Sanatoria, memoranda, gymnasia are now replacing sanatorium, memorandums, and gymnasiums; automata, formulae, and lacunae are taking the place of automatons, formulas, and lacunas; indices and apices of indexes and apexes, miasmata of miasmas or miasms; and even forms like lexica, rhododendra, and chimeræ have been recently noted in the writings of authors of repute.
How amusingly Sancho is made to clear up the obscurities thus alluded to by the Bachelor Carrasco no reader can have forgotten; but there remained enough of similar lacunas, inadvertencies, and mistakes, to exercise the ingenuity of those Spanish critics, who were too wise in their own conceit to profit by the good-natured and modest apology of this immortal author.
All that life is a thing we must leave soon, and forever, and must be hopelessly lapped in an eternity of blind silence. "I shall let men see the certain end of all," he cries; "then will they resist religion, and the threats of priests and prophets." But this "certain end" is exactly what mortals do not desire to see. To this sleep they prefer even tenebras Orci, vastasque lacunas.
I feel no greater inclination toward the French, the Germans, the Swiss, the English, the Poles, the Italians, than toward the Brazilians or the Chinese. The illusions of patriotism, of Chauvinist, family, or professional feeling, do not exist for me. My tendency, on the contrary, is to feel with increased force the lacunas, deformities, and imperfections of the group to which I belong.
It still remains an open question, however, as to what proportion the lacunas of molten matter bear at the present day to the solidified portions, and therefore to what extent the earth will be subject to further shrinkage and attendant surface contortions. That some such lacunae do exist is demonstrated daily by the phenomena of volcanoes.