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Desire is now only a forward longing, once it
was a backward longing, a wish to recover the
beloved dead. That is the sense of the word
when in the Book of Chronicles it is said of
Jehoram that " he reigned in Jerusalem eight
years, and departed without, being desired."
Disease, meaning, in fact, only want of ease, is
now a word only applied to serious sickness. It
used to mean any discomfort or distress.

Another word of which the sense has been
intensified, and even altered, is explode. It is
explaud the opposite to applaud, and meant,
at first, the driving of an actor from the stage
by a loud clapping of the hands. From the
loudness we get the present idea of an exploded
thing as something that has burst with noise,
and suppose that an " exploded opinion" is our
figurative phrase for an opinion that has burst
and gone to pieces. Nevertheless, the phrase
did really mean, when it was first used, an
opinion that has beenas we should now say
hissed off by the public. " Shall then," South
asks, in one of his sermons, " that man pass for
a proficient in Christ's school, who would have
been exploded in the school of Zeno or

We have talked over a very small number of
the words gathered into Dean Trench's little
glossary. From first to last it is suggestive,
and we part from it unwillingly, with a glance
only at two more curious wordsformality and
common-sense. What can there be curious in
words like that, the steady Briton asks.
Formality, simple thing as it seems to us, is an old
logical term, and the formality of a thing used
to mean its essential part, its very heart. But
in life a man who looked only at formalities
abided rigidly by principles of things, and paid
no great attention to externals. He was not
pliable and buxom, he was a man of rules, formal
and dry, by no means popular. It was a bad
thing, therefore, to be formal, and formality is
now our word for an absurd precision in
adherence only to external and trivial rules. The
word once brought into light use by the trivial,
soon worked its way out of the centre of life to
its surface.

And common sense; if there be anything that
steady Britons put their faith in, it is common
sense. They play a practical part with that old
metaphysical term, which really represented
something complex and confusing. It was held
to be an additional nous with which the five wits
were in communication, and by which their
several accounts were discussed and settled. It
was, as Henry Shore described, " some part of
the body wherein seeing, hearing, and all other
perceptions meet together, as the lines of a
circle in the centre, and where the soul does also
judge and discern of the difference of the objects
of the outward senses." Its metaphysical
definition gave to this term of common sense its
present meaning, for it never meant sense common
to all people, or such sense as common people
have, although it is in some such way that most
persons would now interpret it.

Yet one note more we must set down to
recognise the fact common to English and to other
languages, that there is a deeply significant
tendency to unite in one word the ideas of wickedness
and misery. It was so of old with the word
unhappy, and it is so yet with the word wretch.


FEW London frequenters of spas and watering-
places know the sandy town of Redcar, on the
north coast of Yorkshire. It is one of those
remote refuges which Nature has provided for
bathers who are tired of even the moderate gaiety
of Worthing; for north-country millowners who
wish to wash away the smoke of Barnsley, or the
soot of Sheffield; for invalids who are advised
to fly from the noise of society into the noise of
the elements, and for yachting barristers on the
Northern Circuit who have more taste for
catching cod-fish a score of miles out in
the German Ocean, than for dangling after
broad-hatted beauties at Harrogate or
Scarborough. These are the high and important
objects for which Redcar has risen from an
old and obscure collection of fishing-huts on a
line of sand-hills, into a broad, calm street of
red-bricked lodging-houses. There is no more
human tumult, there are no more signs of life,
there is much less of dissipation, in the Redcar
High-street on a September evening, than in any
well-conducted metropolitan cemetery. The place
may be likened to a long cell, into which it is good
for worldlings to retire for a while and reflect
on the tenor of their past life, with a view of
improving the future. The few silent shops seem
sacred to the memory of the names over their
doorways; and, although the draper's sends
forth a perfume of merinoes, silks, and fustian,
and the grocer's a scent of coffee, tea, and
pepper, both shops may, with very little
imagination, be taken for family sepulchres. A
shaky cart may jolt by with a load of glistening
sea-weed for manuring land, but the horse looks
drowsy and contented, as his hissing cargo drops
in long brown flakes on the sandy road, and the
driver moves as if he had his whole lifetime in
which to perform his task. So close as Redcar
is to the jar and din of the Middlesboro'
iron-works, it neither hears them, nor cares for
them one jot. It wants to be left alone. It
has been a fishing-town beyond the memory of
the oldest man, and a fishing town you will be
pleased to let it remain. It has gone so far for
half a century as to net lodgers as well as fish;
but the lodgers were none of its seeking. As
they think proper to come, they must be
respectably provided for; but with no idea of
extortion, or of making the most by them. Its
principal hotels, while they furnish every
comfort, have not yet got beyond the simplicity and
moderation of commercial travellers' prices.

The iron road is too near not to tantalise
the inhabitants with the prospect of cheap and
rapid travellingtoo distant to be readily available;
the stage coach is unknown, the omnibus
has faded away, and the heavy rumbling carrier's
cart, with its three coarse horses harnessed

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