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mob: it is for this reason that they were called cut-girdles, as we now call them cut-purses. Nevertheless, it is not probable that this use of cinctures, that is to say, of carrying money in them, was common with the women of antiquity. They were not troubled with carrying money in order to purchase household necessaries: on the contrary, that was under the cognizance of the master of the house, and slaves particularly charged with this employ. It happened much oftener that the ladies wished to conceal in their clothes the ornament of a lover, a tablet, &c. This is the reason why they wore large fillets fastened round the breast, which were an article indispensable to the ladies' toilette at that period. There, also, love-letters sometimes found a place. How I am to be pitied exclaims a lover in a comedy of Turpilius, entitled Philopater,
What shall I do? Unfortunate being that I am! I have lost on the road the letter which I had concealed between the tunic and fillet.' Ovid, in his Art of Love, also teaches his scholars to conceal letters in this
"In the middle ages, the use of large purses obviated the necessity of having pockets in the clothes, as is still the custom among men in the present dress. The ladies, too, for some years, have proscribed the use of pockets; and not being able to dispense without a handkerchief, keys, and purses, like the Greek and Roman woman, whose costume they have imitated, have had recourse to the large purses, or bags, of Gothic times, to which have been given various forms, and different names, such as ridicules, sacs, necessaries, indispensables, &c."
The account of PORTRAIT PAINTING is perhaps one of the most interesting in this work; and the editor has added a list of the names of the most distinguished portrait painters, from the origin of this art in 1500 to our own times. The importance and superiority of portraits to every other species of painting, is here acknowledged; and the French now begin to perceive, that their reproaches against the English, for their supposed national vanity of preferring portraits, are as irrational as they are false. It is true, more genius is required to execute one good portrait, than twenty Venuses and Cupids; and this, perhaps, is the reason, why the French portraits are so execrable in every respect. The history of SCULPTURE is the most copious, and perhaps the most perfect, of any of our author's sketches. In the list of sculptors, those of Spain are the most conspicuous; and it is certain, that this art, since the barbarous ages, was practised in that country two centuries sooner than in Italy. In 1037, we find, that Ferdinand the Great patronized the arts, particularly sculpture, of which some vestiges still remain. It was not till about the year 1270 in Italy, and 1550 in France, that the art of sculpture began to be restored and cultivated.
We shall only observe, that these three massy volumes contain much curious and interesting information, chiefly extracted, in deed, from the German, and from other scarce and expensive works; but in order to render them a complete Dictionary of the Fine Arts,
it is necessary to add the author's other works on Mythology, and French Monuments and Medals. M. Millin is also editor of the Magazin Encyclopedique, one of the best monthly publications of miscellaneous science, literature, and antiquities, in France.
Dictionnaire Historique, Etymologique, &c.'
An Historical Dictionary of the celebrated Personages of Antiquity, Princes, Generals, Philosophers, Poets, Artists, Sc.; Gods, fabu lous Heroes, Cities, Rivers, c. &c.: with the Etymology, and the Value of their Names and Surnames. Preceded by an Essay an Proper Names among both the Ancients and the Moderns. By F. Noël, Inspector-General of Public Instruction, &c. &c. PP. 520. 8vo. 12s. Paris. 1806. Imported by Deconchy.
