« PoprzedniaDalej »
mined to disappoint him. In fact, so different an aspect do her features assume every day, that we have reason to believe he will at length despair in his enterprise, though for the present the rapid growth of this Archaic Dictionary has blinded his eyes to the frightful features it has derived from his lady-patroness. Even already he admits that "it may be objected that too many obviously corrupt forms have been admitted."
To exemplify Mr. Halliwell's mode of limning the grimaces of his aged beauty, we need only refer to any one page of his Dictionary; but to do so in the way of extract we will take two words, the ramifications of which will occupy fully as much space as we can afford. They are abashed and abie. The former is still so common a word that it perhaps might have been omitted altogether; but Mr. Halliwell thinks differently, and he has accordingly presented it under the following phases or "forms :"
ABAISSED. Ashamed; abashed.
Here are ten entries of a single word; and if ten are admitted, with such slight varieties, we may be sure that others of at least equal claim (and possibly as many in number,) must be away,-others which are as likely to occur to those who may refer to the Archaic Dictionary, as the "forms" which happen to have occurred to Mr. Halliwell in the course of his own reading.
For example, under ABASSCHт, he has given a passage in which the word is written abasshed; why should he not have entered that as well as ABASCHED?
Again, he explains "ABA YSCHID, Frightened," on the authority of the Promptorium Parvulorum; but the "form" in that dictionary is " Abaschyd." Why then, did not ABASCHYD make yet a twelfth entry in Mr. Halliwell's columns ?
"ABASCHYD, or aferde; territus, perterritus. Prompt. Parv."
It may appear trifling in us to discuss, or even to point out, the meaning of Abashed, which will be found in any pocket abridgment of Johnson: but our object is to show Mr. Halliwell: 1. The utter hopelessness of collecting every "form" of spelling; and, 2. The want of exactness of explanation consequent upon the neglect of arrangement, and a deduction of secondary senses from the primary,in short, how that, in neglecting Etymology, he is neglecting his best friend.
His ten entries of this word, which Occupy in the Dictionary nineteen lines of explanation, and thirty-six lines of example, in all fifty-five lines, are to our minds thrown away in any dictionary containing the verb of which it is a participle.
The old-English orthographies above enumerated are, in reality, interesting proofs how our two words abase and abash are both descendants of the French word originally engrafted into our language: whilst the i ory was retained in Abaissed, or Abayschid, &c. it was in fact an English participle formed on a French verb.
That French verb, Abaisser, is most closely resembled in English by Abase: and this last word we find Mr. Halliwell has given with six lines of explanation. And again under ABESSE with six more, in addition to the fifty-five already enumerated. Now, might not all that was necessary have been comprised in about six lines, sparing the other sixty? something in this way:
ABASE, to bring down, to humble, Fr. abaisser, from à and bas. Hence abaissed (Piers Ploughman), abaischite, (Morte d'Arthur), abasched (MS. Cantab. Ff. ii. 38, f. 109), [Modern, abashed.] &c. &c. Cast down, as with shame or fear; disappointed.
But if not in six, at most in twentysix lines, the word (if really to be deemed obsolete) might have been fully explained with all the important examples, and with references from such "forms" of spelling as might possibly baffle an inquirer. This would have tended materially to the proposed purpose of conciseness and economy of space.
Then, with a view to "the correct meanings of the words," Mr. Halliwell would have found it a material assistance if he had determined to de
duce secondary meanings from primary, and to have informed his readers (if by arrangement only, that would frequently be sufficient,) why the same word, which originally meant "lowered" and generally means "ashamed," sometimes means "frightened," sometimes "disappointed," &c. Lastly, in giving examples of several senses, care should be taken that each example be applicable to the sense defined.
In these important respects we have but a bad account to give of Mr. Halliwell. His sense of "frightened" is taken, as we have already shown, from the Promptorium Parvulorum, but his example of ABAYSCHID is the following from Wickliffe's New Testament:
"And anoon the damysel roos and walkide and sche was of twelve yeer, and thei weren abayschid with a great stoneyng.
Here there is no authority for the interpretation "frightened;" if we look to the original, καὶ ἐξέστησαν ἐκoráσei peyády (Mark v. 42.) it would rather be, like our present version, "astonished." As we might now say, the witnesses of the miracle were overcome with a great astonishment.
