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[278] of usage. To old-fashioned people Tom Moore's song,

Fly, fly from the world, O Bessy, with me,

would lose half its charm if addressed to Bessie. In the same way,

Kitty, a fair but frozen maid,

would melt into insignificance if put into the new mould of Kittie; and what should we do with Dibdin's chorus — if Dibdin's it was-

Anna, Anne, Nan, Nance, and Nancy,

if we have to stretch the line far enough to bring in Annie and Nancie also? Yet, after all, what we call old-fashioned spelling in these cases is not really the oldest. In old English books we find the words now ending in y to end usually in ie-a form which we still preserve in their plurals-and may note in successive editions the gradual substitution, for instance, of philanthropy for philanthropie. Chaucer has flie for fly, and folie for folly. Y superseded ie by an unconscious tendency some two centuries ago; and now, in case of the familiar names of both sexes, this tendency is being unconsciously and very gradually reversed. It is only a few years since Sallie began to be substituted for

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Charles Dibdin (2)
Nance (1)
Tom Moore (1)
Geoffrey Chaucer (1)
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