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J. VERNON'S GUIDE to ANGLO-SAXON; a GRAMMAR founded on Rask's; with Reading Lessons in Verse and Prose, &c. 12mo, 58. cloth.
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A Collection of Words, Phrases,
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LAST ON SHAKESPEARE.
So I entitle these the last remarks that I shall make on Shakespeare's plays. If any one will add them to my Shakespeare-Expositor, he will then have the whole of my labours in the correction and elucidation of those immortal dramas. "To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme." Comedy of Errors, Act II. Sc. 2. As "moves" makes very bad sense here, we might read uses, or some similar word; but I am strongly persuaded that the poet's word was loves, and, l ́and m being adjacent letters, the compositor, by a most common mistake, took up the latterwe have, I think, in our poet two instances of this confusion of even t and w-and as 66 moves" was a good English word, the error was not detected. "She loves me for her theme!"-i. e. she pretends to love me, to have a theme to expatiate on, as she has been doing-pronounced in a tone of utter astonishment, must have had a most comic effect. In my Edition I heedlessly followed Singer in reading, with Collier's folio, means for "moves" here, and draws for "drives" three lines lower down. This speech of Antipholus, and another towards the end, should be marked Aside. In three of the following speeches we should give Adr. not Luc., for Luciana is throughout of a
Those who have written notes on this did not understand it, and perhaps the same may be true of those who are silent. Yet the meaning is plain, though peculiarly expressed. It is this: the fairest, most gracious grant of your suit by Hero is the necessity, the thing needed, what we want. It is not improbable that the poet wrote "is thy necessity," which would make the passage less enigmatic.
"The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat."-Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I. Sc. 1.
Shallow had asserted that "the dozen white luces" was an old coat, and Sir Hugh had misunderstood him. He here corrects him, telling him that the luce was the fresh-water fish of that name. He then adds, "the salt fish is an old coat too," if he was alluding, as is supposed, to the arms of the Fishmongers' Company, "Azure, two sea-luces in saltire with coronets over their mouths"; or he may have only reiterated his assertion, saying "the same fish is an old coat," and the printer, misled by "fresh fish," may have made it "salt fish."
"That no dram of a scruple, no scruple of a scruple." Twelfth Night, Act III. Sc. 4. Whether the critics have understood this or not, I cannot say, as I have never seen a note on it; but, to my shame, I must honestly confess that I myself have misunderstood it, in the strangest manner. I could of course explain how I came to do so, but "it skills not." To understand it, we must take the first and last "scruple" in the moral sense, the second as the weight, the third part of the dram. I owe this simple and natural explanation to J. J. A. Boase, Esq., of Alverton Vean, Penzance, the best Shakespearian I have ever known.
"And to thrill and shake,
Even at the crying of your nation's crow, Thinking his voice an armed Englishman." King John, Act V. Sc. 2. Here again we have nonsense; for no one has ever heard of the crow as peculiar to France. Collier's folio read crowing and cock for "crying"
and "crow," but that is poor. I believe the real word to have been "crower," a word no doubt of the poet's coinage, like many others, but in strict accordance with analogy. The Bastard, we may see, has been using the most insulting and disparaging language to the French, and what was more natural than that he should contemptuously term the bird that was regarded as their emblem the " crower?" We may observe that s has been effaced at the end of the following line, and so r or er may have been effaced here. The play, we may recollect, had been lying for nearly thirty years in the play-house. "This explanation," says Mr. Boase, "is very happy, and so simple that it would seem marvellous it should not have been thought of before, were it not that we find the moral of the old story of Columbus and the egg being constantly repeated. The line in which 'crow' occurs, and the next, afford strong support to the theory of effacement."
The following corrections seem better than those in my Edition and Expositor:·
In Coriol. i. 10, when proposing the substitution of household hearth for "brother's guard," I quite forgot to notice that that very phrase occurs in Milton's Samson Agonistes, v. 566, in my note on which place I had actually made the correction in Shakespeare.
My Expositor, in fine, is of course far from faultless, and perhaps il sent la vieillesse. I certainly regard it as being inferior to my "Comment on the Poems of Milton," but I believe it to be nearly indispensable to the student of Shakespeare. As to the critical notices which I have seen of itif they are so to be termed-with a few exceptions, they show nothing but ignorance and malevolence. Few indeed are qualified to give an opinion on critical emendations.
The connection of the two senses of verna, (1) "a native," (2) "a home-born slave," may have been-but to the best of my knowledge has not been elucidated. I think the modern words given above worthy of comparison.
now applied to "natives" of the Tropics, men of whatever race, animals &c., provided they be "native." That it once, however, implied a mixture of blood is clear from Acosta's Hist. de las Indias, lib. iv. cap. 25 (p. 257, ed. Madrid, 1608):
Creole (Criollo) is rightly interpreted by a correspondent of "N. & Q." 1st S. viii. 504. It is
"Esta fruta [he is speaking of the chicozapote], dezian algunos Criollos (como alla llama á los nacidos de Españoles y Indias) que excedia á todas las frutas de España.” It is thus defined in the Diccionario por la Real Academia Española (ed. 1729): —
"El que nace en Indias de Padres Españoles, u de otra nacion que no sean Indios. Es voz inventada de los Españoles conquistadores de las Indias y comunicada por ellos en España. Lat. Patria Indus, genere Hispanus."
