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pointing to those in the third person; or in their absence, of going through the laborious circumlocution of a circumstantial description. Hence, at a very early period men, men began to lay hoid of any remarkable feature, even if it were the very nose of a man, and with equal facility if it chanced to be enormously large, or astonishingly sinall, a hatchet, or a turn-up; thereby to hang a name, which should be his biography, portrait, caricature, or genealogy, condensed to the very marrow and gristle.
On a bald pate where a fly would trip up, they would stick a cognomen; and call the hardiest hero names, to his very face. So Nimrod-which you must not suppose to be a corruption of ram-rodcaught his name by being a great hunter; and all the Cæphuses, Stones, Pedros, Pierres, Paythers, and Peters, are de-rived from some hard-headed, hardhearted old Arab, who had "piled up the rocks" in the Stony Desert. Charlemange was a great Carle; Front-deBoeuf an obstinate bull-head; and Charlesle-Chaune, who in spite of consecrating hereditary rights, could leave no hairs to his name, was but a bald-headed Charley.
Among men's faces, as among their opinions, were all varieties of shades, and White, Black, Brown, Grey, Dunn, and Green-" to that complexion had it come at last,"-were all fastened on the posterity of their first possessors, as indelibly as if they had all sat down on so many different paint-pots. Yet hereditary nomenclature is comparatively modern.
When men had nothing else to give their children, they were too generous to give them the paternal name; it was enough then, if the parent bequeathed his vices to his son, without the legacy of the bad name they earned. And the sons, to do them justice, generally did ample credit to the implied faith in their ability to earn their own reputation in that direction. When all the natural peculiarities were exhausted to name men by, and "still they came,"--the accidents, the incidents, their exploits, and their blunders, "the lay of the land, and the looks of the people," were all pressed into the service; and Billy Bowlegs bowed and scraped to Mr. Pack penny, and Mr. Stack-pole leant his assistance to his neighbor Cobhouse, and Mr. Craven bequeathed his name to a race of heroes, and his nature to some great uncle of Col. Bragg; while Hill stooped kindly to Le Vallé, and Underhill looked
up respectfully to Montaign; Waters ran into Lakes; and La Fontaine had a draught for Lion, Lamb, Fox, Wolf, and half of Barnumn-Noah's Menagerie.
When arts advanced, and the common people became too numerous for particular names, they took names in classes from their several trades-so they were called according to their calling. Parsons and Priests met with Churches and Parishes, and Dyers bound to Coffins, while Graves yawned before both; Brewer sent out Beers, and Fisher brought in Eels; and, in short, everybody had the name of doing something in the way of his trade.
How came there so many John Smiths? The philosopher who undertakes to account for human names, and overlooks that great question, is but poorly qualified to grapple with his subject. So large and diversified a portion of the human family, comprising as it does every degree of excellence in character from sainthood to zero, and from devil-hood up to zero, claims particular notice in the philosophy of proper names, and this is the place to bestow it. Why are there so many John Smiths? We undertake to answer the momentous query.
Beating, as well as beating down, is a process in most trades. He that smote with the hammer, whether a carpenter or metal-worker, was called a smith, one who smiteth,-drop the e and you have the name with entire ease. Hence, the family name of a race that includes more members than kindred, more namesakes of the "Meek Disciple" John-than imitators of his meekness; not to say that the smiters are more pugnacious than other families, but only more of them.
An ancient king of Poland, once victorious over an army of unbelievers, had them all christened; the superior officers first, and singly, then the subordinates, according to rank in classes, then the soldiery, in solid regiments. The priest waving from a cedar bough a shower of holy water along the ranks, shouted as the case may be-"Tenth Regiment of the Twelfth Battalion of Light Infantry -I baptize you Peter, in the name, &c.," the next 66 John," the third "Andrew," and so on, through all the Apostles, Holy Fathers, Unholy Father-Confessors, Martyrs and Marvel-mongers; till the whole army of the faithful had lent their names, to grace the army of the aliens, down to the baggage-boys and camp
scullions. The regiment of artisans, all smiters before they were fighters, chanced to be christened for the Apocalyptic Seer, and were soon dispersed by the general order, "To the Eleventh Regiment, Twelfth Battalion of the Royal Infantry, John Smith, you are hereby disbanded, and ordered to repair to your several homes without delay." This, in addition to all natural and ordinary methods of increase, will account for the multiplicity of Johns in the great family of smiters.
