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C.

C, the third letter and the second consonant in the English alphabet, as in most alphabets derived from the Phoenician. But in the Phoenician, as in the Greek, the value of the character was that of hard g,-the Greek y. The early Latins gave it also the k or Greek κ sound, representing both sounds by the letter C, and ignoring the K character. When later they readopted the distinction of sounds, they retained C as the symbol of the hard sound, and added a tag to the same character to represent the g sound. Thus the C, when restored to its original and undiluted sound-sense, became our G. The Anglo-Saxon softened the C before e, i, and y into the sound of ch, the French into that of s. Hence words in our language beginning with the soft sound of care almost invariably of French, and those beginning with ch of Saxon, origin. Exceptions like cinder (Saxon sinder) result from a corrupted misspelling.

Ça ira, literally, “that will go,” a French phrase nearly equivalent to our "it will all come right in the end." Franklin applied it with great effect to the cause of the American Revolution when he was the minister of the United States in Paris, and it subsequently acquired wide celebrity as the refrain of a popular song during the French Revolution of 1791:

Ça ira, ça ira, ça ira,

Les aristocrate' à la lanterne.

It will go, it will go, it will go,

Hang the aristocrats to the lamp-post.

These words fell, as all true patriots love to remember, from the lips of Franklin in the trying times of 1777When the news of the disastrous retreat through the Jerseys and the miseries of Valley Forge reached France, many good friends to America began to think that now indeed all was lost. But the stout heart of Franklin never for a moment flinched. "This

is, indeed, bad news," said he, “but fa ira, ça ira, it will all come right in the end." Old diplomatists and courtiers, amazed at his confidence, passed about his cheering words. They were taken up by the newspapers, they were remembered by the people, and in the dark days of the French Revolution were repeated over and over again on every side and made the subject of a stirring song, which, till the Marseillaise hymn appeared, had no equal in France. -MCMASTER: History of the People of the United States, vol. ii.

Ça va sans dire, a familiar French locution, whose English equivalent might be "that is a matter of course," or "that may be taken for granted." But recently it has become the tendency to translate it literally, "that goes without saying," and these words, though originally uncouth and almost unmeaning to the unpractised ear, are gradually acquiring the exact meaning of the French.

Cabal, a junto, a union of unscrupulous self-seekers to promote their own interests in church or state, possibly in allusion to the esoteric nature of the Jewish Cabbala. The name was given as a sobriquet to the English ministry after the Restoration. Thus, December 21, 1667, Pepys notes in his Diary, "The Archbishop of Canterbury is called no more to the Cabal, nor, by the way, Sir W. Coventry, which I am sorry for, the Cabal at present being the King and Duke of Buckingham, and Lord Keeper, the Duke of Albemarle, and Privy Seale." Three years later, in 1670, a new ministry was formed, with the following members: Sir Thomas Clifford, Lord Ashley, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Arlington, and the Duke of Lauderdale. It will be seen that the italicized initials form the acrostic "Cabal," a curious coincidence, which led to the fallacy that the word Cabal grew out of the acrostic. Burnet was the first writer guilty of this etymological blunder, and he has been closely followed by other historians, and by nearly all the dictionaries and

