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guages had a common origin. Horne. Tooke has com- Turner has adduced from a series of our most popu• mitted an error of precisely the same kind, in de- lar writers, and in which he has discriminated, by ducing many of our particles immediately from nouns italics, the words of Anglo-Saxon from those of and verbs in the Anglo-Saxon; that is, he has assum foreign origin, we should infer a much greater preed resemblance in form and meaning, as a sufficient ponderance of the Anglo-Saxon element. Mr. Torground for inferring, derivation. He has too often ner has not set down in figures the numbers of the conducted his reasoning as though the Anglo-Saxon two classes of words contained in any these passages. were an anderived language, instead of regarding it Sir James Makintosh analysed three or four of them. (like every other which now exists, or of which his. We shall now give an analysis of the whole. The tory affords us any trace), as formed of the materials passages in question, are from the Bible, Shakespeare, of a yet older language, wrought into a new form and Milton, Cowley, Thompson, Addison, Spenser, assuming a new development. Thus, for example, Locke, Pope, Young, Swift, Robertson, Hume, Gibhe deduces the preposition from, from the Anglo-bon and Johnson. In five verses out of Genesis, conSaxon noun •frum,' beginning.' Assuming that taining one hundred and thirty words, there are only his account of the meaning of the preposition is cor-five not Saxon. In as many verses out of the Gospel of rect, which we think very likely, it is surely improb- St. John, containing seventy-four words, there are able that the one word was derived immediately only two not Saxon. Of the remaining passages, from the other ; since we find the word fram a pre- that from Shakespeare contains eighty-one words; position (as nearly as possible like our word) in the of these the words not Saxon, are thirteen ; that from Anglo-Saxon throughout the whole period of its his. Milton, ninety; not Saxon, sixteen ; that from Cowtory. As far as we know, it is as old as frum. Does ley, seventy-six; not Saxon, ten; that from Thomit not seem, therefore, probable, that both words have son seventy-eight; not Saxon, fourteen; that from come down to us from a remoter age, and a more an-Addison seventy-nine; not Saxon, fifteen ; that from cient dialect from a root of a similar meaning to that Spenser, seventy two; not Saxon, fourteen; that from of both words? They may very probably have had Locke ninety-four; not Saxon, twenty; that from the same pedigree-perhaps the same parentage- Pope eighty-four; not Saxon, twenty eight; that from but can hardly be parent and offspring.
Young ninety-six; not Saxon, twenty one; that from We refer, then, all such words to the Anglo-Saxon, Swift eighty-seven in which nine only are not Saxon ; as have been immediately derived from it, whatever that from Robertson one hundred and fourteen; not their resemblance to Latin words; and all such words Saxon, thirty-four; that from Hume one hundred and to the Latin as have been immediately derived from one; not Saxon, thirty-eight, that from Gibbon eighty; it, whatever their resemblance to Anglo-Saxon words, not Saxon, thirty-one ; that from Johnson eightywhich became obsolete when that language was con- seven; not Saxon, twenty-one. In none of these pasverted into English.
sages is the number of foreign words, greater than The bulk of the Engfish language is derived from one-third ; in many of them less than one-tenth. In Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Greek, and French. Of these all, there are fourteen hundred and ninety-two words, languages the Anglo-Saxon holds by far the most im- of which only two hundred and ninety-six are not portant place, whether we regard the mere number of Saxon. If we were to take this as a criterion, the its contributionsma most fallacious criterion in esti-Saxon would constitute about-four fifths of the lanmating the value of any element of a compound language, instead of five-eighths—or about thirty-two guage-or, (which is a sounder one,) the sorts of fortieths, instead of twenty-five fortieths. But if we words with which it has furnished us. It is very are considering the mere number of words derived possible that, in a compound language like ours, the from the Anglo-Saxon, as cempared with those element which is the least important in weight and derived from other sources, without any reference bulk, may exert the most powerful influence ;-tend-whatever to the relative value of the words, the eriing inore than any other, to detemine its character terion is by no means a fair one. For there are of and to impart to it its vigourmentering into all its course many words_such as articles, pronouns, most idiomatic constructions, forming a part of the prepositions, conjunetions, &c.—which must necesmost familiar and frequently recurring forms of sarily occur much oftener than others; and are therespeech, and serving to express all the most ordinary fore, met with three or four times over in the same thoughts and feelings.
