Bouvot, tome II. Basset, tom. Boniface, tom. Pinault, tom. Voyez la loi On appelle aussi prix fait, un prix certain qu'on ne veut ni augmenter, ni diminuer. Voyez les Pl. Meneston sur Cher, art. Dunois, art. Voyez Brillon , au mot Festagium. O miseras hominum mentes! D'Herbelot, biblioth. Daniel, hist. Celui-ci ne se rassemble que trop. Cette montagne s'appelle aujourd'hui Rocca di mondragone, monte Massico. Falmouth signifie l'embouchure de la Fale, parce que ce havre est l'embouchure de cette riviere.
C'est de Falmouth que partent les paquebots pour Lisbonne. Ce faltranck nous vient de Suisse, d'Auvergne, des Alpes. Mais on n'exploite d'entre les falunieres, que celles qu'on peut travailler avec profit. On fouille quelquefois au printems, mais cela est rare. Il y a de la marne dans les environs des falunieres ; mais elle ne vaut rien pour les terres auxquelles le falun est bon. Voyez de Thou, liv. Tavernier, voyage de Perse ; Justinian, hist.
Nous ne parlerons donc pas de ces diverses relations. La troupe des gladiateurs, qui faisoient leurs exercices sous un chef commun, s'appelloit aussi familia : ce chef portoit le nom de lanista. Brutus, ce M. Voyez les lois Demeurer dans la famille, c'est rester sous la puissance paternelle. Fusarius, de fidei-comm. Voyez la Peyrere, lett. Voyez digest. Voyez Marine , Pl. On nomme aussi fanaux, toutes les lanternes dont on se sert dans les vaisseaux pour y mettre les lumieres dont on a besoin. Le fanatisme n'est donc que la superstition mise en action.
Si quelque lecteur avoit l'injustice de confondre les abus de la vraie religion avec les principes monstrueux de la superstition, nous rejettons sur lui d'avance tout l'odieux de sa pernicieuse logique. Mais si l'ignorance ou la corruption abusent des meilleures institutions, quel sera l'abus des choses monstrueuses? Il laissoit les armes aux faux prophetes qui n'auroient ni la raison ni l'exemple pour eux. Qu'est-ce donc que le fanatisme? Dans la confusion des devoirs.
Que pensez-vous de cela? Il courut dans le xj. Venons maintenant aux symptomes de cette maladie. Au second rang sont les visionnaires. Je suis le monarque de toute la terre, diroit un tailleur, l'esprit-saint me l'a dit. Non, diroit son voisin, je dois savoir le contraire, car je suis son fils. Nous nous promenons depuis long-tems sur les rivages de la mer pour le recevoir Mais passons aux grands remedes qui sont ceux de la politique.
Mais s'il n'y a point de barriere au pouvoir du souverain Est-ce qu'elle se soutient sur des bras de chair? Voudriez-vous la faire regarder comme un instrument de politique? Mais aussi quels dangereux instrumens en de mauvaises mains! Un enthousiaste est souvent plus redoutable avec ses armes invisibles, qu'un prince avec toute son artillerie. Exilez ces esprits ardens au fond des provinces, ils mettront toutes les villes en feu.
Fanatisme du patriote. Il y a une sorte de fanatisme dans l'amour de la patrie, qu'on peut appeller le culte des foyers. Commerce mesure des grains dont on se sert en Portugal ; quinze fanegos font le muid ; quatre alquiers font le fanegos ; quatre muids de Lisbonne font le last d'Amsterdam. Il y a des peuples fanfarons. La fanfaronade est aussi dans le ton. Il est bien plus facile d'entasser des sentences les unes sur les autres, que de converser. Art milit. Il est conduit par un officier subalterne, auquel on donne le nom de waquemestre.
Cette ville est la patrie de deux papes ; savoir de Marcel II. FANO, Comm. Voyez Planche IV. Les anciens mettoient tout simplement le membre dans une espece de caisse qui contenoit fort bien tout l'appareil. Voyez l'article suivant. Cette origine est manifeste dans le diminutif hanulum pour fanulum, petit temple. Reinesius, inscript.
‘Encircling the Arts and Sciences’: British Encyclopedism after the French Revolution
Voyez l'article CERF. Le premier, j. Quant au terme de faquin, qui dans cette circonstance est le synonyme de celui de quintaine, sa source n'est point obscure. Il est fait mention de ce droit dans le liv. Sa longit. Commerce poids dont on se sert dans quelques lieux du continent des grandes Indes. Que l'on s'amuse au spectacle de la farce, c'est un fait qu'on ne peut nier. S'il n'avoit rien d'attrayant, il ne seroit que mauvais. Mais qu'importe, dit-on encore, que le public ait raison de s'amuser? Ne suffit-il pas qu'il s'amuse?
Job, chap. Voyez Tavernier , voyage de Perse, liv. Depuis les voyages de M. Quaecumque afficiet tali medicamine vultum, Fulgebit speculo laevior ipsa suo. Horace l'appelle humida creta. Marine ce sont des fagots qu'on met au fond de cale, quand on charge en grenier. Suivant M. On couvre les fargues d'une bastingure bleue ou rouge. Elles sont jointes aux montans, avec de petites chevilles de fer. Elle ne se peut faire que de nuit. Ce sont les bateaux ou chaloupes des barques qui sont dans le port qui s'y occupent.
On peut concevoir encore le corps farineux comme une espece de corps muqueux dans la composition duquel le principe terreux surabonde. Les farineux fournissent dans cette distillation, tous les produits communs des corps muqueux. Les racines de plusieurs plantes de diverses classes, fournissent de la farine. Voyez tous ces articles. Voyez PAIN. Voyez Boerhaave , aphorism. Ray, synop. Est-il saisi? Voyez le P. Winslow le nomme le muscle du fascia-lata.
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Voyez ses opuscules, p. Mercurialis, ibid. Sennert, l. Willis, de morb. Frommann, lib. Cet auteur se donne beaucoup de peine, ibid. Vandermonde a traduite. Grotius explique cependant avec beaucoup de vraisemblance ce mauvais oeil, de celui de l'avare, dans ses notes sur le ch. Gori, dans son Museum Etrusc. Thomas Bartholin, de puerperio vet. Don Ramirez de Prado, dans son Pentecontarche, c. Son opinion sur le mot higa, n'a point de fondement, mais elle a quelque rapport avec ce qu'on lit dans Suidas, que l' est une petite machine, , dont les Magiciennes se servent pour rappeller leurs amans.
