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was first introduced ; and consequently we touch of what Sir Thomas Browne calls “the shall find little in these phrases. The same deuteroscopie or second-sight of things,"
, religious tone continues, modestly combined that these perpetual shadows, and the rest with an incipient tinge of fatalism. “May of the supellex of Oriental Novels-(alas, for your morning be good !” says the Arab; Hajji Baba !)—can be mere matter of acci
May God strengthen your morning!”.“ Per- dent? Could a foggy, shivering Frieslander haps thou shalt be fortunate.
grant say, May your shadow never be less ? Obthee his favors !” “ If God will, thou art serve also the immense part played in the well !” “ If God will"—here the fatalist Oriental world by the idea of Paternity—a does not even venture to put up a prayer, part which begins in the very infancy of but only asserts the fact. If God will, all mankind—which was carried by the Jews in the members of thy family enjoy good health." particular to a great height, as each man Here we have the reclusion of women indi- flattered himself that he might be the father, cated in an unmistakable manner.
or at least ancestor of the Messiah—and you The pride, gravity, and laconism of the will see, in the still hourly employment and Ottoman are no less faithfully depicted. His sacrosanct veneration of that idea, a relic of salatations generally include a sort of saving the first generations—a leaf from the groves clause, as,
“If God will,” or the like ; but of Eden, a lock of wool from the sheep of they breathe strong proofs of confidence as Abel. There are even whole tribes and nato the success of the petition. The Turks tions who take their names of individuals are not a people
from this idea of paternity-a man not call
ing himself the son, but the father, of So-in Fortunt qui casibus omnia ponunt, and-So. Consider, if this method were to Et nullo credunt mundum reclore moveri,
be generally adopted, what a change would Naturu volvente rices et lucis et anni;
take place in the personal nomenclatures of and it must assuredly give no small dignity half the world : we should have no more to social intercourse when the most lofty and Morisons or Hudsons, Fitzherberts or Fitzsolemn truths are thus brought into contact
clarences--no more O'Connells or O'Brienswith the familiar speeches of common life. MacNabs or MacGregors--the Ivanovitches • Be under the guard of God;” “My pray: rooted out from among the orthodox Slavo
and Gavriloffs and Jellachichs would be ers are for thee;" “ Forget me not in thy nic peoples; there would be no more Is
Their phrases, however, seem formal and colorless when compared to the landic Olafson's and Sigmundsens: nay, there torrent of hyperbolical compliment poured would have been no Atreides, no Peleides. forth as a matter of course by the fluent and In the desert, men of a. D. 1850 call themfacile Persian. The same difference may be selves, not the son of their father, but the
father of their son. discerned as between the Englishman and
One class of the poputhe Frenchman. The only trace of tender lation among us, it must be confessed, might or poetical feeling we have noted in a tole- be far from displeased were this mode to be rably copious list of Turkish complimentary introduced: it would singularly
gratify young greetings, is the following: “Thy visits are couples in the flush and glory of their first. as rare as fine days,”—which, moreover, evi
But “ Thou hast exalted my head !”— dently dates from a period long prior to
May thy horn be lifted up!”—would never their descent upon the serene shores of do in Cheapside. In Egypt they have a Roumelia. “ Peace be
form of salutation which stamps and fixes a
says the Persian—not with thee, as among us in feverish climate to the life : " How goes the the olden time, but upon thee, as though it perspiration? Do you sweat copiously ?” were to drop visibly,
and this, as father Rabelais says, pour cause,
seeing that in those regions, if you do not like the gentle dew from heaven,
continue in the diaphoretic mood, meltingly Upon the place benenth.
alive to the torrid fervency of the sun, you
run a great risk of melting away altogether, “How is the state of thine honor ?" "Is of exhaling—of dying, in short, in "a burnthy exalted high condition good ?” “Glory ing quotidian tertian.
