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out proving his title to command, he who bids expresses a wish in the earnest desire that it will meet with fulfilment. It depends entirely upon circumstances whether this desire is understood as an urgent request or a specific command. It may appeal to the feelings, or to the judgment, or to duty. In the two former cases prominence is given to the person, as in the last to the position of him who bids. Bid her have good heart' ('Antony and Cleopatra,' v. I) is only an earnest request; 'I bade him reflect' is a forcible appeal to reason; 'She bade him lay three covers' is an order given to a subordinate, whose compliance is ensured by his dependent position.

Allowing the nature and force of its claim to remain uncertain, bid' is no word for officers, officials, and parents. Except in anger or when opposed by disobedience, parties in this position are likely to consider their authority as too well established to refer to it in such dubious language. Even when approaching to command,“ bid' is more appropriate to occasions arising out of temporary circumstances than of actual subordination (My friend bade me attack one robber, and leave the two others to him '); or else, if it be used toward a subordinate, it usually concerns such insignificant trifles as make it unnecessary to specify the right to command ( Bid the servant pass on before us,' i Sam. ix. 27). The latter application was extremely frequent 150 years ago. Altogether, it is characteristic of the change of manners that 'bid' was in much more constant use in former times than it is now. Then it was employed for urgent requests between equals as well as for ordinary commands to subordinates; now politeness requires more complaisance to one's equals, while the growing independence of subordinates forbids us, even when we command them, to speak of it. In modern intercourse with equals we ask, request, and urge; dependants we no longer bid, but tell, or, at most, ask.

That which unfits the word for military purposes gives


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it an established position in poetry. If the captain has his commission in his pocket, which invests him with an indisputable right to command, feelings act, work, and operate without their authority being always precisely examined or generally recognised. Violent feeling finds in itself the right to rule, and loves to proclaim its demands by means of a word which, whilst it declines to prove its authority, has yet an imperative tone. “Friendship bids me,''Honour bids me,''Love bids me,' are protestations which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of his heroes. Still more abstract figures, such as . The minute bids me,'' His labours bid him,' are not wanting in the classic poet. Ever since, bid' has remained a favourite word with poets. Well-nigh banished from daily life, because it leaves mutual relations half indefinite and half emphasised on the unpopular side of personal superiority, ‘bid' lives immortal in the realm of verse, just because it is at once vague

and urgent.

To fully display the wide and vague notion contained in the word, we have yet to state, that besides the many shades of demand already noticed, “bid' includes the opposite sense of giving and of proffering. It is an unsolved etymological problem whether both meanings have sprung from one root, or whether two roots originally different in sense and sound have, by phonetic decay, coalesced into the one word 'bid.' If the former, 'bid' is an example of the primitive period when the human mind was wrestling with the task of framing language, and in its laborious struggles resorted to denoting opposites by the same root.*

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For a comparative review of the foregoing words various methods may be adopted, according to the purpose pursued.

* See 'The Origin of Language.'

Each word may be placed side by side with all the others, and examined as to similarities and differences; or the traits common to all these words may be considered and illustrated in their various intensities and colouring; or the disparities peculiar to individual words may be contrasted; or we may class the words according to their most important shades of meaning, and follow, within this narrower range, the first, second, or third method, or all three.

Each method has its peculiar advantages. The first gives the most varied pictures. Comparing similar and dissimilar words, it yields a medley of unlike results. While some display slight distinctions only, others confront absolute contradictories. Where the most pregnant points of comparison alone are admitted, as in the fourth method, slight distinctions reappear with particular nicety.

Absolute antitheses are of less interest, since the more different the words the less profitable the comparison. Like the things which they represent, words must be closely related for any intellectual profit to arise from consideration of their differences. By the second and third methods order and lucidity are introduced into the less systematic arrangement of the first. These two bring into view the various ingredients of the meaning; trace them into the involved meshes of the more general notion, and discover their presence and force with or without consideration of the signification as a whole. Both these methods prominently call for the abstract energy of the metaphysician, who ranges the universe in categories to attain to general conceptions freed from phenomenal change. They could not certainly ignore the national colouring which is seen in every particle of a word's meaning, if looked at sufficiently closely; but severing the connection between the different parts of a signification, they are apt to impair observation of the specifically national, which, generally speaking, is more visible in the combination of

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elements than in any one element alone. To take an illustration from our own subject: the peremptory element in

command' is met with in other idioms. What gives the word its peculiar English stamp is the combination of this peremptoriness with the right upon which it rests and the purpose which it fulfils. This particular compound is found to exist in no other language in exactly the same proportions. But the discovery of this remarkable fact will be scarcely assisted by first investigating the peremptoriness of all the words in this group, next the right, and lastly their aim. Even if, in considering the one, the other two points are carefully kept in view, the feeling of proportion is weakened by allowing a seeming equality to all. Instead of the photograph of an organic being, analysis of this mechanic nature is liable to degenerate into the dissection of its severed limbs. In the fourth method we have the most effectual means of realising idiomatic peculiarities by comparison of synonyms. Classifying words according to the most important ingredients of their meanings, we secure a suitable standard for gauging their intellectual structure. We lay special weight upon what is characteristic, grouping subordinate points according to their minor import. In classing command,' for instance, we shall not, under the fourth method, start from the idea of utility, which is weak, but from that of the charge, which is strong in the word. Conversely, we do not begin the analysis of 'prescribe' with the notion of charge, because in this particular term it is merged in that of utility, which, being the essential element of the signification, should therefore take prominence in the investigation. When common to several words, these salient points offer natural names of species under which to arrange the different groups and note their distinctive aspects. Sometimes, when several meanings are each equally potent in and characteristic of a word, it will have to be ranged under several categories, to be inspected from different points of view. So that, in this fourth method, we not only allow each language to supply its own categories, which is equally the case with the second and third methods, but also accord to each word its place in the category to which it pre-eminently belongs. In the prominent and pervading notions forming the heads of classes we see the principal points grasped by the national intellect; in the relation of these to the individual word we discern the different shades of colour admixed to the prevailing hue. Hence this method best unites comprehension and criticism, perspicacity and perspicuity.

We shall successively avail ourselves of all these methods. The first has been already pursued to some extent, each word in what precedes being examined as to its specific relation to the general notion of command. The fourth will be specially discussed later on. Meanwhile the purposes of all four are equally served by the following table. If read vertically, our systematic synopsis shows the occurrence of the same shades of meaning in different words, and, according as these are frequent or rare, answers the objects of the second or third methods. Read horizontally, it exhibits the entire contents of a signification in all its constituent parts, and according as the anatomy of the more or less nearly related words is compared, sets forth the results of the first and fourth methods. For ease of reference the definitions of the table are concisely worded, and hence require to be supplemented by the illustrations which precede and follow.

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