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those which I have just instanced are all to be found in them; but they all undertake this with certain reservations and exceptions. "Obsolete words," says Johnson, "are admitted when they are found in authors not obsolete, or when they have any force or beauty that may deserve revival.” I will not pause here to inquire what a lexicographer has to do with the question whether a word deserves revival or not; but rather call your attention to the fact that Johnson does not even observe his own rule of comprehension, imperfect and inadequate as that is. When the words omitted may be counted by hundreds, I suppose by thousands, it seems absurd, almost a weakening of one's case, to quote three or four, which yet is all that I can undertake to do. I have no choice, however, but to cite these. Grimsire,' or 'grimsir,' I meet everywhere in our old authors, in Massinger, in Burton, in Holland,' in twenty more, some of them certainly authors not obsolete, but he has not found place for it; nor yet Richardson. This word, it may be pleaded, presents no great difficulty, though this would be no excuse for its omission; but here is ‘hickscorner,' of which the meaning is anything but obvious : (the hickscorner' is the loose ribald scoffer at sacred things); this word also, of continual recurrence in our old authors, might be sought for vainly in our Dictionaries. Most readers, I am inclined to think, would be at a loss if they met the word 'titivillars," which yet they might meet in Foxe and Stubs; but beyond a slight notice, in so far as it
1 “Even Tiberius Cæsar, who otherwise was known for a grimsir, and the most unsociable and melancholic man in the world, required in that manner to be salved and wished well unto, whensoever he sneezed."Pliny, vol. ii., p. 297.
2 “What is more common in our days than, when such hickscorners will be merry at their drunken banquets, to fall in talk of some one minister or other ?”—PILKINGTON, Exposition on Nehemiah, c. 2. “A professed jester, a hickscorner, a scoffmaster.”-G. HARVEY, Fierce's Supererogation, Archaica, p. 86.
• Satan, the author and sower of discord, stirred up his instrugoes, a correct one, in Wright's Glossary, no information about the word, no mention of it ever is to be found in Dictionary or glossary. If in Milton's Defence of the People of England Salmasius is called "an inconsiderable fellow and a jackstraw," why should I not know what a jackstraw’ is, without recurring to some archaic glossary for this knowledge? They indeed would not help me here, for the word is in none of them. Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia is a work "not obsolete," and one I trust which never will be; but I looked in vain in Johnson and in every other Dictionary and glossary for an explanation of shewels (it means scarecrow), till Mr. Herbert Coleridge gave it in his Glossarial Index, with a reference to an early metrical romance, in which it occurs.
Still less satisfactory is Richardson's rule of admission and exclusion. “Obsolete words,” he says, “have been diligently sought for, and all such, but no other, as could contribute any aid to the investigations of etymology, are diligently preserved.” But why those only which would « contribute aid to the investigations of etymology ?” why not those also which should enable us to measure in its length and breadth the intellectual territory which our English language has occupied as well as that
ments (certain Frenchmen), titivillars and makebates, about the king, which ceased not, in carping and depraving the nobles, to inflame the king's hatred and grudge against them.”—Foxe, Book of Martyrs, Anno 1312; cf. STUBS, Anatomy of Abuses, p. 73.
1 The demon “tutivillus' was one who picked up all the words of the mass-service, which the priests either omitted or mispronounced, and carried them off to hell. The later meanings of makebate, mischief-maker, are easily to be deduced from this.
Preface to the Defence. A reference to Milton's original, where “stramineus eques” are the words, throws abundant light on the meaning of 'jackstraw.'
3 “So are these bugbears of opinion brought by great clerks into the world, to serve as shewels to keep them from those faults whereto else the vanity of the world, and weakness of senses might pull them.”. Sir P. SIDNEY, Arcadia, 1674, p. 263.
which it occupies now, to form some estimate of its wonderful riches, as in other ways, so also by a contemplation of the enormous losses which it has endured without being seriously impoverished thereby? Why not preserve all those obsolete words which are necessary to enable the student to read his English classics with comfort and with profit? In carrying out his scheme he has often omitted, and not without loss, archaic words which Johnson or Todd has inserted. Thus I observe lurry' (a word occurring in Milton and Henry More), 'privado’ (in Fuller and Jeremy Taylor), 'powldron' (in Ralegh), 'chokepear' (in Rogers), and two I just noticed, druggerman' and 'palliard,' duly registered and explained in their pages, but altogether omitted in his.