The invention of the word by the Spanish conquerors is open to doubt. Rather it seems to have come from the mother country, and to have been contemptuously applied either to hybrids, or to such as, retaining purity of blood, yet were held degenerate, whether from skyey or from other influences. It is connected with criar (to create, nurse, suckle). That its application is depreciatory is indicated by the usage of a kindred dialect, the Portuguese. I find therein criolo, "a home-born slave"; crioula, "a bond-woman that is born in the house"; galhinna crioula, "a hen that is born in one's house." I find in Spanish, as well as in Portuguese, criado (criada), “a male (female) servant."
Get obviously gotten, begotten. Chaucer's 66 get and borne" is aptly quoted by Jamieson. This word (originally applicable to any child) appears now not to be used save contemptuously. See Scott, "Bride of Lammermoor," vol. xiv. p. 67 (Waverley Novels, ed. 1829-1834): “And where's that ill-deedy gett? Ross Helenore,* p. 146 (ed. Edinb. 1866): "They've gotten a geet that stills no night nor day." Comp. also brat, etymologically connected, I fancy, with breed. Dam, a mere corruption of dame ("He that yhad a maide to dame" [Chauc.] "Plowman's Tale," 3291; "Soche wordes as we lerneden of our dames tonge," Prol. "Test. of Love"), has been treated with similar irreverence. We all remember Shakespeare's
The brat is none of mine;
(Grandam perhaps is still respectable.)
VERNA: CREOLE (GET, GETT, GEET, ETC.): that this Scottish and North-English word is Bairn obviously-born. Am I right in thinking gradually dwindling into a contemptuous designation? I am a Yorkshireman, and used some fifty years ago to hear "t'squire bairn" (the
Hence with it; and, together with the dam, Commit them to the fire."
A recent perusal of this work-deserving neglect at the hand of neither poet nor provincialisms-seeking philologer has "gotten this geet," whether stillborn or, if not, worthy of your undertaking to be its sponsor will appear hereafter.
squire's child). Is the word ever now applied to one born of gentle blood?
Last of all, can one by any etymological artifice identify "verna" with "bairn"? I long to translate
"Quid ? nutrici non missuru's quicquam quæ vernas alit?" (Plaut. Mil. Glor. iii. 1. 104=696),
in some such fashion as
"What? not send aught to the nurse who feeds the wee wee bairns at hame?"
“EMPRESS OF MOROCCO : " "MACBETH" TRAVESTY.
There was printed at London, "For Simon Neal, at the sign of the Three Pidgeons in Bedford Street, in Covent Garden, 1674, 4to, the Empress of Morocco, a farce acted by his Majesties Servants." A portrait is prefixed of the imperial lady.
The Biographia Dramatica gives a very brief notice of this singular specimen of a burlesque drama, which was intended to throw ridicule on Settle's Emperor of Morocco, then a popular drama, and which was so much esteemed that it was originally published with engravings of the scenes. The travesty is clever, but coarse, and has been -attributed to Duffet the actor.
But the most remarkable portion of the farce is the Epilogue, which is denominated
"A new fancy, after the old and most surprising way of MACBETH, perform'd with new and costly MACHINES, which were invented and managed by the most ingenious operator, Mr. Henry Wright, P. G. Q." Heccate and Three Witches," according to the famous mode of Macbeth," commence "the most renowned and melodious Song of John Dory, being heard as it were in the Air sung in parts by Spirits, to raise the expectation, and charm the audience with thoughts sublime, and worthy of that Heroick Scene which follows." Then the scene opens-"Thunder and lightning is discovered, not behind painted Tiffany to blind and amuse the senses, but openly, by the most excellent way of Mustard-bowl and Salt-Peter." Three Witches fly over the pit, riding upon besoms. Then Heccate descends over the stage "in a glorious Charriott adorn'd with pictures of Hell and Devils, and made of a large Wicker Basket."
The burlesque or travesty of Macbeth had evident reference to the production of that tragedy in 1674 and previously, and was intended to ridicule the witches and their musical accompani
We learn from Pepys that Shakspere's tragedy was extremely popular, and that he greatly enjoyed the music and decorations.* Was Lock's music then used? Not being at all versed in the musical history of the period, I should be happy to be informed on the subject. The acting of Betterton was admirable; and one time when, from the illness of that great artist, his place was supplied by an inferior performer of the name of Young, Pepys was so much horrified that he left the theatre, and was followed by his lady, who was equally disgusted.
