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Dictionnaire Erotique Moderne. Par un Professeur de la
langue Verte. (Alfred Delvau.) Les Formules_du Docteur Grégoire, Dictionnaire du
Figaro. Par A. Decourcelle. Paris : J. Hetzel. No date,
An amusing satirical work, in which many humourous definitions are arranged in the form of a
dictionary. Histoire de la Prostitution, par Léo Taxil. Paris. N.D. Argot and Slang ; a new French and English Dictionary of
the Cant Words, Quaint Expressions, Slang Terms and
This splendid work contains historical notices of the various canting languages, a number of songs both in French and English slang, and a French translation of the Rev. J. W. Horsley's Autobiography of a Thief in Thieves' Language.
M. Barrère gives a long list of the works he has consulted, and in the body of his book brief extracts are given to show the application and contexts of the examples.
Dictionnaire d'Argot, ou la Langue des Voleurs devoilée,
contenant les moyens de se mettre en garde contre
les Ruses des Filous. Paris. 1830 (?) Histoire de. Collet et de plusieurs autres Voleurs anciens
et modernes, suivie d'un Dictionnaire Argot-Français.
Paris, 1849. Macaroneana, ou Mélange de Littérature Macaronique des
différents Peuples de l'Europe. Par Octave Delepierre.
1852. Etudes de Philologie comparée sur l'Argot. Par Francisque
Michel. Paris. 1856. Dictionnaire d'Argot, ou Etudes de Philologie comparée
sur l’Argot. Par Francisque Michel. Paris. 1856. Le Dictionnaire des Précieuses. Par A. B. de Somaize.
Nouvelle edition par Ch. L. Livet. 1856. Récréations Philologiques. Par F. Génin. Paris. 1858. Liber Vagatorum. Der Betler Orden. The Book of Vaga
bonds and Beggars, with a vocabulary of their Language. Now first translated into English, with Notes, by John Camden Hotten. 4to. London. 1859. --For
an account of this work see Hotten's Slang Dictionary. Glossaire Erotique de la Langue Française. Par Louis de
Landes. Bruxelles, 1861. Curiosités de l'Etymologie française. Par Charles Nisard.
Paris, 1863. Vocabulaire des Houilleurs Liégois. Par S. Bormans.
1864. Dictionnaire de la Langue Verte, par Alfred Delvau. Paris
Second edition, 1867. Almanach de la Langue Verte pour l'année 1868, à l'usage
des Bons Zigues. Almanach Chantant. 1869. Dictionnaire Historique, Etymologique, et Anecdotique de
l'Argot Parisien. Par L. Larchey. Paris, 1872.
(There have been several editions of this work). De quelques Parisianismes populaires et autres Locutions.
Par Charles Nisard. Paris, 1876. Dictionnaire Historique d'Argot. Par Lorédan Larchey.
Paris, 1880. Dictionnaire d'Argot Moderne. Par Lucien Rigaud.
Paris, 1881. Dictionnaire de l'Argot des Typographes. Par Eugène
Boutmy. Paris, 1883. Dictionnaire de l'Argot Moderne. Par L. Rigaud. Paris,
1883 Dictionnaire de la Langue Verte, par Delvau et Fustier.
The last and best edition, with a supplement, was
published in Paris in 1883. L'Argot des Nomades en Basse-Bretagne. Par N. Quellien.
Paris, 1885. L'Argot des Nomades de la Basse-Bretagne. Par N. Quellien.
Paris, 1886. La Langue Verte du Troupier. Par Léon Merlin. Paris,
1886. Le Jargon, ou Langage de l'Argot reformé. Epinal. N.D. Paris Voleur. Par Pierre Delcourt. Paris, 1887.
“ Le Jargon
Books on foreign slang are very numerous. Besides those already mentioned the following are well known : “Le Jargon, ou Langage de l'Argot reformé," &c. (à Troyés), par Yves Girardin, 1660; another by Antoine Dubois, 1680 ; "Le Jargon ou Langage de l'Argot reforme, pour l'instruction des bons Grivois,” &c., à Lavergne, chex Mezière, Babillandier du Grand Coëre, 1848 ; de l'Argot,” par Techener (several editions).
Alfred Delvau published his “Dictiunnaire de la Langue Verte, Argots Parisiens comparés," in 1866, and a second edition in 1867. A third “augmentée d'un supplément par G. Fustier' appeared in 1883. The same author published the “Dictionnaire Erotique Moderne" in 1864. Other editions followed in 1874 and :875.