All names were significant in the primitive times, though doubtless many who bore them were insignificant, as indeed the names themselves often signified. But now, alas! what signifies a name? A rose is supposed to be capable of exerting the same titillatory power to produce sensations of pleasure under any other cognomen; as Shakespeare has erroneously, but beautifully observed.
Men of old did not so belie the significance of their names as they now do-for being cut to fit, the garment of fame did fit, sometimes like the shirt of Nessus on the back of Hercules. But handed down to posterity, they sit oddly on the dwarfed or exaggerated figures of the present. Black is perhaps a white-livered milk-sop; and White could play the Moor without cork; Craven fights like a Trojan; Little stalks by, six feet seven in his boots; Strong might creep with his puny body through the sword-hilt of his ancestor; Swift mopes behind the snails; and Good raises "the antiquated Henry" with his rogueries. Such contradictions and anomalies result from the use of old fossils to build new houses. Let us remember, however, that there are more people now than formerly, and when all the gravestones of antiquity will not furnish labels enough for the demand, there is small chance for selection and adaptation:
Among landholders, the stock of the family tree derived its name from the soil, and with its name took nearly every thing else from the soil, till the serfs had little left but the name. Those feudal family trees were "gallows" trees, to use a modernism; and the numerous dependents from their many branches had the name of being supported by the same. With them was the name, but with the lordly tree the game; which game some tree in fact supported them, as the fly-catchers supports the fly it
feeds on. In addition to a small fraction of their own earnings, and the privilege of fighting the battles of their lords, the retainer was allowed to take the good name of the nobles, to the vast gratification of the pride and vanity of those farsighted gentlemen who had not anticipated the inevitable democracy of nature, whlch soon confounded masters and servant in indistinguishable confusion.
An aristocratic name of any authentic antiquity argues this assuredly to its holder, he is either descended from My Lord Foodle or his man Jack, and lucky he, if the latter, say we. Surrounded by their retainers, those great lords built villages for them, and as a memorial legacy to their country, enriched by their exemplary household, the common language with two invaluable words, Knave and Villain, which was, in another sort, giving their names to their retainers.
Heraldic devices became a fruitful source of proper names; so that the crusades if they did little towards Christianizing the Paynim, did much in christening the believers. The man whose father had killed a peculiarly tough hog in the woods, was privileged to deck his epaulets with a memento of the spoilsin short, to wear a hog's head on his shoulders; which honor often descended where there was an astonishing natural fitness. He could also put a pig's face in his bandanna, and set it up for a sign on his spear-pole; and ever after sport his bristling honors in the name of Wildboar, which time has greatly tamed down, and domesticated into Wilbour. Thus boar glorifieth bore, and the bright wine of fame is put up like any vulgar liquor, by the hogshead.
Gratitude and a certain remorseless admiration have been cruel disseminaters
of proper names. To perpetuate their respect or love, men give their children the names of great or good men, so handing them down, too literally, to posterity. Geo. Washington Snubbs, Senaca Miggs, and Solomon Muddle, are humble but genuine witnesses to the immortality of genius. There is some discount in this kind of glory;. it renders a white name liable to dirty handling, and has reduced Caesar and Pompey to their least common denominator, as dogs and donkeys. Then, if the unlucky bearer of a great name proves himself a genius, poor bewildered Fame, with her trumpet cracked on some fortieth "Second
*For the accurate history consult Chronicles of Poland-year 1387; reign of Ladislaus Jagellon.
Byron," and five and fortieth "Father of his Country," which, by the way, doesn't speak well for said country's mothermust blow her immortal jaws into cramps trying to distinguish between the full sonorous blast of "William Shakespeare!" and the new worthy Wm. Tibbs Shakespeare! William Tibbs were safer on his own legs.
Before family names became hereditary, it was a very common device among all nations to prefix or affix syllables to the father's name, and give it to the son, the addition usually signifying of or from or son. Thus Bar-Jonah was the son of Jonah; Jackson, the son of a Jack, and Jillson, the son of Jill, of that firm. Whether Cinnebar, that alias for the thief-god, Mercury, is the son of sin, we leave to the commentators. The addition of the genitive's proves that Adams is a descendant of Adam-a fact important to those who would claim an ancient, well-authenticated genealogy. Mac has the same significance, and stands as a monument in the name of the great road-maker, Macadam, to show his derivation from the same distinguished progenitor. When remarkable men are related, it is pleasant to know it; hence the utility of our researches.
