thus, “The death is announced in the Liverpool if pluralised, " the blue jackets ;” lawyers are journals, at his seat in the North of Scotland, of “the bar,” or the “gentlemen of the long robe," acute bronchitis, of Mr. Blank.” The source of though their robes are no longer than those of the this clumsy arrangement must, I suppose, be sought clergy ; medical men are “the faculty ;” judges are in the fact of our not being able to use the conve- “the bench,” or “ ' bigwigs." Artists, engineers, nient impersonal form of the French, and to say, architects, seem to be as yet without collective “They announce." But there are many ways in which the same thing might be better said, and A correspondent in Scotland writes that an among them the very simple one, of keeping the English friend questions the correctness of pronounplain order of the words : “The death of Mr. eing heron as a word of two syllables, and affirms Blank is announced in the Liverpool journals.” that the usage in the south is to pronounce the

In a lately published volume of verse, I found a word as though spelt hern. And he enquires, 1, still more remarkable form of this licence of sepa- whether, under both forms of spelling, the word is rating words which ought to stand together : pronounced as of one syllable ; 2, whether when

spelt and pronounced hěrón, it departs from English "But the crowd at the gate Still wait and wait,

usage. As they must, for the train is a little bit late

My answer was that the spelling hern is at (And I feel I must here of necessity state

present unknown, except in cases presently to be That this often occurs at this now present date, When a train due at six, as our Bradshaws relate,

noticed; but the pronunciation hern is universal, Will arrive at about twenty minutes to eight:

except rarely in poetry. That this has very long And I fear this must still for some time be our fate, been so is testified by such proper names as Hern Till the railway directors shall sit tête-à-tête, And shall hit on some plan to the nuisance abate).

Hill (a name not peculiar to the railway junction at Anderleigh Hall: a Novel in Verse. Camberwell, but also found in Somersetshire near

Ilminster, and I dare say elsewhere) and Herne A correspondent wishes more said on "people” Bay. Another and a very curious testimony to and “persons.” He complains that the two are used this is found in the corruption of a proverb in which 18 synonymous, “to me,” he says, “a very offen. the bird is mentioned. We now say of a stupid sive vulgarism. It is periodically announced by fellow, that “ he doesn't know a hawk from a bandthe clergyman of the church to which I go here, saw." But thus the proverb over-does its work: that there will be the usual monthly sermons for for, out of idiotcy itself, such stupidity could not the young this afternoon, at which the attendance occur, as should confound things so entirely and of 'young people’is particularly requested. Now essentially different. As the proverb originally it seems to me that “people’ is a collective noun stood, it described a degree of unversedness in of the singular number, and should only be used as common things which doubtless was, and certainly such, never for 'persons.' Should I be right if I now is, very common. In the days when hawking said that the latter is the concrete of people ?” was to be seen in almost any neighbourhood, not to

I observed in my book (par. 318), that I could not know a hawk from a hernesher (for so the bird at see the distinction, nor did I find it observed by our which the hawk was flown was then called) would best writers. Even supposing it to exist, usage has be well understood. And hern-shew ” having set in so decidedly against it, that it would be become handsaw,” is another witness to the anpedantry for our age to insist on reviving it. We tiquity of the monosyllabic pronunciation of should have to sing, “ All persons that on earth do "heron." dwell,” which may be a correction, but certainly is The contraction of "herneshew" into “heron, not an improvement.

puts us in mind of the little gentleman in black Another correspondent finds fault with a common velvet toasted of old by the Jacobites, whose name method of speech in which we make the abstract "mole,” is the only surviving syllable of a much noun into the concrete : “Twenty clergy walking longer word, “mouldy warp,” or “mould warp," a in procession." But this surely is defensible, nay, creature that turns the mould. is sometimes necessary. “Twenty clergymen walk- A sportsman friend who has long lived (and long ing in procession,” may mean the same thing, but may he live) in the most beautiful part of Charnwood docs not so plainly indicate that they walked where Forest in Leicestershire, told me, years ago, that they did, because they were clergymen. After all, the people round Bradgate Park, when they want “twenty clergy” is only an abbreviated form of to summon a passer-by, call out, not “Hallo” or twenty of the clergy, the clerisy, or the clerical | “Halloo,” but Halloop!” aud he thought that profession. In another profession, the adjective is the exclamation, by this form, betrayed its having used to perform a similar duty: we speak of calling come down from the days when one cried to another in the “military."

