Imagens das páginas

in 'supine' and 'supreme,' Puns on 'suitor' and 'shooter' indicate this pronunciation. See the Note on " She that bears the bow," Vol. III. p. 460. S was also sometimes aspirated before o and i; of which, and of the o sound of eio, see phonographic evidence in the pronunciation of 'sewer,' which was pronounced shore in the Elizabethan era, and thence down to the beginning of the present century; as to which see Walker's Dictionary and Richardson's in v. Hence, too, 'shekels' was spelled sickels: both spellings expressed the same sound. See the Note on "fond shekels," Vol. III. p. 118, and that or "quare chirrah, not sirrah?" Ibid. p. 469.


According to the jus et norma loquendi, this combination c.f letters had two distinct, yet kindred sounds, which, or a modification of which, it preserves at the present day, the first in 'this,' the second in 'thin.' Ben Jonson {English Grammar, 1631, p. 51,) says, "Th hath a double, and doubtfull sound, which must be found out by use of speaking; sometimes like the Greeke $ as in 'thief,' 'thing,' 'lengthen,' 'strengthen,' 'loveth,' &c.; in others like their d or the Spanish d, as 'this,' * that,' «then,' 'thence,' 'those,' 'bathe,' 'bequeath.'" And Butler, in his Grammar, (1633, p. 21,) says, "§ is an ancient Saxon letter, having a sound that no other letter or letters can express: wherefore it is marveil how this so necessary a letter, and so much used in our English tongue, was let slip; and th, having a different sound of its own, came to be admitted in his steed, as in these words, 'the,' 'this,' 'these,' 'that,' &c, or 'farther,' 'farthest,' 'murther,' to 'bathe,' &c, &c. But seeing there is now as much use of this letter as ever, it is just that he return, quasi postlimino, to his own right;" &c, &c.

"b is a letter of the same force and of as much use with us as ■# with the Greekes. For as they say -d-aAuuog, -dsoc, -dirw, &c, so we say thank, theft, thing, thorne, thumb,," &c.

Ben Jonson also says, (iibi supra:) "And in this consists the greatest difficultie of our alphabet, and true writing: since wee have lost the Saxon characters $ and £> that distinguished the «thee,' 'thou, &c, from the 'thick,' 'thin,' &c."

This is the positive testimony as to the point in question. But positive testimony is sometimes of less value than circumstantial evidence; cross-questioning will often break down a seemingly credible witness, and yet oftener give a new significance to well-established facts, and reconcile apparent incongruities-. Demonstration is always more to be relied upon than assertion. Mr. Hallam well says that in matters of criticism we must get in the habit of doubting positive testimony when the thing itself strongly asserts the contrary.

Now, the sound, or rather the mode of utterance, indicated by i is so invariable, and has been associated with it for so many ages, in so many languages, that its presence in a word leaves no doubt as to the purpose of the author: it is unmistakable. (See the introductory remarks to these memorandums.) But there is not the same certainty as to the sound of th. Even according to rule, it may have either the $ sound or the £> sound; and in some words we at this day give it the sound of t; 'Thames' and * thyme,' for instance, which are pronounced tames (clipped in colloquy into terns) and time, and have been so pronounced for centuries. And J. Jones, M. D., in his Practical Phonography, 4to. London, 1701, says, (p. 106,) that "the sound of t is written as th in antheme, Anthony, apothecary, asthma, author, authority, authorize, Catharine, Cantharides, Esther, isthmus, Lithuania, Thames, Thannet, thea, Thomas, Thuscany, thyme, which are commonly sounded as without the h" In other languages with which our own has intimate connections, and whose modes of speech have had a direct influence upon ours, the aspirated sound of th is absolutely unknown.

When, therefore, we find certain words spelled indifferently, at the same period by the same authors, with t or th, the sound of the former being fixed and universal, what must be our conclusion? Instances in point are 'nosetrills' nosethrills, 'apothecary' apotecary, 'authority' autority, 'th'one' tone, 'th'other' t'other, 'thrill' trill, 'swarthy' sivarty, 'fifth' fift, 'sixth' sixt, 'eighth' eight, 'Satan' Sathan, 'stalwart' stalworth, 'quoth' quot, quote, or quod. Instances of both spellings of these wrords are so common in books published at the period in question that citation is quite unnecessary. It is worth while, however, to bring forward the following somewhat more unusual examples of the spelling of words with t which were commonly even at that time spelled with th, or vice versa: "whats tys [this]?" twice in Wyt and Science, Shale. Soc, Ed. p. 21; "a pytheous [piteous] wye" Robert the Devyll, p. 6; "in golden trone [throne]," Seneca* s Ten Tragedies, 1581, f. 124, Idem Ibidem, f. 134, and f. 216 6; "Th' one autentiqiie [authentic]," Daniel's Rosamond, 1599, Sig. Cc 2; Idem in Drayton's Oivle, 1619, p. 405; "How our religion is aute?itical," Albion's England, 1602, Sig, A 7 b; "dept [depth] of art," Browne's Pastorals, Yol. II. p. 52; "Be as a cautherizing [cauterizing]," Timon of Athens, Act. V. Sc. 1., Ed. 1623; "The Thuskan poet," Drayton's Nymphidia, 1627, p. 120; "With amatists [amethists]," Arcadia, 1605, p. 143; "Call you this gamouth [gamut]?" thus, four times, Taming of the Shreiv, Act III. Sc. 1, 1623.

Notice, too, in the following proper names the use of th and and t interchangeably throughout our early literature; Japheth, Japhet; Bathseba, Batseba; Hittite, Rithite; Galatians, Galathians; Lot, Loth; Patmos, Pathmos ,• Sweden, Sioethen; Gotham, Goteham; Goths, Gotes; Atalanta, Athalanta; Proteus, Protheus; Anthony, Antony; Antenor, Anthenor; and see in Seneca's Ten Tragedies, Hercules (Etceus and GZtheus used interchangeably.