Lorédan Larchey wrote “ Les Excentricités de la Langue Française" in 1860 ; the fourth edition appeared in 1862. In 1872 the title was changed to “ Dictionnaire Historique Etymologique et Anecdotique de l'Argot Parisien. Sixième Edition des Excentricités du Langage mise á la hauteur des Revolutions du Jour." In 1880 the eighth edition was called “Dictionnaire Historique d'Argot" ; and a supplement appeared in 1883.
It has not been attempted here to give more than a brief bibliography of the principal French works treating of Argot in an explanatory, or historical manner.
Those who wish to pursue the subject further, and to study examples, must consult the old poems of Maitre Francois Villon and Molière, and the writings of Rabelais, Beaumarchais, Eugene Sue, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Champfleury, Honoré de Balzac, Pierre de Brantôme, Alphonse Daudet, Emile Gaboriau, Charles Nodier, Jean Richepin, and the classical Memoires de Monsieur Vidocq.
A Letter of RecoMMENDATION PROM CARDINAL RICHELIEU.
Mr. Campoa, Savoyard and Friar, is to be the bearer to you of this letter ; he is one of the most vicious persons that I ever yet knew, and hath earnestly desired me to give him a letter for you of recommendation, which to importunity, I have granted; for I should be sorry you should be mistaken in not knowing him, as very many others have been who
of my best friends, I am desirous to advertise you to take especial notice of him, and to say nothing before him in any sort ; for I may truly assure you, there can't be a more unworthy person in the world, I am sure, that as soon as you have any acquaintance with him, I shall receive thanks for the advice. Civility hindereth me to write any more on the subject.
of the holy order of St. Bennet, some news from me, by means of discreet, wise, and least amongst all I have conversed with to write to you in his favour, and credence in his behalf and my merit (I assure you) rather than bis he deserves greatly your esteem, and backward to oblige him by being I should be concern'd if you were already upon
that account, Hence, and for no other motive, that you are obliged for my sake to pay him all possible respect, that may offend or displease him say, he is a worthy man, and convincing argument of than to be able to injure him. cease being a stranger to his virtue,& you will love him as well as I, and 'The assurance I have of your farther of him to you, or to say
An invention of the like kind is the Jesuits Double-faced Creed, which was published in the history of Popery, 1679, and which, according to the different readings, may suit either Papist or Protestant.
The Jesuits DOUBLE-FACED Creed.
I hold for faith What England's church allows, What Rome's church saith My conscience disavows. Where the king is head The flock can take no shame,
The flock's misled Who hold the pope supreme. Where the altar's drest The worship's scarce divine,
The people's blest Whose table's bread and wine.
He's but an ass Who their communion flies,
Altare cum ornatur Communio fit inanis,
Two Views OF MARRIED LiFe. The first view is attained by reading the verses as they are printed, the second view appears by reading the lines alternately, the first and third, then the second and fourth.
That man must lead a happy life
Who is directed by a wife;
Is sure to suffer for his pains.
Till he beheld a woman's face ;
Adam was in a happy state.
Truth, darling of a heart sincere ;
In woman never did reside,
The worth in woman we behold ?
Are almost imperceptible.
say, Who no regard to women pay; Who make the women their delight
Keep always reason in their sight. A mangled and spoilt version of this very old poem was recently given in The Sporting Times, (September 4, 1889), as original matter.
The following lines were found in the pocket of the Marquis of Tullabardine on his death in July, 1746. Read across, the cause of the Stuart family is advocated, whilst that of the Hanoverians is pleaded if the short lines are read straight down. I LOVE wth all my Heart The Stuart's party Here The Hanoverian part
Most hateful doth appear And for the Settlement I ever have denied My Conscience gives Consent To be on Jemmy's side Most righteous is the Cause To be for such a King To fight for George's Laws Will Britain ruin bring This is my Mind and Heart In this Opinion I Tho'none shod take my part Resolve to live and die.
Religious and Political Parodies.
THOSE parodies which deal with Religious and Political questions are alike in that they are both of great antiquity, and that, no matter how harmless they may be, they are sure to displease a certain proportion of their readers. Thus the parodies that were published by William Hone were both religious and political, and they gave great offence to the supporters of the government of his day, yet any history of English parody that should omit the parodies which gave rise to his three trials would be ridiculously incomplete. It is difficult to adequately treat of the topic without appearing to ridicule that which to many appears too solemn for burlesque.