passage. It is true, indeed, that if, dismissing the The English languaye consists of about thirty-eight qnestion of numbers, we consider simply the position thousand words. This includes, of course, not only these words occupy in the language, and that if they radical words, but all derivatives, except the preter-are repeated frequently it is only because we cannot ites and participles of verbs; to which must be ad-help it; then, though their being counted over two or ded some few terms which though set down in the three times, gives us an exaggerated estimate of the dictionaries, are either obsolete or have never ceased number of Anglo-Saxon words, that very exaggerato be considered foreign. Of these, about twenty-three tion is far from adequately expressing the extent to thousand, or nearly five eighths, are of Anglo-Saxon which that portion of the language prevails. origin. The majority of the rest, in what proportions Restricting ourselves, however, for the presens to we cannot say, are Latin and Greek; Latin however, the mere question of numbers, any statement as to has the larger share.
the degree in which the Anglo-Saxon predominates, Assuming that this calculation is accurate, for grounded on a collation of passages cited from any which we will not vouch, or that it approximates to number of writers, can be at best only an approximaaccuracy, which we are quite ready to affirm, it will fiion to the truth; not only for the reasons already be seen that the Anglo-Saxon, even if we look at the assigned, but tiom the great differences in the habits mere number of words it has contributed, is our and education of authors, as well from the very principal source of strength. Nay, were we to found nature of the subjects treated. There are some topics, our calculations upon the passages which Sharon those, for example, more particularly connected with
abstract science, in which comparatively little Anglo-to speculate here) are in every language amongst Saxon can be employed, while there are others in the most ancient, comprehensive in meaning, and exwhich we could scarcely employ anything else. tensively used; the separate words more and most, The calculations in question, however, afford a fair by which we as often express the forms of comparison criterion of the proportion in which the different ele- as by distinct terminations; all our pronouns, per ments of the language are fonnd in the writings of sonal, possessive, relative, and interrogative; nearly our best authors; and perhaps it may be stated as a every one of our so-called irregular verbs, including general truth, that in our most idiomatic writers, all the auxiliaries, have, be, shall, will, may, can, musi, there is about one-tenth of the words not Anglo- by which wo express the force of the principal Saxon; in our least, about one-third.
varieties of mood and tense; all the adverbs most We are inclined to think that the statement we frequently employed, and the prepositions and conhave given of the number of Anglo-Saxon words in junctions almost without exception. the language is not very erroneous, from the follow- Secondly. The names of the greater part of the ing circumstances : Mr. Turner tells us that of the objects of sense, in other words, the terms which Anglo-Saxon, as written in the time of Alfred, about occur most frequently in discourse, or which recall a fifth has become obsolete. If we are to include in the most vivid conceptions, are Anglo-Saxon. Thus, the portion retained, all derivatives, however altered for example, the names of the most striking objects in form or modified in meaning, we think this state-in visible nature, of the chief agencies at work there, ment is quite correct.
and of the changes which pass over it, are AngloNow, in Bosworth's Anglo-Saxon Lexicon, there Saxon. This language has given names to the are from twenty-five thousand to twenty-eight thou. heavenly bodies, sun, moon, stars; to three out of the sand words, counting, of course, compound words as four elements, earth, fire, water; three out of the four well as roots. Though this work may not contain seasons, spring, summer, winter; and indeed to all all the words which a more careful collation of the the natural divisions of time except one; as day, MSS. still lying in our Public Libraries might be night, morning, evening, twilight, noon, midday, expected to disclose, it must contain nearly all. Sup- midnight, sunrise, sunset ; some of which are amongst posing one-fifth of these obsolete, there would remain the mosi poetical lerins we have. To the same nearly the numbers already stated. So much for the language we are indebted for the names of light, heat, question of numbers.
