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COMPOSITION.
Words with their proper Prepositions to be formed into sentences.
Words.

F.R.
Clear of,

clarus, bright, distinct
Coalesce with,

coalesco, I grow together Coincide with,

cum, in, cado, I fall in with Commune with,

communis, common Commit to

cum, mitto, I send with Communicate to,

communico, I communicate
Compare to (in respect

to quality),
Compare with (by way y comparo, I compare, match

of illustration), CONVERSATIONS ON ENGLISH GRAMMAR.-No. IV.

ENGLISH DICTIONARIES. I find the study of those Greek stems difficult."-"Every study is difficult at the first, and often is a study the more difficult the more valuable it is, both for the information it contains and for the mental discipline which it gives. Pursue the course which the Lessons in English take, exactly in the order in which it is presented, and master each lesson in succession.”-“If by mastering you mean that I should thoroughly comprehend and retain in mind. every part, I must candidly tell you that I am unable to do so."" Why? every word likely to cause difficulty is explained, and an example of its import and use is given; the etymology of the words is, too, so set forth, that I should have thought you would, from that alone, have been led to the several meanings.”_" Well, I have, I believe, made out the meanings of some of the words from a knowledge of their constituent elements.”"Doubtless you have, and with practice you will succeed in thus making yourself acquainted with them all; it is by this means that I have learnt the import of thousands of the words with which I am familiar.""O you have had good dictionaries.”_" True, I possess good dictionaries, but the best dictionaries will not suffice to give anyone even a verbal knowledge of a language ; and I assure you it is very possible for a dictionary to be so used as to be a hindrance to a real, and thorough, and exact acquaintance with a language. A dictionary is a very good servant, but a very bad master. A slavish use of a dictionary retards and obstructs even a verbal knowledge of a language. You should aim to become your own dictionary; and to a great extent your own dictionary you may become, if you take the trouble to make yourself familiar with the roots of the English. Do you think you would ever acquire a knowledge of the steamengine, so as to be able to make an engine yourself, if you confined your inspection to its exterior ? The way to know how to put a steam-engine together is first to take it to pieces, and then carefully to examine the structure and use of every part.”—“Yes, brother, there is sense in that; I had a proof last week: I took my watch to be repaired, and as I stood there at the counter chatting with the watchmaker he began to take my watch to pieces; my curiosity was excited, I watched every step, and when he had done (or rather undone the watch), he explained to me the use and function of every part. To-morrow I am to go to see him put the parts to

gether."-"A very good illustration; now you would understand what you see to-morrow very imperfectly if you had not seen the watch taken to pieces, and if, further, you had not carefully marked and studied every piece of the machinery. After all, your knowledge of the structure and the movements of the watch will remain very much inferior to the watchmaker's knowledge; why?"-"Isuppose, because he is more exactly and more thoroughly familiar with the several parts.”-“Exactly; apply this to a language; it is the paris or the elements of the English language that I want you to be master of, well knowing that when you are so, you will know and language well; but without that mastery you must not expect to become a proficient in our tongue. You did not, I fancy, entrust your watch to the watchmaker's apprentice ?"-" I should be very sorry to do so.”—“Why?"_"Why? because he is an apprentice, and a young one too."-" Very well, you thought he did not understand his business; and if he did not understand his business, it was chiefly because he was unacquainted with the structure and uses of the parts of your watch.”-“But why take the watch to pieces in order to acquire that knowledge?-“Simply because that knowledge cannot well be otherwise acquired. í dare say you have looked at your watch very often.","yes, and I have tried to look into it-but never could get to know much about its works, or its operations.”_"No, and long enough might the watchmaker's apprentice look at and look into his master s watches before he would acquire the knowledge and skill requisite to make him a watchmaker. Now, in regard to the English, you wish to be a watchmaker, that is, you wish to write good English how can you succeed unless by learning the parts of the structure with which you have to deal ? No, no ; you must follow the watchmaker's practice, you must take the language to pieces, study those several pieces, and then try to put them all together bit by bit. In this operation everything depends on your acquiring a correct knowledge of the several component parts. Therefore study etymology, study the Greek, Latin, and other stems. If you fail in this you will be, and you will remain, in the condition of the watchmaker's apprentice."--"Surely, I may become a master by studying a good English dictionary."-"Never; the mere use of the dictionary is like looking at the watch on the outside ; at the best you will thus look only a small way into it, and after all, having given much more trouble than would be necessary to acquire the language thoroughly with the aid of etymology, you will, whatever

