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instead of words instead of, 2

by the long habit of attaching importance to words instead of things; to sound instead of sense. When you are told... that the boys at these learned schools are set to make what are called “Nonsense Verses” in Latin... without any regard to the sense or meaning of the words: as, for example :—
Meadow when for surprize she backward
Cut finger tea-kettle coldest he again.       1

Not to insist on such hollow talk as “black night and sable wing,” it is throughout manifest that the writer has merely skimmed the surface; he puts down words instead of things       2

words instead of colours. The imitation, in both cases, is the chief source of the pleasure.       3

lest that, instead of words       4
when instead of words       5

instead of words, or parts of words       6
in a new language, as it were, by things instead of words       7

instead of words, made a collection of every article he was able to procure       8
uttered by shapes and wires instead of words and handwriting.       9

You know what I mean Sir well enough, and I do not think what I write the more obscurely by using stroaks instead of Words. This I am sure of       10

during the Hours of Silence, they made use of Signs, instead of Words       11
instead of words to soothe       12

instead of words, she heard sweet music       13
instead of comparisons made up of words, the world itself       14


  1. ex passage on the unfortunate study of what are called the learned languages, and its apotheosis (or nadir) in Nonsense Verse, in Cobbett’s Weekly Political Pamphlet (November 29, 1817) : 1076
  2. The London Magazine (16 December 1822) : 93
  3. Alexander Jamieson, “Descriptive Poetry” in his A Grammar of Rhetoric and Polite Literature (1840) : 293
  4. Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part III, Act 1, Scene 1 (1591)
  5. ...so long as the matter went by words, he opposed words with words, but when instead of words, power came out of the mouth of the speaker ; words could not withstand truth...
    ex Thomas Hall. A Practical and Polemical Commentary : Or, Exposition Upon the Third and Fourth Chapters of the latter Epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy (1658) : 244
  6. from definition of rebus, in Pantologia : A New Cyclopaedia, Comprehending a Complete Series of Essays, Treatises, and Systems, Alphabetically Arranged (1813) : here
  7. ex “Life of the Author,” in William Jones, The Theological, Philosophical and Miscellaneous Works of the Rev... (1810) : xxxi
  8. a footnote to “Medicines grown or prepared in the Saharunpore Garden or its Hill Nursery,” in John Forbes Royle. Essay on the Productive Resources of India (1840) : 234
  9. George MacDonald (1824-1905 *), review of T. T. Lynch, Essays on Some of the Forms of Literature, in A dish of orts, chiefly papers on the imagination, and on Shakspere. (1895) (1895) : 219
  10. William Stevens (1647?-1718). A Letter to the Author [John Toland (1670-1722)] of The Memorial of the State of England. (1705) : 30
  11. John Stevens. The History of the Antient Abbeys, Monasteries, Hospitals, Cathedral and Collegiate Churches (1723) : 6
  12. ex “To the Bishop of Landaff,” in Cobbett’s Weekly Political Register (January 27, 1820) : 763
  13. Ann Radcliff (1764-1823 *), The Mysteries of Udolpho: A Romance; Interspersed with Some Pieces of Poetry (1794; 1799) : 222
  14. Simone Weil. The Notebooks of (Arthur Wills, trans., 1956) : 535

22 December 2017

tags: meadow; merely skimmed the surface; orts; wire; instead of words; uttered by shapes and wires
Simone Weil