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Adam's ale or wine, a humorous colloquialism for water, as being Adam's only beverage at the teetotal period when he flourished, occurs as far back as Prynne's "Sovereign Power of Parliament,” ii. 32: "They have been shut up in prisons and dungeons, allowed only a poore pittance of Adam's ale, and scarce a penny bread a day to support their lives.'
Adam's arms, a spade. "There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers: They hold up Adam's profession. He was the first that ever bore arms" (Hamlet, Act v., Sc. 1). The term is recognized in heraldry and also in the popular vocabulary. The sign of a spade is much affected in England by market-gardeners.
Adder, Deaf as an, a proverb common to most modern languages, and arising from the passage in Psalm lviii. 4, where the wicked are compared to "the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear: which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely." This is an allusion to the superstition, prevalent in the East from time immemorial, that some serpents defy all the powers of the charmer, pressing one ear into the dust, while they stop the other with the tail. Zoologically, this is an absurdity, as serpents have no external ears. Shakespeare refers to the superstition in Sonnet cxii. : In so profound abysm I throw all care Of others' voices, that my adder's sense To critic and to flatterer stopped are.
Addition, Division, and Silence. In 1872, William H. Kemble, then State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, was alleged to have written a letter of instruction for G. O. Evans to T. J. Coffey, of Washington, in which these words occur: "He understands addition, division, and silence." The New York Sun, which first made the allegation public (March 15, 1872), interpreted the words as meaning that Evans joined all the arts of the lobbyist to the kind of honor that is proverbially practised even by thieves. Kemble brought a libel suit against the Sun, and, though he asked only six cents damages, the jury failed to agree.
Admiral of the Blue and Admiral of the Red are properly naval terms, the former being applied to an admiral of the third class, who holds the rear in an engagement, the latter to one of the second class, who holds the centre. In English slang an Admiral of the Blue is a public-house keeper, in allusion to the blue apron which is, or was, his usual insignia, while Admiral of the Red is a term applied to such of his customers as have developed a cheery, rubicund complexion, especially on the end of the nose. Admiral of the Red, White, and Blue is a term similarly applied to beadles, hall-porters, and other functionaries when sporting the gorgeous liveries of their office.
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Adullam, Cave of. John Bright, in the course of a speech directed against Mr. Horsman and other Liberals who disapproved of the Reform Bill introduced by Earl Russell's administration in 1866,—a bill that contemplated a sweeping reduction of the elective franchise,―said, “The right hon. orable gentleman is the first of the new party who has retired into what may be called his political cave of Adullam." The reference was to the discontented and distressed who gathered around David in the cave of Adullam (I. Samuei, xxii. 1, 2). The retort was obvious, and was instantly made by Lord Elcho, who replied that the band in the cave was hourly increasing, and would succeed in delivering the House from the tyranny of Saul (Mr. Gladstone) and his armor-bearer (Mr. Bright). Adullamite is now an accepted term for a member of any small clique which tries to obstruct the party with which they habitually associate, and has some affiliation with the American "mugwump."
Adversity. The poets and the philosophers are fond of cheerful moralizings on the advantages of adversity. First and foremost, Shakespeare's lines spring to the mind:
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
As You Like It, Act ii., Sc. 1.
Carlyle admits that "adversity is sometimes hard upon a man, but," he adds, "for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity" (Heroes and Hero-Worship: The Hero as Man of Letters). Hazlitt had already said the same thing in his "Sketches and Essays." "Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater" (On the Conversation of Lords). And the arch-plagiarist Disraeli, in “Endymion," ch. lxi., gives us the aphorism, "There is no education like adversity." "Prosperity," says Bacon, "is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New;" and he quotes approvingly from Seneca a high speech after the manner of the Stoics: "The good things that belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired" (Essays: Of Adversity). Aristotle found in education "an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity" (DIOGENES LAERTIUS: Lives of Famous Philosophers). Butler, in "Hudibras," finds a reason for contentment in adversity which is as wise as it is witty:
I am not now in Fortune's power:
Part I., Canto 3.
