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“awfully" are really almost elbowing the bler ranks of society. The young lady in legitimate significations out of counte. Dickens who “couldn't abear_ the men, Dance and out of use. To use “awful” in they were such deceivers," Tennyson's its proper sense is to lay oneself open, if northern farmer, who “couldn abear to not to misapprehension, at least to bad see it," and the old lady who “can't abide puns and foolish jests. What, for in these newfangled ways” might all be said stance, would modern slangy talkers and to speak vulgarly, as fashion of speech degraders of words make of Keats's line now goes. But "abear” and “abide," alin “Isabel :”.
though not now generally used by educated His heart beat awfully against his side,
people, are words that have seen better
days. It is only in comparatively recent or Keble's :
years that they have been condemned as Towards the East our awful greetings vulgar. Abear,” in the sense of to en. Are wasted.
dure or to suffer, was good English in the There are some poor words that have after. Like many other good old English
days of King Alfred, and for centuries become so familiar to newspaper readers words, exiled by culture from London, it in their depraved significations, that they has found a home in the dialects; and are now hardly noticed. The verb “tran. there are few provincial forms of English spire” is the best known of these.
is another word daily degraded element. To “abide,” in its now vulgar tion
speech in which “abear” is not a familiar from its proper place in the language; sense, is not quite so old as "abear, and although the verb "to ovate" is not but is still of respectable antiquity. A yet naturalized among us, its introduction character in “Faire Em," one of the plays is only too probably, alas, a mere question of doubtful authorship sometimes attrib. of time. in sensational descriptions of uted to Shakespeare, says, “I cannot great disasters we too often read of a abide physic.” Drayton makes a curious holocaust” of victims in cases where
past tense of it: “He would not have the devouring element has had no share aboad it.” The word can hardly yet be whatever in the catastrophe described.
said to have entirely dropped out of litIt is in the manufacture of new and unpecessary verbs, by the mangling or twist- erary use, for Sir Arthur Helps, in the
first chapter of his book on " Animals and ing of innocent substantives that some their masters,” remarks that “ People writers do most offend. A contributor to can't abide pamphlets in these days." Bentley's Miscellany, nearly thirty years
“ To ax," for ask, is undoubtedly nowaago, wrote of some one whom, “as men said, the Nonconformists ambitioned to but it really represents the earliest form
days degraded to the rank of a vulgarism, send into Parliament." This ugly verb, of the word, and was in regular literary although it also occurs earlier in a letter
use for centuries, until it was supplanted of Horace Walpole's, has happily not yet by “ask," which had formerly been simply become popularized. A journalist wishing
a' current form in the northern dialect. to state that some important personage To "ax” still survives in the dialects of was waited on by a deputation, has been midland and southern England. So that known to write that the said personage when a lady of the Sairey. Gamp school was “deputated ” by his visitors. In the "axes yer pardon for makin' so bold," she favorite newspaper of a certain religious is using a verb that was literary English body, local leaders of the organization are from the days of Chaucer and earlier to constantly said to be farewelling," when they are transferred from one sphere Coverdale's translation of the Gospel ac
nearly the end of the sixteenth century, of work to another. But the list need cording to St. Matthew, published in hardly be prolonged. This form of the
1535, has “ Axe and it shal be given you. depravation of words is too common to Wiclif, earlier, has the same spelling. By have escaped the notice of any reader
Shakespeare's time “ask” had become who preserves some respect for his native the recognized form, and "axe” does not tongue,
of the earlier editions of bis The tongue
plays. That Shakespeare spake.
Another example of the survival in dia More interesting are those words that lect of a word or phrase once in literary bave fallen from their former high estate, use is to be found in the expression to be and which, while no longer heard from "shut of,” meaning to be rid of. This is mouths polite, yet enjoy a vigorous exist. still very commonly heard in the norther ence either in dialect or among the hum. parts of England, but could hardly now b
used in either prose or verse having any | Here the words seem to have a slight pretension to literary form. It is to be flavor of the later restricted meaning. But fouad in a variety of our older writers; in the earlier and better signification is more the pamphlets of Nashe and in the “Holy plainly seen in Udall's use of the phrase. War" of Buoyan. An example may be the reference was obviously to proporgiven from Massinger's "Unnatural Com- tion and a sense of what was fitting and
appropriate, derived by analogy from the We are shut of him, operations of a builder or designer. He will be seen no more here.