Biser a transcrit ce passage de Suidas, dans ces notes greques sur le v. Frommann, l. Perkins, lib. De augm. Goropius Becanus rapporte dans ses Origines d'Anvers, p. De admirandis naturae reginae, deaeque mortalium arcanis, dialog. C'est une sorte d'enchantement. Les symptomes dominans des maladies produites par cette cause, sont la fievre hectique, le marasme, le plus souvent suivis de la mort. Les anciens mettoient la fascination au nombre des causes occultes des maladies. Voyez la Pl. On en attachoit encore la figure aux chars des triomphateurs. Le faste n'est pas le luxe. On ne peut avoir de faste sans luxe.
Une nation auroit plus de respect pour des chefs qui l'enrichiroient, que pour des chefs qui voudroient la faire passer pour riche. Tempora Notis condita fastis. Un homme fastidieux est un homme ennuyeux, importun, fatigant par ses discours, par ses manieres, ou par ses actions. Il y a des ouvrages fastidieux. Le mot fastigium se prend aussi dans Vitruve, pour un fronton : tel est celui du porche de la Rotonde.
Sort-il du spectacle? Il fait un long calcul de ses revenus ; il n'a que 60 mille livres de rente, il ne peut vivre. Il consulte la mode pour ses travers comme pour ses habits, pour ses indispositions comme pour ses voitures ; pour son medecin comme pour son tailleur. Il manque aux engagemens qu'il a, il en feint quand il n'en a pas. La fortune est bonne ou mauvaise, le destin est favorable ou contraire, on est heureux ou malheureux.
Cette liaison est-elle infaillible? On peut s'en convaincre par ces vers de Lucrece, liv. Augustin, de civit. Dei, lib. Ceci n'a besoin que d'une petite explication. En effet, pourquoi imagine-t-on que cet homme pouvoit bien ne pas passer? Un auteur Frider. C'est aussi le vice du fat. Voyez ci-devant FAT. Marine c'est une sorte de balai fait de fils de vieux cordages, avec lequel on nettoye le vaisseau. Marine c'est nettoyer le vaisseau avec le fauber. Voyez la Planche du Cartonnier. Voici comment il se fabrique.
Pour forger une faucille, on corroye une barre de fer avec une barre d'acier, telles qu'on les voit dans nos Planches. La faucille a une soie par laquelle on la monte sur un manche de bois. Il y a plusieurs especes de faucons, qui sont tous des oiseaux de proie. Ray en distingue douze.
Willughbi croit que l'autre est le haubereau, selon la description de Gesner. Le faucon rouge, falco rubeus. Ray doute de l'existence de ce faucon. Faucons rouges des Indes. Charles XII. Ordre encyclop. Science, Art, Economie rustiq. Chasse, Fauconn. Voyez VOL. Le choix des oiseaux est une chose essentielle en fauconnerie. Un mois doit suffire pour dresser un oiseau. On ne leur en donne qu'une, mais bonne, dans les autres tems.
Vers le mois de Mars, qui est le tems de l'amour, on fait avaler aux faucons des caillous de la grosseur d'une noisette, pour faire avorter leurs oeufs qui prennent alors de l'accroissement. Les vers ou filandres s'engendrent dans la mulette. L'origine de fauconnier du roi est de l'an Voyez Etat de la France.
Suivant l'art. Voyez Ridley dans son anatomie du cerveau, pag. Pluche, dans son histoire du ciel, tome I. Maimonide, dans le More Nevochim, p. Voyez les notes de Grotius sur les vers. Servius confond ailleurs Faunus avec Pan, Ephialtes, incubus. Augustin, de civitate Dei, l. Bochart explique ce ficarii, des fics ou tubercules qu'on voit au visage des Satyres. Munster, dans ses notes sur la Genese, II.
Selon Beaumanoir, dans le chap. Celui qui prenoit cette derniere voie devoit, comme dit Pierre de Fontaines en son conseil, chap. On ne pouvoit fausser le jugement rendu dans les justices royales. Defontaines, cha. Voyez M. Louis, p. Voyez l. Les simples chaises sont beaucoup moins d'usage dans les appartemens que les fauteuils.
I FAUX, adj. Exemple d'une regle de fausse position simple. Mais alors il n'y a plus de fausse position. Appellons x le nombre des jours de travail, 30 - x exprimera le nombre des jours de repos. E FAUX, adj. Quelquefois on condamnoit le faussaire aux mines, comme on en usa envers un certain Archippus. Pour la punition du crime de fausse monnoie, voy. Les juges peuvent aussi augmenter l'amende, selon les cas. A FAUX, adj. Il y a des gens qui ont naturellement l'oreille fausse, ou, si l'on veut, le gosier ; de sorte qu'ils ne sauroient jamais entonner juste aucun intervalle.
Voyez l'article BOIS. Voyez COTE. L'ordonnance de tit. Marine ce sont de certains signaux que l'on fait avec des amorces de poudre. Feu M. Lelion architecte du Roi. Pendant cet espace de tems, on ne peut donc distinguer par la dentition le poulain d'un an, d'avec celui qui en aura deux. En second lieu, il est des chevaux qui n'en ont point : il est vrai que le cas est rare. Il est singulier que M. Voyez ibid. Ces faux-planchers se pratiquent aussi dans un galetas, pour en cacher le faux-comble. On lui donne peu de hauteur.
Voyez l'ordonnance de , tit. S'ils ne sont que ce qu'on appelle, en termes de faux-saunage, de simples porte-cols, ils payent d'abord l. De la charge des gouverneurs, par le chevalier de Ville. On en fait aussi dans l'escalade. La citadelle de Tournay, construite par M. Let us resolve these difficulties. Here is first my opinion on the manner of identifying radicals. Maybe there is some method, some philosophical system, by means of which one would locate a great number of them: but that system seems to me difficult to invent; and whatever it is, its application seems to me subject to error, because of my well-founded habit of being suspicious of all general rules in matters of language.
I would rather implement a technical means, all the more so that this technical means is a necessary consequence of the production of an encyclopedic dictionary. First, those who collaborate on this opus must oblige themselves to define everything, without exception. Once that is done, the editor will only have to separate the terms when the same word will be taken for a type in one definition, and for a difference in another: it is evident that the necessity of this double usage constitutes the vicious circle, and is the limit of definitions.
