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ling, words have lost their original meaning, if not all meaning. I shall specify a few. 6 Sammodithu, a form of salutation, signifying 'tell me how you do,' rapidly pronounced. Say me how doest thou*." "To berry, to thresh, i. e. to beat out the berry or grain of the corn; hence berrying-stead, the t..reshing-foort :” now contracted to barn. Barton, I derive from birthing, the place near a house where the young are brought forth of cows, hogs, fowls, &c.—The meaning of butler is certainly bottler, the person whose office it is to bottle and take care of the liquor's.--In a.letter of Lord Burleigh, which is introduced in a note on his life in the Biographia Britannica, the word achates repeatedly occurs. I imagine this word originates from the French acheter. In those days, when all the great and the wealthy raised all common things on their own estates, of course what was bought was considered as costly, and as a delicacy. So that in time achats (or achates by corruption) might be generally used in that sense as an English word. From hence also may be derived cates (dainties) and cater: (to provide for the table.)
Yours, &c. 1788, Nov.
CI. On Imitation and Originality,
March 28, It is not surprising to find that writers among the ancients transcribed each other's works, sometimes without the least acknowledgement, and with little alteration; for this practice was inviting, from the small hazard of detection, and in some degree pardonable before typography was known, when to multiply copies of a book was so laborious and costly that they were of necessity circulated among very few, We are, therefore, induced to forgive Terence, Solinus, and Apuleius, their depredations on Menander, Pliny, and Lucian. But since this difficulty is removed by the press; and the noble art of printing, the most beneficial invention that the mind of man ever produced, hath diffused literature so universally, it would be no easy task to apologise for the innumerable plagiarisms which are daily obtruded on the public,
* Ray's Collection of English words, &c.
That writers on science, who are constrained, from the nature of their subject, to confine themselves strictly to the narrow track of truth, should sometimes tread in the foot, steps of earlier authors, is perhaps excusable; but that the novelists and poets, who are allowed to range at large over the boundless regions of fancy, and who in many cases, did not think themselves restrained even within the limits of probability, should so often servilely follow their predecessors in a beaten path, betrays an imbecillity of imagination truly wonderful. A cavern inhabited by a troop of robbers
, to mention no otheș instance, hąth been looked on as such a favourable scene to display distress, that it is introduced into their fictitļoys narraticos by Lucian, who is said to have taken it elsewhere; by Apuleius, by Heliqdorus, by Ariosto,
Spenser, and Le Sage. Apuleius hath not only stolen the cave of banditti from Lucian, but openly robbed him of his ass, and laden it with many additional extravagances : among which, the tale of Cupid and Psyche particularly attracts the attention of the reader by the wildness of its inay gery, which bears striking marks of an Oriental origin.
The delicate Cervantes, though well acquainted with the ancients, found their manners in general too coarse to weave into the exquisite texture of his matchless romance, which still delights, even in translation, notwithstanding the cha, racters and customs vary almost as widely as those in Homer from our own.
Neither do I recollect that he selected any classical adventure, if we except the encounter with the winebags, which seems to have been suggested by Apuleius. -" Cadavera illa 'jugulațorum hominum erant tres (caprini) utres influti, variisque secti foraminibus, et, ut vespertinum prælium meum recordabar, his locis hiantes, quibus latrones illos vulnerayeram.” Metaniorphoseon, sive de Asino aureo, 1. vii.
These borrachas had been transformed into the appearance of men by an enchantress; and the stranger who destroyed them by mistake as thieves, is an ignorant and unwilling actor in an annual ceremony dedicated to a very extraordinary deity of antiquity, the god Laughter (Deo Risui.)
A critic of great eminence hath the following remark on Petronius : " I shall obserye, by the way, that the copy of this quthor, found some years ago, bears many signatures of its spuriousness, and particularly of its being forged by a Frenchman. For we have this expression, ad CASTELLA sese receperunt;" that is, to their chuteau.r, instead of ad VILLAŞ." Essay on the Genius and IVritings of Pope, vol. I. p. 176.
With due deference, I do not apprehend that thịs argument, founded on the word castella, is by any means conclusive. Since, not to insist on the Norica Castella of Virgil (Georg. iii. ver. 474,) which were probably no more than sheepcotes, the word frequently occurs in Apuleius, particularly in the succeeding passage : “Sed habitus alieni fallacia tectus, villas seu castella solus aggrediens, viaticulum mihi corrasi.” lib. vii.
