|| residence of the Bishops of
Angers. On the dial are the arms of Jean de Vaugirard who was Bishop in
1753. The sun's face in the centre sends its rays towards the hours.
The arms of France are on the style, which is of copper. The motto is a
flattering allusion to the Bishop's office.
|| LUMEN ET TENEBRÆ SUMUS.
We are light and darkness.
On a seventeenth century house at Kayserberg.
|| LUMEN ET UMBRA DEI.
1672. Light and shadow of God.
"At Tredegar, Monmouthshire, in a room panelled with cedar, one pane of
the window is marked with the lines and hours for a sun-dial, radiating
from a projecting gnomon, and beneath it is the above motto burnt in
the glass. (N. and Q., 4th S., iv. 143.)
LUMEN IN UMBRA:
Light in shadow: light from within.
LUMEN AB INTUS.
On the cathedral at Autun, below two dials painted on the south angle
of the Chapel of St. Joseph. The building seems to belong to the
|| LUMEN ME REGIT VOS
UMBRA. The light guides me, the shadow you.
At Barlow Hall, Lancashire, on a dial supposed to have been erected
about the year 1574 by Alexander Barlow.
|| LUMEN NON FLAMMA.
Light not flame.
Formerly on the Collège du Marché, Paris, with No. 675.
|| LUMEN UMBRA DEI.
Light (is) the shadow of God.
On a window dial, and also in the garden, at Groombridge Place, Kent.
See No. 1506.
|| LUMINIS ASPECTU
REDAMETUR LUMINIS AUCTOR. As we gaze on the light, let us
love light's Creator for His love to us.
On the cathedral, Nevers.
LUX DEI VITÆ VIAM MONSTRAT,
On a fine vertical dial set up in 1891 on an old stone wall which
marked the northern boundary of the grounds of the Sta. Barbara Mission
in California. It is in full view of the highway, so can be seen by all
the passers by."It is a pretty sight,"says the writer in the "Andover
Review." "to see the picturesque native Californians stopping to read
the Latin, in their softened Spanish accent, with evident compre-
SED UMBRA HORAM ATQUE FIDEM DOCET.
The light of God showeth the way of Life,
But the shadow telleth both the hour and teacheth the faith.
|| hension." There is also the
inscription: "This dial was made, inscribed and set by Rowland Hazard
of Peace Dale, Rhode Island, in a part of the Sta. Barbara Mission
wall, built 1786, standing on his land."
|| LUX DEI VESTIGIUM.
Light is God's footprint.
At the Church of the Frari, Venice.
|| LUX DIEI, LEX DEI.
The light of day is the law of God.
On Whitburn Church, co. Durham.
LUX ET UMBRA VICISSIM SED SEMPER AMOR.
This motto was composed by Mr. Bodley, F. S. A., and given by him to
the Hon. Mrs. R. C. Boyle for a horizontal dial in the garden at
Huntercombe Manor, Maidenhead. It is also on a dial at Parkstone,
erected by the owner in memory of a brother, and placed in his
Light and shadow by turns, but love always.
||LVX . IN TENEBRIS
Light shineth in the darkness and measureth
out the days.
On a brass universal ring dial bought in London by Mr. Hilton (see
Chronograms, vol. iii. ). The date given is 1734.
|| LUX LAETITIA EST.
Light is joy.
On the presbytère, Le Chazelet (Hautes Alpes).
|| LUX MEA LEX. Light
In the court of the Hôtel de Ville At Epinal.
|| LUX POST UMBRAM.
Light after shadow.
Was read as a dial motto in the north of Italy.
|| LUX TUA VITA MEA.
Thy light (is) my life.
At Mapledurham House, near Reading. The motto is that of the Blount
family, to whom the place belongs.
|| LUX UMBRA DEI.
Light (is) the shadow of God.
At Ripley, Surrey, with other mottoes (see No. 1002);
on Dymock Church, Gloucestershire; at Finchley; at West Boldon, co.
|| it has been seen in the north
of Italy; and was formerly on the church at Great Smeaton, Yorkshire
(see No. 1020).
|| LUX UMBRAM PRÆBET,
MYSTERIA AUTEM VERITAS. 1841. The light makes shadow,
but the truth makes mysteries.
On the church at Château Queyras (with Nos. 270
1740 YEARS OF
A STONE OF STUMBLING.
SEE ISAIAH VIII. 14, 15.
PS. CXIX. 165. EZEK. III. 20.
A STUMBLING BLOCK.
BEWARE OF HIM.
MAL. I. II.
SCULPTOR ISRAELITE. ISAIAH, XLIV. 5.
MAKER. I AM 58 YEARS OLD.
This extraordinary inscription is carved in stone on the
two sides of a
dial plate which is inserted in the slab, and fixed against a house in
the village of Wentworth, on Earl Fitzwilliam's Yorkshire estate. It
has puzzled many passers by; but the Rev. Dr. Moses Margoliouth has
offered a solution of the mysterious motto in "Notes and Queries," Ist
Ser., vol. iv., p. 378. He assumes it to have been the work of a Jewish
mason, probably employed in the erection of Wentworth Woodhouse, who
had become a convert to Christianity, and who sought to allure his
Hebrew brethren to a like change of faith. The Hebrew characters form
no word that can be found in the language, but they are the initial
letters of the following words:
which express, "The King Messiah, the Shiloh, the Lord my Shepherd." Dr
Margoliouth regards the motto as a veiled admission on the part of the
Israelite of his conversion to Christianity, given after a national
mode of Eastern communication. It will be observed that the Scriptural
references are confined to the books of the Old Testament, so as not to
alarm the inquiring reader. Dr. Margoliouth concludes his criticism
thus: "One may well imagine an Israelite or two observing from the road
the Hebrew characters, ממשיד for they are very
large, and are seen afar off – and after puzzling over their intent and
purport for some time, proceed to ask for an explanation from the
major-domo. The master, delighted that the bait caught, vouchsafes, in
his peculiarly eccentric style, to lecture on his own device, and thus
reads to his brethren a sermon in stone." By referring to the passages
cited in the inscription, the reader will better understand the learned
MACHINA, BIS SEXTAS QUAE JUSTE DIVIDIT
This appears in Paris, on a turret of the Palais de Justice; a sun-dial
was formerly there, but has been replaced by a clock.