“A loup!” or as we say, “wolf, wolf !” This It is somewhat curious to observe the different may or may not be the fact; it is at all events forms wbich have come to designate the professions. intéresting. Ministers of religion are “ the clergy,” soldiers are Considering how commonly ingenious derivations “the military,” sailors hardly have a collective are wrong, it is surprising that any grave writer in name, but are individually known as “Jack,” or, these days should allow himself to be taken in by ode. Yet no less a person than the present Emperor new to the Argyleshire-men, appeared so outlandish and of the French has fallen into this trap. You know odd that they fixed it as a nickname on the North-men,

calling them all Naabis. that there is a place on the Thames, above London, " This is a fact of which I have abundant proof, that called Teddington. It so happens that its situation about forty years ago a set of canal-workers in Argylenearly corresponds with the limit to which the tide shire were called Naabis; and my conjecture about the ascends in the stream. So some ingenious person that here we see whence came Mavvy, about which there

further travels of the word may be easily anticipatedmade what was little better than a pun upon is so much disputing. Navvy is said to have been the name, and called Teddington, Tide-end-town. originally applied to canal-workers, and hence said to In process of years, the public, who are always at all likely. My own" Dano-Celtic account appears

be a contraction of Navigator, which I do not consider | ready to accept a likely-sounding derivation, re- much more probable; for though I cannot prove that ported Tide-end-town as the origin of the name. any of the Highland workers went south from Crinan And the Emperor Napoleon, in the 2nd vol, of his though their having done so is most likely), I know

that the contractors and superintendents were English Life of Julius Cæsar, has gravely stated the fact, and Scotch (it being

a Government work), and they and worked it into his argument. His words are would easily convey the word with them, even though these :

they knew not its original meaning." "The only thing which appears to us evident is, So far my correspondent. Now first, his account that the Romans did not cross any where below does not quite stand upright by itself. For the Teddington. It is known that this village, of which Northmen, who were “many ” when working at the same is derived from Tide-end-town, marks, in the Caledonian Canal, which they left in 1822, point of fact, the last point of the Thames at which became only “several” when they went to the the tide is felt. It would be impossible to believe Crinan Canal: and it was they only, not canal men that Cæsar exposed himself to the risk of being in geveral, who were nicknamed “naabies.” So surprised, during his passage, by the swelling of the that the English contractors, who seem to be the water." Vol. ii. p. 191, Eng. transl.

only link binding on the south to the story, would The Edinburgh Reviewer well remarks on the not be likely to adopt the term as a general name singular simplicity, often observable in the Em- for all canal men when they returned to the south. peror's book, with which "a cockney myth, such Besides, according to this account, the name did we conceive the popular derivation of Teddington not come into England till after the completion of to be, is transformed into a serious piece of the Crinan Canal. Strangely enough, no history is archæology."

given of this canal in Black's or in Anderson's A very ingenious derivation, but I believe also Guide-book : nor is the year of its completion to be Frong, has been sept me by a Scottish correspondent, found in Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, nor in the dwelling under the shadow of Ben-Nevis. His cyclopedias. It cannot have been finished till late letter is too interesting to be abridged, so I give it in the twenties of this century. But I myself can as it stands :

remember, before the twenties came in, full fifty

years ago, that when the canals were being made “ KILMALLIE MANSE, BY FORT WILLIAM, N.B., in the part of England where I was brought up, a

24th June, 1861. * REV. SIR,-Seeing in your Queen's English' men

common expression on people's lips was “the system sisa of the Danish word • Nabo' as possibly the original of inland navigation :" and the men who worked at form of the English Neighbour,' I am induced to give the canals were called at full length, “navigators :" you the following facts, and a conjecture regarding the the word had not yet been abridged. This my further history of that word, hoping they may prove sufficiently interesting to plead my excuse for troubling own remembrance, is to my mind decisive of the you.

