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“ The seven pyramids that are become wonders of the yorld; which in how long a time and with what difficulty they were brought up so high, Herodotus sheweth; towers they be, erected to such an height as exceed eth the handy work of man; of a huge breadthe in the bottome, and risinto a most sharp-pointed top; which figure in geometry is tearmed pyramis, for that (like] to the form of fire, it cometh to be small in the head, in fashion of a cone or pine-apple.”—Holland.
Sarcophagus, or flesh-devourer, the Greek name for coffin, had its origin in the fact that a stone (alumen schisti) was employed for the purpose, which had the quality of accelerating decomposition. According to Pliny, bodies put into such coffins were, except the teeth, totally destroyed within forty days. Perhaps from religious considerations the Greeks took means to hasten the breaking up of the frame, as is instanced in their practice of burning the dead.
Strophe, which properly signifies a turning, was the portion of a song which was sung in the Greek theatre while the chorus moved from one side of the stage to the other; when they began to move in the opposite direction, they sang the antistrophé, or opposite strophé.
To some it may not appear that enthusiast comes from theos ; in the Greek original, however, the derivation is clear. Enthusiasm, according to its derivation, denotes the presence of God in the soul, and an enthusiast was one who had God in his soul. Hence, anciently, enthusiasm was the same as inspiration. By degrees the word fell into bad odour, as may be seen in these words :
“I mean enthusiasm, which, laying by reason, would set up revelation without it. Whereby in effect it takes away both reason and revelation, and substitutes in the room of it the ungrounded fancies of a man's own brain, and assumes them for a foundation both of opinion and conduct.” -Locke. The word is, however, also taken in a good sense, and then has for its inferior partner fanaticism :
“He comes: he comes! the saviour of the land !
His drawn sword flames in his uplifted hand,
Logan. Zoology is the science of life, that is, of animal life, as may appear in the quotation :
“ Zoology is the noblest part of natural history, as it comprehends all sensitive beings, from reasonable man, through every species of animal life, till it descends to that point where sense is wholly extinct, and vegetation commences."- Pennant, “ British Zoology."
Azote, literally life-less, is also the name of the gas called nitrogen, in which animal life cannot be sustained.
The Greek a privative is found in several other words which form part of our language. It appears in azymes, mentioned in the preface to King James's translation of the Bible, and in the Rheims version of 1582. The word is made up of a, not; and zyme, leaven.
I subjöin several translations of the words found in Matt. xxvi. 17:
" In the first days o therf loaves."'-Wiclij, 1380.
“ The first day of the feast of unleavened bread."--Authorised, 1611. The a privative is found also in asbestos (a, not; and sbennumai, I burn) literally unburnable. Asbestos is a species of fossil stone which may be split into threads and filaments from one inch to ten inches in length, very fine, brittle, yet somewhat tractable, silky, and of a greyish colour : also endued with the property of remaining unconsumed in fire. This stone is said to be found in Anglesey and in Aberdeenshire. Out of it the ancients made the cloth which is known under the same designation. By enveloping the body in a covering of asbestos, the ancients, in burning corpses, kept the ashes of the corpse separate from the ashes of the fuel, and so had the former for preservation in funereal urns.
EXERCISES FOR PARSING. A pedagogue is a term of Greek origin equivalent to our schoolmaster. Pedagogue is a word which is now used contemptuously. In an oligarchy the interests of a few predominate. In a democracy the interests of the many prevail. The realand the apparent interests of men are sometimes very different. A polemical spirit is undesirable. Polemical writings are occasionally required. The character of the apostle Paul is very noble. Apostolical virtues are rare. The apostles received their mission immediately from Christ. Without enthusiasm the best of causes cannot be carried forward. Enthusiasm is in danger of degenerating into fanaticism.
EXERCISES IN COMPOSITION.
Fr. ballotte, a little ball
Fr. bannir, to banish
Sax. bare, naked
Fr. barguigner, to hesitate, chaffer
Sax. beoran, to carry
Fr. guiller, to conceal
Gr. glauben, to believe
Gr. belangen, to belong to
Sax. bereafian, to take away from
Sax. bestandan, to give
Fr. trahir, to betray
Sax. treoth, fidelity
Sax. bigan, to bow, to worship
Sax, bindan, to surround with cord .
