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THE "GRAMMAIRE FRANgOISE" OF CHARLES MAUPAS
In the volume on the Formation de la langue classique,^ the third
of the Histoire de la langue frangaise, by M. Ferdinand Brunot, the
point of departure is found in the results obtained from a study of
Malherbe's Commentary on Desportes, published by M. Brunot in
1891 under the title La doctrine de Malherbe. It was in this study
that the Grammar of Charles Maupas was first recognized as of para-
mount importance for the history of the formation of classic French.^
This Grammar, like many of those most valuable to historians of
the French language, was written to teach French to foreigners.
Copies of the first edition, published at Blois in 1607,' are rare. The
copy I found at Paris was in the Bibliothfeque Mazarine. It contains
on the fly-leaf at the end an autograph note de service by M. Brunot
Volume rare. Maupas raconte, dans la Preface d'une Mition post6rieure,
qu'il n'avait d'abord fait tirer qu'un trds petit nombre d'exemplaires de sa
grammaire; 11 les distribuait k ses 616ves Strangers, et on s'explique facile-
ment de la sorte qu'ils se soient perdus pour la plupart.
1 Part I, 1909; Part II, 1911.
'The importance placed upon this Grammar by M. Brunot inspired evidently the
recent worlc of M. Bmile Winlder: La doctrine grammaticale frangaise d'apres Maupas
et Oudin (Beiheft XXXVIII zur ZBPh., 1912), Oudin being the " continuateur direct
de Maupas" (.ibid,, p. 3).
> M. Winkler gives an interesting history of the boolc. It calls, however, for a few-
observations. To his "six editions trancaises et une traduction latine" (p. 6) there
might have been added an English translation made by W. Aufleld from the second
French edition, London, 1634. There is a copy in the British Museum. To say also
(p. 15) of the 1625 Paris reprint of the second edition that "Le seul exemplaire qu'on
en connaisse se trouve a la Blbliothfique Ste.-GeneviSve (XS" 332 RSserve. Comp. Brunot,
Hist. Ill, 274) " is an error. The British Museum and Columbia University Library
each possesses a copy. Unlilce the copy of Ste.-Genevi6ve, they are bound alone, in the
white vellum of the period. Apparently it was a copy similar to the one in Ste.-
Genevifive, bound with the Latin Grammar of the same year (1625) of Philippus Gar-
nerius, that was used for the Rouen edition of 1632, since the two are found bound
together in this Rouen reprint in the copy In the BlbliothBque municipale de Brgme, used
by M. Winlder, and in the copy I myself found in the BibliothSque municipale d'Avignon.
M. Winkler made use of the 1618 edition as being more complete than the first (p. 10).
The title-page of the second edition bears, it is true, the words "augmentee de moitifi,"
but this is measurably true only of the part devoted to pronunciation (28 pages in the
first edition, 41 pages in the second). Some new matter is elsewhere introduced, but
enough is cut out or condensed to counterbalance this, so that the number of pages and of
words to the page is the same in the two editions.
■ Mr. Barnard, an English bookseller, advertised not long since a copy of the second
edition (1618) containing five leaves in manuscript, four containing the dedicatory letter
367] 107 LMODEEN Philology, December, 19U
108 Lucy M. Gay
Cette Edition de 1607 ne se trouve ni a la Sorbonne, ni au Mus6e p6da-
gogique, ni k Ste.-Genevifeve, ni k 1' Arsenal. Stengel ne I'a trouv6 en AUe-
magne qu' k Munich. EUe se trouve cependant dans la collection de M.
le Comte de SigneroUes. L'ouvrage, du reste, est fort important. Beau-
coup de grammairiens postMeurs, jusqu 'en 1640, le citent avec respect
comme une autorit6, principalement pour la syntaxe.
M. Brunot does not note that there is also a copy in the British
Museum. It was there I first read it.
Six editions and two translations followed each other in a period
of thirty-one years, an enviable record for a textbook of grammar at
any period. A casual reading of it shows it to be the work of a sen-
sible, thoughtful teacher. For Charles Maupas was a teacher of
experience, and the work grew out of the necessities of his profession.
