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gust; of changes anticipated with anxiety or dread which have brought with them the fulfilment of the most ardent wishes; of events from which the utmost good or evil has been expected which have passed without leaving a trace; and of persons or things which have hardly been heeded at all yet which have turned out to be the arbiters or the turning-points of our fortunes. When, after an interval, we look back, we are in a position to see the full extent of this mockery of fate. It is a consciousness of this great truth that forms the pathos and the power of the old Greek drama. Nowhere is it enunciated more strikingly than in two master-works of Sophocles. In the midst of the public confusion and misery with which "Edipus Rex" opens, the royal house alone is calm and secure. The king, beloved and revered, is the object towards which all eyes are turned for succor. Yet this very man not only is, but by unconscious steps proves himself to be, the very fount and source of the calamity, and is left at the end of the play a hopeless, selfblinded outcast. Reversing the picture, we see, apparently, in the first scenes of "Edipus Coloneus," the same fallen and pitiable being. Yet this seemingly destitute wanderer is now the object of the special protection of heaven; he is not only a pious but a sacred and prophetic man, and two powerful states are to contend with each other for the possession of his person and the right of paying honor to his tomb. The reader hardly needs to be reminded of the tremendous parallel in the opening scenes of "King Lear."
Irrepressible Conflict, a locution current during the anti-slavery agitation, supposed to have been originated by William H. Seward in an address to a public meeting at Rochester, New York, October 25, 1858: "It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces,"-.e., Freedom and Slavery. If not invented, the phrase at least was brought into prominence by him through this utterance.
Isabella. This color, a sort of yellow, was chosen by the great Condé for his own. The origin of the name is curious. When the Spaniards were besieging Ostend, in 1601, the Archduchess Isabella, wishing to encourage the troops, and thinking success near at hand, made a vow of never changing her linen before she entered the town. Unfortunately for this princess, the siege lasted three years longer. It may be conceived that during this time her linen lost some of its original brightness; and her ladies, to console her and to follow her example, had their linen dyed of a color which afterwards became the fashion, and which was called Isabella.
Isolation. That we are alone in this world, that each man lives in a hermitage of his own thoughts and carries a great silence about with him, is a sentiment that finds constant expression in literature, nowhere more beautifully than in Matthew Arnold's stanza,
Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.
Thackeray has put the idea into humorous prose in the following passage from "Pendennis:"
How lonely we are in the world! how selfish and secret of everybody! . . . Ah, sir, a distinct universe walks about under your hat and under mine,--all things in nature are different to each, the woman we look at has not the same features, the dish we eat from has not the same taste to one and the other, - you and I are but a pair of infinite isolations, with some fellow-islands a little more or less near to us.
Keble says, with gentle pathos —
Why should we faint and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so Heaven has willed, we die?
The Christian Year: Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity.
These fine lines are by Christopher P. Cranch:
Thought is deeper than all speech,
We are spirits clad in veils ;
Man by man was never seen;
To remove the shadowy screen.
They have some analogy with Carlyle :
Are we not Spirits, that are shaped into a body, into an Appearance; and that fade away again into air and Invisibility? Oh, Heaven, it is mysterious, it is awful to consider that we not only carry a future Ghost within us; but are, in very deed, Ghosts! These Limbs, whence had we them; this stormy Force; this life-blood with its burning Passion? They are dust and shadow; a Shadow-system gathered round our ME; wherein, through some moments or years, the Divine Essence is to be revealed in the Flesh.-Sartor Resartus: Natural Supernat
And Carlyle, in turn, suggests Marcus Aurelius :
This Being of mine, whatever it really is, consists of a little flesh, a little breath, and the part which governs.-Meditations, ii. 2.
Ivan Ivanovitch, a fictitious personage supposed to be the embodiment of the peculiarities of the Russian people, in the same way that John Bull stands for the English and Jean Crapaud for the French. He is represented as a lazy, good-natured fellow.