cold, frost, rain, snow, hail, sleet, thunder, lightning; If we look not merely at the number of the words as well as of almost all those objects which form the which the Anglo-Saxon has contributed to the Eng. component parts of the beautiful in external scenery, lishi, but to the kinds of words, as well as to the share as sea and land, hill and dale, wood and stream, &c. it has had'in its formation and developeinent, we shall The same may be said of all those productions of the at once see that there is no comparison between the aniinal and vegetable kingdoms which form the most importance of this, and that of any other element. frequent subjects of observation or discourse, or
In the first place, English grammar is almost es, which are invested with the most pleasing and poetic clusively occupied with what is of Anglo-Saxon associations ; of the constituent parts or visible origin. 'Our chief peculiarities of structure and of qualities of organized or unorganized beings, espeidiom, are essentially Anglo-Saxon; while almost cially of the members of the human body, and of the all the classes of words, which it is the office of larger animals. Anglo-Saxon has also furnished us grammar to investigate, are derived from that langu- with that numerous and always vivid class of words age. And though these peculiarities of structure which denote the cries, postures, and motions of may occupy little space, and these words be very animated existence. These are amongst the most few compared with those to be found in Johnson's energetic that any language can supply; for the Dictionary, they enter most vitally into the constitu- saine reason that words expressive of individual tion of the language, and bear a most important part objects are always stronger than general terms. It in shaping and determining its character. Thus, is a sound and universal maxim of rhetoric, that the what few inflections we have, are all Anglo-Saxon. more abstract the term is, the less vivid the more The English genitive, the general modes of forming special, the more vivid. Now, almost all the words the plural of nouns, and the terminations by which which are expressive of these specialities of posture we express the comparative aud superlative of ad- and bodily action are the purest Saxon ; such as jectives, er and est; the inflections of the pronouns; to sil, to stand, to lie, to run, to walk, to leap, to stagger, of the second and third persons, present and imper. to slip, to slide, to stride, to glide, to yawn, lo gape, to fect, of the verbs; of the preterites and participles of wink, to thrust, to fly, to swim, to creep, tu crawl, to the verbs, whether regular or irregular, and the most spring, to spurn, &c. If all this be true, we need flot frequent termination of our adverbs (ly) are all be surprised at the fact, that in the descriptions of Anglo-Saxon. The nouns, too, derived from Latio external nature, whether by prose writers or by and Greek, receive the Anglo-Saxon terminations of poets, the most energetic and graphic terms are the genitive and the plural, while the preterites and almost universally Anglo-Saxon. It is as Jiule participles of verbs derived from the same sources, matter of wonder, that in those simple narratives, in take the Anglo-Saxon inflections. As to the parts which genius and wisdom attempt the most difficult of speech-those which occur most frequently and of all tasks—that of teaching philosophy without the are individually of most importance, are almost forms of it, and of exhibiting general truths in facts wholly Saxon. Such are our articles and definitives and examples, leaving the inferences to be drawn by generally: as a, an, the, this, that, these, those, many, the instinctive sagacity of human nature-the terms few, some, one, none; the adjectives, whose compara- are often almost without exception Anglo-Saxon. It tives and superlatives are irregularly formed, and is thus with the narratives of the Old Testamentwhich (for reasons on which it would be irrelevant the history of Joseph for instance and with the