JUSTITIAM SERVARE MONET, LEGESQUE TUERI.
This device, which rightly divides the twelve hours
Warns you to guard justice and observe the laws.
|| MAESTIS LENTAE,
CELERES GAUDENTIBUS HORAE. Slow to the sorrowing, swift to
the joying, pass the hours.
At Stra, near Padua; and also, with the first word missing, on a house
by the roadside between Ventimiglia and Bordighera.
"How lazily time creeps about
To one that mourns!"
BISHOP H. KING.
|| MAGNI MOMENTI MINUTIAE.
Trifles are of great import.
On the Grand Séminaire, Avignon (with Nos. 75
|| MAKE HASTE, TIME FLIES.
On Lady Ossington's coffee house, Newark.
MAN BEST ERWÄHLT
At Nuremberg, recorded in "The Monthly Packet," October, 1886, p. 396.
DER NUR HEITERE STUNDEN ZÄHLT.
He hath made his choice aright.
Who counteth but the hours of light.
|| MAN FLEETH AS A SHADOW.
A square dial, once painted red with a green border, is on a gable over
the porch of the picturesque old church at Wycliffe-on-the-Tees, and
bore the motto from Job, xiv. 2. The dial is now quite defaced and
useless. Wycliffe is the reputed birthplace of the great Reformer, and
is very beautifully situated. The same motto was formerly on the church
at Staindrop, co. Durham; and it is still on a square dial upon the
south wall of the aisle of Maxey Church, Northamptonshire.
|| MAN FLEETH AS IT WERE
A SHADOW. 1803.
On the south porch of Hamsterley Church, co. Durham.
|| MAN GOETH TO HIS WORK.
CHILDREN OF LIGHT. THE NIGHT COMETH. A REST
FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
|| These mottoes are inscribed
on the four faces of a stone shaft in the churchyard at Upton St.
Leonards, Gloucestershire; there are dial-plates on the east, south,
and west faces.
|| MAN IS A SHADOW.
Over the porch of Stowmarket Church, Suffolk.
|| MAN IS LIKE A THING OF
NOUGHT, HIS TIME PASSETH AWAY LIKE A SHADOW (Psalm cxliv. 4).
On a horizontal dial in Frittenden Churchyard.
|| MAN'S DAYS ARE AS A
SHADOW THAT PASSETH AWAY.
With other mottoes on Prince Albert Victor's dial, Edinburgh
Exhibition, 1886. See No. 1306.
|| MANCHER ACTS, MANCHER
VERLACHTS, MANCHER BETRACTS. WAS MACHTS? MUSSIGANG
MUTTER ALLE LASD(T)ER. OMNIA HUMANA VANA. MEIN
WERK JA NICHT VERACHT, BEVOR DU NICHT HAST EIN BESSERES GEMACHT.
NI(C)HIL DIFFICILE EST VOLENTI. HORA FUGIT.
SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI. Many a man heeds it, many
a man despises it, many a man
looks at it. What matters it? Idleness is the mother of all
vice. All things human are vain. Be sure you do not despise
my handiwork before you have made a better yourself. Nothing is
difficult to the willing. The hour flies. So passes
the glory of the world.
These quaint mottoes are all inscribed on a curious wooden block,
bearing several dials, in Mr. Evans' collection.
|| MANE NOBISCUM, DOMINE,
QUONIAM ADVESPERASCIT. Abide with us, O Lord, for it is
toward evening (St. Luke, xxiv. 29).
This text is written on an illustration of a west dial in a French MS.
on dials in the possession of Lewis Evans, Esq. The MS. appears to have
been written at Nancy in the first part of the eighteenth century.
|| MANE PIGER STERTIS,
FUGIT HORA. In the morning thou snorest sluggishly – the
Recorded as a dial motto, but no locality assigned. The first three
words are from Persius, 5, 132.
MANE QUAERIS HORAM:
In the morning thou askest the hour: later perchance
comes thy hour.
SERO FORTE (TUA). 1814.
On two complementary dials at Abriès (Hautes Alpes).
|| MANEO NEMINI.
I wait for no one.
There is a dial which bears this inscription, and surrounded by creeper
foliage, on Middleton Tyas Hall, near Richmond, Yorks. The
|| same motto occurs in a small
hamlet, near Baslow, Derbyshire. See No. 330.
|| MANET ULTIMA CŒLO.
The end is in heaven.
At Regune, Canton de Taverne (Tarn).
MARK WELL MY SHADE, AND SERIOUSLY ATTEND
On the sun-dial of Thornby Church, Northamptonshire.
THE COMMON LESSON OF A SILENT FRIEND,
FOR TIME AND LIFE SPEED RAPIDLY AWAY,
NEITHER CAN YOU RECALL THE FORMER DAY.
YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO RECALL THE PAST,
BUT LIVE THOU THIS DAY AS IF THE LAST.
|| MARQUI QUAND JALO (JE
MARQUE QUAND IL GÈLE). I mark (the time) when it freezes.
