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along the shores of that particular part of the Mediterranean, through Catalonia and Valencia, and the islands of Ivica, Majorca, and Minorca. At these places, it differs so essentially from the Castilian, as to assimilate in its principal character rather to the dialect of the south of France than to the surrounding Spanish. The abbreviation of Latin words in Catalan gives it a close resemblance to the Limousin, which, in reality, it is designated as being, by some writers who have made investigations into its origin. It is not our intention to trace this dialect through that brilliant epoch of its history in the thirteenth century, when, better known under the appellation of the Provençal, the Troubadours wrote in its harmonious measures, and found a just tribute paid to their talents in the honourable reception given them by the Aragonian Princes. It must be enough for us to state, that, as a national language, it first was cultivated in the twelfth century, when the Counts Berenger constituted it the language of their Court; that, towards the middle of the next, it had grown the most common of all the southern tongues, and became the great source of Italian after the eleventh. The continual protection found by the Troubadours under this illustrious house, operated most advantageously in raising European poetry: it has been said, indeed, that their noble patronage was the means of placing a tenth Muse upon Parnassus. Their language, now looked upon as a mere patois, was ardently cultivated by the Earls of Provence ; it received a tribute equally honourable from Frederick I., who wrote in its metres ; to a certain extent it was naturalized at the court of Naples by Charles of Anjou; encouraged by Pedro of Aragon, and his grandson James the Conqueror. Up to this period, its use was chiefly confined, as their exclusive patrimony, to the Juglars and Trouveres, but it now speedily became employed in all the courts of judicature; and, what is remarkable, the last of the noble persons mentioned, with a view to the better commercial government of his country, caused the cumbrous laws respecting maritime trade, at that time written in Latin, to be properly digested into a smaller form, and published in vulgar Catalan, for the benefit of his people. The Catalans then, equally with the Rhodians, at a time when both were considered barbarians alike, may arrogate to themselves the enviable distinction of being the first islanders who reduced within proper limits, and reformed, their Nautical Code. We may not speak of the numerous works in jurisprudence, theology, history, and fiction, which appeared from Catalan writers up to the middle of the sixteenth century. But at this period the attention is again arrested, by observing a scion of the crown asserting its dignity; for about this time the ill-fated Charles, Infant of Navarre, trans.


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lated the Ethics of Aristotle,' and composed a chronicle of his country—a labour imitated in the latter respect by the Infant Ferdinand, Archbishop of Saragossa. And thus, if our space allowed us, it would be pardonable to linger over the plaintive stanzas of his attached friend Ausias March, and gradually bring down this rapid outline of the Catalan language to the moment when the Princes of Aragon mounted the throne of Castilewhen royal favour was withdrawn, and the beautiful valleys of Catalonia became deserted for the barren plains surrounding the new seat of royalty.

Several causes of a political nature conspired to weaken its influence; amongst the chief may be enumerated the treaty of the Pyrenees, that put an end to the divisions previously existing betwixt the Courts of France and Spain—a compact by which Catalonia was restored to Charles II.; and the resistance offered by the Valencians to his successor Phillip V., which occasioned him both to abolish their privileges and to suppress the free constitution of Aragon. These causes all contributed to lower the importance of the national tongue, and to supplant its use by the Castilian. Its fall was not less rapid from henceforward in Roussillon. Until the signing of the celebrated treaty just mentioned, which was the fruitful origin of so many subsequent wars, French was nearly unknown to the inhabitants of Perpignan; for Louis XIV., when he first ascended the throne, with a more prudent deference than he afterwards showed towards the feelings of this remote branch of his people, treated their ancient laws and privileges with the utmost respect. In all ordinances, letters, and rescripts, the Catalan language was solely used; so that, when his government was desirous of organizing the Court of Sovereign Council, it was obliged to confide the important functions of Procurator-General to a village notary—simply because he was the only person sufficiently skilful to speak and write French. The powerful houses of De Noailles and De Mailly at last undesignedly accomplished, by the peaceful influence of education, that corruption of the Catalan language, which, at a later period of his reign, the French monarch endeavoured vainly to accelerate by royal injunctions. When, in 1700, he ordered that the public documents, judgments, and proceedings, should appear in French, instead of the vulgar Roussillonais, the mandate had not probably half the influence in hastening the change, as the public instruction given in the schools and colleges founded through the munificence of these two houses. There still existed, however, up to the time of the French Revolution, a marked difference, both in the manners and in the language of the two nations. The presence of an army of occupation first actually familiarized the people with the language of the capital, and from that period to the present it has been more universally spreading. 'French is now the public medium of communication with strangers ; Catalan, adulterated with Spanish and Languedocien, is, however, entirely used in private life. If the traveller searches for the language in its ancient purity, he must, as in Wales, visit the churches, and listen to the discourses of the clergy: in these, throughout either country, they may be said to be retained, if any where, in correctness; or else he must bury himself in those secluded valleys where they have taken their last refuge. It may be predicted, too, that henceforward the study of Catalan will be invested with fresh importance. We allude, for our proof, to the total destruction by fire, during the recent bombardment of Barcelona, of all its varied and extensive archives. Nearly eighteen thousand acts and charters, written on papyrus, vellum, and paper, from the middle of the ninth century-Papal bulls from the Pontificate of Benedict IX. (1024) to that of Clement XI. (1709 ;) registers from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century; all the state papers, treaties, alliances, and official proceedings—have perished by the calamity. How will the future historian endeavour to supply their loss? In the dark path of his labour he will gratefully light his lamp at the dying embers which the philologist alone can rekindle from their ashes. This language—so graceful in the compositions of its poets—so lively in the sagadillas of the muleteers—so cheerful in the trobas of the countrymen-so tender in the romances of Tirante, Le Blanch, and Parthenope de Blois —so animating in reciting the deeds of chivalry in its chronicles, and so grave and impressive in the lips of its Priests—though exiled from the beautiful spots where it was first cradled, cannot, however, be said to have entirely perished; as it is still spoken, as well as written, in the Balearic Islands and some parts of Sardinia and Catalonia; and its natural beauties, aided by sea-girt protection, will, it is hoped, conspire to prolong its existence with undiminished richness for many succeeding centuries.