parables of the New; perhaps the only compositions language was made not for the few but the many, in the world which can be translated without losing and that that portion of it which enables the bulk of much in the process, and which, into whatever a nation to express their wants and transact their aflanguage translated, at once assume a most idiomatic fairs, must be considered of at least as much importdress. The same remark holds good to a certain ance to general happiness as that which serves the extent of • Robinson Crusoe,' «The Vicar of Wake- purposes of philosophical science. field,' • Gulliver's Travels, and other works, in Sixthly, Nearly all our national proverbs, in which which the bulk of the words are pure Saxon. it is truly said so much of the practical wisdom of a
Thirdly. It is from this language we derive the nation resides, and which constirute the manual and words which are expressive of the earliest and fuade-mecum of "hobnailed' philosophy, are almost dearest connexions, and the strongest and most wholly Anglo-Saxon. powerful feelings of our nature; and which are Seventhly, A very large proportion (and that alconsequently invested with our oldest and most ways the stiongest) of the language of invective, hucomplicated associations. Their very sound is often mour, satire, and colloquial pleasantry, is Angloa spell for the orator and the poet to .conjure withal.' Saxon. As to invective, the language of passion is It is this language which has given us names for always very ancient; for men were angry and out of father, mother, husband, wife, brother, sister, son, temper long before they were philosophers, or even daughter, child, home, kindred, friends. It is this merchants. The vocabulary of abuse amongst most which has furnished us with the greater part of those nations is not only very copious, but always singumetonymies, and other figurative expressions, by larly hearty and idiomatic. ` Almost all the terms and which we represent to the imagination, and that in a phrases by which we most energetically express ansingle word,
the reciprocal duties and enjoyments of ger, contempt, and indignation, are of Anglo-Saxon hospitality, friendship, or love. Such are hearth, origin. Nearly all the obnoxious words and phrases roof, fireside. The chief emotions, too, of which we which cause duels and sudden pugilistic contests, are are susceptible, are expressed in the same language, from this language; and a very large proportion of the as love, hope, fear, sorrow, shumc; and what is of prosecutions for assault and baitery' ought in all more consequence to the orator and the poet, as well fairness to be charged on the inconvenient strength of as in common life, the outward signs by which the vernacular. The Latin, we apprehend, much to emotion is indicated are almost all Anglo-Saxon; its credit, is very rarely implicated in these unpleasuch are tear, smile, blush, to laugh, to weep, to sigh, sant broils; although it often has a sly way of insinuto groan. In short, the words generally expressive ating the very same things without giving such deadof the strongest emotions or their outward signs, as ly offence. Again; in giving expression to invecwell as of almost all the objects and events calculated tive, we naturally seek the most energetie terms we to call forth either, in all the most stirring scenes of can employ. These, as already said, are those which human life from the cradle to the grave, are of Saxon are most special in their meaning, and the bulk of origin. This class of words, therefore, both from such words are Anglo-Saxon, particularly those the frequency with which they are used, and from which denote the outward modes of action, and the the depth of meaning attached to them, must neces- personal peculiarities, indicative of the qualities sarily form one of the most important and energetic which serve either to excite or express our contempt portions of the language.
