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terraces of time and claim more quarterings than the most baronial of Austrian barons. It was born before history; its founder was Buddha, a sage whose existence is lost in the magnificence of myth,—there let it rest. To-day pessimism is a mosaic of the lore of Orient and Occident, an estray clean as the ocean and unstayable as the wind. It is based on a truism: Whatever will be, is. That proposition once grasped, the jocularity of its theoretic exponent is easily understood. He sees no rhyme, and less reason, in making faces at a chain of necessity in which we are all interlinked. "We may rejoice," he announces, "and repent, we may form good resolutions; but the joy and the repentance and the good resolutions-come to us of themselves, and not until it is appointed that they shall do so. When they do come, however sincere the repentance may be, however superb the resolutions, the course of things moves on unchanged and changeless as before. Should Nature destine one man to be wise and to be brave, wise and brave he will be. Should she destine another to be scatter-brained and iinl)ecile, scatter-brained and imbecile he will become. There is no merit, no blame, to be ascribed to her or to them. The wishes that throb in our heart may rebel, but the great mother snuffs them out like a candle. She is governed herself, her laws are ours."
Such is his theory. Forgive him it. Nature presumably destined him to be scatter-brained, and scatter-brained he has become. No blame can be ascrilied to her or to him. And yet, in spite of the hilarity of the impolite, pessimism is a gentleman still: its foremost tenet, a tenet, parenthetically, which it borrowed from the Moors, a tenet which founded courtesy, is abnegation of self. It teaches that it is small to remember, great to forgive. It is a doctrine of charity and good w ill to all. In its prescriptions there is not a single tear. And as to its •ne negation, that of the attainment of happiness, let us be lenient. We have had an eternity behind tis, and if in that eternity we found no Utopia, why should we expect it in the days to be?
OUR ONE HUNDRED QUESTIONS.
57. What is the origin of Harlequin f
It is a difficult matter to give the origin of a won) whose meaning all etymologists agree is uncertain, if not quite unknown. Menage, Bailey, and English Notes and Queries rather lean towards the following theory. A young Italian actor came to Paris in the time of Henry IK. of France (1551-1589), and, having been there received and made welcome by the famous comedian Achille d'Harlai, his brother actors dubbed him "Harlequine," from the name of his patron and master. But this seems like making the etymology fit the circumstances; and the use of the word, or its radical, must be of more ancient date. The character of Harlequin, with his parti-colored dress, as the servant of Pantaloon (the comic representative of Venetian foibles), seems to be derived originally from the Roman mime or atellana. Chambers says, "The Fabulse Atellanas may be considered the origin of the modern Italian arleeehino (harlequin) and other characters of a like stamp. They were the favorite dramatic personages with the people, spoke the Oscan dialect, and excited laughter with its quaint old-fashioned words and phrases." Introduced thus from the old Roman drama into the modern Italian, he became the lover of Columbine, or the arlecchinatta, from which title some writers very reasonably derive the word harlequin.
In this personage were satirized the roguery and drollery ot the Bergamasks, who were proverbial for their intriguing knavery. From the Italian drama Harlequin was transferred to that of other countries. In England he was first introduced on the stage by Rich, in the eighteenth century, or, according to Skeat, by Mr. Weaver, a dancing-master in Shrewsbury, in 1702. There he became the leading personage in the Christmas pantomime, or harlequinade, essentially a British performance. In this he is supposed to be invisible to all but the eyes of his faithful Columbine. Dr. Clarke, in his "Travels," viii. 104, gives a mythological origin to Harlequin, considering him a sort of Mercury, burlesquing the dignified caduceus of the god with the comic short-sword that rendered the bearer invisible.
Francisque Michel derives harlequin from the old French word harligot ("haricot"), a morsel, or piece,—an interlude. Another writer says Harlequin was the name of a bad knight, who was saved from perdition by fighting against the infidels, but was condemned to appear nightly. Skeat maintains that the origin of the word is unknown, but follows up that statement with an ingenious "guess" of his own, deriving it from hierlrtin or hellequin (old Frisian of the thirteenth century), the original signification of which was a demon or devil. The change from helle/piin to harlequin arose from a popular etymology which connected the word with Charles Quint (Charles V.).—Davus.
