prototype of the marble vertical dial declining east 16° fixed against
the south end of Mr. Joanes's (Jones's?) workshop, No. 16 Warwick
Street, Worthing, latitude 50° 49 North." The dial has Sic vita above
it. The date probably ranges from 1800 to 1823.
||SIC VITA DUM FUGIT STARE VIDETUR. So life while it flies seems
to stand still.
On a house at Bourges (see No. 593). A somewhat similar motto
was formerly on the Rue de la Chaussée des Minimes, Paris.
||SIC VITA FUGIT. So life flies.
On an eighteenth-century dial of lead at Guillac (Tarn); on two of
Zarbula's dials in Dauphiné; and at Sestri Levante.
||SIC VITA PER HORAS. Thus life passes through the hours.
On a French astrolabe dial of the sixteenth century in Mr. Evans'
||SIC VITA TRANSIT. So passes life.
On the old house of Compton Wynyates, in Warwickshire, which
belongs to the Marquis of Northampton. It is sometimes called
"Compton in the Hole" from its
position, as it stands in a deep hollow
surrounded by hills and woods, and
seemingly shut in to perpetual loneliness. It is a grand old hall, and was
built by Sir William Compton (temp.
Henry VIII.), who is said to have
brought the curious chimneys from
the castle of Fulbrook, which is demolished. He stood in the favour
of his king, and may be said to have founded the Compton family as
noble. His grandson was created Earl of Northampton by James I.,
and was father of "the loyal earl," who followed Charles I., and grandfather of Compton, Bishop of London, who opposed James II. The
old house suffered much in the Civil Wars, and is now dismantled.
It is built round a court, and surrounded by a moat. The roof and
ceilings are in good repair. It contains a small chapel for secret celebration of the Mass, with private staircases. The dial is on the south
side of the house, overlooking what was formerly the Pleasaunce.
There is a second dial over the main entrance, declining west, and a
third on a pedestal in the garden. See No. 1172.
||SIC VITA UT UMBRA RECEDIT. So doth life vanish like the
At Sierre, on an old château which is now let out in tenements for
SIC VITAE CERTA RATIO:
At Brough, Westmoreland, fixed on a tombstone-shaped stone on
the church wall.
TEMPUS FUGIT, MORS VENIT. 1747.
Thus is the sure reckoning of life:
Time flies: death comes.
||SIC VOLVITUR ORBIS. Thus the world rolls on.
At the Château de Kernuz (Morbihan). Above the dial is a coat-of-arms, and below it, "Sit nomen Domini benedictum. Fait par Jac.
||SICUT FLOS VITA PERIT. Life passes away like a flower.
At the Château de la Rivière (Isère).
||SICUT FUMUS. 1731. (Life is) like smoke.
Formerly on a chimney, Rue des Fosses, St. Victor, Paris.
||SICUT PISCES CAPIANTUR HORAE. Like fishes let the hours be
On the Hôtel de Ville, Beaufort (Savoy), with No. 1027.
||SICUT TENEBRAE EJUS, ITA ET LUMEN EJUS. The darkness and
light to Thee are both alike. M. D. F. 1888.
This text, from Psalm cxxxix. II, is on a dial erected by Albert
Fleming, Esq., in his grounds at Neaum Crag, Westmoreland. The
pedestal is of native slate. Mr. Fleming is well known as the benefactor who has revived the use of the spinning-wheel amongst the
housewives in Langdale. He erected the dial to the memory of his
mother, whose initials and the date of whose death are given after the
text. To her memory, also, the following lines have been engraved on
the base of the pedestal; they were chosen as being specially appropriate to Mrs. Fleming's vigorous and dauntless character:
"O strong soul, by what shore
Tarriest thou now? For that force,
Surely, has not been left vain!
Somewhere, surely, afar,
In the sounding labour-house vast
Of being, is practised that strength.
Zealous, beneficent, firm!"
"Rugby Chapel." By Matthew Arnold.
||SICUT UMBRA. As a shadow.
On the porch of Maker Church, near Devonport.
||SICUT UMBRA CUM DECLINAT, ABLATUS SUM. I am gone like the
shadow when it declineth (Ps. cix. 23).
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
||SICUT UMBRA DECLINANT DIES NOSTRI. F. A. D. MDCCCXXII. Like
a shadow our days go down.
On the Villa Quiete, Varese.
||SICUT UMBRA DIES NOSTRI. As a shadow (are) our days.
Formerly in the great court of the Sorbonne. Paris, on a fine vertical
dial, with an admirable design of Apollo driving the chariot of the Sun.
The motto was also in the court of the Célestin Convent, Paris, now
destroyed; and has been read at Le Ciotât (Bouches du Rhône). The
three first words were on the Château de Preuilly (Seine et Marne).
||SICUT UMBRA FUGIT HORA. As a shadow the hour flies.
At Verdun sur Garonne (Tarn et Garonne).
||SICUT UMBRA TRANSEUNT DIES. As the shadow pass the days.
On the church porch of St. Levan, Cornwall. The church is rich
in old oak, and also possesses a fragmentary copy of the letter of thanks
written by King Charles I. to his people of Cornwall for their fidelity,
dated from his camp at Sudeley Castle, 1643, and ordered to be printed,
published, and read in every church or chapel in Cornwall, and to be
kept for ever as a record of their king's gratitude.
||SIDERA MENTE REGIT. With his mind he ruleth the stars.