J, the tenth letter in the English alphabet, originally only another form of i, and in the Latin, as in the modern Italian, used with exactly the same value. In England, with a consistency which makes it a rare jewel in our orthography, it is used only to represent the consonant sound dzh. There is one exception, and one only, the word hallelujah, though that is now sometimes written as it is pronounced, halleluiah. When that innovation is fully estab lished there will be no further blot on the integrity of this austere and uncompromising consonant.
Jack, the diminutive or colloquial form of the name John. Etymologists have gone on repeating that Jack is the Anglicized form of Jacques, which in its turn is French for the Jacob of the Old Testament and the James of the New, the Jago, Diego, or Iago of the Spaniards, the Giacomo and Giacobbe of the Italians, etc. When these etymologists come to establish the connection between Jacob and John they can only perform a neat little bit of philological acrobatism, which dazzles but not convinces. The probability is that there is no connection; the etymon is all wrong. Jack has an entirely different origin. As lambkin and manikin are the diminutives of lamb and man, and Tompkin and Watkin of Thomas and Walter, so Jonkin and Jankin were the original diminutives of John, and they, in their turn, being too long and cumbrous for nursery use, were cut down to Jocky and Jacky, and finally to Jock and Jack. Jack, the more French of the two, has always been more current in the south of England, and Jock in Scotland. The frequency of the name in all sections of Great Britain has led to the employment of the diminutive as an equivalent for lad or boy, and, alone or in composition, for a number of tools and appli
ances which do the work of a common servant or are subjected to rough usage. Meat-jack, smoke-jack, boot-jack, jack-knife, jack-plane,-all are so many tributes to the popularity of the name John. So also are jack-in-thebox, jack-in-the-pulpit, jack-o'-lantern, and such proverbial phrases as every man Jack of them, Jack at a pinch, and Jack of all trades (q. v.). The colloquialism, more common in America than in England, which nicknames the knave in cards as the Jack, bears witness in like manner to its universal applicability. A common seaman is still a Jack-tar. Nor can one pass over the oft-quoted cases of the black-jack, the jack-fool, the union-jack, and the jack-pudding, or the extension of the name to the animal world, in the jackdaw, the jack, or pike, and the jackanapes.
Jack of all trades, or Jack at all trades, often quoted with the addition "and master of none," a colloquial expression for a person who has many accomplishments but no serious and settled pursuit, who does a number of things cleverly and not one pre-eminently well, who knows a little of everything and knows that little wrong.
In the middle of the eighteenth century England appears to have been full of gentry who, having a vast amount of misinformation on all possible subjects, were willing to impart it for a consideration, and who employed the leisure left them by their professorial duties in various and apparently incompatible branches of trade. A single specimen will suffice. Here is the way the famous Roger Giles described himself in hand-bill advertisements:
Roger Giles, Imperceptible Penetrator, Surgin, Paroch Clarke, &c., Romford, Essex, hinforms Ladis and Gentlemen that he cuts their teeth and draws corns without waiten a moment. Blisturs on the lowest turms, and fysics at a penny a peace. Sells god-fathers cordial and strap-ile, and undertakes to keep any Ladis nales by the year and so on. Young Ladis and Gentlemen tort the heart of rideing, and the gramer language in the natest manner, also grate Kare takein to himprove there morals and spelling, sarm singing and whisseling. Teaches the jewsarp, and instructs young Ladis on the gar-tar, and plays the ho-boy. Shotish, poker and all other ruls tort at home and abroad. Perfumery in all its branches. Sells all sorts of stashionary, barth bricks and all other sorts of sweet-meats, including beeswax postage stamps and lusifers; likewise taturs, roobub, sossages and other garden stuffs, also fruits, such as hardbake, inguns, toothpicks, ile and tinware, and other eatables. Sarve, treacle, winegar, and all other hardware. Further in particular he has laid in a stock of tripe, china, epsom salts, lollipops and other pickels, such as oysters, apples and table beer, also silk, satin and hearthstones, and all kinds of kimistry, including wax-dolls, rasors, dutch cloks, and gridirons, and new laid eggs evry day by me, Roger Giles. P.S.-I lectures on joggrefy.
