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manız, and as a substantive, from meniu, mæ nizeo, menigo, &c. &c.; for in that language the word is found written not less than twenty different ways. It is the same as the Latin manus : Horace uses manus poetarum; and Quintilian of oratorum ingens manus. It does not appear that the Saxons used many for a family or household.
Sc. 4. p. 121.
FOOL. Cry to it nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels.
The difficulties that have attended all inquiries concerning this term, have been not a little augmented by an expectation of finding an uniformity which it does not possess, and by not reflecting that it is in reality susceptible of very different explanations.
There is hardly a doubt that it originates in an Utopian region of indolence and luxury, formerly denominated the country of cocaigne*, which,
* This country has been humorously described by an old French fablier, from whose work an extract may be found in Mons. Legrand's entertaining collection of Fabliaux, tom. i. p. 251; and which verifies Mr. Tyrwhitt's conjecture, that the old English poem first published by Hickes, G. A. Sax. p. 231, was a translation from the French. See Cant. tales, vol. iv. p. 254.
as some have thought, was intimately connected with the art of cookery; whilst others, with equal plausibility, relate that the little pellets of woad, a commodity in which Languedoc was remarkably fertile, being called by the above name, the province itself acquired the appellation of the kingdom of cocaigne or of plenty, where the inhabitants lived in the utmost happiness, and exempt from every sort of care and anxiety. Hence the name came to be applied to any rich country. Boileau calls Paris un pays de cocagne. The French have likewise some theatrical pieces under this title. The Italians have many allusions to it; and there is said to be a small district between Rome and Loretto so called from its cheapness and fertility. With us the lines cited by Camden in his Britannia, vol. i. col. 451,
"Were I in my castle of Bungey
Upon the river of Waveney
I would ne care for the king of Cockeney,"
whencesoever they come, indicate that London was formerly known by this satirical name; and hence a Londoner came to be called a cockney. The French have an equivalent word, coqueliner, to pamper, cherish, or dandle, whence our cocker. From the above circumstances it is probable that a cockney became at length a term of con
tempt; one of the earliest proofs of which is Chaucer's use of it in the Reve's tale, v. 4206: "I shall be halden a daffe or a cohenay." In the Promptuarium parvulorum, 1516, 4to, it is explained to be a term of derision. In Shakspeare's time it signified a child tenderly brought up, a dearling, a wanton. See Barret's Alvearie; and a little before it had been used in a bad sense, from an obvious corruption. See Hulæt's Abcedarium, 1552, folio. In this place too Mr. Steevens's quotations from Meres and Deckar might be introduced.
The next sense in which cockney was used seems to be conveyed in the line cited by Mr. Tyrwhitt from Pierce Plowman's Visions:
" And yet I say by my soule I have no salt bacon,
as well as in those from the tournament of Tottenham;
"At that feast were they served in rich array,
Every five and five had a cokeney:"
where in both instances, with deference to the respectable authorities of Dr. Percy and Mr. Tyrwhitt, it signifies a little cock. In the latter quotation it might mean a peacock, a favourite dish among our ancestors; and this conjecture is
countenanced by the words served in rich array. This mode of forming a diminutive with respect to animals is not unfrequent. Thus in the Canterbury tales, 1. 3267: "She was a primerole, a piggesnie." And here again some apology may be necessary for differing from Mr. Tyrwhitt, who supposes that Chaucer meant no more than ocellus, the eyes of that animal being remarkably small, and the Romans using oculus as a term of endearment." But the objection to this ingenious explanation is, that nie cannot well be put for eye; that in this case the word would have been pigseye, and that it is rather formed from the A, S, piza, a girl. See Lye's Saxon dict. Similar words were afterwards constructed, but without due regard to the above etymology. For example, "Prythee sweet birdsnye, be content.' Davenport's City night cap, Act iii. Sc. 1."Jella, why frownst thou? say sweet biddiesnie?" Davies's Scourge of folly." Ay birdsneys, she's a quean." Shadwell's Virtuoso, Act iii.-And in Congreve's Old bachelor, Fondlewife calls his mate cockey.
It is observable that in all the above instances these appellations are only used to females. It is not improbable therefore, that, in an abstract sense, cockney might sometimes be used in speak,
ing to male children as a term of endearment; and it may be necessary to make this remark here, for the purpose of anticipating any suggestion that it is connected with the present subject.
It remains only to notice the cockneys or sugar pellets which Mr. Steevens's old lady remembered to have eaten in her childhood. The French formerly used a kind of perfumed pastry made of the powdered Iris flower, sugar, musk, and rosewater; these were called pastilles; and from the similitude of the word to pastel, or the Languedoc woad mentioned at the beginning of this note as the produce of the pays de cocagne, it is not improbable that some latent affinity may exist. The animal involved in the English term might indeed be thought sufficient to indicate the form. Had the old lady, happily for us, described the shape of these comfits, and which motives of delicacy might have prevented, we could possibly have traced them from our Gallic neighbours in another descent of a very singular nature. The following extract from Legrand's Vie privée des Francois, tom. ii. p. 268, will explain this: "Croira-t-on qu'il a existé en France un tems ou l'on a donné aux menues pâtisseries de table les formes les plus obscenes, et les noms les plus infames? Croira-t-on que cet incroyable excés de