When all the words have been repertoried, it will be found by examination that of the two terms which are defined by each other, it is sometimes the more general, and sometimes the less general, which is type or difference; and it is evident that it is the more general one that should be considered one of the grammatical roots. Whence it follows that the number of grammatical roots will be precisely half the number of terms repertoried; for of two definitions of a word, one must be admitted as good and legitimate, in order to show that the other is a vicious circle.
Next let us consider the manner of fixing the notion of these radicals: it seems to me there is but one means, and still it is not as perfect as one would wish; not that it leaves ambiguity in those cases where it is applicable, but in that there can be cases to which it cannot be applied, however skillfully one goes about it.
This means is to relate a living language to a dead one: there is but one dead language which can be an exact, invariable, and common measure for all men now living or who shall live, among those they speak and will speak. As that idiom exists only in authors, it no longer changes; and the effect of that characteristic is that its application is always the same, and always equally known. If I were asked which, of the Greek and Latin languages, is to be preferred, I would answer neither; my opinion is that they both should be used: Greek for anything that Latin cannot express, or would not offer equivalent expression for, or one less exacting; I would have Greek serve only to fill in the gaps in Latin, and this simply because familiarity with Latin is more widespread: for I concede that if we were to choose on the grounds of richness and abundance, there would be no hesitation.
The Greek tongue is infinitely more extensive and expressive than Latin; it has a plethora of terms which bear the evident imprint of onomatopoeia: countless notions which have signs in that tongue have none in Latin, because it appears the Latins did not rise to any level of speculation.
The Greeks had burrowed into all the depths of metaphysics of the sciences, the fine arts, logic, and grammar. With their idiom anything can be said; they have all the abstract terms relative to the operations of the understanding: witness Aristotle, Plato, Sextus Empiricus, Apollonius, and all those who wrote on grammar and rhetoric. In Latin one is often hindered by the lack of expressions: it would have taken the Romans several more centuries to integrate abstractions into their language, at least to judge by the progress they made while still under the discipline the Greeks; for in any case a single man of genius can cause ferment among a whole people, abbreviate the centuries of ignorance, and carry knowledge to a point of perfection with a surprising rapidity.
But this observation does not efface the truth I am advancing: for if we count the men of genius, and distribute them over the entire span of centuries past, it is evident that there will be few of them in each nation for each century, and that almost none will be found who has not improved the language. Creative men bear this distinctive trait. Since it is not merely by leafing through the writings of their contemporaries that they find the ideas they need to use in their own writings, but sometimes rather by delving deep into themselves, at other times by bursting outside themselves, and studying more attentively and more profoundly the natures about them, they are obliged, especially at the origin of languages, to invent signs to represent exactly and forcefully what they are the first to discover.
It is the fire of the imagination and deep contemplation that enrich a language with new expressions; it is keenness of mind and the severity of dialectic that perfects its syntax; it is the flexibility of the speech organs that makes it more supple; it is the ear's sensitivity that makes it harmonious. If we decide to make use of both languages, we will first write the French radical, and beside it the Greek or Latin radical, with the quotation of the ancient author from whom it was taken, and where it is used, according the definition closest to the meaning, force, and other accessory notions which must be determined.
I say the ancient radical , even though it is not impossible that a primary term, radical and undefinable in one language, may have neither of these characteristics in another: in which case it seems plain to me that with one of these peoples the human mind has made more progress than with the other. We do not yet know, it seems to me, to what extent a language is a rigorous and faithful image of the exercise of reason.
What prodigious superiority one nation acquires over another, especially in the abstract sciences and the fine arts, from this single difference! And how far the English are still behind us, on the sole consideration that our language is made, and they are not yet thinking about fashioning theirs! Precision in the exact sciences, taste in the fine arts, and consequently immortality in works in that genre, depend on the perfection of the idiom. I have specified citation of the place where the Greek and Latin synonym was used, because a single word often has several meanings; because need, and not philosophy, having dictated the formation of languages, they have had and always will have this common defect; but because a word has but one meaning in a cited passage, and that meaning is certainly the same for all peoples to whom the author is known.
Even if the English-French dictionary were written or corrected according to the invariable, common measure, or even based upon great familiarity with the two languages, there would be no way to tell; you would be required at each word to rely on the good faith and insight of your guide or his interpreter, whereas by using a Greek or Latin dictionary, you are enlightened, satisfied, reassured by the application; you compose your own vocabulary thanks to that single means, if there be one, that can replace direct intercourse with the foreign nation whose idiom you are studying.
I speak, moreover, from my own experience: this method has worked well for me; I consider it a sure means of acquiring in little time very accurate notions for correctness and vigor. In a word, an English-French dictionary and an English-Latin dictionary are like two men one of whom, in telling you about the dimensions or the weight of a body, would assure you that it weighs or measures, and the other, instead of assuring you of anything, would take a yardstick or scale, and weigh or measure it before your eyes.
But what shall the recourse of the nomenclator be in those instances where the common measure fails him? I reply that a radical being by nature the sign of a simple, specific sensation, or of an abstract general idea, the instances where a common measure will be wanting cannot but be rare. But in those rare instances, one must absolutely rely on the discrimination of the human mind: we must hope that by dint of seeing an undefined expression employed with the same meaning in a large number of definitions in which this sign will be the only unfamiliar one, its value will soon be surmised.
There is in ideas, and consequently in signs for one is to the other as an object to the mirror that repeats it a close bond, such a correspondence; each emits a light which they reflect back and forth so intensely that, if you know the syntax, and the faithful interpretation of all the other signs is given, or you have an understanding of all the other ideas that go into a sentence, with a single exception, it is impossible not to succeed in determining the exceptional idea or the unknown sign.
Known signs are so many given conditions for the solution of the problem; and however brief the discourse or how few terms it contains, it hardly seems that the problem could remain among those which have several solutions. Evidence for this lies in the very small number of places where we fail to understand ancient authors: if those places are examined, it will become clear that the obscurity arises either from the writer himself whose ideas were not precise, or the corruption of the manuscripts, or our ignorance of the customs, laws, mores, or some other such cause; never from the indeterminacy of the sign, whenever that sign has been employed with the same meaning in several different places, as necessarily occurs with a radical expression.