On the façade of the old Mairie at Montolieu (Aude), which stood above
one of the now destroyed city gates. In front of this building was a
tree which intercepted the rays of the sun, except in winter when it
was leafless. The dial then showed the hours.
MAY THE DREAD BOOK AT OUR LAST TRIAL,
On a dial which projects from the sill of the library window at Arley
Hall, Cheshire, the seat of R. Egerton-Warburton, Esq. It has also Horas
non numero nisi serenas. Comp. No. 1384.
WHEN OPEN SPREAD, BE LIKE THIS DIAL;
MAY HEAVEN FORBEAR TO MARK THEREIN
THE HOURS MADE DARK BY DEEDS OF SIN;
THOSE ONLY IN THAT RECORD WRITE
WHICH VIRTUE, LIKE THE SUN, MAKES BRIGHT.
MAY THOSE BE BLEST WITH LENGTH OF DAYS
This pious tribute to the "glorious and immortal memory" is recorded in
"Notes and Queries," 4th Ser., x., November, 1872, as an Orange
inscription in the Green County of Roscommon.
WHO STILL PROCLAIM KING WILLIAM'S PRAISE.
La Salle-les-Alpes (05)
| ME LUMEN VOS UMBRA
REGIT. The light rules me. The shadow you.
At Lesneven, in Brittany; in the garden of the hospital of St. Jacques,
Besançon (see No. 75); and on the Town
Hall, Saltash, with "Edward Stephens, fecit 1727." The first four words
and date 1783 are at La Salle (Hautes Alpes).
|| ME ORTUM VIDES FORSAN
NON OCCASUM. Risen thou seest
me (the sun) perhaps not set.
On one of the faces of a pillar-dial at Borranshill House, near
Carlisle, with No. 1337. The pillar was
erected by a member of the
|| Heysham family; it bears on
the summit a vase ornamented with doves, and crowned by a lion passant
regardant – the Heysham crest. The pillar is about 7 feet high.
Borranshill now belongs to Colonel Wybergh.
|| ME SOL VOS UMBRA REGIT.
The sun rules me, the shadow you.
At Auterive, near Auch (Gers); at St. Andras (Ariège); at Tonneins (Lot
et Garonne); and formerly in the Rue d'Enfer, Paris.
|| MEAM NON TUAM NOSCIS.
Thou knowest my hour, not thine
Copied at Poirino, Piedment.
MEAM VIDE UMBRAM,
Behold my shadow, and thou shalt behold thy life.
TUAM VIDEBIS VITAM.
On a small leaden dial in the Musée Lorrain, at Bar-le-duc, adorned
with the sun's face in the centre. The figures 1432 also appear, but
these cannot represent the date of the instrument, which is
|| MEDIUM NON DESERIT
UNQUAM. It never leaves the middle.
On a parish church, Capolago. The motto probably refers to the gnomon.
MEIN LEBEN WEICHET SCHNELL DAHIN
On a honestone dial in Mr. Evans' collection.
IN DEM ICH NUR EIN SCHATTEN BIN.
My life passes quickly away,
For I am but a shadow.
|| MEMENTO FINIS.
1816. Remember the end. Ecclus. xxxvi. 10.
At Ville Vallouise, and at Le Villard (Hautes Alpes).
MEMENTO HOMO QUIA PULVERE ES,
Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust shalt
ET IN PULVERE REVERTERIS.
At Évian (Savoy).
|| MEMENTO HORAE
NOVISSIMAE. 1798. Remember thy last hour.
Inscribed on a semi-circular dial on a cottage beside the road, on the
eastern side of Bordighera, near Ospedaletti. It is placed almost
immediately under the roof, and motto and date being below. On the
right hand side a lamp projects from the wall, and hangs in front of a
niche, where there is an image of the Madonna.
|| MEMENTO MORI.
This admonition has frequently been chosen as a motto for dials,
especially in the North of England. It was formerly on Croft Church,
|| Yorkshire, dated 1816; and on
Rotherham Church (see No. 425). It has
been seen on Bishop Middleham Church, dated 1741; on Aycliffe Church,
co. Durham; at Wetherall, Cumberland, with No. 66;
and also on the Sun-dial Inn at Stroud (see No. 1337).
It has been read abroad on a dial at Monthey, Canton
Valais, dated 1804; on the church at Amsoldingen, Canton Berne; on the
church at Anêt; and at Cherville (Maine et Loire).
The same motto is on the church porch at Skipton,
Yorkshire. The porch
was built in 1866, and replaced an old structure on which there was a
stone sun-dial; the present one is of brass. The words also occur in
the parish register with a note of the burial, in 1665, of Robert
Sutton, M. A., who for "fforty & three years was Vicar of the sayde
place. His funeral sermon was preached by his son & onely son
Thomas Sutton, on this text (2 Kings, xi. 12), 'Memento mori. One
generation goeth & another cometh!'" An older dial, without a
motto, is traced on the church tower, which was destroyed during the
siege of Skipton Castle in the Civil Wars, 1642-45, and rebuilt by
Anne, Countess of Pembroke, in 1655.
The same words were chosen by Thackeray for the dial at
which figures in one of his beautiful descriptions: "There was in the
court a peculiar silence somehow; and the scene remained long in
Esmond's memory. The sky bright overhead; the buttresses of the
building, and the sun-dial casting shadow over the gilt 'Memento Mori'
inscribed underneath; the two dogs – a black greyhound, a spaniel
nearly white, the one face up to the sun, and the other snuffing
amongst the grass and stones: and my lord leaning over the fountain
which was plashing audibly. 'Tis strange how that scene, and the sound
of that fountain, remain fixed on the memory of a man who has beheld a
hundred sights of splendour and danger, too, of which he has kept no
account" ("Esmond," chap. xiv. ).
