Consilium abeundi.

As a pendant to yesterday’s Latin post, I present a phrase I learned from Laudator Temporis Acti’s Adam to God. It discusses Heine’s “Adam der Erste”, whose fourth stanza reads:

O Gott! wie erbärmlich ist doch dies
Consilium abeundi!
Das nenne ich einen Magnifikus
Der Welt, ein lumen mundi!

Gilleland gives Peter Branscombe’s translation:

O God! How pitiful this Consilium abeundi is! That’s what I call a real Magnificus of the world, a Lumen mundi!

He thoughtfully provides this explanation from Jeffrey L. Sammons’s Heinrich Heine: A Modern Biography (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979):

There the matter seemed to have rested at the end of the year, but in January 1821 Heine received the consilium abeundi, the “advice to leave,” for half a year; Wiebel was also rusticated and given two weeks in the student prison to boot.

The phrase has its own Wiktionary entry and German Wikipedia article; are any Hatters familiar with it?

Comments

  1. Stu Clayton says:

    In the Michael Jackson song it’s rendered as “beat it!”

  2. Stu Clayton says:

    I see my idea has been prevented:

    # Vollmann bezeichnet das c.a. 1846 als „Wink zum Abschieben“ oder als „Abschiedstanz“.[2] #

    Even today the colloquial injunction “schieb ab!” means exactly “beat it!”

  3. David Marjanović says:

    I had no idea, though it’s all completely in character for what the university system used to be like.

    Even today the colloquial injunction “schieb ab!” means exactly “beat it!”

    And what does that mean? I’m not familiar with it in either language, knowing abschieben only in the meaning “deport foreigners who aren’t granted the right to stay”.

  4. I, also, rusticate on hols.

  5. Stu Clayton says:

    Duden:

    #
    ab|schie|ben <st. V.>:

    1. <hat>

    a) von seinem bisherigen Standort [weg]schieben, schiebend entfernen: das Bett von der Wand a.; Ü die Verantwortung, die Schuld auf andere abzuschieben suchen;

    b) gerichtlich des Landes verweisen, ausweisen: jmdn. aus einem Land, über die Grenze, in sein Heimatland a.; er wurde ohne genaue Angabe des Grundes abgeschoben;

    c) (ugs.) jmdn., um ihn seines Einflusses zu berauben od. weil er als lästig empfunden wird, aus seiner Umgebung entfernen: einen Funktionär [in die Provinz] a.; Ü man wollte den invalide gewordenen Arbeiter in die Frührente a.

    2. (salopp) weggehen : er schob beleidigt ab; schieb ab!
    #

  6. Stuart Clayton says:

    “beat it!” = hau ab! In the US you can also say “shove off!” for schieb ab!

    The metaphorical imagery is strikingly similar in both cases. I conjecture a common origin in Proto-Tocharian.

  7. AJP Crown says:

    “shove off!”
    Jam jars in Britain used to have the exhortation on the lid,

    Pierce with a pin
    and
    push off.

  8. And what does that mean? I’m not familiar with it in either language, knowing abschieben only in the meaning “deport foreigners who aren’t granted the right to stay”.

    “Beat it,” like “Scram,” is an obsolete but still understandable colloquial equivalent of “Go away,” “Get the hell out of here.”

  9. (By “obsolete” I don’t mean “nobody uses it any more” but “not what would leap to the lips of Kids Today.”)

  10. Stu Clayton says:

    Crown: I can’t imagine what such a lid would be like. Was it of wax, covering contents under vacuum pressure (from the heat bath) ?

  11. John Cowan says:

    I, also, rusticate on hols.

    It’s one thing to rusticate and quite another to be rusticated involuntarily. “Mrs. Montagu has dropt me. Now, Sir, there are people whom one should like very well to drop, but would not wish to be dropped by.” —Sam: Johnson

  12. David Eddyshaw says:

    Packaging is often a valuable source of wholesome life advice. “Keep away from children”, for example.