But in the following pages a broad distinction has been drawn, those Parodies only have been admitted which, whilst imitating the form or language of portions of the liturgy, have no tendency to ridicule religion in itself, nor to burlesque any of its dogmas. It should be remembered that much of the phraseology we associate with the Liturgy is simply old fashioned English, such as was in common use at the time the Scriptures were translated into English, and when the services of the Church of England were first compiled. There can therefore be nothing impious in applying similar language to other subjects, and many eminent churchmen have used the liturgical forms of expression in answering and ridiculing the arguments of their opponents.
There would be little difficulty in showing that in the mat. ter of Parodies no one creed has been less considerate of their neighbours religious opinions than the Protestants, and that, from the days of Luther, the Reformers have left no weapon unemployed which could, in their opinion, do injury to the older form of Catholicism.
When that pattern of filial devotion, Mary the Second, came over with her husband to dispossess her father of his kingilom, we read that he who, with all his faults, had been a kind father, exclaimed “Heaven help me, since even my own children desert me!” It was in the name of holy Religion that James the Second was banished from this country, and his enemies, to show how truly christianlike they were, addressed the following poem to his daughter. In this, not content with burlesquing one of the most beautiful portions of the Catholic Church service, they compare this Mary, descended from the Stuarts, with the Virgin Mary.
QUEEN OF ENGLAND.
Hail Mary! 'twas of old the Voice of Heaven ;
Advance yet higher, and pursue the Hind ;
Blessed art thou amongst all Womankind : Since thou com'st cloath'd with Innocence and Peace, And brings't the Charms, to make our Tempests cease : Since by thy virtues we shall now Retreive Our gaspirg Laws, and gain them a Reprieve. Thy William's maintain'd Ray will restore, England the lustre it enjoy'd before ; Our shatter'd Liberties and Laws maintain, And calmly anchor Church and State again. But oh ! We grieve, that yet, we can't apply, The last Division of that Rosary. We Wish, we Hope, we Pray, and will Pray on, Till we have gain'd Heaven's Favour in a Son :
That then we may the whole Salute repeat,
And make our Joys, as well as that Compleat. Ye Miter'd Heads assist, call to Assize Your strongest zeals, and with them storm the Skies; We know, that fervent Prayer did never fail, And let Rome know such Hereticks can prevail, And with a Holy Violence pluck down, A real Issue to support the Crown, Whilst their addresses to Loretto made, Did only gain a Son in Masquerade.
Thus we, to our Great Mary, pay our Hails, With Hearts as full, and swelling as her Sails ; Thanks Winds, and Seas, and Ships, that wafted y'er, OUR BLESSED LADY to the British Shore. But above all, thanks be to Heaven alone, That led Her from a State, unto a Throne; Where She will hold (guided by th' Hand of God.) The Dovelike Sceptre not an Iron Rod : So our late model, she may them Reform ; And with true English interest perform, What James first promis'd; and advance our Glory, Beyond the Limits of Ancestral Story ;
For what can't England do, would she awake,
Give Laws to Europe, and make Empires shake.
Then visit Monsieur with United Powers,
Thus may'st thou Conquer, and Amen all say,
And make thy entry, our Great Lady-Day.
An even earlier Parody, having a religious motive, may be found in “ The Temple. Sacred Poems by Mr. George HerFirst printed at Cambridge in 1633, it is entitled
And I alone,
Which cannot be,
And I depend on thee;
Of thy abode,
But leave me to my load :
Doth me invade !
No stormie night
As thy eclipsed light.
Mr. Hone, in his defence, contended that the parodies were harmless in themselves, were not intended to ridicule religion or the scriptures, and were written for purely political motives. He further contended, and indeed, proved by extracts, that parodies of a far more objectionable character than his were daily published without let or hindrance, provided that they were in favour of the Govern. ment, or written to abuse its opponents.
Directly after the trials Hone published a full account of them, with his defences, and a quantity of entertaining reading on the subject of religious and political parodies. This book had an enormous sale, it has also been recently reprinted by the Freethought Publishing Company, so that copies of it can readily be obtained.
It will therefore suffice to give only the parodies them. selves here, without the evidence and speeches of the trials.
JOHN Wilkes's CATECHISM. The late John Wilkes's Catechism of a Ministerial Member ; taken from an Original Manuscript in Mr. Wilkes's Handwriting, never before printed, and adapted to the Present Occasion. With permission.