Buckingham, to whom he writes a dedicatory letter,^ had been one
of his pupils. It cannot be supposed that his grammar had so long
and useful a life because it had no rivals. From the time that
Gautier de Biblesworth, toward the close of the thirteenth century,
wrote his treatise on French to help the noble English lady Dionyse
de Monchesney learn that tongue, every professor of a foreign lan-
guage has been apt to feel at some period of his career an itching to
give to the world what he conceives to be a new and royal road to
its acquisition. And pupils of French were not wanting in the early
seventeenth century. Pierre le Gaynard who published his Gram-
mar in 1609, just two years after Maupas published his first edition,
Pour le jourd'huy la langue Frangoise precelle toutes les autres en
gravity, gentillesse, bonne grace, mignardise, et richesse. Et c'est pour-
quoy les estrangers vienent icy en France pour I'aprandre comme nos enfans
apprenent le Latin et le Grec.^
Good sense and simplicity of language characterize the 386 pages
of Maupas' Grammar. One even asks oneself at times during the
reading of the book what progress has been made in grammar-
to Buckingham that is found printed in subsequent editions, and the fifth bearing
"obviously in the author's hand": "Memorial de perpetuelle servitude vouSe 9. Mr.
Willbraham par moy Charles Maupas. A Blois ce dixhuitiSme Sepbre, 1618." The
dedicatory letter to Buckingham is here dated "A Blois ceXIII Oct., 1618." This is
not without interest, since this letter in the printed editions of Paris (1625) and Rouen
(1632) bears the date, " A Blois ce penultlesme Sep. 1618." (cf. Winkler, p. 16). Unfortu-
nately Mr. Barnard's copy was sold when my order reached him.
■ Cf. Winkler, p. 11. ' P. 165.
The "Gbammaibe Fkan50ise" of Charles Maxipas 109
making in the three hundred years that have elapsed since its first
It is not surprising, therefore, that M. Brunot considers this
grammar very important, nor would it be surprising to find him sup-
porting on it the opinion that Malherbe's language was in general
the same as Maupas'. The sober and straightforward fashion in
which Maupas expresses himself, the reasonableness of his explana-
tions, his exhortations to avoid ambiguity' and to take heed to
usage^ suggest a certain kinship to Malherbe.
But it is no superficial resemblance of this sort that M. Brunot
would find in the language requirements of the two men. The rules
that Maupas gives in his grammar of 1607 are said almost always to
coincide with the rules of Malherbe as deduced from his Commentary
on Desportes. As this Commentary was made for the most part in
1606, it is only the edition of Maupas of 1607 that would be of any
avail in the argument. M. Brunot appreciates this so well that he
carefully indicates the date. It would be as difficult to show that
Maupas was uninfluenced by Malherbe in the revision of his gram-
mar in 1618 when Malherbe was at the height of his power, as it
would be to prove that the first edition was made under Malherbe's
inspiration. Malherbe, M. Brunot says,
ne connatt qu'un maitre, I'usage Ce n'est pas sans dessein en effet
que pour presque tous les articles qui suivent nous avons rapproch6 les
doctrines de Malherbe de celles des contemporains et particuliferement de
Celui-ci ne peut pas, comme Deimier, etre soupgonne d'avoir ^crit sous
I'influence de Malherbe. II enseignait le fran^ais au dehors avant que le
nouveau maitre f At connu, 11 publie une premiere 6dition de sa grammaire
d6s 1607, c'est h, dire si t6t aprfes I'arrivfe de Malherbe k Paris, qu'il n'e<it
mat^riellement pas pu subir son action k temps, m^me s'il se itt trouv^
> Note Maupas' saying that the giving in lull of the paradigm for the passive voice
would be only ' ' remplissage de papier " (p • 239) . The author of a recent French grammar
unwittingly followed Maupas' example in this, thinking he was making a wise innovation.
The manner in which Maupas insists upon a student's learning the five principal parts of
a verb and then forming the other tenses upon these has scarcely been improved (pp.
200 fl.) : " Et puis q>ie toute la conjugaison des verbes depend des cinq parties cy dessus
mentionnees, comme il a estg prouvS: Nous nous contenterons desormais de proposer
sur chacune conjugaison les cinq parties de chaque verbe, desquelles, quiconque desire
s'acquerir bonne et prompte intelligence de nostre langue, devra s'exercer a tirer tout
le verbe salon les reigles baillees cydessus. Saut a nous d'advertir s'il se trouve quelque
IrregularitS ou observation particuliere " (pp. 240-41).
' P- 117. 3 p. 339.
