Изображения страниц

Wherefore do ye let the people from their works? go you unto your burdens. Exodus. The mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 2 Thessalonians.


I will work, and who will let it? And now no longer letted of his prey, He leaps up at it with enrag'd desire, O'erlooks the neighbours with a wide survey, And nods at every house his threatening fire.

Dryden. 1. To LET, when it signifies to permit or leave, has let in the preterit and part. passive; but when it signifies to binder, it has letted; as, multa me impedierunt, many things have letted me.

Introduction to Grammar. To LET. v. n. To forbear; to withhold himself.


After king Ferdinando had taken upon him the person of a fraternal ally to the king, he would not let to counsel the king. LET. 2.s. [from the verb.] Hinderance; obstacle; obstruction; impediment.

The secret lets and difficulties in public proceedings are innumerable and inevitable. Hooker. Solyman without let presented his army before the city of Belgrade. Knolles' Hist. of the Turks. It had been done ere this, had I been consul; We had had no stop, no let. Ben Jonson. Just judge, two lets remove; that free from dread,

I may before thy high tribunal plead. Sandys. To these internal dispositions to sin, add the external opportunities and occasions concurring with them, and removing all lets and rubs out of the way, and making the path of destruction plain before the sinner's face; so that he may run his course freely. South.

LIT, the termination of diminutive words from lyte, Saxon, little, small; as, rivulet, a small stream; hamlet, a ittle village.

LETHARGICK. adj. [lethargique, French, from lethargy.] Sleepy by disease, beyond the natural power of sleep.

Vengeance is as if minutely proclaimed in thunder from heaven, to give men no rest in their sins, till they awake from the lethargick sleep, and arise from so dead, so mortiferous a Hammond.


Let me but try if I can wake his pity From his lethargick sleep.

Denbam's Sophy. A lethargy deinands the same cure and diet as an apoplexy from a phlegmatic case, such beng the constitution of the lethargick. Arbuthnot. LETHARGICKNESS, n. s. [from lethargick.] Morbid sleepiness; drowsiness to a disease.

A grain of glory mixt with humbleness, Cures both a fever, and lethargickness. Herbert. LETHARGIED. adj. [from lethargy.] Laid asleep; entranced.

His motion weakens, or his discernings Are letberg. Shaksp. King Lear. LETHARGY. n. s. [AnGagyia; lethargie, French.] A morbid drowsiness; a sleep from which one cannot be kept awake.

The lethargy must have his quiet course; If not, he foams at mouth, and by and by Breaks out to savage madness.


Though his eye is open, as the morning's, Towards lusts and pleasures; yet so fast a lethargy

[blocks in formation]


A superscription was written over him in letfers of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. Luke. Thou whoreson Zed! thou unnecessary letShakspeare.

ter !

A written message; an epistle.
They use to write it on the top of letters.

I have a letter for her

Of such contents as you will wonder at. Shaksp. When a Spaniard would write a letter by him, the Indian would marvel how it should be possible, that he, to whom he came, should be able to know all things. Abbot.

The asses will do very well for trumpeters, and the hares will make excellent letter carriers. L'Estrange.

The stile of letters ought to be free, easy, and natural; as near approaching to familiar conversation as possible: the two best qualities in conversation are, good humour and good breeding; those letters are therefore certainly the best that shew the most of these two qualities. Walsh.

Mrs. P. B. has writ to me, and is one of the best letter writers I know; very good sense, civility, and friendship, without any stiffness or constraint. Swift. The verbal expression; the literal meaning.

Touching translations of holy scripture, we may not disallow of their painful travels herein, who strictly have tied themselves to the very original letter. Hooker.

In obedience to human laws, we must observe the letter of the law, without doing violence to the reason of the law, and the intention of the lawgiver. Taylor. Those words of his must be understood not according to the bare rigour of the letter, but according to the allowances of expression. South's Sermons. What! since the pretor did my fetters loose, And left me freely at my own dispose, May I not live without controul and awe, Excepting still the letter of the law? Letters without the singular: learning, The Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 5. Any thing to be read.




Good laws are at best but a dead letter. Addis. 6. Type with which books are printed.

The iron ladles that letter founders use to the casting of printing letters, are kept constantly in melting metal,


To LETTER. v. a. [from letter.] To stamp with letters.