Fr, blamer, to blame
Sax. blosen, to le rul
Welsh, bostio, to bray
Fr, border to cice
Welsh, braggio, to swell
ESCAPE OF THE DUKE OF ALBAXY. King James III., of Seotland, after his marriage vith Margaret, Princess of Denmark, hasing disgusted his proud nobility by patronising and receiving into favour many persons of inferior rank, deep and dangerous intrigues were formed against him. By these Ininions and upstart counsellors he was speedily made aware that his brothers-Alexander, Duke of Albany, and John, Earl of Marwere forming conspiracies against him, and that the former aimed at nothing less than wresting the sceptre from his hand,-a fact which has since been proved by authentic documents. In 1482, Albany was committed to the Castle of Edinburgh, where he was kopt a close prisoner by those who knew that his accession to power would assuredly be their destruction. He had not been long in durar.ce until he formed and matured a plan of escape, which, with desperate courage, he executed in the following manner. Terrified by the mysterious fate of Mar, and aware that his day of trial was approaching, some of Albany's numerous friends in France or Scotland, contrived means to acquaint him that a small vessel, laden with Gascon wine, lay in the roadstead of Leith, by which he might escape if he made an effort. The tower in which he was confined was probably Davids, for we are informed that it "arose from the northern verge of the rock on which the castle is founded, where the height of the precipice seemed to bar all possibility of escape." He hadi but one at:endant (styled his chamber-chield) left to wait upon him, and to this trusty follower alone he revealed his intention. From the French vessel he received two small rumlets or barrels of wine, which luckily the castle-guard permitted to be carried into his apartment untasted and unexamined. On opening them in private, the duke found that they contained Malvoisie, and, what was of more importance, a strong rope and a waxen roll inclosing an anonymous letter, urging him to lose no time in attempting to escape, as the king's minions had determined he should die ere the
O's sunset; and the billet ended by an assurance that the boats of the French vessel should await him at the shore of Leith. The first point to be gained was to lull the suspicions of the captain of the guard, for which purpose the duke invited him to supper, and by pressing him and three of his soldiers to drink freely of the Malvoisie, succeeded in partially intoxicating them. After gaming and drinking until the hour grew late, Albany found the moment for action had come! Rushing upon the captain, he snatched a long dagger from his baldrich, and buried it repeatedly in his breast; then, quick as thought, he despatched the intoxicaied soldiers in the same manner, and, in token of his hostility and contempt (with the assistance of his chamber-chield), he savagely threw the bodies on the great fire that blazed in the stone fire-place of the tower; and there in their armour they broiled and sweltered like tortoises in iron shells. Having secured the keys of the doors, they locked them as they retired, and stealthily hurried to the wall, which they prepared to descend at the most retired part. The chamber-chield lowered himself first over the beetling crag, which is two hundred feet in height, but the cord proving too short, it slipped suddenly through his hands, he fell to the bottom, and there lay senseless. We may imagine how the heart of the blood-stained Albany must have beat at this terrible crisis ! Every moment was fraught with danger, and his death or life were hanging by a hair. Rushing back to his apartment in the tower, he tore the sheets from his bed,
twisted them into a rope, lengthened the cord, looped it around ati embrasure, and, lowering himself over the rampart, and the rugged rocks it overlooked, reached the bottom in safety. There he found his attendant stretched on the ground, with his thigh-bone broken. Unwilling to leave behind him, to the mercy of his enemies, one who had been so faithful, Albany, with a sentiment of gratitude which seems almost incompatible with his previous ferocity, lified him on his shoulders, and, being a man of gigantic stature and uncommon strength, carried him thus with ease to Leith, where they embarked without delay; and, setting sail before the rising sun brightened the German sea, cast anchor under the towers of Dunbar, the patrimonialcastle of Albany. During the whole night nothing was known of his escape; but daylight revealed the rope and twisted sheets hanging over the northern ramparts; there was immediately given an alarm, which the dreadful stench in David's tower muat have increased. His flight was discovered, and the half-consumed corpses were found in the fire-place of his chamber. Enraged and confounded, James III. refused to credit the intelligence until he had examined the place in person.- Memorials of the Castle of Edinburgh, p. 52-55.