The most important point in the study of a language is doubtless the knowledge and meaning of its terms. Yet that leaves spelling, and pronunciation without which it is impossible to sense the full merit of harmonious prose and poetry, and which consequently must not be entirely neglected, and that aspect of spelling we call punctuation. It has happened, through alterations in rapid succession in the manner of pronouncing, and corrections which are slowly introduced into the manner of writing, that pronunciation and writing fail to coincide, and although there are among the most civilized peoples of Europe societies of men of letters whose responsibility it is to moderate and change them, and bring them closer together, they end up remarkably far apart; so that of two things one of which has only been invented, at the outset, for the purpose of faithfully representing the other, the latter is no less different from the former than portraits of the same person painted at two widely separated ages.
Finally the problem reached such exaggerated proportions that no one dared try to remedy it. We pronounce one language, and write another; and we become so accustomed for the rest of our lives to this oddity that caused such tears when we were children, that if we gave up our bad spelling for one closer to pronunciation, we would no longer recognize the spoken language in its new combination of letters. But one must not be stopped by these considerations that are so powerful on the multitude and momentarily. One absolutely must constitute a descriptive alphabet, in which the same sign does not represent different sounds, nor different signs the same sound, nor several signs a vowel or a single sound.
Next we must determine the value of these signs for the most rigorous description of the different movements of the speech organs in the production of the sounds attached to each sign; distinguish with the greatest precision sequential movements from simultaneous ones; in a word not shrink from minute detail. Famous authors who have written on ancient languages have not refused to take this trouble for their idiom; why should we not do the same for ours which has its original authors in every genre, is expanding daily, and has practically become the universal language of Europe?
We have but one means for fixing transitory but purely conventional things: it is to compare them to constant entities; and here there is no constant base other than the organs that do not change, and which, like musical instruments, will yield approximately at all times the same sounds, if we know how to manipulate their tension or length like an artist, and properly direct air into their cavities: the trachea and the mouth form a sort of flute, for which we must constitute the most scrupulous notation.
I said approximately , because among speech organs there is not one which has not a thousand times more latitude and variety than is needed to introduce surprising and noticeable differences into the production of a sound. Very strictly speaking, there are perhaps not in all of France two men who have exactly the same pronunciation. We each have our own; nevertheless they are all sufficiently alike so that we often notice no disruptive disparities; whence it follows that if we do not manage to transmit our pronunciation to posterity, we will at least pass on a similar one which the custom of speaking will constantly correct; for the first time one artificially produces a foreign word, pronouncing in accordance with its prescribed movements, the most intelligent man, with the most sensitive ear and the most flexible speech organs, is in the same situation as M.
Pereire's pupil. Soon he will pass for native-born, even though at the start he was, with respect to a foreign language, in a worse situation than the child with relation to its native tongue, which only the nurse could understand. The sequence of the sounds of a language is not as arbitrary as one imagines; the same can be said of their combinations. If there are sounds that could not follow in succession without great effort for the speech organ, then either they do not occur, or else they are not of long duration. They are purged from the language by euphony, that powerful law which acts continually and universally without any regard for etymology and its defenders, and tends continually to attract beings who have the same organs, the same idiom, the same prescribed movements, and approximately the same pronunciation.
Causes which act without interruption always in time prove the most powerful, however weak they are in themselves. I shall not disguise the fact that this principle suffers from several problems, among them one very important one which I am going to explain. According to you, I will be told, euphony constantly tends to bring together people having the same pronunciation, especially when the movements of the organs have been determined.
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But what is singular is that they all admire equally the harmony of this beginning: there is the same enthusiasm, even though there is almost no sound in common. Among the French the pronunciation of Greek varies so much that it is not rare to find two scholars who understand that language very well, and do not understand each other; they are in agreement only on quantity. But quantity, being merely the law of movement of pronunciation, simply accelerating or suspending it, does nothing either for the softness or sharpness of the sounds. One can always ask how it happens that letters, syllables, and words either isolated or in combination should be agreeable to several people who pronounce them diversely.
Is it a consequence of the prejudice that favors everything that comes to us from far away, the usual prestige of distance of time or place, the effect of a long tradition? How did it come about that amidst so much Greek and Latin verse, there should not be a single syllable so opposed to the pronunciation of the Swedes or the Polish that they should find it impossible to read it? Is our answer that dead languages have been so polished, that they are composed of such simple, easy, elementary combinations of sounds that in all the living languages where they are employed those sounds constitute the most pleasant and melodious part?
That these living languages, undergoing constant improvement, just continually correct their harmony and bring it closer to that of dead languages? In a word, that the harmony of the latter, artificial and corrupted by the particular pronunciation of each nation, is still superior to the real, intrinsic harmony of their own languages? Of this one can become convinced by comparing the Greek letters with the sounds I attach to them, and the movements which Dionysius of Halicarnassus prescribes for each of those letters, in his admirable opus De collocatione verborum.
To give an idea of the usefulness of his definitions, I will simply record those of the r and the s. I ask you whether it is possible to satisfy these movements, and give the r and the s other values than those we attach to them. He is not less precise with respect to the other letters.
But, you may insist, if people today who read Greek comply with Dionysius of Halicarnassus's rules, they will all pronounce that language in the same manner, and just as did the ancient Greeks. When he deemed the description complete, he made a hundred copies, which he sent to a hundred painters, instructing each to execute exactly on the canvas what they read on the paper.
The painters went to work, and after a while our lover received a hundred portraits, all of which were perfect likenesses of his description, and none of which resembled any other or his mistress. The application of this parable is that, however scrupulous a writer may be in describing the movements of the organ when it produces different sounds, there will always be a latitude, slight in itself, but enormous in relation to the real divisions of which it is capable, and to the perceptible but unmeasurable varieties which will result from these divisions.
Nevertheless one cannot infer from this either that such descriptions are utterly useless, because they will never produce more than an approximate pronunciation, nor that euphony, that law to which an ancient language has owed all its harmony, if it exerts a constant pressure, will not tend at least as much to bring us closer to it as to distance us from it. These were two propositions that I needed to establish. I will say just one thing about punctuation. There is little difference between the art of reading well and that of punctuating well. The pause of a voice in discourse, and the signs of punctuation in writing, always correspond, indicate equally well the connection or separation of ideas, and complement countless expressions.
