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Mortal

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I saw a mortal lot of peoplei.e. a vast number. Mortal is the French à mort, as in the sentence, “Il y avait du monde à mort.” Legonidec says, “Ce mot [mort] ne sʹemploie jamais au propre, mais seulement au figuré, avec la signification de multitude, grand nombre, foule.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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