THE LATIN ELEMENT. I pass on to the Latin element in the English language. That element can by the ordinary student be appreciated and acquired but imperfectly. I will, however, do what I can to aid him. Had I had the direction of his studies from the first, I would have done my best to make him at the beginning master of the Latin language. As it is, I must content myself with offering to his diligent attention the chief Latin roots which enter into the body of our tongue. Possessed of these, together with their signification, he will in general be at no loss, even without the aid of a dictionary, for the meaning of a word of Latin parentage. Seldom, however, do the words in English which may be traced back to the Latin, come into our tongue directly from the Roman soil. They have generally passed through intermediate countries.
From the Latin are formed several modern languages, namely, the French, the Italian, the Portuguese, and the Spanish. These are called the Romance languages, because they are essentially Roman in their origin, Some say they received the name because in them the first romances were written ; more probably is it, that the fictions so called were denominated from the languages in which they appeared.
It is not immediately from the pure Latin of the Latin classics, such as Livy, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, and Tacitus, that the Romance languages are derived, but rather from these so far as they were found in the vernacular tongue, the spoken language of the population in the great centres of intercourse and in rural districts. This vernacular tongue would be regarded by the Roman purists as a corrupted form of the Latin, Corrupt, doubtless, it was, for it contained many words of merely local prevalence, of low origin, and of no authority. Nevertheless, in it were preserved both terms and forms which, being of a very early origin, like our English dialects, belonged to the very substance of the language.
Already in the bloom of the Roman power, the Latin lauguage had received a very large infusion of foreign elements from the several nations which lay around it as a centre, and over which it had established its sway.—the countries which we now term France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Though tlie original population of these wide districts had, in common with the Romans, a Celtic basis for their language, yet, from locality and diverse culture, they had each for themselves formed a different tongue, and these diversities, when the Roman authority became supreme, and the Roman language was introduced under the wing of that authority, readily blended themselves with the more refined diction of the metropolis and of the great Roman writers. Causes of diversity did not fail to appear on the establishment, in a land, of the Roman despotism. Those causes went on in their operation. At last a new cause, a cause of tremendous power, came into play—the invasion of the northern Barbarians. The blow broke the Roman empire i.. pieces. Out of the consequent ruins arose new forms of government-the forms of our present European kingdoms. With the formation of new centres of political power and social influences, new languages were formed ; the French, the Italian, the Spanish, the Portuguese ; at least, these are the main branches that shot forth from the old trunk and grew, until in separate literatures they each produced fruit. Our English was not without an influence from the general shock; but chiefly from the Romance languages, when they had received each its individual form and character, did the Saxon basis of the English tongue receive additions and incorporate elements. Latin came to us in the conquering train of William of Normandy. His Norman-French, a Romance tongue, like his bold barons, and generally his superior culture, made war on the old Saxon element of our land, defeated it, took it prisoner, and went far to make it do its own bidding. So overpowering was the influence of the court, and so imperious was the sway of fashion, that the first accents of our English literature were com. pelled to take a Gallic shape and tone, retaining their mother Saxon as best they might, and uttering the native sounds" with bated breath."
The Italian branch of the Romance language inoculated our English through the medium of the Catholic church, whose Latin, of universal prevalence, was a sort of medium, and as a medium, so a stepping-stone, between the classic purity of the old Latin language, and the new languages of mediæval Europe; and whose forms, ceremonies, officers, laws, and courts, combined to infuse into English a copious and pervading Latin element.
As the Spaniards and Portuguese made their conquests in foreign climes, and, becoming masters of the ocean, held commerce in their hands, so they, in conducting their maritime and commercial trans. actions, gave to all modern languages words belonging to their own tongue, and the names by which, with more or less accuracy, they denominated the articles of foreign produce which formed the staple of their trade.
At late winds, too, the Romance languages have exerted an