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I need not notice to you that the French, SUD, and our English words suds, &c. is the same as sod or sodden.
And now, I suppose, I may conclude the subject.
F. I STILL wish for an explanation of one word more; which, on account of its extreme importance, ought not to be omitted. What is TRUTH?
You know, when Pilate had asked the same question, he went out, and would not stay for the answer(a). And from that time to this, no answer has been given. And from that time to this, mankind have been wrangling and tearing each other to pieces for the TRUTH, without once considering the meaning of the word.
H. In the gospel of John, it is as you have stated. But in the gospel of Nichodemus (which, I doubt not, had originally its full share in the conversion of the world to christianity(6) Pilate awaits the answer, and has it........" Thou sayest that I am a
kynge, and to that I was borne, and for to declare 66 to the worlde that who soo be of TROUTH wyll
(a) See John xviii. 38. « What is truth ? said jesting Pilate; « and would not stay for an answer.” Bacon's Essays.
(b) Nichodemus was the patron apostle of our ancestors the Anglo-Saxons and their immediate descendants: his gospel was their favourite authority: and it was translated for their use, both into Anglo-Saxon and into old English ; which translations still remain, and the latter of them was one amongst the first books printed. By Wynkyn de Worde. Anno. 1511.
“ here my worde. Than sayd Pylate, what is " TROUTH ? By thy worde there is butlytell TROUTH " in the world. Our lorde sayd to Pylate, under“ stande TROUTH how that it is judged in erth of " them that dwell therin."
Nychodemus Gospell, chap. 2. F. Well, what say you to it?
H. That the story is better told by John : for the answer was not worth the staying for. And yet there is something in it perhaps : for it declares that “ TRUTH is judged in erth of them that dwell " therin.” However this word will give us no trouble. Like the other words, TRUE is also a past participle of the verb TKANAN, treopan, confidere, to think, to believe firmly, to be thoroughly persuaded of, to trow.
6 Marke it, Nuncle.
« Learne more then thou TROWEST." Lear, pag. 288. This past participle was antiently written TREW: which is the regular past tense of TROW. As the verbs to blow, to crow, to grow, to know, to throw, give us in the past tense, blew, crew, grew, knew, threw. Of which had the learned Dr. Gil been aware, he would not, in his Logonomia Anglica, pag. 64, have told us that tru, ratus, was “ verbale " anomalum of I TROU, reor."
Of this I need not give you any instances; because the word is perpetually written trew, by
all our antient authors in prose and verse, from the time of Edward the third to Edward the sixth.
TRUE, as we now write it; or trew, as it was formerly written; means simply and merely.... that which is TROWED(). And, instead of its being a rare commodity upon earth; except only in words, there is nothing but TRUTH in the world.
That every man, in his communication with others, should speak that which he TROWETH, is of so great importance to mankind; that it ought not to surprize us, if we find the most extravagant and exaggerated praises bestowed upon TRUTH. But TRUTH supposes mankind : for whom and by whom alone the word is formed, and to whom only it is applicable. If no man, no TRUTH. There is therefore no such thing as eternal, immutable, everlasting TRUTH; unless mankind, such as they are at present, be also eternal, immutable, and everlasting. Two persons may contradict each other, and yet both speak TRUTH: for the TRUTH of one person may be opposite to the TRUTH of another. To speak TRUTH may be a vice as well as a virtue: for there are many occasions where it ought not to be spoken.
Quantunque il simular sia le piu volte
Aver fatti evidenti beneficj;
(©) Mer. Casaubon derives TRUE from the Greek ampexns ; and ατρεκης from ατρεης, impavidus,
“ In questa, assai piu oscura che serena,
Orlando Furioso, cant. 4. st. 1. F. If TROWED be the single meaning of the term TRUE, I agree that these and many other consequences will follow : for there can be nothing TROWED; unless there are persons TROWING. And men may TRow differently. And there are reasons enough in this world, why every man should not always know what every other man thinks. But are the corresponding and the equivalent words in other languages resolvable in the same manner as true? Does the Latin verus also mean TROWED?
H. It means nothing else. Res, a thing, gives us reor, i. e. I am thing-ed: ve-reor, I am strongly thinged; for ve in Latin composition means valde, i. e. valide. And verus, i. e, strongly impressed upon the mind, is the contracted participle of vereor (). And hence the distinction between vereri and metuere in Latin : "veretur liber, metuit servus.' Hence also revereor.
F. I am thinged! Who ever used such language before? Why, this is worse than REOR, which Quinctilian (lib. 8, cap. 3,), calls a horrid word. Reor, however, is a deponent, and means I think.
(d) Vossius doubts not that “ vereor est a ve, id est valce, et 66 por." But he affirms that verus is not “ a ve valde, et reor ; “ quia vera animum maxime afficiant; sed ab eper, hoc est, “ dicere ; quia quod dicitur, est; quodque est, hoc dicitur: ut “ hæc duo sint art ICT psporta, nempe in sermone tali, qualem esse " convenit.”.... The meaning of the verb est, would here have prevented his mistake.