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Mr Sibbald is widely mistaken in a proposed correction of the following pallage in Hardinge's Itinerary :
• Then send a hoft of foott men in
And eke therewith the Stowe of Weddale.
Mi Sibbald, in a note in vol. I. p. 358, has printed, from Millar and Chapman's Miscellany 1505, an old yeu
My Gudame was a gay wif, but scho wes right geud ;' -which he seems inclined to ascribe to Kennedy. It appears to 115, in style and composition, to be very nearly al
Gition to be very nearly allied to the Fury tale in the Bannatyne MS. beginning, ' In Tiberius' tyme the trew Imperatour ;' and also, to another poem of the fame whimsical nature, called " Ane Interlude of the laying of a Dallt.' This last appears to have been the composition of James Wedderburn, the eldest of three brothers of that name, who, about the year 1540, compofed certain interludes and plays 2simt the Roman Catholic fuperftitions, which were acted at Dundee; and, in particular, according to Calderwood, he ' counterfeeted also the conjuring of a ghailt.' We have no hesitation, from internal evidence, to ascribe the other two poems to the same author.
The poems in the Chronicle are, in general, accurately printed from the original manuscripts. Instances of the contrary may, however, be pointed out; as, in the names of the tunes quoted. Vol. I. p. 379, he gives us, ' Trevass,' for Trenals ; '- Lemman, dawis it nocht day,for 701 Leinin, dawis it nocht duy;'--' Oure brans,' for · Orliance.' Other instances of minute error might no doubt be pointed out; but the general correctness of the work does credit to the diligence and attention of the editor. The gl5lTıry, by far the most valuable part of the work, occu.
* The etymology seems to be from we, fun&us and dale, or the valley through which a river flows. But in Nennius, it is latinized vallis doloris, from wae, forrow. In the church of S: Mary, at Stowe, is said to have been preserved a piece of the true cross, brought thither by King Arthur, which probably was supposed to fanctify the whole dale.—-zd Gale. p. 114.
pies the fourth volume, contains no less than fix thousand words, and may be considered as a very correct dictionary of the Scotish language previous to 1600. There is prefixed, a short effiy on the origin of the terms, Pieti, Caledonii, and Scoti. Mr Sibbald has abridged, very neatly, the arguments for what has been called the Gothic system of Scotish antiquities. There is added, an hypothefis concerning the name of Edinburgh; and some ingenious remarks upon the rythm of Saxon and Scotish poetry, with
which we were on the rythm of Sa Edinburgh; tane is added, an
In the glossary itself, Mr Sibbald displays a great advantage over all late glosarists, from his intimate and habitual acquaintance with the Scotish dialect as spoken at present. It is imporGble to enumerate the absurd etymologies which have been offered to the public, merely from ignorance in this effential point. We do not mean to say, that the common and vulgar interpretation of a Scotish word is uniformly to be received as its ancient meaning ; but the former, although enlarged, restricted, or variously modified, by the course of time, feldom fails to guide us to the latter. To this important requisite, the gloflary adds those of respectable learning and indefatigable inquiry, which appear particularly from constant reference to the dialects of the North. Ir Sibbald, a steady adherent, as has been said, to the system of Pinkerton, which derives the Picts from a Gothic root, and fup. poses them to have transmitted their language to the Lowlands of Scotland, has the following striking remark: "The Scotish dialect has a much greater affinity with the Anglo-Saxon, and with the Teutonic or Belgic, than with any of the Scandinavian dialects; and with respect to the two