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490
On the Personification of Death.

[Dec. tality. Of these, none are of ancient and of truth, which is too often disdate, and not one sufficiently inter. regarded, but which conscience and esting to be particularly noticed. The reflection will sometimes enforce: extreme length of St. Michael's Church “ Mors ultima linea rerum est," is about 116 feet, and its greatest breadth was the sentiment of the ancient Bard, about 55 feet.

1. 1. 3. and the idea was perfectly correct, and

who could be more capable of formMr. URBAN,

Leicester, Dec. 5. ing it than one who indulged every T is really astonishing that nearly sensual appetite in this world, and hitherto made to personify Death, tious and reserved in his allusions to a should have proceeded on the assump- state, the anticipation of which to him tion, that the “potent Conqueror” 'is could afford no 'pleasure? a skeleton-one of his own victims ! I am quite aware that my ideas on An old acquaintance of mine, (Mr. the subject are liable to criticism; that Bisset of Leamington) once told me, however I invite, for although a lover that when a boy, and residing in his of antiquiry, I never can allow that native country (Scotland), he was ask- predilection to induce the advocacy of ed by a relation what he thought of a practice, which, (as I view it) outDeath ?-and that his answer was, that rages common sense, and (what is of far if Death were what he was represented more consequence) insults the Deity. to be in his book of pictures, young

J. STOCKDALE HARDY. as he then was, if he had his « Golf club," and was attacked by a score of Mr. URBAN, Myddelton-sq. Dec. 14.

SHOW

HOULD you approve of the folsculls to atoms, and break every bone lowing letters, they are at your of their ribs! This anecdote most for- service. Perhaps the publication of cibly struck me, and has led me to my them in the Gentleman's Magazine present communication.

may elicit additional information from The finest ideas on record as to some of your Correspondents, which Death, are those contained in the ad- will throw still more light upon an mirable Burial Service of our National interesting subject. Church-a service principally extract- Yours, &c.

R. Milxe. ed from that fountain of light and truth, the Holy Bible. Now what

Watling-street, are these ideas?" Why, that Death, so

Dear Milne,

Nov. 30. far from being a Skeleton,” is the AS I have too much regard for you “ last enemy to be destroyed,”-one to suffer you to figure before the prewho shall “put all things under his sent generation and posterity as one feet," - one who at the last day, of the long-eared tribe, without a sethrough the Divine Atonement, shall, rious effort on my part to prevent it, I to the righteous, lose his “sting,” and impose on myself the very disagreeable claim no " victory.". Can any repre- penance of writing a long letter, in the sentation therefore be correct which hope it may prove a means of deterring depicts this Hero as a chop-fallen and you from the unphilosophical and fleshless spectre-which depicts him as Quixotic attempt to change the name a shadow, who, the Bible tell us, is of the parish over which you have had to “reign until 'flesh' shall be no the honour to be appointed spiritual more?”

pastor. Why, the hot summer, which, Death rides throughout the world partly through your instrumentality, dispensing happiness and misery, but has caused me so much bodily inconhe rides not a skeleton, but as venience, must surely have totally eraan illustrious conqueror ; - his steed, porated your modicum of common though “pale,” is fiery, and recog- seuse; and the heat which has cracked nizes no distinctions—with one foot the pannels of your doors and cup, on Royalıy, another on Shakspeare, a boards, must certainly have cracked third on Pitt, and a fourth on Byron, your poor brain also. To hear a man, he “ wings his way," while his rider -a full-grown man,-a man who flourishes a sword above his head en- can read and write a man who has trusted to him by Omnipotence, and mixed with cultivated society—a man reads to all who now tarry in this who can talk very rationally about many carthly passige, a lesson of humility matters, – a Scotchınan, - a clergy

as

man

1995.) History of the Church and Priory of Swine.

491 man-in the nineteenth century, — structure. Nay, he would no more speak seriously of changing the name presume to alter such a name, than of a parish! 'Ridiculous! I will ven- he would presume to modernize or ture to say, that the majority of per- repair a Gothic abbey or castelsons who ever occupied their heads lated mansion, which had fallen into with thinking five minutes in their picturesque decay. As the very ruin lives, would consider me as malici. forms the grand charm in the one ously libelling you, if I were to tell case, so does that tinge of obscurity, them you had any such intention. that affinity to the obsolete, which Have you considered what it is you the changes in our changing language propose to effect? Did you ever hear during so long a period must naturally of a private individual changing a impart, in the other. In the former name recognized in legal documents, we discern the characteristic touch, and which had prevailed for near a in the latter we distinguish the pecuthousand years. The most incorri- liar accent, of that exquisite artist, gible visionary never indulged a dream that eloquent moralist, Time ; and more wild. You may just as ration- the Goth who is dissatisfied with ally expect to tame the raging ocean, either, should be sent forthwith to or silence the howling storm. There vegetate in the United States of Ameare but few instances on record of rica, or the settlements of New South even monarchs having accomplished Wales, or some country equally desuch a metamorphosis, and that by stitute of ancient recollections, and the aid of some new incident of lo- of names of longer standing than a cal interest, a population willing and generation or two. Away with such anxious to co-operate, and Acts of a contemptible breed from glorious Parliament and other expensive for- Old England, mine and my family's malities.

