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withdraw our admiration for its excruciating badness, and realize sadly that Americans and English can never be friends if inability to laugh at the same jokes be indeed the severest test of friendship. But then there is Lewis Carroll, and on that common ground both nations can meet. What can be better (or worse) than some of the puns scattered through Alice's various adventures ? There is a naïveté and a pathetic simplicity about them which seem somehow to reach the common fount of laughter and of tears.
Put me in my little bed, a once common American colloquialism, meaning that the one addressed is beaten or distanced, or has no more to say. It is derived from the refrain of a popular song :
Come, sister, come,
So put me in my little bed. Putrefaction shines in the dark. Lord Chesterfield, in his “ Letters to his Son,” has this image : “These poor, mistaken people think they shine ; and so they do, indeed; but it is as putrefaction shines,-in the dark.” Chesterfield's Letters were published at his death in 1773. In Cowper's “Conversation" (1781) the same image reappears :
'Tis such a light as putrefaction breeds
The stench remains, the lustre dies away. Pyrenees, There are no more. According to Voltaire, in his “ Age of Louis XIV.,” when the grandson of that monarch, the Duke of Anjou, was departing for Spain to take, under the name of Philip V., the throne left vacant by the death of Charles II., Louis, in his farewell instructions, said, “Be a good Spaniard; it is your duty; but remember that you are French, and that you maintain the union of the two countries." Then, embracing the youth, he added, “Il n'y a plus de Pyrénées.” “Why,” asks Fournier, per. tinently, “should Voltaire have written thus, when he might have found that the king never said it? It is a Spanish rather than a French mot, related by Dangeau, a courtier who followed Philip to his new kingdom, as the remark of the ambassador of Spain, who said that the journey between the two countries would be easy, as the Pyrenees were now melted” (“les Pyrénées étaient fondues”). But according to the Mercure Volant, November, 1700, p. 237, the Spanish ambassador used the exact words which Voltaire puts in the mouth of Louis XIV. to that monarch himself: “What joy! There are no more Pyrenees; they are uprooted, and henceforth we are but one." An earlier origin for the sentiment has been found in a poem by Malherbe, cele. brating the marriage of Louis XIII. and Anne of Austria:
Puis quand ces deux grands hyménées
Doit aplanir les Pyrénées, ...
The Task, Book ü., 1
Q, the seventeenth letter and thirteenth consonant in the English, as in the Latin, alphabet. In the Phænician it was the nineteenth character, and had the value of a deeper and more guttural k. The original Greek alphabet had the letter, but abandoned it as useless, because there was no such distinction between the k sounds. The Latins unphilosophically retained it, but only in the form gu, which is identical with ku, and through the Latin want of phonetic subtlety this entirely superfluous letter has been admitted into all modern alphabets based on the Phænician, because in that parent alphabet it had a real office to perform.
Quaker City. Philadelphia is popularly so called, having been founded by William Penn and settled and colonized by members of the Society of Friends, who still form an important element in its population.
Queen City, sometimes also Queen of the West, a name given to Cincinnati at a time when she was by far the most important commercial centre of that part of the United States. The city has retained the name, and is very often called by the sobriquet at this day.
And this song of the Vine,
This greeting of mine,
To the Queen of the West,
In her garlands dressed,
LONGFELLOW. Queen's Bus, an alternative name among English thieves for the Black Maria, or prison-van. The story runs that a crazy inmate of Clerkenwell was about to be sent away. He was told that the queen had despatched one of her own carriages for him. “One of them with We R on the side ?” “Yes." “Wot's We R stand for?” “Victoria Regina, of course.” “No, it don't : it stands for Wagabones Removed,” said the prisoner. The same letters are facetiously interpreted to mean Virtue Rewarded.
Queen's Pipe, the name popularly given to a huge oven at the Victoria Dock in London-where from ninety-five to ninety-eight per cent. of the entire imports of tobacco are received-which forms the crematory of the worthless portions of cargoes and the refuse and sweepings of the bonding houses. A great deal of misunderstanding exists about the office of this pipe, and it is sometimes held to be a ravenous maw that is eternally smoking the primest of smuggled cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco. But, in fact, contraband tobacco is overhauled after seizure, and the good portions separated from the worthless and supplied to convict prisons, for the consolation of criminal lunatics. Only refuse tobacco finds its way into the Queen's Pipe. When reduced to ashes, the proportion of lime contained in the dust renders it useful for manure. It is disposed of to agriculturists for mixture with other materials in tilling the land.
