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Scandinavia early in the tenth century, and wrested the valley of the Seine out of the hands of Charles the Simple, the then king of the French. The language spoken by the people of France was a broken-down form of spoken Latin, which is now called French; but in this language they had retained many Gaulish words out of the old Gaulish language. Such are the words: Bag, bargain, barter; barrel, basin, basket, bucket ; bonnet, button, ribbon; car, cart; dagger, gown; mitten, motley; rogue; varlet, vassal, wicket. The above words were brought over to Britain by the Normans; and they gradually took an acknowledged place among the words of our own language, and have held that place ever since.
9. The Third Keltic Element. This consists of comparatively few words-such as clan; claymore (a sword); philabeg (a kind of kilt), kilt itself, brogue (a kind of shoe), plaid; pibroch (bagpipe war-music), slogan (a war-cry); and whisky. Ireland has given us shamrock, gag, log, clog, and brogue—in the sense of a mode of speech.
10. The Scandinavian Element in English.—Towards the end of the eighth century-in the year 787-the Teutons of the North, called Northmen, Normans, or Norsemen-but more commonly known as Danes-made their appearance on the eastern coast of Great Britain, and attacked the peaceful towns and quiet settlements of the English. These attacks became so frequent, and their occurrence was so much dreaded, that a prayer was inserted against them in a Litany of the time"From the incursions of the Northmen, good Lord, deliver us!" In spite of the resistance of the English, the Danes had, before the end of the ninth century, succeeded in obtaining a permanent footing in England; and, in the eleventh century, a Danish dynasty sat upon the English throne from the year 1016 to 1042. From the time of King Alfred, the Danes of the Danelagh were a settled part of the population of England; and hence we find, especially on the east coast, a large number of Danish names still in use.
11. Character of the Scandinavian Element.-The Northmen, as we have said, were Teutons; and they spoke a dialect
of the great Teutonic (or German) language. The sounds of the Danish dialect—or language, as it must now be called—are harder than those of the German. We find a k instead of a ch; a p preferred to an f. The same is the case in Scotland, where the hard form kirk is preferred to the softer church. Where the Germans say Dorf-our English word Thorpe, a village-the Danes say Drup.
12. Scandinavian Words (i).—The words contributed to our language by the Scandinavians are of two kinds: (i) Names of places; and (ii) ordinary words. (i) The most striking instance of a Danish place-name is the noun by, a town. Mr Isaac Taylor1 tells us that there are in the east of England more than six hundred names of towns ending in by. Almost all of these are found in the Danelagh, within the limits of the great highway made by the Romans to the north-west, and well-known as Watling Street. We find, for example, Whitby, or the town on the white cliffs; Grimsby, or the town of Grim, a great sea-rover, who obtained for his countrymen the right that all ships from the Baltic should come into the port of Grimsby free of duty; Tenby, that is Daneby; by-law, a law for a special town; and a vast number of others. The following Danish words also exist in our times—either as separate and individual words, or in composition-beck, a stream; fell, a hill or table-land; firth or fiord, an arm of the sea-the same as the Danish fiord; force, a waterfall; garth, a yard or enclosure; holm, an island in a river; kirk, a church; oe, an island; thorpe, a village; thwaite, a forest clearing; and vik or wick, a station for ships, or a creek.
13. Scandinavian Words (ii).—The most useful and the most frequently employed word that we have received from the Danes is the word are. The pure English word for this is beoth or sindon. The Danes gave us also the habit of using to before an infinitive. Their word for to was at; and at still survives and is in use in Lincolnshire. We find also the following Danish words in our language: blunt, bole (of a tree), bound (on a journey-properly boun), busk (to dress), cake, 1 Words and Places, p. 158.
call, crop (to cut), curl, cut, dairy, daze, din, droop, fellow, flit, for, froward, hustings, ill, irk, kid, kindle, loft, odd, plough, root, scold, sky, tarn (a small mountain lake), weak, and ugly. It is in Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Lincoln, Norfolk, and even in the western counties of Cumberland and Lancashire, that we find the largest admixture of Scandinavian words.