(And here we may mention, by the bye, that a reference to Wiclif's version of 1380, supplies yet a thirteenth "form," viz. abaischide.)
Probably, in the passage quoted under ABAYSTE, the sense contemplated by the author of the Promptorium was more clearly implied:
Syr Eglamour es noghte abayste, In Goddis helpe es alle his trayste. Again, under “ABAYST," the first Disapexample bears out the sense pointed;" but in the second,
What thyng that ze wille to me saye, 30w thare noght be abayste, it is clearly “ashamed.”
Yet again, besides his ten interpretations, Mr. Halliwell has suggested also "injured," when introducing the "form abasshed to which we have before adverted.
"It seems to be used for injured in the Morte d'Arthur, i. 366,-' He smote Syr Palomydes upon the helme thryes, that he abasshed his helme with his strokes.'"'
where a disregard to the primary or etymological sense creates the whole difficulty. In the very next line ABAST
is explained as "Downcast," and so to abase was "to cast down." "He abasshed his helme "-" injured" it! he struck it down,-a bas, to the ground.
A still more glaring example, however, of Mr. Halliwell's want of etymological arrangement and connection is furnished by the cognate words abye and abide, of which his "forms almost endless, and his explanations Notwithstanding sufficiently varied. the space they will occupy, we can only show them fairly by extracting
"ABADE. (1) Abode; remained. (2) Delay.
ABAY. At bay.
ABBAY. To bay; to bark.
ABECHED. Fed; satisfied.
ABEYE. To bow; to obey.
ABIDANCE. Tarrying; dwelling.
ABIDE. (1) To persevere; to endure;
ABIGGEN. To abie.
ABIST. Payest for it.
ABITE. (2) To atone for. (4) Abideth.
ABOUGHT. Sometimes, atoned for, from abiggen.
ABOUGHWED. Bowed, obeyed.
ABUY. (1) To bow. (2) To abie.
ABYCHE. To suffer for.
When to these "forms" our lexico
grapher shall have added those which he may find commencing with a b, and others commencing with o, he will have manufactured a goodly regiment out of one or two cognate words: but it is a regiment which has neither the advantage of a uniform,-we mean in Mr. Halliwell's interpretations,-nor the merit of keeping its ranks, for its members are scattered like sharpshooters, each erecting its head as an independent member of the Archaic vocabulary. The general import of the word appears be that of awaiting with patience. Hence its application to suffering, and expiation; and sometimes perhaps to obedience, though the word obedience itself has another origin, in the Latin. Hence also its application to continual remaining at one spot, and the word abode still in common use. The bay of dogs also was their waiting, not their "barking;" as now used, it is only a particular species of" barking," at the most: they bark while they are kept at bay. As for the sense "to bow," which Mr. Halliwell has introduced under the "forms" ABEYE, ABOUGHWED, ABUE, and ABUY, it more properly belongs to the verb byg-an, to bow, or bend: words so similar as abey, abow, and obey would naturally fall into some confusion in colloquial use. Probably "to bid, to offer," as under ABUDE, in Anglo-Saxon biddan, is connected with the other verb abidan, inasmuch as the person making an offer, abided, or waited for, its acceptance.
Mr. Halliwell will probably tell us, that these are the very etymological questions that he professes to avoid. But are they not inseparably connected with his proposed "correct ings?" It might perhaps have been better if he had avoided all the inflections of verbs, and generally all such words as are noticed in our best modern dictionaries, which is the case with those we have noticed. As it is, he has vainly attempted to explain every inflection of the language, written in an antique orthography, that he may happen to have met with, at the same time disregarding those operations of grammar and etymology to which the "forms" owe their birth.
We need not say more to shew how much space might have been saved by compressing and coalescing the multiGENT. MAG. VOL. XXIII.
form heads which are presented by such words as the verb abie. A still greater saving perhaps would have resulted from the omission of such words as are found in the early-English language employed in the same sense as they are still, but merely written in an obsolete orthography, which in no case obscures their meaning. The author has been sadly led astray by his "forms" of spelling, which after all are not forms of speech; their perfect enumeration is impossible, and Acwould be useless if it were not. quaintance with the varieties of antient orthography is acquired by reading, and not by a dictionary.