A correspondent reminds us that a certain well-known
Worcester College, Oxford, suggested as the motto for a snuff-box made
out of an old mulberry tree, "Memento mori – Remember the mulberry
||MEMOR ESTO BREVIS AEVI.
1764. Bear in mind how short
Over the porch entrance at Bittadon Church, North Devon. The porch is
enveloped in ivy, from which the dial face peers out. The same motto,
without date, also occurs at Checkley, Staffordshire.
"O gentlemen, the time of life is short,
To spend that shortness basely were too long
If life did ride upon a dial's point
Still ending at the arrival of an hour."
|| MEMOR ULTIMAE UTERE
PRAESENTI. Declinat G. R. xxxvi. An. Dom. MDCCCXXXIV.
Joh. Antonivs Teppati, Tavrini, delineavit. Mindful of the last
(hour), employ the present.
|| On the wall of a court in the
Hospital della Consolazione, or Santa Maria in Portico, Rome.
|| MEMORARE NOVISSIMA TUA.
1832. Remember thy end. – Ecclus. vii. 36.
At St. Geoire (Isère); and on the Maison du Bac, La Rivière. The first
two words are on the curé's house, St. Paul d'Izeaux, dated 1812; and
at St. Etienne de St. Geoirs. The same words were inscribed by Bishop
Lancelot Andrewes inside the ring which he wore as prelate of the Order
of the Garter.
|| MÉNAGERS, SOYEZ
VIGILANTS, LES HEURES PASSENT. Labourers, take heed, the
On a country house at La Verdière.
|| MENTIRI NON EST MEUM.
It is not possible to me to lie.
Given by Charles Leadbetter in his "Mechanick Dialling," 1756, as on a
dial "facing Billingsgate where the Dealers in Coals assemble daily."
The motto was formerly on Ebberston Church, near Scarborough, with No. 942.
|| MENTRE CH'IO PARLO IL
TEMPO FUGGI. 1776, While I speak, time flies.
With three other words now illegible. At Rives (Isère).
MENTRE L'ASTRO SUPREMO IL DISCO RUOTA
By the roadside wall between Santa Caterina and Bormio.
E L'ORE, E IL TEMPO ALL'UOM VIATOR MISURA,
AH ! L'UOM VIATOR TRAPASSA E QUELLO DURA.
While the supreme star turns its disc
It measures the hours and time to man the traveller.
Ah! man, the traveller, dies, and that (the sun) endures.
||METS CHAQUE HEURE À
PROFIT ET SURTOUT LA DERNIÈRE. Use
each hour well, especially the last.
At Pézenas (Hérault).
||MI DI OOR TEGNI CUNT O
MENASIN, PODET DINN ALTRETANT? (IO
DELLE ORE TENGO CONTO. VOI DI MENAGGIO, POTETE DIRE ATTRITANTO?)
I keep an account of the hours; O citizen of
Menaggio, can you say the same?
This motto, in the Lombard dialect, is at Menaggio, on the Lake of
MI FECE D'ARCHIMEDE L'ALTA SCUOLA
IL SOL MI DÀ LA VITA E LA PAROLA.
Designed by Archimedes' lofty mind,
In the sunlight life and speech I find.
||This motto, with the date
1859, and name, "Carolus Sachi, Trigon,
desine, pinxit," is on a dial erected on the wall of one of the courts
of the immense château of the Counts Arconati, at Rho, near Milan. The
last descendant of this ancient Milanese family, which dated from the
fourteenth century, was buried at Milan in 1870.
MIA VITA È IL SOL: DELL' UOM LA VITA È
On the wall of a monastery, now suppressed, in the neighbourhood of
SENZA ESSO È L'UOM, QUAL SENZA SOL SON' IO.
My life is the sun: God is the life of man,
Man without Him, is as I am without the sun.
||MIG LEDER SOLEN EI
SKUGGEN. The sun leads me, not
This was read in 1897 on the inside band of a globe dial which was
lying on a rubbish heap in an outhouse at the royal residence, Rosendal
Djurgarden, near Stockholm.
LVX ET SALVS. God is my light and
At Hadleigh, Suffolk (see No. 1393). A
chronogram, A.D. 1627.
||MIND YOUR BUSINESS.
On a church tower at Furneaux Pelham, Herts, with No. 1408; formerly at Falsgrave, Scarborough.
||MINUTÆ SUNT QUÆ
SPECTAS, NON QUÆ PERDIS. What you
look at are minutes, not what you lose.
A moment – mark how small a space
On a sun-dial in Oxford, near the Clerk of the Peace's office. The dial
bears the arms of Thomas, Earl (afterwards Marquis) of Wharton, Lord
Lieutenant of Oxfordshire from 1691 to 1702.
The Dial shows upon its face;
Yet waste but one – and you will see
O how great moment it can be.
||MISSPEND NO TIME.
At Micheldean (see No. 354).
"Employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure, and since thou
art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour." – BENJAMIN
||MOBILE TEMPUS HORA NON
REMORANTE FUGIT. The hour
stays not, the time quick moving flies.
||MONEO, DUM MOVEO.
I warn whilst I move.
Formerly on a summer-house at Danby Hall, near Leyburn, Yorkshire; but
the dial has now been moved, and placed above the
||principal door of the stables.
