« السابقةمتابعة »
which is evidently not of Roman origin, but derived from the Teutonic drille or trille, is applied to a particular succession of musical notes, and therefore affords another instance of the transfer of the word in question to the sense of hearing. From trillo, have been borrowed the French trille, and the English trill, for which musical term we are doubtless indebted to the Italian, although we have the word whence it came into that language.
Adelung says that drillen is the frequentative of drehen, to turn, for drehelen. Nevertheless, he compares it, among other corresponding forms in Teutonic languages, with the Anglo-Saxon thyrliam, which is evidently derived from thyrl, a hole or opening. This word thyrel, or thyrl, as Adelung himself elsewhere remarks, (in thiir), is, however, formed from thyr, by the addition of the suffix el; and thyr is allied to the Anglo-Saxon dur, the old high German tur, the Greek 6ipa, and the Latin turo, which verb is discernible in the compounds obturo, to shut, and returo, to open39. The same radical form may likewise be discerned in durh AngloSaxon, and durck German; from the latter of which is derived the adjective durchel, pierced, which occurs in the Nibelwngen Lied. According to this explanation, the sense of turning, which sometimes belongs to drillen, drill, and tirl, would be accounted for by the rotatory movement of a drill in piercing a hole40: and it is not impossible that to twirl may be a word belonging to the same class: it seems, however, preferable to refer the various forms of the verb, thirl, to the primary sense of piercing, immediately flowing from the root tur, which occurs under so many forms in the languages of the Helleno-Teutonic family.
The Teutonic languages have other words which may be referred to this radical form: thus, thorn Anglo-Saxon and English, dorn German, has the sense of piercing: throta Anglo-Saxon, throat English, (whence throttle English, and thropiU or thrapple Scotch,) properly signify the gullet or windpipe, a perforated tube. The French trou likewise appears to be a word of this class: Caseneuve (in Menage, Etym. Fr. in v.) derives it from traugus, a low Latin form, stating that traug was still current in Languedoc. The modern Provencal form is traou; traucar however occurs as a verb in the Troubadour poetry. Nevertheless, as the forms tral and traul occur in old French, (Roquefort in v.) it seems to me most probable that tral is the original form derived from the German drille or dralle, which became first traou, (as in modern Provencal,) and then trou; and that the c or g is a formative letter, and does not belong to the root. The Italian torlo or tuorh, the yolk of an egg; the Low Latin trullus, a round building, with an arched ceiling or roof, and torus, a round hill, (Ducange in vv.), probably belong to the same root; the notion of roundness being easily derived from that of drilling or turning.
39 The Italian has the verb turare, to shut; but whether retained from the ancient uncompounded form, or corrupted from obturare, seems uncertain.
40 To troll means to turn or roll; see Richardson in v. To troll the bowl, was
to pass the vessel about in drinking: an old catch begins :—
Trole, trole the bowl to me,
And I will trole the same again to thee.
Dodsley's Old Plays, Vol. n. p. 21. 2nd edit.
The Scotch has the substantive thryll or thirl, the verb to thryll, or to thirl, and the derived substantives thrillage, or thirlage, and thirldom, corresponding to the English thrall, to enthrall, and thraldom. These words having in Scotch originally signified slavery, in process of time came to mean the obligation imposed on the occupants of certain lands to grind their corn at a particular mill41. Percy has suggested that the words in question have their origin in the custom of boring the ears of slaves, mentioned in Exodus xxi. 6. (comp. Grimm D. Rechtsalt. 339). It appears to me, however, that these must be referred to a very different source. The Anglo-Saxon ihreal or thrall, a slave, is evidently derived from threa, poena, afflictio: whence the English throe, and the Scotch thraw. Threat is stated by Lye to mean not only servus, but also disciplina, correctio, shewing plainly the connexion with threa. It cannot, I fear, be doubted that pain and affliction were far more invariable concomitants, and more remarkable characteristics of the state of bondage in the Saxon times, than any practice of boring the ears, even if such a custom could be proved to have been formerly prevalent in England and Scotland. Grimm, in his Rechtsalterthumer, p. 303, speaking of thrall, which also occurs in the Scandinavian dialects, says only, that its origin is obscure, and he com
124 ON THE MEANING, &c. OF THE VERB TO TIRL.
pares TpaAX«s, Thracian mercenaries and slaves, but without shewing: that the resemblance of form is not a mere accident.