question. * In the northern counties of the Highlands the com- The same correspondent mentions ap amusing noa Gaelic term for neighbour is still, as it has been result of provincial pronunciation in the mind of fiz time immemorial, this Danish Nabi, pronounced Naabi; whereas in the southern Highlands a totally an ignorant man :different word, and one of pure Celtic lineage, is used. * Now it is notorious that the Norsemen held the

“ Many years ago, in the Isle of Skye, I was reasoning marthern Highland counties, as well as the outer

with a man who thought himself very religious, who, Hebrides, for ages, and still there are settlers in Caith in common with the class to which he belonged, fancied meas and in Lewis who boast of unmixed Danish blood. that he possessed the power of discerning spirits,' espeThere are very few traces of Norse in the common lan- cially those of preachers, and reckoned it a sacred duty quage of the country, but the names of places generally to refuse to listen to any one of whose conversion he felt * Seandinavian; and on the whole the wonder is, not not fully assured (the test, I am sorry to say, being the that Nebo should retain his place in the Highlands, but use of certain formal phrases, and specially the tone of Bat there are not many more of his kith and kin along voice). I said what I could about the truth being God's with him.

truth to be received as such in a meek, humble, and " Having thus shown that Nabo is naturalised in the self-searching spirit; and referred to the well-known Darth Highlands, I proceed to tell how he travelled to passage --" Take heed how ye hear,' &c. &c. 'No, no,' the south Highlands. When the Caledonian Canal was says my friend; "it is take heed who (hoo) ye hear, being wrought (from about 1800 to 1822), many north

and proves I am right.' He had been taught to proqrantry Highlanders were, as a matter of course, em

nounce how, hoo. He saw no necessity for wkom--the played on it, and after it was finished several of them objective-before the verb. He was convinced thoroughly went to the Crinan Canal-also a Government work in that he had floored me with my own weapons, and was he south of Argyleshire. There they naturally ad

more and more confirmed in his spiritual pride." sed one another as Nabi, just as an Englishman would say 'mate,' or 'comrade,' and the word, quite Two correspondents-one within the last few

** Three spoons

days-ask for a decision as between spoonsfullbe kind one to another?” The latter is beyond and spoonfuls.” The same question clearly in question the more correct, and is found in the volves all similar compounds,-handful, cupful, English version of the Scriptures in such phrases as, apronful, &c.

"Be kindly affectioned one to another in brotherly There can be no real doubt about the answer. love." But the former has become almost idiomatic, The composite word "spoonful" has an existence and the other would sound pedantic in conversation. of its own, and must follow the laws of that

The history of the inaccuracy may be thus traced. commonwealth of words to which it belongs. To When we say, Love one another,

one another" make its plural “spoonsfull," is to blot out its is not a compound word in the objective case after separate existence as a word. Besides, this form the verb, but is two words, the former in the nomiof plural does not convey the meaning intended. native, the latter in the objective case : in Latin,

full” is a different thing from “Diligite alius alium : "one love another. But the "three spoonfuls.” The former implies that three ear has become so accustomed to the sound of “one separate spoons were used : the latter expresses anotherpronounced together, that we have come three measures of the size indicated.

to regard that sound as indicating a compound word, There seems to be great uncertainty about the and to treat it as such after a preposition. spelling of the verb to shew (or, show). The follow- The same is the case with “each other." Love ing rule was given me, I forget by whom, and I each other,” is “Love each the other :” and so have generally found it observed by careful writers. when a preposition intervenes, we ought properly to When the verb is used of outward visible things, say, “Each to the other.” But we do not, and spell it with an 0: “He showed me his house never shall. Idiom has prevailed, even when estaand his pictures.” But when the verb is used of blished in a mistake, over strict propriety. things to be manifested to the mind, and not to the A correspondent asks, whether the suppression of sense, spell it with an e: “He shewed me the the s in the third person singular of to needmay advantage of becoming his tenant." It follows be regarded as sanctioned by use? from what has been said, that the substantive, “a Certainly, no one in these days would thiuk of show,” should always be spelt with an o: its mean. saying, “Tell the housemaid she needs not light the ing being restricted to an outward display made to dining-room fire to-day.” Our practice in this case the senses. On examining the English Bible, I is to abridge “needs not” into “needn't.” But it find that “shew" is universal, both as verb and is to be observed that the 8 is dropped only when as substantive, as literal and as metaphorical. Nor another verb follows: we say “He need have the is this owing to modern printers merely. The same strength of Hercules to lift that stone :” but if use prevailed through all the ancient English we leave out “ have,” we must say, He needs the versions : and is found also in the Common Prayer strength. Book. The tendency of the modern printer has The same correspondent asks whether good been to abandon this spelling altogether, and to use writers make “dare ” do duty for the past tense of the “o" in every case.