and indignation, Once more; the passions often seek Fourthly, The words which have been earliest a more energetic expression in metaphors and other ased, and which are 'consequently invested with the tropes; but then such figures are always sought (and strongest associations, are almost all of a similar necessarily, considering the purpose,) in mean and origin. This, indeed, follows from what has been vułgar objeets; and the majority of the terms which already said; for if the words descriptive of the most denote such objects are Anglo-Saxon. The dialect ordinary objects of sense, and of the principal varie- of the scullery and the kitchen alone furnish our ties and signs of emotion, are Anglo-Saxon, such, newspaper writers with a large portion of their figurfrom the course of development which the human ative viiuperation; and it is hard to say what they mind takes, must necessarily be the terms which would do without óscum, dregs,' •offscouring,' first fall upon the ear of childhood. Still, the fact filth,' and the thousand other varieties supplied from that they are the earliest gives them additional such sources. Similar observations apply to the lanpower over the mind--a power quite independent of the guage of satire and humour. The little weaknesses, meaning they convey. They are the words which the foibles, the petty vices, the meannesses, the .lua fell from the lips most dear to us, and carry back the dicrous peculiarities of character, with which these mind to the home of childhood and to the sports of are chiefly concerned, as well as the modes of speech, youth. That vocabulary was scanty; but every dress, action, habit, &c., by which such peculiarities word, from the earliest moment to which memory are externally indicated, are for the most part Anglocan turn back, has been the established sign of Saxon. Here, too, as in giving expression to invecwhatever has been most familiar or most precious to tive, the speaker or writer is anxious, for the sake of
energy, to secure the utmost speciality of terms; Fifthly, most of those objects about which the while the metaphors and other forms of figurative practical reason of man is employed in common life, expression, to which he is prompted by the very receive their names from the Anglo-Saxon. It is the same reasons, are necessarily drawn from the most language for the most part of business; of the count. familiar, ordinary, and often vulgar objects. As to ing-honse, the shop, the market, the street, the farm, the language of familiar dialogue and colloquial pleaand however miserable the man who is fond of phi- santry, we know it is always in a high degree idiolosophy or abstract science might be, if he had no matic, both in the terms and phrases employed, and other vocabulary but this, we must recollect that in the construction; and this is a principal reason
why the comic drama in every language (and welcome capable, by a long-established and intimate may say the same of satire) is so difficult to a fo- connexion, (we had almost said identity,) with the reigner.
thoughts they convey, of rousing the strongest and Lastly, it may be stated as a general truth, that liveliest feeling. And thus it is, that of two synonywhile our most abstract and general terms are de- mes derived respectively from Latin and the Anglorived from the Latin, those which denote the special Saxon, both equally well understood, the one shall varieties of objects, qualities, and modes of action, impart the most vivid, and the other the most frigid are derived from the Anglo-Saxon. Thus move and conception of the meaniog. It is for precisely ihe motion are very general terms, and of Latin origin; same reasons that the feelings with which we read but all those ierms for expressing nice varieties of beautiful passages in foreign poets are so faint and bodily motion, enumerated some time since, as well languid, compared with those which are excited by as ten times the number which might be added to parallel passages in Shakspeare or Milton ; this at them, are Anglo-Saxon. Sound is perhaps Latin, all events is the case unless the language be exceedthough it may also be Anglo-Saxon; but to buzz, to ingly familiar to us, and is invested moreover with hum, to clash, to hiss, lo rattle, and innumerable others, certain adventitious sources of interest. Wo may are Anglo-Saxon. Colour is Latin; but white, black, perfectly understand the meaning of all the terms in green, yellow, blue, red, brown, are Anglo-Saxon. both cases, but the degree of vividness in the impresCrime is Latin; but murder, theft, robbery—lo lie, to sion is by no means the same. The difference is as steal, are Anglo-Saxon; member and organ, as applied that between the winter's and the summer's sun. The to the body, are Latin and Greek; but ear, eye, hand, light of the former may be as clear and dazzling as foot, lip, mouth, teeth, Ivair, finger, nostril, are Anglo- that of the latter, but the genial warmth is gone. Saxon. Animal is Latin; but man, cow, sheep, calf, That portion of the language which we have cat, are Anglo-Saxon. Number is immediately derived from Latin and Greek (more especially from French, remotely Latin; but all our cardinal and or the former,) is very large ; and fulfils purposes for dinal numbers, as far as a million, are Anglo-Saxon; which the Anglo-Saxon elements of the language, as and that would have been so too, if it had ever enter- they at present exist, would by no means suffice. ed the heads of our barbarous ancestors to form a con- The Anglo-Saxon, indeed, as it was spoken by our .ception of such a number.