Quem Deus vult perdere prius dementat (L., “Whom God would destroy he first makes mad"), an anonymous translation of a fragmentary line of Greek attributed to Euripides :
"Ον θεός θέλει απολέσαι πρώτ' αποφρένει. Sophocles, however, refers to it (Antigone, 622) as a remarkable saying of some one unknown. It appears as Maxim 911 in Publius Syrus in this form ;
“ Whom Fortune wishes to destroy she first makes mad.” Butler puts the idea into English verse thus :
Like men condemned to thunder-bolts,
Who, ere the blow, become mere dolts; and Dryden, in “The Hind and the Panther," —
For those whom God to ruin has designed
Part III., 1. 2387. Quick as thought, a familiar locution common to most modern languages.
Most readers have no doubt frequently made use of the expression "quick as thought," but have any of them ever stopped to consider how quick thought is? A writer has made some interesting calculations regarding the comparative length of time it takes to call to mind various every-day facts, It takes about two-fifths of a second to call to mind the country in which a well-known town is situated, or the language in which a familiar author wrote. We can think of the name of next month in half the time we need to think of the name of the last month. It takes on an average one-third of a second to add numbers consisting of one digit, and half a second to multiply them. Such experiments give us considerable insight into the mind. Those used to reckoning can add two or three in less time than others; those familiar with literature can remember more quickly than others that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. It takes longer to mention a month when a season has been given than to say to what month a season belongs. The time taken up in choosing a motion, the" will time," can be measured as well as the time taken up in perceiving. If I do not know which of two colored lights is to be presented, and must lift my right hand if it be red and my left if it be blue, I need about one-thirteenth of a second to initiate the correct motion. I have also been able to register the sound-waves made in the air by speaking, and thus have determined that in order to call up the name belonging to a printed word I need about one-ninth of a second, to a letter one-sixth of a second, and to a color one-third of a second. A letter can be seen more quickly than a word, but we are so used to reading aloud that the process has become quite automatic, and a word can be read with greater ease and in less time than a letter can be named. The same experiments made on other persons give times differing but little from my own. Mental processes, however, take place more slowly in children, in the aged, and in the uneducated. -Nineteenth Century.
How fleet is a glance of the mind!
Compared with the speed of its flight,
by Alexander Selkirk. Quodlibet, a compound Latin word, meaning “as you please,” was the term used by the schoolmen of the Middle Ages to designate the subtle questions in casuistry on which they delighted to exercise their dialectical skill. To us they often seem extravagantly absurd, yet they were greeted with the highest respect and admiration, and won for their propounders the guerdon of such fantastic titles as the Seraphic, Illuminated, Subtle, or Invincible Doctor. And indeed the extraordinary subtlety of intelligence which they indicate is not to be set aside with a sneer. It was a phase of evolution through which the human mind had to pass in order to realize its own limitations and fall back upon the every-day light of common sense as a safer illuminator than mystic moonshine.
But, while we with hold the sneer, the grotesque naïveté of these hair-splitting controversies cannot fail to awaken a responsive thrill in the most rudimentary sense of humor. Burlesque has done its best, but has produced nothing more delightful. There is the famous question of the pretended Shakespearian Society, “ Whether the deceased husband of Juliet's nurse was really a merry man, or whether he only appeared so in the deceptive haze thrown posthumously around his character by the affectionate partiality of his widow?" There is that no less celebrated problem derisively propounded by Giordano Bruno, himself a schoolman : “Num chimæra bombinans in vacuo possit comedere secundas intentiones" (" Whether a chimera ruminating in a vacuum devoureth
second intentions"). These are funny enough. Reid, the Scotch metaphysi. cian, even questioned whether the wit of man could produce a more ridiculous proposition than the second. Perhaps not more ridiculous. But either his memory or his sense of humor was at fault if he failed to recognize that many of the true quodlibets were quite as facetious.
Here is an authentic question which was a favorite topic of discussion, and thousands of the acutest logicians through more than one century never resolved it: “When a hog is carried to market with a rope tied about its neck, which is held at the other end by a man, whether is the hog carried to market by the rope or by the man ?"
Among these learned leviathans probably none is more widely remembered than Thomas Aquinas,-St. Thomas in his present state of perfect beatitude, “The Angelic Doctor," as he was called on earth. His works, in seventeen folio volumes, testify not only to his industry but also to his genius. His greatest work, the "Summa totius Theologiæ," a summary of "theology,”— that is to say, of all knowledge as it was then conceived, -fills a volume in elephant folio containing nearly fifteen hundred pages of very small print in double columns. It may be worth noticing that to this work are appended nineteen folio pages, in double column, of errata, and about two hundred pages of index.
The whole is thrown into Aristotelian form ; the difficulties or questions are proposed first, and the answers are then appended. There are one hundred and sixty-eight articles on Love, three hundred and fifty-eight on Angels, two hundred on the Soul, eighty-five on Demons, one hundred and fifty-one on the Intellect, one hundred and thirty-four on Law, two hundred and thirtyseven on Sins, seventeen on Virginity, and others on various topics.
