But custom has sanctioned our departing from strict rules for the sake of euphony; and I should prefer saying pomeridianas quadrigas to postmeridianas, and mehercule to mehercules. Non scire already appears a barbarism; nescire is sweeter. The word meridiem itself, why is it not medidiem? I suppose because it sounded worse.

Profanity is certainly a sin, sometimes a grievous sin; but in our humble opinion, the fiat of self-righteous Pharisaism to the contrary notwithstanding, it is a few hundred times oftener no sin at all, or a very white sin, than the awful crime some people see in it. If a fellow could quote classical "Mehercule," and Shakespearean cuss-words, he would not perhaps be so vulgar as to say "hell."

But we are allowed by custom even to dispense with the rules of etymology to improve the sweetness of our language; and I would therefore rather say, pomeridianas Quadrigas, than postmeridianas; and mehercule, than mehercules.

Mallem mehercule cum Platone errare. When he said "Si, Siora," it seemed as if he were calling the lady by a pet name. Isabel did a good deal of mischief too in her unassuming way, but I think she confined her depredations chiefly to her compatriots.