Saxon ancestors, was not only copious in relation to We are far from saying that, under all these the wants of those who used it; but, like the modern heads, there are not many exceptions to the rule. As German, possessed in its system of inflections and to the last, for example, there are a great number of terminations, and the ease with which it formed new words of foreign origin which are most special in compounds from its then perfectly homogeneous their meaning and use, and a great many of Anglo-elenients, a power of expansion and self-development Saxon origin which are very general. All we mean fully equal to all the demands of advancing knowis, that amongst the aforesaid classes of words, we ledge and science. But when the Anglo-Saxon shall generally find that the greater number, and all became English, partly from the great change in its that are most energetic or most frequently employed, grammatical structure and its consequent loss of are Anglo-Saxon.
inflections-partly from the admixture (though this If this be the case, it is no wonder that the orator was slight) of foreign wordsthis power was in a and - the poet should be recommended to cultivate great degree lost. assiduously the Anglo-Saxon portion of the language. How it is that a language, the mass of whose This is generally recommended solely for the sake roots remain the same, should, ander such circumof perspicuity. The common people, it is said, stances, undergo a change of grammatical structure,
cannot understand a large portion of the words has never been very satisfactorily investigated. It is which are of classical origin.' And this no doubt generally found that a conquered nation, unless, like is, to a certain extent, a good reason for the advice. the British, extirpated or expelled from the country, But it is not the only or the chief reason: nor would succeed in fasiening their language upon their it always be sound is the only one. The readers of victors. It is with nations as with shrews, it is poetry, for instance, would in general as well under- more easy to fetter their hands than their tongues ; stand a very Latinistic as a very idicmatic diction. and what Cesar said of himself
is true of all conquer'The chief reasons, therefore, are to be sought deeper. ors, that absolute as may be their power, they cannot And if the preceding observations are correct, they at make or unmake a single word. ''l he grammatical once disclose themselves. The great object of the structure, however, is always changed in this transiorator and the poet is not merely to make their tion. Nor does this change seem unnatural. In the meaniog understood, but felt;-to stimulate the intercourse which must take place between the conimagination, and thence excite emotion. They querors and the conquered, the former both from therefore seek the most special terms they can find. indolence and contempt of their bondsmen, would Again, the terms which, cæteris paribus, most learn as little as possible-that is, they would convividly recall the objects or feelings they represent, tent themselves if they could make themselves are those which have been earliest, longest, and most understood ; they would acquire the vocabulary and frequently used, which are consequently covered disregard the grammar. The complicated inflections with the strongest associations; the sign and the and variable terminations—those refined expedients thing signified having become so inseparably blended, of a perfectly formed and homogeneous language, that the one is never suggested without ihe other. would be naturally neglected. Convenience would By that same magic of association by which we dictate the same course to the vanquished, in holding diffuse over external objects, once perhaps wholly intercourse with their conquerors. As the object jadifferent to us, that emotion of beauty wbich pro- would be to be understood, however clumsily, those perly resides only in the mind, arbitrary sounds" be-contrivances in which language is perfected, and
which enable us to express ourselves with perspicu- greater part of those abstract and general terms ous brevity-with dispatch which sacrifices nothing which the extension of knowledge and the cultivation of the meaning-would be abandoned. We may see of science and philosophy rendered necessary, were this occasionally exemplified in our own experience. naturally introduced from the Latin. In attempting to convey our meaning in our own This, again, rendered the formation of new comlanguage to a foreigner who only knows some few pounds both more difficult and less necessary ;of its words, but who is ignorant of its grammar, more difficult, for the materials of the language were we content ourselves, for the most part, with uttering now extremely heterogeneous; less necessary, for the names of objects and the principal modes of foreign words served to denote what the new combiaction, but drop, in a great measure, our inflections nations or applications of old terms would have abridge the use of our particles, and neyer venture at expressed. It is true, we have a considerable all on the more refined and elliptical constructions. number of these compounds stillas thunder-storm,
Supposing the changes such as we have described, thunder-cloud, kingdom, witchcraft, sword-bearer, earththe conquerors would possess that great power-of quake, handicraft; and, for the reason Sir James setting the fashion, and thus confirm and render Mackintosh has assigned, they are amongst the most permanent what convenience had dictated, and expressive in the language-the separate elements ignorance had for a lime necessitated. The light and being significant as well as the whole word of which commodious vehicle fitted for rapid but easy motion, they form a part. These compounds are amongst is found too delicately framed for such a rough road the most ancient terms in the language; new comas this; and with its springs broken, and with two pounds are generally inadmissable, except in poetry, strong wheels put upon its stiff axles, it degenerates Our words must be married by special license, and into a cart; or, if we may change the figure, while even then a divorce is very frequently demanded. the trunk of the language remains the same, the In prose, such new combinations, except very twigs and frailer branches are torn away by the sparingly introduced and very felicitous, are not storm.
