For if it happened that an individual, even when asleep, had some very distinct idea, as, for example, if a geometer should discover some new demonstration, the circumstance of his being asleep would not militate against its truth.Mitigate: to make less severe or less intense. The word mitigate is transitive and may affix itself directly to a noun.
—René Descartes Discourse on Method (1637)
The joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears. They cannot utter the one; nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten labors; but they make misfortunes more bitter. They increase the cares of life; but they mitigate the remembrance of death. The perpetuity by generation is common to beasts; but memory, merit, and noble works are proper to men.Grammar.com’s section on Problem Words discusses mitigate and militate. Click here for that discussion.
—Francis Bacon Essays, Civil and Moral (1909)