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Albanak bi gonde Homber; ac Locrya hadde best
Al out that land bi twene hem, fro the est to the west.” Bede's object was to give a history of the Anglo-Saxon church, and to this he confines himself, ignoring altogether the Welsh Christians, both from ecclesiastical and political motives, and admitting as little as possible of the history of the Scottish church. The purpose of his work and the evident one-sidedness and partiality with which it is written, make it absurd to refer to him for a complete account of the ecclesiastical, much more of the civil, state of the Keltic races at that time. Yet his silence has been held sufficient to overpower a vast mass of positive evidence, arising from many separate and independent sources. The pictures drawn by Bede are supposed to present a complete idea, and it is known only to few that they are distorted and imperfect. There are however in Bede occasional notices of Britons, who could not have been either Picts or Welshmen. He speaks too of the Huiccii or Guiccii and the Girvii as still existing in his day, and these are tribes of whom we may affirm, with strong probability, that they were Keltic, though under the rule of Teutonic chiefs. He mentions that Bishop Wilfrid baptized 250 slaves in the island of Selsey, where there were only 87 families. These were probably native Britons, and their number must have been half of the entire population*. At the conclusion of his history, after speaking of the Picts and Scots, he tells us, that the Britons in the year 731, though in part their own masters (that is, in Wales and the West of England), yet elsewhere "they are also brought under subjection to the English.” The word elsewhere must certainly include the ancient Loegria, that is, England from the Humber to the Thames. The evidence of William of Malmsbury (quantum valeat) is to the same effect. “ Britones," he writes, “qui olim totam terram, quam nunc Angliam vocant, possedissent, tunc (that is, at the end of the 7th century) Anglis famulabanturt."
* Eccles. Hist. book iv. c. 13.
+ Quoted in Diefenbach's Celtica, vol. iii. p. 139. Bede however mentions that some of the Britons (who could not be either Welsh or Picts)
(3.) The names of places in England offer a strong probability in favour of this theory. Besides the purely Keltic names that are not uncommon, such as London, York, Carlisle, Penrith, Nantwich, Pencoyd, Ross, Mellor, and others, there is a large number in which the first part is purely Keltic, as inMan-chester.
Teffont (teg-ffwnt)=clear or Glou-cester.
beautiful spring Dur-ham.
Eggles-ton and Eccles-ton. In Win-chester.
Cornwall, eglos=church, as Wrox-eter.
Eglos-kerry, Eglos-hayle. Ciren-cester.
Glen-field and Glen-don. Bran-caster.
Tref-onen (Heref.) (tre, tref = Wor-cester.
town). Probably also names Pen-hurst.
ending in try or tree, as CoPen-dleton.
ventry, Braintree, Wavertree, Nymet-Rowland (nemet=tem- Daventry, &c. Oswestry is ple).
certainly Oswald's Town. Erchen-field; W. Erging. Alt-ham (allt=cliff or hill). We Maser-field*, W. maes (field). have Alt Hill in Lancashire. Lan-caut(Glouc.),llan=church; Alt, I think, enters into the Lan-chester (Durh.)t.
composition of other words, Romney-marsh (Gael. ruimner as Alvan-ley, alt-maen (or marsh).
vaen)=high rock, a perfectly Kil-worth.
correct description of the Aber-ford.
place, and Alvas-ton, Alt maes Maes-bury.
(or vaes)=high field or plain. Brin-ton.
Cors-ton; W. cors (marsh). Din-ton. Dinton-cum-Teffont | Kinder-ton; W. cyndir (chief
Magna, in Wilts. Din=city. or headland). recovered their liberty in the year
684. “ From that time the hopes and strength of the English crown began to waver and retrograde, for the Picts recovered their own lands, which had been held by the English, and the Scots that were in Britain, and some of the Britons their liberty, which they have now enjoyed for about forty-six years.”—Book iv. c. 26.
* There is a place in Anglesey called by this name, and assigned to Ur or Urien (Maes Ur). Mackerfield, in Lancashire, anciently Maserfield, may have a similar origin.
+ It is singular that though llan=church, is found very frequently in the names of Welsh places, it does not exist as the Keltic element in the name of any town of ancient Loegria.
This list might be largely extended, without including such places as Cam-bridge, Ex-eter, Tam-worth, or other towns situated on the banks of rivers bearing Keltic names.
The Danish names appear to be wholly homogeneous, as Grimsby, Thursby, Ormesby, &c., but we meet with the same hybrid form again in places occupied by Norman barons, as Hurst-monceaux, Minshull-Vernon, Dunham-Massey, Mansell-Lacy, Mor-ville, Neville-holt, Stoke-Mandeville, Thorped'Amiron, and many others.