58. Wlience the expression " A lUlle bird told me" f
Among the many humors of etymology there is none more delightful than Bellenden Ker's derivation of this phrase from the Dutch " Er lig t'el baerd" (" by telling I shall betray another"). The utter impossibility, and yet the apparent verisimilitude, of this derivation make it a worthy companion to that other philological wonder which asserts that canteen is a French corruption of " tin can," the adjective and noun changing places in accordance with the genius of the French language.
The idea that birds conveyed information is widely diffused throughout the folk-lore of all countries. Probably its oldest expression in literature may be found in Ecclesiastes x. 20: " Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."
As birds are constantly flying about, they were thought to observe and pry into men's secret actions, and the transition from simple seeing to telling what they have seen is natural and obvious. The ancient divination by birds is undoubtedly based upon this idea. The Greeks had a proverb, " None is conscious of what I have been saying, except perchance some bird," a saying which may be paralleled from the Nilielungenlied, "No one hears us here but God and the little wood-bird." Democritus and Apollonius the Tvanean both claimed to understand the language of birds, and thus to be privy to many secret trans-actions. Pliny even explained that such understanding could be gained by partaking of a mixture of serpents' blood with that of certain birds. "One of a Thousand" has collated a large number of similar instances:
Melampus says that if one's ears are licked by a dragon one can understand the speech of birds, and Eustathius tells us that Cassandra and Helenus, children of Priam, were left in Apollo's temple and serpents twined about their ears, making them quick of hearing and able to discover secret things and hear the counsels of the gods.
In the Mahabhirata, King Usinara is taught by a pigeon which is the spirit of God. If a dove lighted upon a man's head it was considered a sign of a future ruler. In the old wood'-cuts of the "Golden Legend" the popes are universally distinguished by a dove whispering in their eHr. (" Anglia Sacra," ii. 631.) It is said that at the election of Innocent III. (1198) three doves flew about the church, and a white one perched upon his right shoulder. And we are told of Sylvester II. that " ibi [in Seville] didicit et cautus avium et volatus inysterium."'(Vincent. Bellov., "Spec. Hist.,'' xxiv. 98.) David, the "Father" of the Monks or Rose Valley, was said by his school-fellows when a boy at his lesions to have been taught and advised by a white dove. In this age every priest who was destined to t>e a bishop or a saint was so attended while officiating, the white dove remaining until the service ended. "Die Drei Sprache," in Grimm's Tales, tells of a Swiss boy who learned "what the birds say, what the frogs croak, and what the dogs bark." From these creatures he learns that he is to be made pope. He goes to Rome, where the pope has just died, and the cardinals agree that they will choose as his successor him who should be pointed out by some miraculous sign. The Swiss enters the church, and two white doves perch on his shoulders: he is chosen pope, and the doves counsel him to accept. On his election he has to sing a mass of which he is entirely ignorant, but the doves instruct him what to do and sav. This probably refers to Sylvester II. or Innocent III. The story came from tipper Valais, related by Hans Truffer from Visp.
Talking birds occur in other of Grimm's stories. In "Aschenputtel," the German " Cinderella," the heroine is set impossible tasks, which two pigeons, aided by many other birds, perform for her; the pigeons throw her down fine dresses from a tree; and when the prince comes to try on the shoe and is deceived into taking away the elder sisters, they undeceive him, singing, "There's blood upon the shoe," and when the right bride is discovered they perch upon her shoulders. In another story a blind tailor recovers his sight by taking the advice of crows, and these ominous birds appear also in Hehvig's "Judische Legenden," and other tales. Birds often help the hero or heroine in their misfortunes by advice. In the " Kiiidernialirchen (Erfurt, 1787) a little white pigeon which an orphan has saved from a vulture counsels him, and finally turns into a prince. In the saga of Siegfried or Sigurd, the hero understands bird-language, and receives advice therein. A similar story is in the " Pentamerone."