I observed one weight lettered on both sides; and I found on one side, written in the dialect of men, and underneath it, calamities; on the other side was written, in the language of the gods, and underneath, blessings. Addison. LETTERED. adj. [from letter.] Literate; educated to learning.

A martial man, not sweetened by a lettered education, is apt to have a tincture of sourness. Collier.

LETTUCE. n. s. [lactuca, Latin.]

The species are, common or garden lettuce; cabbage lettuce; Silesia lettuce; white and black cos; white cos; red capuchin lettuce. Miller.

Fat coleworts, and comforting purseline,
Cold lettuce, and refreshing rosemarine. Spenser.
Lettuce is said to be poisonous, when it is so
old as to have milk.
Bacon's Nat. Hist.


The medicaments proper to diminish milk, are lettuce, purslane, endive. LEʼVANT. adj. [levant, Fr.] Eastern. Thwart of those, as fierce

Forth rush the levant, and the ponent winds, Eurus and Zephyr. Milton's Par. Lost. LEVANT. n. s. The east, particulariy those coasts of the Mediterranean east of Italy.

LEVATOR. n. s. [Latin.] A chirurgical instrument, whereby depressed parts of the skull are lifted up.

Some surgeons bring out the bone in the bore; but it will be safer to raise it up with your levator, when it is but lightly retained in some part. Wiseman. LEUCOPHLEGMACY. n. s. [from leucophegmatick.] Paleness with viscid juices and cold sweatings.

Spirits produce debility, flatulency, fevers, leucophlegmacy, and dropsies. Arbuthnot. LEUCOPHLEGMATICK. adj. [λunds and Phiya.] Having such a constitution of body where the blood is of a pale colour, viscid, and cold, whereby it stuffs and bloats the habit, or raises white tumours in the feet, legs, or any other parts; and such are commonly asthmatick and dropsical. Quincy, Asthmatick persons have voracious appetites, and for want of a right sanguification are leucopilegmatick. Arbuthnot. LEVEE. n. s. [French.] 1. The time of rising.

2. The concourse of those who crowd round a man of power in a morning.

Would'st thou be first minister of state;
To have thy levers crouded with resort,
Of a depending, gaping, servile court? Dryd.
None of her Sylvan subjects made their court,
Levees and couchees pass'd without resort.

LE'VEL. adj. [læpel, Saxon.]


1. Even; not having one part higher than another.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


Our navy is address'd, our power collected, And ev'ry thing lies level to our wish. Shaksp. Now shaves with level wing the deep. Milt. There is a knowledge which is very proper to man, and lies level to human understanding, the knowledge of our Creator, and of the duty we Tillotson. owe to him.

Having no gradations of superiority. Be level in preferments, and you will soon be as level in your learning. Bentley To LEVEL. v. a. [trom the adjective.] 1. To make even; to free from inequalities: as, he levels the walks.

2. To reduce to the same height with something else.


Less bright the moon,

But opposite in level'd west was set. Milton. He will thy foes with silent shame confound, And their proud structures level with the ground. Sandys. To lay flat.

We know by experience, that all downright rains do evermore dissever the violence of outrageous winds, and beat down and level the swelling and mountainous billows of the sea. Raleigh.

With unresisted might the monarch reigns, He levels mountains, and he raises plains; And not regarding diff'rence of degree, Abas'd your daughter, and exalted me. Dryd. 4. To bring to equality of condition.

Reason can never assent to the admission of those brutish appetites which would over-run the soul, and level its superior with its inferior faculties. Decay of Pict

5. To point in taking aim; to aim.

[blocks in formation]

The construction I believe is not, globes level'd on the host, but globes level'd smote on the host.

6. To direct to an end.

The whole body of puritans was drawn to be abettors of all villainy by a few men, whose designs from the first were levelled to destroy both religion and government. Savift. 7. To suit; to proportion Behold the law

And rule of beings in your Maker's mind: And thence, like limbecks, rich ideas draw, To fit the levell'd use of humankind. Dryden To LEVEL. v. n.

