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advice, and especially good advice: "Good advice is one of those injuries which a good man ought, if possible, to forgive, but at all events to forget at once." (The Tin Trumpet: Advice.) The ingenuous few that occasionally seem to seek advice really want something else: "We ask advice, but we mean approbation." (COLTON : Lacon.) Yet Benjamin Franklin has so little worldly wisdom as to say in his “Poor Richard's Almanac," "They that will not be counselled will not be helped." To be sure, he adds almost in the same breath, We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct,"—a thought. by the way, which he stole from La Rochefoucauld: We give advice, but we cannot give the wisdom to profit by it." Saadi, in the "Gulistân," makes a sage remark when he says, "He who gives advice to a self-conceited man stands himself in need of counsel from another." (ch. viii., Rules for Conduct in Life.) But he fails to recognize that all men in this sense are self-conceited. Yet, on the other hand, if Bailey be right, self-conceit should incline them to hearken: "The worst men often give the best advice.” (Festus. sc. A Village Feast.) In the face of all this human unwillingness, however, Alphonso the Wise of Castile was bold enough to say, "Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe."
A. E. I. O. U. These five vowels were stamped by Frederick III. of Germany upon coins and medals, and inscribed upon public buildings. They had originally been used at the coronation of his predecessor, Albert II., then standing for Albertus Electus Imperator Optimus Vivat. At his own coronation at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1440, Frederick retained the initials, with this altered meaning, Archidux Electus Imperator Optime Vivat. It became a favorite pastime for learned and ingenious men to fit new readings to the motto. Frederick himself, in a manuscript referred to by the librarian of Leopold I., quoted a flattering German version, Aller Ehren Ist Oesterreich Voll, ("Austria is crowned with all honor,") but it is recorded that he had to remove an equally unflattering inscription in the Burg, Aller Erst Ist Oesterreich Verdorben.
Rasch, organist of the Schottencloster, discovered no less than two hundred possible readings, which he gave to the world about 1580. Three of these are especially famous: Austria Erit In Orbe Ultima, "Austria will be the last in the world," and Austria Est Imperare Orbi Universo, and Alles Erdreich Ist Oesterreich Unterthan, the last being a free translation into German of the Latin of the second. The initial ingenuity of both is retained in the English equivalent: Austria's Empire Is Over all Universal.
Affinity. A term made famous by American Free-Lovers, meaning a person of the opposite sex who is in such perfect harmony, mentally, spiritually, and physically, with one's self, that a higher law-a law above all mere human codes and conventions, and, therefore, above the seventh commandment, which was numbered among human ordinances-urged these twain to become one flesh. A complete life or destiny could be fulfilled, not by a single individual, but by a couple. Each must have its affinity. The greater duty of life was to discover this alter ego. It will be seen that this necessitated numerous experiments on the way. The Free-Lovers were largely influenced by Goethe's Elective Affinities," in which human beings are likened to chemical substances that repel or attract one another by eternal laws. Only Goethe hesi tates to say explicitly that this chemical force thrust upon man by the demoniac powers releases him from personal responsibility. The Free-Lovers not only explicitly stated this, not only asserted that man was excusable, but went further, and taught that it was his sacred duty to break through the traditional code and satisfy his higher self. The sect became prominent in 1850, and
established several communities, the most famous being at Oneida, New York. They were a constant target for the humorists. Artemus Ward has an excellent bit of fooling on the community at Berlin Heights, Ohio. He describes how he set up his great moral show in the neighborhood, and how the FreeLovers came flocking round the doors, among them "a perfeckly orful-lookin' female," whose "gownd was skanderlusly short and her trowsis was shameful to behold."
The exsentric female clutched me frantically by the arm and hollerd:
"You air mine, O you air mine!"
"Scarcely," I sed, endeverin to git loose from her. But she clung to me and sea: "You air my Affinerty!"
"What upon arth is that?" I shouted.
"Dost thou not know?"
"No, I dostent!"
“Listen, man, & I'll tell ye!" sed the strange female: "for years I hav yearned for thee. I knowd thou wast in the world, sumwhares, tho I didn't know whare. My hart sed he would cum and I took courage. He has cum-he's here-you air him--you air my Affinerty. O'tis too mutch, too mutch!" and she sobbed agin.
"Yes," I ansered, "I think it is a darn site too mutch!"
"Hast thou not yearned for me?" she yelled, ringin' her hands like a female play-actor. "Not a yearn!" I bellered at the top of my voice, throwin' her away from me.-Artemus Ward, His Book: Among the Free-Lovers.
Agathocles' Pot. Agathocles, the celebrated tyrant of Syracuse, was originally a potter: in his greatness he always affected extreme humility, having an earthen pot placed beside him at table to remind him of his origin.
A poor relation is the most irrelevant thing in nature, a piece of impertinent correspondency, ... a death's-head at your banquet, Agathocles' pot, a Mordecai in your gate, a Lazarus at your door, a lion in your path, . . . the ounce of sour in a pound of sweet.-Lamb's Elia: Poor Relations.