London : Printed for one of the Candidates for the Office of Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, and Sold by William Hone, 55, Fleet Street, and 67, Old Bailey. Three Doors from Ludgate Hill. 1817. Price Two-pence.
The Parody of Scripture may be raised above mere travesty by a vein of earnestness in the motive. Luther intended no violence to the first Psalm when he thus parodied it :
“Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the way of the Sacramentarians, nor sat in the seat of the Zuringlians, nor followed in the Council of the Zurichers."
The same may be said of Dr. Norman Macleod's parody of the first chapter of Genesis :
" Perhaps the men of science would do well, in accordance with the latest scientific results, and especially the 'meteoric theory' to re-write the first chapter of Genesis in this way :
1. The earth was without form and void.
5. And the British Association pronounced it tolerably good."
William Hone's Three Trials. In the year 1817 William Hone, a printer and publisher in the Old Bailey, London, was prosecuted by the Government for having printed and published three parodies, the first was John Wilkes's Catechism of a Ministerial Member, the second was The Political Litany, and the third was The Sinecurist's Creed.
The first trial was held in the Guildhall, on December 17, 1817, before Mr. Justice Abbott and a Special Jury; the second, also in the Guildhall, on December 19, 1817, before Lord Ellenborough and a Special Jury, and the third in the same place and before the same judge, on December 20, 1817.
In each case all the influence of Court and Government was brought to bear against Mr. Hone, the AttorneyGeneral prosecuted, and the judges were distinctly adverse to the defendant. Notwithstanding all this, and that Mr. Hone, who defended himself without legal assistance, was in feeble health, in each case the Juries returned a verdict of Not Guilty, and their decisions were received with delight and applause by the London populace.
A Catechism, that is to say, An Instruction, to be learned of every person before he be brought to be confirmed a Placeman or Pensioner by the Minister.
Question. What is your name? Answer. Lick Spittle. Q. Who gave you this name? A. My Sureties to the Ministry, in my Political Change, wherein I was made a Member of the Majority, the Child of Corruption, and a Locust to devour the good Things of this Kingdom.
Q. What did your Sureties then for you?
A. They did promise and vow three things in my Name. First, that I should renounce the Reformists and all their Works, the pomps and vanity of Popular Favour, and all the sinful lusts of Independence. Secondly, that I should believe all the Articles of the Court Faith. And thirdly, that I should keep the Minister's sole Will and Commandments, and walk in the same, all the days of my life.
Q. Dost thou not think that thou art bound to believe and to do as they have promised for thee ?
A. Yes, verily, and for my own sake, so I will ; and I heartily thank our heaven-born Ministry, that they have called me to this state of elevation, through my own flattery, cringing, and bribery; and I shall pray to their successors to give me their assistance, that I may continue the same unto my life's end.
Q. Rehearse the Articles of thy Belief. A. I believe in George, the Regent Almighty, Maker of New Streets, and Knights of the Bath,
And in the present Ministry, his only choice, who were conceived of Toryism, brought forth of WILLIAM Pitt, suffered loss of Place under CHARLES JAMES Fox, were execrated, dead, and buried. In a few months they rose again from their minority ; they re-ascended to the Treasury
* This was an error, as the Catechism had previously appeared in a daily paper.
nor their esteem, nor their reverence, nor any reward that is theirs.
benches, and sit at the right hand of a little man with a large wig; from whence they laugh at the Petitions of the People who may pray for Reform, and that the sweat of their brow may procure them Bread.
I believe that King James the Second was a legitimate Sovereign, and that King William the Third was not ; that the Pretender was of the right line; and that George the Third's grandfather was not; that the dynasty of Bourbon is immortal! and that the glass in the eye of Lord James Murray was not Betty Martin. I believe in the immaculate purity of the Committee of Finance, in the independence of the Committee of Secresy, and that the Pitt System is everlasting, Amen.
Q. What dost thou chiefly learn in these Articles of thy Belief?
A. First, I learn to forswear all conscience, which was never meant to trouble me, nor the rest of the tribe of Courtiers. Secondly, to swear black is white, or white black, according to the good pleasure of the Ministers. Thirdly, to put on the helmet of Impudence, the only armour against the shafts of Patriotism.
Q. You said that your Sureties did promise for you, that you should keep the Minister's Commandments : tell me how many there be ?