  13. Rodger C says:

    “To open jar, grasp lid firmly and screw up.”

  14. “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip”.

  15. Trond Engen says:

    Norwegian milk packs used to have the life advice Brett ut og bøy helt tilbake “Spread out and bend backwards”. I don’t know it that counts as useful.

  16. Stu Clayton says:

    Useful but naughty.

  17. J.W. Brewer says:

    Never heard “consilium abuendi” and the mere fact that it’s in Latin doesn’t mean it was ever in uniform use in that applied sense throughout all parts of Europe where the educated elite knew Latin. It seems telling that at least two of the old English-language uses (and maybe the third as well, although that’s more ambiguous) cited at wiktionary felt the need to explain to the reader what the phrase meant.

    In ’80’s Yale jargon (although it was maybe semi-archaic then and may well have been “officially” called something else in the official written rules) “rustication” meant not being thrown out of school temporarily but being thrown off campus temporarily — i.e. you couldn’t stay in your dorm room or eat in the dining halls but (assuming you found alternative accommodation somewhere in town) you could still attend classes, go to the library, etc. It was typically a sanction for students who had gotten involved in some sort of conflict with fellow students that made them, in the administration’s judgment, temporarily unsuitable neighbors for the close-quarters nature of on-campus living but did not reflect on their academic competence or integrity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rustication_(academia) indicates the current usage at Rice is more or less consistent with this. Whether the usage in any old-timey European universities, whether Anglophone or Continental, matched this or just meant suspension altogether is unknown to me.

  18. David Marjanović says:

    As it happens I actually knew scram, just not beat it… and German has a few micro-local expressions for this, too.

    the mere fact that it’s in Latin doesn’t mean it was ever in uniform use in that applied sense throughout all parts of Europe where the educated elite knew Latin.

    Indeed. The great big exam at the end of certain school types that confers the right to study at a university, A-levels or GCS A-level in the UK or some part thereof, is Abitur in Germany, Matura in Austria through Poland, and bac(calauréat) in France… all of them transparently Latin.

    Whether the usage in any old-timey European universities, whether Anglophone or Continental, matched this or just meant suspension altogether is unknown to me.

    The very concept of sleeping on campus is American, so I’m guessing “suspension altogether”.

  19. Jen in Edinburgh says:

    The very concept of sleeping on campus is American

    It depends how ‘old-timey’ you want to get – until, what, 1830? – university in England meant Oxford or Cambridge, where you sleep and eat and possibly get taught all in the same building, and can’t even be in the town except at certain hours.

    But rustication meant leaving the whole town.

    (Although the American system is essentially based on the Scottish, I think the old Scottish universities were always places where you lodged in the town.)

  20. Lars (the original one) says:

    What sort of derivation is that New Latin abiturire that is quoted as the basis of Abitur and abiturient? From abire, obviously, verbalization of the future participle? (Also a nice coincidence with abeundi in the OP).

  21. David Marjanović says:

    Oxford or Cambridge, where you sleep and eat and possibly get taught all in the same building

    Thanks, I wasn’t sure about those.

    and can’t even be in the town except at certain hours.

    So the university is not in the town? Despite being so old in both cases?

    verbalization of the future participle?

    I guess.

    An Abiturient or Maturant is someone undergoing or about to undergo the exams.

  22. Jen in Edinburgh says:

    So the university is not in the town? Despite being so old in both cases?

    Sorry, badly phrased. Physically in the town, but not *of* the town.

    I imagine the curfews are gone now – although with those two who knows – but for a long time the gates of the various colleges would be locked at a certain time, and there were university officials who prowled the town looking for stragglers.

  23. AJP Crown says:

    Stu: Crown: I can’t imagine what such a lid would be like. Was it of wax, covering contents under vacuum pressure (from the heat bath) ?

