Monday, May 20, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.


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Stilicidi casus lapidem cavat, uncus aratri.
Continual dropping wears away a stone.
Book I, line 313; comparable to: "The soft droppes of rain perce the hard marble; many strokes overthrow the tallest oaks", John Lyly, Euphues, 1579 (Arber's reprint), p. 81.


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Let us here consider the casus, my dear little cousis (husstenhasstencaffincoffintussemtossemdamandamnacosaghcusaghhobixhatouxpeswchbechoscashlcarcarcaract) of the Ondt and the Gracehoper. (FW414.18-21)

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Iniqua raro maximis virtutibus fortuna parcit ; nemo se tuto diu periculis offerre tam crebris potest ; quem saepe transit casus, aliquando invenit.

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We accept that there are legitimate casus belli: acts or situations "provoking or justifying war". The present debate feels off-centre, and faintly unreal, because the US and the UK are going to war for a new set of reasons (partly undisclosed) while continuing to adduce the old set of reasons (which in this case do not cohere or even overlap).

Martin Amis
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