Therefore it will be useful to determine their number according to the rules of logic, and fix their value through examples. Next we need only determine accent and quantity. But this is another case where we can trust a trained voice to make up for any oversights. Here then are the practical and necessary conditions for the language, without which knowledge is not communicated, to be fixed as much as its nature permits us to fix it, and for which it is important to fix it for the principal object of a universal and analytical dictionary.
It is apparent how slow, difficult, and thorny this labor is. But one must not give up. The academy of La Crusca dispelled some of the difficulties in its dictionary. The French Academy, its membership combining all varieties of knowledge, poets, orators, mathematicians, physicists, naturalists, men of the world, philosophers, military officers, and being quite determined in its elections to consult only its own need for one talent rather than another, for the greater quality of its work, it is unimaginable that it would not follow this general plan, and not make its work indispensably useful to those whose job it will be to improve upon the feeble outline we are publishing.
The Academy will doubtless not fail to call attention to our gallicisms, or to the different instances where our language happens to violate the laws of general analytical grammar; for an idiomatic expression and a violation of this nature are the same thing. Whence one can see once more that in everything there is but one invariable and common measure, without which we know, can appreciate, or define nothing; that general descriptive grammar is in this case that measure; and that without such grammar, a dictionary of the language lacks a foundation, because there is nothing fixed to which one can refer the problematic instances which come up; nothing that can indicate what the difficulty is; nothing to specify what decision to make; nothing to indicate the reason for choosing among several dissimilar solutions; nothing to interpret usage, to combat or justify it, which are often possible.
For it would be a prejudice to believe that the language being the basis of intercourse among men, major flaws can long remain in it, without being perceived and corrected by those whose mind is sharp and whose heart is right. It is therefore likely that violations of the general rule which remain, will be abbreviations, vigorous or euphonic expressions, and other inconsequential ornaments, rather than major corruptions.
We speak constantly and write constantly; we combine ideas and signs in countless different ways; we refer all these combinations to the yoke of general syntax; sooner or later we subordinate them to it, however minor may be the consequence of making exceptions; and when this subordination does not occur, it is because we have found an advantage in doing otherwise which it is sometimes difficult to analyze, but it would be impossible to do so without descriptive grammar, analogy, and etymology which I shall call the wings of the art of speaking, as it is said of chronology and geography that they are the eyes of history.
We will not end our remarks on the language without speaking of synonyms. They could be endlessly multiplied, if we did not begin by seeking some rule to limit their number. In all languages there are expressions that differ only by quite subtle shadings. These nuances are not lost on the orator or the poet who know their language; but they constantly ignore them, the one under the difficult constraints of his art, the other carried along by the harmony of his own. It is this consideration which permits deduction of the general rule we require. One must consider as synonymous only the terms that are so treated in poetry, so as to avoid the confusion that would be introduced into the language by the indulgence we have for the rigor of the rules of versification.
One must consider as synonymous only the terms that oratorical art substitutes indiscriminately for each other, so as to avoid the confusion that would be introduced into the language by the charm of the oratorical harmony which sometimes chooses and sometimes eschews the correct word, dispensing with the judgment of good sense and reason, in order to submit to that of the ear: a dispensation which at first appears a most manifest extravagance and most contrary to accuracy and truth; but which becomes, when we think about it, the basis of discrimination, of good taste, of the melody of the style, its unity, and the other qualities of elocution, which alone can assure immortality to literary productions.
As the sacrifice of the correct word is never made except on occasions when the mind is not thrown too far off track by the melodious expression, the understanding then compensates for it; the discourse corrects itself, the phrase becomes harmonious; I see the thing as it is; I see in addition the character of the writer, the value he himself puts on the objects of which he speaks, the passion that moves him; the vision becomes more complex, more developed, and the enchantment grows proportionately in my mind; the ear is content, and truth is not offended. When these advantages cannot be conjured, the most harmonious writer, if he possesses exactness and taste, will never allow himself to dispense with the correct word in favor of its synonym.
He will use it to strengthen or dampen the melody using some meliorative device; he will vary the tempo, or fool the ear with some other trick. Independently of harmony, the correct word must also be sacrificed to another, whenever the former evokes small, base, or obscene notions, or recalls disagreeable sensations. But in the other circumstances, would it not be more appropriate, it will be said, to leave to the reader the task of supplying the harmonious word rather than the correct one?
No, even were it as easy for the ear, after the correct word has been given, to hear the harmonious one, as it is for the mind, after the harmonious word has been given, to find the correct one. If the musical effect is to be produced, then the music must be heard: it cannot be imagined; it is nothing if the ear is not actually affected by it. We will repertory indiscriminately all the expressions that our greatest poets and finest orators have used and may use.
It is posterity above all which we must have in view. It is in any case an invariable standard. There is no need to shade words one has no tendency to confuse, when the language is dead. Beyond that limit, the art of making synonyms becomes as extensive an occupation as it is childish.
I would like to see two other criteria in the distinction of synonymous words. The first is not only to note the concepts that serve to differentiate, but also those that are shared. The second is to choose one's examples in such a way that as the meanings are explained, the national usages, customs, character, vices, virtues, and principal transactions, etc.
It will be no more difficult to make a synonym appear useful, sensible, instructive and virtuous, than make it contrary to honesty or meaningless. Let us add to these remarks a simple and reasonable means of shortening the word list and avoiding repetitions. This means of shortening the word list is not to distribute through several separate articles that which naturally ought to be contained in a single one.
Must a dictionary contain a word as many times as there are differences in the mental perspective? The opus becomes limitless, and will necessarily be a chaos of repetitions. As for the differences, the substantive designates either the thing or the person, or the action, sensation, quality, time, or place; the participle, the action, considered either as possible, or as present or past; the infinitive, the action relative to an agent, a place, and some indeterminate time.
To multiply the definitions according to all these variations is not to define the terms; it is to return to the same notions at each new variation a term presents. Is it not evident that what suits an expression considered once under all these different points of view, also suits all those in the language which admit of the same variation? I shall note that for the perfection of an idiom, it is to be wished that the terms should take on all the variation of which they are susceptible , because there are verbs, such as the neutral ones, which exclude certain nuances; thus aller cannot have the adjective allable.
But how many others are there of which this is not the case, and of which the production is limited for no reason, despite daily need, and the vexing lack particularly felt by precise and concise writers? How many adjectives are there which do not move toward the noun, and nouns which do not move toward the adjective? There is here a fertile spring from which our language still may draw many riches.
