Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/435

This page needs to be proofread.


10 s. XIL OCT. so, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


359


own country is the excellent ' History of English Journalism to the Foundation fo the " [London] Gazette," ' published last year by Longmans. The author, Mr. J. B. Williams, has made really important addi- tions to the knowledge of the subject. I hope Mr. Williams will be encouraged to continue these journalistic annals.

WILLIAM E. A. AXON. Manchester.


NOTES ON BOOKS, &c.

New English Dictimiary. S Sauce. By Henry

Bradley. (Oxford, Clarendon Press.) THE important and lengthy letter S has been well begun by Dr. Bradley in this double section, which is full of interesting words. The introductory Note points out the absence of any long articles, ' salt and "sand" occupying a relatively large space owing " to the abundance of their combinations. There is much, however, in the way of etymology and development of meanings in familiar words which should attract the attention of the lover of English. The words recorded and quotations appended to them are, of course, far beyond the supply in other dictionaries ; but this pre-eminence is now too well known to need comment'. Under " Sabbath we are reminded by a quotation from The Quarterly fieview of 1897 that " the term ...... as applied to the

Lord's Day is unknown to the Articles, the Canons, and the Prayer-book of the Church of England." It would have been easy to find better literary instances of the "Witches' Sabbath." The de- velopment by which the heraldic term "sable 5 has become a general synonym for black is said to be peculiar to English. "Sabreur" makes us think of Ouida, and we add to the quotations a pertinent passage from ' Strathmore.' At the opening of that romance Bertie Erroll is described as "The Beau Sabreur (as he had been nicknamed, a la Murat, from his cornethood, partly from some back-handed strokes of his in Caffirland, partly from the personal beauty which he inherited),' &c. For " sacerdotage " derisively used Mr. Lang is quoted. In 'Custom and Myth' he refers to "a people fallen early into its sacerdotage and priestly second childhood." The wine called "sack" has puzzled antiquaries for many years, and Dr. Bradley is not now able to speak with certainty as to its meaning. " Vin sec 11 ' appears to have extended its significance in the course of years. " Sacred," " sacrifice," and words of similar meaning occupy a good deal of space. There is an interesting note concerning the origin of the Sadducees. For " sagacious "= intelligent, of animals, Goldsmith and Keats are quoted. We recall also the dog who read the notice about dogs being shot in ' Pickwick, i and was thus introduced by Mr. Jingle : " Ah ! you should keep dogs fine animals sagacious creatures." The corresponding substantive has been personified by Browning in his ' Prince Hohenstiel- Schwangau' (2- vol. edition, ii. 313) ;

it had seemed a venial fault at most

Had he once more obeyed Sagacity.

" Sagathy " is an odd word, which means a woollen

stuff used in the eighteenth century. "Sage'


vegetable) is still used, we learn, in the preparation of "sage-tea." "Sage" (adjective) in connexion, with appearance is noted as applied to Miss Old- Duck and Mr. Dick. Here the ' Dictionary ' is up x> the mark. We cannot say the same of "sage ' noun). There is no quotation from the nineteenth century for its serious use except from Dean Stanley's prose. We recall without difficulty the

itle of an unduly neglected poem by Tennyson,
The Ancient Sage,' and the beginning of the

twenty-sixth stanza of FitzGerald's 'Omar Khay- yam ' :

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd

Of the Two Worlds so wisely. For playful use of the word here is an example f rom a nonsense classic. Father William in ' Alice n Wonderland ' is represented as replying to the impertinent questioner :

' In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks.

The careful article on " saint" is a good example of the excellent analysis of the ' Dictionary.' We do not, however, notice any definition which covers the application of the term to admired men of Letters. Lamb, though "a good man of most dear memory," was not exactly "a person of extra- ordinary holiness of life," and it is recorded by Edward FitzGerald that Thackeray pressed to his forehead a letter of Lamb's with the remark,

Saint Charles ! " The term seems still less applicable to Gilbert of Selborne, who was an excellent naturalist, but an unabashed pluralist in church livings; yet he, too, has been "sainted." Lamb is duly quoted for the drink known as

saloop." For " Samoan " (native of Samoa and the language) we find two quotations from Lundie, 'Missionary Life in Samoa,' one from Jevons's ' Money,' and two from journalism. Surely the later writings of R. L. Stevenson should have been used for quotations, e.g., in 'Vailima Letters,' p. 346 (Letter of 1894), we find " the usual Samoan expressions of politeness and compliment." Simi- larly the Russian "samovar," illustrated only by quotations from The Pall Mall Gazette and a note in a translation of Kotzebue's ' New Voyages ' of 1830, might have easily been fitted with examples more representative of English. " Samurai " is now, we learn, "applied to any Japanese army officer." It is used by Mr. H. G. Wells in one of his ideal reconstructions of the world for a special ascetic class who resemble Plato's guardians of the State. "Sangrail" is simply the holy grail, and the derivations which make it holy blood or royal blood (=sang royal) are put aside as untenable. We are pleased to see Darwin's ' Expression of the Emotions ' quoted for " sardonic." Under " Sarum " we think the old and new seats of that name should have been mentioned. Perhaps, however, the term is geographically outside the scope of the ' Dic- tionary,' and appears only as a heading for the " Sarum Use."

We find but one quotation for "Satan" in the nineteenth century, and that is an oath, and a figurative use from Carlyle. This seems hardly


beginning,

that at this time there were two arch-enemies of mankind Satan as usual, and Buonaparte, who had sprung up and eclipsed his elder rival alto- gether."