On one of two dials on the Jesuit College at Tours. For the
second motto see No. 854. The dials probably date from the seventeenth century.
SIGNAT ET MONET.
STULTO LONGA, SAPIENTI BREVIS.
It marks and warns, long to the fool; to the wise man short.
At the Hôtel Cluny, Paris, or, according to another account, on a
house near it, and now destroyed. The first line was in 1787 on a
house in the Boulevard du Temple, Paris.
||SII AVARO DEL TEMPO. Be no spendthrift of thy time.
On a tower which forms part of a large eighteenth-century building
in the market-place, Fano, Italy. Miss Helen Zimmern, who saw it
in 1892, adds "the good advice of the motto did not seem to be
generally obeyed in its vicinity."
||SILENS ET QUIETA CURRIT. Silently and noiselessly it hurries by.
Once in the garden of the Minimes, Paris.
||SILENS LOQUOR. Though silent, I speak.
La Charité, Paris.
||SINE LUMINE INANE. Without light all is useless.
Formerly on a finely-painted dial, south declining west, which was
in a window of the church of St. Benet Fink, Threadneedle Street,
now destroyed. The foundation of this church was very ancient, but
it was rebuilt by Robert Fink the elder in 1633, and after being burnt
down, was again rebuilt in 1673. The following extract from the
"Saint's Nosegay," by Mr. Samuel Clark, minister of this church from
1642-66, may serve to illustrate the motto: "If the sunne be wanting
it will be night for all the stars; so if the light of God's countenance
be wanting, a man may sit in the shadow of death for all the glyster of
worldly contentment. As light continues not in the house, but by its
dependance on the sun: shut out that, and all the light and beauty is
presently gone: so we can see nothing but by the constant supply of
the spirit of Christ. Hee that begins must finish every good work
||SINE LUMINE NIHIL. Nought without light.
With No. 232, in the garden at Fellside, Great Snaresbrook.
||SINE MOTU CURRO. Without moving, I run.
On a house in the Piazza Nostra Signora di Campagna, Piacenza.
||SINE NUBE PLACET. When there is no cloud (the dial) pleases.
At Vallouise (Isère), dated 1869, Z. G. F.
||SINE PEDE CURRO, SINE LINGUA DICO. PASCALIS, ANNO DOMINI, 1790. Without feet I run, without a tongue I speak.
At St. Sauveur (Isère), also at Pont en Royans, with "Pascalis le
8 brumaire l'an 4 de la Republique, 30: Octobre 1795." It also occurs
at other villages in the same neighbourhood.
||SINE SOL NIHIL SUM. Without the sun I have nothing.
On a church at Ornavasso, Lago Maggiore, and at Vevey. With
the last word omitted, it is at Cordes (Tarn); and in several other
French villages; and was formerly at La Charité, Paris; and at
||SINE SOL SILEO. Without the sun I keep silence.
On the church tower at Hoole, Lancashire, dated 1815; on a house
at Ashwick, near Bath; at Goldney House, Clifton, erected by Lewis
Fry, Esq.; and in Chorley Churchyard, Lancashire. On the tower of
Shillington Church, Bedfordshire, a clock and a sun-dial were formerly
to be seen, the sun-dial having this motto, and the clock, as a contrast.
Sine sole loquor (without the sun I speak). The dial has now been
The motto is on the chapel of St. Philippe, Nice; in the Castle of
Monastero, near Bormida; and has been read at Vevey; at Pino.
Piedmont; and at Alghero in Sardinia.
||SINE SOLE SILEO, SINE NUBE PLACEO. When there is no sun, I
keep silence, when no clouds, I do my office.
On a dial at Cervières. Above the gnomon a starry globe is
depicted, with the sentence. Benedicite stellae coeli Domie, (O ye stars of
heaven, bless ye the Lord!) Below the numerals is Adonai memento
me. O Jehova adjuva me. (O Lord, be mindful of me: Jehovah, be
thou my help.)
||SINE UMBRA NIHIL. Without shadow there is nothing.
Formerly on one of the dial faces on the west pier, Brighton (see
SALVATOR NOSTER, AB OMNI
Every hour, by every creature, let Jesus our Saviour be praised.
Above the motto are the initials, F. C. R. PE.. The chronogram forms
the date 1785. The inscription is on a small stone dial bought by
Mr. Evans at Frankfort A. M. in 1893.
||SINT FELICES. May they be happy.
At St. Rémy (Bouches du Rhône).
||SINT TIBI SERENAE. May thine hours be bright.
||SIS MEMOR OCCASUS, SOLE ORIENTE, TUI. At sunrise be thou
mindful of thine own setting.
At Vannes, dated 1743.
||SISTE VIATOR JAM HORA EST. Stay traveller, 'tis time.
On an inn at Meyrargues, near Aix (Bouches du Rhône).
||SIT FAUSTA QUAE LATET. Anno Domini 1823. May the hour
thou knowest not be prosperous.
This motto, with five others, is in the Place d'Armes, Briançon;
and below the dial, encircling a shield, are the words: Sit nomen
Dominum benedictum (see No. 8).
SIT NOMEN DOMINUM JESU BENEDICTUM IN SECULA.
LAUDABILE NOMEN DOMINUM. 1855.
Blessed is the name of the Lord Jesus for all ages. Praise the name
of the Lord.
