Wentworth Webster an Hugo Schuchardt (44-012684)

von Wentworth Webster

an Hugo Schuchardt


23. 10. 1897

language Französisch

Schlagwörter: language Englischlanguage Irischlanguage Gälischlanguage Keltische Sprachenlanguage Niederländischlanguage Deutschlanguage Französischlanguage Baskisch Mendiburu, J. B. Eys, Willem Jan van Leiçarraga, Ioannes Abbadie, Antoine d' Baertling, Malvina von Sare Saint-Jean-de-Luz England Spanien Neapel Loti, Pierre (1886) Loti, Pierre (1897) Linschmann, Theodor/Schuchardt, Hugo (1900)

Zitiervorschlag: Wentworth Webster an Hugo Schuchardt (44-012684). Sare, 23. 10. 1897. Hrsg. von Bernhard Hurch und Patricio Urkizu (2022). In: Bernhard Hurch (Hrsg.): Hugo Schuchardt Archiv. Online unter https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:hsa.letter.10754, abgerufen am 28. 09. 2023. Handle: hdl.handle.net/11471/518.10.1.10754.


par St Jean de Luz
23 Octbre 1897

My dear Professeur

Je suis pêcher, et grand pêcheur, je le confesse, mais je n’en ai pas du tout honte, quite the contrary. The question you ask me is a curious one. In England in rivers & fresh water lakes, there are two kinds of fisherman; the angler, les gens comme il faut, who use only rod and line, & who abhor nets of all kinds, except the landing net; and the poacher, braconnier, who catches fish any way he can, and uses any kinds of nets. It is the poacher only who uses the kind of net, and the pole whitch you mention. When a boy I was very good friends with some of the poachers; but I never heard them use any particular name for the pole used in the kind of fishing which you enquire about.1 It is called poke-net fishing. But curiously the verb ‘to poke’ and the subs. poke have different significations in English and either or both of these will apply equally well to poke-net fishing.

Baileys Dictionary 17 – gives Poke ( Poka-Sax.) a bag. To poke (pocher, F.) to grubble, or feel with the finger or any tool.

Skeat Concise Etymological Dictionary, 1882 gives Poke a bag puche. M.E. poke-Irishpoc. Gael. poca = a bag. Cf. Icel. poki, O.Du. poke a bag. |2| Probably borrowed from Celtic: also Icel. pungr. A.S. pung, a pouch.

Poke (2) to thrust, push. (b) M.E. poken, pukken. Irish poc, a blow, kick. Corn poc, a shove. Gael. puc, to push (Cf. W. putio, to push, where North. E. pote to kick) √ PUK to thrust.

Now in this kind of fishing the net is hold, and closed so as to form a bag, or poke, direcly the fish is in it; but the pole is used to poke about or, as old Bailey says, to grubble about in the stones & roots to frighten the fish. I never heard of any leather or any thing fastened on to the end of the pole; this would be of use only in swamps and soft mud. Like the Dutch & N. German streams it would be useless on stones or rocks, & would soon wear off. You know how hard it is to prove a negative, there may be some English word for the pole, but I have never heard it. I have heard the net by itself called a bag-net; but the mode of the fishing always poke-net fishing, - poke, as above would apply either to the action of the net, or of the pole. I have asked another Englishman here, and he has never heard any particular name for the pole.

M. Mendiboure tells me that Haga is the special name for the Frenchbouille; but according to Van Eys and Aizquibel it is a very general word – q. v. Gatelli Nouveau Dictionnaire Espanol-Français et Français-Espagnol, 4 vols, Lyon 1790 gives |3|Bouille s.f. Percha con que los pescadore enturbian el agua, para alborotar el pescado.2 I cannot find any particular name for it.

I have only a very confused remembrance of the Roman Don …. Which you speak of, if it is the same book. Was not the young Count Stolberg introduced in it? Pierre Loti3 has mixed his scenary, & not described any one place exactly. The chief place is Biriatou, but some of the action passes at Fuenterabia & in Spain, some at Ascain, Sare, Itzatzou, & as pas as Ossez. So with the characters one can recognize parts and facts that he has taken from individuals, some from a well known character at Sare. The main incident really happened, only with a different denoument. The parties went to Buenos Ayres & married there. One cannot tell in what shape Pierre Loti heard these things. There are materials for a hundred novels in these Basque border lands.

I heard to-day that prof. Vinson’s Father is dead. He is full of grief, and unable to work.

I am very glad to hear that you have begun the printing of Liçarrague’s N.T. and that you are going to reproduce it so exactly.4

I believe that M. d’Abbadie’s Basque Books will remain at Abbadia. Mme d’Abbadie is living there now, and has possession of it during her life time.5

|4|You are staying at a lovely place, Riva, at the head of the Guarda See. I stayed there a couple of days, once when Duke Maximilien of Bavaria and the two daugthers who afterwards became the Empress of Austria6 and the Queen of Naples were also in the little Inn. They were then girls of 16 or 17. I narrowly escaped drowning in the lake. I hope the place will do your health good.

You do not mention your mother, so I trust that she is better. Mme Webster joins in kindest remembrances & believe me.

Very truely yours

Wentworth Webster

1 Schuchardt hatte sich jahrzentelang immer wieder mit Fischerei und Gegenständen zum Fischfang unter ethnographischen und ethnolinguistischen Fragen beschäftigt. Bekanntlich beeinflusste dieser Zugang auch seine etymologischen Arbeiten. Es ist offensichtlich, dass er im vorangehenden Brief auch Webster - wie viele andere seiner Bekannten - als mögliche Informanten zu dem Thema befragt hat.

2 Diese Technik des Fischfangs wird von Schuchardt später für die Erklärung der Etymologie des Wortes trovare, trouver etc. aus Lat. turbare herangezogen.

3 Es wäre interessant, welche Frage hier Schuchardt an Webster gerichtet hat, von Pierre Loti gibt es jedenfalls einen Roman Le pècheur d´Islande (1886). Hier könnte es sich um den Roman Ramuntcho von 1897 handeln.

4 Linschmann & Schuchardt, ed., 1900, HSA/Brevier 353. Die Zusammenarbeit mit Theodor Linschmann an der Leiçarraga Ausgabe zog sich über Jahre. Das zeigt sich in zahlreichen Briefwechseln, nicht zuletzt auch in jenem umfangreichen, wenngleich leider nur einseitig vorhandenen mit Linschmann (HSA 06465-06540).

5 Antoine d'Abbadie war im März 1897 gestorben.

6 Kaiserin Elisabeth, genannt Sisi.

Faksimiles: Universitätsbibliothek Graz Abteilung für Sondersammlungen, Creative commons CC BY-NC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (Sig. 012684)