The same motto was formerly on the
Market Cross at King's Lynn (see No. 248).
||MONEO NON MANEO.
I warn, I do not stay.
In the flower garden at Cokethorpe Park, Oxfordshire.
|| MONSTRAT IN SILENTIO.
W. Keall fecit. 1801. It shows (the hour) in silence.
On a dial in a garden belonging to a correspondent of "County Life,"
December 24th, 1898 (Mr. J. C. Davies).
||MONSTRO VIAM, PERGE
SECURUS. I show the way, proceed
On a ivory compass dial made by Hans Troschel, 1600-1668, in Mr. Evans'
collection (comp. No. 967). This motto is
often used on compass dials. Mr. Evans has three in his collection
similarly inscribed; one of these is dated 1612.
||MORS DE DIE ACCELERAT.
1796. Death hastens on day by
This inscription was on a dial over an archway in the stable-yard at
Kiplin Hall, near Catterick.
When the collector (Mrs. Gatty) last saw it, in 1864,
the motto had been painted over. The dial was made by a villager named
Bonner, who died about 1818; and in 1838 the collector sketched his
widow at her cottage in Kiplin, and received the information from her.
The same motto is in the churchyard at Derwent, in
dial is made of a soft gray stone or slate, in shape like an heraldic
shield, and is mounted on an oak beam, which was probably taken out of
the old chapel of the fourteenth century.
||MORS VENIT, HORA FUGIT,
METUAS MORTEM VENIENTEM. Death
approaches, the hour flies, fear thou the approach of death.
On an ivory compass dial in Mr. Evans' collection (see No. 37).
MORTAL, WHILE THE SUNNY BEAM
TELLS THEE HERE HOW TIME IS FLYING;
HASTE THE MOMENTS TO REDEEM,
FOR ETERNITY PROVIDING.
WINTERS PASS AND SPRINGS RENEW
TO MATURITY ADVANCING,
YOUTH TO PLEASURE SIGHS ADIEU
IN THE FIELDS OF CHILDHOOD DANCING.
MANHOOD SINKS TO HOARY AGE
AND A NIGHT THAT HAS NO MORNING;
O LET WISDOM NOW ENGAGE,
HEAR HER DICTATES AND TAKE WARNING.
WISELY STILL THE MOMENTS USE,
MAN IS EVERY MOMENT DYING;
WHILST THIS TABLET YOU PERUSE,
O REMEMBER TIME IS FLYING.
In the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1829, ii. p. 39, it is
that the above stanzas are written on a sun-dial on Gainford
Church porch. They are no longer there.
|| MORTEL, L'ÉTERNITÉ
APPROCHE. 1823. Mortal, eternity draws near.
On a church at Méaudre (Isère).
MORTEL QUI CHÉRISSEZ CE TEMPLE DE FOLIE,
At St. Chaffrey (Hautes Alpes).
PENSE QUE VOTRE JOUR S'Y PASSE AVEC LA VIE. 1835.
Mortal, why cling to this temple of frailty
Since your time therein ends with your life?
||MORTEL, SANS LE TRAVAIL
RIEN N'EXISTE POUR TOI. Mortal,
life is worth nothing without work.
At Ardennes, near Forcalquier (Basses Alpes).
MORTEL VEUX TU FIXER LE PARTAGE DU TEMS
At Bellerive, near Albi (Tarn).
MARQUE PAR UN BIENFAIT CHACUN DE TES INSTANS.
Mortal, wouldst thou note the division of time
Let a good deed mark each moment of thy life.
MORTELS QUI VIVONS À L'OMBRE RESSEMBLONS,
Le Pinet, Briançon.
LE PETIT RIEN S'EN VA NOUS NI PENSONS PAS. 1770.
Mortals who living resemble the shadow
The little nothing goes by and we think not of it.
MOSTRO L'ORE A CIASCUN, CHE NON SIA GONZO
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
PERO DIPINTO SON, E NON DI BRONZO.
I show the hour to all except the ass,
'Tis true I am hand-painted, not of brass.
||MOTUM SOLIS ADAEQUAT.
It copies the movement of the
On the Préfecture Maritime, Toulon.
||MOTUS PERPETUUS, SOLIS
DISTINGUIT TEMPORA . VIGILATE . QUÆRE UT
Ever it moves, and marks out the periods of
Watch ye. Seek that thou mayest find.
||On an engraving of a dial in
"The making of a small portable
instrument," by C. Delamain.
Soon (cometh) night.
On the south porch of Elsworth Church, near Cambridge; and on a house
in Double Street, Spalding, with the date 1773. Also on a flint church
at Dennington, Suffolk, where the dial is fixed on the battlement, and
beneath, on a scroll, is written:
Many of these flint-built churches are very handsome; round the base of
this one the flints are arranged in patterns to represent the emblems
of the Passion and other designs. Mrs. Ewing saw and sketched the dial
THE MOMENT PAST
LAID MANY FAST.
"Our mechanical arbitrary division of time is a very false one. See how
one day drags along, and how quickly another passes. The true measure
of time is that which makes every man's life a day. The real night is
that in which no man can work." – J. H. Ewing.
MOYLL Y LAA MIE FASTYR
Formerly in the Isle of Man, now in Mr. Evans' possession (see Nos. 161, 788).
BAASE JIU AGH BIOYS MARAGH.
Praise the good day in the evening,
Death may be greedy of life on the morrow.
||MULIER, AMICTA SOLE,
ORA PRO NOBIS, SANCTA DEI GENITRIX. Lady, clothed with the
sun, pray for us, holy Mother of
At Hallstadt, near Salzburg, on the house of the Roman Catholic priest.