One is inclined to suspect that the title of Angelic Doctor was earned not so much by any seraphic temper with which the good Thomas was blessed, for he was a most vehement and uncompromising polemic, as by his very minute examination into the nature of the angels. In his three hundred and fifty. eight articles on the topic, he treats of angels, their substance, orders, offices, habits, etc., as if he himself had been an angel of experience. Here are a few heads culled from his treatise :
Angels were not before the world.
An angel is composed of action and potentiality; the more superior he is, he has the less potentiality.
Angels have not naturally a body united to them. They may assume bodies, but they do not want to assume bodies for themselves, but for us.
The bodies assumed by angels are of thick air.
The bodies they assume have not the natural virtues which they show, nor the operations of life, but those which are common to inanimate things.
An angel may be the same with a body.
In the same body there are the soul formally giving being and operating natural operations, and the angel operating supernatural operations.
Angels administer and govern every corporeal creature.
The motion of an angel in space is nothing else than different contacts of different succes. sive places.
The motion of an angel is a succession of his different operations.
The continuous motion of an angel is necessary through every medium, but may be dis. continuous without a medium.
The velocity of the motion of an angel is not according to the quantity of his strength, but according to his will.
The motion of the illumination of an angel is threefold, or circular, straight, and oblique. All the questions are answered with a subtlety and nicety of distinction more difficult to comprehend and remember than many problems in Euclid; and perhaps a few of the best might still be selected for youth as curious exercises of the understanding. Others, however, would seem to the modern mind trifling, grotesque, and even irreverent. Aquinas gravely asks, Whether Christ was not an hermaphrodite? Whether there are excrements in Paradise? Whether the pious at the resurrection will rise with their bowels ? His contemporaries kept up the pace. They debated, Whether the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary in the shape of a serpent, of a dove, of a man, or of a woman? Did he seem to be young, or old ? In what dress was he? Was his garment white, or of two colors? Was his linen clean, or foul ? Did he appear in the morning, noon, or evening? What was the color of the Virgin Mary's hair? Was she acquainted with the mechanic and liberal arts ? Had she a thorough knowledge of the Book of Sentences and all it contains that is, Peter Lombard's compilation from the works of the Fathers, written twelve hundred years after her death. But these are only triling matters; they also agitated, Whether when during her gestation the Virgin was seated Christ too was seated, and whether when she lay down Christ also lay down?
While all this profound subtlety nowadays induces a smile, we should not deceive ourselves as to the quality of the minds that produced it. They were the keenest wits and the brightest intellects of their time, and fully equal in capacity to the best of any age. These monstrous products of their labors are but the expression of a peculiarly intimate and persistent occupation with the supernatural, in their attempts to rationalize upon the supposititious phenomena of which men in all times and of all races have foundered into grotesqueness. Does not the more modern Milton stumble when he describes angels and spirits ? It reminds one almost of the Angelic Doctor himself to hear him describe the vulgar multitude of the inhabitants of Pandemonium, who, being "incorporeal spirits,” are "at large, though without number," in a limited space. In the battle, when they are overwhelmed by mountains being hurled upon them by the good angels, their armor hurts them, as it is "crushed in upon their substance." If it be objected that this is explained by their having “grown gross by sinning," how, then, could they continue to bé "incorporeal spirits," and, being incorporeal, how could they be bounded by space? To be at large, implies that the subject of which it is predicated might be confined; and how are we to rise to the conception of confining things without substance? But the uncorrupted angels are no less paradoxically described. In the course of the battle they too are sometimes crushed and overthrown, “the sooner for their arms, for, unarmed, they might easily, as spirits, have evaded by contraction and remove.” Considered as spirits they are hardly to be regarded as spiritual, for “contraction" and "remove" are images of matter ; but if they could have escaped without their armor, why they should not have "contracted and removed" and escaped from it. and left only the enıpty shell to be battered, is incomprehensible.
The reader desirous of being merry with Aquinas's angels may find them in Martinus Scriblerus, whose imaginary history is related in the satirical “Memoirs of his Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries,” usually published in Pope's works, but chiefly, if not wholly, written by Arbuthnot. In chapter vii. he inquires if angels pass from one extreme to another without going through the middle ? And if angels know things more clearly in a morning? And how many angels can dance on the point of a very fine needle without jostling one another?
Amusing travesties of quodlibetic questions, reminding one of those pro. pounded in Martinus Scriblerus, are those with which Charles Lamb, after his rupture with Coleridge (in 1798, on the departure of the latter for Ger.