110 Lucy M. Gay
auprSs de lui, et il n'y 6tait pas. Or, nous verrons que presque partout les
regies que donnent Maupas et Malherbe coincident."'
The detailed exposition that follows does not seem, curiously
enough, to warrant this last statement. Not only do Maupas and
Malherbe agree not more than once out of three times, but when they
do agree, it is upon well-established usages. Upon the firing line
they stand back to back rather than shoulder to shoulder. Take,
for example, the rule that the subject pronoun should regularly be
expressed.* Maupas definitely states this just as Malherbe implies
it. But Maupas proceeds to give three groups of cases in which such
omission is allowed. Setting aside the first group, which may be
considered archaic expressions, though nothing is said to this effect,
Maupas approves by precept and example the omission of the subject
pronoun of the first and second persons "en suite de propos." Mal-
herbe scores Desportes repeatedly for their omission.' Again, in a
co-ordinate sentence following et and si "oil la personne a est6
suffisamment exprimee," the personal pronoun subject may be
omitted according to Maupas, and the point is illustrated by two
examples: "Vous m'avez bien conseill^, et vous croiray une autre
fois. II vous respecte et si vous servira bien." The omission in the
first of these sentences would fall under the condemnation of Mal-
herbe, and in the second the expression of the subject pronoun after
et would be equally blameworthy. That is to say, Malherbe's rule*
that the subject pronoun of a co-ordinate sentence must never be
expressed when it is the same as in the principal sentence but that
otherwise its expression is obligatory, was unknown to Maupas.
This seems quite enough to raise in the reader's mind the question
of the justness of M. Brunot's generalization that Maupas' rules
almost always coincide with Malherbe's.
But this is not all. The fact that a few of the notes made from
the second* edition were overlooked in the revision made later from
the first edition of the Grammar is a negligible matter,* compared
' Doct., p. 221. 2 Ibid., pp. 378 fl.
'Malherbe, (Euvres, ed. Lalanne, pp. 268, 290, 305, 317, 324 (3), 325, 336, 338, 339.
363(2), 364(2), etc.
« Ibid., pp. 273, 336, 361, 367, 370, 400, 402, 404, etc.; cf. Doct., pp. 381 f.
' Doct., p. 339, note.
' They are for the most part references to Maupas not found in the edition of 1607,
such as: "Maupas dit qu'il [altraire] a le dfiflni beaucoup plus en usage que le simple
The "Grammaike Francoise" of Charles Maupas 111
with the number of forms and words condemned by Malherbe in
Desportes that are found in Maupas and escaped M. Brunot's notice.
Ains,^ according to Malherbe a "vieil mot qui ne vaut rien,"
aingois,^ a "mauvais mot," nuisance,^ maint* guerdonner,^ bienheurer,^
condemned for similar reasons, are all found in Maupas as if they
were in good and regular standing.
The conjugation of the verb duire,'' banished by Malherbe, is
given by Maupas as if it were very much alive. The conjunction
si que,^ given without remark by Maupas, is called by Malherbe
"vieil langage dont on n'use plus et qui ^tait hors d'usage du temps
de Desportes." Accroist^ for accroissement, which Malherbe noted in
Desportes as a word he had never heard, is used by Maupas: "pour
apporter un accroist et accessoire k la chose," etc. If Maupas does
not use the verb parangonner,^" scored by Malherbe as being a foreign
word, he uses the derivative to characterize one of his groups of
adverbs: "De similitude et parangonnement."
Poursuivir,^^ though condemned by Malherbe as a "mot nor-
mand," is given by Maupas as if equally honorable with poursuivre.
Nud^^ is "gascon" in the opinion of Malherbe; Maupas recognizes
this form with d as the only one for the masculine. Ce disant,^^ En
esgard,^* joint que,^^ non obstant,^^ notoire," vu g-we," cet esgard,^^ all the
expressions to which objection is made by Malherbe on the ground
that they "sentent leur chicane,"^ are used by Maupas. Malherbe
traire," (Doct., p. 256; Maup., 259); " perray est donn€ comme Stant moins en usage
que paroistray" (Doct., p. 270; Maup., p. 256); "alarme" (Doct., p. 357; Maup., p.
83 ff.); "guide" (Doct., p. 358; Maup., p. 90), etc. Under benin (Doct., p. 259) we
should read: "Maupas enseigne comment 11 forme son leminin en ine" (Maup., p. 78).