Agitate, agitate, agitate! This advice, which seems a reminiscence of Demosthenes's "Action, action, action !" (q. v.), was given to the Irish people by the Marquis of Anglesea when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland under the Duke of Wellington. O'Connell caught up the phrase and followed the advice it inculcated. Hence he was known as "the Irish Agitator." But Parnell deemed that a better watchword was "Organize, organize, organize!"
Agnostic (Gr. & privative, and yvworós, knowing, known, knowable). One who believes that the finite mind can comprehend only the finite world, and that God and the infinite and the causes that underlie appearances are necessarily unknown and unknowable. According to a letter from R. H. Hutton, quoted in the New English Dictionary, sub voce, the word was "suggested by Prof. Huxley at a party held previous to the formation of the now defunct Metaphysical Society, at Mr. James Knowles's house on Clapham Common, one evening in 1869, in my hearing. He took it from St. Paul's mention of the altar to the Unknown God.'
Since this letter appeared in print, Prof. Huxley has himself given us the history of the word, in the Nineteenth Century for February, 1889. "When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist, a materialist or an idealist, a Christian or a free-thinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer, until at last I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain 'gnosis," had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. . . . This was my situation when I had the good fortune to find a
place among the members of that remarkable confraternity of antagonists, long since deceased, but of green and pious memory, the Metaphysical Society. Every variety of philosophical and theological opinion was represented there, and expressed itself with entire openness; most of my colleagues were ists of one sort or another; and, however kind and friendly they might be, I, the man without a rag of a label to cover himself with, could not fail to have some of the uneasy feelings which must have beset the historical fox when, after leaving the trap in which his tail remained, he presented himself to his normally elongated companions. So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of agnostic.' It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the 'Gnostic' of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant, and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our society, to show that I, too, had a tail like the other foxes. To my great satisfaction, the term took; and when the Spectator had stood godfather to it, any suspicion in the minds of respectable people that a knowledge of its parentage might have awakened was, of course, completely lulled." (Reprinted in Christianity and Agnosticism: a Controversy. New York, 1889.)
Agony. To pile on the agony, originally an Americanism, is now a common locution on both sides of the Atlantic, meaning to use harrowing details for the purpose of intensifying a narrative or a statement. So far back as 1857, Charlotte Brontë writes in a letter, "What climax there is does not come on till near the conclusion; and even then I doubt whether the regular novel-reader will consider the agony piled sufficiently high' (as the Americans say) or the colors dashed on to the canvas with the proper amount of daring." (GASKELL: Life of Charlotte Brontë, ch. xxv.)
Agony Column. The name familiarly given to the second column of the first page of the London Times, containing advertisements similar to those which in American papers are grouped under the head of Personals. But they often exhibit a frantic exuberance of capitals, exclamation-marks, and interjections, and make lurid exhibitions of private and personal matters which are well-nigh unknown to the advertising columns of cis-Atlantic journals. Sometimes they are written in cipher, or some mutually-agreed-on arrangement of words, and many a line that reads like the purest gibberish carries sorrow or gladness to the eye that reads the secret. Yet even ciphers have been found dangerous. There are everywhere certain ingenious busybodies (ie., bodies who have nothing to busy themselves with) that make a study of this column, and, finding a key to the cipher in which a clandestine correspondence is carried on, insert a marplot advertisement,-sometimes for the mere fun of the thing, sometimes to stop an intrigue that is nearly ripe for execution. The agony column itself is evidence of this. For you often find the real agents in a correspondence notifying each other that such and such an advertisement was not inserted by authority. (See CIPHER.)
A large number of the advertisements relate to prodigal sons and truant husbands. Now, you and I have never run away and hid from our families; probably no one in our set of acquaintances ever has. Yet the fact remains that there is a certain percentage of the human race to whom the temptation to run away is irresistible. By a more or less happy dispensation, they seem to be blessed with relatives of exceptional clemency, who, instead of leaving them alone like Bopeep's sheep, implore them through the Times and other papers to come home to a steaming banquet of veal. They frequently wind up by promising the fugitive that everything will be arranged to his satisfaction,which surely ought to prove a tempting bait, for to have everything arranged to one's satisfaction is a condition rarely realized. Of course the promise is
vague. It is therefore encouraging to run across an advertisement that deals with particulars and not with glittering generalities,-.g., as when on October 2, 1851, a fugitive who is spoken of as "The Minstrel Boy" (probably in a fine vein of sarcasm, for among the items of personal description appears "no ear for music") is thus addressed: "Pray return to your disconsolate Amends. All will be forgiven, and Charlie will give up the front room."
