The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places. The part
allotted to me and measured off by a measuring line. (Palms xvi. 6.)
Harsh restrictions. Here lines means an allotment measured out. To read between the lines. To discern the secret meaning. One
method of cryptography is to write in alternate lines; if read line by
line, the meaning of the writer is reversed or wholly misunderstood.
Thus lines 2, 4, 6 of the following cryptogram would convey the warning
to Lord Monteagle of the Gunpowder Plot.
My lord, having just returned from Paris,
(2) stay away from the house to-night and give me the pleasure of your company.
(4) for God and man have concurred to punish those who pay not regard to their health,
(6) the wickedness of the time adds greatly to its wear and tear.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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