The English language is, however, the best and most decisive witness in support of the theory of an admixture of races. This part of the investigation must necessarily, from want of space, be left to some future occasion. I can only state at present that the Keltic element is neither small nor unimportant. The confident assertions to the contrary, that are commonly made by our Anglo-Saxon scholars, cannot arise from any other cause than an absolute ignorance of the Keltic languages, or an acquaintance so imperfect as to lead in an equal degree to error. This element has supplied us with many of our titles of nobility, and of our military terms. It has given us many words connected with the arts of life. It is used extensively in the names of the implements and processes of agriculture and manufactures. It has supplied a contribution to the higher departments of thought and to the expression of poetic feeling; but its chief range is in the description of common objects, and the words of our social or colloquial life. In a lower department, the obscene or the burlesque, in the language of our dialects, of slang and abuse, it is especially prominent, confirming what we learn from history of the social position of the Keltic races in England. We are warranted therefore in asserting that the mass of our population partakes largely of Keltic blood, and that this element has had an important influence on our national character, and indirectly on our social and political institutions. Our national vanity may make us unwilling to admit this fact, but what great nation has ever been formed except by a union of races ? What homogeneous race has ever gained an enduring position among the ruling nations of the world? The Latin language proves beyond a doubt that the old Roman blood partook largely of the same element. In either case we may say that the union of the fiery, impetuous nature of the Kelt with the grosser but more energetic spirit of the Pelasgian or German stock, formed a race that was nobler than either. The union of impetuosity with strength, the moderating and strengthening influence of cool reflection upon the ardour of a more fiery temperament, the quickening force of a more subtle and genial spirit, acting upon the mass of a large and compact nature, have produced in each instance a people, who, by their impetuous but enduring courage, by their active and persevering enterprise, have made themselves successively the dominant race of the world.
VI.-ON DIMINUTIVES IN 'LET.'
[Read March the 19th.] Among the various classes of English diminutives, that formed by the addition of the suffix let appears at first sight to be by no means the least considerable. In point of fact, the words terminating in this syllable considerably outnumber those formed either with kin or ling, the approximate numbers of the three classes being as follow :-let, between 70 and 80; kin, about 20; and ling, between 40 and 50*. Yet, notwithstanding this decisive numerical superiority, the suffix has received but little consideration, either from English or continental philologists; Grimm, by a strange oversight, omits all mention of it in the chapter on diminution in his Teutonic Grammar; Pott is equally silent; while Dr. Latham, from whom the unfortunate particle might have expected better usage,
is content to dismiss it in the brief space of a line and a half in the latest edition of his work on the English language. His opinion, as to its origin and etymology, I
* This comparison is made froin Walker's Rhyming Dictionary, and the numbers must only be regarded as relatively true.
shall consider presently, but previously to doing so, it will be necessary to make some preliminary observations for the purpose of preventing misconception and of limiting our inquiry as accurately as possible to genuine subjects.
The 80 and odd words which are given in our dictionaries as examples of this termination may be divided into three principal classes. The first comprises those words which are not diminutive at all, but in which the termination is formed either by corruption, or from some independent root, or lastly, is part of the body of the original word itself, and only accidentally a termination. The second class, which is by far the most numerous, comprises all words of which the diminutival suffix is really et, and consists almost exclusively of words of Latin and French origin. The third class contains those words in which the termination is undoubtedly the triliteral let, and this class, according to my view, consists entirely of Teutonic and Scandinavian elements. It will be necessary to discuss each of these classes separately, inasnıuch as the correctness of the theory I am about to bring forward depends in a great measure upon the amount of success I may be thought to have achieved in the elimination of many apparent members of the third class, and the degradation of them, so to speak, to their rightful position in the ranks of the second.
Subdivision A.-Corrupted Forms. gantlet for gantlope ; Dutch | ballet for ballad ; Ital. ballata; loopen. .
Span. balada. sallett for salad ; Span. salada or | quillet for quidlibet.
ensalada (also in sense of a helmet; Ital. celada).
Subdivision B.--Terminations of independent origin. coverlet; Ital. copra-letto. inlet and outlet for let in and let
out; compare inset and outset. Subdivision C.- Terminations belonging to the body of the word. omelet; Gr. åpúlatov; vid. Schol. || amulet; Lat. amuletum ; Arabic ad Aristoph. Pac. 1162.
hamalet, that which is suspended.