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Garnett is as far above that of Horne Tooke as Stephenson's engine outstrips Pharaoh's chariot. It is a loss to mankind that Garnett has left so little behind him. He seems to have been the nearest approach England ever made to bringing forth a Mezzofanti, and he combined in himself qualities not often found in the same man. When his toilsome industry is amassing facts, he plods like a German ; when his playful wit is unmasking quackery, he flashes like a Frenchman. He it was who first called attention to the varying dialects of England and who first endeavoured to classify them. This work has since his death been most ably achieved by Dr. Morris.

To this gentleman I am under the greatest obligations, since he has looked over my proof-sheets as far as page 240; and many a correction do I owe to him. I have sometimes dared to differ from him, not without fear and trembling. As to what he has done for English Philology, I may perhaps be looked upon as a prejudiced witness; I therefore prefer to quote from Mr. Murray's “Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland,' p. 40, published in 1873 (Transactions of the Philological Society): •Very recent is our knowledge of any facts connected with the distribution and distinguishing characteristics of the dialects of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries—a region

of research which was all but a terra incognita when taken up by Mr. Richard Morris. His classification of the Early English dialects into Southern, Midland, and Northern, with the careful discrimination of their grammatical forms, has introduced order and precision into the study.'

It is not too much to say that the man who shall henceforth undertake any work upon the English tongue, without having always before him the grammatical works of Dr. Morris and Dr. March, must be the greatest of fools. I have followed Dr. March in my first Chapter, and have also consulted Bopp, Guest, Bosworth, Wedgwood, Marsh, Latham, Earle, and Max Müller. Thanks to the labours of the Early English Text Society, a writer of 1873 has great advantages over a writer of 1863. The English Homilies of the Twelfth Century, edited by Dr. Morris, are in themselves a mine of wealth to the Philologer. One of my best aids has been Dr. Stratmann's Dictionary of the Old English Language. This includes all words used between 1120 and 1440; the last Volume of the work did not reach me until April, 1873. Many new words and idioms in Orrmin, Layamon, and the Ancren Riwle were overlooked by me when I first went over those books, until afterwards the Dictionary forced the words upon my notice. Without its help I could not have drawn up the lists of the new terms that cropped up between 1300 and 1500.1

I must apologize to those of my readers, who are unlearned, for the Latin in my text; the truth is, that there are so many shades of meaning in our words, that I cannot thoroughly explain myself without falling back upon the foreign tongue. When specifying English words, I have almost wholly confined myself to terms in use in 1873; of these, about fifteen hundred, I think, occur in my pages. In a work like this, ranging over the monuments of twelve hundred years, mistakes will be made; I have no doubt that I have sometimes assigned to a new werd a date later than its real first appearance in England.

It is but fair to warn those who love to call a spade an horticultural implement,'that they will not relish my Sixth Chapter.2


i One of the charms of Philology is, that new facts bearing upon it are always forthcoming, if a man will but keep his eyes and ears open. I for one have picked up much from gamekeepers and sextons in many a shire. In the Orton-Tichborne trial (the one for perjury), a Hampshire witness called the stump of a tree 'the more.' This word may be seen in the Dorsetshire poem of 1240, which is quoted in my work. The more occurs in the trial as reported by the Daily Papers of September 4, 1873.

? Like a trusty sentinel, I sound an alarm against the enemy's approach down to the very last moment. September, 1873, has been remarkable for the opening of the new Town Hall at Bradford, for The printers have been good enough to let me write rime in the English, and not in the Greek, way. But I may mention that they have in general struck out z in favour of s; thus they have printed civilise instead of the civilize I wrote. Had they made alterations in a Teutonic word, I should at once have


to the rescue. I give this as an instance of the shifting that may be remarked in the history of the English tongue: some change or other is always at work. Caxton and his sons have ruled our spelling for the last four hundred years ; in the instance referred to above, they may justify their alteration by Wickliffe's verb evangelise.

I rejoice to see that England is waking up at last to the importance of studying her own tongue in all its stages; and I hope that this small book, my first attempt in Philology, may help forward the good


the English Pilgrimage to St. Marie Alacoque, and for the abandonment of France by the Germans. Our penny-a-liners called the Town Hall a grandiose building; asked what was the rationale of pilgrimages; and described the men of freed Verdun as ingurgitating spirituous stimulus. What will a penny paper of 1973 be like ?



October 14, 1873.

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