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Cæsar's wife must be above suspicion. This phrase, according to Suetonius and Plutarch, originated with Cæsar under the following circumstances. His wife Pompeia had an intrigue with Publius Clodius, a member of one of the noblest families of Rome and a brilliant and handsome profligate. As he could not easily gain access to her, he took the opportunity, while she was celebrating the mysteries of the Bona Dea ("Good Goddess," a dryad with whom the god Faunus had an amour), to enter disguised in a woman's habit. Now, these mysteries were celebrated annually by women with the most profound secrecy at the house of the consul or prætor. The presence of a man was a hideous pollution: even the pictures of male animals had to be veiled in the room where these ceremonies were performed. While Clodius was waiting in one of the apartments for Pompeia, he was discovered by a maid-servant of Cæsar's mother, who gave the alarm. He was driven out of the assembly with indignation. The news spread a general horror throughout the city. Pompeia was divorced by Cæsar. But when Clodius came up for trial, Cæsar declared that he knew nothing of the affair, though his mother Aurelia and his sister Julia gave the court an exact account of all the circumstances. Being asked why, then, he had divorced Pompeia, "Because," answered Cæsar," my family should not only be free from guilt, but even from the suspicion of it." (Suetonius.) Plutarch gives it, “Because I would have the chastity of my wife clear even from suspicion." This was very well; but Cæsar had no mind to exasperate a man like Clodius, who might serve his ambitious projects. The judges were tampered with. Clodius was acquitted. Cicero was enraged. "The judges," said he, "would not give any credit to Clodius, but made him pay his money beforehand." This expression made an irreparable breach between Clodius and Cicero, to their mutual undoing. Clodius succeeded in having a law passed for Cicero's banishment, demolished his house, and persecuted his wife and children. Clodius, on his part, was impeached by Milo, the friend of Cicero. The latter was unsuccessful. But Milo and Clodius met, shortly afterwards, on the Appian Way. The servants of both engaged in a general fray, and Milo's faction triumphed. Clodius took shelter in a neighboring tavern, but Milo had the house stormed and Clodius dragged out and slain.

Cake, To take the, an American colloquial expression, applied to one who does a thing pre-eminently well, or, sarcastically, and more usually, to one who fails conspicuously. It had its origin in the negro cake-walks common in the Southern States, and not unknown in the Northern. The waik usually winds up a ball. Couples, drawn by lot, walk around a cake especially prepared for the occasion, and the umpires award the prize to the couple who, in their opinion, walk most gracefully and are attired with the greatest taste. Hence they are said "to take the cake,"—an expression which has attained its wide currency through the burlesques in the negro minstrel shows.

Yet the negro cake-walk has respectable ancestry in the medieval past. Gerard's "Herball" (1633) informs us that "in the springtime are made with the leaves hereof newly sprung up, and with egs, cakes or tansies, which be pleasant in taste, and good for the stomacke ;" and a contemporary, speaking of the strictness of the Puritans, says, "All games where there is any hazard of loss are strictly forbidden: not so much as a game of football for a tansy." According to Brand, in the Easter season foot-courses were run in the meadows, the victors carrying off each a cake, given to be run for by some better person in the neighborhood. In Ireland, at Easter and Whitsuntide, the lower classes used to meet and dance for a cake raised on top of a pike decorated with flowers, the prize going to the couple who held out the longest; and in some parts of England a custom prevailed of riding for the bride-cake. "This riding took place when the bride was brought to her new habitation. A

pole, three or four feet high, was erected in front of the house and the cake put on top of it. On the instant that the bride set out from her old home, a company of young men started on horseback, and he who was fortunate enough to reach the pole first and knock the cake down with his stick received it from the hands of a damsel. This was called 'taking the cake.' The fortunate winner then advanced to meet the bride and her attendants."-REV. A. MACAULAY : History and Antiquities of Claybrook (1791).

Cake, Why don't they eat? This is said to have been the reply made by some very young and very ingenuous princess-variously nominated by the authorities as Marie Antoinette, the Princess de Lamballe, or some lessknown person-when she was informed that there was a famine among the poor, and that many were dying for want of bread. The American Notes and Queries (iv. 103) comes to the rescue of the maligned princess-whom it asserts to be Marie Antoinette-by explaining that what she really said was, "I would rather eat pie-crust (croûtons) than starve." And although the courtiers giggled, the laughers, says this authority, "are on the side of the princess, for what she said showed her good sense and knowledge of the Tyrolese peasantry. In the Tyrol it was customary to prepare meat for cooking by first rolling it up in a 'breading' composed of sawdust, with a small amount of flour to give it coherence. It was placed among the embers and left to cook slowly. When the meat was ready to be served, the crust was thrown away or fed to swine. Certainly croûtons might not have been suitable for a steady diet, but nevertheless the princess was wiser than those who tell the story in the ordinary form."

