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[13arg] Of some unusual words, which are used in either voice and are called by the grammarians “common.”

UTOR, vereor, hortor and consolor are “common” verbs and can be used either way: “I respect you” and “I am respected by you,” that is, “you respect me”; “I use you” and “I am used by you,” that is, “you use me”; “I exhort you” and “I am exhorted by you,” that is, “you exhort me”; “I console you” and “I am consoled by you,” that is, “you console me.” Testor too and interpretor are used in a reciprocal sense. But all these words are [p. 93] unusual in the second of these meanings, and it is a matter of inquiry whether they are ever so used. Afranius in The Cousins says: 1
Lo! there his children hold a sire's life cheap,
Where rather feared than honoured (vereri) he would be.
Here vereor is used in its less common sense. Novius also in the Wood-dealer uses the word utor with a passive meaning: 2
Since a deal of gear is bought which is not used (utitur).
That is, “which is not to be used.” Marcus Cato in the fifth book of his Origins has this: 3 “He led forth his army, fed, ready, and encouraged (cohortatum), and drew it up in order of battle.” We find consolor also used in a different sense from the one which it commonly has, in a letter of Quintus Metellus, which he wrote during his exile to Gnaeus and Lucius Domitius. “But,” he says, “when I realize your feeling towards me, I am very greatly consoled (consolor), and your loyalty and worth are brought before my eyes.” Marcus Tullius used testata and interpretata in the same manner in the first book of his work On Divination, 4 so that testor and interpreter ought also to be considered to be “common” verbs. Sallust too in a similar way says: 5 “The goods of the proscribed having been given away (dilargitis),” indicating that largior is one of the “common” verbs. Moreover, we see that veritum, like puditum and [p. 95] pigitum, is used impersonally and indefinitely, 6 not only by the earlier writers, but also by Marcus Tullius in the second book of his De Finibus. 7 “First (I will refute),” says he, “the view of Aristippus and of all the Cyrenaic philosophers, to whom it caused no fear 8 (veritum est) to assign the highest good to that pleasure which affects the senses with greatest delight.”

Dignor, too, veneror, confiteor and testor are treated as “common” verbs. Thus we find in Virgil: 9

Of wedlock high with Venus worthy deemed (dignale),
and 10
Revered in prayer (venerata), shall grant a voyage safe.
Moreover, confessi aeris, meaning a debt of which admission is made, is written in the Twelve Tables in these words: 11 “For an admitted debt, when the matter has been taken into court, let the respite be thirty days.” Also in those same Tables we find this: 12 “Whoever shall allow himself to be summoned as a witness or shall act as a balance-holder, 13 if he does not give his testimony, let him be regarded as dishonoured and incapable of giving testimony in the future.”

[p. 97]

1 ii. 33, Ribbeck3.

2 v. 43, Ribbeck3.

3 Frag. 101, Peter2.

4 § 87 and § 53

5 Hist. i. 49, Maur.

6 That is, without having a particular person or thing as its subject.

7 § 39.

8 i.e. who did not scruple.

9 Aen. iii. 475.

10 Aen. iii. 460.

11 iii. 1.

12 viii. 22.

13 That is, in a symbolic sale, when the purchaser touched a balance with a coin. See note on v. 19. 3 (vol. i., p. 436).

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