Scan 3

Demons of Disorder

From Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World.  Dale Cockrell.

Cambridge University Press, 1997.


ABSTRACT REASONING – Reasoning from principles, as distinguished from the ratiocination of weak minds, who can only reason directly from matters of fact.

ACCOMPLISHMENT —  Any acquisition that improves the manners without necessarily strengthening the mind, which renders one more agreeable without increasing his intelligence.

BIGOTRY —  The veneration of ones opinions.

DANCING – An active employment of the understanding.

DEVIL – A word used, in comparison, as a climax for every extreme.

EYES – The windows and mirrors of the soul.

FABLES – Fictions invented for the illustration of truths – or, lies in fact, and truths in principle.

FACTS – Lies, well supported by testimony.

FINE – A means by which the wealthy may atone for a crime, for which the poor must suffer punishment, from their inability to pay it.

FREEMAN – An individual who cannot discern the limits of his imprisonment, or the fetters of his bondage.

HARMONY (IN MUSIC) – Scientific discord.

HISTORY – Well authenticated fiction; a catalogue of hypocracy, crimes and misfortunes.

HOLIDAYS – Those seasons of pastime which the puritanical selfishness of the Americans has nearly banished from the calendar.

HOPE – A mistress whom we still love and still believe, though she has often deceived us, because we cannot be happy without her.

HORRIBLE – Exceedingly interesting.

ILLOGICAL – Contrary to the decisions of the schools.

INFERIORS –Those who possess less wealth than ourselves.

LEARNED – Ignorant of common things.

LIFE – A monotonous repetition of eating and drinking, sleeping and waking, occasionally relieved by the perusal of the daily papers.

MANNERS – The language of action.

MISREPRESENTATION – The art of falsifying, without lying.

MUSIC – The most social of all the arts, which has been the misfortune to be ridiculed by Mammon-worshippers, because it sometimes leads to unthriftiness, and by the unmusical, because they cannot appreciate its value.

PARADOX – A startling truth.

PEN – The chief implement of modern warfare.

POETRY – Literary vomit.

PREFACE – An introductory essay by which the author endeavors to recommend or apologize for the nonsense which follows.

PROFOUND – Unintelligible.

REASON – A faculty used by men when they wish to apologize for their errors and to defend their prejudices.

RESPECTABILITY – Conformity to all the customs both good and bad that are sanctioned by public opinion.

SELF – An individual who is of the greatest consequence to each, and of the least consequence to all of the human race.

Selected from Dictionariana in The Boston Post, 13 December 1836; 10, 24 January, 1 February, 2, 3, 14, 15 March, 9 August, 5 September, 21 October, and 27 November 1837; 16 January, 1, 25 February, and 1 March 1838.

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