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protect ourselves by measures of precaution, and by the interposition of what may counteract adverse influences.
DIFFIDENT [Lat.]; MODEST [Lat.); BASHFUL [O. Fr.]. Bashfulness is a constitutional feeling, Modesty a virtue. Bashfulness is extreme modesty. It is an instinctive, almost animal sensation, though involving intelligence. It is not unbecoming in young persons of either sex, especially in the presence of elders or superiors. It betrays itself in a look of self-conscious timidity, and in grown-up persons is a defect amounting to a mental disease.
Modesty is the absence of all tendency to overestimate one's self, while Diffidence is the positive distrust of ourselves. Modesty is in some respects very unlike diffidence, for though inclined to claim less than his due, and to accord more than their due to others, the modest man is not deterred from such efforts in the struggle of life as are needful to do justice to himself; while diffidence, if it be a habit of the disposition, leads to positive injustice to one's self and one's own powers.
DIFFICULTY [Lat.); OBSTACLE [Lat.]; OBSTRUCTION [Lat.); IMPEDIMENT (Lat.).—Difficulties are generally complicated, Obstacles and Impediments are usually simple. Difficulties are not usually surmounted by vigor, energy, resolution, hardihood, and the like, but by patience, skill, and perseverance. The cutting of the Gordian Knot was an escape from, not a solution of, the difficulty.
In marching through a foreign country, the general would find difficulties in the incidental things—the badness of the roads, the nature of the climate, the disposition of the natives, the scarcity or remoteness of provisions. A precipitous valley suddenly yawning under the feet of the soldiers would be an obstacle, that is, a barrier, to their progress.
A river might be an obstacle, a heavy cloak an impediment, to the traveler. In common parlance difficulties are met and solved, obstacles surmounted, impediments removed. It is obvious that the same thing may be sometimes all three, according to the point of view from which it is regarded. The eloquence of Demosthenes was to Philip of Macedon a difficulty to be met with his best resources, an obstacle to his own ambition, and an impediment in his political career. Difficulties perplex, impediments embarrass, obstacles deter or retard. Difficulties commonly arise out of the inherent nature and character of the matter in hand. Obstacles come from foreign
Impediments come from some established law or superior force.
Obstruction is not so strong as obstacle, which latter has also a more abstract sense. We surmount obstacles, and remove obstructions. An obstacle may be moral and internal, as indolence is an obstacle to success. Obstruction is external, and lies in the path.
EXCEED (Lat.); EXCEL [Lat.).—Exceed is a relative term, implying some limit, measure, or quantity already existing, whether of bulk, stature, weight, distance, number, or power-moral, mental, or mechanical. It is also used intransitively and abstractedly; as, “The temperate man will be careful not to exceed”; but even here the measure of sufficiency and sobriety is understood. Excel is never employed but in an honorable sense.
It is to go far in good qualities, or laudable actions or acquirements, or specifically, as a transitive verb, to go beyond others in such things.
EXPECT [Lat.]; HOPE [A. S.]. -We Expect when we have arrived at the conclusion that something future will really happen in all probability. We may expect what may or may not interest us personally. We may expect, but not hope, for an occurrence which will cause us pain. We Hope when we look with pleasure to the future. In proportion as it is welcome, we hope; in proportion as it is certain, we expect. Hope is a faculty of the human soul, a quality which diminishes with the increase of age. The young, who live in the future, are full of hope.
Excite (Lat.]; INCITE [Lat.).—To Excite is to call out into greater activity what before existed in a calm or calmer state, or to arouse to an active state faculties or powers which before were dormant. The term is also used of purely physical action. We may excite heat by friction.
To Incite is to excite to a specific act or end which the inciter has in view.
GLANCE (Sw.]; GLIMPSE [A. S. or Ger.]. - Glance expresses both the sudden shooting of a bright object or ray of light before the eyes, and the rapid casting of the vision itself upon an object.
Glimpse differs in implying the seeing momentarily and imperfectly, while Glance implies that the object is seen momentarily and distinctly. Glance is more commonly voluntary; glimpse involuntary. We take glances; we catch glimpses.
GRATITUDE (Fr.]; THANKFULNESS [A. S.]. — Gratitude relates to the inner state of, Thankfulness to the exhibition of, it in words. We commonly use Grateful in reference to human agents; Thankful, to Divine Providence. We may look grateful. We speak our thanks. Thankfulness is mistrusted if it be not expressed; but gratitude may be too deep for words. Thankfulness is uneasy till
it has acknowledged a kindness; gratitude, till it has recompensed it.
IMPOSTOR [Lat.); DECEIVER [Fr.]. -An Impostor is a deceiver of the public, while Deceiver might be of the public or of a private individual. Any one who deceives by word or deed is a deceiver. An impostor assumes a false appearance, and impersonates what is not truly his. An impostor acts for his own benefit; a deceiver may act simply for the injury of another.
LONELY (Fr.); SOLITARY [Lat.).—Lonely conveys the idea of the melancholy or the forsaken. Solitary denotes no more than the absence of life or society. The essence of solitariness is separation, not the feeling consequent upon it.
A lonely wanderer is not only solitary, but feels it in sadness. Places are solitary as being without inhabitants. They are lonely, as producing in persons the effects of isolation. So we may be lonely, though not solitary, in a crowd.
MARINE (Lat.); MARITIME (Lat.]; NAVAL[Lat.).—Marine means belonging to the sea in its simplest aspect or natural state; as, marine productions or deposits.
Maritime means belonging to the sea as it is employed by man, or in relation to the life of man; as a maritime people, maritime trade or occupations.
Naval means belonging to ships. We speak of a naval life, a naval profession, a naval armament.
MUTUAL [Lat.); RECIPROCAL [Lat.]. - Mutual implies nothing as to time or order of action. Reciprocal involves an idea of priority and succession. A mutual thing is simply a thing which exists between two persons; a reciprocal thing so exists as to the result of a giving and returning. “The attachment was mutual,” would mean simply that it was felt on both sides; that it was reciprocal, would mean that what one had given the other also had returned.
NOTED [Lat.); NOTORIOUS [Lat.).— Noted is reserved for that which is well known, favorably or eminently.
Notorious is employed to express what is publicly known, and universally in men's mouths, commonly, though not invariably, with an unfavorable meaning. At least, notorious is never used of what is known purely for good. We speak indiscriminately of a notorious or a noted fact, but not person; nor are virtue and excellence ever said to be notorious.
NIGHTLY [A. S.); NOCTURNAL [Lat. noctem]. — Nightly is derived from the English word night; Nocturnal, from the Latin noctem, night; yet they are somewhat differently employed. The former is a term of more familiar character than the latter; but a further difference is noticeable, flowing, however, from the same difference of origin. Nightly means simply at the time of night, or every night, while Nocturnal means connected with the nature of the night. A nightly visit. The nocturnal habits of some birds, insects, and quadrupeds.
OCCUPANCY [Lat.); OCCUPATION [Lat.).—The difference between these two words flows from the different forces of the verb occupy, to take possession and to hold possession.
Occupancy is the taking, or having possession in relation to, rights, claims, or privileges; Occupation, in relation to no more than the fact of possessing and holding. We speak of the occupancy of an estate; and the occupation, not occupancy, of a country by an army. Occupancy has