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noble family of Ponsonby; and on my mentioning that one of them, the Hon. George Ponsonby, represented the town of Youghal, (which, probably from the Irish guttural pronunciation of the name, he appeared unacquainted with), I added, after describing the locality, that it was celebrated as the first place where Sir Walter Raleigh, on his return from his famed El Dorado, or Guiana, in 1595, had planted the potato.-"A most pernicious present it was, sir, for your countrymen,† scarcely less so than your whiskey;" emphatically replied the honorable gentleman. Upon which, though well aware that such too were the opinions of Mr. Cobbett on our national esculent, I suppressed the
rising observation, lest the assimila-
the renowned Nnevdés-prepared
“ Αὐτίκ ̓ ἄρ ̓ εἰς οἶνον βάλε φάρμακον,
Νηπενές τ ̓ ἄχολόν τε, κακῶν ἐπίληθον
but of which I leave it to his lordship to discover the source in the depth of his learning. "Les minimités égalent les maximités, et ne sont pas moins indispensables à la recherche et connaissance de la vérité," are the quaint, but significant words of the celebrated Academician, Charles Fournier.
* Livy (lib. xxii. cap. 13) relates, that the misconception of a name, consequent on the foreign pronunciation of a Roman word, Casinum, by Hannibal, which the guide mistook for Casilinum, and, therefore, conducted the Carthaginian army to the latter instead of the former place, cost the unfortunate guide his life. "Ipse (Hannibal) imperat duci, ut se in Casinatem agrum ducat. Sed Punicum abhorrens os ab Latinorum nominum prolatione, pro Casino Casilinum ut acciperet, fecit, virgis cæso duce, et ad reliquorum terrorem in crucem sublato." This indeed, was the " inhumana crudelitas," which the historian ascribes to the great general, (lib. xxi. cap. 4), or, as the poetical narrator of the memorable contest expresses it-
How apposite a motto these lines would furnish to the historian of Napoleon !
In the valuable collection of Irish Songs, lately published by my amiable and estimable friend, Mr. Crofton Croker, the potato and whiskey chants constitute two distinct and special classes. The name of the Editor may well be assumed as a warrant of the merit of the compilation :—
"Hos tibi dant calamos, en accipe, Musæ,
In the portion of chapter LXI of
"Le Prince de Courtenay est de l'Académie :
Quel ouvrage a-t-il fait ?-sa généalogie."
Gibbon, in his letter to Dr. Priestley of 23 January 1783, erroneously refers to the volume of Servetus, "De Trinitutis Erroribus," for that unhappy man's celebrated passage on the circulation of the blood, which is only to be found in the "Christianismi Restitutio" of that author. Gibbon was deceived by Chauffepié. (See Gentleman's Magazine for August 1838.) But again, I feel that I have diverged from my original purpose-.“ the elucidation of our great bard," almost beyond indulgence; and though in his words, "I may example my digression by some mighty precedent," (Love's Labour Lost, Act 1,) I shall conclude, and remain, yours, &c.
IN several of your late numbers, the attention of your readers has been called to the peculiarities of those extraordinary languages,-the Welsh and Irish. Some of these peculiarities may, I think, be placed in a light, that will afford useful hints to the Celtic scholar, and, at the same time, be not altogether without interest to the English antiquary. Will you allow me to ask, through your columns, how is it that, when a Celtic name of place takes a permuted letter, the corresponding English name so very generally exhibits the primitive?
For example, Pembroke or Penbroke, as it was written till the fifteenth century, is the Welsh Penvro. This compound signifies a headland, and its elements are pen, a head, and bro, a land. Bro is clearly a corruption of brog, a land, a country. (Bull. Dict. Celt.) This accounts for the k of Pembroke-but how can we explain the substitution of b for v? Was the word introduced into our language before the laws of permutation were generally adopted in Welsh compounds?
Again, Dublin, as is well known, means the black-water,--aname formerly given to the Liffey. The elements of this compound are duibh, black, and linn, water. Now the bh of duibh is a permutation of b, and is pronounced v,-why in our English name do we replace the v by b? The difficulty in this case is the greater, because at first, we adopted the Irish permutation, and called the place Difelin or Diveline. The former
of these names occurs in the Brunanburgh war-song, which was written as early as 938.
The disappearance from the Welsh of certain final consonants, which are still preserved in our English names (as in Pembroke) admits of an easier explanation; for there is reason to believe, that most of these letters were lost at a period long subsequent to the Anglo-Saxon æra. Many of them, indeed, though they have disappeared from some, are to be found in others of the Celtic dialects. Thus the Welsh ri a king, is in the Irish righ, though sometimes written ri, even in that dialect. So also the Welsh ti, a house, is the Irish teag, and we can show that the Welshmen themselves pronounced the g, as late as the ninth century.
