Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

cording to its charter, they rejoice Grant for education; provided always that the difference which exists on that such co-operation and such asthat subject, and which they still sistance involve no interference, dihope may be removed, has caused rect or indirect, actual or virtual, no interruption to the friendly rela- with the doctrine or discipline of the tions between the Society and the Church.”—Inopposition to Mr. DeniCommittee of Council on Educa- son, the following resolution was protion.”—The chair was taken by the posed by Sir J. Pakington, seconded Archbishop of Canterbury. After by - Childers, Esg., M.P., and supthe report had been read by the ported by the Rev. S. Robins, and the secretary, the following resolution Rev. R. Burgess, “ That the cause of was proposed by the Rev. G. A. sound religious instruction, and the Denison, and seconded by A. J. B. interests of the Church, demand, at Hope, Esq., and supported by the the present juncture, the friendly coRev. S. Sugden and Mr. Gipps, operation of the National Society and Mr. Hubbard, and the Rev. M. the Committee of Council; and this W. Mayow :-" That this meeting meeting, satisfied that such co-opedeeply regrets that Her Majesty's ration must be for the advantage of Government continue to disallow the National Society as well as of the the equitable claim of members of Church at large, desires to express the Church of England, as set fortlı its earnest hope that the two bodies in the resolution of the annual meet- may act cordially together.”—Much ing of this society, June 6, 1849, discussion having ensued, the Bishop that founders of Church schools who of London entreated the meeting to sce fit to place the management of put an end to it by rejecting both their schools in the clergyman of the resolutions ; Sir J. Pakington thereparish and the bishop of the diocese upon withdrew his, and the meeting should not on that account be ex- was divided upon Mr. Denison's. A cluded from State assistance towards large number of hands was held up the building of their schools. And for Mr. Denison's, but the chairman that this meeting desires to express stated that a much larger number its sense of the very great importance were held up against it.—The Rev. of securing the most friendly rela- C. B. Dalton was elected on the comtions and the most harmonious co- mittee, in place of the Rev. H. H. operation with the civil power, and Norris, deceased. The proceedings of being enabled to accept assistance terminated at half-past five. of every kind from the Parliamentary

To Correspondents.

A. M.—The etymological points alluded to in your letter are not important enough for separate publication : they may be gathered from the ordinary Dictionaries of Derivations.

C. S. asks us for a model of a school report; perhaps some of our correspondents will oblige us with one.

[ocr errors]

ON LATIN ETYMOLOGY.

No. XII.

"6

IN our last paper, when considering the derivatives from the several obsolete verbs, cen- 66 to prick," sen- to feel," men- "to mind," gen"to produce," it would have been to the purpose if we had also noticed those which flow from an obsolete verb men- "to measure." Such derivatives are the participle menso- (nom. mensus, more familiar in the compound emensus, &c.), men-sor, men-sura-, men-sion-; also the sub. meta-, i. e. men-ta-, the conical stone for measuring the distance in a race-course; the verb mēta (inf. mētari), which is either a frequentative from the simple verb. men-, or rather directly formed from the sub. meta, just noticed, but used in the sense of a surveyor's land-mark. On the other hand, the verb mēti-ri, to which mensus is commonly but incorrectly referred as its participle, implies an intermediate sub. mēti-s, i. e. men-ti-s "measuring," thus agreeing precisely with the formation we ascribed to senti-re. We now turn to another subject.

It will be recollected that at the close of the preceding paper, we spoke of derivatives from gen- (or gign-o i. e. gi-gen-o) "produce," or "make to grow," in which the liquid n has been supplanted by the liquid r, as germen and germanus. Our own grow is probably of the same origin, and presents in the letters ow a suffix, already more than once spoken of in know, bellow, sparrow, hollow, &c. The interchange of the two liquids n and r, especially at the end of a root or word, is not unfrequent, and the consideration of this question may remove not a few obscurities in the field of etymology; and that not only in the classical, but, as might be expected, in other languages also Thus the French deduce their words ordre, pumpre, diacre, from the Latin ordon-, pampino-, diacono- (nom. ordo, pampinus, diaconus). The Spaniards, again, pronounce nombre, lumbre, hombre, hembra, muchedumbre, where the Romans have nomen-, lumen-, homon-, femina-, multitudon-.