It would be a good thing to note for each expression the shadings it lacks, so some contemporary of ours will make bold to supply them, or that for fear that, being fooled later by analogy, people consider them just ways of speaking in use in the right century. This is what I needed to say about language. The more that object had been neglected in our work, the more important it was in relation to the goal of an encyclopedia , and the more appropriate it was to go into it here in some detail, were it only, as we have said, to indicate the means of compensating for the mistake we have made. I have not mentioned syntax, nor other parts of French basics; the person whose assignment that was has left nothing to be desired in that domain, and from that angle our dictionary is complete.
But after treating the language, or the means of communicating knowledge, let us seek the best way of tying it together. There is first a general order, that which distinguishes this dictionary from every other work in which the material is likewise subjected to alphabetical order, the order for which it is called Encyclopedia.
It might be created either by relating our different kinds of knowledge to the various faculties of the soul this is the system we have used , or by relating them to the entities they take as their object; and this object may be one of pure curiosity, or a luxury, or a necessity. Science in general may be divided into science of things and of signs, or into concrete or abstract sciences. The two most general causes, art and nature, also yield an elegant and broad distribution.
Others will found in the distinction between the physical and the moral, the extant and the possible, the material and the spiritual, the real and the intelligible. Does not all we know derive from the use of our senses and our reason? Is it not either natural or revealed? Is it not either words, or things, or facts? It is therefore impossible to banish arbitrariness from this broad primary distribution.
See the Prospectus. In general the description of a machine can begin with any part at all. The larger and more complicated the machine, the more connections there are between its parts, the less we know these connections, the more different perspectives for description there will be. What then if the machine is in every sense infinite; if we are speaking of the real universe and the intelligible universe, or a work which is like the imprint of both? Either the real or the intelligible universe has infinite points of view from which it can be represented, and the possible systems of human knowledge are as numerous as those points of view.
The only one from which arbitrariness is excluded, as we said in our Prospectus , is the system which has existed from all eternity in the will of God. And the one following which we might have descended from that prime eternal being to all the beings which over time emanated from within it would resemble the astronomical hypothesis in which the philosopher is transported in thought to the center of the sun, to calculate from there the phenomena of the celestial bodies about it: an organization which has simplicity and grandeur, but which could be criticized for a serious defect in a work written by philosophers, and addressed to all men in all times: the defect of being too closely tied to our theology, a sublime science, doubtless useful for the knowledge the Christian receives from it, but even more useful for the sacrifices it requires and the recompenses it promises.
As for this general system from which arbitrariness is excluded, and which we shall never possess, perhaps there would be little advantage for us in possessing it: for what difference would there be between the reading of an opus in which all the mechanics of the universe were expounded, and study of the universe itself? Almost none: we would still be able to understand only a portion of that great book; and should the impatience and curiosity which rule us and so frequently interrupt the course of our observations, introduce disorder into our readings, our knowledge would become as fragmented as they are; losing the chain of inductions, and ceasing to perceive previous and subsequent relations, we would soon have the same gaps and the same uncertainties.
Now we are busy filling in the gaps by studying nature; we would then be busy filling them by contemplating an immense volume which, being in our eyes no more perfect than the universe, would be no less exposed to the temerity of our doubts and objections. Since the absolute perfection of a universal plan would not compensate for the weakness of our understanding, let us focus on what is appropriate to our human condition, and be content with going back to some very general notion.
The higher the viewpoint from which we consider objects, the greater expanse it allows us to see, and the more the order we follow will be instructive and grand. Consequently it must be simple, because there is rarely grandeur without simplicity; it must be clear and accessible; it must not be a tortuous labyrinth where we might become lost, and in which we can perceive nothing from the point where we are; but a broad, vast avenue which extends into the distance, along which others are encountered at intervals, leading to remote and isolated objects via the easiest and shortest path.
One consideration above all must not be lost sight of, and that is that if man or the thinking, observing being is banished from the surface of the earth, this moving and sublime spectacle of nature is nothing but a sad and silent scene. The universe is dumb; silence and night overtake it.
Everything changes into a vast solitude where unobserved phenomena occur in a manner dark and mute. Why not introduce man into our opus, as he is placed in the universe?
Encyclopédie de Diderot et d'Alembert - T
Why not make of him a common center? Is there some point in infinite space from which we could more advantageously originate the immense lines which we propose to extend to all other points? What stirring and agreeable reaction of those beings towards man, and of man toward them, would not result? This is what has led us to seek in the principal faculties of man, the general division to which we have subordinated our labors.
One may follow some other path if he prefers, provided he not put in place of man some silent, insensitive and cold being. Man is the sole point from which to begin, and to which all must be brought back, if we are to please, engage, and affect the reader even in the most arid considerations and driest details.
Aside from my existence and the happiness of my peers, what does the rest of nature matter? A second order not less essential than the previous one, is that which will determine the relative length of the different sections of the work. I admit that there arises at this point one of those difficulties which it is impossible to overcome at the outset and difficult to overcome no matter what the ultimate form of the publication.
How does one establish a proper proportion between the different sections of a such a great whole? Even if it the whole thing were the work of a single man, that task would not be easy; what does it then become, when the whole is the work of a numerous society? If we compare a Universal and analytical dictionary of human knowledge to a colossal statue, it does not help, since we know neither how to determine the absolute height of the colossus, nor by what sciences or what arts its different members should be represented.
What material shall serve as its standard unit? Shall it be the noblest, the most useful, the most important, or the most extensive? Shall we choose morality over mathematics, mathematics over theology, theology over jurisprudence, jurisprudence over natural history, etc.? If we hold to certain generic expressions which no two people understand in the same manner, although everyone uses them without contradiction, because one is never explicit about it; and if we ask of each contributor either elements, or a complete, general treatise, we shall soon discover how vague and indeterminate that nominal measure is.
And he who thinks he has taken sufficient precautions with his various colleagues so that the materials he will get from them more or less fit in with his plan, is a man who has no idea of his object, nor of the colleagues he had enrolled. Each has his manner of feeling and seeing. Contrariwise, another, to whom I had prescribed exactly the same rules as to the first, brought me, on one of the most extensive manufactures in terms of the variety of products it turns out, the materials it uses, the machines it employs, and the operations performed, a small catalogue of words undefined, unexplained, unillustrated, assuring me quite firmly that his art contained nothing more: he assumed that the rest either was not unfamiliar, or could not be written.