Ásser, the friend and biographer of Alfred, and a native of South Wales, tells us that Nottingham was called "in the British tongue tigguoccubauc, but in the Latin speluncarum domus, the cave-houses." The propriety of such a name is obvious to all who know the locality, the whole rock on which the town stands being, to this day, honeycombed with excavations, some of which still serve the purposes of habitation. Now ti, a house, makes teau in the plural; ogov is a cave, and ogovawg, an adjective, signifying abounding in caves. If then we restore the g, we get for the Welsh phrase answering to cavehouses,
tigau ogovawg, which is almost the expression in Asser, tigu occubanc.
Besides the final g, it seems also that the final v occasionally disappeared. Thus the Irish duibh, black, is the Manx doo, and the Welsh du. The Welsh name for Dublin is accordingly Dulynn.
Were these investigations carried to a sufficient extent, they might serve as a gauge to test the revolutions of the Celtic; and would, in some degree, aid in fixing their chronology. The importance of this latter consideration I need hardly dwell upon.
I am, &c. E. G.
32, Red Lion Square,
MR. URBAN, IN Mr. Green's Diary of a Lover of Literature, printed in this month's
number of your valuable Magazine, are two censuring passages on a volume of my father's History of the Middle Ages, made rather prominent by italics. This induces me to send you a letter from the same gentleman to him on this volume, written a month after the date of the last entry, and several months after he had received the copy: it came therefore to my father when he least expected it, and as it expresses Mr. Green's spontaneous and deliberate judgment upon the book in the manner he chose to express it, you will perhaps think it just to give it a place in your next number.
Yours, &c. ALFRED TURNER.
Ipswich, Jan. 14th, 1816. My dear Sir, I have delayed, apparently an unconscionable time, acknowledging your obliging present of the second volume of your History. I did so, that I might have an opportunity of reading it over first, entirely at my leisure; and conveying, with my thanks, some opinion of its merits. It is in the highest degree gratifying to me to state, that your work has afforded me the truest pleasure, and far exceeded in its execution my utmost expectations. The fresh interest which you have contrived to throw even on the bestknown events in our annals, as I would particularly instance in the deposition of Richard II. and Cade's insurrection, by circumstantiality of narrative drawn from the records of the times, and exhibiting them in their real" form and pressure," and your very full and masterly review of the progress of literature, poetry particularly, in this country, in which you display much sound criticism and just taste, stamp a character and value on your History, which more than justify your suggestion in the preface to the first volume, and richly entitle you to the personal gratitude and thanks of every man to whom an intimate acquaintance with the deeds of his progenitors is dear.
Your style, I think, is eminently improved. I have ventured to mark in the margin, as before, whatever struck me as objectionable in expression. These censures, however, prove not only fewer in number, but much slighter in point of importance, than those which occurred in the former volume. Apropos, on this subject I can readily conceive
that many of the emendations which I presumed to suggest, did not exactly come up to the sense which you wished to convey; it appears to me, however, very dubious, whether it is not better, except on particular and critical occasions, to sacrifice something in this respect, rather than offend against facility and grace by any remarkable peculiarity or quaintness of phraseology. This, I feel, is not a very palatable doctrine to an author, but I believe it to be sound.
On one subject, and that forming a prominent feature in your History, we fundamentally differ; but your views on that subject are so liberal and enlarged, and your disposition so free from all taint of bigotry, that it is impossible not to read what you have written with respect.
Mrs. Turner must surely be gratified by the most delicate and elegant compliment-truth so conveyed is compliment that was ever paid to woman. Believe me, my dear Sir, with every good wish, and the warmest acknowledgments of your kind attentions,
Yours most truly, THOS. GREEN. Sharon Turner, Esq.
Greenwich, June 12. ON submitting, in your last Number, a comment on the review of my Researches and Conjectures on the Bayeux Tapestry, I stated my determination to decline all further discussion of the subject, till some more convenient period. The Reviewer, however, having furnished you with a postcript of addenda and corrections-I may, without inconsistency, follow his example.
It should be observed that the numerals prefixed to the supplementary and corrective remarks which I have to offer, refer to the numbered sections of the above-mentioned comment.
