on leaves. These prophecies were excessively obscure, but were so contrived that when the leaves were sorted and laid in order, their initial letters always made a word. - Dionys., iv. 62.

Acrostic poetry among the Hebrews consisted of twenty-two lines or stanzas beginning with the letters of the alphabet in succession, as Psalm cxix., etc.

Acrostics Puzzles, generally in verse, consisting of two words of equal length The initial letters of the several lines constitute one of the secret words, and the final letters constitute the other word.

Also words re-arranged so as to make other words of similar significance, as "Horatio Nelson" re-arranged into Honor est a Nilo. Another form of acrostic is to find a sentence which reads the same backwards and forwards, as E.T.L.N.L.T.E., the initial letters of "Eat To Live, Never Live To Eat;" which in Latin would be, E.U.V.N.V.U.E. (Ede Ut Vivas, Ne Vivas Ut Edas).

Act and Opponency An "Act," in our University language, consists of a thesis and "disputation" thereon, covering continuous parts of three hours. The person "disputing" with the "keeper of the Act" is called the "opponent," and his function is called an "opponency." In some degrees the student is required to keep his Act, and then to be the opponent of another disputant. Much alteration in these matters has been introduced of late, with other college reforms.

Act of Faith (auto da fé) in Spain, is a day set apart by the Inquisition for the punishment of heretics, and the absolution of those who renounce their heretical doctrines. The sentence of the Inquisition is also so called; and so is the ceremony of burning, or otherwise torturing the condemned.

Act of God (An) "Damnum fatale," such as loss by lightning, shipwreck, fire, etc.; loss arising from fatality, and not from one's own fault, theft, and so on. A Devonshire jury once found a verdict - " That deceased died by the act of God, brought about by the flooded condition of the river."

Actaeon A hunter. In Grecian mythology Actæon was a huntsman, who surprised Diana bathing, was changed by her into a stag, and torn to pieces by his own hounds. Hence, a man whose wife is unfaithful. (See Horns.)

"Go thou, like Sir Actæon, with Ringwood at thy heel." Shakespeare: Merry Wives, ii. 1.

"Divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon." Ibid. iii. 2.

Actian Years Years in which the Actian games were celebrated. Augustus instituted games at Actium to celebrate his naval victory over Antony. They were held every five years.

Action Sermon A sacramental sermon (in the Scots Presbyterian Church).

"I returned home about seven, and addressed myself towards my Action Sermon, Mrs. Olivant." - E. Irving.
Active Active verbs, verbs which act on the noun governed.

Active capital. Property in actual employment in a given concern.

Active Commerce. Exports and imports carried to and fro in our own ships. Passive commerce is when they are carried in foreign vessels. The commerce of England is active, of China passive.

Activity The sphere of activity, the whole field through which the influence of an object or person extends.

Acton A taffeta, or leather-quilted dress, worn under the habergeon to keep the body from being chafed or bruised. (French, hocqueton.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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