Careful Words

explain (v.)

Stuff the head

With all such reading as was never read:

For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it,

And write about it, goddess, and about it.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): The Dunciad. Book iv. Line 249.

  The quarrel is a very pretty quarrel as it stands; we should only spoil it by trying to explain it.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816): The Rivals. Act iv. Sc. 3.

Me let the tender office long engage

To rock the cradle of reposing age;

With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,

Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death;

Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,

And keep awhile one parent from the sky.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Prologue to the Satires. Line 408.