'” May your shadow to God by thy benevolence !” “I make never be less !” beside being a most picturprayers for thy greatness !" "May thy esque expression, stereotyped in human shadow not be removed from our head !” speech-human speech, that only firm, solid, “May thy shadow never be less !” Is it unfluctuating thing (except a Whig ministry, possible to be conceived by one who has any | perhaps)—is also a neat formula for the re
spect Orientals entertain for fal. Not only , what a poem in two syllables !)—who indoes it typify, as in some indestructible vented the word swag ; the sailor (“ in many Babylonian frieze, a burning climate, where a tempest had his berd he shake”) who first violent light and strong shadow are before talked of his ship's fore-foot, or qualified the the eyes of man from the cradle to the grave vessel as she; the first boxer who in a com--a climate where the fan and the parasol monplace head beheld a nob—the head being have become emblems and insignia of sove- viewed simply as the subject of knocks, fibbreign rank, like our sceptre (originally the ing, and evil-entreatment, and thus by a staff--the accompaniment of old age, and stretch of transcendental metaphysic abstrachence of wisdom and authority)--but it tion reduced to its lowest terms, detached marks the honor and glory attached to obe from all associations but those of fistycuffs sity in a climate where none but the rich --or, even more wondrously perhaps, a conk ; and great can reach (by having plenty to eat the first bibliomaniac who spoke of “ tall and little to do) the envied pinnacle of copies,” of “foxing” and “ croping;" this twenty stone. Thus we are told of the Hin- man, of whatever breed or degree, was a doos in Major Williamson's Oriental Sports poet. Let no dainty objector whisper that (chap. xv.), that the possessor of a jolter- such words are common, vulgar, familiar, head “is a happy individual, who passes and cannot be poetical. Daisies are common; his life surrounded by the warmest demon- the sea is common; men, women, and childstrations of respect and veneration.” But ren are exceedingly common, at least in some why quote for readers all fresh from Morier, parts of the world, and yet we believe they Fraser, Lane, Kinglake, Layard, and the are allowed by the best judges to be not “ Milordos Inglesis" of yesterday?
of yesterday? How only poctical, but the very stuff and matter deliciously sumptuous is the greeting of the of all poetry. They are what the Lord Chinese—“ Have you eaten your rice? Is Chamberlain Polonius wished his son to-be, your stomach in good order ?” What peo
Familiar, but by no means vulgar ; ple could generate such a phrase but timid, frowsy, formular inhabitants of the Central indeed their very commonness prevents them Flowery Land ? Could it have taken root from ever being vulgar: for what is vulin Aberdeen or Kentucky?
garity but the effort to be something not But all these phrases must have been pri. common ? vate property before they became common; The Greek salutation seems to have been they must have happily conveyed a reality subject to few changes; but this circumstance, before they grew to be merely conventional which may at first sight appear against us, forms of speech. In other words, they were seeing that the Greeks were so capricious a invented by a man of genius in every case, generation, so mobile, imaginative, and comand bear the impress of genius-i. e., of a posed of such a number of tribes, will on exconcentration of the thoughts and sentiments amination furnish an additional buttress. of the age into a focus of vivid brilliancy. The Hellenic race, not withstanding the mulA proverb has been bappily defined by a titude of internal nuances, was essentially “one living statesman, “the wit of one man, the and indivisible.” A strongly graven line wisdom of many.
All the picturesque bounded them from the Baplapor on every metaphor, the bold and striking condensation, side;—they were as completely one people the lightning-like pointedness of that exquisite through a common patriotic pride and a form of language which we call Slang, has highly developed civilization, as the Jews no other origin but this : nay, all that is were by an elaborate scheme of social disworthy to be called language (which some tinctions and the intensity of religious pride
. times makes
up but a moderate part of the and scorn. Hence it was quite natural that dictionary) has no other source or mod 118 they should all agree in using one and the eristendi. Look at the slang of any trade or
same form for the expression of those general profession, and we shall see that every word sentiments which constitute the groundwork of it is literally a “ word that burns”--the of intercourse. And what a word of greeting indestructible vesture of a thought. The was it that they selected, -or rather, that grew high-toby-man or cracksman—(Cracksman! up among them like a tree-Xcipe = rejoice,
be glad! What a people that must have * So Mr. G. C. Lewis tells us in his book “On the been! Yes, from the cradle to the grave, Influence of Authority."—We name our author, and he should have named his statesman—but we hope
in the agora or in the vineyard, in the torchthere will be no offence in adding that we believe he lighted thalamus or on the battle-field, every means Lord John Russell.