Jackanapes, an impertinent coxcomb. A curious derivation of the name is that of Mr. W. Chatto. In 1379 was brought to Viterbo the game of cards called by the Saracens naib: Jackanapes is the Jack o' naibs. Jackanape is the adjective form of the word:
I will teach a scurvy jackanape priest to meddle and make.
Merry Wives of Windsor, Act i., Sc. 4. Jack-Pudding, a buffoon. It is curious that each country names its stage buffoon from its favorite viand. The Dutch call him "Pickelhäring" (soused herring); the Germans, “Hans-Wurst" (jack-sausage); the French, “Jean Potage;" the Italians, "Macaroni ;" and the English, "Jack-Pudding."
Jacksonites, a nickname for the followers of Andrew Jackson, in vogue between 1821 and 1832, as opposed to the Adamsites, followers of John Quincy Adams. According to a standing joke, common for a generation after Jackson's death, there were still "Jacksonites" in the rural districts who continued to vote for the "Hero of New Orleans," quite oblivious of his death, or even stoutly denying it, and denouncing the report as a Whig lie.
Jacobins, the name by which a coterie or political club of turbulent extremists in the French Revolution is generally known. The club was
formed at Versailles in 1789, under the name of the Club Breton. The name of "Jacobins" had been previously applied in France to the Dominican friars, from the Rue St.-Jacques in Paris, where they first established themselves in 1219, and when the Breton Club removed to Paris they met in the hall of the former convent of the Dominicans, whence they and their partisans in turn were called Jacobins.
Jacobites, the name given in England to the adherents of James II. and his son and grandson, from Jacobus, the Latin form of James.
Jacquerie, La, a peasants' insurrection in France, 1358. The complaining peasantry had been facetiously referred for redress of their grievances to Jacques Bon-homme (Johnny Goodman, a sort of fairy good-luck),—¿.e., nobody. At length a leader appeared who called himself Jacques Bonhomme, and declared war to the death against every gentilhomme in France. In six weeks' time some twelve thousand of the insurgents were cut down, including Jacques Bonhomme their leader.
Jacques, a generic name of the poor artisan class in France. a sort of short cotton waist or tunic without sleeves:
Jacques, il me faut troubler ton somme;
Rôde et court, suivi du messier.
C'est pour l'impôt, là! mon pauvre homme.
Voici venir l'huissier du roi.
Jag, in American slang, a state of intoxication. Originally jag meant a small Joad, and when load grew to be a synonyme for a "drunk," jag was humorously substituted for a small drunk. But it is now applied to the most im posing form of intoxication:
The word "jag" can be found in any dictionary, but its popular meaning, in present use,
is not there explained. It may be profitable to trace the etymology of the word from its probable origin.
Cassell's Encyclopædic Dictionary" says,
JAG. 1. A small load, as of hay, grain, or straw. Etym. doubtful.
2. A saddle-bag, a pedlar's wallet.
JAG (Gaelic gog). The nodding of the head; short irregular sounds, then the sort of figures traced out by the tremulous, irregular movements of bodies.
JAGGER. One who jags, in Scot. a pedlar.
JAGGERY. The Indian name for a kind of coarse dark sugar obtained from the juice of palms and the sugar-cane.
Here are four possible origins of the root jag which is now used in its purity.
1. The pedlar idea, the condition of mind and body most frequently to be noticed in perambulating merchants and tinkers. 2. (a) The nodding of the head as in drowsiness; and (b) the irregular line described by bodies moving uncertainly along a plane, as a sidewalk. The suggestion of acrid alcoholic strength in a solid, as sugar, which becomes fluid easily, 4. The common provincial use of the word to express the idea of a light burden, a small load of irregular shape, as, "a little jag of hay" which is gleaned with a pitchfork in the wake of the harvest-wagon which carries the bulk of the crop.
The present use of the word comes most clearly, perhaps, from the last of these four possible sources, but incidental shades of meaning are seen to be derived from the others. The jag is that state of exhilaration produced by the absorption in the human body of a greater or less quantity of alcoholic liquor. In its primary use it implied only "a little load,” but
the word is elastic.