    Post wax & parchment, they were on Wilkin & Sons “Tiptree” jam and marmalade, through 1965ish. They had a thin metal circular lid bent over a little bit around the rim and sealed with a vacuum as you describe. I can’t find a pic. Once you’d pierced and pushed off it couldn’t be securely closed again. You allowed the jam to kinda stick it in place. In the mid-sixties they introduced a screw lid, and reduced the contents from 1lb to 3/4 lb. For the old price, natürlich.

  24. Stu Clayton says:

    Pushed it off, or pulled it off ?? To me “push” here means horizontal motion (pushing down wouldn’t make any sense). Maybe they mean “push up from beneath the rim of the lid”. It’s all a great mystery to me, and I’m not getting paid for this semantic research. It’s my pro bono publico turn in the barrel.

  25. AJP Crown says:

    So the university is not in the town? Despite being so old in both cases?

    Yes, Oxford & Cambridge are in the centre of the towns. The medieval towns grew up around or in between different colleges. These still have gatekeepers & gates that lock and are inward-facing, often with a series of courtyards (or ‘quads’ = quadrangles). The oldest colleges, until Henry VIII and the unpleasantness, I think were run by monks (the Inns of Court in London were too until the 13C), so the courtyard layout – often with an ambulatory or cloister surrounding grass or stone paving on the ground floor and staircases at the corners leading up to study-bedrooms above – isn’t surprising. Here are some pics of Trinity College, Cambridge where the backs of the colleges face the River Cam. Like All Souls (its sundial ) at Oxford, Trinity has some halfway decent 17C building (the library) by Christopher Wren.

  26. AJP Crown says:

    Stu: ??

    Grasping the jar in both hands you pushed the lid upwards with your thumbs.

    I don’t get paid very much for this either. You can apply for a grant. Language knows the details.

  27. Stu Clayton says:

    Huh, plausible but strange. I’ve never done that with a lid. I always work from above, turning it, or from the side to pry open a clamp on the rim with the end of a spoon.

    I think one reason I do this is that the jars and glasses I buy are taller than my thumbs are long. Years ago you (thankfully!) sent me some anchovy paste in little pots that would be perfect to try out the new technique. Unfortunately i’s already et it up.

  28. AJP Crown says:

    The thing about opening Patum is to use a sharp knife to make a horizontal cut halfway up the label. I come from very old Patum (my Gran) so I know how to do it. Otherwise, there’s no instruction so you’d probably have to bite it open.

  29. AJP Wittgenstein says:

    So that’s Cambridge, Tiptree’s jam & Patum: just call me Rupert Brooke.

  30. On the other hand, if you live in a remote location, & somebody gave you some Gentleman’s Relish once, you can make an adequately close facsimile just reading the ingredients on the label, & refill the pot. Particularly if it is one of the attractive “collectible” ceramic pots. Yum. Providing anchovies are available.

  31. Lars (the original one) says:

    Stood above the entrance, in a recessed area above the doorway, a statue of the founder of the college, Henry VIII greets visitors as they enter — found at Crown’s third link.

  32. AJP Crown says:

    Amanda! I was thinking of you because of the wildfire in Spain, hoping you were ok. Yes, my wife is making fake anchovy paste using tinned fake sardines and a bunch of other things. It’s the same grey colour as Patum. Very good.

    Henry VIII. The visitors check in, but they don’t check out.

  33. Is Patum “PAY-tum” or “PAT-um”?

  34. AJP Crown says:

    PAY-

    Don’t ask me why. I suppose it’s just old.

    Actually I just remembered a 42 y-o woman in London who I’m sure did Latin at school who says PAH-tum, non-rhotic, like partum.

  35. Thanks! PAY- is Ye Olde Englisshe Latin, the kind I prefer; PAH- is the classical/restored pronunciation which I leave to the younger set.

  36. See Pace. (“Part of me is apparently a crotchety old Englishman.”)

  37. AJP Crown says:

    I remember, 1966ish, our young Latin teacher who was really into sounding updated & Italian going oorrrbs for urbs, and the headmaster who we’d had the year before, – probably about my age now, 65ish, Winchester, Oxford & the brigade of Guards – who just went ‘erbs’.