14. Influence of the Scandinavian Element.-The introduction of the Danes and the Danish language into England had the result, in the east, of unsettling the inflexions of our language, and thus of preparing the way for their complete disappearance. The declensions of nouns became unsettled ; nouns that used to make their plural in a or in u took the more striking plural suffix as that belonged to a quite different declension. The same things happened to adjectives, verbs, and other parts of language. The causes of this are not far to seek. Spoken language can never be so accurate as written language; the mass of the English and Danes never cared or could care much for grammar; and both parties to a conversation would of course hold firmly to the root of the word, which was intelligible to both of them, and let the inflexions slide, or take care of themselves. The more the English and Danes mixed with each other, the oftener they met at church, at games, and in the market-place, the more rapidly would this process of stripping go on,-the smaller care would both peoples take of the grammatical inflexions which they had brought with them into this country.
15. The Latin Element in English. So far as the number of words the vocabulary-of the language is concerned, the Latin contribution is by far the most important element in our language. Latin was the language of the Romans; and the Romans at one time were masters of the whole known world. No wonder, then, that they influenced so many peoples, and that their language found its way-east and west, and south and northinto almost all the countries of Europe. There are, as we have seen, more Latin than English words in our own language; and it is therefore necessary to make ourselves acquainted with the
character and the uses of the Latin element—an element so important-in English. Not only have the Romans made contributions of large numbers of words to the English language, but they have added to it a quite new quality, and given to its genius new powers of expression. So true is this, that we may say—without any sense of unfairness, or any feeling of exaggeration-that, until the Latin element was thoroughly mixed, united with, and transfused into the original English, the writings of Shakespeare were impossible, the poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries could not have come into existence. This is true of Shakespeare; and it is still more true of Milton. His most powerful poetical thoughts are written in lines, the most telling words in which are almost always Latin. This may be illustrated by the following lines from "Lycidas":
"It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,
16. The Latin Contributions and their Dates.-The first contribution of Latin words was made by the Romans-not, however, to the English, but to the Britons. The Romans held this island from A.D. 43 to A.D. 410. They left behind them-when they were obliged to go-a small contribution of six words-six only, but all of them important. The second contribution to a large extent ecclesiastical-was made by Augustine and his missionary monks from Rome, and their visit took place in the year 596. The third contribution was made through the medium of the Norman-French, who seized and subdued this island in the year 1066 and following years. The fourth contribution came to us by the aid of the Revival of Learning rather a process than an event, the dates of which are vague, but which may be said to have taken place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Latin left for us by the Romans is called Latin of the First Period; that brought over by the missionaries from Rome, Latin of the
1 In the last half of this sentence, all the essential words-necessary, acquainted, character, uses, element, important, are Latin (except character, which is Greek).
HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Second Period; that given us by the Norman-French, Latin of the Third Period; and that which came to us from the Revival of Learning, Latin of the Fourth Period. The first consists of a few names handed down to us through the Britons; the second, of a number of words-mostly relating to ecclesiastical affairs-brought into the spoken language by the monks; the third, of a large vocabulary, that came to us by mouth and ear; and the fourth, of a very large treasure of words, which we received by means of books and the eye. Let us now look more closely and carefully at them, each in its turn.
17. Latin of the First Period.-(i) The Romans held Britain for nearly four hundred years; and they succeeded in teaching the wealthier classes among the Southern Britons to speak Latin. They also built towns in the island, made splendid roads, formed camps at important points, framed good laws, and administered the affairs of the island with considerable justice and uprightness. But, never having come directly into contact with the Angles or Saxons themselves, they could not in any way influence their language by oral communicationby speaking to them. What they left behind them was only six words, most of which became merely the prefixes or the suffixes of the names of places. These six words were Castra, a camp; Strata (via), a paved road; Colonia, a settlement (generally of soldiers); Fossa, a trench; Portus, a harbour; and Vallum, a rampart.
18. Latin of the First Period (ii).—(a) The treatment of the Latin word castra in this island has been both singular and significant. It has existed in this country for nearly nineteen hundred years; and it has always taken the colouring of the locality into whose soil it struck root. In the north and east of England it is sounded hard, and takes the form of caster, as in Lancaster, Doncaster, Tadcaster, and others. In the midland counties, it takes the softer form of cester, as in Leicester, Towcester; and in the extreme west and south, it takes the still softer form of chester, as in Chester, Manchester, Winchester, and others. It is worthy of notice that there are in Scotland no words ending in caster. Though