On the church at Abriès (Hautes Alpes), with Nos.
||SIT PATRIAE AUREA QUAVIS. May there be for our country in some
wise a golden (hour).
There was, until the last restoration of the building, a dial carved
in stone and bearing this motto, on the façade of the Maison du Roi,
or Broodhuys, at Brussels. This fine old building is opposite the
Hôtel de Ville, in the square where the executions of Counts Egmont
and Horn took place. The Broodhuys has undergone many alterations. It was built about 1525. and in it the two noblemen passed
the night before their execution, but it seems to have been rebuilt
in 1668, by order of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella, and again
altered in 1757. Until a recent restoration it bore on its façade
the following inscription, which contains a chronogram of the date
A PESTE, FAME, ET BELLO, LIBERA NOS MARIA PACIS.
HOC VOTVM PACIS PVBLICAE ELISABETH CONSECRAVIT.
From plague, famine, and war, deliver us, Mary of peace.
This offering for the national peace Elizabeth dedicated.
A statue of the Archduchess was placed above. The dial probably
dates from the rebuilding in 1757.
||SIT SINE LITE DIES. Let the day be without strife.
On Darlington church. The dial is placed high on the south wall;
the face is black, the lines and lettering gold.
||SIT ULTIMA FELIX. 1792. May thy last hour be happy.
At Najac (Aveyron).
||ΣKIAΣ ΔIKHN ΠANTA. All passeth like a shadow.
Hotel de Mars, Rue du Tournon, Paris.
||ΣKIAΣ 'ONAP 'ANΘPΩΠOI. Mankind is as the dream of a shadow.
From Pindar, P. 8, 136, cf. Soph. Aj. 125:
Formerly on the convent of the Minimes, in the Place Royal,
||SO FLIES LIFE.
On an old house at Southall, Middlesex.
||SO FLIES LIFE AWAY. 1738.
On the church tower at South Stoneham. Hampshire, "Jo. Sharpe,
Ro: Houghton, Churchwardens;" also on "The Old Windmill"
tavern at Turnham Green, Middlesex, with date, 1717.
||SO MARCHES THE GOD OF DAY.
At Hartington Church, Derbyshire. The inscription is probably
taken from Leadbetter's absurd translations of Latin dial mottoes.
||SO PASSETH AWAY THE GLORY OF THE WORLD.
On the church at Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire.
SO ROLLS THE SUN, SO WEARS THE DAY,
AND MEASURES OUT LIFE'S PAINFUL WAY:
THROUGH SHIFTING SCENES OF SHADE AND LIGHT,
TO ENDLESS DAY OR ENDLESS NIGHT.
FOR THE LADY ABNEY AT NEWINGTON, 1735.
These lines were written by Dr. Watts as the motto on a pillar-dial
which formerly stood in the garden of Lady Abney at Stoke Newington.
Dr. Watts being resident there as tutor in the family of Sir J. Hartopp.
Sir Thomas Abney was Lord Mayor of London in 1700, and died in
1722. The dial has been removed to Edmond Castle, near Carlisle,
the residence of T. H, Graham, Esq. Mr. H. Hopley has noted a
different version of the lines, without recording any locality:
"So glide the hours, so wears the day,
These moments measure life away,
With all its trains of Hope and Fear;
Till shifting scenes of Shade and Light
Rise to Eternal Day, or sink in endless Night."
Dr. Watts' lines are also on a dial placed, in 1880, on the village
school, Carthorpe, Yorkshire.
||SO SOON PASSETH IT AWAY (Ps. xc. 10). 1782.
On the church of St. Martin by Looe, Cornwall; and on St. Matthias'.
Liskeard, with the names of Wm. Henry Hony, LL.D., vicar, Neh.
Williams, and Frans. Croker, churchwardens, and date, 1779.
SO TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS,
THAT WE MAY APPLY OUR HEARTS UNTO WISDOM (Ps. xc. 12).
On the porch of St. John's Church, Leeds. The dial was put up
after the restoration of the church, about A.D. 1868, in place of one
removed forty years previously. Also in Trefnant churchyard (see
No. 1295); and on the porch of Mancetter Church, Warwickshire.
There is no date, but a dial is shown in an engraving of 1763.
||SOL CERTAS AURA FAUSTAS. The sun makes the hours sure, the
At Lausac (Bouches du Rhône).
SOL DEUS VISIBILIS:
DEUS SOL INVISIBILIS.
The sun is thy visible God; God is the invisible sun.
At Stonehouse Court, Gloucestershire.
||SOL DIEI DUX EST. 1890. The sun is the guide of day.
On a bureau de tabac, St. Véran (Hautes Alpes).
||SOL EST LUX ET GLORIA MUNDI. The sun is the light and glory
of the world.
One of the mottoes at Moccas Court (see No. 1469); also on a
horizontal dial made by Newton, of Cambourne, and exhibited at
Falmouth in 1898:
"Lo ministro maggior della natura
Che del valve del cielo il mondo imprenta
E col suo lume il tempo ne misura."
DANTE, Paradiso x. 28.
||SOL EST REGULA. The sun is the rule.
On a house at Briançon. See No. 1103.
||SOL ET LUNA FACIUNT QUAE PRECEPTA SUNT EIS: NOS AUTEM PEREGRINAMUR A DOMINO. The sun and moon do what hath been bidden them, but we wander away from the Lord.
