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that requires us to go back to Puritan days. Darn, so far as it may be documented, sounds like a Yankee rather than a Puritan form. It gained currency rapidly in the first half of the nineteenth century, and by the second half of the century it is in general dialectal and colloquial use, not only for America but for England and Scotland.
The aphetic adjective tarnal, used to express abhorrence or disparagement and then merely as an intensive, is familiar to American readers from Lowell's Biglow Papers.10 It was used in the late eighteenth century. The Oxford Dictionary cites from 1790, "The snarl-headed curs fell akicking and cursing of me at such a tarnal rate that. . . . I was glad to take to my heels'." Probably tarnal derived its original force as an expression of execration from the phrase 'eternal (etarnal) damnation,' out of which came the form tarnation, a sort of amalgam of tarnal and damnation. The first instance of tarnation noted in the Oxford Dictionary comes, like tarnal, from 1790, 'What the rattle makes you look so tarnation glum',12 and the next from 1801, 'The Americans say, Tarnation seize me or swamp me, if I don't do this or that'.13 Significant also, for our purpose, is the sentence from the New England Magazine (Boston, 1832), 'We have "tarnation" and "darnation" for damnation'.14 By the last half of the century tarnation is in general use, not only in America but in England, Scotland, Ireland. Mrs. Carlyle, for example, writes of 'tarnation folly'.15 Parallels would be lacking for the voicing for phonetic reasons of tarnation (with its r from tarnal) to darnation, but an explanation may be found in contamination. The influence of damnation itself, after tarnation had been formed, would explain darnation, the form with initial d that was eventually to be the more popular form. From darnation it is easy to derive the verb darn and the participial adjective darned.
The earliest citations in the Oxford Dictionary of tarnal and tarnation take us into the eighteenth century. They antedate by some decades the appearance of darn, which is first adduced from Haliburton's Sam Slick, 1837-40; and this may well be taken into account. Nothing very decisive may be learned from the order of their appearance, for all
10 'I darsn't skeer the tarnal thing fer fear he'd run away with it.' 2.1.72. 11 R. Tyler. The Contrast 2.2.39 (1837).
12 Ibid. 5. 1. 88. I am indebted to Professor T. A. Knott for the suggestion that the relation of tarnation and darn be examined.
18 G. Hanger, Life 2. 151.
14 3. 380.
15 Letters, 1857 (1883) 11. 329.
come into view within a half-century. It is clear, however, that in the association of tarnal and damnation may be found another and an adequate explanation of the rn of darn, the sounds viewed as a stumbling block by Dr. Krapp and underlying his advocacy of a derivation from the old adjective dern. It is clear also that we need not go back to Old or Middle English, or to the Elizabethans, or even to the Puritans, if we accept, as explaining our popular expletive, the sequence: tarnal damnation, tarnation, darnation (with its d from damnation), darn, darned. By this route we are brought back to an association from the first of darn and damn. But we proceed from an aphetic adjective and an amalgam-noun expletive, and we move forward the origin of the expression to a period nearer to our own.
NOTES ON FRENCH HISTORICAL SYNTAX
OLIVER M. JOHNSTON
I. Avoir with a Reflexive Pronoun in Old French
Justifying his statement that Jean Renart, the author of Le Lai de l'Ombre, also wrote L'Escoufle and Guillaume de Dole, Bédier says:1 'Voici, à l'appui de notre opinion, une liste de quinze remarques'. One of the fifteen points discussed is as follows: 'Il se sot mout bien avoir.2 Expression qui signifie "savoir bien tenir son rang". Elle reparaît par deux fois dans Guillaume de Dole (v. 570 et v. 2143). Il faut qu'elle soit peu usuelle, puisque l'éditeur de ce roman a voulu corriger l'un des deux passages où il la rencontrait.' The passage referred to in the latter part of the quotation just given is as follows:
Itels rois doit bien tenir terre
(Guillaume de Dole, 469-71, ed. Servois, Paris 1893).
In line 570 of this passage the manuscript reads: Qui si set avoir et conquerre. The editor has changed set to fet, either because he misunderstood the meaning, or because he was not familiar with the use of avoir as a reflexive verb in the sense of se conduire.3
The following examples will suffice to show that this construction occurs much more frequently than has been supposed:
Car bien afferoit à estre entre tels seigneurs qu'il estoit, et mieux s'y avoit sceü avoir que nuls autres. Froissart, Chroniques, 6. 390 (de Lettenhove: Bruxelles, 1870).
Qui si vaillamment se savoit estre et avoir entre tous Seigneurs et toutes dames. (Froissart, op. cit. 6. 326).
1 Le Lai de l'Ombre, p. xi, Paris, 1913.
Le Lai de l'Ombre, v. 71.
