« PreviousContinue »
person I, and put it before the third person is. In other terms, 1 and i. must go together; 1 and ii. must not be combined. You must say we were (1 and i.), and not they was (iii. and 1). Before I conclude, let me impress it on your mind that you will never speak grammatically, or, at any rate, never be sure that you speak grammatically, unless you take the trouble to make yourself familiar with the terms and the laws of grammar. Many, finding the study somewhat difficuli, aster a little while, give it up in a sort of confident spirit, thinking such drudgery beneath them, and fancying they can do all that is necessary by a sort of nondescript grammatical feeling. This is silly. Accurate knowledge is not obtained by genius, or inspiration, or any other fancied short cut to science. If you would know, you must condescend to learn, and all true learning demands, as it well rewards, diligent and constant labour."-"Well, I do not know that I am in that danger; I never thought myself a genius;' and as for inspiration,' that belongs to a subject too sacred for me to venture on-a subject on which I had rather worship than speculate, much less be over confident."-" Those are wise words; the man who is without reverence will be a small man to the end of his days."
GREEK STEMS (Continued). Unhappily there prevails a certain disesteem of verbal studies. Words and facts are put into broad contrast, if not into contradiction, and, with much self-satisfaction, men, especially young men, declare that for their part they prefer realities to sounds. The contrast is a creation of the imagination. In making it the basis of your conduct, you stand on a sound not a reality. Words are the signs of things. Words are the tickets which by one sound or two sounds make known the qualities of things. Words are the church bells which announce facts to the whole parish. As no bell, no service; so no word, no idea. And if you have an idea, you cannot be sure of retaining that idea, still less can you be sure of turning that idea to any good account, until you have found form and pressure for that idea in a suitable word. It is its clothing which makes an idea recognisable. It is its clothing which makes an idea presentable. Bearing a certain mark and likeness in a word, you can look at your thought ; you can turn it over and over ; you can subject it to microscopic inspection; you can ring it to ascertaip if it is “good ;" you can weigh it to learn if it has been clipped or“ sweated;"' you can compare it with similar or different tokens ; you can even toss it into the crucible and reduce it to its elements. Yes, words are the signs and the representatives of realities. If you would have knowledge of realities, you must not neglect the knowledge of their tokens and equivalents.
Laity denotes the people as contradistinguished from the cleryy. In ancient times the laity were ignorant, the clergy learned. Hence arose a broad contrast, exhibiting the people as wicked as well as untaught, and the clergy (clerks) no less holy than instructed. These usages are found in the substance of our language, and still linger amongst us in both thought and feeling
“He entended (intended) to set forth Luther's heresy, teaching that presthed (priesthood) is no sacrament, but the oflice of a lay-man or a lay-woman appointed by the people to preache."- Sir F. More.
“No wonder though the people grew profane,
Drayton. Synthesis is properly the putting together, as analysis (ana, up; and luein, to undo, to loosen) is the undoing. A watchmaker performs an act of analysis when he takes a watch to pieces, and an act of synthesis when he puts the parts together again.
“Synthesis consists in assuming the causes discovered and established as principles, and by them explaining the phenomena proceeding from them, and proving the explanations.”—Newton, “ Optics."
“ Analysis consists in making experiments and observations, and in drawing general conclusions from them by induction.”-Newton, “Optics."
Analysis is the way of discovery, synthesis is the way of teaching or communication. By synthesis men put together and exhibit what they have ascertained by analysis. Metamorphosis denotes a change of form,
“ Thus men (my lord) be metamorphosed
From seemly shape to byrds and ougly beasts.” Gascoigne. Metempsychosis (meta, change; en, in; and pyché, the soul) has for its Latin equivalent transmigration (trans, over ; migro, I change my place).
“ The sages of old live again in us, and in opinions there is a metempsychosis. We are our re-animated ancestors, and antedate their resurrection.”—Glanvill.
Metathesis is a change of position or a transposition. Thus what we write bird was formerly bryd, the i and the r changing places.
Mythology is the science of fable, and is applied to the religion of the Greeks, the Romans, the Hindoos, &c., in opposition to the pure religion of the Gospel. German philosophy has introduced amongst us the new term myth, as denoting a legend, or a version of fucts, shaped and coloured by opinion, fancy, prejudice, by the workings of the intellect, the workings of the imagination, or the workings of the heart. In origin, myth, fable, and legend are one, for the words severally denote a word, something spoken, something narrated. But as old stories soon lose their primitive form, and acquire new shapes and bues, so words pass into legends, and legends are corrupted into fables.
Necromancy is the fancied art of learning and disclosing facts by communication with the dead. The witch of Endor dealt necromantically with Samuel at the request of Saul. (1 Sam. xxviii, 7; compare Deut. xviii. 9.)
Stems. English words.
neophyte nomos, an allotment
astronomy aster, a star.