first, it appears, that a cognate word is more readily discovered in the Teutonic dictionary of Kilian, than in the Anglo-Saxon of Leye.' The latter part of this obfervation, founded, doubtless, on Mr Sibbald's experience, will prove a stubborn argument against those who derive the Lowland Scotish dialect from their neighbours of Eng. land. Yet, in some instances, Mr Sibbald seems to us to have carried his reluctance to admit an Anglo-Saxon root, a little too far. For example, he derives fett, a constitution, from frett, Swedith, m dus vel ratio, which we would rather deduce from the Anglo-Saxon feht, pactum, fælus. In like manner, the editor of the Chronicle is sometimes parti: to a Gothic descent. Thus, he inclines to derive Ketheryns, Highland banditti, from the Teutonic Ketter, insecintor; whereas, it is the original Gaelic for a troop of soldiers, and was long and generally ufid under the abbreviated forin of Kern, to signify Irish or Highland thic Vus. See Dorick's Picture of Ireland, &c.-The houschold spirit, called Brounie, has no affinity, as the gloflary aflirms, with the Swedish
Bry, turbare vel vexare, far less with the Saxon Brynia, Enfis; which by the way, rather Gignifies Galea. Whatever the pri. mitive may be, the Brounie, from his occupation and habits, may be identified with the Portuni of Gervale of Tilbury. Otia Imperialia, p. 960.-Benhie, a kind of spirit, is derived from Benz Teutonic, Diabolus, and ultimately from Bann, excommunicatus ; whereas this being, who is still reverenced as the tutelar dæmon of ancient Irish families, is of pure Celtic origin, and owes her title to two Gaelic words, Ben and fighian, signifying the head or chief of the faeries. Farifolk, or faery folk, is derived in the glossary from Teut. bieren, feriari vel feitos dies agere. The French faerie is a much more obvious root; which may, perhaps, be ultimately traced to the peri of the Persians, or feri of the Saracens. With the same anxiety to find a Teutonic cognate, fode is derived from Swed. fogde, Teut. voght, voghde, præfectus. But this disagrees with the epithet of frely tile, which occurs so frequently in metrical romance, and wiich proves that the word is a participle or adjective. It is used in many cases where Sibbald's derivation is inapplicable ; as, in the romance of Ywain and Gawain, it is introduced as a contumelious exprefion :
• Sertainly so fals a fode
Was never cuinen of kingis blode.'
Syne Saxon and the Scotis blude
Togyder is in you frely fude.' (Queen Mlaud.) In the ancient romance of Hornchilde, a knight calls his son (a youth, not a commander),
• Mi childe my ount fode.” In Sir Tristrem, we have it thus spelt:
• Nas never non fairer fedde
Than Maiden Blanchflowe.' We believe it signifies nothing more than 'fed,' or 'nurtured:' Frely fode, will thus mean, well nurtured.'-Mulde-inete, the luft meat before death, is explained from multen, Swedish, rotten; whereas, it is simply mold-meat, or food previous to being laid in mold.---A few other instances might be pointed out, in which Mr Sibbald's attachment to a Gothic, and efpecially a German derivation, has led him to neglect nearer cognates in the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and French; but enow of derivations will remain undisputed, to atford no small matter of triumph to the adherents of Pinkerton.
As a specimen of Mr Sibbald's style, of his zeal for the Gochic system, and of the candour with which he states arguments
contrary to his own opinion, we shall transcribe his observations on the letters quh, used in ancient Scotish for wh, and which is known to be one of the few peculiarities which distinguish the manuscripts of our country from the old English, and, of course, favour the system of those who derive our dialect from a different modification of the Teutonic supposed to have been spoken by the Picts.
