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which pass over it, are Anglo-Saxon. This language has given names to the heavenly bodies, sun, moon, stars; to three out of the four elements, earth, fire, water; three out of the four seasons, spring, summer, winter; the natural divisions of time, as day, night, morning, evening, twilight, noon, midday, midnight, sunrise, sunset; some of which are amongst the most poetical terms we have. To the same language we are indebted for the names of light, heat, cold, frost, rain, snow, hail, sleet, thunder, lightning ; as well as of almost all those objects which form the component parts of the beautiful in external scenery, as sea and land, hill and dale, wood and stream. The same may be said of all those productions of the animal and vegetable kingdoms which form the most frequent subjects of gbservation or discourse, or which are invested with the most pleasing and poetic associations ; of the constituent parts or visible qualities of organised or unorganised beings, especially of the members of the human body and of the larger animals. Anglo-Saxon has also furnished us with that numerous and always vivid class of words, which denote the cries, postures, and motions of animated existence. These are amongst the most energetic that any language can supply ; for the same reason that words expressive of individual objects are always stronger than general terms. It is a sound and universal maxim of rhetoric, that the more abstract the term is, the less vivid ; the more special, the more vivid is the impression. Now, almost all the words which are expressive of these specialities of posture and bodily action, are the purest Saxon ; such as, to sit, stand, lie, run, walk, leap, stay. ger, slip, slide, stride, glide, yawn, gape, wink, thrust, fly, swim, creep, crawl, spring, spurn. If all this is true, we need not be surprised at the fact that, in the descriptions of external nature, whether by prose writers or by poets, the most energetic and graphic terms are almost universally Anglo-Saxon. It is as little matter of wonder that in those simple narratives in which genius and wisdom attempt the most difficult of all tasks—that of teaching philosophy without the forms of it, and of exhibiting general truths in facts and examples, leaving the inferences to be drawn by the instinctive sagacity of human nature - the terms are often, almost without exception, Anglo-Saxon. It is thus with the nar. tatives of the Old Testament,-the history of Joseph for instance, and with the parables of the New Testament, perhaps the only compositions in the world that can be translated without losing much in the process, and which, into whatever language translated, at once assume a most idiomatic dress. The same remark holds good to a certain extent of “ Robinson Crusoe,” “The Vicar of Wakefield,” “Gulliver's Travels,” and other works in which the bulk of the words are pure Saxon.
III. It is from this language we derive the words which are ex pressive of the earliest and dearest connexions ; and the strongest and most powerful feelings of our nature; and which are, consequently, invested with our oldest and most complicated associations; their very sound is often a spell for the orator and the poet
to conjure withal. It is this language which has given us names for father, mother, husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, child, home, kindred, friends. It is this which has furnished us with the greater part of those metonymies and other figurative expressions, by which we represent to the imagination, and that in a simple word, the reciprocal duties and enjoyments of hospitality, friendship, or love. Such are hearth, roof, fireside. The chief emo. tions, too, of which we are susceptible, are expressed in the same language, as love, hope, fear, sorrow, shame ; and what is of more consequence to the orator and the poet, as well as in common life, the outward signs by which emotion is indicated, are almost all Anglo-Saxon; such are tear, smile, blush, to laugh, weep, sigh, groan.
IV. Most of those objects, about which the practical reason of man is employed in common liie, receive their names from the Anglo-Saxon. It is the language for the most part of business, of the countinghouse, the shop, the market, the street, the farm.
V. Anglo-Saxon, also, are nearly all our national proverbs, in which, it is truly said, so much of the practical wisdom of a nation resides, and which constitute the manual or vade-mecum (“ go with me;" that is, the pocket-book, or note-book) of “hobnailed philosophy."
VI. A very large proportion (and that always the strongest) of the language of invective, humour, satire, and colloquial pleusantry, is Anglo-Saxon; also all the terms and phrases by which we most energetically express anger, contempt, and indignation.