Cake. You cannot have your cake and eat it, a familiar English proverb, of obvious application. It appears in this form in Heywood's "Proverbs:"

Would yee both eat your cake and have your cake?

And in Herbert's "The Size :"

Wouldst thou both eat thy cake and have it?

Camel. "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matt. xix. 24). This phrase has occasioned much controversy among commentators, many of whom have held that it is hyperbolical, and wanting in that propriety which usually characterizes the metaphors employed by Jesus Christ. Origen and Theophylact leaned to the opinion that cable should be substituted for camel, claiming that among the Hellenistic Jews káμŋhoç meant indifferently a cable or a camel. St. Anselm is said to have explained it thus: "At Jerusalem there was a certain gate, called the needle's eye, through which a camel could not pass but upon its bended knees and after its burden had been taken off; and so the rich man should not be able to pass along the narrow way that leads to life till he had put off the burden of sin and of riches,-that is, by ceasing to love them." (Glossa apud S. Anselm. in Catena Aurea, vol. i. p. 670, Oxf. trans., 1841.) St. Anselm might have gone further than this. It seems to be pretty well established that the term needle's eye was frequently applied to a small door or wicket in an Eastern town. Nay, such an application does not seem unknown in the West. Dante (Purgatorio, Canto xv. 16) speaks of himself and his conductor Vergil crawling through a cruna,-i.e., the eye of a needle, meaning a narrow passage. Nevertheless the question cannot be considered as settled. Taking the saying in its most literal sense, it is scarcely more hyperbolical than that other utterance of our Lord, "Strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." In any event Christ was only making use of a proverbial expression, the comparison of any difficulty with that of a camel or an elephant passing through the eye of a

needle being a familiar simile to Oriental hearers. (See Notes and Queries, fifth series, ix. 270.)

Shakespeare construed the passage in St. Anselm's sense when he said,—

It is as hard to come as for a camel

To thread the postern of a needle's eye.

Richard II., Act v., Sc. 5.

Canard. This term, as applied to newspaper inventions, arose in the following manner. Norbert Cornelissen, to try the gullibility of the public, reported in the papers that he had twenty ducks, one of which he cut up and threw to the nineteen, who devoured it. He then cut up a second, then a third, and so on till nineteen were cut up; and as the nineteenth was eaten by the surviving duck, it followed that this one had eaten his nineteen comrades in a wonderfully short space of time. This preposterous tale went the round of the newspapers in France and elsewhere, and so gave the word canard (“ duck”), in the new sense of a hoax, first to the French language, and then to all civilized tongues. This story may have suggested to W. S. Gilbert his "Yarn of

the Nancy Bell."

Cardinal, from the Latin cardo, a hinge, a name applied in earlier ages to priests and deacons in a metropolitan church who acted as a sort of council with the bishop. It was never exclusively appropriated to members of the Sacred College at Rome until Pius V. so límited its use in 1567, thirty-three years after the formal nullification by Parliament of the papal authority in Britain. Hence the title still lingers in the English Church, and to this day two members of the College of Minor Canons in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, are styled "the Senior and Junior Cardinals of the Choir," their duties being to preserve order in the services, administer the Eucharist, and officiate at funerals. Thanks to the secularization of church properties, other traces still exist in various parts of Protestant Europe of the old hierarchical nomenclature, thus, Lord Abbot of St. Mary's, at Newry, in Ireland. The nomination of one of the sons of George III., while in his cradle, to a Hanoverian bishopric gave point, it will be remembered, to a passage in one of Burns's most characteristic poems. "It once occurred to me," says a newspaper writer, "to be presented to the Herr Abt and the Frau Abtin of a secularized abbey in the duchy of Lüneburg. The Herr Abt was a friend and correspondent of Strauss, and the Frau Abtin waltzed remarkably well.”