In the course of its downhill career a Yet another word that has undergone of form as well as of meaning. Occasion
word often undergoes some slight change depravation is to " square
square" in the sense of to quarrel. In the newspaper reports stance of this is the word "
ally it casts a syllable. A curious inof police-court cases one may read how
' peach." This
is some offender “squared up " at a com
an aphetized form of the verb “appapion or at the police, but the phrase is peach;" The latter word was in use from pretty certain to be marked off as slangy seventeenth century; and side by side
the fifteenth till about the middle of the by the use of inverted commas. But " to
with it there existed the now familiar square
” in a quarrelsome sense is very form " peach.” Both meant to accuse or old and respectable English. An excel leot example of its literary use is to be charge :found in the exquisite poetry of the “ Mid Now, by mine honor, by my life, by my troth, sommer Night's Dream.” In the second I will appeach the villain, act of that delightful play, Puck, describ- cries York in the last act of “Richard II.” ing the quarrel between Oberon and As “appeach” went out of use "peach Titania, says:
began to undergo depravation. And now they never meet in grove or green, A curious example of the word in its By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen, transition state is to be found in “ HudiBut they do square, that all their elves for bras," a great repertory of seventeenthfear
century vulgarisms. In the lines :Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.
Make Mercury confesse and peach “Oo the square ” is a phrase now sel. Those thieves which he himself did teach, dom beard save amongst those who, in their own language, live or work on the although its primary signification is evi. cross." They know and use the phrase, dently to accuse, yet the word seems to but take care not to put it into practice, have half a reference to its modern col. for, as Freeman says in the old play of the loquial sense.
In another fifty years "Plain Dealer :"
Telling truth is a "peach ”had almost descended to its presquality as prejudicial to a man that would ent level, and was used much as it is to-day. thrive in the world as square play to a Arbuthnot, in the appendix to his satire of cheat." The cheat likes to have the John Bull,” 1712, a work which contains "square play on the side of his pigeons, a great many colloquialisms, says that a for the process of plucking is greatly facil certain euphoniously named Ptschirnitated by conduct like that of Ingoldsby's sooker "came off, as rogues usually do “Black Mousquetaire," who
upon such occasions, by peaching his partWhen gambling his worst, always played on per; and being extremely forward to the square.
bring him to the gallows, Jack was accused
as the contriver of all the roguery.” AnThis modern limitation of the phrase is other remarkable feature in the history of simply a depravation of an older and this word is that with “appeach and wider meaning which was long current "peach ” a third form was simultaneously io literature. Udall's sixteenth-century in use. Caxton, in his translations, introtranslation of the “Apophthegms ” of duced the word " empeche," a much betErasmus has “out of square.” The sense ter representative than “appeach” of the of a certain passage, says the translator, old French original empechier, although will not be out of square if one particular Caxton took his word not from this but signification of a Greek vocable be pre- from the contemporary French verb emferred to another. In Chapman's version pescher. In the altered form of "im. of the Odyssey are the lines:
peach” the word is still retained in use.
It is a case of the survival of the fittest. I see, the gods to all men give not all Manly addiction; wisedome; words that fall Of the three rival forms, one died out (Like dice) upon the square still.
altogether, another underwent depravation
and is now a familiar item in the slang of|cation out of colloquial use, and finally the criminal classes, while the third still out of both spoken and written language. flourishes and retains its original mean. It is, of course, possible to go too far ing.
in the opposite direction, and by too great Many other instances of the decline and a conservatism to impede the natural fall of words might be given. Such ex. progress of the language, to restrict its pressions as to make bones of,” to growth and stunt its development. This “ fadge,” to “knock off," to "cut,” in the was the tendency during the greater part sense of "to run off,” and “along of," of the eighteenth century. But there is meaning "on account of,” were all for little fear nowadays, and indeed but little merly in constant literary use. The proc. possibility, of thus hindering the free play ess is a natural one, and depravation of of the language. The danger lies, as has this kind will always be going on. It is been pointed out, in the opposite direcnot possible to prevent it, but it is possi- tion. Englishmen are justly proud of ble, unfortunately, to hasten it; and this is their noble literature, a literature second constantly being done by the slangy tone, to none that the world has seen, and it is the loose habit of colloquially twisting surely not unreasonable to protest against and misapplying words, that pervade so wanton and unnecessary depravation of much of modern speech. It is a case of the vehicle by which that literary heritage "giving a dog a bad name." If once a has been handed down to us, and through slang meaning or application be tacked which many and glorious additions are on to an innocent word, the tendency is being and will be made thereto, for the for the looser ard more depraved mean instruction and delight of future ages. ing to oust the original and correct signifi.
GEORGE L. APPERSON.
