« ПредишнаНапред »
rides ; but, two substantives being conjoined, the one characterizes or qualifies the other, — performs, in fact, the part of an adjective, – just as happens in the expressions a gold ring, a leather apron, a morning call, the evening bells.
An expression used by Cowper (in his verses composed in the name of Alexander Selkirk), “ the sound of the church-going bell,” has been passionately reprobated by Wordsworth.
- The epithet church-going applied to a bell,” observes the critic (in an Appendix upon the subject of Poetic Diction, first attached, I believe, in 1820 to the Preface originally published with the Second Edition of the Lyrical Ballads, 1800), " and that by so chaste a writer as Cowper, is an instance of the strange abuses which poets have introduced into their language, till they and their readers take them as matters of course, if they do not single them out expressly as matters of admiration." A church-going bell is merely a bell for church-going; and the expression is constructed on the same principle with a thousand others that are and always have been in familiar use; such as a marauding expedition, a banking or a house-building speculation, a writing desk, a looking glass, a dining room, a dancing school, a dwelling house, etc., etc. What would Wordsworth have said to such a daring and extreme employment of the same form as we have in Shakespeare, where he makes Cleopatra (in Antony and Cleopatra, iii. ) say, speaking of the victorious Cæsar,
From his all-obeying breath I hear
The doom of Egypt? But these audacities of language are of the very soul of poetry.
The peculiar class of substantives under consider
ation cannot, properly speaking, be regarded as even present participles in disguise. Their true history has been given for the first time by Mr. Richard Taylor in his Additional Notes to Tooke's Diversions of Purley, 1829 and 1840; see edition of 1840 [or 1860], pp. xxxix.-liv. The termination of the present participle in Saxon was ende; and when that part of the verb was used substantively it denoted the agent, or performer of the verbal act. Thus, Haeland signified the Healer, or Saviour; Scyppend, the Shaper, or Creator. Ing or ung, on the other hand, was the regular termination of that description of verbal substantive which denoted the act. Thus Brennung was what in Latin would be called Combustio, and what in our modern English is still called the Burning. In other tongues of the same Gothic stock to which our own in part belongs, both forms are still preserved. In German, for instance, we have end for the termination universally of the present participle, and ung for that of a numerous class of verbal substantives all signifying the act or thing done. It never could have been supposed that in that language these verbal substantives in ung were present participles.
But in English the fact is, as Mr. Taylor has observed, that it is not the verbal substantive denoting the act which has assumed the form of the present participle, but the latter which has thrown away its own proper termination and adopted that of the former. This change appears to have commenced as early as the twelfth century, and to have been completely established by the fourteenth. Even after the middle of the sixteenth century, however, we have the old distinction between the two terminations (the end or and for the present participle, or
the agent, and the ing for the verbal act) still adhered to by the Scottish writers.
[One might infer from this statement that the distinction was uniformly regarded by Scottish writers of the sixteenth century. What Mr. Taylor says is this : “ Though the use of ing for the present participle was fully established in the fourteenth century, the age of Langland, Chaucer, and Wiclif, yet the ancient ande was still occasionally used, both being found in the same writers, and sometimes in the very same sentence; and in the North, to the end of the sixteenth century."
The following are examples of the two endings appropriately used in the same sentence:
Hors, or hund, or othir thing
Dunbar (Ellis's Spec.). Our sovereign havand her majesty's promise be writing of luff, friendship, etc.
Lord Herries (1568, quoted by Robertson). The following are examples of the indiscriminate use of these endings:
herdes of oxin and of fee,
Sir D. Lyndsay (1528).
It requires a long search in Chaucer's works to find a participle in ande.”
See also Marsh, Lect. on Eng. Lang., First Series, pp. 649–658.]
1. What trade art thou? The rationale of this mode of expression may be seen from the answer to the question : “Why, Sir, a carpenter.” The trade and the person practising it are used indifferently the one for the other : “ What trade art thou?” is equivalent to “ What tradesman art thou?” So in 6 we have
66 A trade which is, indeed, a mender of bad soles.” The thou, as here and in 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, was still common in the English of Shakespeare's age; it was the ordinary form in addressing an inferior; only when he was treated, or affected to be treated, as a gentleman, the mechanic received the more honorable compellation of you; - as in 3, “ You, Sir, what trade are you?” Thou, Sir, would have been incongruous in the circumstances.
6. Soles. —Quasi souls; ---- an immemorial quibble, doubtless. It is found also (as Malone notes) in Fletcher's Woman Pleased. Yet we might seem to have a distinction of pronunciation between soul and sole indicated in The Merchant of Venice, iv. I, “Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew."
7. This speech in the old copies is given to Flavius; and it is restored to him by Mr. Knight, who observes that the modern editors assume that only one of the tribunes should take the lead ; whereas it is clear that the dialogue is more natural, certainly more dramatic, according to the original arrangement, where Flavius and Marullus alternately rate the people, like two smiths smiting on the same anvil.” But this will not explain or ac
count for the “ mend me” of Marullus in 9. That proves beyond controversy that the preceding speech (8) was addressed to Marullus ; and it is equally clear that the
you of speech 8 is the person to whom speech 7 belongs. The rating, besides, is as much alternate, or intermingled, in the one way as in the other: Mr. Knight gives six speeches to Flavius and five to Marullus ; the common arrangement gives five to Flavius and six to Marullus. [Collier, Dyce, and White give the speech to Marullus; Hudson, to Flavius.]
8. Be not out with me; yet, if you be out. The two senses of being out are obvious : “ They are out with one another,” or, simply, “ They are out;” and 6. He is out at the elbows,” or in any
other part of his dress.
9. Mend me. · The answer shows that mend, not me, is the emphatic word.
12. But with awl. Mr. Knight and Mr. Collier [and Hudson] print “ with all.” This, apparently, would accord with Farmer's notion, who maintains that the true reading is, “I meddle with no trade, man's matters,” etc., understanding with awl, or with all, I suppose, to involve, as one of its meanings, that of " with all trades.” The original reading [which White adopts] is, “but withal I am indeed, Sir, a surgeon," etc. And the Second Folio has 66 woman's matters."
12. As proper men. -A proper man is a man such as he should be. In The Tempest, ii. 2, we have the same expression that we have here distributed into two successive speeches of the drunken Stephano : “As proper a man as ever went on four legs ;” and “ Any emperor that ever trod on neat's leather.”