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of its contents, succeeds in passing himself off on Prim as his expected visitor. The real Simon Pure calling at Prim's house is treated as an impostor, and is obliged to depart in order to hunt up witnesses who can testify to his identity. Meanwhile Feignwell succeeds in getting from Prim a written and unconditional consent to his marriage with Anne. No sooner has he obtained possession of the document than Simon Pure reappears with his witnesses, and Prim discovers the trick that has been put upon him.' Here endeth Mr. Oliphant's information. Whoever desires to know whether of the twain suitors obtained the hand of the lady must consult Mrs. Centlivre's play itself.

We all live in a very wholesome dread of Mrs. Grundy. She first saw the light, it is said, in Thomas Morton's Speed the Plough.' 'In the first scene Mrs. Ashfield shows herself very jealous of neighbour Grundy, and Farmer Ashfield says to her, "Be quiet, woolye? Allways ding-dinging Dame Grundy into my ears: What will Mrs. Grundy zay? What will Mrs. Grundy think?""

Who was Philippine, and why do we wish her 'bon jour'? Yesterday we dined at a friend's house and were happily placed beside a charming young lady. At dessert we cracked an almond in its shell, and on opening it found that it contained a double kernel, one half of which we bestowed on our neighbour, the other half we ourselves devoured. This morning, all unsuspicious of evil, we met our fair friend in the street; she exclaimed, 'Bon jour, Philippine!' and we, albeit our name is not Philippine, nor even Philippe, are bound by every law of honour and society to make a suitable present to the lady. Having been thus caught, we anxiously inquire who and what is or was this Philippine? Now, M. Rozan goes quite deeply into the subject. He says that the game is not unknown in France, though less practised than in Germany. A reference to a German dictionary shows that they have a word, Vielliebchen, which corresponds to Philippine. 'Guten Morgen, Vielliebchen,' was the original phrase; it gradually glided into 'Guten Morgen, Philippchen;' the French took it over and made it 'Bon jour, Philippine.' M. Rozan says that Vielliebchen is pronounced almost precisely the same as Philippine! It seems to us barbarous English astonishing that the delicate ear of a Frenchman, whose refinements of pronunciation are hopeless to us, can yet hear no difference between those two words: the soft French with its final and just indicated e,

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and the harsh German with b in the place of one p, the guttural ch for another p, and en instead of ine! This must be one of M. Rozan's quiet jokes at the expense of his own countrymen ; he says that Philippine 'rime exactement avec l'expression des Allemands.' The French ear detects a difference between the acute, grave, and circumflex accents on the letter e; thus téte, tète, and tête would each have its own special sound. We English think we do well if we distinguish the circumflex from the grave.

It is told of M. Arsène Houssaye (commonly called SaintArsène because he was the refuge and patron of young authors) that Monselet came to him with a manuscript; said M. Houssaye to the young writer, soon to be famous, 'If I were you, instead of Monselet, I should sign myself Monselé; it is softer.' Monselet, horrified and irate, exclaimed, 'Monselé? Like Franjolé? No, thank you!' Now, I am afraid that to English ears the final let and lé sound almost identical. Yet M. Rozan asserts that to French ears Vielliebchen is exactly like Philippine! The surname of St.-Arsène appears to have been either Houssaye or Housset!

Various animals have become famous and left their names as proverbs or puzzles. I do not now allude to such as Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander, but rather to such as Rosinante, the charger of Don Quixote; not to the dog of Montargis, but the dog of Lance. The Kilkenny cats are doubtless entirely historical, but who was the equally famous cat who was let out of the bag? She was not unlike the pig in a poke (poche pocket). If a foolish bumpkin bought a pig in a poke, well and good; if he opened the pocket or bag and a cat jumped out, he discovered the trick played on him, and was off his bargain.


There is a certain cow whose death has insured her a long literary life. The event is chronicled in verse, which runs somewhat in this style:

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This is said to have been the famous tune of which the old cow died, but long experience has convinced me that an obvious derivation is seldom the correct one, and I would rather put forward

another. Among the inspiriting airs often performed on the melodious and richly modulated bagpipe is one known as 'Nathaniel Gow's Lament for his Brother,' and when listening to it I have felt an internal conviction that it, and no other, is the 'tune the old Gów died of.'

'The high horse' is another animal whose history is worth investigating; the French call him 'le grand cheval.' In the days of chivalry each knight had two horses, the palfrey and the charger. The palfrey (palefroi, from the Latin paraveredus, post-horse) was the steed ordinarily used for show and hack work, and the charger (destrier, which the squire led by his right hand, ad dexterum) was the war-horse. When the knight mounted his high horse, he was known to be angry, proud, indignant, and quarrelsome; and when we moderns are on the high horse' we are certainly in no amiable mood.


Nor is an unlicked cub a very amiable creature; in French he is frankly called an 'ours mal léché.' The English cub is a young bear, the French ours may be of any age; indeed, we may designate a surly old man as a bear. The following is quoted from Balzac This Léchard was an old journeyman pressman, who was called in printer's slang an ours; the pressman (pressier) has a to-and-fro movement as he carries the ink to the press, which resembles the movement of a bear.'