Its grand divisions are: (a) The Quiet Gentlemanly Jag; (b) the Windward Jag, in which the subject appears to stand in great need of a centre-board to enable him to steer a reasonably straight course (f. Stormonth supra); (c) the Running Jag, under whose influence the man finds it necessary to progress in a trot to avoid failing over forward,—a Chicago variety of the condition; and (d) the Rip-staving Jag, used as a synonyme for the Boiling Drunk, where the man betrays an overweening desire to maim, slaughter, slay, and deal damnation round with a free and impartial hand. This last species of jag has no speciaí habitat.-New York Evening Sun (1891).
Jarnac, Le coup de (Fr., "Jarnac's thrust"), a famous thrust in fencing, named after its inventor.
Chasteneraye and Jarnac, both peers of France, had fallen out over the virtue of the latter's mother-in-law. The king had interested himself in the matter, and it was finally settled that the whole question should be referred to the arbitrament of arms. As it chanced, Chasteneraye was one of the first swordsmen of France, so that Jarnac exhausted his ingenuity in devising some abstruse and little-known weapon by means of which he might be more on an equality with his adversary. The names of thirty such arms were drawn up and submitted to the judges, who, however, to Jarnac's despair, laid them all aside and decided upon the sword. In his difficulty he sought the advice of a tried old Italian swordsman, who bade him be of good heart, and confided to him a secret trick of swordsmanship devised by himself and never before taught to mortal man.
Armed with this horrid ruse, Jarnac repaired to the scene of the encounter, where, in the presence of the king, Henry II., and all the high officials of the kingdom, the two litigants were put face to face. Chasteneraye, confident in his skill, pressed hotly upon the less experienced Jarnac, when suddenly the latter, to the astonishment of the spectators, put in such a cut as had never before been seen, and severed the tendon of his enemy's left leg. An instant later, by a repetition of the same stroke, he cut the sinew of the right one, and the unfortunate Chasteneraye fell hamstrung to the earth. In this sore plight he still continued upon his knees to make passes at his antagonist and to endeavor to carry on the combat. His sword, however, was quickly struck from his grasp, and he lay at the mercy of his conqueror. The wily Jarnac was disposed, very much against the customs of the time, to grant him his life, but the humiliation was too much for the beaten and crippled man, and, refusing all assistance, he allowed himself to bleed to death. The "coup de Jarnac" in sword-play still remains as a memorial of this encounter.- The Cornhill Magazine.
Jay, in American slang, a fool, a simpleton, a guy,-of which latter word it may be a corruption. The expression is much used in the theatrical profession, both as a noun and as an adjective. A jay town means a town which does not patronize stage performances, and a jay audience is a slim, or an unappreciative, audience.
Jayhawkers, a name for guerillas or bush-rangers, which originated during the Kansas troubles in 1856, and was subsequently applied generally to political marauders; probably derived from jay-hawk, a bird of prey noted for its wanton ferocity, killing other creatures, it is said, in sport. In later years the inhabitants of Kansas humorously nicknamed themselves Jayhawkers.
Jeames, an obsolete form of the name James, which was one time often spelt thus and so pronounced. It was revived for ironical purpose by Thackeray, who made it a contemptuous embodiment of flunkyism, and since the publication of "Jeames's Diary" it has obtained proverbial currency as a designation for a footman or a flunky.
A poor clergyman, or a poor military man, may have no more than three hundred a year; but I heartily venerate his endeavors to preserve his girls from the society of the servants' hall and the delicate attentions of Jeames.-A. K. H. BOYD,
It has also been applied as an epithet to the London Morning Post, the organ of the "haristocracy."
Jean Crapaud, anglicé "Johnny Frog." A fictitious personage, the humorous embodiment of the idiosyncrasies of the French people, as Brother Jonathan is of the Yankee.
Jean de Paris, a name applied with sardonic humor to the guillotine.
Jean des Vignes. Jean was the name and des Vignes the sobriquet of a drunken marionette performer of considerable ability. The French jongleurs call the poupée to which they address themselves "Jean des Vignes," and the French Protestants of the sixteenth century so called "the host." When a person does an ill action the French say, "Il fait comme Jean des Vignes ;"