Another favorite way of luring the victim back is to threaten that all sorts calamities will visit the family he has left behind. Thus, P. P. P. is implored for mercy's sake to write again: "If not, your wretched father will be a maniac, and your poor unhappy mother will die broken-hearted." Here is a still more pathetic appeal, ludicrous, however, in the very midst of its pathos : “To A . . . . If humanity has not entirely flown from your breast, return. oh, return, ere it is too late, to the heart-broken, distracted wife you have forsaken, ere the expression of those soft eyes that won you be lost in the bewildered stare of insanity,-ere they may gaze even on you and know you not; write, tell her, oh! tell her where you are, that she may follow you-her own, her all-and die. See her once more." Here is an example that shifts with strange abruptness from entreaty to threats: "I entreat you to keep to your word, or it may be fatal. Laws were made to bind the villains of society." The neat laconicism of the following has even more merit :
PHILIP. Would PHILIP like to hear of his Mother's Death?
A sad little history is summed up in the following advertisements, the last two being, of course, an answer to the first:
July 15, 18, 22, and 25, 1850.
THE ONE-WINGED DOVE must die unless the CRANE returns to be a shield against her enemies.
November 23, 1850.
SOMERSET, S. B. THE MATE of the DOVE must take wing forever unless a material change takes place. J. B.
November 26, 1850.
THE MATE of the Dove bids a final FAREWELL. ADIEU to the British Isles, although such a resolution cannot be accomplished without poignant grief. W.
Undoubtedly there is a romance also behind these three advertisements, which followed one another at considerable intervals; but the reader will have to build one up to suit himself:
Was this a love-message? Was DOORMAT the agreed-upon symbol for a grim Paterfamilias, a jealous husband? Did the mice, anxious for play, acquaint each other in this fashion that the cat was or was not away? And what connection did DOORMAT have with BEANS? Idle, idle questions! As well ask "what songs the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women."
A curious advertisement, that tells its own story, appears on May 21, 1838. The advertiser, who gives his real name and address, states that some years previous he had saved the life of an English nobleman by rescuing him from drowning, but that he withdrew himself, "not to receive the unbounded thanks and generous reward of an English gentleman." Now, however, he intimates that a correspondence with the family might be pleasing to them and a source
Of course this ingenious gentleman wanted love
of happiness to himself.
But the most extraordinary series of advertisements that ever appeared in any paper, a series extending over a period of fifteen years and hinting at all sorts of mystery, romance, crime, and even madness, was contributed mainly by a gentleman whose real name, E. J. Wilson, is occasionally signed, while more frequently he masquerades under the initials E. W. or E. J. W., or under pseudonymes that would be baffling but for the unerring evidence of style. That he was a man who had suffered a good deal, and that his sorrows had unhinged his reason, is apparent enough, for the advertisements are couched in precisely the language which seems impressive to people of deranged minds. Moreover, he has an insane belief in his own virtues, impor. tance, and abilities. "I claim to rank with Cobden, Bright, and Rowland Hill," he says in one place, and elsewhere he asserts that he is the author of "the decimal system at Her Majesty's Customs which pours pure gold every day into the coffers of the nation." How far, therefore, his sorrows are the result of hallucination it is not possible to say. Nor is it possible to make a perfectly consistent and coherent whole out of the staccato story of his wrongs as revealed in these advertisements. But the main outlines seem to be that he was a man of fortune with an important position in the British Customs Office, that he married a Hebrew lady, that his family and friends quarrelled with him, apparently over some smuggling scheme of which he disapproved and in whose spoils he refused to participate, that his wife and his infant daughter were spirited away from him (he seems to hint that the wife eloped with a lover, but this she indignantly denies), and that he spent a large portion of his life, and lost fortune, place, and position, in the effort to regain the daughter. So much being premised, a few selections here and there from the voluminous communications of Mr. Wilson and the rare answers of his wife may be found interesting,-may pique curiosity, at least, if not satisfy it. Here is almost the first of the series:
HONEST, HONEST ALEXIS! What a strange coincidence! Remove the last syllable, and there was once a great man, one of the self-constituted sacred race, known by that cognomen, whom I-for which, of course, I shall never be forgiven-transformed-as I intend to serve nany more-into a city spectre. Honest, honest Alexis! May that never be your fate. Candour would then indeed be wronged. E. W.
To this frantic expostulation Alexis (very naturally) answers, “What are you alluding to? SEND YOUR address. Do it immediately. I was much disappointed at not receiving it on Saturday, and have been in the greatest agony ever since. You are freely forgiven; extend your mercy to Alexis." E. W. seems to have preferred continuing the correspondence through the columns of the Times. On March 19 he explains that he was alluding to "the customs,” and adds, “You will only deceive the superficial fools of the nation."
Alexis evidently gets very wroth, and four days later inserts the following: E. W., author of anonymous correspondence, look at home. Conscience does not accuse me of even attempting to deceive. You have, however, been playing the game of deception several years, until, judging from your exasperated feeling, you are at last tired that your bait has not taken. Have you a conscience? This is doubted by some, whilst others think you have. but that it dwells far beneath its usual seat. Alexis bids you farewell.
Alexis is evidently the wife. Apparently she flees to Norway or Sweden, for a month or two later we find an impassioned appeal "to the pearl of the great eastern sea, the blue-eyed maid of Israel, who keeps watch near the