Father-land !—they are literally Swine, And this name, towards which you and should go, not to Swine in have conceived so foolish au antipathy, Holderness, but to some congenial and which you would so wantonly stye, where they can munch their annihilate, is not only venerable from tasteless husks, without rexing our its antiquity, but exceedingly honour- more patriotic spirits by defiling and able in its import, as I shall bye and gnawing, the pearls which our probye take the trouble to convince you. genitors have here so plentifully scatHow shameful would success be, were tered for our intellectual benefit where it even possible for you to insure it! ever they may happen to turn. Away I look upon the appellations given to with them: they can well be spared: districts and objects by our remote they belong to that class which forefathers (and what educated Eng- Shakspeare has particularized as havlishman does not?) as something sa- ing no music in their souls. But ered. They uniformly excite my re- surely my friend Milne has no amverence. They at once inform the bition to be in this sense a Swinehead and affeci the heart. They are Herd. Now that the hot weather has so many monuments of the illustrious departed, I confidently expect his personages and transactions of the wonted good sense will return, and olden time. We should treat them chase from his mind the absurd scheme as we would some venerated tomb in which has go unaccountably obtained a sacred edifice. We may be per- a transient lodgment there. mitted occasionally to wipe away the And pray, what inducement can you dust, to bring our optics as near as possibly have for performing this unpossible, and io decipher the inscrip- heard of freak? Why truly, the Vicar of tion as well as our portion of skill Swine is a title which holds out a most and learning will permit. But every tempting lure to any graceless wag, thing beyond this is sacrilege, and who, like myself, may occasionally inI should scarcely regret if the penalty dulge in cracking a joke at a friend's were excommunication. A man of expense. This may be very terrific to good taste (and good taste is much a weak mind, but what mind of ordimore nearly allied to good feeling than nary powers would condescend to most people imagine,) would no more be scared by such a bugbear? Did consent io the extirpation of an an. you ever hear of Cicero quarreling with cient name, than he would lend his name, because it happened not only his hand to demolish an ancient to sound like, but absolutely to mean

Pimple492

History of the Church and Priory of Swire. [Dee. Pimple-nosed? Or Ovid, whose name 1. The situation of the place does in plain English would be Nosy not sanction such a supposition. That (Naso)? Or Strabo, who was couti- the district ever was suitable for feednually accosted as Mr. Squint-Eye? ing herds of swine, even Mr. ThompOr Cato, one of whose names was, son does not seem to intimate. For actually this identical one of Swine such a purpose, as acorns formed the (Porcius)?

principal food of this animal, woody And, supposing for a moment that iracts, abounding with oak, which ridiculé were really a thing to be dread- does not generally thrive so near the ed by a person in your situation, would sea, were usually selected. Now, not you escape “ the world's dread laugh" only is this portion of it in particular by taking the step you propose ? I can in many respects unsuitable, but it assure you that, to use a homely pro- can be shown, that Holderness, from verb, you would leop out of the frying- an earlier period than that of the pun into the fire. Can you noi per. Saxons, was appropriated to a very difceive, that you would be calling the ferent purpose. At the era of the Roattention of the whole country to the man Invasion it was inhabited by the feature of ridicule you are so shocked Parisi, who are supposed to have deat having discovered, and virtually say, rived their name from the two British ing “ Laugh at me”? And depend words Paur Isa, which signify Lou npon it you would be laughed at to Pasture, and are sufficiently descripsome purpose, not only now, but tive of the situation and use of the many a succession of Antiquaries country. They were the herdsmen of would enliven the dryness of their their powerful neighbours the Brilearned details by the standing joke of gantes; cattle, as Cæsar informs us, the clerical metamorphoser, who was constituting the principal wealth of to Ulysses and his Swinish. adventure the Britons, which were kept, he adds, in the Isle of Calypso, precisely what "in open grounds." the Knight of the Woful Countenance 2. Nor is there greater probability was to the genuine Knight-errant of in the conjecture, that “as the Saxon the days of Chivalry. You might as lords in England kept innumerable well pin a paper to your back with an herds of swine in the forests which inscription requesting those who read then covered a great part of the counit not to laugh at you.

