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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/619

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10 s. XIL DEC. 25, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


JAMES O'BRIEN, 1798. I should be glad of trustworthy information about this personage, who figured in the Rebellion time in Ireland. He was commonly known as " Jimmy O'Brien " or " The Informer."


10, John Street, Adelphi, W.C.

" VEGETARIAN.'* (10 S. xii. 427.)

QUESTIONS as to the history of the word " vegetarian n have often been addressed to me in the course of the more than forty years that I have been connected with the Vegetarian Society. I offer PROF. KRTJEGER the testimony of the Professor of Latin in the University of Cambridge the Rev. John E. B. Mayor, whose name is known and honoured wherever scholars are gathered together. Before doing so I may perhaps be permitted to say that I think we have in Prof. Mayor the doyen of the con- tributors to ' N. & Q. s He discussed the starting of this periodical with Dr. S. R. Maitland, and wrote five articles in the first volume. The earliest of these communica- tions was printed in the issue for 2 Feb., 1850. [See ante, p. 478.]

Prof. Mayor is the President of the Vege- tarian Society, and on 14 Oct., 1885, gave an address in Manchester which was printed as a pamphlet, and went through three editions. In this essay ' What is Vegetarianism ? * after quoting from various lexicographers, he says :

" Would you be surprised to learn that as Vegetarians, looking at the word etymologically, not historically or in the light of our official definition, we are neither required to eat all vegetable products, nor vegetable products only, nor even vegetable products at all ? Far from committing us to abstain from milk and eggs, the name derives its connexion with diet exclusively from the definition given to it by our Society.

" When librarian means an ' eater of books,' antiquarian ' an eater of antiques,' even then vegetarian will not, cannot, mean ' an eater of vegetables.' Your learned townsman, my old friend Mr. Roby,* has cited many nouns sub- stantive and adjective ending in arius = Engl. arian. All of these are derived from nouns sub- stantive or adjective, none from verbs. Prof. Skeat was misled by a borrowed definition. Antiquus, ' ancient ' ; antiqua, ' antiques ' ; antiquarius, * one who studies, deals in, has to do

  • The allusion is to Dr. H. J. Roby, M.P. for

Eccles (1890-95), in whose ' Latin Grammar,' vol. i. par. 942, will be found the examples men- tioned.

with, antiques an antiquary or antiquarian.' So vegetarius, ' one who studies, has to do with,. vegetal* What vegetus means you shall hear from impartial lips :

Vegetabilis is not used in good Latin at all. Cicero's word for plants is gignentia.

" ' Vegetus, whole, sound, strong, quick, fresh, lively, lusty, gallant, trim, brave ; vegeto, to refresh, recreate, or make lively, lusty, quick and strong, to make sound.' Thomas Holyoke, ' Latin Dictionary,' London, 1677."

" Ainsworth adds to the senses of ' Vegetus,' agile, alert, brisk, crank, pert, nourishing, vigorous, fine, seasonable ; and renders the primitive ' vegeo ' to be lusty and strong, or sound and whole / to make brisk or mettlesome ; to refresh.

" The word vegetarius belongs to an illustrious family. Vegetable, which has been called its mother, is really its niece. Vegetation, vigil, vigilant, vigour, invigorate, wake, watch, wax, augment ; the Gr. vyn)s (sound) ; Hygieia, the goddess of health ; hygiene, the science of health ; all these are more or less distant relatives.

" The Vegetarian, then, is one who aims at wholeness, soundness, strength, quickness, vigour, growth, wakefulness, health. These must be won by a return to nature, and the natural food for man is a diet of fruit and farinacea, with which some combine such animal products as may be enjoyed without destroying sentient life."

I need not prolong the quotation, but those interested will find in this address a further discussion of the subject by both English and German writers. It may be well to add that the word " vegetarian " came into vogue with the establishment of the Vegetarian Society in 1847, and has not been traced further back than 1845.

If any of your readers who are interested in the subject of vegetarianism will send me a postcard, I shall be happy to send them some information on the matter.


257, Deansgate, Manchester.

WATSON'S ' HISTORY OF PRINTING ? (10 S. xii. 428). The assertion of Mr. Blades that Watson's ' History of Printing * is a translation from the French of J. de la Caille is made, I presume, in ' Annals of Scottish Printing,' p. 3, where the editor, Mr. J. P. Edmond, states :

" We are indebted to Mr. William Blades. . . . for information that the original French writer was J. de la Caille, who published at Paris, in 1689, a quarto volume entitled ' Histoire de 1'iniprimerie et de la librairie.' "

The pedigree is vegeo vegetus

I vegetarius

vegeto vegetabilis.