VII. It may be stated, as a general truth, that while our most abstract and general terms are derived from the Latin, those which denote the special varieties of objects, qualities, and words of action, are derived from the Anglo-Saxon. Thus, move and motion, very general terms, are of Latin origin ; but those terms which express nice varieties of bodily action, are Anglo-Saxon. Sound is perhaps Latin, though it may be Anglo-Saxon ; but to buzz, hum, clash, hiss, rattle, &c., are Anglo-Saxon. Colour is Latin ; but white, black, green, yellow, blue, red, brown, are Anglo. Saxon. Crime is Latin; but murder, theft, robbery, to lie, to steal, are Anglo-Saxon. Member and organ, as applied to the body, are Latin and Greek ; but ear, eye, hand, foot, lip, mouth, teeth, hair, finger, nostril, are Anglo-Saxon. Animal is Latin; but man, cow, sheep, calf, cat, are Anglo-Saxon. Number is immediately French, remotely Latin; but all our cardinal and ordinal numbers are Anglo-Saxon.
With these facts before us we need not wonder that the orator and the poet are recommended to cultivate assiduously the Anglo. Saxon portion of the language. “The common people,” it is said, " cannot understand words which are of classical origin.” And this is a good reason for the advice. But it is not the only reason, 'The great object of the orator and the poet is to make their mean. ing felt; to stimulate the imagination, and thence excite emotion, They, therefore, seek the most special terms they can find. Again, the terms which, cæteris paribus (other things being equal), most vividly recall the objects or feelings they represent, are those which have been earliest, longest, and most frequently used, wbich are consequently covered with the strongest associations, the sign and the thing signified having become so inseparably blended that the one is never suggested without the other. And thus it is that of two synonymes (words having nearly the same meaning) derived respectively from Latin and the Anglo-Saxon, both equally well understood, the one shall impart the most vivid, and the other the most tame conception of the meaning. It is precisely for the same reason that the feelings with which we read beautiful passages in foreign poets are so faint and languid, compared with those which are exerted by parallel passages in Shakspeare, Milton, or Burns.
Having thus furnished you with some criteria or means of ascertaining what words have their origin in the Saxon, or, as it is more correctly called, the Teutonic branch of our language, I must now request, that in all your studies, you will constantly ask yourself, whether each word you meet with, is, or is not, of Saxon derivation? Among English writers, no one has a larger portion of Saxon in his compositions than Dean Swift; and no one writes the language more correctly. I shall therefore make use of his writings in this part of my task. William Cobbett's works may be advantageously studied for the Saxon treasures which they contain.
EXERCISES FOR PARSING. It is a miserable thing to live in suspense. To live in suspense, is to live the life of a spider. No wise man ever wished to be younger. An idle reason lessens the weight of good reasons. Complaint is the largest tribute paid to Heaven. Complaint is the sincerest part of our devotion, Praise is the daughter of present power. Every man desires to live long. No man is willing to be old. Kings are said to have long hands. Kings ought to have long ears. Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. Good manners is the art of making associates easy. Flattery is the worst, and falsest way of showing our esteem. A fine gentleman has both wit and learning.
The reader may exercise his ingenuity, as well as his grammar, while he discovers the explanation of a Riddle of the learned Dean's, which is appropriate to my subject.
“We are little airy creatures
All of different voice and features;
It can never fly from you.” An excellent practice in composition is letter-writing. I shall therefore, occasionally, give a specimen of epistolary correspondence. And I advise my pupils to accustom themselves to express their thoughts in the form of letters. Let the letters be real; I mean, let them be written, not as exercises in composition, but on some business, and to some friend or acquaintance. Your chief want at first, as I have before intimated, is the want of matter. “I don't know what to say,” is a complaint with young composers no less true than embarrassing. You will find something to say if you take your pen in hand, and sit down to address a few lines to an absent friend. Only do not attempt anything great or fine. Be simple. Consult your heart, if your head is silent. Just say what occurs to you, without being anxious whether it is very wise or very foolish; whether it is trivial or important. Specially would I advise my pupils to correspond one with another. For instance, say that a young man in Exeter writes a letter to a former companion who has gone to reside at Bristol. B., living at Bristol, replies to his friend A. at Exeter. The two continue to interchange letters. If they have nothing else to write about, they may write about these lessons. Let them endeavour to give each other aid in their study of the English language. · Let them freely and kindly criticise each other's letters. ' Let them ask and give explanations. Let A. correct B.'s exercise, and let B. do the same for A. Let them agree on some book which they will both read, with a view to make in writing and submit to each other remarks on the composition. For this purpose I would suggest to them the “ Spectator.”