2. I have classed Sir Samuel Mey. rick with the antiquaries who deny the coeval execution of the Tapestry. It may be fair to state that Sir Samuel has become a convert to the opinion of Mr. Stothard. I have the pleasure of possessing the classical work, en
1 London, 1830, Folio, 2 vols.
3 History of Henry II. 1769. 8vo. i. 353.
titled, Engraved Illustrations of Antient Arms and Armour,-but omitted to consult the Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour, in which the conversion is announced. I reluctantly give up the authoritative name of Meyrick. On the other hand, I may add to_the names of De la Rue and Daines Barrington, those of Lord Lyttelton and Mr. Strutt. The former ascribed the Tapestry to the Empress Matilda.3— The latter, in the early part of his career, considered it to be of much more modern date than the Conquest;1 and, finally, as a monument of the 12th century.5
3. Fragments of my remarks on the nature and application of internal evidence, with reference to the monument in question, have already appeared in your columns; but as this is the point on which much of my argument hangs, and to which the Reviewer rather fiercely objects, I hope you will permit me to introduce the entire paragraph. It is as follows:
"The rejection of the tradition is no denial of the antiquity of the Tapestry; and we may therefore advert to the question of its internal evidence. M. Lancelot pronounced it to be coeval with the Conquest, before he was aware of the tradition: 'habits, armes, caractères de lettres, ornements, goût dans les figures resays that experienced presentées, tout, antiquary, 'sènt le siècle de Guillaume le Conquérant, ou celuy de ses enfants.' Mr. Hudson Gurney, Mr. Stothard, and M. Delauney, have expressed similar opinions. This point requires considerate examination. Propriety of costume is not always decisive of the coeval execution of a monument. It may have been the result of choice, or of the propensity of inferior artists to copy the works of their predecessors. Before we subscribe to the opinion of M. Lancelot, it should be made evident that the costume of the Tapestry is exclusively that of the period to which it costume of his own times. Now, we canrelates, and that the artist represented the not decide on the correctness of the costume of the monument without the means of comparison-which we very imperfectly possess; but its partial conformity with the illuminations in the MS. of Petro
2 London, 1824, 4to. 3 vols.
• Complete View of the Manners, &c. 1774-6, 4to. i. 74. Complete View of the Dresses, &c. 1796-9, 4to. i. 116, note. GENT. MAG. VOL. XII.
D'Ebulo-the resemblance of the casques and shields to those on the medals of the Norman conqueror of Sicily-the built of the vessels, with their steering paddles-the very sparing use of the chevron ornament -the absence of pointed architecture, of plate armour, and of armorial bearingsare no doubt remarkable indications of the antiquity assigned to it. On the other hand, if illuminators chiefly represented the costume of their own times, (an argument relied on by some antiquaries in whose opinions it would give me pleasure to acquiesce,) I doubt if we should extend that conclusion to the Tapestry; in which instance the elaborate nature of the composition, and the intelligence contained in the inscriptions, clearly point out the superintendence of some learned personwho most probably was qualified to direct the operatives as to the costume of the period. It is observable that Harold is called Dux previously to the scene of his coronation; afterwards, REX. William, whose coronation forms no part of the pictorial tale, is called Dux; never REX. This evinces a desire to avoid anachronisms
-and is not erroneous costume an anachronism?"
4. I could cite numerous instances of the uncertainty which prevails as to the dates of ancient illuminated manuscripts, and of the assumptions in point of costume which have arisen from that source. Two instances, by way of specimen, may be sufficient. Strutt ascribes the Cotton MS. Claudius B. iv. to the eighth century. He produces no evidence of its date-but thence adopts nearly all his illustrations of the presumed costume of the period. Mr. Planta, a very competent judge, ascribes the same MS. to the eleventh century!7 The second instance respects an illuminated pontifical, which is preserved in the public library at Rouen, No. 362. Montfaucon ascribes it to the seventh or eighth century. Martene is of opinion that it was written about the year 900. Mr. Gage, who has carefully examined it, and learnedly described its contents, doubts "whether it was written much before the close of the tenth, or until the beginning of the eleventh century."8
A judicious selection of fac-simile
6 Ibid. List of plates, &c.
copies of ancient illuminations, would
"Pour justifier ces assertions, voici quelques détails sur l'ouvrage dont je parle. J'ignore si leur publication ne blessera point M. le Comte de Bastard, dont la modestie semble avoir pris à tâche d'éviter tout retentissement prématuré pour son œuvre; mais, au risque de lui déplaire, je dirai de mémoire ce que je sais. Les peintures et ornements des manuscrits doivent prendre l'art au quatrième siècle et le conduire jusqu'au seizième, en reproduisant tout ce que renferment de remarquable les dépôts Européens. Dans cette longue suite de fac simile, la symbolique Chrétiennne sera expliquée, la vie religieuse et la vie civile seront dévoilées, la paléographie trouvera d'excellents modèles, toutes les époques, toutes les nationalités apparaîtront distinctes sous le rapport de la peinture. Quant à l'immensité matérielle de l'œuvre, il me suffira, pour la prouver, de dire que, depuis plusieurs années, soixante-dix artistes, de tous pays, parmi lesquels on compte un certain nombre d'officiers Polonais, se livrent à un travail qui semble ne devoir jamais finir. Ces artistes occupent, comme atelier, une maison entière dont la location annuelle
7 Cat. of the Cottonian MSS. 1802, fol. p. 191.
10 London, 1233. 4to.