The cock is perhaps too large a bird to come within the scope of the question, but there is a tale found in several lauds where he plays the part of Mentor to a hen-pecked husband. Kolle (who spent five years in Sierra Leone) tells of a Bornu man who understands the speech of birds, learns from them a secret which he discloses to his wife, and thereby loses the power. A Servian tale is like it: two ravens and a cock reveal a treasure to a merchant; his wife teases him to tell her, and he is on the point of so doing, when a cock admonishes him to rule his wife as the cock rules his hens. The same story is found in the Italian of Straparola or Morlini.
Another more pertinent class of bird-lore is where the parrot or magpie tells tales, betraying a wife's infidelity, etc., as in Chaucer's " Maunciple's Tale." See also Gower's "Confessio Amantis" (b. iii.), "The Seven Sages" (Percy Soc, p. 73), "Sendabar," "Syntipas." and "The Arabian Nights."
In Scott's " Sir Tristrem" (fytte ii. verse 23), " a swain ich herd sing."
Gower ("Confessio Amantis," b. v.), speaking of Progne metamorphosed into a " swain,"—
And eke for that she was a spouse,
In the Dialogues of John Hey wood, ii. 5, p. 5 (Spenser Soc),—
Woman, loq, I did lately hew
How flek and bit make Tm their secrete hauntyng.
By une byrd, that in wine eare Wm late chauutyng.
La*t lines of King Henry IV. Pt 2, Act V., 8c 5:
Prince J*>hnt loq. I will lay odds that ere this year expire,
Pope's " Dunciad," book iv., L 364,
Kay, Mabomet! the pigeon at tbiae ear.
(Note to this line,—"The story of Mahomet's pigeon was a monkish fable.")
59. What is a baker's dozen, and how did it originate T
A baker's dozen means thirteen for twelve. When a heavy penalty was inflicted for short weight, bakers used to give a surplus number of loaves, called the " inbread," to avoid all risk of incurring the fine.
"To give a man a baker's dozen" is a slang phrase meaning to give him a sound drubbing,—i.e., to give him all he deserves and one stroke more.
In the "Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary" (printed for the Camden Society, Appendix 4, p. 112), among the particulars of the accounts of the Chamberlain of Colchester, where Mary was entertained on her way to London, is this charge: "For xxxviii dozen of bread xxxix shillings." A "dozen of bread" usually means one loaf, value twelvepence, or two loaves, value sixpence each; even when the sizes and price of the loaves vary, the term is used to express either the larger loaf or the two smaller loaves. A dozen of bread is also divided into six twopenny or twelve penny loaves. But in this quotation thirty-eight dozen of bread are charged at thirty-nine shillings, whereas the extra one shilling cannot be divided into aliquot parts, so as to express the value of each of the thirty-eight dozen of bread. This entry was made in 1553.
In some of the " Bury Wills" (Camden Society) are bequests of bread to the poor, from which we judge that a dozen of bread consisted of twelve loaves, and the practice of giving, in addition to the twelve, the further quantity as " inbread," gave rise to the term " baker's dozen," as it is the custom in some places to give an extra bushel of coal as " ingrain" on the sale of a large quantity, as a chaldron. William Fiske, of Pakenham, Gent., by will dated March 20, 1648, provided twelvepence a week to pay weekly for one dozen of bread to " be weekly given vnto twelue or thirteene" persons therein referred to. And Francis Pynner, of Bury, Gent, (will dated April 2G, 1(589), gives certain property on trust to provide one. twopenny loaf for each of forty poor people in Bury, to be distributed by the clerk, sexton, and beadle, who were to have the " inbread of said bread." He also bequeaths other moneys to provide every Sunday "fowre-and-twenty loaves, with the inbread allowed by the baker for those twoe dosens of bread," the two dozens to be gi veil to twenty-four poor people, and, as before, the " clarke, bedell, and sexton" to have the inbread.
In Scotland the baxter or baker may at times, to a good customer, give a farthing biscuit—as what is called "too [or additional] bread"—on the purchase of a shilling's worth, or in some cases, as to sub-retailers, allow in money a premium of one penny for every twelvepence.