A third means of economising space and cost would have been the rejection of words that are culled from the
canting" or Slang vocabulary: these might very properly have been left in that choice repository.
Fourthly, technical words might have been consigned in confidence to technical dictionaries, particularly if occurring only in works of science. They are generally derived from the learned languages, and their signification is therefore seldom obscure. This rule would have relieved our lexicographer from many words belonging to the law, to mathematics, astrology, chemistry, &c. and of a great many belonging to botany or natural history.
Fifthly, Mr. Halliwell has incorporated many solecisms, which we think were scarcely deserving that attention. They are of two origins, either of pedantry or euphuism; or else of editorial misapprehension and mere Of the first typographical error. kind is that under ABBREVYATE,"caused Collyngborn to be abbrevyate -a mere cirshorter by the heade"cuitous expression for "beheaded,” but where our author explains "Abbrevyate, decreased!" Something like this is the meaning he assigns to a line of Lydgate,
"Alle myscheffes from him to abrigge." Now, every body knows the real import of "abridge;" but Mr. Halliwell says
"ABRIGGE. To shield off." The solecisms of the other kind are, where he corrects an editorial error,
ler A-BOUET and AVELACE. Of K
these it may certainly be said in excuse that a reader might turn to an Archaic Dictionary to learn whether any knowledge had been acquired of a word that had baffled an editor: but, at most, a mere reference in such cases would be enough, as “A-BOUET, see BONET," and the explanation should come under the real word, not the imaginary one.
Lastly, for "Proverbs, and Antient Customs," surely it was extending the scheme too widely to include them. We do not, however, find that they have hitherto occupied so much space as one might suppose their incorporation would require. Mr. Halliwell is not, under letters A. and B., excessively Full of wise saws and modern instances,
The Gospel before the Age. By the Rev. R. Montgomery.-This work is dedicated to Mr. Gladstone, and a long dedicatory epistle to him is prefixed, in which, among other topics, he explains what he means by the title-"The Gospel before the Age"-"that is, that, both theoretically and practically, the age in which we live, to a vast extent, treats the Gospel of Christ as it were behind itself, and hence no longer capacitated to grapple with the great problems of the day, and satisfy the rising wants of the world;" and adds, "A fixed creed, a real Christ, a divine nature, a spiritual home, and a present heaven, these are the satisfying goods, the solid blessings, for need of which a blind and haughty generation is now so disturbed and unhappy. But our carnal reason cannot discern this, and our selfconfiding hearts will not receive it. Accordingly, all the elect of God and the living members of Christ proceed to be their own electics by endeavouring to supply their own deficiencies. Hence empiricism, pride, and presumption, are the leading traits of the times," &c. This is the great principle worked out in the volume, through a variety of particulars, under different modes of reasoning, and with reference to the various and opposite errors it meets with and confutes, whether in the corruptions of the Papal Church, or in the peculiar doctrines of Puseyism or of Evangelicism in our own. We think the book is larger than it need have been; if so, this is a great error, as impeding its circulation and consequent utility. It discusses such a vast variety of subjects, and these lying on the edge and border of controversy, that to say we agree with the author in all his statements, views, or ar
though a few choice references of the latter kind may be found, as under Air to the "Times of Aug. 20, 1844," and under ALLEY and ANTIENT to the "Pickwick Papers."
But we abstain, purposely, from further observations on particular words, as that would lead us far beyond our present limits. We have preferred, in this our first notice of an extensive and important undertaking, rather to discuss its general merits and arrangements, and shall be glad if we find that our remarks in any respect conduce to greater caution and consideration, and above all to a more lucid arrangement, in the future portions of the work.
guments would be wrong, neither honourable to ourselves nor gratifying to him. But there is an earnest tone of piety and zeal pervading the spirit of the work, much learned inquiry, and much important discussion. The topics in dispute are fairly stated and temperately argued; and the views of the writer on the most important of all subjects,-viz. our fallen nature and our regenerated state, which indeed is the whole subject of discussion,the sound divine and the pious Christian would equally call their own.