moment of the Greek's existence was filled
with joy, with joy and grace-xapıs. Think | States have degrees as human bodies have : of him who
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter—and the Grave; Sternitur, et dulccs moriens reminiscitur Argos ;
and no hope seems so vague and visonary as
that of making, by any combination of cirof the Spartan, who "smiles in dying;" remember the luxury of beauty which pervades lot, or of reviving a dead nationality. What
cumstances, an exception to the common and saturates every image, every word of is true of the individual is true of the mass their poets, whose very storms are set to of individuals; and what is true of the body music, like some tempest-chorus of Handel of a man is no less true of his mind, and or Beethoven; with the oldest of whom the crooked beak of the careering ship cuts musi- incarnation of his mind.
consequently of his language, the completest
Alas, the noble cally through the billows-billows so deeply
tongue is dead :amethyst, and set off with such dazzling foam, that we seem to be sailing in fairy
The learned Greek, rich in fit epithets, land :
Blessed in the lovely marriage of sweet words. 'Εν δ' άνεμος πρησε μέσον εστίου, αμφί δε κύμα Στείρη πορφύρεον μεγάλ' αχ, νης ιούσης. The salute of the primitive Romans, like
their social character, their manners, their inWe are not sure whether this single word stitutions, was founded upon the idea of youps be not a better key to the people than bodily strength, vigor, aptitude for war: all the sage books from Gronovius to Grote. with them virtue (virtus, manhood) was syIn Homer one does not meet with much nonymous with being “ frigoris et famei pavariety of greeting : indeed forms could hard tiens”—their ideal man was ly have flourished at such a time. Everybody appears to be acquainted with every
Patriæ idoneus, utilis agris, body else in the throng of the onslaught as Utilis et bellorum et pacis rebus agendis. perfectly as so many Tipperary boys at a faction-fight; for they almost always pre- “Salve,” “vale”—be healthy, be strong! lude their encounter with a little chafsing, to Surely this is as perfect a portrait as Xaipe, the same effect as the “Come out, ye thief as Shalum. What a people that must have o'the world, till I bate the skin aff the ugly been, where virtue signified manliness, and bones of you!". We say to the same effect, valor (literally strength) at the same time for the Homeric heroes use, even in their value and courage ; a man's whole value bemost excited moments, language which never ing in the measure of his valor. These are loses a character of majesty, still further a pair of convertible terms, whose existence heightened by the sonorous recitative of the forms the best commentary on the elder divine hexameter. The comedy-writers, no bistory of Rome. Was not the poet right less than the great Mæonian, afford in when he cried out in that noble rapture, numerable examples of chaffing, often of a truly rich, imaginative, and altogether Hel- Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, caveto : lenic luxuriance: but we must not allow our Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos ? pen to linger in these “ shady spaces.” As to the Neo-Grecks, having lost all distinctive for true valor, virtue, manliness, consists nationality, they of course have not pre- quite as much in sparing the overthrown as served anything really original in language. in warıing down the proud. A people with Theirs is a vile piebald jargon, with just so such words familiarly in their mouths could many traces remaining of the glorious speech not help being dominant. What a tone of of old as to make the contemplative more frank gravity, of rough military bluntness keenly feel its degradation ; like a baker's there is in all their older language! One oven piled up of ruin-stones, among which man meets another, by whose side he may glances out here and there some broken bit have stood when the savage-eyed shaggyof Phidian bas-relief put in upside down. haired Gaul was hurled back in the full fury The Greeks of Otho say 5ı xaveis? what dost of his shrieking onset from the steady line of thou ?-a phrase which evidently could by the Legion, and he says to his-not friend or no possibility have grown up indigenously" bruder," but--fellow-citizen,“ be healthy,” among such a chattering, cheating, unprofit- be strong.” But observe, as they declined
“ able people. Our wise old poet, Lord Brooke, from the « barbata simplicitas,” how their says
salutations grew more and more ingenious :
Occurrit quidam, notus mihi nomine tantum, simply upon the state of our digestion. This Arreptâque manu : Quid agis, dulcissime rerum ?