The figure of the Blessed Virgin is painted on the wall, seated, and
holding the gnomon of a dial. Its shadow falls on a scroll beneath
where the numerals are figured.
MULTA FERUNT COMMODA SECUM
Many a good thing they bring with them, many a one they
take as they go.
MULTA RECEDENTES ADIMUNT.
From Horace, "Ars Poetica," 175, 176. Formerly on the Route de Marly,
Paris (with No. 769).
MVTVA SIC HOMINES VTIÑA CÕCORDIA ĨVGAT
O that mutual goodwill would so unite mankind, that
they should be willing to share all goods alike.
VT SIBI PARTIRI COMODA CŨCTA VELINT.
TYNDARIDÆ ALTERNIS FRATRES VIXERE
AT NOBIS VITAM DIVIDIT UNA DIES.
1658 RESTAURATUM ANNO 1700.
The sons of Tyndarus lived on alternate days, but
one day cuts the thread of our life.
Seen on the cathedral at Albi, in 1877. The mottoes were upon two
dials, facing east and west; the gnomons had disappeared, and the
numerals were nearly illegible. Above each dial was an angel bearing a
MY CHANGE IS SURE, IT MAY BE SOON,
On the south wall of the Unitarian chapel, at Blackley, Lancashire.
EACH HASTENING MINUTE LEADS ME ON:
THE AWFUL SUMMONS DRAWETH NIGH,
AND EVERY DAY I LIVE TO DIE. 1697.
||MY DAYS ARE LIKE A
SHADOW THAT DECLINETH. – Psalm cii.
Over the door of St. Vigean's church, Arbroath, N.B.; and on a
horizontal dial supported by a cluster of light columns, in Haley Hill
Cemetery, near Halifax. There is no date, but the dial was probably
erected in 1856 when the cemetery was opened.
"Every day is a little life, in the account whereof we may reckon a
birth from the womb of the morning, our growing time from thence to
noon (when we are as the sun in its strength); after which, like a
shadow that declineth, we hasten to the evenings of our age, till at
last we close our eyes in sleep, the image of death; and our whole life
is but the tale of a day told over and over." – SIR WILLIAM
MY TIME IS IN THY HAND. –
Psalm xxxi. 17.
R.A.G. F.E.G. 1875.
This text was engraved on the base of a pedestal,
bearing a horizontal dial, which stood in the garden of Bradfield
Rectory, Sheffield, whilst the Rev. Reginald Alfred Gatty was rector
there. The dial plate has since been removed. The same text was adopted
by the late Bernard Wake, Esq., and placed by him, with verse 18 from
the same Psalm (xxxi.) on a handsome vertical dial at Abbeyfield near
Sheffield. It was recently inscribed (with No. 645)
by H. R. H. the Princess of Wales on a dial at Sandringham; and in 1899
was placed by the Rev.
|| Degge W. Sitwell on the
church of Leamington Hastings, when the dial there was repainted.
||NAE MAN CAN TETHER TIME
On a dial lately erected by Lord Torpichen, at Calder Hall. The motto,
from Burns' "Tam o' Shanter," was chosen by Mr. Thomas Ross.
||NASCE, MUORE. It
is born, it dies.
At Dolce Acqua, near Bordighera.
||NASCIMUR AD MORTEM.
We are born unto death.
Formerly on the Route de Marly, Paris. See No. 763.
NATUS HOMO EX UTERO, BREVIORI TEMPORE
On a church above Menaggio; the text is taken from Job, xiv. I, 2.
UT FLOS EGREDITUR, SED VELUT UMBRA FUGIT.
Man born of woman, living for a very short time,
Cometh forth like a flower, but fleeth as a shadow.
||NATUS MORIERE FAC BENE
VIVAS. Having been born, thou
shalt die, see thou live well.
On an engraving of a dial in Joanis Voellius' "De horologiis
||NATUS MORTUUS. Born
On a dial at Bellentre, near Bourg S. Maurice. It is very difficult to
understand this motto. Dr. Littledale thought it perhaps meant that
time is gone immediately on coming, so that its birth and death are at
once. But then the words ought to be feminine to agree with hora,
or neuter to agree with tempus, not masculine.
||NE ABUTERE. Misuse
At Etienne de St. Geoirs (Isère).
NE COMPTE PAS SUR LA PREMIÈRE,
At Le Villard, dated 1869; at Brunissard (Hautes Alpes), dated 1853;
and at La Bez (Hautes Alpes), dated 1861: all of these dials bear the
initials of Zarbula, the maker. The motto is also on the churches of
Château Queyras (see No. 694); and of
Mélézes, dated 1853.
CAR TOUT DÉPEND DE LA DERNIÈRE.
Reckon not upon the beginning,
For all hangs upon the end.
||NE DIFFERAS DE DIE IN
DIEM. Put not off from day to
day. Ecclus. v. 7.
On an inn at Ventavon (Hautes Alpes).
||N'EN PERD AUCUNE.
At Fontienne (Basses Alpes).
||NE ME PERDAS.
Lest thou destroy me.
At the Rue St. Martin, Bayeux.
NE PERDEZ POINT LE TEMPS À DES CHOSES
At La Bez (Hautes Alpes). These three inscriptions are on one dial, but
the last line has been added later than the first two.
LE SAGE EST MÉNAGER DES TEMPS ET DES PAROLES.
QUEL ŒIL PEUT REMONTER JUSQ'AU RÈGNE DE TON ÊTRE.
Waste not thy time on foolish things.
The wise man is careful of his words and hours.
What eye may be raised to the ruler of thy being.
NE QUID PEREAT.
