And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.…
I think that one of the master incantations, one of the most signal deceits, which we practise upon ourselves, comes from the use of language. There are words that we learn in childhood which we abandon when we come to manhood. Generally speaking, our fireside words are old Saxon words — short, knotty, tough, and imbued with moral and affectional meanings; but as we grow older these words are too rude and plain for our use, and so we get Latin terms and periphrases by which to express many of our thoughts. When we talk about ourselves we almost invariably use Latin words, and when we talk about our neighbours we use Saxon words. And one of the best things a man can do, I think, is to examine himself in the Saxon tongue. If a man tells that which is contrary to the truth let him not say, "I equivocate"; let him say, "I lie." Lie! why, it brings the judgment day right home to a man's thought. Men do not like it, but it is exactly the thing that will most effectually touch the moral sense; and the more the moral sense is touched the better. If a man has departed from rectitude in his dealings with another, let him not say, "I took advantage," which is a roundabout long sentence: let him say, "I cheated." That is a very direct word. It springs straight to the conscience, as the arrow flies whizzing from the bow to the centre of the mark. Does it grate harshly on your ear? Nevertheless, it is better that you should employ it; and you should come to this determination: "I will call things that I detect in my conduct by those clear-faced, rough-tongued words that my enemies would use if they wanted to sting me to the quick."
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.