The use of qub, instead of wh or bw, is a curious circumstance in Scotish orthography, and seems to be borrowed immediately, or at firit hand, from the Gothic, as written by Ulphilas in the fourth cen. tury. To his Gothic Gospels, commonly called the Silver Book, we find about thirty words beginning with a character (0, with a point in the centre), the power of which has never been exactly ascertained. Junius, in his glossary to these Gospels, assigned to it the power and place of qu. Stiernheim and others have considered it as equivalent to the German, Scandinavian, and Anglo-Saxon bw. And, lastly, the learned Ihre, in his Suio-Gothic Glossary, conjectures, that this character did not agree in found with either of these ; but • fonun inter hu et qu medium habuisse videtur.' Unluckily, he pursues the subject no farther ; otherwise, he could scarcely have failed to suggest the Scotish quh; particularly as a great proportion of these thirty Gothie words can be transated into Scotish by no other words but such as begin with these three letters, ex. gr. Goth. qua or hwa, Scot. quha, Goth. quis or hwis, Scot, quhais, Goth. quazuh or bwazuh, Scot. quhafo, quhasrever. Goth. qubathro or hwhathro (unde), Scot. quhar. frae or quhair.thrae, Goth. quan or hwan, Scot, quhan, Goth. quar or bwar, Scot. quhar or quhair, Goth. qudar, quathar, Scot. quheder, quhether, Goth. qu.ila or hweila, Scot. quhil or quhyle, Goth. quileiks or bwileiks, Scot. qubilk, Goth. quhait or bwait, Scot. qubeat, Goth. queit or hweit, Scot. qubite. When these Gothic words, therefore, come to be again mentioned, it will be no great innovation upon the authority of Ihre, to adopt some middle found between the qu and hw. But, notwithstanding of its striking coincidence with the scotish quh, to avoid any charge of hypothetical partiality, a different element or combination of letters shall be here assumed, viz. gw; a found which appears to furnish an apology for Ulphilas having coined a letter unknown in the Greek and Roman alphabets ; a sound, too, which occurs not unfrequently in the ancient language of Germany, ex. gr. gwaire, verus ; gwallichi, potentia, gloria (this word serves in fume degree to direct us to the sound, it being also written cuolichi); gwai. lichon, glorificare ; gwerf, symbolum, conjectio ; gwiurtery, ignitorum. When this harsh sound gave way everywhere to the hw, (and, at least in one inttance, to qu), the character which Ulphilas had invented to express it fell of course to be laid alide. 1. Scotland alone, the found was preserved, and appears to this day under the form of Quh. 'GLOSSARY, Qu.
Mr Sibbald adds the conjecture of a learned friend, who seems inclined to think that the Gothic character under consi. deration appears to be the ancient Eolic digamma aspirated in pronunciation;' and probably thinking that derivation of a pure Gothic letter still too modern, questions whether it may not be derived from the Hebrew ain, the pronunciation of which is a matter of great dispute.' If Mr Sibbald had consulted Hickes, with whose labours he seems to have been little acquainted, he would have had the satisfaction of seeing his first conjecture buckler'd by that mighty authority. He says expressly of this Mæso-Gothic letter, ' sonat ut bw Anglo-Saxonum, wh Anglorum, vel quh Scotorum, in quhite, quhether, quhat, quhuy, qubilk;' and, in the rules for applying the letters, Hickes observes, that Ulphilas was not the inventor, but the collector and applier of this sixteenth letter of the Gothic alphabet, which has the power of an aspirated o, as, ko or hoo. We cannot help thinking, that this aspirated, or rather guttural sound of qub Scot. is equivalent to the gu of the old English and modern Spanish ; as, guild, in the former, is indifferently spelt whelde ; and aguilar, in the latter, is pronounced awhuilar. The difference in form betwixt the written g and q, is very trifling, although the Scots do seem to have been singular in adopting the latter shape. Whether this can, in the penury of early manuscripts, be traced to such antiquity as to authorise the conclusion, that it was derived from a tribe of Goths unconnected with the Saxons, we cannot stop to inquire. The controversy has been maintained with great warmth; we leave it, with the prudent refolution of Dame Quickly— We will not burn our fingers, and need not, indeed la!'
In the general explanations of Mr Sibbald, a very few inaccu. racies occur. Bole is explained, ' a little armory or closet.' This is not accurate : it means a deep window or recess formed in the wall. Three different explanations are given of the word boun : bowdin, bodin, bowyn, boun, furnished, provided, &c. : boun, going, moving; and bounit, tended, went. The first of these only is correct. Boun means, equipped for war or travel; and boun or bebounit to a place, means to be prepared to go thither. It is retained in the maritime phrase 'whither bound,' which does not precisely mean, whither are you failing, but for what port have you been fitted out. Obliquely, no doubt, the phrase may imply the immediate progressive motion, but this is not irs primitive or proper sense. Cleugh is not accurately defined, 'oppolite rugged banks :' it means, the hollow betwixt such banks; and implies, that such hollow is very narrow. Swengeour docs not signify, unless by implication, 'a stout wencher, or one who