Avoir with a reflexive pronoun was also used in the sense of se tenir, se mouvoir: Si convenra sieuvir tout a piet, car il y a tant de vignes que cheval ne s'y poroient avoir. (Froissart, Chroniques 5.406). For examples of se ravoir (= se retirer, se sauver), compare Burguy's Grammaire de la langue d'oil 2.257, Berlin, 1853.
Et sont ensi comme gent sauvage, qui ne se sèvent avoir. (Froissart, op. cit. 10. 336).
Vous m'i verés entre les sages
Bellement avoir et deduire,
(Froissart, Poésies, ed. Scheler 2. 36. 1215.)
Les estoires ensegnent comment on se doit avoir el siecle et en Diu. (La vie Carlemaine, B. N. 2168, fo. 198 c.)
Belle estoit et jolie et bien ce sout avoir. (Le Mariage des Sept Arts et des Sept Vertus, by Jehan le Teinturier, Pub. by P. Paris, in Le Cabinet historique XIII , 108).
Cele ki biele n'est, si sace biel parler el courtoisement et se sace bien avoir. (Li Hystore de Julius Cesar, by Jehan de Tuim, ed. by F. Settegast, Halle, 1881, 169. 28).5 Celes qui pluz estoient beles Et qui miex avoir se savoient. (Der Roman von Escanor von Gerard von Amiens, ed. by H. Michelant, Tubingen, 1886, 23183.)
Vous vous savez mult bien avoir. (Jongleurs et Troveres, publ. by A. Jubinal, Paris, 1835, 154.)
Bel et bien se sorent avoir, Car moult ot en aus de savoir. (Li Roumans de Cleomades, Bruxelles, 1865, 16607.)
Franchois, qui bien s'en seut avoir. (La vie Saint Franchois nach manuscrit francais 19531 der Nat. Biblioth. in Paris.)
Je te vueil monstrer comment tu te dois avoir. (Le Menagier de Paris, Paris, 1846, 1. 222.)
The French dictionary in vol. 7 of Du Cange's Glossarium mediae infimae latinitatis contains two examples of s'avoir in the sense of se comporter.
With reference to the use of the construction under consideration in medieval Latin, Du Cange says: 'Habere se, Gerere se, Gall. se Comporter. Laurentius Bizinius de Origine belli Hussitici ann. 1421. apud Ludewig, tom. 6 Reliq. MSS. p. 171: Tentabant quatenus Pragenses Haberent Se ad defendendum. Bartholomaei Scribae Annal. Genuens. lib. 6 ad ann. 1244. apud Murator. tom. 6 Col. 509: Qui ad defensionem exercitus Mediolanensis et offensionem exercitus domini Friderici Se mirabiliter Habuerunt. Lanfranci Pignoli Annal. Genuens. lib. 7 ad ann. 1266 ibid. Col. 539. Quia vero dictus Admiratus et consiliarii et
For another example of this construction in Froissart, see his Poésies 2. 141. 4764.
* Compare the same text 170.8.
See opus cit., under habere.
comiti ejus male Se Habuerunt, adeo quod praesumptum fuit eos fuisse proditores.'
The examples given above show that the use of avoir as a reflexive verb was well knowa in medieval French and Latin. The fact that this construction occurs both in Le Lai de l'Ombre and in Guillaume de Dole has slight value therefore as an argument supporting the statement that these poems were written by the same author.
II. French Conditional Sentences Introduced by qui
The question of these sentences is raised by Crossland in her treatment of the text of Guibert d'Andrenas, ll. 1086-91, which she prints as follows:"
'Seigneur', fet il, 'veez quel pasturaje!
En ferons nous bruir nostre charnaje,
In explanation of her reading she remarks: "The construction of this passage is not clear in any of the MSS. We have taken the reading of C. D. En ferons nous bruïr(e) nostre charnage in preference to that of A. B. En ferions no bruit et no charnage.' I wish to call especial attention to her adoption of ferons for ferions in 1. 1090, which can not be defended. The correct reading is ferions. Ferons is grammatically impossible, the future never being found in hypothetical sentences of this type. When qui (= whoever, if any one) is followed by the conditional, the conditional is also used in the clause expressing the conclusion. In such cases the condition refers to the future from the point of view of the present. This usage is illustrated in the following passages:
Ki purreit faire que Rollanz i fust morz,
(La Chanson de Roland 596)
Qui me donroit tot le tresor Pepin,
Ne tendroie Narbonne.
(Aimeri de Narbonne 397-8.)
'Guibert d' Andrenas, Chanson de Geste, ed. by Jessie Crossland, London, 1923. * See p. 86.
'This is the reading adopted by J. Melander in his edition (Paris, 1922), l. 1119.