“to dare ?" A newspaper stated in 1864, that Lord Palmerston I do not quite uuderstand this question. I never had attained his eightieth year. On this a house saw that done which is described. Does my correshold at. Beckenham fell out. The ladies main poudent mean that he doubts whether good writers tained that the expression was equivalent to--had would say, “They urged him to take the leap, but completed his eightieth year. And matter of fact be dare not?” I imagine that every one would was with them : for Lord Palmerston, having been write “ he dared not : " I am sure that every one born in 1784, was full eighty in 1864. But the would say, “ he didn't dare to.” gentlemen held that, however the fact might Let me put in a word to rescue “dare" from seem to bear out the ladies' interpretation, and being treated as we just now saw “need” must be however the writer may have intended to express treated. It is not according to the best usage to the meaning, attained and completed cannot be the say, “he dare not do it.” The s of the third person same: but the expression “attained his eightieth present must not be suppressed: but we must say, year” must properly mean“ entered his eightieth he dares not do it. year.”

In Psalm lxxvii. 14, the Prayer Book version has It seems to me that the gentlemen were right. • Thou art the God that doeth wouders ;” whereas A youth has attained his majority the very day he the Bible version runs, “Thou art the God that enters upon it, not the day he dies and quits it, doest wonders.” A correspondent asks, which is his life being complete. A man attains a position right? in life the moment he is appointed to it, before The answer I think must be, that both are right. he has begun any of its duties. And so a man The direct construction of the sentence in English attains his eightieth year the first day that it can requires the Prayer Book rendering, “Thou art the be said of him that he is in his eightieth year: God that doeth wonders : " whereas the other cau not the last day that this can be said : for he has be accounted for by a pot uncommon attraction of then attained his eighty-first year.

subordinate verbs into the form in which the main Ought we to say, "be kind to one another," or sentence is cast.

A correspondent requested me to give him an vulgarisms, but I shall tire you. I wish you to account of the varying plurals of cherub and seraph, write a third article on the subject.

Excuse an as found in our Bible and Prayer Book. I have old-fashioned single woman (not a female) having obtained the following from one whose scholarship plagued you with this letter.” I can trust :

We had better take in order the words complained ** The forms 'cherubs,' cherubim,' cherubin,' of. Thanks” for “Thank you," seems to deserve * cherubims,' and 'seraphs,' 'seraphim,’ ‘seraphin,' better treatment than it meets with at our good * seraphims,' are, or profess to be, plurals of the Priscilla's hands. It is, first, of respectable parentFonds cherub' and seraph' respectively. The age and brotherhood : having descended from classic Fords themselves are taken directly from the languages, and finding both examples in our best Hebrew, and in that language the plurals are writers,* and present associates in the most polished *ckerubim' and 'seraphim.' In the English version tongues of Europe. And then, as generally used, the plurals appear as cherubims and seraphims, the it serves admirably the purpose of the generation translators finding cherubim (or “in”) and seraphim now coming up, who are for the most part a jaunty (or "in") in the Latin and Greek versions, and, it off-handed set, as far as possible removed from the may be, thinking that these terminations would prim proprieties of our younger days. “Thank pot carry to the majority of their readers the plural yon was formal, and meant to be formal : sense without the addition of 8.* Cherubin and “Thanks ” is both a good deal more gushing for the geraphin are properly Chaldaic or Rabbinic forms, short time that it takes saying, and also serves the and are those generally used in the oldest MSS. of convenient purpose of nipping off very short any the Septuagint version (-erv), that version having prospect of more gratitude or kindly remembrance probably been made by persons to whom the Rab- on the part of the young lady or gentleman from binic form was most familiar. (The form has, whose mouth it so neatly and trippingly flows. however, in later MSS. and in the editions of the Let “thanks” survive and be welcome; it is best Septuagint, been altered to im.) From the Septua- to be satisfied with all we are likely to get. giat this form was introduced to the Latin versions, Abnormalis one of those words which has and so found its way into the Te Deum, where it come in to supply a want in the precise statements has remained untranslated in the English Prayer of science. It means the same as “irregular :" but Book,"

