Online Encyclopedia

CONSOLATION (Fr. consolation, Lat. co...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 979 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CONSOLATION (Fr. consolation, Lat. consolatio, from consolari, to assuage, comfort, console), in general, the soothing of disappointment or grief. The word is applied equally to the action of consoling, to the state of being consoled, and to the instruments by which comfort is brought. Thus we speak of a person making attempts at consolation, of receiving consolation, and e.g. of the consolations of religion. In the sense of compensation for loss, the word " consolation " has had a variety of adaptations. Of its use in ecclesiastical Latin, in this sense, Du Cange gives various instances. Thus the synod of Angers (453) decreed that those clerics " qui sunt caelibes, nonnisi a sororibus aut amatis aut matribus consolentur "; consolatio was also the name given,e.g., to the evening meal given to monks after the regular collation " by way of consolation " and to certain payments made to members of chapters over and above the revenues of their benefices. In an analogous sense we use the word in such combinations as " consolation prize," " consolation race," " consolation stakes," meaning such as are open only to competitors who have not won in any preceding " event." Consolation is also the name of a French gambling game, so called because it is usually played on and about race-courses after the races have been run and the players have presumably lost. The necessary implements are a board divided into sections numbered from r to 6, upon which the players place their stakes, and a die which is shaken in a box and thrown onthe board. The banker, usually a professional gambler, pays five times the money on the winning number and pockets the rest. His chances of winning are overwhelming, as the die is never thrown until a stake has been placed upon all six compartments.
End of Article: CONSOLATION (Fr. consolation, Lat. consolatio, from consolari, to assuage, comfort, console)
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