The tune of "A boat, a boat," is probably the popular catch yet occasionally sung. Is not this farce the earliest instance of a travesty of Shaksperesperea species of drama peculiarly adapted to the present times? None of the Shakspere travesties have much fun about them: Macbeth travesty is really abominable; Hamlet travesty is perhaps the best of the lot. The Rehearsal by the Duke of Buckingham, and The Critic by Sheridan, are full of wit and point, but are intended to turn into ridicule certain classes of writers, and not to travesty any particular drama. The Tom Thumb of Fielding, the Chrononhotonthologos and Dragon of Wantley of Carey, have never been surpassed by any subsequent production of a similar description.
[* Pepys' notice was on Oct. 16, 1667. He first saw it acted Nov. 5, 1664.-ED.]
LUCRETIUS. I have just been reading, in the Contemporary Review of last month, an article by Mr. Hayman on Mr. Munro's edition of Lucretius. My attention was particularly drawn to his remarks on the following passage in book iii. lines 556-7:
"Denique corporis atque animi vivata potestas, Inter se conjuncta valent, vitâque fruuntur."
"June 21, 1784. "We are much pleased with your designed improvement of the late preposterous celebrity, and have no doubt
A parallel passage is to be found in book ii. that, in good hands, the foolish occasion will turn to good
"At contra tetra absinthi natura, ferique Centauri fœdo pertorquent ora sapore." Why are the verbs in the plural number in the two above passages? I am convinced that Mr. Hayman is right, and that Mr. Munro is wrong in the construction of conjuncta in the former passage. A subject in the singular number, followed by two or more dependent genitives, has the verb or participle in the plural. Mr. Hayman says that the idiom is not uncommon in Shakespeare. He might have added, that it is frequently used by half-educated people in the present day. The same idiom is very common in Hebrew. I give one example from Genesis iv. 10, and translate literally: "The voice of thy brother's bloods crying to me." The participle crying is in the plural number in the original, agreeing with the dependent word bloods, and not with the subject voice. It has been from want of attention to this idiom that the attempts of all the commentators, including the most recent ones, to explain the construction of the second verse of the second chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, have been most unsatisfactory. The passage can be easily explained by any one who is acquainted with the Hebrew idiom.
FRENCH NOTIONS OF ENGLAND. -I have just been reading Mr. Jeaffreson's Book about Lawyers, and his chapter on "Judicial Corruption reminds me of a true story worth perpetuating. A few years ago a French gentleman of good sound standing was plaintiff in an English lawsuit. So good was his social standing that his name is known in commercial circles in almost every great European metropolis. If any Frenchman, therefore, may be expected to be acquainted with English customs and principles, one would expect the one in question to be. Yet, a day or two before the trial came off, I knew as a positive fact that he paid a special evening visit to his leading counsel to consult with him as to the lowest amount which it would be safe to send to the presiding judge to ensure success. He added, what I disbelieve, that in Paris such a practice is uni
R. C. L. "IMPROVEMENT."-This word, as meaning the employment of any special subject or event with
a view to religious edification, seems of late to have been consigned to the list of somewhat ridiculous if not vulgar expressions. I have, however, recently found it just so employed in Cowper's Letters, allowed by general consent to be a model of literary excellence :
THOMAS MOORE.-I send you a paragraph from the Dublin Chronicle, July 31, 1790, which may prove interesting to many readers of "N. & Q.: "—
"The public examinations at Mr. Whyte's school in Grafton Street [Dublin] closed on the 22nd instant, with an uncommon degree of splendour. A Master Moore, a boy not more than ten years old, distinguished himself in a remarkable manner, and was deservedly the admiration of every auditor. A very elegant poetical composition was spoken with great propriety by Master Nunn ; it is said to be the production of a near relation. and we of the day was indeed in a very superior stile, and highly hope will be given to the public. The whole exhibition
creditable to the master."
THE CARIBS. In his last report on the Island of Dominica, the Governor, Sir Benjamin Pine, makes allusion to a remnant of the aboriginal Carib population still surviving in Dominica. They are mostly settled in a secluded valley hundred and forty in number, a few more being on the windward side of the island, about four found in the north part, near Vieille Case. They are quiet and inoffensive, and rarely come before the courts of justice. Saliba, where they reside, is a collection of very poor huts surrounding a larger one, which is used as their church, for they have been converted to Christianity by the Roman Catholic priests. The men are expert fishermen and boatmen-as much at home in the water as on land. Beyond growing a few provisions, they make no attempt at agriculture. One industry is peculiar to them and to the Indians of Demerarathe manufacture of the humattas or Indian baskets, which are so closely woven as to be water-proof. One cannot but feel, as Sir Benjamin Pine remarks, a sad interest in this remnant of an ancient and vanishing people. PHILIP S. KING. EMIGRANTS. A great deal of trouble has been heretofore experienced by masters of ships in making their sea-sick passengers go on deck during the voyage to obtain some fresh air, to take the exercise which their health requires, and while they are thus engaged, to have their berths properly cleansed. Fortunately, this difficulty is to exist no longer. A master now, finding his passengers indisposed to move, has only to send one of his seamen with a heated shovel through