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She then asks who it is at her "bower door," and being told, refuses to let him in.

"O gin ye winna open the door,
Nor yet be kind to me,
Now tell me of some outchamber
Where I this night may be."

"Ye canna win in this nicht, Willie,
Nor here ye canna be18," See.

The bower, mentioned in several of the above passages, is the lady's private apartment, and was necessarily secured by a fastening which could only be opened at the pleasure of its inmate. Besides this fastening, however, there appears to have been a latch, sufficient in the day-time to keep the door closed, which, whether it was on the inside or the outside, a person desirous of being admitted could shake or strike, so as to make a rattling noise.

In the ballad of Johnie Scot, the person who tirls is refused admittance, not however by his mistress, but by the porter:

He rode till he rode to Earl Percy's gate,
He tirled at the pin;
"O who is there?" said the proud porter,
"But I daurna let thee in."

It's he rode up and he rode down,

He rode the castle about;
Until he spied a fair ladie,

At a window looking out.

In the ballad of Erlinton19 the lover "chaps at the door," which is obviously an equivalent phrase to "tirling at the door."

She had na been i' that bigly bower,

Na not a night but barely one,
Till there was Willie, her ain true love,

Chapp'd at the door, cryin " Peace within!"

"0 whae is this at my bower door,

That chaps sae late, or kens the gin*0?"

18 Chambers, p. 302. "Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy, p.353. ed. 1833.

80 Gin—the slight or contrivance necessary to open the door: from engine.

"O it is Willie, your ain true love,
I pray you rise and let me in!"

"But in my bower there is a wake,
And at the wake there is a wane";
But I'll come to the greenwood the morn,
Whar blooms the brier, by morning dawn."

Then she's gone to her bed again, &c.
The meaning of gin, as applied to the latch of a door, is
illustrated by a fragment of a song preserved in a MS. Scotch
cantus, of the end of the 17th century:
Sing soft-a sing—sof't-a;
Of our pins
Ye know the gins;
Ye tirled on them full oft-a".

As the passages above quoted prove that to thirl, or to tirl, formerly meant to tap, or to knock, or to make a noise, it now becomes a question how this word acquired the sense which it manifestly bears. Thyrel, or thyrl, in Anglo-Saxon, means an opening or hole; whence is formed the compound word naesthyrl, or nostril, exactly equivalent to the German nasenloch. From thyrl, is derived the Anglo-Saxon verb ihyrlian, to make a hole, to pierce: thus, in the Ode on the Battle of Brunanburh:

Hindan thearle

Mecum mycel scearpum,

that is, "they pierce the hind ones with very sharp swords." Chaucer uses to thirl in the same sense:

Al were they sore yhurt, and namely one,
That with a spere was thirled his brestbone".

His helm tohewin was in twentie places,

That by a tissue hong his back behinde:

His shelde todashed with swerdis and with maces,

In whiche men might many an arowe finde,

That thirled had both home and nerfe and rinde".

J1 Wane—a number of people.
M Chambers' Songs, Vol. I. p. Xl.
"Canterbury Tales, v. 2711.

** Troilus and Creseide, book ii. v. 638-42.

Spencer often uses to thrill (which is the same word as to thirl) for to pierce, both in a literal and a figurative sense". The same application of this word frequently occurs in our older writers. Thus, in the Question by Lord Vaux:

Where Thought hath thrill'd and thrown his spear,
To hurt the heart that harmed him not".

So in Shakspeare:—

A servant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse,
Opposed against the act87.

To thirl or thril, likewise had the sense of perforating, piercing, and wounding, in Scotch. The ancient Roman wall between England and Scotland was called thrilwall, thirlwaU, or thirlitwaU, on account of the number of gaps in it: Fordun, who thus explains the origin of the name, gives as its Latin translation rnurus perfbratusm. From this word has been derived the northern family-name ThirlwaU: Thirlesteme, a Scotch proper name, is a similar compound".

Hence comes the common expression of drilling a hole, and a drill, a carpenter's tool for making a hole: which the Germans have also preserved in their verb driUen, and substantive drillbohrer. ThroU, explained in an old Scotch glossary to mean '* a hole made by drilling or boring," is used by Douglas50. The same is the origin of a drill, in the sense of a groove or channel sunk in wood, {see Adelung, in dralle): in like manner, a drill (whence the expression drill-husbandry) is a wooden cylinder in which grooves are drilled for distributing the seed. From the sense of a channel, was derived the use of drill, to signify a stream or brook: whence is obtained the sense of flowing or trickling, which Chaucer gives to the verb to trill:

And up I arose, and all our convent eke,
With many a tere trilling on our cheke31.