Near a great sun-dial on the parish church of St. Affrique (Aveyron).
and described by Mr. Barker in his "Wanderings by Southern Waters."
"The extraordinary astronomical dials," he writes, "cover most of the
surface of the outer walls. They are exceedingly curious, and some of
the calculations really astonishing, as e.g., a table showing the number
of souls that have appeared before the tribunal of God." Baron de
Rivière gives both this and another motto in French; possibly both
versions may be on the dials (see No. 212).
||SOL GLORIA MUNDI. The sun is the glory of the world.
On a house in Whitehorse Yard, Wellingborough.
||SOL LUCET OMNIBUS. The sun shineth for all men.
On a house at Sècles (Carrèze); and at Pont de Beauvoisin (Isère).
||SOL ME VOS UMBRA REGIT. The sun guides me, the shadow you.
On the church of St, Stephen by Saltash, which is the original
parish church of Saltash, the names of Joseph Avery and Savell
Doidge, 1783, are also engraved on the dial. The motto is on three of
Zarbula's dials in the Hautes Alpes. Also on a farmhouse at Coldthorpe, Gloucestershire, the last word being omitted.
||SOL MINISTRAT UMBRAM. The sun provides the shadow.
John Calcott fecit, 1824, George Ore, Samuel Worthen, Churchwardens.
On the dial in the churchyard of Prees, Salop.
||SOL MOMENTA NICOLAUS MORES. 1666. The Sun makes the
moments, Nicolas the manners.
On the wall of the former presbytère of the church of St. Nicolas
des Champs, Paris.
||SOL NON OCCIDAT SUPER IRACUNDIAM VESTRAM. – Ephes. iv. 26.
Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
Richard Melvin, fecit, from London.
This motto, with No. 443, is on a handsome pillar bearing a horizontal dial of slate at Ember Court, Surrey. The inscriptions are
somewhat defaced. Besides the central dial there are four small ones
at the four corners, showing the time of day at other places on the
earth's surface. The same text is on dials at Areley Kings, Cheshire;
(No. 74) at Ninane, Belgium; La Fiera di Primiero, Tyrol (No. 426);
and at Bozel, Savoy.
Several dials made by Richard Melvin of London, and apparently
also of Dublin, are noticed in this work. They are usually of slate,
horizontal, and engraved with great care, sometimes showing the time
at places abroad, and accompanied by smaller dials at the sides, in
the corners, which are for the same purpose. Three of Melvin's dials
are in Warwickshire, another at Ruthin Castle, one at Dover, and one
at Killiney, dated 1864. Some have mottoes, and some not.
SOL ORITUR CADIT ET LUSTRALIS EVOLAT HORA
AT NOBIS IMMOTO SISTITUR ORBE DIES.
The sun ariseth, it setteth, and the hour of worship arrives,
But our day standeth fast in its immoved circle.
On the church of St. Francis Xavier, Besançon. The lines were
composed by the Abbé Pioche, Professor at the College of the Pères
Eudistes. See No. 1251.
||SOL PRO OMNIBUS LUCET. The sun shines for all men.
On the belfry of the church at Orly (Seine).
||SOL REDIT VITA TRANSIT. The sun returneth, life passeth.
||SOL REGIT OMNIA. The sun rules all.
At Manc (Basses Alpes).
||SOL REX REGULA. The sun is King and guide.
At Alleins (Bouches du Rhône).
||SOL SOLUS SOLVIT. The sun is the only solver.
Composed by William Fane, Esci., for a dial in his garden at Fulbeck
SOL TEM[P]O DI SATURNO IL DENTE EDACE
E DEL PALLONE IL GIOCATOR FALLACE. 1826.
Nothing save Time's destructive tooth I dread,
And the ball by unskilful player sped.
At Chieri, in Piedmont. Two or three Italian scholars have tried
to make sense of this obscure motto, and have failed. The first allusion
to the mythological legend of Saturn devouring his children will be
recognized; and the accompanying simile can only be explained by a
reference to the favourite Italian game of pallone. This game somewhat resembles tennis, and still remains a living representative of the
old Roman game of pila. The manner of playing it has been thus
described by Mr. Story ("Roba di Roma," vol. i.): "It is played
between two sides, each numbering from five to eight persons. Each
of the players is armed with a bracciale, or gauntlet of wood, covering
the hand and extending nearly up to the elbow, with which a heavy ball
is beaten backwards and forwards, high into the air, from one side to
another. The object of the game is to keep the ball in constant flight,
and whoever suffers it to fall dead within the bounds loses. The game
is played on an oblong figure, marked out on the ground, or designated
by the wall around the sunken platform on which it is played, and
across the centre is a transverse line dividing the two sides; and as the
ball falls here and there, now flying high in the air, and caught at once
by the bracciale before touching the ground, now glancing back from
the wall which generally forms one side of the lists, the players rush
eagerly to hit it, calling loudly to each other, and often displaying great
agility, skill, and strength." Allusions to the game of pallone may be
found in the works of the modern Italian poets. Leopardi and Aleardi
have both made use of it as a subject of their verse. The above motto
was ultimately shown to Antonio Maschio, a gondolier in the service of
the National Bank at Venice, well-known for his interpretation of
Dante's "Divina Commedia." He said at once that the word tempo
should be temo, and then the meaning would be, "I fear only the devouring tooth of Saturn and the inexpert player with the ball" – that is, the
gnomon fears alike Saturn's wet weather which corrodes iron, and the
bad pallone player who may throw his ball against and break it.
||SOL TEMPORA DIVIDIT ÆVI. – Lucan, Pharsalia, 10.
divides the seasons of time.