We had hoped to get from one of our most talked-about connoisseurs the article Composition Painting M. Watelet had not yet offered us his assistance. We received from him two lines of definition short on precision, style, and ideas, with the humiliating admission that that was all he knew ; and it was I who had to do the article Composition Painting , I who am neither a connoisseur nor a painter.
Nor was I more surprised at the same diversity between the labors of scientists and men of letters. The proof can be found in a hundred places in this work. Here we are bloated and exorbitantly fat; there we are lean, petty, pathetic, dry, and scrawny. In one place, we are skeletal, in another we rather seem dropsical; we are by turns dwarves and giants, colossuses and pygmies; standing straight, nicely built and well proportioned; hunchbacked, lame and deformed.
Add to all these quirks that of a text which is sometimes abstract, recondite or mannered, more often careless, drawn-out, and diffuse; and you will compare the work to a monster of the poetic art, or even to something more hideous yet. But these defects are inseparable from a first attempt, and it is clear to me that only time and centuries to come can correct them. If our descendants attend to the Encyclopedia without interruption, they will be able to bring the organization of its material to some degree of perfection. But without a common and constant measure, there is no middle ground: one must at first allow without exception for everything a science embraces, leave each topic to itself, and prescribe no limits other than those of its object.
Each thing thus being in the Encyclopedia what it is in itself, it will have its true proportion, especially when time has compressed knowledge, and reduced each subject to its proper length. Should it happen that after a large number of successive revised editions, some important topic remains in the same state, as among us could easily be the case of mineralogy and metallurgy, it will not be the fault of the work, but of the human race in general, or of the nation in particular, whose attention has not yet turned toward those objects.
This defect will lessen with subsequent editions; knowledge will necessarily converge; the bombastic, oratorical tone will abate; some discoveries having become more common and less interesting will occupy less space; then only the new materials, the discoveries of the day will be inflated. It is a sort of deference that will always be shown for the object, the author, the public, etc. Once the moment has passed, that article will be subject like the others to circumcision.
But as in general new inventions and ideas introduce inevitable disproportion, and the first edition is, of all, the one containing the most things if not recently invented, as least as little known as if they were, it is evident from this reason as well as the previous one, that it is the edition in which the greatest disorder will prevail; but which on the other hand will manifest through its irregularities an appearance of originality that is not likely to pass into later editions. Why is the encyclopedic order so perfect and regular in the English author?
Such is not the case with our opus. We have our pride. We want our set-pieces. Such is perhaps my vanity at this moment. One person's example attracts another. The editors object, but in vain. Their own mistakes are held up to them, and everything inclines to excess. Chambers' articles are fairly regularly distributed; but they are empty. Ours are full, but irregular. If Chambers had filled his up, I have no doubt his organization would have suffered.
A third order is that which sets forth the distribution particular to each section. That is the first document we will require of a colleague. This order does not seem to me entirely arbitrary: in this respect a science is not like the universe. The universe is the infinite work of God. A science is a finite work of human understanding. There are first principles, general notions, given axioms. These are the roots of the tree. The tree must ramify as much as possible; it must shoot off from the general object as from a trunk, rise first to the large branches or primary divisions; go on from these master branches to smaller ones; and so on, until it has reached out to the particular terms which are like the leaves and crown of the tree.
And why should this detail be impossible? Has not every word its place, or, if it can be put this way, its stem and its point of attachment? All these individual trees will be carefully harvested; and to present the same ideas in a more precise image, the general encyclopedic order will be like a world map on which will be seen nothing but broad regions; particular orders, like maps of particular kingdoms, provinces, countries; the dictionary, like the geographical, detailed history of all places, the general and analytical topography of all we know in the intelligible world and the visible world; and the references will serve as itineraries in these two worlds, of which the visible one may be regarded as the old world, and the intelligible one as the new world.
There is a fourth order, less general than any of the preceding, and it is that which appropriately distributes several different articles subsumed under a single label. Here it appears necessary to respect the generation of ideas, the analogy of topics, their natural interconnections, to go from the simple to the figurative, etc. There are isolated terms which are proper to a single science, and should cause no special concern.
As for those whose meaning varies and which belong to several sciences and several arts, we must make them into a small system the object of which is to dampen and palliate as much as possible the strange array of discordances. We must compose a whole as minimally irregular and disparate as we can, being guided sometimes by relationships, when they are strong, and sometimes by the importance of the topics; and failing relationships, by original turns that the editors will come up as frequently as their genius, imagination, and knowledge allow.
There are topics which cannot be separated, such as sacred and profane history, theology and mythology; natural history, physics, chemistry and some arts, etc. The science of etymology, the historical knowledge of entities and names, will also furnish a large number of different views which one can always follow without fear of being confused, obscure, or ridiculous.
In the midst of these different articles of the same label to be distributed, the editor will proceed as if he himself were the author; he will follow the order he would have followed if he had to treat the word with all its meanings. In this there is no general rule to prescribe; if we knew one, the least disadvantage of following it would be the dreariness of uniformity. The general encyclopedic order would occasionally give rise to bizarre arrangements.
Alphabetic order would constantly cause comical contrasts; a theological article would be plunked down in the middle of the mechanical arts. What we can all do, and without disadvantage, is to begin with the simple, grammatical meaning; sketch out under the grammatical meaning an abbreviated chart of the article as a whole; present as examples as many different expressions as there are different meanings; organize these expressions as the different meanings of the word are to be organized in the rest of the article; at each expression or example, refer to the particular meaning in question.
Then we will almost invariably see logic follow grammar, metaphysics follow logic, theology follow metaphysics, morality follow theology, jurisprudence follow morality, etc. I insist on the freedom and variety of such a distribution, because it is at once convenient, useful, and reasonable. The composition of an encyclopedia is like the founding of a large city. All the houses ought not to be constructed on the same model, even were a general model found, attractive in itself and suited to any site. The uniformity of buildings, by leading to the uniformity of the public arteries, would make the whole city appear sad and wearisome.
People who walk cannot fail to be bored by a long wall, or even a long forest with which they were at first enchanted. A good mind and we must assume this quality in an editor will manage to put each thing in its place, and there is no reason to fear that his own thoughts are sufficiently disordered, or his taste sufficiently poor, to mix disparate meanings for no good reason.
