Monday, August 30, 2010

Definition, I

Francis Grose, A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 3rd ed. (London: Hooper and Wigstead, 1796), under Gold Finder: "One whose employment is to empty necessary houses; called also a tom-turd-man, and night-man; the latter, from that business being always performed in the night."

1 comment:

  1. Fielding, in the introduction to Book VI of Tom Jones, compares atheists, who, because they can find no glimmer of divine love in their own minds, conclude there is no God, to a gold-finder who might absurdly conclude that gold does not exist because he has not found any in the jakes he is raking out:

    "Who ever heard of a gold-finder that had the impudence or folly to assert, from the ill success of his search, that there was no such thing as gold in the world? Whereas the truth-finder, having raked out that jakes, his own mind, and being there capable of tracing no ray of divinity, nor anything virtuous, or good, or lovely, or loving, very fairly, honestly, and logically concludes that no such things exist in the whole creation."