Geology and Geologists; or, the Visions of Philosophers of the Nineteenth Century. By the Author of The Goodness of Divine Providence."-This work is not written in the style that science requires, nor is the language applied to the illustrious professors mentioned in it such as science gives to her favourite sons. That there are defects, chasms, errors, in the present geological theories and systems, we believe; but in the outline of their general accordance with probability and fact we also have faith, which is not shaken by anything advanced by the present author. His objections to the doctrine of a growing world, or a slowly progressive de
velopement through successive ages, may be seen p. 29.
The Cold Water Cure. By E. Lees, Esq.-A second edition of the work. It is moderate, sensible, and interesting, exhibiting equally the success and failures of this mode of treatment. We will not throw cold water upon it.
Theory of the Fine Arts. By W. Dyce. This is an introductory lecture delivered in the Classical Theatre of King's College in May. The author inquires first into how far the term scientific was applied to the fine arts; and, in his consideration of Christian art, divides it into five epochs or schools, which he terms the Christian- Pagan, the Barbaric, the Ascetic, the Pagan-Christian, and the Sensual. The treatise is to be followed by a fuller exposition of the subject in future lectures.
Introduction to the Second Edition of the Highlands of Ethiopia. By M. C. Harris. This is intended to show the mistakes and malice of his reviewer,every page of whose criticism, he says, abounds with fallacies and sophisms.
Parochial Sermons. By Rev. G. W. Woodhouse, M.A.-These sermons possess, we think, the great qualifications which what are called "parochial" demand, sound scriptural doctrine, clearly explained and strongly enforced, so that attention may be awakened, practice strengthened, and faith confirmed. do not know how to select any as superior to the rest, for the same character of style and exposition appears in all. We however may point out Sermon ix. "A due Sense of Sin possessed with Difficulty," and then xxii. "Thoughts of Comfort for the Lonely;" and xxiv. "Feelings resulting from the Knowledge of Christ;" but probably a second reading would incline us to include many others under the same approbation. At p. 124 is an excellent note well worthy of attention, on the Discipline of the Church; and at p. 376 on Baptism, which we extract. Calvin says, in baptism God washes us in the blood of his Son, and regenerates us with his Holy Spirit. Luther on the 3rd chapter of Galatians and the 27th verse writes thus: Here he, that is St. Paul, says that all baptized persons have put on Christ,' speaking as I said of a putting on, which should not be by imitating, but by being born." And the sermon asks, after a reference to the foregoing note and some others to the same effect, "Does not this very strongly countenance the idea which
our Reformers entertained, that the remis sion of our sins, and the regeneration of our souls, is attendant on the baptismal rite? Wesley too, I believe, has some. where said, Who ever denied that we were born again in baptism?' Very possibly statements made by these writers at other times may appear inconsistent with what they have here written; but their having but once expressed themselves in this way is most unsuspicious testimony, because it is the testimony of reluctant witnesses." There is also a sermon " On the Adoption of the Daily Service," a practice which of course would be advantageous to all, and most consolatory to many, but which we should be very sorry to see enforced through the numerous serious impediments which, in many cases, would stand in its way. As a voluntary exercise of piety, it is to be commended, but we think not to be commanded by authority either of the Bishop to his ministers, or by them to the people.
Launcelot of the Lake: a Tragedy, in five Acts. By C. J. Reithmüller.-We never heard the name of this author before, but we shall be glad to see him again in the walks of poetry, for the present specimen of his poetical powers is full of promise. Perhaps the subject is not well chosen, and the story too well known to excite surprise, or to admit much deviation from the received tradition; but it is well told by the author. The language is correct, the rythm harmonious, the poetical images pleasing, and the whole plot conceived and conducted with judgment and taste. Some of the gentle and tender scenes are very beautiful, and evidently are in harmony with the poet's genius. We should advise him to try a subject which will admit a bolder flight, and the struggle of contending interests, and the conflict of human passions, without any intervention of supernatural agency and we heartily wish him success in his arduous and honourable undertaking. Of the present drama no specimens would be sufficient that are not too long for our pages, and we will not do him injustice by too brief a quotation.
Early Hours and Summer Dreams.The object of these poems, the author says, "is to turn the sensual passions into the channel of more refined affections :" and he adds, that in early life he was remarkable for simplicity and purity of character, and, before these valuable qualities were adulterated by a worthless intercourse with the world, he was thrown into the society of a young lady of irresistible attractions, and favoured with her par