A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Agent (noun)

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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 99

A'gent. n.s.

  1. An actor; he that acts; he that professes the faculty of action.

    Where there is no doubt, deliberation is not excluded as impertinent unto the thing, but as needless in regard of the agent, which seeth already what to resolve upon. Hooker.

    To whom nor agent, from the instrument,
    Nor pow'r of working, from the work is known.
    Davies.

    Heav'n made us agents free to good or ill,
    And forc'd it not, tho' he foresaw the will.
    Freedom was first bestow'd on human race,
    And prescience only held the second place.
    Dryden.

    A miracle is a work exceeding the power of any created agent, consequently being an effect of the divine omnipotence. South's Sermons

  2. A substitute; a deputy; a factor; a person employed to transact the business of another.

    — All hearts in love, use your own tongues;
    Let every eye negotiate for itself,
    And trust no agent.
    Shakespeare.

    They had not the wit to send to them, in any orderly fashion, agents or chosen men, to tempt them, and to treat with them. Bacon's Henry VII.

    Remember, Sir, your fury of a wife,
    Who, not content to be reveng'd on you,
    The agents of your passion will pursue.
    Dryden's Aureng.

  3. That which has the power of operating, or producing effects upon another thing.

    They produced wonderful effects, by the proper application of agents to patients. Temple.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Davies, John (45) · Dryden, John (788) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (23) · South, Robert (158) · Temple, William (54)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Agent (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: July 6, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=21466.


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