indeed is more profound than it seems; and Suaviter, ut nunc est, inquam, et cupio omnia quæ vis.
the connection between “pulchrè concoquere"
and " nihil timere,” is so close, delicate, and This dulcissime rerum, something like the mysterious, that the only aim of half the “my dear creatures” and “ childs” of Con- metaphysical and political treatises that have greves's and Farquhar's fops, is a shrewd ever been published, is to trace the bond argument of degeneracy ; a Roman of the which unites them. The French theorem days of Camillus who should have used a just quoted was promulgated at a time when phrase of such effeminate turn, would have the whole surface of society, nay, the very been pulled up before the Censor and foundations of right and wrong were heaving swinged for corrupting the morals of the and cracking: and it was received with some Quirites. We too hear occasionally, “Oh alarm by the few. On the whole, it was a you sweet, dear little thing!" but it is said merry sort of a time--pleasant but wrong ; only to a baby, and it is but young ladies of and was admirably formulized by Madame sixteen who say it. On the other hand the Du Barri (Madame's own existence being Quid agis ?—what dost thou ?--is evidently nothing else but an intense individualization a good deal older than the Dulcissime rerum, of the epoch) in her "après nous le déand characteristic of the true manners--dis luge !"- --à mot to the full as picturesque as rect straightforwardness and indomitable ac- the equally renowned exclamation of Titivity. “Pretty well, as times go," answers berius: poor Horace, “and I am your most obedient;"
"Εμου θανοντος γαια μιχθήτω πυρι ! dying to get rid of the unmerciful togaAfter the final extinction of constitutional holder. Čupio omnia quæ vis is far from liberty and order in Rome, when slavery and being a badly devised phrase for the purpose of showing a man politely to the door; conquest went hand in hand, and marched
with such colossal strides over the prostrate but it bears strong marks (as indeed does the very idea of showing a man to the door world, there was reigning throughout society at all, nay, even the abstract notion and precisely the same selish levity, the same entelechy of a bore) of being the product of desperate laissez aller, the same want of
earnest belief, and neglect of everything but an advanced civilization.
The Romans, in the plump days of Ho momentary pleasure and profit, as characterrace, had grown to be a singularly idle, France, just before the tremendous eruption
ized the state of Europe, but especially quidnunc, gaping, lounging tribe; but they of the long-confined volcano. The locomocontinued to attach an inordinate value to heulth, inasmuch, as a fit of illness kept them
tive was spinning along, sure to go off the at home amid the gloom and discomfort of rails at last, and all they had to do was to their miserable lodgings, and deprived them keep the wheels well greased in the meanof the darling pleasure of lazzaroning away
time. The greatest blessing of life was then their mornings at the audiences of their pa- Romans, it may be remarked, had another
“a good stomach and a bad heart.” The tron, at the bath, or in the fish-market. Thus the very effeminacy of their present life con
form of salutation, used the first thing in the tributed to keep up the old salve, vale, and morning and the last thing at night—the last, other corporeal good wishes, which had Catullus to his brother's memory
too, at a funeral, as in those lovely lines of been invented as an expression of military courage, and of a readiness to plough or Nunc et in ætornum, Frater, ave atque vale ! fight with equal energy for the good of Rome, to devote oneself with Decius to the being the sacramental words used when the Infernal Gods, or sup on “ turnips roasted in corpse was burning on the pile, and the a Sabine farm :"
mourners circled around it thrice in sad
procession, crying out the final adieu. What Bene nam valetis omnes,
can be the original meaning of the word ? Pulchrè concoquitis, nihil timetis :
It seems we must wait for that until Etruria finds a Rawlinson; but if we knew its pedi
gree, who doubts that we should find it as and this line of the poet gives us a perfect characteristic as salve or vale ? anticipation of the famous dictum of Madame
In the languages derived from the Latin, Du Deffand, who asserted that all happiness or rather from the corrupted Latin called and misery, all virtue and vice, depend Romanz, we can see the same delicacy of VOL. XXI. NO. IV.