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
||SOL TIBI SIGNA DABIT: SOLEM QUIS DICERE FALSUM AUDEAT?
sun will give thee the signs: who will dare to say the sun is false? (From Virgil's First Georgic, line 463.)
This is the motto of a sun-dial on one of the terraces at Bramshill
Park, Hants. At the same place there are three other dials, which bear
the arms of the Cope family with dates and initials, but they have no
This was the motto of the old "Sun" newspaper. Dryden's translation of the line runs:
"The sun reveals the secret of the day.
And who dares give the source of light the lie?"
The first part of the motto, SOL TIBI SIGNA DABIT, was, until 1852, on
the Bridge Trust Building, Bideford, erected in 1755. It is still on
the wall of the cloister of St. Stefano, Belluno, now used as a public
building. See No. 1434.
The latter half of the line is on a dial at Newbiggin, near Carlisle,
dated 1722 and inscribed "Carolus Aedes delineavit, Johannes Gosling
sculpt."; also on St. Mary's Church, Penzance, with No. 1334; this dial
was removed from the old church to the present modern building. See
also No. 1053.
||SOLARUM SIGNAT LINEA PICTA VIAM. The painted line marks the
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
||SOLARIUS NOBIS COMMINUIT ARTICULATIM DIEM (Plaut. Fragm.),
The diallist splits up the day for us into small parts.
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
||SOLE HORAM DO IN DEO SPEM VIDES. Z. G. F. 1841. By the sun I give (the time); in God thou seest thy hope.
At Abriès. The dial, like many of those made by Zarbula, is
ornamented with pictures of birds; here there is a toucan and a parakeet, with their names attached. The motto, imperfectly rendered, is
also at Le Pinet (Hautes Alpes).
||SOLE NITENTE LOQUOR TACEO SINE SOLIBUS HORAS
TU NISI FORTE POTES DISCERE VERA TACE.
When the sun shines I speak, in the sunless hours I keep silence: do
thou, unless perchance thou canst learn the truth, hold thy peace.
On the chapel of the College of the Pères Eudistes, and written by
the Abbé Pioche, Professor of Rhetoric. See No. 1239.
||SOLE ORIENTE, FUGIUNT TENEBRAE. With the rising sun the darkness flies.
On a dial in a garden in the diocese of Connor.
Bishop Mant, in his Latin and English poem, "The Sun-dial of
Armoy," writes thus:
"Night flies before the orient morning,
So speak the Dial's accents clear;
So better speaks the Prophet's warning
To ears that hear.
"Night flies before the Sun ascending;
The sun goes down, the shadow spreads –
O, come the day which, never ending,
No night succeeds.
"And see a purer day-spring beaming,
Unwonted light, nor moon nor sun;
But Light itself, with glory streaming,
God on His throne!"
SOLE ORIENTE ORIOR,
SOLE PONENTE CUBO.
With the rising sun I wake,
With the setting sun I sleep.
Believed to be in Malta.
||SOLEM CERTISSIMA SIGNA SEQUUNTUR (Virgil, Geor. I. 439).
Most sure are the signs which follow the sun.
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
||SOLEM SUUM ORIRI FACIT SUPER BONOS ET MALOS, ET PLUIT SUPER
JUSTOS ET INJUSTOS. He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the
good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust (St. Matt. v. 45).
On a horizontal dial, dated MDCCCLXXXVI, made by C. W. Dixey and
Sons, New Bond Street.
||SOLES PEREUNT ET IMPUTANTUR. Days (literally, suns) depart
and are reckoned.
Outside the Dean's kitchen at Durham is a dial which bears this inscription. In 1888 it was much decayed. The motto comes from
Martial's "Epigrams," v. 20, 23. It is also over the south porch of
Woodhorn Church, Northumberland, with letters T. R. S. and 1840.
||SOLI DEO GLORIA. To God alone be glory.
This inscription is cut on several stones in Nuremberg, and may
have belonged to dials which have been removed. It is also on a portable ivory compass dial in the Nuremberg Museum, made by Paulus
Reinman, 1602; on another in the British Museum, "Paulus Reinmann
zu Normberg, faciebat 1578"; on two marked "Nicolavs Miller,
1645," and on many similar dials in other collections. See No. 1320.
||SOLI DEO HONOR ET GLORIA. To God alone be honour and glory.
On an old dial at Queyrières, and at other villages in the Hautes
Alpes. The words used to be often found inscribed over old house
doorways in Edinburgh; amongst others over the notorious Major
Weir's house, dated 1604. Mr. Robert Chambers tells us that in the
reign of Queen Mary the above was the "fashionable grace before
meat" of the Scottish nobility.
||SOLI DEO OMNIS GLORIA. J. Smith 1838. delin. Bielby. To God
alone be all glory.
With No. 97, on the Wesleyan Chapel at Bielby, near Pocklington. See No. 1406.
||SOLI, SOLI, SOLI. 1756.
Seen in 1863 on a house at Monthey, Canton Valais. The motto
and date (1756) were on a scroll above the dial, and the sun's face
made a central point where the gnomon was fixed. The same
words have also been read at Bonneville; at Château Queyras (see
No. 48); and in other villages in Dauphiné, in one case with the
date 1700. They are also at Mouriez (Bouches
du Rhône), on the house where Nostradamus
once lived, and is said to have been placed there
by the prophet himself. He died July 2nd, 1566.