In this counsel I have mentioned young men, by no means intending to exclude young women. Most desirous am I that young women should receive a good education. Most necessary to them as being the future mothers of our land, is a good education. A far better education ought they to receive than the best which they do receive. But to be well-educated they must be self-educated. Let young women then consider themselves specially addressed in the lessons I supply, and the advice I give.
London, April 13, 1713. SIR, I am ashamed to tell you how ill a philosopher I am, and that a very ill situation of my affairs for three weeks past made me utterly incapable of answering your obliging letter, and thanking you for your most agreeable copy of verses. The prints will tell you that I am condemned again to live in Ireland ; and all that the court and ministry did for me, was to let me choose my situation in the country where I am banished. I could not forbear showing both your letter and verses to our great men, as well as to the men of wit of my acquaintance; and they were highly approved of by all. I am altogether a stranger to your friend Oppian; and am a little angry when those who have a genius lay it out in translations. I question whether “Res angusta domi” (narrow means) be not one of rour motive3. Perhaps you want such a bridle as translation. for your genius is too fruitful, as appears by the frequency of your similes, and this employment may teach you to write like a modest man, as Shakespeare expresses it.
I have been minding my Lord Bolingbroke, Mr. Harcourt, and Sir William Windham, to give you a living; as a business which
belongs to our society, who assume the title of rewarders of merit. They are very well disposed, and I shall not fail to negotiate for you while I stay in England, which will not be above six weeks; but I hope to return in October, and if you are not then provided for I will move heaven and earth that something may be done for you. Our society has not met of late, else I would have moved to have two of us sent in form to request a living for you from my lord chancellor, and if you have any way to employ my services, I desire you will let me know it ; and believe me to be very sincerely, Sir, your most faithful, humble servant, JONATHAN SWIFT.
EXERCISES IN COMPOSITION.
The patriarch Abraham's Visit to Egypt. Form sentences, each having in it one of the following words :
Debts; light; sing; come; health ; water; sky; home ; day; night; lark; rose ; Victoria ; Mary; Henry; mother; bread; England; wife; buttercup; linnet; daisy ; stone.
Describe a chair; a wheel of a coach ; a kite; a waterpot; an oak-tree; the room in which you write; and the place where you work.
DERIVATION; I. PREFIXES. The Saxon may be called the native English stock. The Latin portion of our language is of foreign growth, it is an exotic. As being of foreign growth its elements are not easily understood, and must, therefore, receive the greater attention. In entering on the necessary course of instruction, I am met by a distinction already spoken of,-namely, the distinction of simple and compound words. Compound words are made up of parts. Those parts are either simple words or particles, that is, fragments of simple words. Country-house is a compound term consisting of two simple words, namely, country and house. Departure is a compound word which comprises these three particles, namely, de-part-ure,that is,
and ure from
a termination Of these three particles, part is the most important, inasmuch as it determines the specific meaning ; as you may learn by comparing with departure a word exactly the same in the first and third particle:
ure In the second word the substitution of bent for part has entirely changed the meaning. The reason is that part and bent are the roots of the two words. Every word has a root. Sometimes the word, especially in Saxon terms, is its own root, at least in the actual state of the language, as heart, think, wise. The root is not always the middle portion as it is in departure and debenture. In contradict the root (dictum) is at the end, and in mental the root is at the beginning. It is, however, clear that in compound