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AND HISTORY OP THE CLANS. 11
altered for the sake of euphony, or to suit the idiom of
other dialects, and has been more or less connected with
other words, making a union of both definitions : as, Ethel-
red, or Reed the Good ; Conrad, or Reed the Powerful ;
Eldred, or Reed the Elder ; Remus, belonging to the State ;
and Regina, Queen.
Among the class of words belonging to this stock, in
addition to those already mentioned, are Wraid,' Rade,
Gerard, Gerarden, Rath, regium, reign, regent, regalia,
reason, rhetoric; and also the compound of other words,
as Erythrasan, Tyrrhenian, Reate, Rages (now called Rei),
Regia, Rhenus, Rhedarian, Rheidlingine, Reedel (or Riddle),
Redesdale, Dalraid, Dalreda, and many others.
At a later period, the word became more extended in its
signification, and implied counsel, advice, wisdom, &c.
Still later, it meant one who could read, or the act of read-
ing ; as so few understood the art of reading, that one
Bible was sufficient for a parish ; and, the holy book being
chained to the desk, a person would be employed to read
as a clerk. This last expression gave rise to the word
" clergy," or " clergyman ; " meaning one who can read.
The art of reading was considered so beneficial to the
public, that all who understood it were entitled to the bene-
fit of clergy ; which phrase meant boring in the hand, or
other corporeal punishment, for crimes committed, instead
of death.
The following is the definition given by Noah Webster : —
" Sax. reed, rad, red, speech, discourse, counsel, advice, knowledge,
benefit, reason ; rcedan, redan, to read, to decree, to appoint, to command,
to rule or govern, to conjecture, to give or take counsel ; arcedan, to
read, to tell, to narrate; geraedan, to read, to consult; gerad, mode, con-
dition or state, reason, ratio or account, knowledge, instruction or learn-
ing, and, as an adjective or participle, knowing, instructed, ready, suited ;
gerad beon, to be ready, to accord or agree ; geradod, excited, quick.
These significations unite this word with ready ; which see. Ger. rede,

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