But it would also be unjust to blame him for vagaries that would only be the necessary consequence of the diversity of topics, the imperfections of the language, and the misuse of metaphors, which transport a single word from an artisan's shop to the benches of the Sorbonne, and lump the most dissimilar things under a single label. But whatever object is being treated, it is necessary to designate the category it belongs to; its specific difference, or the quality that distinguishes it, if there is one; or rather the cluster of those which constitute it for from such a cluster results a necessary difference, for otherwise, there being two or more physical entities which are absolutely the same to our judgment and senses, we could not tell them apart ; its causes, when they are known; what we know of its effects; its active and passive qualities; its operation; its object; its uses; whatever appears unusual about it; its generation; its growth; its vicissitudes; its dimensions; its demise, etc.
If, for example, the subject is some mineral substance, it is commonly the grammarian or the naturalist who first addresses it; he passes it on to the physicist, who in turn gives it to the chemist; the chemist to the pharmacist; the pharmacist to the physician, the cook, the painter, the tanner, etc. Whence arises a fifth order which will be all the easier to establish: that the colleagues have remained rigorously within the bounds of their own sections, and well delineated the standpoint from which they were to consider the individual item in question.
A methodical, analytical enumeration of its qualities will determine this fifth and last order which also will lend itself to great variety. The sequence of operations through which a substance is passed, according to the use for which it is destined, will suggest the position which each notion should occupy.
Besides, I think it necessary to allow each colleague to express himself separately. The editors' work would be endless, if they had to meld all the articles into a single one; moreover it is better to leave to each the honor of his labor, and to the reader the convenience of consulting only the portion of the article he needs. I require only that there be method, whatever it be. I would hope that not a single crucial article would be without division and subdivision. Order provides relief to memory.
But it is unlikely that an author will take this care for his reader without its turning to his own advantage. Only by long contemplation of the topic does one find a general distribution. It is almost always the last important idea one encounters. It is a single thought that develops, extends, and ramifies, feeding on all the others which come into relation with it as if by themselves.
Those that resist this kind of attraction, are either too distinct from its sphere, or have some more considerable defect; and in both cases, it is appropriate to reject them. Besides, a dictionary is made to be consulted; and the essential point is that the reader should take away clearly in memory the product of his reading. One process which must sometimes be accepted, because it represents rather well the method of invention, is to begin with individual and particular phenomena so as to mount from there to more extensive and less specific knowledge; from there to yet more general knowledge, until one reaches the science of axioms or those propositions whose simplicity, universality, and obviousness renders undemonstrable.
For in whatever subject area, the whole field has not been covered until you have reached a principle that can neither be proven, nor defined, nor elucidated, nor obscured, nor denied, without losing some of the light it had been able to shed, and taking a step towards the darkness which in the end would become quite dark, if no limit were set to the argumentation.
If I think there is a point beyond which it is dangerous to continue the argumentation, I also think one should not stop until one is sure it has been reached. Each science and each art has its metaphysics. This aspect is always abstract, lofty, and difficult. Yet that must be the principal aspect of a philosophical dictionary; and it could be said that as long as some such ground remains to be broken, there are unexplainable phenomena, and vice versa.
Then the man of letters, the scientist, and the artist walk in darkness; if they make some progress, it is only thanks to chance; they arrive like a lost traveler who follows the right path without realizing it. It is therefore of the utmost importance to set forth the metaphysics of things, or their first and general reasons; the rest will be the more luminous for it and better assured in the mind. All the supposed mysteries for which some sciences are so criticized, and which some others so often cite to mitigate their own, when discussed metaphysically vanish like phantoms of the night on the approach of dawn.
Art enlightened from the start will advance surely, rapidly, and always on the shortest path. We must thus take care to give the reasons of things, when there are some; assign the causes, when we know them; indicate the effects, when they are certain; resolve the conundrums through direct application of the principles; set forth truths; unmask errors; artfully discredit prejudices; teach men to doubt and wait; dispel ignorance; weigh the value of human knowledge; distinguish between true and false, true and plausible, plausible and miraculous or incredible, common phenomena from extraordinary phenomena, certain facts from doubtful facts, and those from facts absurd and counter to the natural order; become acquainted with the general course of events, and take each thing for what it is, and consequently inspire a desire for knowledge, a horror for lies and vice, and a love for virtue; for whatever has not happiness and virtue as its ultimate end is nought.
I cannot bear to see someone rely on the authority of authors in questions of reason; for what use is it in truth to look for the name of an author who is not infallible? Above all, no verse: it seems so feeble and paltry in the middle of a philosophical discussion. Pretty ornaments must be relegated to articles on literature; there I can approve of them, provided they are placed with taste, serve as examples, and either make the flaw that is being censured stand out, or brilliantly illustrate the that is being recommended.
In scientific treatises, it is the relations of ideas or phenomena which provide direction; as you advance, the subject matter develops, becoming either more general or more particular, according to the method chosen. The same will be true with respect to the general form of an article for the Encyclopedia article, except that the dictionary or coordinated articles have advantages which in a scientific treatise can be achieved only at the expense of some quality; and it will owe these advantages to the references, the most important aspect of encyclopedic ordering.
I distinguish two types of references: material and verbal. Material references illuminate the object, indicate its closest connections to others immediately related to it, and its distant connections with others that might have seemed remote from it; recall to mind common notions and analogous principles; strengthen consequences; bind the branch to the trunk, and lend to the whole the unity that so favors the establishment of truth and persuasion.
But when required, they will have the opposite effect: they will counter notions; bring principles into contrast; covertly attack, unsettle, or overturn some ridiculous opinions which one would not venture to disparage openly. If the author is impartial, they will always have the double function of confirming and refuting, disrupting and reconciling. There would be much art and a considerable advantage in these latter references. The entire opus would gain from them internal force and unseen utility, the silent effects of which would necessarily be perceptible over time.
Whenever a national prejudice commands respect, for example, that particular article ought to set it forth respectfully, and with its whole retinue of plausibility and persuasion; but at the same time it ought to overturn an edifice of muck, dispel a vain pile of dust, by referring to articles in which solid principles form a basis for contrary truths.
This means of undeceiving men acts very quickly on good minds, and ineluctably and without any disagreeable consequence, silently and without scandal, on all minds.