lry, the village of Swine might be a But enough of this. I shall now convenient place into which to drive proceed to fulfil my promise of endea- the swine from the woods of Holdervouring to convince you that the name ness, for exainination or sale.” The of your parish is one of which you Saxons generally fixed on British sites have no reason to be ashamed. My for this and other public purposes. respect for you has led me to give the Now, a more inland situation would subject some consideration, and the certainly be far preferable as a home result is, that I can by no means ac- market, which was commonly as cen. quiesce in the etymology assigned to tral as possible: and we have no reaSwine by its respectable topographer son to suppose the animal was then Mr. T

opson, not being able to dis- an article of exportation, even to the cern the slightest ground for it; while neighbouring Trans-Humberine naon the other hand I can see abundant tion of the Coritani, who were equally confirmation of that which he has absorbed in pastoral pursuits with the thought proper to reject. I think you Parisi. Nor were the Saxons more in will allow there is force in the arguments the habit of exporting this species of which I am about to lay before you. stock. Besides, how does it happen

Mr. Thompson says ““ the name is that no other place in the kingdom apundoubtedly of Saxon origin, and is. propriated to the purpose (for I prein fact, the word Swin (porcus) with sume in such a swine-stocked country the addition of the final letter.” The “ this was far from being the only one) sapposition he makes is, that" as the bears a similar appellation ?-and why Saxons of Holderness probably kept should the word 'so often occur in a numerous focks and herds at Swine, particular line-10 use Mr. Thompand in the neighbourhood, this cir- son's words, “ especially in York. cumstance might tend to fix the name shire,” where the Danes were most of the place.”

numerous and powerful? and be so I can point out many reasons why rarely met with elsewhere? and unithis etymology is not at all probable. formly occur in the track of the Da

1825.] History of the Church and Priory of Swine.

493 nish incursions? and very generally Law-hill, How-hill: but I know not where the monarch of that name is of one name in the whole island asknown to have been under very me signed to a spot by the Aborigines from morable circumstances ?

the purpose to which it was devoted, 3. The name itself is far from being which has been translated by their in accordance with Mr. Thompson's Saxon conquerors. There is not the interpretation. Hog, I am inclined to slightest ground for considering Swine think, was a far more ordinary Saxon a translation from the British. appellation for the animal in question 5. “ Some of the Saxons who setthan Swine; at least it occurs very tled at Swine," says Mr. Thompson, frequently in the names of places once "might have emigrated from a place appropriated to the accommodation of of the same name in Germany;" and

swinish multitudes.” I may instance he quotes Verstegan in support of this the Hog-heys, near Manchester; and theory, who informs us that the Saxons Hog-thorpe, and various others iu Lin- "gave names [in England) similar to colnshire. Many more will at once the names of like places in Germany recur to memory. Then again, names from which they came. Thus the derived in part from animals have al- name of Oxford or Oxenford on the ways some other term appended, de- river Thames, he adds, was given af. scriptive of the special nature of the ter the town of the same name in Gerplace, as in those just quoted. Con- many, on the river Oder; and the same sider also, that it was the custom of may be said of Hereford, Swinford, our ancestors, in Latinizing names of Bradford, Mansfield, Swinefield, and places, to render them by existing Ro- many other places.” Verstegan, though inan words, and not to coin new ones a soinewhat venerable, is by no means except in the case of proper names, an unquestionable, authority; and on which were translated by merely add- this point I for one must venture to ing a Latin termination. Thus, Cha- differ from him. It is likely enough worth was De Cadurcis ; Marsh, De that the names of many places in EngMarisco; Pudsey, De Puteaco; Roch, land would coincide with those of De Rupe; Salimersh, De Salso Ma. places similarly situated in Germany: risco, &c. &c. But Swine, in the because the people by whom such Close Catalogue of Vicars, and other names were imposed were in both ancient documents, is written, not De countries the same; the rule by which Suillo, or De Porcis, but De Swynd: settlements were chosen, was the same; more than a presumption, in my the principle on which names were opinion, that the place derives its ti- given, was the same; and the lan. ule from a proper name.