1 Maup., pp. 79, 378, 380; Doct., pp. 254 f.
2 Maup., pp. 379, 380; Doct., p. 255.
• Maup., p. 321; Doct., p. 267.
<Maup., pp. 76, 115, 119, etc.; Doct., p. 266.
» Maupas uses it in a model sentence, p. 95; Doct., p. 263.
• Given in tlie second edition as an example for tlie pronunciation of eu, p. 30; Doct.,
' Maup., p. 249; Doct., p. 260. " Ibid., p. 368.
8 Maup., p. 349; Doct., p. 274. " Ibid., p. 362.
• Maup., p. 382; Doct., p. 284. " Ibid., pp. 6, 13, 16, 17, 154, 189, etc.
"Maup., p. 364; Doct., p. 298. " Ibid., pp. 15, 334.
" Maup., p. 262; Doct., p. 302. i« Ibid., p. 240.
" Maup., p. 77; Doct., p. 364. " Ibid., p. 30.
" Maup., p. 145. 20 Doct., p. 307.
112 Lucy M. Gay
made severe restrictions upon the use of adjectives for adverbs.
Maupas accepts "un grand nombre qui au genre masculin ou neutre
comme entre les Grecs et Latins sont employez adverbialement:"
"Pour parler correct, il faut suivre ces reigles."' Legier,^ thus con-
demned, is in the list. Cheremenf as well as cher, is allowed by
Maupas with verbs of buying and selling, contrary to the requirement
Most noticeable, perhaps, is the omission^ of all reference to
Maupas on the subject of the euphonic t. Malherbe corrects Des-
portes for saying "me paiera I'on toujours" instead of "me paiera-
t-on." One of Maupas' references* to the euphonic t covers a similar
Quand un verbe finissant en a est suivy de I'un de ces mots il, elk, on,
lots en parlant, et quelquefois en escrit, nous interposons un t, pour remplir
le baillement qui se feroit h, la rencontre des deux voyelles : vray que rarement
il se trouve escrit .... pour le regard de ceste syllabe on, nous luy mettons
souvent une I devant pour remplir: Exem. "Que fera I'on au bois sec, si
Ton fait ces choses au bois verd ?"
In M. Brunot's later volume, reference is made to Maupas on this
subject,' but the reference is more inexplicable still than the omission
in the earUer work. The discussion of the euphonic t closes with the
words : " Chez Maupas, il n'y a plus trace de la prononciation sans t."
There are many requirements of Malherbe upon which Maupas
is silent. On the creation of derivatives he has nothing to say of
adjectives in -in, such as ivoirin, marbrin, etc., to which Malherbe
"donne cong6,"' or of those in -eux, as angoisseux, which seem strange
to Malherbe. He does not concern himself much about the con-
fusion or abuse of words, or their proper definition.* Soudain and
soudainemenf are given under adverbs of hastiveti without any dis-
tinction between the two being noted.
In the same way are given complainte^^ and plairUe, des and
> Maup., pp. 333, 348. » Maup., pp. 4 t.
2 Ibid., p. 348; Doct., p. 361. • Hittoire la langue francaise, II, 333.
»Maup., p. 280; Doct., p. 359. 'Doct., p. 284.
' Doct., p. 405.
• In the second edition, reeu/and nouveau are distinguished (p. 79).
• Maup., p. 364; Doct., p. 318. " Doct., p. 478; Maup., p. 343.
" Doct., p. 318; Maup., p. 340.
Thk "Gjeiammaire FiEiANgoisE" OF Charles Maupas 113
Maupas has little to say against the poetical licenses of which
Malherbe was so bitter an opponent. While agreeing in general with
Malherbe in saying that past participles used adj actively follow their
nouns, he adds: "Ce qui toutefois n'est pas necessaire, specialement
en vers, o^ il y a une large licence de changer I'ordre coutumier."^
The old word dlj^ obsolete in Maupas' time, is recorded by him
as being used for celui in poetry, while Malherbe, finding it in Des-
portes, cannot endure it.
Maupas records that i in the conjunction si^ is elided before il,
Us, and "quelquefois en vers,* s'elle, s'elles, s'on pour si elle, si elks,
si on," a contraction looked upon by Malherbe as a fault and scored
repeatedly in Desportes. "Si ne se mange jamais" is his dictum.