The word SOLI alone has been seen on a dial
in the hamlet of Ozier (Isère); and SOLI, SOLI on
others in the hamlets of La Valadière, and of
Légerie (Isère). The representation of the sun
as a human face with rays all round it, which is
often seen on dials, is of very ancient origin. It has been found
carved in relief at Babain in Upper Egypt, with figures of priests
below offering sacrifice. In this manner the Persians also represented
the Sun God, as well as in the form of a young man, Mithras. It is
possible that the words, Soli, soli, soli, and Deo soli gloria (which may
bear a double meaning), were originally Mithraic inscriptions. Under
the Roman Empire there were altars set up to Mithras with the inscription, Deo invicto Mithrae. Several have been found in England
inscribed Deo soli, To God the sun; Deo soli invicto, To God the sun
unconquerable. That traces of this ancient worship should still be
found on sun-dials need surprise no one. [If Soli, soli, soli, be indeed a
Mithraic inscription, it probably should be translated, "To the peerless
sun, we only," i.e., the secret society of Mithraists. – R. F. L.]
||SOLI POSUIT A. FERGUSON. 1803. To the sun. A. Ferguson
set up [this dial).
At Hallyards, Peeblesshire, on a dial put up in his garden by
Professor Adam Ferguson.
||SOLI PRO FIDE. To the sun for the faith.
At the hamlet of Les Murets, St. Égrève.
SOLIS ADIT LUX,
HIC DOCET UMBRAE CRUX,
UMBRAM ADDIT NOX,
HINC ABIT UMBRAE VOX,
ABIT HORA ABSIT MORA.
The sun's light shineth here.
The shade's cross teacheth clear,
Told is the hour of day.
Night makes the shade more dense.
The shade's voice goeth hence.
The hour goes, let there be no delay.
These lines are engraved on the eight sides of a shaft in the
vicarage garden, Shenstone, near Lichfield, upon the top of which is
a cross dial (see Nos.
1384), erected and inscribed by the Rev. R. W. Essington. On a slate step at the shaft's base there are two
more mottoes, one in Greek and the other in Hebrew:
σταῦρος, a cross,
being supplied by +). The cross gives the hour in sunshine.
Let there be light.
Two other translations have been
made of the Latin lines, but the one
given above seems to follow the original
more closely than the rest.
(1) Sunlight falls, and lo! the Cross's shadow fain would teach
To us the present hour by heaven is lent!
Night darkens, and then no longer can the shadow preach,
Avoid delay, your time is almost spent.
Light falls from heaven!
Then doth the Cross's shade
This lesson sweetly teach:
Thy time – Heaven's grace!
Night's deeper shades
Close round! the voice is hushed
So soon that grace is spent,
It flies apace,
Hold on thy race.
SOLIS ARDOR EXTRA
The sun's heat without, charity within.
On the Hospital, La Rochefoucauld, France.
||SOLIS ET ARTIS OPUS. The work of the Sun and of Art.
A MAI CESSAR D' OPRAR SEMPRE C' INVITA. To ceaseless round
of toil the hour ever calls us.
il Giorno 23 Maggio 1867.
Seen near Varese; also at Milan; and on a house between Palermo
and Monreale, dated 1882. In 1860 it was on a house at Grasse.
||SOLUS NON ERRAT. RECEDO NON DECEDO. OBLIQUE ET UBIQUE.
He alone makes no mistake. I go back again. I do not go away.
Aslant and everywhere.
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
SON FIGLIA DEL SOLE
I am child of the sun, and yet am shade.
EPUR SON OMBRA.
Seen by the Countess Martinengo Cesaresco on the Col di Tenda in
1870. Dean Alford mentioned the same motto in his letters from the
Riviera, and he paraphrased it thus:
I the sun my father call,
Yet am shadow after all.
||SON POCHE LE ORE MIE, LE TUE SON MOLTE. Few are my hours, how many thine!
At San Remo; and also at Ventimiglia.
SON SENZA SUON E SENZA VOCE, ANCORA
OPUR SE LUCE IL SOL, TI DICO L'ORA.
I have no sound, nor voice, yet by the light
Of sunbeams touched, I tell the hours aright.
At Vegliasco, near Alassio.
||SONGEZ À DIEU ET AU PROCHAIN. 1860. Think upon God, and
of thy neighbour.
At Abriès (Hautes Alpes).
||SONGEZ À LA DERNIÈRE. 1733. Think upon the last (hour).
On the church at Mens (Isère).
SONO BARRA OSCURA E FISSA.
EPPURE SONO SERVA DEL SOLE
E SCHIAVA DEL MOTO.
I am an iron bar, black and firm fixed,
Yet am I handmaid of the sun
And a slave to the laws of motion.
On the tower of the Grand Hotel, Pegli; placed there in 1874.
and the motto added by the Marquis de Nicolay.
||SONO PRONTO A FAR OFFIZIO MIO; SE MANCHA IL SOLE M'ANCHO
ANCH'IO. IN VANO CERCA LORA MENTRE NON È SOLE. [SONO PRONTO A
FAR UFFIZIO MIO, SE MANCA IL SOLE MANCO ANCH'IO; IN VANO CERCAR
L'ORA MENTRE NON È SOLE.] I am ready to do my duty; if the sun fails,
I fail also. It is in vain to seek the hour when there is no sun.
