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This -erie seems to have sprung from a combination of the old Latin termination -ia with the r or -er of the Latin, or rather Roman, infinitive verb. Thus tromperie, from fromper, to deceive. The termination -ia being toneless in Latin, disappeared in the elder French words, those which were in the truest sense of the word Romanesque. Thus, as M. Brachet has shewn, the Latin angustia became in French angoisse (anguish); the Latin invidia became in French envie (envy); the Latin grafia became in French and English, grace. In these, which are the earliest progeny of the Latin nouns in -ia, that termination is absorbed into the body of the word, and has not retained a separate existence. But there were words of later growth—words made of barbarian material, but fashioned after the classic pattern —in which this -ia was still propagated. Such were many mediaeval nouns, as the Latin felonia, French felonie, English felony. This -ia is not unfrequently represented in our English terminations in -y, Thus in Burgundia, Burgundy, we retain the Latin termination; but in the French form Bourgogne it is absorbed. In the case of Britannia we have two English forms, the one Britanny, in which the -ía is represented, and the other Britain, after the French Bretagne, in which it is absorbed. This -ia compounded with -er became European in the middle ages. To it we may ascribe the geographical terms AWeustria and Austria. From it the Germans have borrowed their zerei, as Šurišterei, jurisprudence. Poetria was a mediaeval Latin word which we imitated the French in adopting. It has long ago disappeared from French, so that poetry is now distinctively an English word. As early as 1611, Poeterie is given in Cotgrave as “an old word.” Another distinctive word, but of our own stamping, is fairy. This was originally the collective noun from the French fée, as those little folk are still called across the Channel, but we gradually passed from such expressions as land of faerie and queene of faerie, to make fairies the modern substitute for the native title of elves.
Into the groove thus prepared by the French -ERIE, we have received the word psaltery from the Greek -mptov. (Whether these two are of one source originally it belongs not to this place to enquire.)
“For the elements were changed in themselues by a kind of harmonie, like as in a Psaltery notes change the name of the tune, and yet are alwayes sounds.”—Wisedom of Solomon, xix. 18.
Next we will mention the form -son (also -shion and -som), which is after the French from the Latin nouns in -sio, -tionis. The termination -son represents the Latin accusative case. Thus the French raison answers to the Latin rationem. Examples:–advowson (advocationem), arson, benison (benedictionem), comparison (comparationem), fashion (factionem), garrison (Fr. garnison), lesson (lectionem), malison (maledictionem), orison (orationem), poison (potionem), ransom (renditionem), reason, season (sationem), treason (traditionem), venison (venationem). Foison is an interesting word of this class. It is now out of use, but it occurs in Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakspeare. It signified ‘abundance,’ ‘copiousness,' and represented fusionem the accusative of fusio, which was used in a sense something like our modern Latin word ‘profusion.” The modern Italian has the substantive fusióne. It is a very frequent word in Froissart, as grand’soison de gent, a great multitude of people. The following passage, from a fifteenth-century description of the hospitality of a Vavasour, exemplifies the use of this word.
“Sirs,” seide the yonge man, “ye be welcome, and ledde hem in to the middill of the Court, and thei a-light of theire horse, and ther were I-nowe.’ that ledde hem to stable, and yaf hem hey and otes, for the place was well stuffed; and a squyer hem ledde in to a feire halle be the grounde hem for to vn-arme, and the Vavasour and his wif, and his foure sones that he hadde, and his tweyne doughtres dide a-rise, and light vp torches and other lightes ther-ynne, and sette water to the fier, and waisshed theire visages and theire handes, and after hem dried on feire toweiles and white, and than brought eche of hem a mantell, and the Vauasour made cover the tables, and sette on brede and wyne grete foyson, and venyson and salt flessh grete plente; and the knyghtes sat down and ete and dranke as thei that ther-to haue great nede,’ &c.—Merlin, Early English Text Society, p. 517.
-ment. From the Latin mentum, as frumentum, jumentum. This form has figured much more largely in French than it ever has in English. For example, we have not and never had in English the two Latin words now quoted. But the French have both froment and jument. They were most numerous with us during the period when the French influence was most dominant. The following are older than Chaucer: — acupement, adubbement, advancement, afaitment, amendement, apparaylment, amonestement, arnement, asseyment, baselment, cement, chastisement, comandement, compacement, conjurement, coronement, cumberment, deuysement, dilement, element, emparement, enchauntement, emprysonment, eysement, feffement, firmament, foundement, garnement, instrument, juggement, martirement, moment, ornement, oynement, parlement, pavement, payment, piment, prechement, sacrament, savement, sentement, fabelment, tenement, testament, forment, formement, vesselment, vessement, warentment. An explanation of the more obscure of these words may generally be found in the Glossarial Index to the Printed English Literature of the Thirteenth Century, by Herbert Coleridge. Examples from Chaucer and later authors:–commaundement (Faerie Queene, iii. 4.33), condiment, detriment, enchantment (Chaucer), firmament (Spenser), habiliment, instrument (Chaucer), judgment, parliament (parlement in Chaucer), regiment. Illustrations:— hardiment. with stedfast corage and stout hardiment.’ Faerie Queene, iii. 1. 19. dreriment.
1 I-mowe = enough. The word is just so pronounced to this day in Devonshire; not however with the eye-sound of I. This prefix represents the Saxon ge in genob. The odd tendency to make the ge into a capital I is not without its importance. By the fidelity of the Early English Text Society to these little matters, their publications have a greater philological value. For the kind of importance that may attach to this capital I, see the case of “I wis’ above, at p. 248.
“To sorrow huge she turned her former play,
Faerie Queene, iii. 4. 30. In the following quotation, intendiment means ‘knowledge,' from the French entendre, to understand. “Into the woods thenceforth in haste shee went,
To seeke for herbes that mote him remedy;
Faerie Queene, iii. 5. 32. A great and prominent word of the present day is improvement.
“It is true that much was done for the place from outside. Much of what is called sanitary improvement was accomplished and is still effective. But sanitary improvements do not save souls.”—Harry Jones, Life in the World, 1865.
A word which is still more prominent in our times, and which may be called one of the words of the period, is development. This is a modernism with us, and its use cannot be traced back much more than a century, while its celebrity is still more recent. It is a French word, and is of considerable antiquity in that language. The following from Randle Cotgrave (1611) is interesting:—
An apparent but not real member of this group is parch
ment, which is from the Latin pergamena (charta), through the French form parchemin.
sensement (= taste, flavour). “And other Trees there ben also, that beren Wyn of noble sentement.”—— Maundevile, p. 189. firmament, compassement.
“For the partie of the Firmament schewethe in o contree, that schewethe not in another contree. And men may well preven by experience and sotyle compassement of Wytt that . . . . men myghte go be schippe alle aboute the world.’—Maundevile, p. 180.
These forms come down very close to Chaucer's day, and by their extremely foreign aspect, shew us how great a change took place in the fourteenth century. The words in -ment sometimes made their plural just as they still do in French, namely in -mens.
‘To hem that kepen his testament. And myndeful thei ben of his maundemens, to do hem.”—Psalm cii. 18; Hereford's version in the Wyclif Bible.
These words had in many cases superseded a native