased revenues, pageants, and splendours, notwithstanding the dissensions prevailing in their own conclave, the members of the hierarchy, with a persistency that seemed the result of some hallucination, refused to bate one jot of their preposterous demands.-In what we call the good old times, our ancestors used to bait a bull in the meadow now used for cricket matches.

* Naught (worthless, nothing) should be spelt with the a; it is very commonly written nought. Naught is the more correct orthography. In old-fashioned language naught was used to signify bad, corrupt; and we still call troublesome children naughty.

Bale, s.
A packet of merchandise.

Bail, s.

Security given for the appearance, when demanded, of a person proposed to be released from custody.

Bale, if of goods, b-a-l-e;

Bail, with an i, security.


Every bale of merchandise is damaged; they count up their losses and find five-eighths of this, nine-tenths of that, and eleven-twelfths of the other, utterly spoiled.-Jack watched the purchasers flock round, saw his child mount the block, heard the auctioneer knock her down to a bidder, as if she had been a bale of goods or head of stock, felt the shock, but contrived to lock his feelings in his breast, and hurry to the dock to await the crisis of his fate.

'Because I stole a bale of goods,

They won't take bail for me.'

Bare, a.


Bear, s.
An animal.

Bear, v.

To press, support.

B-a-r-e is naked; but be sure,

End with r, bear, the beast, or bear, endure.


The largest kind of bear is the white polar bear.-'I cannot bear to see that useful animal, the donkey, ill-treated; made to bear heavy burdens too early, its strength is impaired, while power of endurance degenerates into obstinacy."


'Beside the ungathered rice he lay,

His sickle in his hand;

His breast was bare, his matted hair
Was buried in the sand.'

'Bear and forbear with your brothers,
If you would be happy here;
Bear and forbear, loving others,
If you would be loved and dear.'

'Sure, the wintriest weather
Is easily borne when we bear it together.'

'And above all take care

Not to act like a bear.'

Be, v.

To exist, to have being.

Вее, 8.

An insect.

B-e, be, you will please to observe

Has but b and one e, when it stands for the verb;
But bee, the insect, that buzzes and stings,

Has two e's to its name, like its two little wings.


I hope you will learn to be cautious and conciliatory after this catastrophe, and less captious when you are cautioned; the casualty might have been more serious, but I fear it may be necessary to cauterize the wound.

'How doth the little busy bee

Improve each shining hour.'

'Howe'er it be, it seems to me

"Tis only noble to be good;

Kind hearts are more than coronets,

And simple faith than Norman blood.'
'Little dost thou think, thou busy, busy bee,
What is the end of thy toil.'

Beach, s.

Strand, coast, sea-shore.

Beech, s.

The name of a tree.

Beach, spelt with a, means strand, shore of the sea;
Beech, with two e's, is a beautiful tree.


There were in the grounds specimens of oak, elm, and beech trees, and a splendid avenue of chestnuts* led up to the mansion, each of the trees being above the average size, and magnificently grown.-The atmosphere was pestiferous, and the beach swarmed with noxious flies, which wrought dire mischief to our hands and faces while we sought about for zoophytes, dredging in the pools among the rough stones, and dragging the tough weeds from the rocks; a sailor with a gruff voice warned us the tide was rising, and would soon cover the beach.

'Still Canute sat upon the beach,

Still rose the murmuring tide;

"Ah, flatterers!" as it touched his feet,
"What say you now?" he cried.'

* Or chesnuts.

Bean, s.

A leguminous plant.


Past part. of the verb be.

You put an a in bean, to name the seed;
A second e in been, the verb, you need.


Though the condition of the soldier has been ameliorated, the post of a sentry is not an enviable one, in this nineteenth century. I had been witnessing the last fitful, yearning glances that his soul had cast back on the spent inheritance of life.'People in England can rarely be persuaded to use the bean as an article of food; it is highly esteemed in France.—I have been making enquiries, and can corroborate your statements as to the unparalleled embarrassments met with by this party of tourists in going across the Apennines* and the Pyrenees.We have been for years making alterations and improvements, but have neglected to touch some very glaring and crying evils.-The way in which the cattle we consume for food is tortured before it is killed, is a shame and a disgrace to a christian and civilized people. No doubt we suffer for the wrong we do; the poor beasts that are driven panting through our streets, always terrified, often hurt, cannot be in a state to furnish us with wholesome nourishing meat. The solemn warning that 'the cruel man troubleth his own flesh,' has been for ages sounding in our ears; is it to pass unheeded for ever? -Our Dutch clock has been broken; cook slipped when cleaning it, and made a clutch at it in falling. I have told her not to touch it again. My aunt has been stung by ants.—I have been reading 'Jack and the Bean-stalk,' in the Fairy Library edition, illustrated with George Cruikshank's wonderful little etchings. -Gilbert and Lionel have been wrestling; Lionel wanted to wrest a top out of Gilbert's hand, and somehow he wrung his wrist, which is sprained and painful. I have been very wroth about it, it will prevent his writing; though seeing him in pain disarmed me, and my wrath has calmed down. He has been bathing the wrist with hot vinegar and water; do you consider that judicious treatment?

'And hearts that had been long estranged,
And friends that had grown cold,

Should meet again like parted streams,
And mingle as of old.'

* Or Appennines.

Beau, s.
A coxcomb, a fop.

Bo! interj.
A word of terror,

a cry used to

Write b-e-a-u for the beau

Bow, 8. A tie, an instrument to propel arrows,

a curved line.

That strives to please a lady's eye;

But b-o-w, bow, to shoot,

Bow, a curved line, or bow you tie.


Here in former days used to promenade the beau with powdered head, and the belle with patched face; and here now walk the gentleman in his uncomfortable hat, and the lady in her inconvenient dress.-Dexterity in the use of the bow was his one accomplishment. Her back is so curved, it forms a bow, and she wears a bow of gaudy ribbon* in her bonnet.

'Triumphal arch that fill'st the sky
When storms prepare to part,

I ask not proud philosophy

To teach me what thou art.


Can all that optics teach unfold
Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamed of gems and gold
Hid in thy radiant bow?

And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the most High,

Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.'

Beer, s.

A fermented liquor.

Bier, s.

A hand carriage for removing the dead.

Spell with two e's the beer of liquor said;

One i, one e, in bier where rests the dead.

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How would this man shrink if told he was doomed to become mad! yet he wilfully brings on himself temporary insanity for the pleasure of drinking beer and spirits.-Analysis proves that the adulteration of beer adds to its intoxicating and injurious properties.

*Or riband.

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