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24. Latin of the Third Period (iii). Norman Words (a).— The Norman-French words were of several different kinds. There were words connected with war, with feudalism, and with the chase. There were new law terms, and words connected with the State, and the new institutions introduced by the Normans. There were new words brought in by the Norman churchmen. New titles unknown to the English were also introduced. A better kind of cooking, a higher and less homely style of living, was brought into this country by the Normans; and, along with these, new and unheard-of words.
25. Norman Words (b).-The following are some of the Norman - French terms connected with war: Arms, armour; assault, battle; captain, chivalry; joust, lance; standard, trumpet; mail, vizor. The English word for armour was harness; but the Normans degraded that word into the armour of a horse. Battle comes from the Fr. battre, to beat: the corresponding English word is fight. Captain comes from the Latin caput, a head. Mail comes from the Latin macula, the mesh of a net; and the first coats of mail were made of rings or a kind of metal network. Vizor comes from the Fr. viser, to look. It was the barred part of the helmet which a man could see through.
26. Norman Words (c).—Feudalism may be described as the holding of land on condition of giving or providing service in war. Thus a knight held land of his baron, under promise to serve him so many days; a baron of his king, on condition that he brought so many men into the field for such and such a time at the call of his Overlord. William the Conqueror made the feudal system universal in every part of England, and compelled every English baron to swear homage to himself personally. Words relating to feudalism are, mong others Homage, fealty; esquire, vassal; herald, scutcheon, and others. Homage is the declaration of obedience for life of one man to another that the inferior is the man (Fr. homme; L. homo) of the superior. Fealty is the Norman-French form of the word fidelity. An esquire is a scutiger (L.), or shield-bearer; for he carried the shield of the knight, when
they were travelling and no fighting was going on. A vassal was a little young man,"-in Low-Latin vassallus, a diminutive of vassus, from the Keltic word gwâs, a man. (The form vassaletus is also found, which gives us our varlet and valet.) Scutcheon comes from the Lat. scutum, a shield. Then scutcheon or escutcheon came to mean coat-of-arms—or the marks and signs on his shield by which the name and family of a man were known, when he himself was covered from head to foot in iron mail.
27. Norman Words (d).—The terms connected with the chase are: Brace, couple; chase, course; covert, copse, forest; leveret, mews; quarry, venison. A few remarks about some of these may be interesting. Brace comes from the Old French brace, an arm (Mod. French bras); from the Latin brachium. The root-idea seems to be that which encloses or holds up. Thus bracing air is that which strings up the nerves and muscles; and a brace of birds was two birds tied together with a string.-The word forest contains in itself a good deal of unwritten Norman history. It comes from the Latin adverb foras, out of doors. Hence, in Italy, a stranger or foreigner is still called a forestiere. A forest in Norman-French was not necessarily a breadth of land covered with trees; it was simply land out of the jurisdiction of the common law. Hence, when William the Conqueror created the New Forest, he merely took the land out of the rule and charge of the common law, and put it under his own regal power and personal care. In land of this kind—much of which was kept for hunting in-trees were afterwards planted, partly to shelter large game, and partly to employ ground otherwise useless in growing timber.-Mews is a very odd word. It comes from the Latin verb mutare, to change. When the falcons employed in hunting were changing their feathers, or moulting (the word moult is the same as mews in a different dress), the French shut them in a cage, which they called mue-from mutare. Then the stables for horses were put in the same place; and hence a row of stables has come to be called a mews.-Quarry is quite as strange. The word quarry, which means a mine of stones,
comes from the Latin quadrāre, to make square. But the hunting term quarry is of a quite different origin. That comes from the Latin cor (the heart), which the Old French altered into quer. When a wild beast was run down and killed, the heart and entrails were thrown to the dogs as their share of the hunt. Hence Milton says of the eagle, "He scents his quarry from afar."-The word venison comes to us, through French, from the Lat. venāri, to hunt; and hence it means hunted flesh. The same word gives us venery—the term that was used in the fourteenth century, by Chaucer among others, for hunting.
