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of this nature. Knowledge, só often deceived by superstition, is inclined to reject the whole of them at once; but on second thoughts, it remembers how often it has been misled by incredulity also; and leaves the more peremptory judgment to those whom less information has rendered less diffident. The exaggerations which there may be in the stories of Dolphins, are probably owing to the celebrated fable of Arion, which seems to have been written with the same view as that of Bacchus and the Pirates. Arion was a lyric poet of Lesbos, and went to live with Periander, king of Corinth; from which place he visited Italy, where his talents procured him great wealth. On taking ship to return to Corinth, the sailors resolved to murder him for his riches. He begged that they would at least allow him to make a swan-like end befitting his divine profession, and at the same time gave them some money; hoping that the gift, followed by the song, would soften their hearts. They consented to hear his harp and his poetry, but told him at the same time that they were resolved he should either be thrown into the sea, or kill himself and so obtain a sepulchre ashore. Resolving however to try what his art could do, he put his purple robe over his shoulders, and his musician's crown on his head; and taking his lyre upon his knee, sang to it a pathetic song. But finding, as he proceeded, that they were bent on their purpose, he suddenly changed his strain, and sang the cruel Orthian Law, by which boys were scourged to death at the altar of Diana. Having finished this hymn of despair, he cast himself, all robed and crowned as he was, into the sea; and the sailors pursued their voyage to Corinth. A little time afterwards, 'they were sent for to court, and asked news of Arion by the king. They said they had landed him safely in Italy, and taken leave of him at Tarentum. Upon this, a door opens, and they are struck dumb at beholding Arion himself, whom they believed dead, enter the room, dressed exactly as he was when he leaped into the sea. Their guilt was not to be disputed; and they were put to death. As to Arion's return, it was owing to a Dolphin, who having been attracted with others by the music of bis harp, had taken him upon his back, and borne him safely after the guilty ship; the poet playing out of gratitude, as he went.
Spenser introduces Arion most beautifully, in all his lyrical pomp, the marriage of the Thames and Medway. He goes before the bride, smoothing onwards with the sound of his harp, like the very progress of the water.
Then there was heard a most celestiall sound
So went he, playing on the watery plain.
1. Perhaps in no one particular thing or image, have some great poets shewn the different characters of their genius more than in the use of the Dolphin. Spenser, who of all his tribe lived in a poetical world, and saw things as clearly there as in a real one, has never shewn this nicety of realization more than in the following passage. He speaks of his Dolphins with as familiar a detail, as if they were horses waiting at a door with an equipage.
A team of Dolphins ranged in array
The rest of other fishes drawen were,
Soon as they been arrived upon the brim
Their tender feete upon the stony ground. There are a couple of Dolphins like these, in Raphael's Galatea. Dante, with his tendency to see things in a dreary point of view, has given an illustration of the agonies of some of the damned in his Inferno, at once new, fine, and horrible. It is in the 22nd book, “ Come i delfini,” &c. He
says that some wretches, swimming in one of the gulphs of hell, shot out their backs occasionally, like Dolphins, above the pitchy liquid, in order to snatch a respite from torment; but darted them back again like lightning. The devils would prong them as they rose. Strange fancies for maintaining the benevolence of religion!
Hear Shakspeare, always at once the noble and the good-natured. We forget of what great character he is speaking; but never was an image that more singularly yet completely united superiority and playfulness. .
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There he arriving round about doth flie,
No. XVIII.-WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9th, 1820.
NAMES The object of this article is to call to mind the significations of the Christian names most in use with us; to recommend the revival of others; to shew who has given any of them a grace or a lustre; and to suggest the advantage of paying attention to this apparently trifling matter.