Avoir des rats dans la tête is a phrase which corresponds to our expression to have a bee in his bonnet. The Abbé Desfontaines, best known as the opponent of Voltaire, says that this expression comes from ratum, which means a thought, a resolution, an intention.' Rat from ratum was naturally confounded with rat, the unpleasant animal, and hence arose what has become an obscure proverbial phrase. M. Rozan quotes, but specially adds that he does not endorse, the punning remark: 'Les femmes ont des souris à la bouche et des rats dans la tête.'

Let me for a few minutes leave the animals and consider that word calembour, which appears to have encountered as much contumely in France as its equivalent in England. It has been said among us that the man who would make a pun would pick a pocket, and across the Channel have been debated the questions, 'Is one a fool because one makes a pun?' and 'Must one necessarily make puns if one is a fool?' These are weighty questions, and are yet unanswered. As to the derivation of the word calembour there are various theories. It is a modern word, not known until the

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eighteenth century. At the Court of Versailles there was a Count von Kallemberg, ambassador from the German Empire; his broken French resulted in such odd combinations of words that after a time every incongruous union of symphonious syllables came to be called by his name. Then there was also an Abbé Calemberg, an amusing figure in German stories; he was the father of the calembour. M. Victorien Sardou has conclusively shown that the word comes from, or rather is, calembour, a sweet-scented Indian wood. M. Darmesteter, the savant, is certain that calembour comes from calembourdaine, another form of calembredaine, fib, quibble, subterfuge. Of these various derivations the French punster may take his choice. But now, revenons à nos moutons.

The story of the sheep is to be found among the jests of Pathelin. Guillaume, a draper, has been robbed by Pathelin, a lawyer, of six ells of cloth, and by Agnelet, his shepherd, of twenty-six sheep. Guillaume intends to make it a hanging matter for the shepherd, but when he comes into court to accuse him he finds that Pathelin, who stole the cloth, is the lawyer employed to defend Agnelet. With his head running upon both his sheep and his cloth he makes a delightful confusion of the two losses; the judge says

Sus, revenons à nos moutons,
Qu'en fut-il ?

and the draper replies—

Il en a pris six aunes,

De neuf francs.

The judge is much puzzled, and continually entreats Guillaume to return to his sheep.


Another famous animal is the poulet, when in the form of a pretty pink note or a delicate correspondence card.' Many a good story is to be traced to Madame de Sévigné, whom we do not read much, though we read a great deal about her. Some one wrote her a note, and begged her not to show it to any human being; but at the end of several days she did show it, with the remark, "If I had brooded over it any longer, I should have hatched it!' This was a calembour, of course, but it does not solve the difficulty of the derivation of poulet in the sense of billet.

From fowl to fish is not a very long stride. The poisson d'avril is as popular in France as the April Fool is with us. Why we use our expression is not difficult to understand, but

why our neighbours should call that person a fish who falls into the trap of a practical joke on the first of April is very mysterious. Francis, Duke of Lorraine, whom Louis XIII. held prisoner at the Castle of Nancy, contrived to escape on a first of April by swimming across the river Meurthe, which gave rise to a saying among the people of Lorraine that the French had had a fish in custody. But as the escape of this Duke of Lorraine is only spoken of in explanation of the poisson d'avril, and as Louis XIII. never had a Duke of Lorraine as his prisoner, the story is somewhat hard to believe. The reason assigned by graver authorities than popular legends is that the first of April is the day on which the sun enters the zodiacal sign of the Fishes. But unfortunately Pisces is the sign for February. I may perhaps be allowed to bring forward my own solution of this difficult question of origin. I would refer both the fish and the fool to St. Benedict, whose festival is March 21, a date which, when the change was made from the Old to the New Style, became April 1. It is recorded that a holy priest at a distance, one Easter Day, became miraculously aware, as he was preparing his own good dinner, that St. Benedict was faint with hunger, thinking that the Lenten fast was not yet over. Of course the priest hastened to share his meal with the saint; he doubtless threw to the birds the fish which lay in St. Benedict's larder, and probably applied the English term which we have been considering to the saint himself. This derivation is strengthened by the fact that March 21 is the earliest day on which Easter Eve can fall.

À propos de bottes, or à propos de poissons, we may glance at the land of Cocagne, where plenty reigns, whose streets are paved with gold, and where all men may eat, drink, and be merry. This land is said to have been the ancient duchy of Lauraguais in Languedoc. In that country were made conical cakes known as coquaignes de pastel, or shells of woad. The dye of the woad was very valuable, and thus the land of the coquaigne came to mean a land of prosperity and plenty. But if that derivation does not please us we may accept another. Cuccagna was a district in Italy, between Rome and Loretto, where living was cheap; there was a poet named Martin Coccaie, who wrote of this delightful country. The word also signified a loaf or cake, and came from coquere, to cook. There are other derivations, but I think I have cited enough.

It can scarcely be doubted that our word Cockney comes from

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