25 See Todd on F. Q. in. ii. 32, and Sonnet 36.

** Ellis's Specimens of Early Poets, Vol. Ii. p. 90. S7 Lear, Act. iv. Sc. 2.

28 Jamieson, in thrilwall; and Scott's

Minstrelsy, Vol. II. p 103.

29 See Marmion, canto i. note 12. Lay of the Last Minstrel, canto iv. note 10.

30 Jamieson, in v.

31 Canterbury Tales, v. 7446.

And whan this abbot had this wonder sein,
His salte teres trilled adown as reyne32.

It occurs in the same sense in Shakspeare:

And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheekM.

The origin of the phrase to drill, as applied to the exercise of soldiers, is explained by Wachter, as follows: "Trillen metaphorice significat vexare, exagitare, ducta similitudine a rebus qua? circumaguntur... Ab hoc significatu habemus trillen, trillmeister campiductor, qui milites exercendo fatigat, leutetriller, exactor, angariator, &c." It may be observed, that in English, to bore has, by a change of meaning exactly analogous, acquired the sense of wearying and annoying: the French scier, to saw, has likewise obtained the same signification by a similar metaphor. The following passage of Lord Byron illustrates this meaning of the verb drill:

I abhorred
Too much to conquer for the poet's sake
The drill'd dull lesson forced down word by word
In my repugnant youth, with pleasure to record
Aught that recals the daily drug which turned
My sickening memory31.

Jamieson gives the following senses of the Scottish verb, to dirle, "v. a. to pierce, to penetrate; v.n. 1. to tingle, to thrill. It denotes the pain felt in consequence of a smart stroke, or of extreme cold. 2. to vibrate, to emit a tingling sound proceeding from a tremulous motion, as 'he struck the table till it aw dirled.'1'" To tirl, he explains by, to thrill, and he afterwards

32 Canterbury Tales, 13603.

33 Lear, Act. iv. sc. 3. This word has a similar sense among the peasants of the Jura, who doubtless derived it from some Teutonic language. "Drille, s. f. Diarrhee. On en a fait un verbe: driller, avoir le de"voiement." Monnier, Vocabulaire tfe la Langue rustique et populaire du Jura, reprinted in Melanges sur les Langues, Dialectes et Patois (Paris,

1831), p. 82. ''■Driller, s'enfuir avec
precipitation, mener une mauvaise con-
duite." "Drille, coureur, vagabond,
ddbaucheV' occur in Roquefort's Glossary
of the Old French Language. The change
of meaning from rapid flight to an irre-
gular life, in which a man outruns his
means, is also perceivable in the word
34 Childe Harold, iv. 75-6.

gives the interpretation of tirling at the pin, which has been before cited.

From these statements, it appears to me that the various meanings of the verb to thirl, to thril, to dirl, to drill, and to tirl, may be arranged thus:

1. To make a hole, to pierce, from ihyrl, a hole. 2. Transferred to the sense of touch, in the same manner as we speak of shooting, of acute, and, in medical language, of lancinating pains. 3. Transferred to the sense of hearing, analogous to the expressions, piercing sound, sharp sound, acute sound, penetrating sound. Thus Crashaw, in his Music's Duel, says of the nightingale:

Her supple breast trills out
Sharp airs.

And in the beautiful verses of Milton:

See there the olive-grove of Academe,

Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird

Trills her thick warbled notes the summer long35.

So Lord Hume says in Kenilworth: "I would, man, thou couldst make the mad lady be still yonder; for her moans do sae dirl through my head, that I would rather keep watch on a snow drift in the wastes of Catlowdie36." 4. When this word had once been applied to a particular kind of sounds, its signification was easily extended to all sounds; and hence, to tirl or to dirl, meant generally to make a noise. This is its sense in the passages of old English and Scotch ballads above quoted. So Dr. Willan37 states, that in the provincial dialect of Yorkshire, "to tirl" means "to make a slight scratching noise;" and Dr. Jamieson explains dirling to be "the sound caused by reiterated strokes on the ground or on a floor," quoting a passage in which it is said, that the brownie keeps the servants awake with "the noisy dirling of its elfin flail38." It is observable, moreover, that the Italian trillo,

35 Par. Reg. iv. 244.

36 Kenilworth, Vol. u. ch. 18.

37 Archasologia, Vol. xvu. p. 161.

38 It is remarkable that in Spanish trillo signifies a flail, and trillar to thresh, whence it has acquired the sense of fre

quenting; as we say, a beaten road. It is possible, however, that trillar may be a frequentive formed from tritum the supine of tero, («. e. tritolar), like venti. lare from ventum, &c.

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