WHEN we consider the influence of words, their power in creating new associations of ideas, and their importance as the vehicles of human knowledge, we shall not be precipitate in condemning any effort to illustrate the meaning of proper names, and their connexion with the progress of the human mind. Etymology is a science of much greater utility, and much more applicable to the study of national manners, than has hitherto been supposed. Much vulgar ridicule, indeed, has been ignorantly thrown upon it; but it should be remembered, that it has been the means of unfolding those, principles which have now stood the test of ages, and shall for ever remain a monument of the strength, as well as the nature, of the "Human Understanding," as developed by the immortal Locke. By this science we are enabled to trace the origin, progress, and actuat state, of words, or names, as used in the commerce of human life. In every stage they afford us the only certain knowledge of the then state of the human mind. At first, we have short simple names with out inflections, which sufficiently characterize the ideas arising fram simple impressions or sensations. Afterwards, the increasing multiplicity of nearly similar objects rendered it necessary to attach an epi thet of some particular quality, or characteristic, of these objects; hence the origin of complex or compound terms, which from habit soon degenerated into arbitrary names. These names, at first perfectly understood, in the course of time became difficult to comprehend, and in proportion as the natural increase of society augmented their number, it also impaired the powers of traditional instruction; and the people, as they emerged from the common source of intelligence, forgetting the origin and full import of these terms, confused, abridged, or otherwise changed them: hence the origin of dialects. In this manner we are enabled to trace the real progress of the human mind from ignorance to knowledge. At first, their few simple ideas were
distinctly expressed by their distinct aspirations, or words; as their ideas became more numerous, their words necessarily became more complex. This opened a field for the diverse genius of men: some were occupied in cultivating their knowledge, and thence became chiefs; while others, more indolent and more ignorant, and, consequently, possessing only weak understandings, but imperfectly comprehended the relation of names with things; and in their diurnal use of terms, mutilated them often to an extent that rendered their origin extremely difficult, if not impossible, to be discovered. Thus, by the general corruption of language, we are able to ascertain, beyond all doubt, the low state of knowledge and civilization in any age or nation. The imperfect conceptions of the vulgar at the present day are likewise evinced, by their mutilating words which they do not perfectly comprehend, or to which they cannot affix a determined idea. Attention to this point would enable us to trace the capacity of the intellectual powers in conjunction with the natural history and progress of language, from simple and relative terms to complex and arbitrary names; from arbitrary names spring mutilated words, and even phrases, that in time become dialects, which finally constitute, with the progress of knowledge, new, and to a certain degree, entire, languages. Hence, too, will appear the utility of training the mind, at an early period, to associate its conceptions, or ideas, with words, and thus, perhaps, in some measure, obviate the dangerous influence of an ardent imagination, and the effects of the violent passions, on the juvenile mind.
But to return to the work of M. Noël, we are sorry that he has not always treated the science of etymology in such an enlarged view, and that he has designedly pursued it rather as a litterateur than a philosopher. As a preliminary to this work, the author has given a long "Historical Essay on Proper Nanes, both Ancient and Modern." It is divided into seventeen chapters, on the Proper Names of the Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and other Ancient Nations; Names among the Moderns; Patronymics; Christian Names; Change of Names; Pseudonymus; Names attached to Sovereign Dignity; Nick-names; Superstitious and Poetical Names; Names of Animals, Cities, &c.; Anagrams and Acrostics; Allusions to Names; Art of Translating them; and Miscellaneous Anecdotes relative to the Distinction and Use of Names. In this Essay, indeed, there are many curious particulars relative to the use and power of names, or appeilations, in different ages and nations; and if the author seldom discovers much perspicacity, or critical acumen, he as rarely deviates into the regions of imagination and visionary speculation. The following is the author's account of the etymology of the word name :
"The name, in general, according to the definition most commonly received, is the term which we are accustomed to use to designate a person or thing. This definition is founded on the import of the word nomen, which the etymologists derive either from the verb
nosco, because, says Cicero, quod rei nota est, it is the characteristic mark which distinguishes each thing; or from the Greek word oua, in which Plato, by a decomposition somewhat subtle, found or paitolas, to seek the origin of being t. Pythagoras attributed the imposition of names to sovereign wisdom; and it is in this sense that Plato said, that it belonged to the sages to give names to things. Epicurus, who did not ascend so high, agrees, at least, that the names are the effect of the first idea that men formed of the objects which they designate. As to the diversity of languages, he explains it by the diversity of impressions received in divers climates."