The critic's reproof of Pope, for his compliment to Petropius, is certainly just. The scenes of the private life of the Romans, which that writer exhibits, would be highly pleasing, were we not obliged to wade through much filthi, to obtain a view of them. 1789, April.
CII. Turl at Oxford, whence so named,
Oct. 10. EBENEZER BARCLAY, in your Magazine of 1784, asks why a certain narrow street in Oxford is called the Turl.
A correspondent conceives this word to be of Celtic gr Saxon origin : and, if Celtic-not else--(for, if Saxon, be does not presume to interpret it)--and, if the street moreover be on a declivity—but, on no other supposition-gives him to understand that it takes its name from that circumstance; Turl, in the Celtic signifying a descent. He adds indeed that, if again this same street be in the purlieus of OXFORD (for he never saw it, having never been there,) it may signify, but does not say why, the place where the country-people used to alight, as a ford, or entrance into the town,
Again ;-P. Q. from Peshall's History of OXFORD, informs us that the TURL Gate was so called from Peter Thurold, who built and lived near it: and that this gate gave its name to the street.
The truth, Mr. URBAN, is this ; TURL is not of Celtic, but of Saxon origin. Thirl, in the Saxon, i. e. our old English language, signifies an orifice or aperture. Hence they had the compounds, Eag-Thirl, Eye-thirl
, the aperture of the Eye; which was also used for a Window as an aperture to look through-Næs-Thirl, Nose-Thirl, whence our Nos-trikNædle-Thirl, the aperture, or as we call it, the eye of the Needle. Hence also it was used to signify any narrow-opening or passage. And hence also it may therefore reasonably be presumed that the angiport, or narrow passage in question was called the Thirl, and, by an easy change in the pronun: ciation, the TURL.
The verb was Thirlian, perforare, terebrare, penetrare-to bore, pierce, or penetrate. And hence our verb, to thrill, of the same import. Thus, thrilling sounds, thrilling sorrows, 1. e. sounds or sorrows which penetrate or pierce. In mechanical operations we find it still in use in the word drill, with the simple, and not uncommon, change of the th into d. By the way; this change of the th into dis particularly obsersable in the Prince of Wales's motto, Ic dien, which was originally written Ic Thien, I serve- Į, though a Prince, am a Thane, or a Servant, as being subject to the King. 1789, Nov.
CIII. An Emendation in Milton's Paradise Lost.
Marlborough-street, Jan. 6. I Do not at present recollect, that the subject of the following remarks has been anticipated by any preceding writer. If you are of the same opinion, you may give them a place in your Magazine.
Milton, near the conclusion of his Paradise Lost, has the following lines:
They looking back, all th eastern side beheld
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.” “ If I might presume,” says Mr. Addison, “ to offer at the smallest alteration in this divine work, I should think the poem would end better with the passage here quoted, than with the two verses which follow;"?
& They, hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way."
“ These two verses," continues this excellent critic, “ though they have their beauty, fall very much below the foregoing passage, and renew, in the mind of the reader, that anguish which was pretty well laid by this considera
“The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.” Mr. Addison's observation is certainly just. The sentence of expulsion was pronounced with some comfortable intimations.
" Dismiss them not disconsolate," said the Almighty, when he gave his orders to Michael,
"Send them forth, though sorrowing, get in peace."
Dr. Bentley, in order to remove the foregoing objection, corrects the two concluding lines in this manner:
" Then, hand in hand, with social steps, their way
Thro' Eden took, with heav'nly comfort cheard." No reader of taste, I presume, would wish to adopt this frigid alteration; and none, I think, would desire to expunge the two beautiful lines with which Milton concludes his poem. They give us a lively and natural representation of the melancholy state of our first parents, and the reluctance with which they left the delightful scenes of Paradise; and as they must necessarily pass through Eden, that is, the province in which Paradise was situated, before they proceeded into what they called the “wild” and “inhospitable world," I would, by all means, preserve that part of the description, altering only one word, for the sake of a better connexion, and invert the order of the four concluding verses in this manner:
“ Some natural tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon;
Or, by placing a period at the end of the first line, the personal pronoun they may be retained; but the former reading, I think, is preferable.