S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
For it is association which gives all their music, and all their poetry, and all their proud significance, to territorial and family names, as to other things. Coward and Howard are nearly identical in sound. If Howard had been the expression for a craven, and Coward had been the surname of the Norfolk dukedom, Popes lines might have remained, with a very slight alteration:
What can ennoble fools, or sots, or Howards?
Not all the noble blood of all the Cowards!
Make Hamilton, Bamilton; make Douglas, Puglas; make Percy, Bercy; and Stanley, Tanley; and where would be the long-resounding march and energy divine of the roll-call of the peerage? Why, exactly where they are now: the dark Puglas and the Hotspur Bercy would be the heroes of Chevy Chace; the princely Bamilton would head the nobility of Scotland, and the noble Tanley would be the fierce Rupert of debate. Since this is the case, why should one of the quiet patronymicsthe Snookses, Timses, Tubbsesrepine? The time may come when a conqueror of India, of our race and family, will make the title of Tubbs as grand in mens ears as Wellington.
Names must be of very unsteady meaning if the ideas be referred to standards without us that cannot be known at all, or but very imperfectly or uncertainly. That which makes doubtfulness and uncertainty in the signification of some more than other words, is the difference of ideas they stand for.
He that has complex ideas, without particular names for them, would be in no better case than a bookseller who had volumes that lay unbound and without titles, which he could make known to others only by showing the loose sheets.