A. The same to which the Minister for the time being always obliges all his creatures to swear, I, the Minister, am the Lord thy liege, who brought thee out of Want and Beggary, into the House of Commops.
1. Thou shalt have no other Patron but me.
II. Thou shalt not support any measure but mine, nor shalt thou frame clauses of any bill in its progress to the House above, or in the Committee beneath, or when the mace is under the table, except it be mine. Thou shalt not bow to Lord COCHRANE, nor shake hands with him, nor any other of my real opponents ; for I thy Lord am a jealous Minister, and forbid familiarity of the Majority, with the Friends of the People, unto the third and fourth cousins of them that divide against me; and give places, and thousands and tens of thousands, to them that divide with me, and keep my Commandments.
III. Thou shalt not take the Pension of thy Lord the Minister in vain ; for I the Minister will force him to accept the Chilterns that taketh my Pension in vain.
IV. Remember that thou attend the Minister's Levee day; on other days thou shalt speak for him in the House, and fetch and carry, and do all that he commandeth thee to do ; but the Levee day is for the glorification of the Minister thy Lord : In it thou shalt do no work in the House, but shalt wait upon him, thou, and thy daughter, and thy wife, and the Members that are within his influence ; for on other days the Minister is inaccessible, but delighteth in the Levee day; wherefore the Minister appointed the Levee day, and chatteth thereon familiarly, and is amused with it.
V. Honour the Regent and the helmets of the Life Guards, that thy stay may be long in the Place, which the Lord thy Minister giveth thee.
VI. Thou shalt not call starving to death murder.
VIII. Thou shalt not say, that to rob the Public is to steal.
IX. Thou shalt bear false witness against the people. X. Thou shalt not covet the People's applause, thou shalt not covet the People's praise, nor their good dame,
Q. What dost thou chiefly learn by these Com. mandments ?
A. I learn two things—my duty towards the Minister, and my duty towards myself.
Q. What is thy duty towards the Minister ?
A. My duty towards the Minister is, to trust him as much as I can; to fear him ; to honour him with all my words, with all my bows, with all my scrapes, and all my cringes; to flatter him ; to give him thanks; to give up my whole soul to him ; to idolize his name,' and obey his word; and serve him blindly all the days of his political life.
Q. What is thy duty towards thyself?
A. My duty towards myself is to love nobody but myself, and to do unto most men what I would not that they should do unto me; to sacrifice unto my own interest even my father and mother; to pay little reverence to the King, but to compensate that omission by my servility to all that are put in authority under him ; to lick the dust under the feet of my superiors, and to shake a rod of iron over the backs of my inferiors ; to spare the People by neither word nor deed; to observe neither truth nor justice in my dealings with them ; to bear them malice and hatred in my heart ; and where their wives and properties are concerned, to keep my body neither in temperance, soberness, nor chastity, but to give my hands to picking and stealing, and my tongue to evil speaking and lying, and slander of their eftorts to defend their liberties and recover their rights; never failing to envy their privileges, and to learn to get the Pensions of myself and my colleagues out of the People's labour, and to do niy duty in that department of public plunder unto which it shall please the Minister to call
Q. My good Courtier, know this, that thou art not able of thyself to preserve the Minister's favour, nor to walk in his Commandments, nor to serve him, without his special protection; which thou must at all times learn to obtain by diligent application. Let me hear, therefore, if thou canst rehearse the Minister's Memorial.
Answer. Our Lord who art in the Treasury, whatsoever be thy name, thy power be prolonged, thy will be done throughout the empire, as it is in each session. Give us our usual sops, and forgive us our occasional absences on divisions; as we promise not to forgive them that divide against thee. Turn us not out of our places; but keep us in the House of Commons, the land of Pensions and Plenty; and deliver us from the People. Amen.
Q. What desirest thou of the Minister in this Memorial ?
A. I desire the Minister, our Patron, who is the disposer of the Nation's overstrained Taxation, to give his protection upto me and to all Pensioners and Placemen, that we may vote for him, serve him, and obey him, as far as we find it convenient; and I beseech the Minister that he will give us all things that be needful, both for our reputation and appearance in the House and out of it ; that he will be favourable to us, and forgive us our negligence ; that it will please him to save and defend us, in all dangers of life and limb, from the People, our natural enemies; and that he will help us in fleecing and grinding them; and this I trust he will do out of care for himself, and our support of him through our corruption and influence ; and therefore I say Amen. So be it.