One of the most interesting examples of the change, is in the appearance of the two Latin verbs, sero and sino, beside each other. The preference of a vowel ě before the r, and of an i before the n, was to be expected in the Latin language, as in patera, numerus, opus operis, on the one hand, and patina, asinus, ordo ordinis, on the other. Thus the substantial difference between sino and sero lies in the liquids alone. The two words again are at bottom, of precisely the same meaning, viz., "to put." Such meaning is visible in the participle sito- (nom. situs), " situated," and, also, in the substantive situ- (n. situs) "situation, site." The compound desin- would thus signify" put down," and from this idea readily flows that of "abandoning, leaving off." In fact, we cannot do better than compare desinere with deser-ere, as the latter verb acquires its notion of" desertion precisely in the same way from the earlier notion of "putting down." Even the sense of " to let, or permit," as existing in the verb sino, is deducible from the idea of "putting, or causing to be in a particular place." Nay more to "let a house," means "to place the use of a

VOL. IX.NO. VIII.

H

[ocr errors]

""

house in a person's hands," an assertion which is confirmed by the fact, that the Latin locare, meaning originally only "to place," came eventually to be used in the same sense of "letting a house," &c., locare aedes; and from the Latin so used comes the French louer “to let." On the other hand as regards the verb sero, we can be at no loss in searching for examples of the sense of "putting," when we have before us, exserere bracchium, "to put the arm out of the toga," inserere "to insert," conserere manum to join battle," praesertim, "put foremost," to say nothing of the verb already mentioned, deserere "to put down, and so abandon." As the most important" putting" is that of putting seeds or plants in the ground, it is no way wonderful that the verb serere, in the sense of " to sow, or to plant," should occupy a very prominent place; but we are not justified by this prominence in regarding the idea of "sowing or planting.,' as the primitive sense. Again as in all putting the idea of order is recommended at once by the advantage of economizing space and by the love of beauty, we see how the substantive series acquires the sense of a row or succession; nor even here is it necessary, though it may be convenient, to draw into our explanation the idea of " sowing seeds, or planting vegetables in a line." Of course, it is not forgotten, that many of the derived forms from our root are limited to the idea of sowing, or planting, as sevi, satus, and semen. Such limitation of special forms to special meanings is common in language. Thus the words draught and draft, though identical in sound, and having a common origin from the verb draw, must not be used indifferently in writing. A doctor's draught, and a draught of air, require a guttural gh, whereas a draft on a banker is commonly spelt with an f. Again, a suit of clothes rejects the final e, which is deemed essential when we speak of a suite of apartments, or the suite of an ambassador; yet in all these cases we have the French noun suite, formed from the Latin secta. Distinctions of this kind are not founded on any principle; and use alone enables us to say that the simple participle situs must not be applied to "sowing, or planting," while the compound participles consitus, insitus, obsitus, always imply a reference to such ideas, directly or indirectly.

The use of asserere "to assert," seems at first sight to have no connection with that idea which we hold to be original in the simple verb serere. This is one of the cases where legal phraseology has become naturalized in the language of common life; and we may perhaps venture to say that no language has been affected in this way to the same extent as the Latin, a fact which is perhaps well accounted for by another fact, that education to the legal profession was almost as universal among Roman citizens, as education to the profession of arms. Now, asserere manu servum, &c., is a phrase that was in use to signify the assertion of property in a slave," &c. Probably, an earlier form of the phrase, was asserere manum servo (dat.), “to place one's hand upon a slave. "Such a supposition is in agreement with the fact, that circumdare murum urbi, " to place a wall round a city ;" and inserere surculum arbori, "to graft a shoot upon a tree," are older phrases than circumdare urbem muro," surround a city with a wall" (abl.), inserere arbutum nuce, "ingraft an arbute with a nut-tree." In our transla

tion of the phrase asserere manu servum, we have the authority of Forcellini, and Mr. Long, in "Smith's Antiquities," and we believe of every writer on Roman law; but Mr. Riddle, under assero, translates the phrase, a. aliquem manu, “to claim a person by taking hold of his hand;" and a few lines below he again translates a. in servitutem : "to claim by the ceremony of laying hold of his hand... a runaway slave.... Are we right in attributing this error to a mistranslation of Lünemann's phrase: sich Jemanden durch Anlegung der Hand als sein Eigenthum anmassen?

""

The connection which we have thus claimed for the two verbs sinere and serere, suggests the question whether the two names, Seres and Sinae, applied by the ancients to nations in the extreme east, are not simply varieties of the same word. It is no serious objection to this view that the professed geographers affected to assign them a somewhat different locality; and such a discrepancy of sound is to be expected where a word is conveyed thousands of miles through people whose organs of speech and hearing must seriously differ. Thus the French and English missionaries have spelt the Chinese word which happens to denote both two and thou, the former by the European letters eul, the latter by irr. However, in the present instance it should not be left out of view, that the long vowels in Seres and Sinae, are far less liable to interchange in such positions than the short vowels of sinere and sĕrere.