The Welch multiply appellations by aps, as Richard-ap-Richard, which, by rapid enunciation, becomes Richard
Pritchard, the son of Richard. In this way a Welchman may carry a complete genealogical list of his ancestors from Adam-ap-Cain-ap- the Lord knows who, down to the last prince of wails and wants that 'appened to precede him. If Mr. Hazzard were a Welchman, his son might be called 'ap-Hazzard, without intimating anything fortuitous in his origin.
The Irish, to represent the "son of," say O'-not indeed as an exclamation of surprise-for in that prolific Island the birth of a son is no such a rarity as to
excite wonder. It is only a contraction of of, a word sufficiently short, one would think, but put in such frequent requisition it has to throw off its lumbering consonant, that it may keep up with the march of population.
The Dutch carry along their family honors in a Van, which term serves not only for Wags, but Wagons, and Wag'
The Russians, in handing down personal honors as an heir-(and-hide-)loom, to their families, give their sons the itch, which foreigners so sneeze at to this day. Jaroslaf's son Vsevolod, was the first to introduce the custom, by calling himself Jaroslavitch, thinking anything better than his own name, which a man cannot begin to pronounce without sticking up his nose at it. To their grandsons, in the same euphonious tongue, they said off; thus Kutmynoseoff is a grandson of Kut-my-nose.
The Orientals, with no intention to nickname, call their boys Ben, which makes it appear that Benhadad must have been the son of 'A-Dad, to say the least. As Fame in the East blows her trumpet both ways-that is, from son to father, as well as from father to sonthey have to prefix Abou to signify the father of; so that "Abou-Ben-Adhem," whose tribe has been respectfully requested to "increase," must have been the father of the son of Adam, making him no other than that illustrous personage himself, whose "name led all the rest. "There needed no especial prompting to his tribe, from Leigh Hunt, since it was to him that the first command to "increase," was given, and which has been obeyed with a cheerful alacrity that seems to be almost too good a beginning to hold out, and prepares us to expect a falling off on the latter commandments. And here, having described a circle and come back to the beginning, we propose to rest.
AMERICAN-LORENZO SABINE, Esq., known already as the author of a valuable History of the American Loyalists, now gives us an acceptable and curious book of Notes on Duels and Duelling. The volume comprises a historical essay on duelling, and notices of the principal duels of the world, arranged alphabetically under the names of the parties, with an appendix of valuable and amusing miscellany on the same subject. It is the result of much reading and care, and is, as a mass of curious and detailed information, both highly interesting to the general reader, and a convenient book of reference for libraries and students. The duels treated at most length are four American duels; namely, those between Hamilton and Burr, Barron and Decatur, Clay and Randolph, and Graves and Cilley; the narratives of which are given in full, and accompanied with the correspondence. Mr. Sabine's style is somewhat homely, but usually direct and clear, without any ambitious ornament; and the general drift of his thoughts and reflections very just. But there are two errors, which sadly mar the usefulness, and lower the dignity of the work. One is the direct and repeated recommendation to such Americans as may be reproached by Englishmen on account of the personal quarrels and fights among our public men, to twit the Britons back again with the same discords, among their members of Parliament. This is altogether a small business-too much like the little boys'"You're another!" Railing for railing is no better than theft for theft, or murder for murder, or than that murder for provocation, which constitutes the very custom of duelling, which Mr. Sabine's book discusses and reprehends. There are many answers to such foreign sophistication, better than counter-sophistication. The other error is based upon a surprising misconception of the relative significance and value of Custom and Right. Mr. Sabine says in his preface
"There are many in New England who will object, because terms of unconditional, indiscriminate condemnation of the duellist have been withheld. With all respect, be it so. Yet, let it be said in reply, that the sympathy manifested in these pages is in no case for the crime, but always for the un
happy social position of the duellist. Most persons will assent to the duellist's plea; namely, that if wronged or insulted, he is required to choose between a violation of human and divine laws on the one hand, and the loss of his place in society on the other; and that of consequence, and do what he may, he falls a helpless sacrifice."