English words, nosos, disease
parallel allélon, of one another allel
parallel oligos, few
oligarchy optesthai, to see
optics ornis, a bird
ornithology pais, a boy
pedagogue pathos, feeling
apathy, antipathy a (negative), not
apetalous anti, in opposition to
antichrist christos, anointed
Christ Christian penté, five
pentagon petros, a stone
petrifaction phoné, sound
phony euphony phthogos, a sound
phthong dipthong dis, twice
didymus polemos, war
polemical polis, a city
metropolis meter, a mother
metropolitan pseudein, to deceive
pseudo pseudo-apostle apostellein, to send out
apostolic pyr, fire
pyrometer sarks, flesh
sarcophagus sitos, food
parsitical scopein, to see
telescopic telos, the end
telescope strephein, to turn
stroph strophe techné, art
technical thaptein, to bury
atheist theos, God
enthusiast topos, a place
topography zoon, an animal
200, 20 zoology Neology, or new doctrine, conveys with it the same tacit blame as new light, on the ground that what is old is more likely to be true than what is new, and that what is new may be fanciful.
“ They endeavour, by a sort of neology of their own, to confound all ideas of right and wrong."- Boothby, “ On Burke.”
Neos supplies also the first syllable to neophyte, one newly born, or created anew by grace, a convert.
“ In effects of grace, St. Paul makes a difference between those he calls neophytes—that is, newly grafted into Christianity-and those that are brought up in the faith."-Bacon. In 1 Tim. iii, 6, the Greek word neophytes is rendered novice.
Astronomy, from the Greek words in the preceding list, means the allotment or distribution of the stars into classes, and not the laus of the stars, which is a modern idea.
In the word parochial, the original form of the Greek root is seen better than in parish ; which, however, is of the same deriva
tion. Parish, from paroikia, à division, a district formed of persons living together, takes its English form from the French pa. roisse. Blackstone defines a parish as “a circuit of ground committed to the charge of one person, or vicar, or other minister having care of souls therein.”
Parallel speaks of things that are, or run, by the side one of another. Two lines are called parallel when they are drawn equally distant from each other in all their extent.
" Yet shall this graceful line forget to please,
If border'd close by sidelong parallels,
Mason. In the relation of such lines, the idea of equality is obviously involved; whence, to parallel is to equal.
“Tell me, gentle boy,
Beaumont and Fletcher. But parallel lines are opposite to each other ; hence para, from signifying side by side, came to signify opposite, contrari, to. Thus a paradox is something opposed to common opinion; and a paral. ogism is an unsound argument.
“In their love of God men never can be too affectionate; it is as true, though it may seem a paradox, that in their hatred of sin, men may sometimes be too passionate.”-Sprat.
"If a syllogism agree with the rules given for the construction of it, it is called a true argument; if it disagree with these rules, it is a paralogism or false argument."—Watts. The idea of equality may lead to the idea of general excellence or even of superiority ; accordingly, the word paragon, which we derive through the Italian, signifies something supremely excellent, a model,
“ An angel ! or if not,
Shakspear. Division, too, is implied in equality, and so paragraph in a book signifies a division. A paragraph is a portion of writing consisting of one or more, generally several, sentences.
“I call that by bookes and chapters which the Greeke book divideth by chapters and paragraphes.”—Ascham. These illustrations of the applications of the Greek preposition para may serve to assist the student in forming a correct acquaintance with the nature and power of language. Let him endeavour for himself to ascertain the acceptation of other forms of para, as paradigm, paraphrase, &c., and let him not confound with such forms the words paradise and parade. Of these, the former is of Persian origin, and signifies an inclosure, a park, a garden; and the latter is of Latin origin (from paratum, signifying prepared), and comes to us through the French, denoting preparedness ; hence, proof of preparedness; and hence again, show and display, such as soldiers on parade present.
EXERCISES IN COMPOSITION.
ripa, a river-side
» for or after a person, ascian, to petition
,, for a thing, Aspire to,
spiro, I breathe Assent to,
sentio, I feel Assimilate to,
similis, like Associate with,
socius, a companion, Assure of,
assurer, to assure Atone for,
at one, to at.one Attached to,
attacher, to bind Attain to,
atteindre, to reach Attend to,
tendre, to stretch Averse to, from,
verto, I turn The word metropolis, literally mother-city, shows how much terms, while they retain a trace of their primitive meaning, in process of time, deviate greatly therefrom. "Metropolis originally had reference to the Greek system of colonisation, and was equivalent to our term mother-country; that is, the country to which each colony belonged. Properly, then, metropolis is the mother-country (in German, father-land), and the counterpart was colony. Here, metropolis retains its etymological signification, for Athens (for instance) was the mother of the colonies she planted. But now the metropolis of England, namely, London, stands in no strictly maternal relation to the provinces or even to the colonies of the empire. London is not the mother-city of the population of Lancashire, or of Calcutta, and its claim to bear the name metropolis arises almost exclusively from the fact that it is the centre of the empire, and the seat of its central government. So marked an instance of the departure of a word from its primitive meaning may teach you how cautious you should be in the etymological study of words, and how necessary it is in such studies to call in the aid of history and general knowledge. Our word pyre is from the Greek pyr.
“When bis brave son, upon the fun'ral pyre
He saw extended, and his beard on fire.” Dryden. From pyr and latreia (Gr. worship) is formed pyrolatry, or fireworship, and from the same, with manteia (Gr. divination), is formed pyromancy, or divination by fire.
“ Divination was invented by the Persians, and is seldom or never taken in good sense; there are four kinds of divination, hydromancy, Pyromancy, aeromancy, geomancy."-Ayliffe. These four kinds you ought now to be able to make out for yourself, if I tell you in addition that aer is the Greek for air, the two terms being different forms of the same word.
From pyr we have also pyrotechnics, the art of making fireworks. Pyramid is derived from the same, as appears from the following instructive quotation :