Maupas countenances also in poetry the elision of e in elle and grands
for which Desportes is corrected. On the possessive pronoun* Mau-
pas says: "Et bien qu'avec I'article defini ils rejettent I'accointance
du substantif expres, toutefois les poetes par une certaine license
disent aucune-fois, Le coeur mien, etc." Finally, to complete Mau-
pas' references to poetical license, we may quote his words on inver-
sion of the natural order of words: "Car ces langages, j'ay enhuy
une belle legon apprise .... sont hors d'usage, sinon en vers oil,
pent estre, on les pourroit passer."'
Maupas and Malherbe, " tous deux prennent a une m^me source:
I'usage."* But usage for Maupas meant quite a different thing from
the meaning attached to it by Malherbe. Usage for Malherbe was "la
langue 6pur6e du bon usage."^ Maupas, on the contrary, attempts
to record all the forms he hears or has noted in his reading. In the
> Malherbe. (Emres, ed. Lalanne, IV, 365; Maup., p. 117. We know that Malherbe
did not always follow his own rules. Maupas in practice not Infrequently violates Mal-
herbe's rules and sometimes his own: cf. " En tous lesquels langages se ressent une cachee
slgniaance de vehemence ou abondance" (p. 47), where he violates not only his own rule
on the position of the past participle, but Malherbe's rules requiring the expression of the
anticipative subject (ed. Lalanne, IV, 386), and the repetition of the preposition de
(Doct., p. 471), rules of which Maupas was ignorant.
! In 1607, given in the list of words in which I is not liquid (p. 14) ; in the second
edition are added the words: " Cil, signiflant celuy en poesie, car quand 11 signifle le poll
qui est au dessus des yeux, il liquefle I" (p. 17).
'P. 27; Doct., p. 518. 'Maup., p. 174.
• P. 28; Doct., p. 518. ' Ibid., p. 334.
'P. 28; Doct., p. 363.
'Doct., p. 222; cf. Histoire de la langue fransaise, III, 9.
' Lanson, Histoire de la litUrature francaise, p. 358.
114 Lucy M. Gay
Introduction to his second edition he states more at length how he
made his Grammar.' Maupas used the scientific method. In the
current phraseology of our day, his work was the product of original
research. He is no reformer or leader of fashion like Malherbe.
By the side therefore of more modern forms, and with no indication
that they should be avoided, we find among other old forms, the first
person imperfect and conditional in e: -oy, -oye, ou -ois.^
Three pages are devoted to diminutives, dear to the heart of the
sixteenth century. The whole gamut is given: homme, hommeau,
hommet, hommelet, etc.^ Two pages are devoted to the old particle
of affirmation, mon, as if it were very much alive: Q'aura mm; ce
faut mon; ce veux mon; ce fay mon, etc.* The frequent use of the
negative non in answers is conspicuous, the pronoun subject unex-
pressed: Nonferay, non ay, non faut, etc.*
Maupas seldom refers to any authority. Marot is quoted on the
order of words." On the use of the conjondion si he cites Plutarque:^
"Voyez en multitude d'exemples & oeuvres de Plutarque, et ail-
leurs assez." Besides these,' there are two references to Ronsard:
"Jadis on a dit Graigneur," he says, "pour plus grand: Mais il
n'est plus en usage vulgaire: bien s'en sert-on quelquefois Is actes
de judicature et se trouve en Ronsard, excellent Poete."' And again,
to justify giving another old form, under the conjugation of the verb
clore: "Je clos, je closi, j'ay clos, clorre, closant. Je le voudrois
ainsi former pour le mieux. Toutefois vous Urez dans M. de Ron-
sard, Esclouit, pour la 3. personne du defini indicatif du verbe
esclorre."^" This polite and even timid statement of his opinion by
Maupas in the face of so excellent a poet as Ronsard, stands in vivid
contrast to the judgments of Malherbe who would have stricken out
' Winkler, pp. 7 ff. '76td., p. 354. etc.
2 Maup., pp. 202, 205, etc. • Ibid., p. 269; cl. Winkler, p. 290.
' Ibid., p. 96. ' Maup., p. 373.
< Ibid., pp. 350 flf.
» In the second edition there is a reference to Deaportes. In speaking of the use of the
acute accent over e, there is added to the statement of the first edition: "rarement est-il
marquS au milieu, si ce n'est de quelque Docte et curleux ficrivain, comme a fait Malstre
Phlllppes des Portes, en sa derniSre Edition des Pseaiunes qu'U a Slegamment mis en
rimes Prangoises," etc. (p. 8).