1. To aim at; to bring the gun or arrow to the same line with the mark.

The glory of God, and the good of his church, was the thing which the apostles aimed at, and therefore ought to be the mark whereat we also level. Hookers

2. To conjecture; to attempt to guess. I pray thee overname them; and, as thou namest them I will describe them; and, accorde ing to my description, level at my affection. Shakspeares

3. To be in the same direction with a mark.

He to his engine flew,

Plac'd near at hand in open view,

And rais'd it till it levell'd right,

[merged small][ocr errors]

Against the glow-worm tail of kite. Hudibrasi

4. To make attempts; to aim,

Ambitious York 'did level at thy crown. Shakspeare. 5. To efface distinction or superiority: as, infamy is always trying to level. LEVEL. . . [from the adjective.]

1. A plane; a surface without protuberances or inequalities.


After draining of the level in Northamptonshire, innumerable mice did upon a sudden Hale. Those bred in a mountainous country oversize those that dwell on low levels. Sandys. 2. Rate; standard; customary height.

Love of her made us raise up our thoughts above the ordinary level of the world, so as great clerks do not disdain our conference. Sidney.

The praises of military men inspired me with thoughts above my ordinary level. Dryden.

3. Suitable or proportionate height.

It might perhaps advance their minds so far Above the level of subjection, as Tassume to them the glory of that war.

4. A state of equality.


The time is not far off when we shall be upon the level; I am resolved to anticipate the time, and be upon the level with them now: for he is so that neither seeks nor wants them.

Atterbury to Pope.


Providence, for the most part, sets us upon a level, and observes proportion in its dispensations towards us. I suppose, by the stile of old friends, and the like, it must be somebody there of his own level; among whom his party have, indeed, more friends than I could wish. Sreift.

5. An instrument whereby masons adjust their work.

The level is from two to ten feet long, that it may reach over a considerable length of the work: it the plumb-line hang just upon the perpendicular, when the level is set flat down upon the work, the work is level; but if it hangs on either side the perpendicular, the floor or work must be raised on that side, till the plumb-line hang exactly on the perpendicular.


[blocks in formation]

The river Tyber is expressed lying alone, for so you must remember to draw rivers, to exPeacham. press their levelness with the earth. LEVEN, n. s. [ievain, French. Commonly, though less properly, written leaven ; see LEAVEN.]

1. Ferment; that which being mixed with bread makes it rise and ferment,

2. Any thing capable of changing the nature of a greater mass.

The matter fermenteth upon the old leven, and becometh more acrid. Wiseman's Surgery. The pestilential levains conveyed in goods. Arbuthnot.

LEVER. n. s. [levier, French.]

The second mechanical power, is a balance supported by a hypomochlion; only the centre is not in the middle as in the common balance, but near one end; for which reason it is used to elevate or raise a great weight; whence comes the name lever. Harris. Have you any leavers to lift me up again, being down? Shakspeare. Some draw with cords, and some the monster drive With rolls and levers.


In a lever, the motion can be continued only for so short a space, as may be answerable to that little distance betwixt the fulciment and the weight which is always by so much lesser, as the disproportion betwixt the weight and the power is greater, and the motion itself more easy. Wilkin's Mathematical Magick. Some hoisting leavers, some the wheels prepare. Dryden. LE'VERET. n. s. [licoret, Fr.] A young


Their travels o'er that silver field does show, Like track of leverets in morning snow. Waller,

6. Rule; plan; scheme: borrowed from LEVET. n. s. [from lever, Fr.] A blast

the mechanick level.

Be the fair level of thy actions laid,

As temp'rance wills, and prudence may persuade,

And try if life be worth the liver's care. Prior... 7. The line of direction in which any missive weapon is aimed.

[blocks in formation]

on the trumpet; probably that by which the soldiers are called in the morning.

He that led the cavalcade Wore a sowgelder's flagellet,

On which he blew as strong a levet ; As well-tee'd lawyer on his breviate. Hudibras, LE VEROOK. n. ́s. [lfeɲe, Sax.] This word is retained in Scotland, and denotes the lark.

The smaller birds have their particular seasons; as, the leverook, Walton's Angler,

If the lufft fa' 'twill smoore aw the leverooks.
Scotch Prov.

LE VIABLE. adj. [from levy.] That may
be levied.
The sums which any agreed to pay, and were
not brought in, were to be leviable by course of
Bacon's Henry VII,
LEVIATHAN. n. s. [.] A water
animal mentioned in the book of Job.
By some imagined the crocodile, but in
poetry generally taken for the whale.
We may, as bootless, spend our vain com

Upon th' inraged soldiers in their spoil,

[blocks in formation]


More to embroil the deep; leviathan, And his unwieldy train, in dreadful sport Tempest the loosen'd brine. Thomson's Winter. To LE'VIGATE. v.n. [lævigo, Latin.] 1. To rub or grind to an impalpable powder.