That the French should have substituted ordre for the Latin ordine, is the less surprising when we find the Romans themselves alternating the liquids in the declension of femur, gen. feminis, or femoris, the oblique cases preferring the n, for it seems that Ovid and Tibullus alone have such forms as femoris, femori. But this reminds us of a strange passage in Messrs. Riddle and Arnold's "Copious and Critical EnglishLatin Lexicon." In the ninth page of the part which is from the pen of Mr. Riddle,* we find :—

"LEG, crus (from the knee to the ankle, the shin, кvýμn; of which the larger bone is called tibia, the smaller sura; see Cels. viii. 1 ;femur, femen, from the hip to the knee, the thigh bones; the former the outer one, the latter the inner one), &c.

Here again, Mr. Riddle's error seems due, in the first place, to a hasty translation of the German, or he would have seen that in Dr. K. E. Georges' "German-Latin Dictionary," (sub voce bein) das innere meant merely the inner part of the thigh,t and not the inner bone. But apart from all questions of German and Latin, a glimpse at any skeleton will serve to correct the error of assigning to the thigh a pair of bones.

An interchange between n and r often tends to hide the connection between Greek and Latin words. The ordinary relation between these two languages consists in the Greek presenting a where the Latin has an r, or if we look to the older Latin language, an s. But where this original s is not final, it commonly passed into an r. Thus the first person plural of a verb in the ordinary Greek dialect ends in pev

It is to be regretted that Mr. Arnold did not pursue his original design of publishing an English-Latin Lexicon of his own, instead of entering into a coalition. Yet even this distinction seems without foundation.

(TUTTOμEY); but the Romans agreed more nearly with the Doric suffix μεs (TUTTOμES), and wrote mus (regimus). So again to the Greek adverbs in Oev, ovpavolev, &c., correspond Latin adverbs in tus, caelitus, &c. Again, one form of the Greek comparative had for its suffix 10v, BEXTLOV- (nom. Beλrv), whereas the Latin preferred iōs, as in the old oblique forms mel-ios-em, &c.; and, although this in the later tongue was modified into melior-em, the s was still preserved in the neuter melius, and the diminutival meliusculus.

Merus is a word which Lünemann passes by without an attempt at etymological remark. He did not see that it is the equivalent of the Greek μονος. The short e of the Latin is the genuine vowel of the root, for the Greek adjective itself is but a secondary form from μev-, of the partly obsolete μes μua μɛv. Here, again, it may be expedient to state that we would not regard merus as a foreign importation. The old Latin wrote the numeral unus in the form oenus, of which a sound like wen- is the root, corresponding to the μɛv-, or Fɛv- of the Greek.

The relation between μovos and merus has its parallel in that between the substantives mora, and μονη, which were recently considered. The Greek substantives ις "a sinew" have for their base a and ινιον monosyllabic Fiv-, to which correspond the Latin vis and vires. The form vis it is well known is always long, and it has a double claim to this pronunciation, first in the nature of its vowel, and secondly in its being abbreviated from a fuller form with a nominatival s, viss. In the plural the s of the base as usual becomes an r.

In the forms femen and femur we saw the Latin within its own limits, treating the liquids n and r as convertible. Another case is found in a comparison of murus and munire, &c. These words with others related to them deserve a fuller consideration. A long u in a Latin root-syllable always suggests the question whether there are not related forms with a diphthong oe or oi. We have already had an example of this in the words unus and oenus; others are poena and punire, Poeni and Punicus, cura and the archaic coera, utor and the archaic oetor, uro and oestrum. Similarly in the root proposed for examination, we have the Virgilian form moerorum, the compound pomoerium, moenia sub. n. pl. by the side of munia, communis and comoinis or comoenis, immunis and inmoenis, &c. Since then there can be no doubt as to the ready interchange of the vowel sounds, the sole remaining difficulty as to form lies in the substitution of an n for an r or vice versa, which will no longer be regarded as a serious obstacle. The meanings however of the words we have quoted cover a wide extent of surface, and seem at first irreconcilable. If however we start from a base signifying "to divide" we shall see that munia may well be a subst. pl. denoting parts, whence didere munia to divide the several parts or offices between the domestics of a house. Munus again, which by its suffix implies the existence of a verb to which that suffix is attached, will fairly signify a share;" and as a share may be in what is coveted or the reverse, it may well have for secondary meanings a present or "a duty." So communis by its form is well fitted to denote "shared together," " and immunis "one without a share." Where labour is concerned, the being without a share is a

66

99

« PreviousContinue »