» P. 92. 10 p. 262.
The "Grammaire FBANgoiSE" op Charles Maupas 115
In the third volume of M. Brunot's Histoire de la langue frangaise,
reference is made to archaisms* in Maupas, in connection with the
repetition of the statement formulated eighteen years before, that
Maupas and Malherbe almost always agree:
Mais en g^ndral il [Malherbe] se borne h, suivre I'usage, et c'est 1&, le
secret de son succ^s. On le voit clairement, lorsqu'on compare sa doctrine
k celle des grammairiens contemporains, comme Maupas (1607) qui n'ont
pu subir en aucune fa5on son influence. lis sont par endroits plus archaiques
que lui, mais les differences qui r^suitent des conditions respectives de chacun
mises k part, I'accord entre Maupas et Malherbe est presque constant.*
Whatever construction be put upon the phrase, "les conditions
respectives de chacun mises k part," the conclusion that the agree-
ment between Maupas and Malherbe is "presque constant," is still
a hard saying. There is the same discrepancy in this volume as in
the earlier one between the generalizations and the detailed exposi-
tion.* A little farther on we find: "Maupas s'emporte k diverses
reprises contre les courtisans 'singes de nouveautfe.' "* No more
definite reference is given for this assertion. The 1607 edition of
Maupas, being the only one^ supposedly under consideration, we
should expect to find it here. But the expression "singes de nou-
veaut^s" is not found in the first edition. It is found, however, in
the revised edition, made eleven years later, that is to say, when
Malherbe was at the height of his power, among his remarks upon
the pronunciation of the diphthong -oi.' For the page and a half in
» Some old forms, not noted in the preceding voiumes as found in Maupas, are liere
recognized as given by Mm. Tliere is in Maupas, liowever, no suggestion tliat tliey were
arctiaic. Notewortliy are tlie past inflnitive construed witliout a preposition as if it
were preceded by apr'es (cf. Ill, 589, and Les navigations de Pantagruel by M. Lefranc,
p. 191, note), and expressions on the model of "arriv6 que fut." Maupas treats of the
latter not only on p. 299, but again on p. 335 (cf. Ill, 599).
2 III, 9.
'Of the adverbes proscrits (III, 349 ff.), for example, on which both Maupas and
Malherbe are cited, Malherbe condemns A coup, A la parfin, d qui mieux mieux, co bas,
du depuis, jA, one, or, ores, paranent, all given by Maupas without remark, besides ains
and aingois on which Maupas might have been cited. On the other hand tandis used
by Malherbe is given by Maupas and Maupas does not give finablement blamed by Mal-
' III, 24.
» See citation above from p. 9.
' Quoted almost verbatim by Thurot De la prononciation frangaise, I, 377. In the
preparation of tUs work Thurot used only the 1625 Paris reprint of the second edition of
' Maupas (1625), bottom of p. 31 to middle of p. 33.
116 Lucy M. Gat
the second edition on -oi, there is in the first edition' the single sen-
tence: "Oi Sonne comme oe, foy, loy, trois, mois, etc."
There are other cases in which Maupas does not seem to be fairly-
represented. Mention has been made above to the space devoted
to diminutives by Maupas. The subject is resumed' by M. Brunot
in the words:
Maupas 6tudie encore la manidre dont se d^rivent les diminutifs, car
les "Pontes employent d'assez bonne grace, ces noms rustiques 6s Eglogues,
Pastorelles et chansonnettes champestres."'
But these words of Maupas apply only to diminutives of proper
Plusieurs noms propres re5oivent diminution et ce f aisant devidnent noms
rustiques et raillards. Jacques, Jacquet, et le feminin usit6, Jacquette,
Jean, Janot, Janin, qui est pris pour epithete ridicule d'un duquel la femme
se preste: Et le feminin Janneton, Pierre, Pierrot, et le feminin, Perrette,
Perrichon, Philippes, Philippot, Charles, Chariot, Charlotte, Marguerite,
Margot. Les poetes employent, etc.
Of the diminutives of common nouns and adjectives nothing is
said that would give the slightest suggestion that they had lost caste
or were for poetical use.