guage in which those names were ex4. As to the Saxons translating pressed, was the same. It could scarcely the old names of places into their own therefore be otherwise. But it doe's language,” the slightest acquaintance not by any means follow, that the with the nomenclature of ihe island Saxons were in the habit of assigning will be sufficient to evince that Mr. certain names to places in their adopted Thompson labours under a grand mis. country, because others bore them in lake. I will venture to affirm they that from which they had emigrated. never did any such thing. In dis- And such coincidences being confined tricts where ihey had completely ex, to places denominated from local aptirpated the Britons, or at a period pearances, is a proof that they were when the British language had be. As to the particular towns mencome obsolete, they indeed called any tioned, far greater Antiquaries than prominent natural object, as a hill, à Verstegan have assigned a widely difwood, a defile, by ihe most signifi- ferent cause for the appellation of Hecant term their own tongue afforded, reford. I happen to know that the which would of course be equivalent name of Bradford occurs very fre. to that imposed by their predecessors, quently, and in very distant simnations, as the peculiarities of such objects and also that there is a chieftain of the would necessarily strike both nations name mentioned in the Saxon Chronia alike: and in some instances, where cle. Oxford and Mansfield are capable the British name was retained, the of a much more plausible derivation,

synonyme has been appended, And if there be a Swinford and a by way of gloss, forming such ple- Swinefield in Germany, it is not imonasms as the later ones of Dun-hill, probable they may origirate, as in

not.

this

Saxon

494

History of the Church and Priory of Swine. [Dec. this country, from a proper vame. All that at Leeds, there is nothing to indiwhich militates against Verstegan's cate in the least its appropriation to rule, and Mr. Thompson's inference swioish purposes, and that it is near, from it. The name of Swine not be- and the direct road to, several acknowing indicative of any local features, is ledged Danish encampments. even less likely than most others to be 2. This very spot is perhaps the borrowed from a place of the sanie most likely in ihe whole İsland to be name then existing in Germany. selected for such a purpose. It is near

Thus far I have principally confined the shore of that part of the country myself to such arguments as were re- most frequently infested by these piraquisite to confute the theories advanced tical adventurers, and where they inost by Mr. Thompson. I shall now, have firmly established themselves, and at ing, I hope, sufficiently cleared the the mouth of that very river where way, apply myself more exclusively to their vessels usually wintered. Nay the establishinent of my own.

more. King Sweyne, according to the I certainly consider Swine, as I testimony of all our historiaos, landed have already hinted, as being the more than once on the banks of the Danish proper name written in va- Humber, when his arms spread such rious authors, Swin, Sweine, Sweyn, devastation through the land which he &c. and as very probably conferred in eventually conquered. Not haring commemoration of the celebrated Mo- other authorities at hand, I give you narch of that name. My reasons are Fox's account of one of these inrasions thesc:

from his ponderous Martyrology: 1. It was customary with that war- “ 1004. Swanus, King of Denmark, relike nation to confer the name of their turns for thirty thousand pounds; but soon most renowned warriors on the scenes after hearing of the increase of his people ja where their valour had been signalized, England, breaks his covenant before made, or their camps or other habitations aud with a great army and navy in most deerected. A multitude of instances fensible wise appointed, landed in Northmight be easily adduced in confirma- umberland, and proclaimed himself to be tion of this assertion. We have, among King of this land, when, after much vexaothers, Knottingley in Yorkshire; Knottion, when he had subdued the people, and Mill at Manchester; and Knutsford in

caused the Earl, with the rulers of the counCheshire ; from Canute; Guthram- try, to swear to him fealty, he passed the ri

ver Trent to Gainsburgh, and to North Watgate, in York, from Guthrun, proba- ling-street, and subduing the people there, bly the same to whom Alfred was forced them to give him pledges, which sponsor: and whence have we Swine- pledges he committed with his navy ento gate in that city, as well as in Bristol, Canutus his son to keep, while he went furLeeds, and other places of remote an- ther into the land, and so with a great host tiquity, but from one or other of the be came to Mercia, killing and slaying." Danish Monarchs or other illustrious Swine seems one of the most suitachieftains who bore the name of ble situations on the coast for such an Sweyn? It would be strange indeed, encampment, as it is natural to supif while each of his countryinen of pose would be formed on such an ocequal note, who headed a successful casion, near the place of landing; invasion of England, was honoured and the traces of fortifications here, with this species of commemoration, and the absence of them elsewhere in the renowned father of Canute should the district on a suitable scale of mago be without it; as he must be, if Swine nitude, are strong corroborative ciris uniformly to be derived from the ig- cumstances. noble root of Suillus. What name of 3. The current tradition to which a place have we that bears a closer re- Mr. Thompson alludes, is not without semblance to his name? I may oh- weight to me. · Popular traditions of serve that many places in Denmark this description are likeshadows, which, and Sweden are named on this princi- however distorted, must invariably prople; as Svanholm in Zealand, and ceed from some substantial cause, how. Sundfiord in Norway, from Sveod and ever distant froin our reach, or concealSvane, which are common Christian ed from our perception. Traditions and surnames in those parts, and syno- originate with the vulgar; and what nymous with Sweyn or Swain. I can could the vulgar of a village approadd, from personal observation, that in priated from time immemorial to the one of the streets abure alluded to, ending or bartering of hogs, know,

about

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