THE BLACK WATCH. — Not many of those knew no mode of life but that of war. In time who have of late years watched with interest the Duke of Montrose and others pressed upon the brilliant services of the oldest Highland the government the necessity of taking the regiment have ever attached any meaning to control of the country out of the hands of its second title, “The Black Watch. Yet these lawless tax-gatherers, and it was consein these words are contained the story of its quently determined to enrol from among the origin and much of the romantic associations Highlanders themselves certain bands of of its early days. In the first quarter of the frontier police. Accordingly, in the year 1729 eighteenth century, when Rob Roy held the a number of loyal Highlanders were formed position of "uncrowned king" of the High into six independent companies, and the offiiands north of Loch Lomond, and when the cers were taken chiefly from the clans Campproudest nobles had no scruple in entering bell, Grant, and Munro. To these, as a into secret agreements with this robber chief, matter of course, the local name of “ Watch " the state of the Borderlands was such that descended, and as they continued to wear the “sober people were obliged to purchase some dress of the country — which consisted so security to their effects by shameful and igno- inuch of black, blue, and green tartan — they minious contracts of blackmail." In every were soon known as Freicudan Du” (Black district was some Highland bandit who called Watch), in contradistinction to Seidaran himself the “captain of the watch," and whose Dearag," or red soldiers. Ten years later, followers were known by that name. With when England was agitated by the question him a go-between communicated, and such as whether the Spaniards had or had not cut off wished to deal with this wild insurance com- an ear from the head of the smuggler Captain pany paid the stipulated sum, while those who Jenkins, and when it was resolved that the declined those irregular contracts had to find matter was to be decided by a war instead of their own protection. The significance of the ocular demonstration, King George II. issued title “ Watch” was twofold. Their duties a royal warrant incorporating the six compa. were to see that those who paid were not mo. nies of the Black Watch into a regiment, and lested, and to make it certain that those who gave the command to Colonel John Earl of refused the stipend should be plundered with. Crawford. In the month of May following, out fail. Thus these corps throughout the these companies, with four others newly Highlands became a recognized institution, and raised, were assembled in a field between comprised in all a considerable body of men, Taybridge and Aberfeldy, and constituted who were inured to every hardship, and who | into the Highland regiment.
Fifth Series, Volume LXXII.
No. 2429. — January 17, 1891.
English Illustrated Magazine,
POETRY. DEATH AT THE END,
139 IN A LATE SCHOLAR'S LIBRARY, “O LOVE, O WIFE, THINE EYES ARE “ HITHER AND THITHER FLYING," THEY,
130 | A WINTER MORNING'S MOOD,
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DEATH AT THE END.
IN A LATE SCHOLAR'S LIBRARY. WOULD I were dead and lying in my grave,
How oft your loved society he sought,
He the world would At rest from fretting doubts and carking
quit, cares. Be kind, oh Heaven, and listen to my And by thy lips, melodious lips, be taught,
Here at thy feet, O Dante, listening sit, prayers; Grant me the only favor that I crave —
In words with wisdom of Aquinas fraught;
Or with thee, Horace, his life-favorite,
Here would he talk, and something of thy
wit I ask for death; what is beyond I'll brave.
And of thy playful irony he caught; Little of good or evil have I wrought;
Thy fancy, Scott, here clouded moments lit; No happiness or pleasure have I known
Here thou, A Kempis, treasures beyond aught But it hath been with sorrow intersown;
Earth holds wouldst open, and their beauty All hath slipt from my grasp that I most
His reverent spirit, and away he brought My life, though short in years, is long in
Some pearls of price, that gleamed through grief;
what he writ, Night follows day, but brings me no relief, or more and more enriched the work be And passing years have only sorrow brought.
L. There is one goal to which our courses tend; The way lies over mountains, torrents,
plains, Through velvet pastures and quiet country lanes:
HITHER and thither flying,
While others weary toil up rocky slopes Swallows their wings are trying
All in the sunset glow.
Purposeless now, and nestless
They are eager for flight.
They will start to-night.
Bringing beautiful days;
Hawthorn foam in the hollows; My springs from out whose shining grey
Gorse in a golden blaze. Issue the sweet celestial streams
Fields that were flushed with flowers; That feed my life's bright Lake of Dreams.
Skies that were blue above;
And certain sunshiny hours Oval and large and passion-pure
Of hope and love. And grey and large and honor-sure;
Summer will go with the swallows; Soft as a dying violet-breath
Autumn will travel here. Yet calmly unafraid of death;
Then, when the winter follows
The desolate end of the year Thronged, like two dove-cotes of grey doves,
Skies will be dim with raining, With wife's and mother's and poor-folk's
Flowers will die in the cold, loves, And home-loves and high glory-loves
But hope and love remaining
Will be ours to hold. And science-loves and story-loves,
FRANCES WYNNE. And loves for all that God and man In art and nature make or plan, And lady.loves for spidery lace And broideries and supple grace
A WINTER MORNING'S MOOD.
HEART-SICK I step from out the dusky hall And diamonds and the whole sweet round
God! What a burst of brightness all adorning! Of littles that large life compound, And loves for God and God's bare truth,
Blue, frosty sky, still streets grown magical
Beneath the sacred splendor of the morning. And loves for Magdalen and Ruth,
Strange music swells, dead faces flash and Dear eyes, dear eyes and rare complete –
gleam, Being heavenly sweet and earthly-sweet,
God's face resurges in the luminous glory. I marvel that God made you mine,
God's love a moment seems no hopeless dream, For when he frowns, 'tis then ye shine !
Nor immortality an old wives' story.