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Command' has become a rare word in the English language. You may peruse entire books without encountering the haughty term. When you do encounter it, the word more commonly indicates the high rank and dignity of the person commanding, than the possession by this person of any arbitrary power and might. The Queen and the highest civil and military authorities alone, nowadays, habitually employ a term, once a standing phrase in the mouth of every one when addressing subordinates. In modern society the unpopular expression is only heard in the event of extreme circumstances justifying the application of extreme means. In moments of danger, or in a burst of passion, a gentleman will even now venture to command persons whom at other times he would not even 'order.' In everyday life,'command' to-day is almost proscribed, and belongs only to the violent and the brutal. On the other hand, virtue, wisdom, prudence, and other abstract agencies have recently taken upon themselves to command. The power of man over man is on the wane, whilst accredited spiritual power increases.

In keeping with its innate arbitrariness, 'command' is backed by imposing force. Hence the question of the appropriateness of the command given scarcely ever arises. Aiming at the transaction of the general business of society, order,' on the contrary, is content with moderate power, and shuns reference to compulsion. The object in view, and the appropriate means to its attainment, are strongly marked in 'appoint' and direct.' In many instances, whoever appoints might be able to command, but is wise and prudent enough to signify that he merely prescribes what is appropriate to the occasion. Indirect' we are listening to one who knows what he is about, and whose authority, being founded upon intelligence, does not need to be propped up by any social scaffolding. Gradually receding before rational agencies, force is step by step ousted by intelligence and replaced by fitness.

These four words have yet a closer relation. 'Appoint'

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is 'command' with a reasonable purpose plainly infused into absolute power; direct' is 'order' with the rational design distinctly expressed. In their stricter sense, appoint' and 'command' are too proud to allow the reasonableness of their purpose to be discussed, or to be made dependent on any general standard of right and good; while 'direct' and 'order' are too intelligent not to submit to the accepted rules governing everyday life. In

direct' this sensible colouring becomes so very vivid that it passes into a new and lighter shade of meaning—that of ordering for the good of a person, who, relatively and temporarily at least, may be regarded as one's inferior.

We take this opportunity of noticing a peculiar kind of synecdoche, often repeated in the English language. Even when there is no need to express their peculiar shades of meaning, 'appoint' and 'direct' are not unfrequently put for the more general terms 'command' and 'order.' In cases of this nature, their application is readily appreciated by the prevailing tendency of the English idiom to substitute for more general terms, likely to give offence, expressions of a narrower range and milder tone, and vice versa. This is the politeness of a cultivated tongue. If a general, without going into any details, says, 'I had appointed the lieutenant should attack the village,' he does not use command, because he has no wish unnecessarily to glorify himself by the introduction of the high and mighty term. He accentuates the purpose in order to veil the order. In the same way, when a minister directs' his secretary to write a letter, it is frequently not because he gives him specially minute directions as to the contents, but because he has too much manner to waste commands' on so small a matter, or he feels too much as a gentleman to use towards another gentleman the strict and more official phraseology of order.'

A new feature is introduced into the class meaning of this copious and diversified notion of command' by charge,' accentuating responsibility. Command' and

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'order' certainly hold likewise responsible, but without expressly saying so; 'command' is altogether too dictatorial to consider the means of forcing compliance in the improbable event of disobedience; 'order' is too indifferent to refer to the reprimand it might be able to inflict in case of neglect. Hence it needs a special word, which shall be neither too much exalted by power, nor too much dragged down by triviality, to include a threatening allusion to the responsibility of recalcitrants. 'Charge, which fills up the gap, has always a serious undertone.