28. Norman Words (e).—The Normans introduced into England their own system of law, their own law officers; and hence, into the English language, came Norman-French law terms. The following are a few: Assize, attorney; chancellor, court; judge, justice; plaintiff, sue; summons, trespass. A few remarks about some of these may be useful. The chancellor (cancellarius) was the legal authority who sat behind latticework, which was called in Latin cancelli. This word means, primarily, little crabs; and it is a diminutive from cancer, a crab. It was so called because the lattice-work looked like crabs' claws crossed. Our word cancel comes from the same root: it means to make cross lines through anything we wish deleted.-Court comes from the Latin cors or cohors, a sheeppen. It afterwards came to mean an enclosure, and also a body of Roman soldiers.—The proper English word for a judge is deemster or demster (which appears as the proper name Dempster); and this is still the name for a judge in the Isle of Man. The French word comes from two Latin words, dico, I utter, and jus, right. The word jus is seen in the other French term which we have received from thre Normansjustice. Sue comes from the Old Fr. suir, which appears in Modern Fr. as suivre. It is derived from the Lat. word sequor, I follow (which gives our sequel); and we have compounds of it in ensue, issue, and pursue.-The tres in trespass is a French form of the Latin trans, beyond or across. Trespass, therefore,
means to cross the bounds of right.
29. Norman Words (f).—Some of the church terms intro
duced by the Norman-French are: Altar, Bible; baptism, ceremony; friar; tonsure; penance, relic.-The Normans gave us the words title and dignity themselves, and also the following titles: Duke, marquis; count, viscount; peer; mayor, and others. A duke is a leader; from the Latin dux (=duc-s). A marquis is a lord who has to ride the marches or borders between one county, or between one country, and another. A marquis was also called a LordMarcher. The word count never took root in this island, because its place was already occupied by the Danish name earl; but we preserve it in the names countess and viscount -the latter of which means a person in the place of (L. vice) a count. Peer comes from the Latin par, an equal. The House of Peers is the House of Lords-that is, of those who are, at least when in the House, equal in rank and equal in power of voting. It is a fundamental doctrine in English law that every man "is to be tried by his peers."-It is worthy of note that, in general, the French names for different kinds of food designated the cooked meats; while the names for the living animals that furnish them are English. Thus we have beef and ox; mutton and sheep; veal and calf; pork and pig. There is a remarkable passage in Sir Walter Scott's 'Ivanhoe,' which illustrates this fact with great force and picturesqueness:
'Gurth, I advise thee to call off Fangs, and leave the herd to their destiny, which, whether they meet with bands of travelling soldiers, or of outlaws, or of wandering pilgrims, can be little else than to be converted into Normans before morning, to thy no small ease and comfort.'
"The swine turned Normans to my comfort!' quoth Gurth; 'expound that to me, Wamba, for my brain is too dull, and my mind too vexed, to read riddles.'
"Why, how call you those grunting brutes running about on their four legs?' demanded Wamba.
"Swine, fool, swine,' said the herd; every fool knows that.'
"And swine is good Saxon,' said the jester; but how call
you the sow when she is flayed, and drawn, and quartered, and hung up by the heels, like a traitor?'
"Pork,' answered the swine-herd.
"I am very glad every fool knows that too,' said Wamba; and pork, I think, is good Norman-French: and so when the brute lives, and is in the charge of a Saxon slave, she goes by her Saxon name; but becomes a Norman, and is called pork, when she is carried to the castle-hall to feast among the nobles; what dost thou think of this, friend Gurth, ha?'
"It is but too true doctrine, friend Wamba, however it got into thy fool's pate.'
Nay, I can tell you more,' said Wamba, in the same tone; 'there is old Alderman Ox continues to hold his Saxon epithet, while he is under the charge of serfs and bondsmen such as thou, but becomes Beef, a fiery French gallant, when he arrives before the worshipful jaws that are destined to consume him. Myhneer Calf, too, becomes Monsieur de Veau in the like manner; he is Saxon when he requires tendance, and takes a Norman name when he becomes matter of enjoyment.'
30. General Character of the Norman-French Contributions. -The Norman-French contributions to our language gave us a number of general names or class-names; while the names for individual things are, in general, of purely English origin. The words animal and beast, for example, are French (or Latin); but the words fox, hound, whale, snake, wasp, and fly are purely English.-The words family, relation, parent, ancestor, are French; but the names father, mother, son, daughter, gossip, are English.-The words title and dignity are French; but the words king and queen, lord and lady, knight and sheriff, are English.-Perhaps the most remarkable instance of this is to be found in the abstract terms employed for the offices and functions of State. Of these, the English language possesses only one-the word kingdom. NormanFrench, on the other hand, has given us the words realm, court, state, constitution, people, treaty, audience, navy, army, and others amounting in all to nearly forty. When, however, we come to terms denoting labour and work--such as agri