Cards, On the. Roughly, this common locution may be defined as in the future, in order, within the range of probability. Thus, Micawber, in “David Copperfield," says, "By way of going in for anything that might be on the cards," etc. Here the last part of the sentence is equivalent to his favorite locution, "anything which may turn up." An earlier use of the same expression occurs in Smollett's translation of "Gil Blas" (1749): “They wanted to discern whether I played the villain on principle, or had some little practical dexterity, but I showed them tricks which they did not know to be on the cards, and yet acknowledged to be better than their own." Here the phrase is not yet divorced from its original connection with playing-cards.

Carpet. This is an old word for table-cloth, as tapis in French means both carpet and table-cloth. "On the carpet," therefore, originally meant laid on the table for future consideration. In popular English, "to be carpeted” means to be confronted with a person in his own house.

A neighbor was telling me that his son had become engaged to a young woman, and had suffered much in the ordeal of "asking papa." He said, "He was carpeted before the old gentleman yesterday, and could get no sleep all night after it."-C. C. B., in Notes and Queries, seventh series, vii. 476.

Carpet Knight,-in allusion to the carpet on which mayors, lawyers, and other civilians kneel when receiving the honors of knighthood,—a person who has been knighted through court favor, and not in recognition of services in battle. By extension the phrase is applied to all persons who have gained distinction without earning it.

Carpet knights are such as have studied law, physic, or other arts or sciences, whereby they have become famous, and seeing that they are not knighted as soldiers, they are not therefore to use the horseman's title or spurs; they are only termed simply miles and milites, “ Knight" Knights of the Carpetry,' or " Knights of the Green Cloth," to distinguish them from those knights that are dubbed as soldiers in the field.-RANDLE HOLMES: Academy of Armour, iii. 57.

or "

Carry me out, an expression of incredulity or contempt, which seems to have originated in England about 1780, but is now less common there than in the United States. It is sometimes elaborated into "Carry me out and bury me decently," or, "and leave me in the gutter." An American variant once very familiar, "Carry me out when Kirby dies," has a history of its own.

Castles in the air, a proverbial phrase found throughout English literature, the first instance noted being in Sir Philip Sidney's "Defence of Poesy." The metaphor is obvious enough. But the French equivalent, "châteaux en Espagne" ("castles in Spain"), requires explanation. M. Quitard tells us that the proverb dates from the latter part of the eleventh century. When Henry of Burgundy crossed the Pyrenees at the head of a great army of knights to win glory and plunder from the Infidels, Alfonso of Castile rewarded Henry's services with the hand of his daughter Theresa, and the county of Lusitania,-the latter becoming, under the issue of this marriage, Alfonso Henriquez, the kingdom of Portugal. So brilliant a success excited the emulation of other warlike French nobles, and set them to dreaming of fiefs won and castles built in Spain. In further explanation, it may be added that previous to the eleventh century few castles had been built in Spain, and the new adventurers had to build for themselves.

Cat, As sick as a, a proverbial English phrase. As the cat is not often sick, the saying, as it stands, is not very happy. But it seems that the original

ran :

As sick as cats
With eating rats.

Here the fitness of the illustration comes out; for however senseless it may seem to compare a sick and suffering Christian to the active wiry little animal popularly supposed to have nine lives, that same animal is all but invariably sick (in every sense of the word) if rashly permitted to eat the rat successfully encountered and killed. How strange that this second line should have so entirely disappeared from common speech, when it has not only reason, but the more powerful help of rhyme, to keep it in remembrance !-Notes and Queries, fourth series, ii. 541. Cat. The cat loves fish, but she is loath to wet her feet. This is the proverb that Lady Macbeth alludes to when she upbraids her husband for irresolution:

Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would,"
Like the poor cat in the adage.

Another old English proverb reminds you that "If you would have the hen's egg you must bear with her cackling," while the Portuguese say, “There's no catching trout with dry breeches." Of the same kind was the good woman's answer to her husband when he complained of the exciseman's gallantry: "Such things must be if we sell ale."

Cat, To bell the. To thwart or destroy a common enemy at great personal risk. The phrase originated in Æsop's fable of the colony of mice, who, having suffered greatly from the stealthy strategy of a cat, met together to devise a remedy. A young mouse suggested that a bell should be hung from

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