this latter word had become so general and vague One correspondent asks, whether of these two is in its use, that it would not be sure to express right, “Death is obnoxious to men,” or “Men are (leparture from rule, which “abnormal” does. obnoxious to death !” Here the adjective “ob. Thus far its use is justified, and even the oldpoxious " is used in two different senses. In Latin,

fashioned lady could hardly complain : but the "obnosius" means

subject to:” “Omnes homines mischief is that the apes of novelty have come to morti obnoxii sunt," — All men are obnoxious, substitute it for “ irregular” in common talk : and subject, to Death. But this meaning has almost Miss, at home for the holidays, complains towards vanished out of our English usage, and that of the end of breakfast, that "the post has become Dorious, hurtful, has taken its place. I need not quite abnormal of late.” The effect of this, as of tell scholars that this meaning crept into later fine talk in general, will be to destroy the proper Latin probably from the similarity of sound in force of the word, and drive future philosophers to "noxius” and “obnoxius,” and is altogether un- seek a new one, which in its turn will share the known in the better days of the language.

like fate with its predecessor. I have had an amusing letter from which I extract Æsthetic,again, has its proper use in desigthe following: “All you say is indeed most true: Inating that which we could hardly speak of before griere over the changes and innovations in our it came into vogue. Unfortunately our adjective, language I hear daily around me, especially among formed from the substantive “sense,” had acquired I Foung people. Young people say Thanks' now, an opprobrious meaning: and the attempt to subnever . Thank you.' I am sick of abnormal,' and stitute sensuous for it had altogether failed. There 'esthetic,' and 'elected' for 'chosen,' all used most was no remedy but to have recourse to the Greek, absurdly by modern writers. *Advent' for 'coming' the language of science, and take the word we I late; it seems a sacred word, which ought to be wanted. If it has suffered in the same manner as only used for our Saviour's coming. Why has the last, it is no more than might have been ex

xople' now an : added to it? It never used to pected: but I do not remember to have heard it have; we do not yet say "sheeps ;' and both are used, where any other word would serve the turn. Douds of multitude. I can't bear to be asked at Electfor choose is one of our modern news. dioder if Mr. Blank shall assist me to anything paper fineries : and it is not to be denied that instead of help, and yet both mean much the same, “ Adventis rapidly losing its exclusively sacred but the former smacks of the commercial gent.' I reference. I am not sure that this is to be redlare say I could think of many more follies and gretted, as the popular mind will thus become

* It occurs fifty-five times in Shakspere: and, in the ." The earlier English Bibles have generally cheru- | formula “ Thanks be to God," four times in the English tans, &c.





aware, without explanation, what is meant by the floating vapour, such as is seen on the blue sky solemn season when it comes round.

before a change of weather. Now the original word, The adding of “8” to “people” has been rather it is true, is rack," but there is every probability a convenience. We always spoke of the English that by this Shakspere meant wreck, not floating people, the French people, the German people : why vapour. Two reasons may be given for this then should we not say, the European peoples ? At opinion : 1. In this very play, he calls the wreck of all events, it is better than what is now

a ship by the name "wrack :"_“The direful specpaper” for it, “nationalities.”

tacle of the wrack, which touched the very virtue of “Assisting" at dinner is of course what the compassion in thee;” and in Measure for Measure, single lady characterises it as being, -and even III. i., “her brother Frederick was wracked at