Longfellow finds a refuge in patience and hope :
Let us be patient: these severe afflictions
But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.
And Beaumont and Fletcher bid us assume that sorrow is not and it will not be :
Nothing is a misery,
Unless our weakness apprehend it so:
As it makes us to others.
Honest Man's Fortune, Act i., Sc. 1.
Advertising, Quaint and Curious. The origin of advertising dates back to the birth of the commercial spirit, when human beings began to feel the necessity for some means of communicating their wants and the business they had on hand. The ancient and medieval criers (called præcones in Rome) who, besides their public duties, announced the time, the place, and the conditions of sales, the hawkers who cried their own goods, the libelli of the Romans (announcing the sales of estates, and giving public notice of things lost or found, of absconding debtors, etc.), and the hand-bill or poster, which, after the invention of printing, gradually superseded the town or private crier, -these are the various steps in the evolution of the modern advertisement.
The first printed English newspaper, the Certain Newes of this Present Week, issued in London in 1642, contained nothing but news. Not until ten years later, in the Mercurius Politicus for January, 1652, do we meet with a well-authenticated advertisement. This relates to a panegyrical poem on Cromwell's return from Ireland, and runs as follows: "Irenodia Gratulatoria, an Heroick Poem; being a congratulatory panegyrick for my Lord General's
late return, summing up his successes in an exquisite manner. To be sold by John Holden, in the New Exchange, London. Printed by Tho. Newcourt, 1652."
But almost a century previous, on the continent of Europe, newspapers and newspaper advertisements had been foreshadowed in small news pamphlets printed at irregular intervals in Vienna and other parts of Germany. The oldest newspaper paragraph approaching the modern advertisement that has yet been resuscitated was found in one of these early news-books, preserved in the British Museum. The book is dated 1591, without any indication as to the place of issue. The advertisement is half in prose and half in verse, and, like its English successor which we have just quoted, is the puff of a new publication.
As newspapers grew apace, the art of advertising developed with them. In May, 1657, one Newcombe issued a weekly newspaper, The Public Advertiser, which consisted almost wholly of advertisements of a miscellaneous character. Simultaneously other papers increased the number and the variety of their advertisements. Announcements of books still held a prominent position; quack doctors began to discover the value of puffery; tradesmen praised their wares; coffee-houses extolled the virtues of those strange new drinks, "cophee" itself, chocolate, and that "excellent and by all Physicians approved, China drink, called by the Chineans tcha, by other nations tay, alias tee." But the major part of the advertisements related to fairs and cockfights, burglaries and highway robberies, the departure of coaches and stages, and to what would now be classed together under the heading of "Lost, Strayed, or Stolen." The number of runaway apprentices, servants, and negro boys is especially noticeable in the advertising literature of the seventeenth century. And how shall we account for the extraordinary homeliness of the rogues and rascals of that period? Hardly a criminal or a runaway but is described as "ugly as sin." They have ill-favored countenances, smutty complexions, black, rotten teeth, flat wry noses, a hang-dog expression; they are purblind, or deaf, or given to slabber in their speech. Our modern tough must be a beauty in comparison with these earlier wrong-doers. By the eighteenth century, advertising had become recognized as a means of communication, not only for the conveniences of trade, but for political purposes, for love-making, for fortune-hunting, for swindling, and for all the other needs and desires of a large community. By the commencement of the present century matters were very nearly as we find them now. The London Times and the Morning Post, started modestly enough in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, were beginning to make themselves felt as powers in the land. As they grew and developed, they depended more and more upon the revenues from their advertising columns. Meanwhile, the benefits of advertising were becoming more and more appreciated by tradesmen and the general public.