nay make, acquire nothing more than a superficial acquaintance with English. The etymological study of a language is the only wise and proper one; it is also the shortest and the easiest in the long run.”—“What do you mean by. etymological study ?!"-" That study which is founded on etymology or a knowledge of root-meanings, a knowledge of the ineanings of the component parts or the elements of a language. Etymology is the A, B, C, of a language; and as you cannot write without knowing 'your alphabet,' so you cannot read without knowing the materials you have to employ. I fancy I should ill succeed in your cabinetmaking. Why?"-"For one thing you don't know the tools.”

-"No; but the tools of the English language I do knoxv, and want to teach you what they are, and what they are for. Therefore study the Greek and Latin stems or roots."-“But you do not forbid the use of a dictionary. Some of the words given in the

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lessons I cannot make out- what am I to do ?"-" Consult a good English dictionary. I am not against the proper use of a dictionary; it is the abuse of a dictionary I wish to guard you against. Do not expect too much from a dictionary. Do not place your reliance on a dictionary. Do not fly to a dictionary the moment you meet with a word you do not understand. Instead of consulting the dictionary, consult your own head. Surely you will be better off if you carry a dictionary about with you."-"Yes, I will get a pocket dic. tionary.!!_*No! no ! I don't meant that; pocket dictionaries are of little more use than “ pocket pistols;" it is a head-dictionary that I wish to recommend; if you have a dictionary in your own head you will never be at a loss; and the way to acquire such a treasure is by systematic study-the etymological study of the English tongue."2" Still you think a dictionary may be useful; what dictionary do you recommend ?”—“I think it indispensable that you should possess a good English dictionary; talent and industry of the first class might do without a dictionary; and you yourself will fail in your duty if you do not learn far more without than you learn by means of a dictionary; nevertheless, there are occasions when a dictionary is useful, not to say necessary.

ot to say necessary, and on that account I will set before you means for determining which of the dictionaries of the English language you should purchase; but enough for the present.”

LATIN STEMS. LANGUAGE is full of instruction, because it is the embodiment, the . incarnation, so to speak, of the feelings, and thoughts, and experiences of a nation; yea, often of many nations, and of all which through centuries they have attained to and won. It stands, like the Pillars of Hercules, * to mark how far the moral and intellectual conquests of mankind have advanced; only not like those pillars, fixed and immovable, but ever itself advancing with the progress of these ;-nay, more, itself a great element of that advance; for "language is the armoury of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.” The mighty moral instincts which have been working in the popular mind, have found therein their unconscious voice, and the single kinglier spirits that have looked deeper into the hearts of things have sometimes gathered up all they have seen into some word which they have launched upon the world, and with which they have enriched it for ever-making in that new word a new region of thought to be henceforward, in some sort, the common heritage of all. Language is the amber in which a thousand precious and subtle thoughts have been safely embedded and preserved. It has arrested ten thousand lightning flashes of genius, which, unless thus arrested and fixed, might have been as bright, but would also have been as quickly passing and perishing, as the lightning. Words convey the mental treasures of one period to the generations that follow; and laden with this, their precious freight, they sail safely across gulfs of time in which

• The rocks on each side of the Straits of Gibraltar, were called by the ancients “ The Pillars of Hercules."

empires have suffered shipwreck, and the languages of common life have sunk into oblivion. And for all these reasons, far more and mightier, in every way, is a language than any one of the works which may have been composed in it. For that work, great as it may be, is but the embodying of the mind of a single man ; this of a nation. The “Iliad'' is great, yet not so great in strength, or power, or beauty, as the Greek language. “Paradise Lost” is a noble possession for a people to have inberited, but the English tongue is a nobler heritage yet. *