2. To mix till the liquor becomes smooth and uniform.

The chyle is white, as consisting of salt, oil, and water, much levigated or smooth. Arbuth. LEVIGATION. n. s. [from levigate.]

Levigation is the reducing of hard bodies, as coral, tutty, and precious stones, into a subtile powder, by grinding upon marble with a muller; but unless the instruments are extremely hard, they will so wear as to double the weight of the medicine. Quincy. LE VITE. n. s. [levita, Lat. from Levi.] 1. One of the tribe of Levi; one born to the office of priesthood among the Jews. In the Christian church, the office of deacons succeeded in the place of the levites among the Jews, who were as ministers and servants to the priests. Ayliffe's Parergon. 2. A priest: used in contempt. LEVITICAL. adj. [from levite.] Belonging to the Levites; making part of the religion of the Jews.

By the levitical law, both the man and the woman were stoned to death; so heinous a crime was adultery.

LEVITY. n. s. [levitas, Latin.]


1. Lightness; not heaviness; the quality by which any body has less weight than


He gave the form of levity to that which ascended; to that which descended, the form of gravity. This bubble, by reason of its comparative Raleigh. levity to the fluidity that encloses it, would ascend to the top. Bentley.

2. Inconstancy; changeableness.

They every day broached some new thing; which restlesslevity they did interpret to be their growing in spiritual perfection. Hooker.

Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots
sword-knots strive,

Beaus banish beaus, and coaches coaches drive,
This erring mortals levity may call.

3. Unsteadiness; laxity of mind.

I unbosom'd all my secrets to thee; Not out of levity, but over-power'd By thy request.

4. Idle pleasure; vanity.


Milton's Agonistes.

He never employed his omnipotence out of levity or ostentation, but as the necessities of men required. Calamy. 5. Trifling gayety; want of seriousness. Our graver business frowns at this levity. Hopton abhorred the licence, and the levities, Shakspeare. with which he saw too many corrupted.



That spirit of religion and seriousness vanished, and a spirit of levity and libertinism, infidelity, and profaneness, started up in the room of it. Atterbury.

To LEVY. v. a. [lever, French.]
1. To raise; to bring together: applied

to men.



[blocks in formation]

Levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war. Numbers. Instead of a ship he should levy upon his county such a sum of money. Clarendon, To raise: applied to war. This sense, though Milton's, seems improper.

They live in hatred, enmity, and strife, Among themselves, and levy cruel wars.


LE VY. n. s. [from the verb.]
1. The act of raising money or men.

They have already contributed all their superfluous hands, and every new levy they make must be at the expence of their farms and comAddison.


2. War raised.

[blocks in formation]

If some be admitted into the ministry, either void of learning, or lewd in life, are all the rest to be condemned? Whitgifte.

Before they did oppress the people, only by colour of a lewd custom, they did afterwards use the same oppressions by warrant. Davies. Lustful; libidinous.

He is not lolling on a lerud love-bed;
But on his knees at meditation. Shakspeare.
Then lead Anchemolus he laid in dust,
LEWDLY. adv. [from lewd.]
Who stain'd his step-dame's bed with impious
1. Wickedly; naughtily.

A sort of naughty persons lewdly bent,
Have practis'd dangerously against your state.

2. Libidinously; lustfully.

He lov'd fair lady Eltred, lervdly lov'd, Whose wanton pleasures him too much did


That quite his heart from Guendeline remov'd.

So lewdly dull his idle works appear,
The wretched texts deserve no comments here.
LEWDNESS. n. s. [from lewd.] Lustful

Suffer no lewdness, nor indecent speech,
Th' apartment of the tender youth to reach.
Damianus's letter to Nicholas is an authentick
record of the lewdnesses committed under the
reign of celibacy.
1. ง. [from lewd.]
lecher; one given to criminal pleasures.
Against such lerodsters, and their lechery,
Those that betray them do no treachery.