shoding; but if we were able to make all the the phrase gives one a high idea of the tone collections and researches which the full dis- of personal character which must anciently cussion of such a subject requires, we should have predominated in the dominions of the be obliged to write, not an article, but an catholic kings; as do Quede VS. con Dios : Encyclopædia. · We must content ourselves Queremos hacerle a VS. cuantos obsequios with a few indications. The Genoese in the sean posibles :-Mi alegre mucho de ver a middle ages used to say Sanita e gucdagno VS., y de conocerlo, Señor Doctor :-Beso
=Health and gain: a phrase combining the las manos a VS. :—Soy de VS. The hightwo elements of their character in such per- ly elliptical form of the last salutation is fection that no commentary can either sim- worthy of notice. It should be noted also, plify or condense it. But the Italians have that the Spaniard, with all his religion, does been metamorphosed since the merchant not place the religious idea first, as the Orienprinces and the golden book-“ Bottom, thou tal does, but says Vaya con Dios! He is art translated !"_and until some better not of the mind of honest Dogberry—“and means than they have of late been trying put God first, for God forbid but God should shall have raised them up again into men, we go before such rascals.” In “ May you live must content ourselves with taking them muchos anos," or a thousand years, however, they are, and remarking the Crescele in san- one plainly perceives traces of the Moor. tita of the priest-ridden Neapolitan, and the An Englishman would never be able to con“I am your slave" of the liberal Piedmontese. quer so far his inracinated dread of what he The same pliable, pitiable servility may be in his ultra-poetical slang calls humbuy and traced through most of the forms of the flummery, as to use so hyperbolical a formula. country, dedications of books, subscriptions Life, too-mere life in the abstract—is much of letters, and so forth; there is hardly an less desirable under our cloudy skies and idiom which does not partake of this faint among our easterly winds than in Spain ; for odor. In Come sta? Come staie ? we have which reason the wish for long life could never packed together the nearly opposite tenden- among us be a common greeting. We reserve cies which go to make up the main ground it for solemn occasions, as Long live the Queen! work of the Italian character-an extreme Above all, note the “ VS.' so prodigally nervous mobility, expressed in the come, com used. Does not the very exaggeration of bined with the altogether unprogressive in this contraction-a contraction which must dolence of the state. Surely this must be a have been gradual, and each step dictated nation not destined for a sudden re-develop: by the wish to save time-indicate the proud ment of vitality. And is not Italy the land politeness of “your Don,” who would have of farnienie? To stand, to be, to erist, in such a hundred times a day to “brook the stab" a region, is in itself such a blessing that life if he omitted "phrase of courtesy." fleets lazily and sunnily away, without giving this process took place where time is of so a temptation or a motive to more activity little value-a faci proved no less clearly by than is required for the procuring of a suffi- the language-above all others fertile in big, cient quantity of iced water and maccaroni. rumbling, rolling, long-tailed words—than by In the toil-compelling north such a phrase as their siestas, guitar-strumming, and interminCome stute ?—the very syllables of which able screeching of romances-what must seem to come out languidly, as when one is have been the frequency of call that finally lying half asleep under the shade of a great screwed Vuestra Mercedes into Ustedes patulous beech-tree in a blazing midsummer (spoken) and VS. (written)? noon— would be impossible.
Comment vous porlez-vous ? Most readily In Spanish, one finds, superadded to the do we acknowledge the flood of light which Italian immobility and passiveness, a certain has been thrown on French phrases * by M. smack of the fine old Castilian pride and haughty gravity :
* M. Tarver's work is really a valuable addition Don Hermogenes. Buenas tardes, Señores. to our Dictionary shelf-the most important shelf in Don Pedro. A la orden de VS.
every man's library. The nice skill with which he Don Anlonio. Felicisimas, amigo Don Hermogenes. han compared and contrasted the phrases of the two
most influential of modern tongues can hardly be “ Good late," instead of " Good evening,” is over.praised. Such a book might well deserve a of the same stamp with that other Hispani- distinct notice; but we are happy to take this cism of calling the evening sereno. Vaya con opportunity, meantime, of saying that one of the
volumes has now been in constant use with us for five Dios, Señor Caballero! has a relish of strong years, and we should be at a loss to name another self-respect mingled with religiosity,-and recent one of its class which we have found more