Again, on comparatives, M. Brunot says:
Maupas ne donne plus d'autres comparatifs synth^tiques que ceux que
nous avons encore: meilleur, etc. (91). Oudin, en reprenant la liste, ajoute
qu'on emploie tout aussi bien les formes analytiques: plus mauvais, plus
petit, plus mal.*
But Maupas even in the 1607 edition says, immediately after
giving the synthetic forms:
Nous disons aussi plus mauvais, plus petit: mais non, plus bon, et leurs
adverbes de mesme.*
On the formation of the plural M. Brunot writes an interesting
paragraph.* After stating that three signs, s, x, and z, purely graphic
distinctions, indicate the plural, he continues:
Z s'emploie g^ndralement derriere un 6 pour marquer qu'il est fermd:
beauts, beautez (Oud., Gr. 83). D6s le XVI® siecle, mais surtout k partir
•Maupas (1607), p. 23. ' III, 283.
2 III, 206. 6 Maupas (1607), p. 91.
• Maup., p. 98. « III, 281.
The "Grammaire Franqoise" of Charles Maupas 117
d'Oudin, on enseigne qu'il faut tenir la syllabe un peu plus longuette (Maup.,
It is doubtful whether any one would suspect from this Maupas'
The citation of M. Brunot " (1625, 23)," is found under the rules
for the pronunciation of s.^ In the same edition under z, we read:
"A la fin aussi est comme une s, mais elle allonge grandement la
syllabe: Ce que les estrangers doivent soigneusement noter et n'y
faillir la oil I'e est long h la derni^re syllabe, lenez,^ beautez, jouez.
Car quand 1 'e, a la derni6re syllabe est long, il le faut accompagner
du Z, comme Vs est marque ordinairement de I'e bref k la derni^re."*
The same doctrine is found but less distinctly expressed in the edition
of 1607: "A la fin ne vaut qu's, mais allonge grandement la syllabe:
Ce que les estrangers doivent noter soigneusement, parce qu'ils
sont trop coustumiers d'y faillir: nez, parlez, bontez."^
Attention has already been called* to the fact that the 1638
Rouen edition of Maupas' Grammar is a simple reprint of the 1625
Paris edition. The references of M. Brunot, therefore, to the edition
of Maupas' Grammar, "due k son fils," are meaningless,' if not mis-
leading. The effect is most curious when Maupas fils is cited and
not Maupas' first edition, when the latter teaches the same rule as
the former. Avant que and premier que, for example, "veulent le
conjonctif " is Maupas' rule, even in 1607.'
Enough has perhaps been said to show that a critical edition of
Maupas' grammar is highly desirable and it is to be hoped that
M. Brunot will still fulfil his promise' to publish such an edition.
The work of M. Winkler'" is difficult to use in a discussion of the
' M. Winkler omits aii consideration of Maupas' rules of pronunciation. These are
interesting in themselves, and a comparison of them as they appear in 1607 and in
1625 (the edition used by Thurot) is instructive.
2 "Prononcer Vs au bout des mots, n'est point a reprendre pourveu que foiblement.
Et quand on la voudra supprimer, si faut il tenir la syllabe un peu plus longuette." The
last sentence is not found in the edition of 1607.
» sic; =tenez? ' Maupas (1625), p. 26. » Ibid. (1607), p. 20.
* B.Winkler, La doctrine gTammaticale fransaise d'apres Maupas et Oudin, p. 17. My
own researches had anticipated the conclusion of M. Winkler.
' Histoire de la langue frantaise. III, xxv, 274, 285, 287, 292, 299, 300. 307, 311, 350,
n. 1, 356, 478, 490, 494, 499, 516, 568, 577, 584, n. 1, etc.
8 Cf. Ill, 577, and Maupas (1607), pp. 310, 380.
• Histoire de la langue fransaise. III, 30, note.
i» Cf . p. 107, n. 3, above.
118 Lucy M. Gay
formation of classic French because Maupas' doctrine in 1607 is here
bound up, not only with his doctrine in 1618, but also, and still
more unfortunately, with the doctrine of Oudin in 1632. But more
than this, Maupas' Grammar as a literary product of intrinsic interest
in itself is worthy of a reprint.* As it is, the rarity of the book makes
it a dead letter for the majority of students.
Lucy M. Gay
Univebsity op Wisconsin
'M. Bnmot now writes me that he is "en train d'organiser le Corpus des gram-
mairiens francais." I have agreed to prepare the edition of Maupas under M. Bruuot's