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aver - vocabulary

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aver - verb

To assert or affirm with confidence; to declare in a preemptory or positive manner. In law, to allege something as a fact, often followed by a that clause, as in The plaintiff averred that defendant was negligent.

So General Grant, after circumambiating the world, has arrived home again—landed in San Francisco yesterday, from the ship City of Tokio from Japan. What a man he is! what a history! what an illustration—his life—of the capacities of that American individuality common to us all. Cynical critics are wondering “what the people can see in Grant” to make such a hubbub about. They aver (and it is no doubt true) that he has hardly the average of our day’s literary and scholastic culture, and absolutely no pronounced genius or conventional eminence of any sort. Correct: but he proves how an average western farmer, mechanic, boatman, carried by tides of circumstances, perhaps caprices, into a position of incredible military or civic responsibilities, . . . may steer his way fitly and steadily through them all, carrying the country and himself with credit year after year—command over a million armed men—fight more than fifty heavy battles—rule for eight years a land larger than all the kingdoms of Europe combined—and then, retiring, quietly (with a cigar in his mouth) make the promenade of the whole world, through its courts and coteries, and kings and czars and mikados, and splendidest glitters and etiquettes, as phlegmatically as he ever walked the portico of a Missouri hotel after dinner.

—Walt Whitman September 28, 1879

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