American newspapers profited by the example of their British predecessors. The first newspaper that succeeded in establishing itself in North America was the Boston News Letter. In its initial number, dated Monday, April 24, 1704, it issued a bid for advertising in this ungrammatical form: All persons who have any houses, lands, tenements, farms, ships, vessels, goods, wares, or merchandise, etc., to be sold or let, or servants run away, or goods stole or lost, may have the same inserted at the reasonable rate of twelve pence to five shillings, and not to exceed." The first American daily journal, the Independent Gazette of New York, in its second year, 1788, contained as many as thirty-four advertisements in a single issue. From that time on the growth of advertising in America has been even more stupendous than in England. It is interesting to compare the advertising of the past with that of the
present. The mind that is accustomed to read between the lines can trace, in their various changes and developments, similar changes and developments in habits, customs, and methods of thinking; can estimate the vast augmentation in business and in industrial resources, and the mighty evolution of public and private enterprise. Let us go back through the columns of the newspaper press for the last two centuries or so, gleaning those curious and eccentric advertisements which illustrate in the most amusing fashion the temper of their respective periods and the mutations wrought by time.
The class of advertisements now known as personals made an early appearance in newspaper literature.
But there are a candor, a simplicity, and a naïveté in the earlier specimens which are less apparent in their successors of the present day. There is an opulence of phrase also which would indicate equal opulence of pocket, were personals charged for at the ruinous rates now current.
Leaving out the question of expense, a jilted suitor of to-day would hardly be likely to vent his spleen in the fashion adopted by the Londoner who inserted this notice in the General Advertiser:
Whereas, on Sunday, April 12, 1750, there was seen in Cheapside, between the hours of four and five in the afternoon, a young gentleman, dressed in a light-colored coat, with a blue waistcoat, trimmed with silver lace, along with a young lady in mourning, going toward St. Martin's, near Aldersgate. This is, therefore, to acquaint the said gentleman (as a friend) to be as expeditious as possible in the affair, lest otherwise he should unhappily meet with the same disappointment, at last, by another stepping in in the mean time, as a young gentleman has been lately served by the aforesaid young lady, who, after a courtship of these four months past, and with her approbation, and in the most public manner possible, and with the utmost honor as could possibly become a gentleman. Take this, sir, only as a friendly hint.
Nor would the modern head of a family deem that it comported with his dignity to express hilarity at the disappearance of his wife in the public fashion adopted by this advertiser in the Essex (Mass.) Gazette of September 17, 1771:
RAN AWAY from Josiah Woodbury, Cooper, his House Plague for 7 long years, Masury Old Moll, alias Trial of Vengeance. He that lost will never seek her; he that shall keep her, I will give two Bushels of Beans. I forewarn all Persons in Town and Country from trusting said Trial of Vengeance. I have hove all the old Shoes I can find for Joy; and all my neighbors rejoice with me. A good Riddance of bad Ware. Amen.
Miss Fisher inserts the following paragraph in the Public Advertiser of March 30, 1759:
To err is a blemish entailed upon mortality; indiscretions seldom or never escape from censure, the more heavy as the character is more remarkable; and doubled, nay, trebled by the world if the progress of that character is marked by success; then malice shoots against it all her stings, the snakes of envy are let loose; to the humane and generous heart then must the injured appeal, and certain relief will be found in impartial honor. Miss Fisher is forced to sue to that jurisdiction to protect her from the baseness of little scribblers and scurvy malevolence; she has been abused in public papers, exposed in print-shops, and to wind up the whole, some wretches, mean, wretched, and venal, would impose upon the public by daring to publish her Memoirs. She hopes to prevent the success of their endeavors by thus publicly declaring that nothing of that sort has the slightest foundation in truth.
The above might seem to the hasty thinker curiously characteristic of time and place. Yet history repeats itself, as it always must. There is atavism even in advertisements. Characteristics that seem to belong to a past age will recur in the present. Surely the Miss Fisher of the last century finds her legitimate successor, her modern double, in the Ellen Rose of Stamford, Connecticut, who in 1890 inserted the following advertisement in all the newspapers of her native town:
TO MY SCANDALlizing Friends.-I hope you do not call yourselves Christians, for you are a disgrace to the Church. You know nothing about me. I don't care for your lying tongues; I wonder that they don't fall out of your mouths. You act like fence cats and flying serpents.