One of the most elegant writers in our language, Mrs. Barbauld, who in her husband's school superintended the lessons in English composition, was accustomed to pursue a plan which to some extent is similar to what I recommend, and which for many years I followed in my own school. Lucy Aikin, her biographer, tells us “ on Wednesdays and Saturdays the boys were called in separate classes to her apartment; she read a fable, a short story, or a moral essay to them aloud, and then sent them back into the school-room to write it out on their slates in their own words. Each exercise was separately looked over by her; the faults of grammar were obliterated, the vulgarisms were chastised, the idle epithets were cancelled, and a distinct reason was always assigned for every correction; so that the arts of enditing and of criticising were in some degree learnt together. Many a lad from the great schools, who excels in Latin and Greek, cannot write properly a vernacular (from Lat. vernaculus, native) letter, for want of some such discipline "t

I recommend, and strongly recommend, the study of Mrs. Barbauld's writings. At any rate “ The Evenings at Home,” to which she contributed several of the best pieces, should be in the hands of all my students.

LATIN STEMS. Latin words. Stems. English words. curro, I run

cur, curr incur, curricle, current cursus, a running

curs, cour excursion, succour datus, given

dit, dat addition, date, datum, data decor, (decoris), grace decor

decorous, decoration dens (dentis), a tooth dent

dentist, indentation deus (dei), a god

dei

deity, deify dexter, righthanded

dexter

dexterity, dexterous dico, I say

dict

dictate, predict, diction dies, a day

di

dial, diary, meridian medius, middle

medi

mediate, mediocrity aigaus, worthy

digni

dignity, dignify diurnus, daily

diurn, journ diurnal, journal doceo, I teach

doc, doct docile, doctor, doctrine doleo, I grieve

dol

dole, dolorous, condole dominus, a master

domin

domineer, dominion

• See an excellent and most instructive (though in style too ambitious) manual “On the Study of Words, by R. C. French, B.D. London, 1852.

+ " The Works of Laetitia Barbould.” Memoir, p. 25.

fossil

LATIN STEMS.
Latin words.

Stems. English words. domus, a house

dom

domestic, domicile donum, a gift

don

donation, donor duco, I lead

duc, duct duct, induce, educate duo, two

du

dual, duel durus, hard

dur

durable, durance ebrius, drunken

ebri

ebriety, inebriate edo, 'I eat

edible ego, 1

egotist, egotism emo, I buy

(e)em, empt red(e)em, exemption flecto, I bend

flect

reflect, in fiect flexus, bent

flex

flexible, flexile flictus (Aligo), dashed flict

con flict, afflict flox (floris), a flower

fior

floral, florist fluctus, a wave

luctu

fluctuate fluo, I flow

fuent, in fluence fluxus, a flowiny

flux

re flux, ef flux foedus (foeděris), a treaty feder

federal, con federate foro, I bore, pierce

for

perforate fors (fortis), chance

fort

fortuitous, fortunate fortis, strong

forti

fortify, fortitude fossa, a ditch

foss

fosse fossus, dug

Joss frango, I break

frag, fring fragment, in fringe fractus, broken

fract

fracture, fraction frater, a brother

frater, fratri fraternal, fratricide frigeo, I am cold

frig

frigid, re frigeration fructus, fruit

fructi

fructify fruor, I enjoy

fruition fugio, I fly

fuy

refuge, subterfuge fugitum, to fly

fugit

fugitive fulmen (sulminis), lightning fulmin fulminate fundo, I pour

fund

refund fusus, poured

fusible, in fuse, refuse gelu, frost

gel, geal, gelat congeal, congelation, gelat. gens (gentis), a nation

gentile, genteel (inous genu, a knee

genu

genuflexion gero, 1 carry

ger, gest belligerent, gesture, digestion exter, outward

exter

external, exterior faber, a workman

fabr

fabric, fabricate

s facil, facul facilis, easy

facilitate, faculty ficul

difficult

S fact, fect, fit facio, I make

factor, perfect, benefit

soporific, purify sopor (sopāris), heaviness, sopor

soporiferous fallo, I deceive [sleep fall

fallacious, infallible fanum, a temple

fan

profane, profanation fari, to speak

fa

fable, ineffable fatus, spoken

fat

fate, fatal felix (felicis), happy felic

felicity femina, a woman

femin

feminine, effeminacy fero, I bear

fer

ferry, infer, circumference fervco, 1 boil

ferv

fervid, esfervescence fidēlis, faithful

fidelity, infidel

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fanu'n deceire), heavines sich

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