Again, in mentioning the crazy challenge of Paul of Russia, to several European kings, to fight a duel at St. Petersburg, with Pitt, Talleyrand, and Bernstoff, as seconds, and so settle the questions pending between them, Mr. Sabine says, a little confusedly, that this notion, "though conceived by a madman, deserves serious thought; for there is something grand, even just, in the idea of demanding kings and cabinets to meet in person, and in the field, the questions which can be, and ought to be, adjusted in council and by diplomacy." Again: "It is not the individual man whom we should assail, but the PUBLIC OPINION which with its imperative voice, demands him to hold his weapon at the breast of his fellow." The points which we make against what we think the fallacious statements of Mr. Sabine, are two. 1. Society and standing lost by refusing the duel, are not worth keeping-are better lost. Without suggesting the comparison of the "society" of a clear conscience, and the "standing" justified before God, we may well assert that merely amongst men, the best society, and the best standing, will not be risked, but rather secured, by him who is just enough to refuse the duel. 2. No man may allege expediency as a justification or palliation for violating Right. It is a new evangel, indeed, that proclaims pity and sympathy for the coward who violates human and divine law in sneaking away from the sneers of fools. It is high time that the cursed and savage demand of so barbarian a public opinion as that, if it does in truth tyrannize over free Americans-which we do not believe-were hunted mercilessly down and slain. And every recreant, in high place or low, who is so false to the spirit of the age, of our nation, of freedom, of justice, of Christianity, as to bow before such a Moloch, in sending, or accepting a challenge, deserves precisely the sympathy and the pity which are accorded to Peter, when public opinion, even in the sneering faces
of servant-maids and private soldiers, impelled him to deny his master; which are accorded to those early Christians who were scared by the sight of the lions into offering incense to Jupiter; which are accorded to natures too weak to dare wicked jeers and the hisses and venom of the votaries of a fashion, not only silly and scandalous, but barbarian and devilish. We very deeply regret that a book of such ability and interest should, even partly extenuate or excuse any variety of the crime of murder. Yet we feel certain that the reaction against such a doctrine will counteract its evils; and that few, if any readers, will agree with Mr. Sabine in the points where we have differed with him.
-Poems by ALICE CARY. This volume contains about a hundred and forty short poems, and one rather longer. Of the whole number, nearly seventy culminate in a death, or in the expression of a desire to die, usually on account of the unfaithfulness of a lover. And almost all the remainder of the book is melancholy in sentiment. This prevalence of the minor key, brings it about that the authoress seems to have published an In Memoriam for every friend she had in the world. We quote the whole of one of the prettiest of the poems
"My house is low and small,
But behind a row of trees,
I catch the golden fall
Of the sunset in the seas. And a stone wall hanging white With the roses of the May, Were less pleasant to my sight Than the fading of to-day. From a brook a heifer drinks, In a field of pasture-ground, With wild violets and pinks For a border all around.
"My house is small and low,
But the willow by the door Doth a cool, deep shadow throw In the summer on my floor. And in long and rainy nights,
When the limbs of leaves are bare, I can see the window lights
Of the homesteads otherwhere.
"My house is small and low,
But with pictures such as these,
And the heifer as she drinks
From the field of meadowed ground, With the violets and pinks
For a border all around
Let me never, foolish, pray
For a vision wider spread, But, contented, only say.
Give me, Lord, my daily bread."
Yet this very pleasant little lyric, short as it is, is not free from the faults which superabound throughout the book. The figure in the second quatrain of the first stanza is aimless and indistinct, and lacks force and nature. In the third stanza the word "meadowed" is used for the sake of poetic grace, but unnecessarily and ungrammatically, instead of "meadow," which was all ready, and much better. The syntax of the last four lines of the same stanza is uncomfortably mixed up in a harsh and ambiguous construction. Nevertheless, the language is mellifluous, and the thoughts are graceful and natural. We apprehend that Miss Cary abuses her powers. We trace throughout the book, signs of haste and carelessness, of deficient study and slovenly thought. A modern American poetess can hardly be permitted to people her woods with British birds, cushats, ousels, and nightingales; to arm her laborers with mattocks, or to represent her shepherds as Virgil represented his, biowing on a reed. We believe that the poet, instead of making over the old clothes of his predecessors, should dress his thoughts in garments from the living present. Nor can that foreign and antique imagery any longer possess force or truth to a reader of this day and generation. A thoughtful writer would not have represented a poet as "singing a waif," nor have indited twice in the same lyric, such a solecism as
"Once when we lingered, sorrow-proof,
My gentle love, and me."
Careful composition would likewise have saved many obscure images, which the reader stumbles over and leaves behind, or wastes thought upon, with equal discomfort; as for instance, in the Annuaries, where Autumn appears to be the time when "The harper of wide space
Shall chant again his mournful hymn." We cannot tell what is meant, unless it be the wind; and the metaphor, if that be its meaning, is inapplicable. Yet, Miss Cary, with so much love of nature, and power of seeing and describing it; with such affluence of thought, and of words and rhymes, if she would only clarify the thoughts, aud rigidly prune and train her language into more chastened and regulated forms, and