On Burnham Church, Somerset, with No. 604.
Let nothing be lost.
||NE SISTAS TE LUX ALTIUS
IRE MONET. 1832. Stay not,
the light biddeth thee go up higher.
At Le Villard La Madeleine (Hautes Alpes). A slightly different version
has been seen at St. Chaffrey (Hautes Alpes):
NE VOUS ARRÊTEZ (PAS LÀ).
Stay not there, the light from on high calls thee to
LUMIÈRE D'EN HAUT (VOUS DIT)
D'ALLER (PLUS HAUT).
||NE VIATOR ABERRET.
That the traveller stray not.
At Alleins (Bouches du Rhône).
||NEC MOMENTUM SINE LINEA.
No moment without its line.
Said to have been on the Château of Cardinal Richelieu.
||NEC PLURIBUS IMPAR.
Equal to any foe.
At Bauden (Var). This was the motto of Louis XIV.
||NEC PLUS ULTRA.
Thus far and no farther.
At St. Jean de Maurienne; and at St. Quentin.
||NEC SOL NEC UMBRA.
No sun, no shadow.
On a window-dial at Old Place, Lindfield, Sussex, erected by C. E.
NEC ULTIMA SI PRIOR
This somewhat mysterious inscription is on two faces of a dial which is
painted upon the wall of the courtyard of an old hotel, No. 47, Vieille
Rue du Temple, Paris. There are four faces, and possibly the painter
may have made a mistake in rendering in the inscription. It has been
suggested that the words should run thus:
DENOTAL FALLACES ANNOS.
Nec ultimos si priores,
Nor does it mark the last year as deceiving, though it
may the first.
Fallacis denotal annos.
If the lines are quoted from a poem the context might throw light on
their meaning. Some difficulty was experienced in copying the motto, as
the inmates of the hotel evidently objected to its being transcribed,
and on two occasions came out and drove away people who were attempting
to copy the lines.
A writer in "L'Intermédiaire" (ix. p. 267) informs us that the dial was
made by a Carmelite, Père Sebastien Trachet, and the hotel once
belonged to Louis Latellier, the King's architect and controller of the
buildings of Versailles. At the end of the eighteenth century the house
was called Hôtel Tarare, and inhabited by Beaumarchais.
NEMO SINE CRIMINE VIVIT. No
one lives without reproach.
John Kewley, Ballafreer, fecit, 1774.
This dial, which bears this and six other mottoes (see
No. 161) is made of Pooilvaish marble,
and formerly stood in the Isle of Man. The shape is that of a cube
surmounted by a pyramid. It is supposed to have originally belonged to
Sir George Moore, of Balla Mooar, Patrick, and is now in the possession
of Mr. Lewis Evans, who has set it up in his garden at Barnes Lodge,
King's Langley. The dial, or rather dials, show the time at Boston,
Port Royal, and other places.
Kewley, the maker, is said to have lived at the farm at Ballafreer, and
he erected another dial there. See No. 57.
||NESCIA MENS FATI EST
HORÆ SORTISQUE FUTURÆ. The mind
knoweth not the appointed hour, or the lot that is in store for it.
Formerly in the convent of the Minimes, Place Royal, Paris.
||NESCIES QUÂ HORÂ VENIAM.
Thou wilt not know what
hour I come.
On a dial at Riva, Val Sesia, dated 1829, with No. 487. A fine old watch in the York Museum
dated "H. K. 1840," has the inscription "Nescis quâ hora vigilâ."
||NESCIMUS DIEM NEQUE
HORAM. We know neither the day
nor the hour.
At Paladru (Isère).
||NESCIT OCCASUM LUMEN
ECCLESIAE. The light of the
Church knows no setting.
At Standish Vicarage, Gloucestershire. There is a hidden meaning in
this motto, due to its having been chosen by Bishop Frampton, who was
deprived of the See of Gloucester as a non-juror, but was permitted to
hold the vicarage of Standish, and died there in 1708. He erected the
dial, and in addition to the allusion to his career, which he put into
the motto, he had the gnomon shaped like the sword of the See,
reversed, and pointing upwards, as an emblem of martyrdom. He is buried
within the sanctuary of Standish Church, and his gravestone bears the
quaint inscription, "Robertus Frampton Episcopus Gloucestrensis,
caetera quis nescit?"
||NESCITIS DIEM NEQUE
HORAM. 1715. Ye know neither the
day nor the hour (St. Matt. xxv. 13).
On the chapel of the Addolorato, Moltrasio, Lago di Como: on the Abbaye
du Ronceray at Angers; and the Château de Terrebasse (Isère). It is
also given in Kircher's "Ars Magna Lucis et Umbræ. 1571."
NEVE AL SOL, LAMPO AL CIEL, FUMO AL
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
COSI L'UOM FUGGE, QUAL' OMBRA IN UN MOMENTO.
Like April snow, a flash in Heaven, or smoke in gale,
So man, short lived, is lost to view, a shadow frail.
||NIHIL SINE SOLE. 1861.
Nothing without the sun.
At Aiguilles, and at La Verdière (Var); also seen on a portable dial at
Frankfort, with the additional word lumine and date, 1711.
||NIHIL SUPRA. There
is nothing higher.
At Les Avenières (Isère); and seen at Monquin in 1778.
ARDUUM. Nothing is difficult to
Is on a dial at Fyning House, Sussex, which was erected in the reign of
||NIL ALIUD EST VIVERE
QUAM MORI. Life is nought else
At Les Avenières (Isère), dated 1838.
||NIL NI SIT SOL MI.
Less than nothing without the sun.