We think it a greater objection than appears at first sight, to our names in general, that they are unmeaning sounds by which individuals are merely known. A man of the name of George or Thomas might as well, to all understood purposes, be called Spoon or Hatband. Names are usually given after some family relation; and doubtless this is often a good and social thing; but as it is done in general to please the elder people, and not the younger, who may grow up without any very fond recollections of them, or perhaps scarcely remember them at all, the least that can be done for the possessors is to give them an additional Christian name; by which they may be called, if they prefer it, when they arrive to maturity. The next principle, upon which children are named, is that of the sound or beauty of the name; and this we think too much undervalued. People in humble life, it is true, are sometimes justly laughed at for giving their children fine names: bụt it is only when they do so out of an obvious and unmeaning vanity. It is as well certainly not to call a parcel of idle and ragged young rogues by the titles of Augustus, Orlando, and Theodore: nor does it sound very fitting and heroical to hear a father cry out pompously to his little boy, as we did once,“ You, Sir, there, -Maximilian, come out of the gutter.” But if elegant names, pot pompous, are given in humble life by sensible parents, they may influence the holders afterwards to very good purpose. They may assist in producing an unvulgar spirit, properly so called ; one that sees how vulgarity and the reverse of it may be produced by circumstances, and are not confined to this or that rank in life;-one that is just conscious enough of something graceful and peculiar, to feel that it has a kind of title upon it without any actual privileges, and that it must resort to a sentiment to maintain and warrant it. To give a child the name of a
, -as that
favourite hero or heroine is also a good thing. A boy, christened after Alfred the Great, by a father who really feels the merits of that wonderful
man, is likely, if he inherits any thing of his father's sense, to turn the name into a perpetual memorandum of worthiness. Care however must be taken not to give great professional names, of Michael Angelo to a boy intended for an artist, or Shakspeare to one that is meant to be literary. If the youth does not turn out clever, his name becomes a burlesque; and if he should be otherwise, the comparison will still be awkward. The notion that a name is not to be changed without legal sanction, and the habit of acquiescing in a name disagreeable to the possessor, appear to us to be equally erroneous. Had a name been given us of this sort, we should have made no scruple to take another, just as an actor changes his surname. We sometimes think it would be an excellent custom, if people, without forsaking the names that might have pleasant family associations with them, were to give themselves new ones when they arrived at years of discretion, or at whatever subsequent time they might think it proper to wait for. They might make it one of the best holidays in their life, and assume the name in the same spirit they would assume a motto or device, for their conduct in future to abide by. They would hardly chuse a mean or a useless one.
A name, to be complete, and serve it's just purposes, should either have a good and understood meaning, or an equally good and understood association. It should also be good to the ear if possible; but at all events, good to the understanding and the feelings. The names of our Saxon ancestors were compounded, like those of the ancients, of words in ordinary use; so that they were not mere sounds, as they are
Thus Edmund or Eadmund signified Happy Peace; Edward was Happy Warden or Keeper; Leofwin (Love-win) answered to the Greek name Erasmus; Horsa was a Horseman, like Hippias or Hipparchus, and we hereby inform all our readers of the name of Henry that they are neither more nor less than so many Plutarchs, both the words signifying Rich Lord. But the remainder of what we intended to say on those matters will be gathered from the following nomenclature. We put the male and female names together, to avoid the ungallant trouble of making out two separate lists.
Aaron, Hebrew. A Mountain. Haroun al Raschid. Abel, Heb. Camden says Just; some say Vanity, which is curious, We know nothing of Hebrew, and must leave the point to others.
Abigael, Heb. The Father's Joy. The Jewish names are generally very expressive, and in pleasant taste; but for obvious reasons, they have acquired either a great gravity in modern use, or something the
A female servant is nicknamed an Abigael, perhaps after Nabal's wife, who was so submissive to David.
Abraham, Heb. The Father of Many. This is the same word as Patriarch in Greek. It was the Christian name of Cowley.
Adam, Heb. Red Earth. These scripture names of men are more prevalent among the Scotch than the English, and have given rise to
some curious inapplicabilities, as Adam Smith and David Hume, two infidel philosophers. On the continent, almost all Christian names came from the Virgin or the Saints, and at last produced similar misnomers; as Denys Diderot, Peter Bayle, Francis Mary Arouet de Voltaire, -after St. Francis and the Virgin: for nothing was more common among the Catholics ihan to give her name to men as well as
The celebrated constable Montmorency was called Anne, after the scriptural saint.
Adelaide, German. We believe it means Princely.
Agatha, Greek. Good.
Agnes, Gr. Chaste. It was an unlucky name for the beautiful patriotic mistress of Charles the Seventh, Agnes Sorel; who was nevertheless a noble creature.
Alan, Sclavonian. A Hound: or as Camden thinks, a British or Welsls corruption of Ælianus, Sun-bright. Alain Renè le Sage, the French novelist. Alan Chartier, whose mouth was kissed for his poetry, as he lay asleep, by Queen Margaret of Navarre.
Albert, Saxon. All Bright. Borne by Albert Durer, the celebrated old artist; and Albertus Magnus, the philosopher.
Alexander, Gr. A Helper of Men. Alexander the Great. Scan-
Algernon, (Query?) Algernon Sydney.
Alistasia. We have met but once with this name, which is thought to be a corruption of Anastasia. Otherwise it might be twisted into an allusion to the sea, or being born at or near the sea; Sea-rising; as Anadyomene, spoken of Venus.
Almeria, female of Amery or Almericus, Germ.? Always Rich.
Ambrose, Gr. Immortal, from the same adjective as the word Ambrosia. Taken by the early Christians, and borne by one of the most celebrated of the Fathers.
Amelia, Amie or Amy (Emily?) Lat. Beloved. The name of Fielding's celebrated conjugal heroine.
Anastasia, Gr. Uprising; an allusion to the Resurrection. It was the name of the celebrated singer, and mistress of the great Lord Peterborough, Anastasia Robinson; whom he afterwards married.
Andrew, Gr. Manly. Most fortunately given to our patriot, Andrew Marvell. Andrew Dacier, the commentator. Andrea Palladio, the architect.