On No. 85, Via Vittorio Emanuele, Chiomonte (Prov. of Turin).
||SOUVENEZ VOUS DE VOS FINS DERNIÈRES. 1846. Think upon
your latter end.
On the church of the St. Crucifix, Cordes (Tarn).
SOUVIENS TOI, O HOMME, QUE TU EST POUSSIÈRE
Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
ET QUE TU RETOURNERAS EN POUSSIÈRE. 1841.
On the belfry tower, La Salle (Hautes Alpes).
||SOYEZ MOI FIDÈLE. Be thou faithful unto me.
At Sylve Bénite (Isère).
||SPE ILLECTAT INANI. MDCV. With vain hope he attracts.
Rue de la Préfecture, Nice.
||SPECTATOR FASTIDIOSUS SIBI MOLESTUS. He that looks too proudly
is a trouble to himself.
At Bywell Abbey, near Newcastle-on-Tyne. It is difficult to
understand what this motto means; we have translated it literally. It
may either point to a spectator bending over the dial so as to intercept
the sunshine; or as a passer-by who is too proud to use this humble
means of learning the time.
||SPECULUM VITÆ. The mirror of life.
At Voreppe (Isère).
||SPERO LUCEM. I hope for the light.
On the church in the village of St. Antoine, Pelvoux (Hautes
||SPLENDOR ET ORDO. Light and order due.
On the palace of the Tuileries in 1787. From a MS. list of dial
mottoes of that period, published by the Comte du Marsy in 1881.
||STA PROMISSIS. Stand to your promises.
On the stone pedestal of a dial at Niddrie Marischal, near Edinburgh, the seat of the Don Wauchopes. The arms of the family are
engraved on the bronze dial face, and also on the pedestal, but the
motto is not their heraldic one. The words, Wachop of Niddrie, are
inscribed beside the shield on the face; and also Jacobus Clarke,
Dundee, fecit. There is no date.
| ||TELL ME MY NAME
| || THY NATVRE.
||THY NAME IS DIE
| ||ALL. I AM A MORTALL
| || CREATVRE.
||SINCE MY NAME
| ||AND THY NATVRE
| || SOE AGREE,
| ||THINK ON THY SELFE
| ||WHEN THOV LOOKST
| || VPON ME.
There is an ancient dial, having four sides, at Millrigg, in the parish
of Culgaith, near Penrith. The opening dialogue betwixt Dial and
Passenger is inscribed on one side of the square, and on the other side
is Dial's moral deduction from it.
The two remaining sides of the
square are occupied by the armorial
bearings of the families of Dalston
and Fallowfield, together with the
initials "I. D." and "H. F." John
Dalston resided and died at Millrigg in 1692. He was the son of
Sir Christopher Dalston, of Acorn
Bank, who was knighted by James I.
in 1615. This latter place was the
chief residence of the family. The
manor of Temple Sowerby, immediately adjoining, was granted by
Henry VIII. to Thomas Dalston, Esq., on the distribution of religious
houses. It belonged originally to the Knights Templars, and afterwards to the Hospitallers. Millrigg is now occupied as a farm-house.
||STAT SUA CUIQUE DIES, ATQUE IRREMEABILIS HORA. For each
one his day is appointed, and the hour from which there is no return.
Given in "Notizie Gnomoniche."
||STATE, VENIT HORA. Stay, the hour is at hand.
At Aiguières (Var).
STEH' BEY UNS IN ALLER NOTH,
Stand by us in all need, here in life and in death.
HIER IN LEBEN UND IN TOD.
At Salzburg. There is a fresco of the Virgin and Child with
SVB HAC VMBRA DATVR SECVRA QVIES.
EX HOC OMNIS DECOR EXVRGET.
Under this shade is given rest without care. Hence will all grace
Each line gives the date 1726. They are on a brass folding dial,
ornamented with a bishop's mitre and crozier, in Mr. Evans' collection.
SUB UMBRA QUIESCUNT. 1770.
SUB LUCE GAUDENT. 1785.
Under the shade they rest.
Under the light they rejoice.
On the Hôtel des Invalides at Paris.
||SUCH IS LIFE. 1800.
On the church at Buckminster, Leicestershire.
||SUFFICIT UNA, ULTIMAM TIME. One sufficeth, fear the last.
In the principal square at Annecy a meridian dial was placed by
Frère Arsène, a Capuchin, the maker of several dials set up at different
places in Savoy. This one is described in a brochure, "Le Montre
Solaire d'Annecy." There were, as is often the case, dials of different
kinds on the same stone. On the south side were two equinoctial
dials, with the mottoes given above, and the additional lines:
"Tel, qu'un Lion de sang avide
Se precipitant sur tes pas.
La mort suite un course rapide
Avec l'arrêt de ton trépas."
As a lion thirsting for blood pursues thy steps, so Azrael rapidly follows
bearing thy death warrant.
There are also the arms of the town of Annecy, and the initials
L. D. M., L. J. F., which stand for "Laus Deo Mariæ, Laus Joseph
On the east side is: "Une de plus, une de moins" – One more, one
less; and on the west: "L'éternité dépend d'une heure" – Eternity hangs upon an hour.