Shakspeare. LEWIS D'OR. n. s. [French.] A golden French coin, in value twelve livres, now settled at seventeen shillings. Dict. LEXICOGRAPHER. 11. S. Ελεξικόν and

[blocks in formation]

Though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues that Babel cleft the world into, yet if he had not studied the solid things in them as well as the words and lexicons, yet he were nothing so much to be esteemed a learned man as any yeoman competently wise in his mother dialect only. Milton. LEY. n. s. lee, lay, are all from the Saxon leag, a field or pasture, by the usual melting of the letter 3 or g. Gibson. LIABLE. n. s. [liable, from lier, old Fr.] Obnoxious; not exempt; subject; with to.

But what is strength without a double share Of wisdom? vast, unwieldy, burthensome, Proudly secure, yet liable to fall

By weakest subtleties. Milton's Agonistes. The English boast of Spenser and Milton, who neither of them wanted genius or learning; and yet both of them are liable to many Dryden.


This, or any other scheme, coming from a private hand, might be liable to many defects.

Swift. LIAR. n. s. [from lie. This word would analogically be lier; but this orthography has prevailed, and the convenience of distinction from lier, he who lies down, is sufficient to confirm it.] One who tells falsehood; one who wants veracity.

She's like a liar, gone to burning hell? Twas I that kill'd her. Shaksp. Othello. He approves the common liar, fame, Who speaks him thus at Rome.

Shakspeare. I do not reject his observation as untrue, much less condemn the person himself as a liar, whensoever it seems to be contradicted. Boyle. Thy better soul abhors a liar's part, Wise is thy voice, and noble is thy heart. Pope. LIARD. adj.

I. Mingled roan.


2. Liard in Scotland dénotes grey-haired : as, he's a liard old man. LIBA'TION. n. s. [libatio, Latin.] 1. The act of pouring wine on the ground in honour of some deity.

In digging new earth pour in some wine, toat the vapour of the earth and wine may comfort the spirits, provided it be not taken for a heathen sacrifice, or libation to the earth. 2. The wine so poured.


They had no other crime to object against the Christians, but that they did not offer up libations, and the smoke of sacrifices, to dead men. Stilling fleet. The goblet then she took, with nectar crown'd, Sprinkling the first libations on the ground


LI'BBARD. n. s. [liebard, German; leopar dus, Lat.] A leopard.

Make the libbard stern,


Leave roaring, when in rage he for revenge did
The libbard and the tiger, as the mole
Rising, the crumbled earth above them threw.

The torrid parts of Africk are by by Piso resembled to 'a libbard's skin, the distance of whose spots represent the disperseness of habitations, or towns of Africk. Brerewood.

LIBEL. n. s. [libellus, Lat. libelle, Fr.] 1. A satire; defamatory writing; a lampoon.

Are we reproached for the name of Christ? that ignominy serves but to advance our future glory; every such libel here becomes panegyrick there. Decay of Piety.

Good heav'n! that sots and knaves should be so vain,

To wish their vile resemblance may remain! And stand recorded, at their own request, To future days, a libel or a jest. Dryden. 2. [In the civil law.] A declaration or charge in writing against a person exhibited in court,

To LIBEL. V. n. [from the noun.] To spread defamation, written or printed: it is now commonly used as an active verb, without the preposition against. Sweet scrawls to fly about the streets of Rome:

What's this but libelling against the senate!

He, like a priviledg'd spy, whom nothing can Discredit, libels now 'gainst each great man.


To LIBEL. V. a. To satirise; to lam


Is the peerage of England dishonoured when a peer suffers for his treason? if he be libelled, or any way defamed, he has his scandalum magnatum to punish the offender. Dryden.

But what so pure which envious tongues will spare? Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair. Pope. LIBELLER. n. s. [from libel.] A defamer by writing; a lampooner.

Our common libellers are as free from the imputation of wit as of morality.

Dryden's Juvenal. The squibs are those who, in the common phrase, are called libellers and lampooners.


The common libellers, in their invectives, tax the church with an insatiable desire of power and wealth, equally common to all bodies of Swift. LIBELLOUS. adj. [from libel.] Defama



It was the most malicious surmise that had ever been brewed, howsoever countenanced by a libellous pamphlet. Wotton.

LIBERAL. adj. [liberalis, Latin; liberal, French.]

1. Not mean; not low in birth; not low in mind.

2. Becoming a gentleman. 3. Munificent; generous; bountiful; not parsimonious.

Her name was Mercy, well-known over all, To be both gracious, and eke liberal. Spenser.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »