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which overlooked the entrance to the Mediterranean, all taxes on imports came to be, called a tariff. Also, because a certain sea-captain of Charles II'B time, commanding thfe royal ship "Black Eagle," and having the surname Fudge, was noted for telling untruths and bombastic stories, we still exclaim that monosyllable when we have reason to believe assertions ill founded — an unenviable manner of becoming a household word.
The adjective "bombastic," just used, has an odd derivation of its own. Originally, "bombast" meant nothing but cotton wadding used for stuffing. Shakspeare employs it in this sense. (Tiie bombazine of ladies' dresses comes from the same root.) Hence, by an easy transition from the falseness of padding a figure, "bombast" came to signify "pretentiousness of speech and conduct," as an adapted meaning; and gradually this became the primary and only sense.
The old abbot with whom we began could probably have put us on the right road for the dentation of the word "gossip," which in his time bore a meaning perfectly harmless; but now, by the system of moral decadence, which Archbishop Trench has so ably illustrated as influencing human language, has come to be a term of unpleasant reproach. In the part of the country where the writer lives the "gossips" of a child are constantly spoken of, being his god-parents, who take vows for him at his baptism. The connection between these two actual uses of the word is not so far to seek as one might suppose. Chaucer shows us that those who stood sponsors for an infant were considered "sib," Or kin, to each other in God: thus the double syllables were compounded. The Roman church forbids marriage between persons so united in a common vow, as she believes they have contracted an essential spiritual relationship. But from their affinity in the interests of the child they were brought into much converse with one another; and as much talk almost always degenerates into idle talk, and personalities concerning one's neighbors, and the like, so "gossips" finally came to signify the latter, when the former use of it was nearly forgotten. It is remarkable that the French "commerage" has ;>• i • I through identically the same perreion.
"Neighbor," in the abbot's time, was known to mean "the boor who lives nigh to us;" and here is also a word that has been degraded; for boor then did not represent a stupid ignorant lout, but simply a farmer, as in Dutch now. Likewise it is probable that our abbot knew the modern word "steward" as "stedeward," viz., the keeper of a place, "stow" and "stede" signifying "place" in Anglo-Saxon. The far grander office of "stadtholder" means the same. And, when touching upon French titles, we may speak of the connetable or constable, who was the count that governed the royal stables, and of the marechal or marshal, from the Teutonic " mark-seal," master of the horse. His charge was the war-horses of the king. Having shown some degraded words, we may fairly look upon these as ennobled ones, raised from the commonality to the peerage.
Vulgar expressions have often an odd etymology. There is the phrase "to quiz" a person; concerning which we have seen this explanation: "A certain great personage is said to have exhibited the exercise of a child's plaything called the quiz, in consequence of which the citizens of Dublin and London were for some time ridiculously employed in the same puerile sport whenever they appeared in the streets; whence to quiz a man came to signify to dupe him sportively with a ludicrous mistake." Another expression, to "chouse" a man out of anything, originated from the fact that, iu the reign of James I, a Turkish interpreter to the sultan's Embassy in London defrauded the Turkish and Persian merchants of a large sum of money ; and the word for interpreter in that language is "chinous." His official name became attached to his deed, and synonymous with it: but the immortality thereby con- . ferred is not quite so humiliating as that of Captain Fudge, being more adherent to the place than to the person.
The pace of a horse called "cantering" was once a slang word, derived from the pilgrims' cavalcades to Becket's shrine at Canterbury. A literary journal lately pointed out how the full word is used by Lord Shaftesbury in his "Characteristics" (temp. Charles II); he speaks of "the common amble or canterbury."
A schoolboy's letter of the seventeenth century has lately revealed that "chum"
is a contraction from "chamber-fellow." Two students dwelling together found the word unwieldly, and, led by another universal law of language, they shortened it in the most obvious way. Bishop
of his resemblance to a hog when in sportive mood. "Porc-poisson " said somebody who watched a herd of them tumbling about, for all the world like swine, except for the sharp dorsal fin; and the
Fleetwood says that "dandy" is derived epithet adhered, from a silver coin of small value circu- Perhaps the reader has been puzzled, lated in the reign of Henry VIII, and as the writer has been, by the word called a "dandy-prat." "Dunce" comes | " navvy" applied to laborers. Why to us from the celebrated Duns Scotus, should earth-workers be called navigators* They whose business lay in the element antipodean to water, why receive a title as of seafaring men? Looking into an old magazine the other day, we found that, at the period when inland navigation
arship. But here was the working of was the national rage, and canals were prejudice ; for the errors and follies of a considered to involve the essentials of later set of schoolmen were fastened on prosperity, as railways are now, the worktheir distinguished head; and the phrase men employed on them were called "navran, "Oh, that's a piece of dunsery," igators," as cutting the way for navigawhen they opposed the new learning of tion. And when railways superseded Greek and Hebrew. | canals, the name of the laborei-s, with
That scholastic and ministerial badge, drawn from one work to the other, was
chief of the schoolmen of his time. He; was "the subtle doctor by preeminence;" and it certainly is a strange perverson that a scholar of his great ability should give name to a class who hate all schol
the surplice, is said by Mr. Durand to derive its name from the Latin "superpelliceum," because anciently worn over leathern coats made of hides of beasts; with the idea of representing how the sin of our first parents is now covered by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we
unchanged, and merely contracted, according to the dislike of our Anglo-Saxon tongues to use four syllables where a less number will suffice.
The greatest curiosity in the way of derivations which has ever fallen under the eye of the present explorer is that
are entitled to wear the emblem of inno- (traced by Archbishop Trench) which cence. Sound theology hinted here, and connects treacle with vipers. The syrup forgotten by Rome when she imposed of molasses with the poison of snakes! upon such as our aforesaid old Abbot of never was an odder relationship; yet it Cirencester costly copes and rochets, em- ' 's a case of genuine fatherhood, and emblems thus of her own additions to the bodies a singular superstition. The aneimplicity of the faith. • I cients believed that the best antidote to
In his days, likewise, the Norman-' the bite of the viper was a confection of French "poltroon" had a significance i*8 °wn flesh. The Greek word "theobsolete now: days when Strongbow riac," of the viper, was given first to such was a noble surname, and the yew-trees j a sweetmeat, and then to any antidote of of England were of importance as an arm | poison, and lastly to any syrup; and of national defence; then the coward or j easily corrupted into our present word.
the malingerer had but to cut off the thumb (" pollice truncus " in Latin)—the
Chaucer has a line—
"Christ, which that is to every harm trincle."
thumb which drew the bow, and he was Milton speaks of the " sovran treacle of unfit for service,and must be discharged. J sound doctrine." A stuff called Venice "Malingerer," lately brought much into treacle was considered antidote to all
use by the exigencies of the American war, is from the French "malin gre," and signifies a soldier who from "evil
poisons. "Vipers treacle yield," says Edmund Waller, in a verse which has puzzled many a modern reader, and yet
will" shirks his duty by feigning sick- i brings one close to the truth of the etyness, of otherwise rendering himself in- mology. capable •• in plain words, a poltroon. The common creature of the sea, whose
gambols have passed into a jest and a pro
It would be easy to enlarge this paper with further specimens of eccentric deri
vations. A good purpose will have been
verb, the porpoise, is so named because ' served if any reader is set upon seeking
into the roots of our marvelous English language, the richest and rfiost composite of nil tongues; which carries in its words hints of history, and biography, and poetry, unveiling themselves only to the diligent student, but rewarding him with all the deliciousness of discovery.
A Brilliant distinction has been awarded to Florence, once the head of a Mediaeval Republic, recently the capital of the Tuscan Grand Duchy, but now constituted the metropolis of united Italy. Though highly agreeable to the citizens, this act of preference has not provoked any display of popular enthusiasm, but been received with great sedateness, as the right thing in the right place; just as a Queen of Beauty accepts any fresh homage without surprise, as a tribute to be exacted, not as a privilege to be acknowledged. The selection may be justified on political, military, historic, and traditional grounds, for the capital will have the Apennines as a line of defence from invasion, should it come either from the side of Austria or France; and not less famous has it been in the past than any of the other competing cities, while more prosperous at present, and more promising for the future.
"Girt by her theatre of hills, she reaps
And buried learning rose redeemed to a new morn."
The sovereign will find ample accommodation in the Palazzo Pitti, recently the grand-ducal residence, renowned for its superb gallery of paintings and rare literary collections. Its legislature will hold its sessions in the Palazzo Vecchio. This vast and massive pile is strong and imposing as ever, after its wear and tear of nearly six centuries. It was the seat of the old republican government, and is still overtopped by the tower, the great bell of which used to warn the citizens of danger and summon them to counsel or to fight in cases of emergency. The Lower House will assemble in the Hall of the Five Hundred, Sala de Cinquecento,
covered with the frescoes of \rasari and Ids pupils. Another spacious and richly decorated chamber, on a higher story, Sala de Ducento, hitherto occupied by the municipal body, will be the meatingplace of the Upper House.
Delightfully seated in the garden valley of the Arno, at the foot of hills rising in the back-ground into mountains, the city is like a gem set in splended framework. It is hence appropriately called la bella, "the beautiful," from the exceeding loveliness of the site, while its own structures of the olden time have an air of picturesque grandeur, as the castellated mansions of patrician families engaged in civic feuds, which now offer a striking contrast to the modern architecture which the spirit of progress has called into existence. The river, ordinarily placid and smiling, is fed by mountain streams, and hence becomes a rushing flood after heavy rains, occasionally damaging the bridges or carrying them away, overflowing its banks, laying the streets and lower floors of the houses under water, while arresting the railway traffic. On the occasion of a calamity of this kind in the past year, the archbishop invited the people to prayers before the fresco of the Annunciation, in the church of that name, which had the stupid legend inscribed over it in letters of gold, that, failing to complete the picture according to his wishes, angels took the work out of the artist's hands and gave the finishing touches themselves. The birth of "modern luxury of commerce" is rightly referred to the banks of the Arno. In the Middle Ages the merchants were princes, connected by trade with all European countries, keeping large depots of goods at the principal ports. They were the bankers of powerful sovereigns, sometimes suffering from giving credit. Our Edward III borrowed till capital and interest amounted to 1,365,000 golden florins, his inability to repay which was a sore discomfiture to the lenders. This noble coin, the golden florin, unequalled at the time for beauty, was first issued at Florence in 1254. It bore on one side the emblem of the republic, a lily, and on the reverse the head of the patron saint, John the Baptist. The word florin, 'now naturalized in our language as the name of the two-shilling piece, is derived I either from the city or the flower.
The roll of illustrious men is a long one, natives of the place or of the territory, intimately connected with its for- , tunes, who contributed to win for it the i distinction of being styled the Athens of Italy. The list includes painters, sculptors, architects, poets, philosophers, and other literati, as Dante, Michael Angelo, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Al-' fieri. Their monuments are in the church of Santa Croce, the Pantheon and Westminster Abbey of Florence. This grand ', old church, built towards the close of the thirteenth century, has recently re-1 ceived a new facade, chiefly through the munificence of one of our countrymen, Mr. Sloane, long a resident in Tuscany. 1 It was uncovered with state ceremony, j May the 3rd, 1863, being the five hun- ] dred and seventieth anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone, when the! consecration was attended, as the histo-' rian relates, by " all the good citizens of Florence, both men and women, with: great rejoicing and solemnity."
The father of experimental science, Galileo, was interred by ducal orders in Santa Croce, in January, 1642. A majestic memorial symbolizes his great achievements. His last days were passed ', in the environs of the city, near the hill of Arcetri, where most of those lunar observations are said to have been made' to which Milton alludes when saying that Satan's shield .
"Hung o'er his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
The hill-seated Fieaole, here referred to, antedated Florence, which lies extended at its base, and may be -regarded as its offspring. It was a trading station in the old Roman times; but, being of difficult access, traveling merchants, pre-! ferred remaining with their goods in the i plain below, where a few rude store-1 houses formed the original nucleus of the present city, which did not emerge from j obscurity tilJ the age of Charlemagne.
In the fourteenth century flourished Boccaccio,
"Him who form'd tho Tuscan's siren tongue, That music in itself, whose sounds are song, The poetry of speech."
The Italian language, based mainly upon the ancient Latin, is generally soft and musical, but is not homogeneous. It embraces a great number of dialects, very widely differing from eacn other, caused by the inffosion of different foreign elements in particular districts, and partly by long-standing political divisions and varying interests. Of these the Tuscan is deemed to be the purest and the most harmonious idiom. It is, consequently, the language of the educated classes, irrepective of locality, and has been for a long period the ordinary vehicle of literature. Boccaccio, born in a neighboring town, and buried in the place of his birth, was contemporary with the great disaster of Florence, the plague of 1348. His prose contains a vivid description of the progress of the pest and its awful havoc. Imported from the Levant, it ravaged most of the Italian cities, but was specially notable in Florence from the number of the victims, 100,000, and the large proportion of them who belonged to the high-born class.
In the preceding age Florence gave birth to the most distinguished of her sons—Dante. Six centuries will have elapsed since the date of his birth, 1265, when his statue, to which Turin has subscribed handsomely, will be erected in the historical piazza before Santa Croce. Happily his principles, uncompromisingly hostile to the temporal power of the popedom, have gained firm establishment through the length and breadth of Italy, though a feeble show of opposition is occasionally manifested. On the first visit of Victor Emanuel to Florence the archbishop met his sovereign at the door of the cathedral, conducted him into the building, and intoned the Te Deum in his presence. For this he received a written, though privately transmitted, reproof from Rome, and has since avoided any outward sign of favor to the liberal cause. Even the edifice itself has been made to exemplify antagonistic principles. On the anniversary of the restored Italian nationality its aspect has been Ghibellin 'without and Guelphic within. Brilliantly has the cupola been illuminated in honor of the festival, as the exterior is under the control of the civil authorities, while the interior, subject to the sole jurisdiction of the clergy, as if possessed by a blind, deaf, and' dumb spirit, has resounded with no voice of thankfulness, and been resigned for , the time to solitude and gloom.
The cathedral of Florence, a splendid [ edifice, was founded in 1298, and carried on by various architects, the last of whom, Brunelleschi, conceived the grand cupola, and saw it nearly completed before his death, in 1446. This was so much admired by Michael Angelo as to be taken as a model for that of St. Peter's at Rome. A light and elegant campanile, or bell-tower, detached, according to the fashion of the age, rises by the side of the building. In front appears the octagonal Baptistery of San Giovanni,: the most ancient of the public structures extant. All three edifices are completely coated with a varied mosaic of black and white marble. The cathedral has an j English interest. At the west end, above a side-door, a figure on horseback appears, painted in fresco, representing Sir John Hawkwood, who was buried at the expense of the state, and thus honored by a public order. His name is not recognizable in the one used in the inscription—Giovanni Aguto—but it is , rendered distinct by explanation that the latter word has the meaning of Falcone del Bosco. A notice of him takes us back to the age almost immediately subsequent to that of Dante.
Few men have been more notorious in their day, both feared and eulogized, than Sir John Hawkwood. All Italy was familiar with his name, and rang with the fame of his exploits. He held lands and castles, served and defied popes, seized counts, corresponded in a masterful tone with princes, and received a proposal from the Greek emperor, John Palscologus, to come to his aid against the Turks. A road, said to have been constructed by him for military purposes, still exists in the district of Faenza, and bears his name in its Italianized form— the Strada Aguto. Yet of the man himself all the information is very meagre. He was of humble origin, the son of a tanner, born at Sible Hedingham, in Essex. A fine cenotaph once existed in the church of his native village. Fuller describes it, though not extant in his time, as "arched over, and, in allusion to his name, rebussed wi th hawks flying into a
wood." The tanner's son was bound apprentice to a tailor in the city of London, but, being of ad venturous spirit, he became a soldier of fortune. Entering the service of Edward III. he proved himself a valiant soldier, fought at Crecy, received the honor of knighthood, and particulai ly distinguished himself at the battle of Poictiers. Upon peace being concluded, Hawkwood, now Sir John, did not relish a return to his own country as a landless knight He therefore turned his attention to Italy, then distracted by civil dissentions, put himself at the head of a number of his own countrymen, and proceeded thither as a Captain of Free Lances, in 1361. He served various paymasters; and foes did not fail to apply the lines of Lucan to him—
"Nor faith, nor honor, warms the hireling's breast: For him he fights whose pay is deemed the best."
But he was no vulgar mercenary, and refused the offer of the Venetians to proceed against Padua because its prince was his friend. At last his sword was placed at the disposal of the Florentines, among whom he died, says Froissart, "loaded with riches and honor, at a very advanced age, in 1394." Hence the monumental fresco-painting in the cathedral, executed by Uccelli, by order of the republic.
Every contemporary Italian writer, whether friend or foe, speaks with admiration of Sir John Hawkwood as a military commander, especially with reference to the skilful disposition of his troops, his stratagems in battle, and his wellconducted retreats. Mr. Hallam awards to him the honor of being the "first real general of modern times, and the earliest master, however imperfect, in the science of Turenne and Wellington." A poet wrote verses in his praise:
"O Hawkwood, England's glory, sent to be,
Some notices have recently been recovered from the Venetian archives of of this remarkable chief, and of his countrymen who followed his banner. One of the latter answered to the wellknown name of Colin Campbell. Another is described as "the valiant man, the Englishman, William Gold, constable." He distinguished himself so greatly