SUM GENITOR VERI, DOMITOR LEVORIS, APERTI
INDEX, ASTRORUM FILIUS ATQUE COMES
ME SEQUOR ET FUGIO MEA PER VESTIGIA: NUMQUAM
CUM SINE QUOTIDIE NASCOR ET INTEREO.
I am the father of truth, the conqueror of malice, the pointer of the open
sky, the son and comrade of the stars. I follow myself and flee along my
own tracks, daily am I born, daily I die.
At the Hameau de Platre-Rousel, near Monbonnet (Isère).
SUM MUTUM AT MUTI TAMEN EXPLICO LUMINA PHŒBI
UMBRA MIHI LINGUA EST NEC TAMEN VMBRA SONAT
AVRIBUS HINC NVLLIS OPVS EST ME INTERPRETE TEMPVS
OMNE SCIES OCVLOS SI SVBIT VMBRA TUOS.
V. F. 1706.
Voiceless am I, yet do I interpret the light of voiceless Phœbus. The
shadow is my tongue, yet the shadow gives no sound: hence when I inform
thee thou needest no ears, thou shalt know the time when thou wilt, if the
shadow comes beneath thine eyes.
On a German honestone dial sold in London.
||SUM SI SOL SIT. If the sun is, I am.
At Viriville (Isère).
||SUMUS UMBRA 1691. A shadow are we.
Seen on an old house in Lower Tottenham. "Notes and Queries,"
Fourth Series, iv. 188.
SUNS RISE AND SET,
TILL MEN FORGET
THE DAY IS AT THE DOOR
WHEN THEY SHALL RISE NO MORE.
O EVERLASTING SUN,
WHOSE RACE IS NEVER RUN,
BE THOU MY ENDLESS LIGHT,
THEN SHALL I FEAR NO NIGHT.
In Memoriam T. E. W. D., 1880.
These lines, with Prov. x. 7, and Ps. xc. 12, are on two sides of a
column bearing a dial, in the churchyard of Trefnant, co. Denbigh.
It was erected by Mrs. Whitehall Dod, of Llanerch. There are also
devices, such as the cross within a triangle, a sickle, and an hour-glass
inclosed in a serpent ring. See No. 1226.
SUPRA SOLEM VERITAS, SUB SOLE VANITAS.
Pascalis, Anno Domini 1790.
Above the sun is truth, beneath it vanity.
At Beauvoir (Isère).
||SUPREMA HÆC MULTIS FORSAN TIBI. For many men their last
hour, perhaps for thee.
At Rians (Var); and formerly at St. Géneviève, Paris. A similar
motto has been read on the Riviera; and in the garden of the Hospital
of St. Jacques, Besançon. See No. 75.
SUR CE CADRAN JE VAIS ET REVIENS CHAQUE JOUR,
MAIS L'HOMME DISPARAIT, HELAS! ET SANS RETOUR.
On this dial I go and come again each day,
But man, alas! vanishes, and returns no more.
On the church at Bellentre, Savoy.
||SURGE QUI DORMIS. Awake thou that sleepest (Eph. v. 14).
On an engraving of a dial in J. Voellius's "De horologiis Sciothericis." 1608.
SWIFT RUNS YE TIME,
THIS DIAL FACE DOTH SHOWE,
YE HOURES ARE FEWE
THAT YE SHALL PASS BELOWE.
Mr. Harry Hems wrote in "The Building News," 1888: "It is
twenty-four years ago or more that, at that time an apprentice lad in
Yorkshire, I recut an inscription upon an old sun-dial as above."
||TA NY LAGHYN AIN MYR SCAA. Our days are like a shadow.
With No. 1337 on a dial at Kirk Braddan, Isle of Man, dated 1860.
Over the dial face are the arms of the island, three legs conjoined on
the fess point, and beneath it are the mottoes.
||TA NYN LAGHYN ER Y THALLOO MYR SCADOO. 1835. Our days
on the earth are as a shadow (I Chron. xxix. 15).
On Malew Church in the Isle of Man. The dial face is of white
TA VIE PASSE COMME CET OMBRAGE
PRENDS Y GARDE ET TU SERAS SAGE.
Life passes as this shadow,
If thou art wise thou wilt take care.
At Renage (Isère).
||TACITIS SENESCIMUS HORIS. We grow old in the silent hours.
At Bozel (Savoy).
||TACITO PEDE LABORO. I toil with silent foot.
On the wall of the old palace of the Princes of Masserano (La Marmora) at Masserano, in the province of Novara, Italy. Lamartine
expresses a similar idea:
"L'ombre seule marque en silence
Sur le cadran rempli, les pas muets du temps."
||TAK TENT O' TIME, ERE TIME BE TINT.
One of eight mottoes that were inscribed on an octagonal pillar
bearing a dial on each side, which stood in front of the Exhibition
Buildings at Edinburgh in 1886. There was also an inscription stating
that the Exhibition was opened by Prince Albert Victor of Wales, and
the dial was called after him. The other seven mottoes are given under
their several headings (see Nos.
The dial was removed when the Exhibition was taken down, and it
is not known what became of it. The same motto is at Whitchester,
Duns, Berwick, on a dial erected for Andrew Smith, Esq., by Mr.
Bryson. It has also been inscribed on the new base of an ancient dial
with twelve faces, a "dodecahedron," which was brought by Sir William
Wedderburn, Bart., from Inveresk Lodge, Midlothian, and erected at
Meredith Court, Gloucestershire. This dial is dated 1691.