You have been very busy about me for the last nine years with your meddling; please tell me what you have to do with me. You dare not come to my face with your lies; you keep like a snake in the grass. See if you can keep it up for nine years longer. I know that I can stand it, but I should think that you would get tired of playing snake all the time. If you do not like my opinion of you, prove yourselves something different, you scandalizing imps! MISS ELLEN ROSE.
Matrimonial advertisements are now often roughly grouped under the head of "Personals" by newspaper managers who lack the nicer perceptive qualities. In truth, they form a department by themselves. They have a literature of their own. In recent years they have even developed journalistic organs of their own.
An engaging feature of these would-be husbands and wives has ever been their freedom from bashfulness or mauvaise honte in the proclamation of their own charms. They are almost always handsome, or beautiful, or distinguishedlooking, sweet-tempered and accomplished, well born, well mannered, and well educated. They are often wealthy, or, at least, in possession of a comfortable income. One wonders how it is they have escaped Hymen so long, and still more why they are obliged to seek alien means of courting him.
John Houghton, who in 1682 started a weekly entitled A Collection for the Improvement of Husbandry and Trade, which proved one of the chief promoters of early advertising, was the father of matrimonial announcements. In his issue of July 19, 1695, he inserted two advertisements of wishful bridegrooms. But the public was suspicious of the innovation, and a few weeks later the editor found it necessary to explain that the "proposals for matches" were genuine, promising, moreover, to manage all necessary negotiations with the utmost secrecie and prudence." After that he seems to have found custom. Imitators followed, and in 1775 a marriage bureau was even started in London, but it came to grief through an exposé of its very questionable methods in the Town and Country Magazine of the next year. Nevertheless, matrimonial advertisements waxed apace. A very curious one appeared in Bell's Weekly Messenger of May 28, 1797:
Matthew Dawson, in Bothwell, Cumberland, intends to be married at Holm Church, on the Thursday before Whitsuntide next, whenever that may happen, and to return to Bothwell to dine. Mr. Reid gives a turkey to be roasted; Ed Clemenson gives a fat lamb to be roasted; William Elliot gives a hen to be roasted; Joseph Gibson gives a fat calf to be roasted. And in order that all this roast meat may be well basted, do you see, Mary Pearson, Betty Hodgson, Mary Bushley, Molly Fisher, Sarah Briscoe, and Betty Porthouse, give each of them a pound of butter. The advertiser will provide everything else for so festive an occasion. And he hereby gives notice to all young women desirous of changing their condition that he is at present disengaged; and advises them to consider that although there be luck in leisure, yet in this case delays are dangerous; for, with him, it is determined it shall be first come first served.
So come along, lasses who wish to be married;
Max Dawson is vexed that so long he has tarried.
In December, 1890, the New York Herald printed this last wild appeal of a seeker after the ideal :
Humph, what mad folly! I can't find her thus: expertus loquor. Yet with the dying year this final effort. Dear tribe of unorthographical writers on untidy paper, spare for once him, who, not being an elderly gentleman of means, neither could suit you if he would, nor would if he could. A tired Athenian seeking something new, Epicurean in the true, not base sense, far travelled, much but ill read, incorrigible truth-teller: Ithaca bores, the puffing sail delights me. Caprice? Thou my complement, many-mooded as the sea or Clarimonde, dainty, high-bred, restful, joyous, delight to mind, pleasure to eye, child of earth, born of spirit, liberated from primeval curse, and in assurance of daily truffles without toil free to be thyself, where art thou? Alas, in Spain only, I fear, où sont mes châteaux.
THEOPHILE, Herald Office.
Far more sensible was the following advertiser in the London Times:
A young gentleman on the point of being married, is desirous of meeting a man of expe rience who will dissuade him from such a step. Address, etc.