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lifluous sound, they carried off, exulting in their own discerning ears, the happier named, but less beautiful princess.
There are names indeed which are painful to the feelings, from the associations of our passions. , I have seen the christian name of a gentleman, the victim to the caprice of his godfather, who is called Blast us Godly,—which, were he designed for a bishop, must irritate religious feelings. I am not surprised that one of the Spanish monarchs refused to employ a sound Catholic for his secretary, because his name (Martin Lutero) had an affinity to the name of the reformer. Mr. Rose has recently informed us that an architect called Malacarne, who, I believe, had nothing against him but his name, was lately deprived of his place as principal architect by the Austrian government. Let us hope not for his unlucky name! though that government, according to Mr. Rose, acts on capricious principles! The fondness which some have felt to perpetuate their names, when their race has fallen extinct, is well known; and a fortune has then been bestowed for a change of name; but the affection for names has gone even further. A similitude of names, Camden observes, “ dothe kindle sparkes of love and liking among meere strangers.” I have observed the great pleasure of persons with uncommon names, meeting with another of the same name; an instant relationship appears to take
place, and frequently fortunes have been bequeathed for namesakes. An ornamental manufacturer who bears a name which he supposes to be very uncommon, having executed an order of a gentleman of the same name, refused to send bis bill, never having met with the like, preferring the honour of serving him for namesake.
Among the Greeks and the Romans, beautiful and significant names were studied. The sublime Plato himself has noticed the present topic, -his visionary ear was sensible to the delicacy of a name, and his exalted fancy was delighted with beautiful names, as well as every other species of beauty. In his Cratyllus he is solicitous that persons should have happy, harmonious, and attractive names. According to Aulus Gellius, the Athenians enacted by a public decree, that no slave should ever bear the consecrated names of their two youthful patriots, Harmodius and Aristogiton; names which had been devoted to the liberties of their country, they considered would be contaminated by servitude. The ancient Romans decreed that the surnames of infamous patricians should not be borne by any other patrician of that family, that their very names might be degraded and expire with them. Eutropius gives a pleasing proof of national friendships being cemented by a name; by a treaty of peace between the Romans and the Sabines, they agreed to melt the two nations
into one mass, that they should bear their names conjointly; the Roman should add his to the Sabine, and the Sabine take a Roman name.
The ancients named both persons and things from some event or other circumstance, connected with the object they were to name. Chance, fancy, superstition, fondness, and piety have invented names.
It was a common and whimsical custom among the ancients (observes Larcher) to give as nicknames, the letters of the alphabet. Thus a lame girl was called Lambda, on account of the resemblance which her lameness made her bear to the letter , or lumbda! Æsop was called Theta by his master, from his superior acuteness. Another was called Beta, from his love of beet. It was thus Scarron, with infinite good temper, alluded to his zig-zag body, by comparing himself to the letters sor z.
The learned Calmet also notices among the Hebrew, nick-names, and names of raillery taken from defects of body, or mind, &c. One is called Nabal or fool; another Hamor the Ass; Hagab the Grasshopper. &c. Women had frequently the names of animals; as Deborah the Bee; Rachel the Sheep. Others from their nature or other qualifications; as Tamar the Palm-trees; Hadassa the Myrtle; Sarah the Princess; Hannah the Gracious. The Indians of North America employ sublime and picturesque names; such are the great Eagle—the Partridge-Dawn of the Day!-Great swift arrow!—Path-opener! --Sun-bright!
THE JEWS OF YORK.
Among the most interesting passages of history are those in which we contemplate an oppressed, yet sublime spirit, agitated by the conflict of two terrific passions : implacable hatred attempting a resolute vengeance, while that vengeance, though impotent, with dignified and silent horror, sinks into the last expression of despair. In a degenerate nation, we may, on such rare occasions, discover among them a spirit superior to its companions and its fortune.
In the ancient and modern history of the Jews, we may find two kindred examples. I refer the reader for the more ancient narrative to the second book of the Maccabees, chap. xiv. v. 37. No feeble and unaffecting painting is presented in the simplicity of the original : I proceed to relate the narrative of the Jews. of York.
When Richard I. ascended the throne, the Jews, to conciliate the royal protection, brought their tributes. Many had hastened from remote parts of England, and appearing at Westminster, the court and the mob imagined that they had leagued to bewitch his majesty. . An edict was issued to forbid their presence at the coronation; but several, whose curiosity was greater than their prudence, conceived that they might pass unobserved among
the crowd, and ventured to insinuate themselves into the abbey. Probably their voice and their visage alike betrayed them, for they were soon discovered; they flew diversly in great consternation, while many were dragged out with little remains of life.
A rumour spread rapidly through the city, that in honour of the festival, the Jews were to be massacred. The populace, at once eager of royalty and riot, pillaged and burnt their houses, and murdered the devoted Jews. Benedict, a Jew of York, to save his life, received baptism; and returning to that city, with his friend Jocenus, the most opulent of the Jews, died of his wounds. Jocenus and his servants narrated the late tragic circumstances to their neighbours, but where they hoped to move sympathy, they excited rage. The people at York soon gathered to imitate the people at London; and their first assault was on the house of the late Benedict, which having some strength and magnitude, contained his family and friends, who found their graves in its ruins. The alarmed Jews hastened to Jocenus, who conducted them to the governor of York Castle, and prevailed on him to afford them an asylum for their persons and effects. In the mean while their habitations were levelled, and the owners murdered; ex