Sometimes the word thus omitted is very curious. Thus no one of our Dictionaries, and I may say the same of our glossaries, contains the word "umstroke;' which is yet most noteworthy, being, as it is, the sole survivor of its kind. For while there is abundant evidence that our early English derived largely from the Anglo-Saxon the use of the preposition 'um' or 'umbe' (= dugi) in composition, (thus umgang,' 'umhappe,' ' umbeset,' 'umgripe,' ' umklip,' 'umlap,' and many more, for which see Halli. well), no single word with this prefix, excepting only this one, has lived on into our later English ; which yet the authors of our Dictionaries, as I have said, have not observed, or, observing, have not cared to register. I incline to think they did not observe it; for while most of Fuller's other works have been diligently used by our lexicographers, his Pisgah Sight of Palestine, one of his most curious and most characteristic, and in which 'umstroke' twice occurs, has been, as far as my experience reaches, entirely overlooked by them.
1 “Such towns as stand (as one may say) on tiptoes, on the very umstroke, or on any part of the utmost line of any map, (unresolved in
Not less curious from the other extreme of the language are the Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, words, which it has been endeavoured to transplant without alteration into English, but which have refused to take root here; a record of the attempt to transplant which ought not the less to be preserved, while yet often it has not been. Thus Holland songht to introduce Aristotle's kiußie, though certainly our early English was rich enough in words to express what is exprest by this, so rich that we have let drop more than half of them- snudge,''curmudgeon,' 'chuff,' 'gripe,' (not in our Dictionaries in this sense, but so used by Burton),2 pinchpenny,''clutchfist,''penifather,' 'nipfarthing,'' huddle' (not in our Dictionaries in this sense, but so used by Lyly'), and many more.
For Latin words, ardelio 4 figures in Burton, 'æmulus," in Drayton, and in Andrews' rex' in the popular phrase, “ to play rex"6 or to play the tyrant, but none of these in our Dictionaries. Sylvester, whose works, by the way, are a mine as yet very
a manner to stay out or come in), are not to be presumed placed according to exactness, but only signify them there or thereabouts.”—Pt. 1, b. I, c. 14; cf. pt. 2, b. 5, C. 20.
1 “ He that calleth a liberal man, wellknown to spend magnificently, a base mechanical kumbix and a pinching penifather, ministereth matter of good sport and laughter to the party whom he seemeth so to challenge or menace.”—Plutarch, p. 665.
2 " Let him be a bawd, a gripe, an usurer, a villain.”—Anatomy of Melancholy, 1, 2, 4, 6.
3 “This old miser asking of Aristippus what he would take to teach and bring up his son, answered, “A thousand groats.' 'A thousand groats! God shield !' answered this old huddle."-Euphues and his Ephabus.
4 "Striving to get that which we had better be without, ardelios, busy bodies as we are.”—Anatomy of Melancholy, pt. 1, 2, 4, 7.
5 “ As this brave warrior was, so no less dear to us
Polyolbion, Song 18. 6 “ As helpers of your joy, not to domineer and play rex.”-ROGERS, Naaman the Syrian, p. 217.
inadequately wrought for lexicographical purposes, employs the Italian 'farfalla’l for butterfly.
Sometimes the word is one capable of doing good service still. Such to my mind is the verb 'to cankerfret," and another, 'to witwanton,' such 'rootfast, and 'rootfastness ;'4 such a'neednoť5 (the word is, I believe, still in use among the Quakers) to express such a superfluity as we might well do without. A'woodkern' for a forest-haunting bandit, is a word expressive enough to deserve commemoration, if expressiveness is to constitute the right of admission.
Let me observe here, and before quitting this important branch of the subject, that provincial or local words stand, so far as my single judgment goes, for I pledge no one else, on quite a different footing from obsolete. I do not complain of their omission. In my judgment we should, on the contrary, have a right to complain if they were admitted, and it is an oversight that some of our Dictionaries occasionally find room for them, in their avowed character of provincial words; when indeed, as such, they
1“ And, new farfalla, in her radiant shine,
Dangerous it is to witwanton it with the majesty of God.”FULLER, The Holy State, b. 3, c. 2. The word is also a noun:
“All epicures, witwantons, atheists."
SYLVESTER, Lacryma Lachrymarum. 4 State Papers, vol. vi. p. 534.
5 “ Divine Providence had so divided it that other lands should be at the cost and care to bear, dig out and refine, and Judæa the power
and credit to use, expend, yea, neglect such glittering neednots to human happiness.”-FULLER, A Pisgah Sight of Palestine, b. 1, c. 3.
6 " The same hath been said to me (who have been forlaid and whose life hath been sought), which were more beseeming to speak to a woodkern or robber by the highway."-HOLLAND, Livy, p. 1065; cf. Somers' Tracts, vol. i. p. 586.