At Alzo, on the Lake of Orta, North Italy.
||NIL NISI CAELESTI RADIO.
Nought save by a ray from
Applicable alike to the dial, the church, and the services, this motto
is over the south door of the church of St. Mary the Virgin, at Lower
||Heyford, in Oxfordshire, where
there has been a church from before the
Conquest. It is also found near Baslow with other mottoes (see No. 330); and on a house at Beau Coin, Jersey.
||NIL NOMEN NIL FAMA
JUVAT NIL CANDIDA VIRTUS: TEMPUS ENIM RAPIDO
SINGULA DENTE VORAT.
Nought doth a name, nought doth renown avail, nought
doth bright valour:
For time with its swift tooth devours each thing.
On a large brass astrolabe and sun-dial, in the Museum at Perugia. On
the reverse side of the plate is –
"Ieronomus Wulparia, Florentinus, faciebat A.D. MDLXXVII,"
and a second motto. See No. 424.
||NIL SINE NOBIS. A. B.
F. 1674. Nothing exists
A dial on the wall of a courtyard on the south side of the Hôtel Cluny,
Paris, had this inscription. The word nobis
referred to the rays of the sun which were represented on its face. The
Hôtel Cluny, a very beautiful specimen of rather elaborate fourteenth
century Gothic architecture, was bought in 1625 for the abbess and nuns
of Port Royal, and was known as Port Royal de Paris. It was
re-established by Louis XIV. in 1665, on a fresh basis, and was looked
upon as schismatic by the community of Port Royal des Champs. This dial
must have been erected in the time of the first abbess of the new
foundation, Sœur Dorothée Perdreau, who held office till 1684.
AEDIFICAVERIT DOMUM IN VANUM LABORAVERUNT QUI
AEDIFICANT EAM. Except the Lord build the house, they
labour in vain that build it (Ps. cxxvii. I ).
On a house called the Moulin du Pied, dated 1719, at Le Fontenil sous
NO LIGHT UNTHINKING FONDNESS, SUCH AS OFT
ENSHRINES IN POMP TH'UNWORTHIEST OF THEIR LINE,
PROMPTED THE TENDER THOUGHT WHICH HERE FOUND WORDS
TO TELL OF HIM WE VALUED; ONE WHOSE FORM
UNDER THIS TURF IS MINGLED WITH THE DUST,
NO MORE TO LIVE; BUT WHOSE RECORDED NAME,
ENDEAR'D TO ALL, REMINDS US HOW TO LOVE.
NEAR TO THIS TIME-RECORDING PILLAR'S BASE
ENTOMB'D, AND, AS BECAME HIS MERITS, MOURN'D –
POOR NEPPY LIES! THE GENEROUS AND THE FOND –
THE BRAVE AND VIGILANT – IN WHOSE NATURE SHONE
UNITED, ALL THE VIRTUES OF HIS RACE:
NOR GRUDGED BE THIS MEMORIAL, IF ITS
In the garden of the Vicarage House at Borden, Kent, there is a
pedestal bearing a sun-dial and having on its eastern and western sides
two tablets inscribed with these acrostic epitaphs to the memory of a
favourite Newfoundland watch dog, called "Neptune," by his sorrowing
owner. These lines recall Lord Byron's "Inscription on the Monument of
a Newfoundland Dog," dated Newstead Abbey, October 30th, 1808.
ENFORCE THE CHARGE, "BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH."
– Obiit, September 9th, 1839, Anno Aetate Decimo.
NO MARBLE POMP, NO MONUMENTAL PRAISE;
Quoted in the "Gent. Mag.," vol. xiv., p. 332, A.D.
1774, from Faulkner's "Dublin Journal," as "Inscription on a dial to be
erected by his desire on the grave of Edward Bond, of Bondvil, in the
county of Armagh, Esq."
MY TOMB THIS DIAL, EPITAPH THESE LAYS.
PRIDE AND LOW MOULDERING CLAY BUT ILL AGREE,
DEATH LEVELS ME TO BEGGAR, KINGS TO ME.
ALIVE, INSTRUCTION WAS MY WORK EACH DAY,
DEAD, I PERSISH, INSTRUCTION TO CONVEY.
HERE, READER, MARK (PERHAPS NOW IN THY PRIME)
THE STEALING STEPS OF NEVER-STANDING TIME;
THOU'LT BE WHAT I AM, CATCH THE PRESENT HOUR,
EMPLOY THAT WELL, FOR THAT'S WITHIN THY POWER.
|| NOBIS PEREUNT ET
IMPUTANTUR HORAE. The hours perish to us, and are
accounted also to us.
On the cathedral of St. Colman, at Cloyne, near Cork. ET NOBIS
PEREUNT ET IMPUTANTUR may be read at Les Crottes, near Embrun
NOISELESS FALLS THE FOOT OF TIME
This quotation from a song by the Hon. W. R. Spencer is inscribed on
the vase of a stone pedestal with a horizontal dial, in the garden of
Jordan Gate, Macclesfield, erected by Samuel Pearson, Esq., and Jane,
his wife. The name "Quiz" and date 1876, are also carved on the stone,
in memory of a favourite terrier who was buried close by. On the dial
plate is No. 980.
WHICH ONLY TREADS ON FLOWERS.
|| NOLI CONFIDERE NOCTI.
Trust not to the night.
On the Manor House, Mickleton, co. Gloucester.
|| NON CEDIT UMBRA SOLI.
The shadow yieldeth not to the sun.
A horizontal dial with the gnomon turned towards the sun, and this
motto accompanying it, was the device of Giovanni Trivulzio, Governor