I don't imagine the respectable class whom sea.” 2. The word rack, in the sense of the thin sbe somewhat uncourteously snubs would be flat- cloud spread over the blue sky, is never found tered by the idea that they can descend to any except with the definite article, " the rack.” Thus expression so simply detestable. Another corre- in Hamlet, “We often see against some storm, & spondent says, “I have been often amused by a silence in the heavens, the rack stand still.” And host, requesting her guest (this gender is unkind), Bacon, in his natural history, says, " the clouds to assist himself." The construction in which the above, which we call the rack.” In all other unfortunate verb finds itself in this usage, is some examples given in the dictionaries, the same is the what curious. The challenge runs, “Mr. Blank, case ; and it would appear as contrary to usage to shall I assist you to beef?” The impression of say a rack," as it would be to say a north," or those who are unacquainted with the vulgarism a zenith.This being so, we have no resource but would be, that “to beef” was a verb, meaning to to face the corrector boldly, and to maintain that eat beef, or, as very refined people say, to “partake “ leave not a wrack behind,” means, leave not beof” beef.

hind so much as a ship when she has broken up,They do the thing somewhat differently over the not even a spar to be remembered by. water. An English gentleman for the first time Another erroneous correction (if one may venture seated at the table of an American family, was thus on such an Hibernianism in terms) is the inserting accosted by the lady of the house : “Mr. Smith, the word mayin the sentence of the general sir, do you feel beef ?

thanksgiving, “and that we shew forth Thy praise I witnessed the other day a curious example of not only with our lips but in our lives.” This conthe use of fine words. A blacksmith was endea-struction without " 'may," was not uncommon, vouring to persuade the smoke of my kitchen range when the contemplated result was to be stated. to go up the chimney instead of filling the room. Thus in the first Prayer Book, in the collect for St. He tried to explain to me the conditions under Mary Magdalen's day, we have, “Give us grace which this might be done; and to my astonishment that we never presume to sin through the example added, "you may always measure the success of an of any creature.” apparatus of this construction, by the incandescence A statement is sometimes made about this word, of the ignited material.

which is not in accordance with fact. I remember, In reference to the mispronunciation of Scripture a short time since, seeing in a book of instructions proper names, I have had several anecdotes sent how to read the Liturgy, that the omission of the

The only one worth recounting is, that an word “may” is only a blunder of the printers, for informant, whom I well know, heard the name of that it exists in the “sealed book," from which our the returned slave in St. Paul's Epistle to Phile- prayer-books ought to be copied. This is true, and mon, read, “One (monosyllable) Simus," instead it is untrue. It did exist in the sealed book, but of Onésimus.

was erased by the bishops, who put the pen through A correspoudent is highly offended with the very it. Thus its omission was no mistake, but a decommon expression, “I beg to inform you,” “I liberate act, and intended to convey a particular beg to state," etc., requiring that the word “leave” meaning. should be inserted after the verb, otherwise, he I will conclude with a few scraps which I have says, the words are nonsense.

collected, as specimens of broken or imperfect In this case, I conceive that custom has decided English. for us, that the ellipsis, "I beg,” for “I beg The first shall be a letter written to a friend of leave," is allowable.

mine by a German not deeply versed in our If ingenious derivations are often wrong, so also language. are ingenious corrections of common readings. I may give as an instance, a correction, often made “DEAR FRIEND, -With pleasure I took out of your kind with some confidence, of a word in the famous letter your good arrival at Lausanne, although sleeping.

"I iind that the intentions (of your Papa) as to your passage in Shakspere's Tempest, beginning, “The voyage for England are lightly justified as I think you cloud-capt towers.” We commonly read in the would renounce upon without many peins. modern editions, “And, like the baseless fabric of

Very much more desagréable seems your second plan a vision, leave not a wreck behind.” No, says the But I think as much as I hear of politic [& after the

of a course of mountains, if you must make it only. corrector, not wreck, but “rack :" rack being thin jugements of Mr. --] the peax is also retablied. At


« ForrigeFortsett »