In some places a baker's dozen of rolls may mean either thirteen of a larger size or fourteen of a smaller. The penal statutes for assize of bread imposed heavy fines for any deficiency in the weight of loaves, and these weights were specified for loaves of every price from eighteenpence down to twopence, but penny loaves or rolls were not specified in the statute (probably from their minute weights), and therefore the bakers, to be on the safe side, when selling these nondescripts, threw in a thirteenth of the larger rolls or two of the smaller. Though the assize has been discontinued, the practice survived.
In Grose's "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" is the definition "Baker's Dozen ; fourteen: that number of rolls being allowed to purchasers of a dozen."
When Hudson discovered the bay bearing now his name, he gave the name "Baker's Dozen" to a cluster of thirteen or fourteen islands on the east shore of the bay, as may be seen in the charts, even in the foreign ones, for D'Anville's great atlas exhibits these island* as " La Douzaine du Bciulanger." This shows that the term was used as far back at least as 1610.
The Duchess of Newcastle says of her " Nature's Picture" (1656), " In this volume there are several feigned stories, etc. Also there are some morals and some dialogues; but they are as the advantage loaf of bread to the baker's dozen."
In Thomas Middleton's trayi-comedic "The Witch," written about 1620, Firestone says to his mother, the witch,—
May you not hare one o'clock in to the dozen, mother?
Firctlone. Your spirits are then more unconscionable than bakers.
Walter W. Skeat notes a passage in the " Liber Albus" (p. 232, Riley's translation), " And that no baker of the town shall give unto the regratresses the six pence on Monday morning by way of hansel-money, or the three pence on Friday for curtesy-money; but, after the ancient manner, let him give thirteen articles of bread for twelve." "That is," adds Skeat, "the retailers of bread from house to house were allowed a thirteenth loaf by the baker, as a payment for their trouble."
According to the Western Morning Newt, September 21,1876, a fisherman at East Looe, Cornwall, giving evidence on the crab- and lobster-fishery, spoke of twenty-six as a " long dozen."
Another phrase may be noted,—the " Devil's dozen,"—meaning thirteen in number, though not of course as having any connection with that of the baker, but allied to the prevalent superstition regarding the unluckiness of the number. —one Of A Thousand.
60. Whence die proverb " A rolling stone gathers no moss"?
Bartlett, in the new edition of his " Quotations," refers this proverb to a collection of maxims commonly ascribed to Publius Syrus, in which it appears as No. 524. This author was a celebrated mimeographer who lived in Rome in the time of Julius Caesar, and is known to have exhibited in the games which took place in honor of that victor in 45 B.C. The Latins have a proverb, "Saxum volutum non obductus musco," which is probably the very one alluded to as Maxim 524. Kelly says the English form is an exact rendering of an ancient Greek adage, "Ai'flof Kvfavdi/ievof ro oi noiu;" and in this form it appears in the works of Erasmus, in an article very suggestively entitled "Assiduitas." Robert (or William) Langland gives the same thought in another shape, in his " Vision of Piers Plowman" (1326): "Selden mosseth the marblestone that men ofte treden." (Early Eng. Text Soc., p. 115.) It appears in many works:—in Hey wood's "Proverbs" (1546); in an article on proverbs in "Court and Country" (1618), "for I have heard that roling stones gather no moose;" in Camden's "Remains" (p. 380. ed. 1870); in Tusser's " Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry," "the stone that is rolling can gather no moss;" and it is surprising to find Hoyt and Ward (p. 45) giving no other origin for it than Mrs. Jameson's very modern use of it in her " Studies," "as the rolling stone gathers no moss, so the roving heart gathers no affections."
Quintilian, born not later than 35 A.D.. is quoted as the originator of the Latin proverb, " Planta quae saspius transfertur non coalescit" (" A plant often removed cannot thrive"), very like the "rolling stone." From this the Italians have " Albero spesso traspinntato mai di frutti icaricato" ("A tree often transplanted is never loaded with fruit"), and from the "rolling stone" they have "Pietra mossa non fu muschio" (" The Btone that moves (or rolls) does not become mossy"). The French say. "La pierre souvent remuee n'amasse pas volontiers mousse" (" A stone often removed does not easily accumulate moss").— Daws.