But there is a small volume of less than two hundred pages published just at the close of the first half of the seventeenth century which affords us some very noteworthy evidence upon this question. It is The Interpreter of the Acadamie for Forrain Languages and all Noble Sciences and Exercises. By Sir Balthazar Gerbier, Knight. London, 1648, 4to„ Its purpose is clearly and correctly indicated by its title; and in his preface the author says that fathers of families may address themselves "to Mr. William Kipp at Bednall-Green neere London, or unto Mr. Samuel Hartlib in Dukes place —" quite surely, I think, the Mr. Hartlib to whom Milton addressed his Tractate of Education. Gerbier, as the reader of Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting knows, 'was a Flemish miniature painter; an inferior artist, but a successful courtier. His associations were with the highest-bred English people of his day; and he brought forward "various projects of high pretension connected with the arts and belles-lettres.1" This book was written both in French and English; and the French and English versions were printed on opposite pages. By whomsoever the English translation was made, (and I think that it was by Gerbier himself, with the assistance of Kipp or Hartlib,) the maker intended to express with great particularity the English pronunciation of the day; and it specially became him to give the best. Thus, for instance, lieutenant on the French side, where it oecurs several times, is always represented by leftenant on the English side. He


used letters, too, according to their English, not their continental sound; a noticeable example of which is in the name of Comte Jean de Nassau, which he renders " Count John of Nassoio."

In this singular book, which is printed with remarkable accuracy, we find words spelled with th in which we know there was only the sound of t, and, what is of equal importance, words written with t which were then, as now, according to received usage, spelled with th, and which have been hitherto supposed (as far as I know) to have been pronounced with the 6 sound. E. g.: "and whereof wee doe celebrate the remembrance on the With Sundayes" ("aujour de la Pentecoste"}, p. 25; "Lord open my mouth that my lips may seth forth thy prayse," p. 58; "which the Academy will.theach in particulars," p. 66; "gives him strencht to resist," &c, p. 78; "who entertaine the yought" &c. (" lajeimesse"), p. 82; "the true anathomie thereoff," p. 94 j "I have past my yought in combats," p. 121; "to bend under the strenckt of my arm," p. 122; "which is brought here at Paris at fourthy livres," p. 125; "more than seventhy two thousand soules," lb.; "who pocesseth seuentheen kingdoms," p. 129; "nor is there any dept but it descends in it r It makes us to know the hight" &c, p. 141; "by the sigth of the most cleere sigthed among men," p. 161; "struck of a great dept in the Earth," p. 177; "Rethoricke hath ever been the art that serves to disguise things," p. 178; "but a good braught (im bon potage), good meate and foulle is put on the table," p. 182. I do not see how wTe can avoid accepting these spellings as evidence of the pronunciation of th at the time when they were written, and that the h was then silent at least in «youth,' 4 strength,' < depth,' and 'broth,' as wTeil as in those words in which, according to the testimony of Dr. Jones, it was not heard half a century later. The pronunciation had in mind by the writer seems as unmistakable in these cases as when he spelled * lieutenant' leftenant, « Nassau' Nassoio, and (see the memorandum on o) < one' owne, or as Marlowe's is, when, on one page of Faustus, he makes the Doctor call, —

"Ho! Belimote, Argiron, Asterate/"

Old Plays. Lond. 1814, p. 60. and on another,

"Asteroth, Helimoth, Mephostophilis!" Ibid. p. 64.

It may be worth while to refer the reader now to the remarks in Yol. III. p. 226-7 upon the pronunciation and double significance of the title of Much Ado about Nothing, of Touchstone's comparison of himself leading a pastoral life to "that most capricious [punning on caper = a goat] poet Ovid among the Goths " and of Don Pedro's jesting exclamation, "Note, notes, forsooth and nothing!" Let him also compare with the latter the following exclamation in soliloquy of Autolycus,{Winter's Tale, Act IV. Sc. 3,) "no hearing, no feeling, but, my sirs, song and the nothing of it," and discover, if he can, what this means if 'nothing' was not pronounced noting. Let him explain, too, if he can, the following passage (which no one has hitherto attempted to explain) in Love's Labour's Lost, Act I. Sc. 2 : —

"Armado. —— but to have a love of that colour, methinks Samson had small reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.

"Moth. It was so, sir, for she had a green wit."

except upon the theory that th was pronounced as t, and that the Page puns, and alludes to the green withes which Dalilah vainly used as bonds for Samson. And here compare Bergier's spelling "With-Sanday" noticed above, and conversely, the frequent spelling of the preposition 'with' wit in waitings of an earlier date. And yet again, how we are to get at the joke in this not altogether printable passage in Eastward Hoe without giving th the sound in question?

"Come awraye Shine; we shall as soone get a *#*t from a dead man as a farthing of court'sie here." Act IV. Sc. It

But th occupies another apparently equivocal position in the writings of this period. It is used interchangeably with d in words like 'murder,' 'further/ 'fathom,' 'hundred/ 'tether,'

* quoth.' This must be so well known to every reader of our early literature that the citation of any of the many examples at my hand is needless; and I shall merely direct the reader's attention to the passage quoted from Sir Thomas Smith's Commonwealtli of England, in Vol. VII. p. 120, where ' hundred' and

* hunclreth' are used in the same paragraph, to these passages on opposite pages in Albion's England.

f One Banquho powrefulst of the Peers in popular affection And prowesse great was murthred by his tyrannous direction."

Ed. 1606, p. 376.

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