Hitherto we have been entirely silent respecting the provincialisms of our own country; yet it cannot be supposed we are therefore insensible to the peculiarly strong claims they make upon the attention. Like those of Italy and France, they are not able, it is true, to point to a series of writers, whose labours have been directed towards perpetuating, by original compositions, the colloquial language of the lower classes; since the dialectical literature of England, so to speak, consists exclusively of Glossaries. At the first glance, these may seem to be nothing more than dry catalogues of inharmonious and degraded words ; but they are in

reality something much higher; and they must be regarded as invaluable records of the national language by them opportunely rescued from passing into utter oblivion-as venerable marks of the people's origin, of their feelings, and progressive intellectual advancement. Increasing facilities of education are rapidly exterminating these precious marks of lingual antiquity, or reducing them within the most narrow circulation; so that hereafter these little local word-books will be turned to with grateful curiosity, for the sake of ascertaining the sense of phrases that seem to provoke criticism, and defy the rules of etymology. Whilst, however, we have stated that the dialects of England are only permanently fixed in its Glossaries, it must not be inferred that all traces of them are exclusively confined there ; since the whole range of early English literature both exhibits numerous examples of a certain degree of provinciality, and abounds in archaic or other expressions, comprehensible only in their fullest meaning to the vulgar. In turn, they mutually illustrate and are illustrated by each other; and thus the same language under which the bitter satire of Piers Ploughman's • Vision' is conveyed, may still be partially heard, at the present day, issuing from the lips of Salopian labourers; and the classical phrases of the Bishop of Dunkeld's translation of the Æneid, observed spoken with purity on the banks of the Wharf. The same, in like manner, may be asserted of other districts, where the language of Wiclif, and Brunne, and Chaucer; of Latimer and Spenser; of the old dramatists, poets, historians, and divines-is constantly receiving new elucidation; and some fresh explanation or other is afforded of what has grown obsolete or obscure. Facts of this nature must sufficiently demonstrate, that these apparently trivial and unserviceable compilations are daily acquiring more value; and we should but offer indignity to the reader, if we attempted to enter further into the question of their utility. It would rather become us to express a hope, that those southern counties hitherto without their Glossaries, may erelong add their indigenous share to the stock already accumulated; and thus furnish the means of forming a general Dictionary of the provincialisms of Great Britain—a work which can only be aided and perfected by the vigilance of those whose local position qualifies them for the task. Until this is accomplished, we shall in vain look forward to the proper execution of another work of a more laborious and confessedly useful character-an Archaic Dictionary of the English Language. If the newly organized Philological Society direct its attention to such an undertakingand it can only be rendered complete by united industry—they will, by consolidating the riches of the English language, erect a monument deserving the gratitude of their countrymen. But if, on the contrary, their scope only aims at retraversing the soil so often trodden by scholars, from the time of Isidore of Seville to that of Isaac Vossius, it may be augured that their classical lucubrations will be appreciated merely by a limited number of academic readers; whilst the world at large will coldly behold researches so trite, and comparatively so devoid of interest.

What, however, are the materials already amassed for an undertaking of this gigantic description? The exact amount of private collections cannot be fully known; though we have a tolerable idea as to what it may be-being aware of the existence of several compilations for such a purpose. Discarding these, however, from the question, we will institute an enquiry into the number of provincial words that have hitherto been arrested by local Glossaries, and we find them to stand as follows:Shropshire,

1993 Devonshire and Cornwall, 878 Devonshire (North)

1146 Exmoor,

370 Herefordshire,

822 Lancashire,

1932 Suffolk,

2400 Norfolk,

2500 Somersetshire,

1204 Sussex,

371 Essex,

589 Wiltshire,

592 Hallamshire,

1568 Craven,

6169 North County, , 3750 Cheshire,

903 Grose and Pegge,

3500—(set down as metropolitan.)

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30,687 Admitting that several of the foregoing are synonymous, superfluous, or common to each county, there are nevertheless many

of them which, although alike orthographically, are vastly dissimilar in signification. Making these allowances, they amount to a little more than twenty thousand; or, according to the number of English counties hitherto illustrated, at the average ratio of 1478 to a county Calculating the twenty-six unpublished in the same ratio, they will furnish 38,428 additional provincialisms—forming in the aggregate fifty-nine thousand words in the colloquial

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