The right to command is determined by the other parts of the meaning. Absorbed as they are in arranging the current affairs of life, and moving in narrow and plainly marked channels, none of the four words under discussion deem it necessary to specially assert themselves on moral grounds. Far from making any effort in this direction, all may lack the prerogative arising from moral claims. When they refer to it at all, we make the pleasant discovery that right is emphasised in proportion to force and intelligence. 'Appoint' has least. Often finding in its partialities a sufficient title for the exercise of its power, ‘appoint'is content to follow its own special view of what is appropriate. Next comes 'order.' Drawing its authority from social arrangements, held to be right in the main, it can afford to dispense with the mention of any special moral pretension. On the other hand, the power of 'command' is so great, that where it relies upon social superiority, freemen require it to accord with the demands of natural right. Were it to command without a legitimate title to the exercise of power, an English or American Government would be accounted an insupportable despot. Like "command,' charge' and direct' cannot always produce an inherent justification of their right. When there, they, however, give it prominence and allow it to shine through the crust of their more ordinary and apathetic meaning. Boldly used by a subordinate addressing

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his superior, charge’ can only spring from moral right; while when 'direct' will not only teach, but also confer benefits by its teaching, its benevolent purpose becomes a recognised and most lawful warrant.

Whilst ' appoint' gives appropriate orders and direct' appeals to our judgment, 'charge' holds us responsible with an earnest reminder of duty. *Enjoin' addresses itself to our conscience. Since it speaks to this spiritual mentor alone it is both strong and weak-compulsion for the good, a mere indifferent phrase to the wicked. It is preferably employed to inculcate permanent moral duties rather than accomplish anything of an ephemeral nature. It is handled by those who are our superiors through age, worth, and recognised merit, rather than by our equals or by subordinates, who can scarcely claim enough wisdom and weight to enable them to manage the momentum of this big word.

United to the high consecrated power of king, priest, or sage, 'enjoin' becomes ' ordain.' The notion so engendered is too sublime to distinguish between the various aims and objects of command. Whether transitory or permanent, any command proceeding from ordain’is equally obligatory in consequence of the matchless dignity, purity, and might of its source. Through its lofty purpose it furthers the ultimate good of one and all. Through the formidable might embodied in the True and the Eternal, even when assuming the week-day garb of the Judicious and the Sensible, ordain’ is absolutely binding.

With reference to its object, ' ordain ’ is plainly distinguished from 'decree.' As it emphasises not so much the wisdom and worth as the overwhelming power of him who resorts to it, decree' may, but seldom does, have as lofty a purpose as ordain. Facing rather the external aspect of command, yet mostly sustained by intrinsic worth as well, 'decree' appropriately lends itself to the impressive mandates of kings and courts of justice. Though it may be merged in peremptoriness, its higher tone remains

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sufficiently audible to allow 'decree' to refer to passing and permanent ordinances, which are both raised in importance by the superadded dignity of this lordly term.

‘Decree' gives prominence to power, pushing wisdom and worth into the background; the converse is the case with 'prescribe' and 'ordain.' Albeit likewise claiming wisdom and benevolence within the narrower limits of its meaning, prescribe' allows power to become so weak that compulsion may even entirely disappear. Those whose title rests upon knowledge and sympathy rather than upon anything more elevated,'prescribe' doctrines or lay down the law on currrent affairs. When used by those in power, prescribe' flatteringly implies that they would rather guide and warn than compel and command. Its appropriate use by doctors is self-evident, by teachers desirable, by rulers laudable.

Depriving decree' of its intrinsic worth, but allowing it the continued enjoyment of external power, its arbitrariness is raised to the acme of dictate.' That which it loses in wisdom and benevolence is replaced by imperiousness; that which it forfeits in grand and lasting aims in this change for the worse,' dictate' makes up for in petty insolence. As 'ordain' and 'decree' hold no trifle too small to be made subservient to their solemn aims, the ready arrogance of dictate' from sheer love of command aspires to lord it over everything, however great or small. Passing and permanent order, charge, direction, domination, and decree are largely included in the comprehensive domain of 'dictate.' Revelling in command,' dictate alike omits and declines to discriminate between purposes. Happily in a free and civilised commonwealth, 'dictate' is as rare and extravagant as 'order'is common and sensible. Unless arising from an abuse of parental or conjugal power, 'dictate' in ordinary modern life is an insult offered to servility which submits to gain its private ends.

We here reach the extreme dictatorial point of the concept, directly opposite to the taine and sensible 'order' from which we started.

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