The Greek language has an extensive class of words allied to the same root as Svpa, which have the sense of piercing and also drilling: from ropea are formed, by contraction and derivation, rpia, Tpaiva, yOdySSy, ijr. 198,) Tfpcrpov, TepTjSaiv, ropos, ropeva,
and ropvos. From rp&a are formed Tpvnaa> and rpimavov, whence the Low Latin trepannw; in Italian, trapano; in Spanish, trepamo. It should be observed, that rpia acquired the sense of wearying and vexing, like the English bore, and the German trillen: it bears this sense in the compound adjectives, Tpvo-ifttos, used by Aristophanes, Nub. 420, Kuster., and rpvaravdp, used by Sophocles, Phil. 208, Brunck. "at/wtos likewise signified unwearied; and rpvtTK, vivos, irovos, occurs in Hesychius in v. From this coincidence of significations, it might seem that the Greek rtipa, the Latin durus, the Anglo-Saxon teorian (to tire), and ihrea, have an affinity to the same root. But this affinity, even if it should be thought to exist, does not affect the question of the etymology of threal, a slave, which has evidently no direct connexion with the sense of piercing or perforating.
G. C. Lewis.
The number of the Westminster Review for last May, (No. 77) contains an article on Grecian Legends and Early History, which is understood to have been written by Mr. Grote. The writer is induced, by the appearance of the little collection of Greek heroic legends, prepared by Niebuhr for his son Marcus, to expound at length the chief characteristics of the mythology, as opposed to the history of Greece, and to state the marks by which the mythical may be distinguished from the historical period.
He begins by shewing that the my thus is essentially fictitious; that it differs in its essence not only from accurate and well-ascertained, but also from inaccurate and ill-ascertained history. It' can be traced to no determinate and authentic origin; it flies through the mouths of men, and gains strength and credit by diffusion; but if you ask after its source, you must be told, in Homeric language, that "it has been suggested by some god, or the airy-tongued Ossa, the bearer of encouragement and intelligence from omniloquent Zeus."
Mr. Grote proceeds to explain the difference between a period when the habit of ascertaining positive matter of fact by collecting and examining evidence has been formed, and a period when, not only the recording of facts by writing is unknown or unpractised, but no desire of obtaining authentic memorials of the past or present exists. But although a community in the latter state has no knowledge of its history, it has feelings, both fervent and universal, with respect to the past. These feelings are connected with its religion, with its belief as to the divine and heroic beings who sway its actual destinies. Such being the state of mind of the early Greeks, nothing was needed for the creation of a body of legends, in a form which was likely to give them permanency, but the appearance of some men richly endowed with the poetical faculty. To the existence of the wonderful genius of Homer at the time when he arose, and of the epic poets who were able to imitate his style, as well as to the extraordinary beauty, copiousness, and flexibility of the language in which they composed, we mainly owe the formation and preservation of the body of narratives which constitute the Greek mythology. The feelings with which the Homeric poems were regarded by the contemporary Greeks are well described in the following pas
"Transporting ourselves back to this early period, near to the time when the Iliad and Odyssey seem to have been first promulgated, there is every reason to presume that these poems were listened to as something much greater and more sacred than poems in the modern sense of the word. They were accepted as inspired legends, describing events which had really taken place in a distant past; and they were believed quite as literally as the history of Herodotus 400 years afterwards, when he recited it at the Olympic games. To a modern reader this idea may seem extravagant; much as he may admire these productions as poems, as real histories they will appear to him absurd: the line between fact and fiction is clearly drawn in his mind, and the inspiration of the poet has long ceased to be anything beyond an unmeaning phrase. But with the early hearers of the Iliad, both the point of view, and the preliminary state of mind, were essentially different. What was there to induce them to treat descriptions conveyed to them in the most vivid narrative poetry ever poured into human ears, as a pure invention? or to draw the distinction between a basis of truth and a superstructure of poetical ornament? one or other of these they must do, if we reject the supposition of entire faith in what they heard; both of them are at variance as well with the capacities as with the inclinations of an age neither able nor willing to discriminate between authenticated truth and plausible fiction. Inspiration from the Gods or from the Muse, coming upon the poet so as to reveal to him either the past or the future, is with them a belief both sincere and familiar; the course of nature, as they conceive it, is something not positive and regular, but subject to perpetual jerks and breaks, and modified incessantly by the special intervention of a god or a hero. And those portions of the Iliad which, to our view, divest it so much of the semblance of matter of fact—the repetition of superhuman agency and miracles—these phenomena were not only thoroughly consonant to their general belief as to the past, but were by far the most impressive and predominant of the whole, sinking deeper into the mind, and raising emotions more powerful, than the rest: insomuch that the subtraction of such phenomena, far from procuring for the narrative a more unhesitating assent, would have rendered it at once less plausible to their reason, and less affecting to their feelings."
It is then shewn, that although these were the feelings with which the early epic poems, and the narratives which they contained, were regarded by contemporary audiences, a great change in the belief of the Greeks with respect to their mythology took place in the 300 years which intervened between the first Olympiad and the century of Hecataeus, Herodotus, and Thucydides. In the first place, the multiplication and modification of the legends, from various causes, and the subsequent attempts to collect and arrange them in prose works, brought their irreconcilable discrepancies and inconsistencies to light, and weakened the old undoubting faith in