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sound is modified. Pierre Corneille was beck and call of society. It is to “ James," a great man ; but I put it to you wheth- even under its worst aspects, exactly er, had he been an Englishman, he could what the footboy is to the flunkey, — and have been the father of European trage- implies that respect or awe to the owner dy as Peter Crow ?" And Sir Peter of such a name is simply impossible. might have added that Peter the Apostle Any one who had a taste for "slipping got his weight from his Hebrew name, good-naturedly through the world, and Cephas. Cephas gives the impression of for being famíliarly treated by everybody a rock; Peter the impression of common- he met, might not object to be called Jim. place respectability, with a wavering turn. It is an honest sort of name, and a passNow, Lord Lytton in touching this sub- port, as it were, to kindly treatment. But ject, touches one of the most real griev- it puts dignity and power beyond the ances which children have against rash reach of the most sanguine hope. A man parents, and he touches both sides of it. generally known among his acquaintances He not only deprecates the names which as “ Jim” might be very popular and have stamp a child with mediocrity, but he great influence of the coaxing kind, but it deprecates those which stamp him with is impossible he could take up any posian impress of absurd and indecent am- tion requiring observance and reverence. bition. A crusty cousin had suggested It is worth observing that the shrewdthat Sir Peter's child should be called ness of the world has given a certain Hannibal or Charlemagne, in order to elasticity to the moral influence of names, give him adventitious grandeur, on which by inventing a good many different modiSir Peter replies, with great temper and fications of them, and modifications with justice, “ On the contrary, if you inflict very various nuances, especially in the on a man the burthen of one of these case of women. You can't have a much names, the glory of which he cannot rea- wider range than is contained, for insonably expect to eclipse or even to stance, in Elizabeth, Eliza, Betty, Betsy, equal, you crush him beneath the weight. Bessy, and Bess, - Elizabeth with a s,
If a poet were called John Milton, or again, being really distinct in moral effect • William Shakespeare, he would not dare from Elisabeth with an s. No one would
to publish even a sonnet. No, the choice dream of spelling the name of St. Elisaof a name lies between the two extremes beth - Mr. Kingsley's heroine — with a of ludicrous insignificance and oppressive %; the hard grinding sound of the z would renown.” This is very just, and should be altogether inconsistent with her esbring remorse to many a parental heart. sence. But Elisabeth with an s should be There is no more indelible mischief done fair and feminine, with something, perto a child than either a grandiose or a haps, a little secret and brooding in her
The moral influence of nature. On the other hand, Queen Eliznames must be admitted, however, to de-abeth's name should always have the z, pend in very great degree on 'somewhat both for the sake of the hardness and imarbitrary and subjective influences. We periousness it gives, and for the sake, have heard a man deplore having been somehow, of the touch of awkwardness called “ James” with the utmost pathos, and coarseness it throws in. This is the asserting that it had to some extent made direction in which it has developed into a funkey of his very soul against his will. the familiarities of Betsy and Betty, the That man, of course, had been a student former clumsy, but shrewd, homely, and of Thackeray, and the subjective influ- trustworthy; the latter loud and fast. ences which worked upon his mind were Lady Betty used to be a common name of the Jeames de la Pluche order. Had enough in the aristocracy at one time, but he instead been steeped in Sir Walter it must have tended to make all its ownScott's “ Lady of the Lake," and full of ers vulgar talkers and managers. And the chivalric associations with the Knight just as Elizabeth was degraded into Betof Snowdon, “And Normans call me sy and Betty, so Elisabeth was familiarJames Fitz-James," — he might have re- ized into Bessy and Bess, both fond garded his name as injurious to him, if at names, the former suggesting a touch of all, only through its too unreal, romantic weakness, the latter, like all monosyllabic associations. But who could have ideal- names, suggesting a want of atmosphere ized the nickname Jim ? That is, if not about the character, but also implying a so flunkeyish as James, much more irre- certain practical brevity and decision. deemably descriptive of a soul at the
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