    He was the head. What were we to do?

  38. Good man, your headmaster!

  39. Actually, I don’t advocate the “erbs” method when dealing with actual Latin, just Latin-in-English.

  40. AJP Crown says:

    this slightly obnoxious Latinism – haha.

  41. Stood above the entrance, in a recessed area above the doorway, a statue of the founder of the college, Henry VIII greets visitors as they enter

    But you’ve omitted the best part. The old sociopath holds a chair’s leg in his hand.

  42. Stu Clayton says:

    I find pictures of it with the tantalizing caption “irreverent student prank”. But it was something different. Mystery of Trinity chair leg revealed.

  43. Great story!

  44. Lars (the original one) says:

    I was more chuffed to find ‘Northern’ stood (for standing) in the wild, at what is presumably part of the official publications of an Oxbridge institution…

  45. Stu Clayton says:

    I thought of mentionIng that from the article, but then refrained, so as not to spread fake news.

    I watched a youtube clip recently in which a British guy went through 10 major differences between British and American Englishes. He gave many examples of this “I was stood”, “I was sat” business. I decided I don’t believe people actually talk crazy like that, and so it can’t be true. I learned this implication technique from Trump’s approach to climate change.

  46. I was more chuffed to find ‘Northern’ stood (for standing) in the wild

    The statue is inanimate and can therefore both stand and be stood. “The statue stands in the corner.” “I stood the statue in the corner.” “The statue is stood in the corner.”

    Using “stood” for something animate is a regionalism.

  47. Lars (the original one) says:

    The statue is stood in the corner — there is still a difference in telicity, I would normally read this as an event, not a state. But then I’m not a native.

  48. It’s a subtle distinction but I think that “the statue is stood in the corner” implies that someone has, at some point in the past, stood it there. So, thinking about it, “x is stood” is applicable only where x is inanimate and can actually be moved into place. You couldn’t use it of a mountain.

    Or, I suppose, something that while not moveable can be constructed in place, like a tower.

    It can also be used as an event, of course. “The forklift drives in and, with the aid of a chain lift, the statue is stood in the corner.” Compare “is built”, “is placed”, “is planted”, etc.

  49. Lars (the original one) says:

    @ajay, that makes sense.

  50. David Marjanović says:

    So, after the causative to “stand” has long been lost (German stellen), stand itself has taken its place?

  51. Lars (the original one) says:

    OE had stellan, yes. But a lot of the base/causative verb pairs that are still differentiated by combined ablaut and umlaut in Danish, for instance, have merged in English so zero-derived causatives are the norm more or less.

    Now I’m wondering why stande or rather its preterite stod (I don’t remember the PGer form) didn’t form a weak causative, I guess something like støde might have been the result in Danish. (We have another, unrelated, verb of that form now, but it was different in ON and also when has that been a problem?)

    Hmm, ODS tells me that i germ. har verbet opr. baade bet. “staa” og “stille” — that the PGer verb had both senses originally — so no need to derive a causative, I guess.

  52. Yeah, the OED has causative stand going back to the tenth century.

  53. John Cowan says:

    A few weeks ago we had fried fish but no tartar sauce. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was able to make some with one part Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise (in a jar, always on hand because constantly in demand for meat-and-cheese sandwiches) and one part chopped dill pickles (in another jar, bought long ago and never eaten of but once).

    AJP, of course both your master and your headmaster were wrong: the righteous classical pronunciation is [ʊrps], as in the plural of oorp.

  54. Bathrobe says:

    As it happens I actually knew scram, just not beat it.

    Now even Michael Jackson is obsolete.

  55. David Marjanović says:

    Now even Michael Jackson is obsolete.

    I cannot claim the mercy of late birth when it comes to him. I just never listened to any of his songs, or any of anyone else’s songs, except by accident and without paying attention. There’s not a lot of music I like in the first place, and I can’t listen while doing something else.

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