Nigidius, and the Stoics, as well as Aristotle, sought in the propriety of names the nature of things; and it was long a disputed question, whether they were natural and founded in reason, or positive and arbitrary. Neither the ancients, however, nor the present author, furnish us with any important assistance in this inquiry, which embraces two essential points-the connexion of articulate sounds with objects, which includes the mechanism of oral communication; and the relation between signs and natural objects, which is the principle of writing. The former would be under the influence of the particular emotions excited by external objects as they presented themselves; while the latter would require some exercise of reason and genius, or inventive powers, to form new, analogous, and convenient characters, as emblems, or hieroglyphics.
The first chapter of this Essay treats of Names among the Jews; but it is much less perfect than many English tracts on this subject, particularly Jones's Philosophy of Words. The second chapter, on the Greek Names, is more interesting. The author briefly mentions the ceremony of giving children names on the seventh or tenth day after their birth, which differed little from that still practised; and also notices the custom, in the days of Homer, of the mothers naming their infants at the moment of birth. "This custom was afterwards prohibited by a positive law, which at the same time ordered the father to name the children. Observing the frequent dissimilarity of children to their fathers, and their no less general resemblance to their grandfathers, it was usual to name the eldest son after the paternal, and the second after the maternal, grandfather; the remainder bore the names of agnation and cognation. On the contrary, among the Lycians, the son took the name of the mother, because the succession passed to the daughters." The Greeks, it appears, at least in their decline, were as forward in changing or adding to their names as the people of the
* " Noscimen, novimen, notamen, notimen.”
"A third etymology is vous, to be useful, because its use serves to make known things; and a fourth, view, to distribute, vóμos, law; the name giving to each thing its value, as the law gives to every one that which belongs to him."
present age. Lucian, indeed, humorously observes of the parvenus of his time, that from "a dissyllable, which their names had been in the lowness of their first condition, they became a quadrisyllable after the change of fortune." This hint is worthy the consideration of our modern 'Squires, some of whom, although perhaps foster-brothers of Tom Jones, have not only added to their names the appendix of Esquire, but have now, we are told, prefaced it with Sir! Folly and depravity generally go hand in hand; the latter has desolated the Continent these last eighteen years; the former now begins to predominate in this country, and idiotism has attained supremacy in the West.
The Romans, although not the first, as Appian erroneously pretended, who used two names, were at least the first people who reduced this custom to a systematic and general use, after their union with the Sabines. The mother of Romulus, indeed, was called Rhea Sylvia, her grandfather Numitor Sylvius, and her uncle Amulius Syl vius. The chief of the Sabines had also two names; but it was a considerable time before the Romans attained such importance, or became so numerous, as to render the distinction of names indispensable: in the course of time, however, they augmented them from one to three, and even four.
"1. The family name, the nomen properly so called, was common to all the descendants of the same house (gens), and to all its branches. Thus, Julius was probably the proper name of the first author of that house, as it descended, or pretended to be descended, from Iulus, the son of Æneas.
"2. The prænomen, or first name, distinguished the persons of the same family.
"3. The cognomen, or surname, was given to some as an honourable title, or a term founded on the vices or virtues in those to whom it was applied.
4. The agnomen, or fourth name, was another kind of surname, or
"The prænomina, which distinguished the persons of the same family, drew their signification from some peculiar circumstances; thus Tullius. from Tullus, a Roman prænomen of happy omen, quasi tollendus, an infant worthy of being reared. After the birth of the child, the midwife placed it on the ground, and the father took it up (tollebat); hence the origin of this verb being used to express the act of cherishing and edu. cating.
"The cognomen, or surname, was founded, 1. on the qualities of the mind, which comprehended the virtues, manners, sciences, and noble actions: thus, sophus indicated wisdom; pius, piety; frugi, good morals; gurges, nepos, bad habits; publicola, patriotism; lepidus, atticus, witty, facetious, eloquent, &c. 2. On the different parts of the body, the imperfections or peculiar qualities of which gave occasion to surnames, as crassus, corpulent; macer, meagre, &c. There were also two sorts of surnames; the cognomen distinguished one branch from a parallel one of the same family: the agnomen characterized a subdivision of a branch,