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Chapter 7:


January 2, 1838.—I passed this evening with Thierry, who talked well on the subject of the Communes in France; of the manuscripts relating to the history of the country still in existence; of the new plan of a Commission relating to them, just submitted by the Minister of Public Instruction, which Thierry thinks will fail; of the politics of the times; and of the affairs of Canada.

He is much skilled in etymology, and thinks our etymologies of the word ‘Yankee’ are all wrong, and that, having arisen from the collision and jeerings of the Dutch and the English, in New York and New England, it is from the DutchJan,’—pronounced Yan,— John, with the very common diminutive ‘kee,’ and ‘doodlen,’ to quaver; which would make the whole, ‘quavering,’ or ‘psalmsinging,’ ‘Jacky,’ or ‘Johnny.’ ‘Doodle-sack’ means bag-pipe.

Johnny would refer to John Bull; and if ‘doodlen’ be made in the present tense, ‘Yankee-doodle’ would be ‘Johnny that sings Psalms.’ ‘Hart-kee,’ my little dear heart, and hundreds of other diminutives, both in endearment and in ridicule, are illustrations of the formation of the word. It amused me not a little, and seems probable enough as an etymology; better, certainly, than to bring it, with Noah Webster, from the Persian.

January 5.—We went last evening to Miss Clarke's, where there was rather more of a party than usual, collected by formal invitation. Fauriel was there, of course, and Mohl; but there was, also, a number of ladies, among whom were Mad. Tastu, the well-known authoress; the Princess Belgiojoso,—the well-known lady of fashion, and one of the most striking and distinguees persons in

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