permitted; when very frequent, they always mark a But whether this explanation be thought satisfac- vicious taste, and usually form one of the most tory or not, certain it is that a great change in the striking peculiarities of what is called an inflated grammatical structure of the Saxon took place, and style. that this was nearly the whole change which did Partly from want of inflections and variety of take place; for the infusion of foreign words was terminations-partly from long abandonment of the comparatively slight. The Anglo-Saxon lost its practice of forming new compounds, our words will inflections and terminations, and, consequently, in a not easily coalesce; they come together with a harsh great degree its plastic power-ils power of moulding sound-grating of their unyielding, jagged edges, its elements into new combinations. The tendency in strange contrast with that still and noiseless to drop the terminations has characterised the whole movement with which the elements of Greek comhistory of the English, and some have been lost pounds generally flow into one another-reminding within a comparatively recent period. Thus the one of the intermixture of two homogeneous fuids. distinguishing termination of the second person In this respect our language is greatly inferior to that singular of the present and preterite of the verbs, of the Germans, who have formed out of their though given in all grammars, is generally disused, vernacular roots nearly the whole even of their together with the pronoun appropriated to it. In the scientific technicalities. We cannot now speak, as same manner, certain Teutonic terminations of the did our Saxon ancestors, of læce-cræft (leech-craft) for adjectives, met with at no very distant date (as that the art of medicine ; nor of scip-cræft (ship-craft) for in en,) are now almost entirely disused. Preen, and the art of navigation; nor of eorth-tylth (earth-lillage) silvern, and cedaren, would not now be employed at for agriculture ; nor of eorth-wela (carth-wealth) for
and, though we still have golden, and bruzen, fertility; nor of hand-clath (hand-cloth) for towel ; nor the tendency is here, in the greater number of of boc-cræft for literature; although the latter half of jastances, to dispense with the termination. Thus, the word, in its modern acceptation, would well no one would speak of a brazen nail, but of a brass designate the spirit which too often presides over nail, nor of a golden pin, but a gold pin. Indeed, as the mystery of bookmaking. some have remarked, we are sadly destitute of Whether we have lost or gained by this change in terminations appropriated to those adjectives which the language, has often been made a question; it is not express the substance of which a thing is made; to be forgotten, however, that the introduction of so being generally obliged to turn the substantive large a portion of foreign derivatives has greatly enitseli
, unchanged, into an adjective, often with a riched our synonymes and added to the variety if not tolal sacrifice of euphony.
to the strength of expression. Whether this be conThe consequence, as already said, of this change sidered sufficient compensation or not, it is quite cerin the grammatical structure, was a want of facility tain that we cannot revert to the ancient system, in forming new compounds ;-of moulding the except to a very limited extent; and for the most elements of the language with the requisite ease into part only in those instances in which a number of new forms. This inflexibility of course increased, similarly formed compounds have been handed down when the study of the Latin actually introduced a to us from Saxon times. Thus, as we have swordlarge number of foreign words into the language ; bearer, standard-beurer, tale-bearer, we might readily especially as the new ideas for which expression was tolerate new compounds of a like kind; but we know deinanded, already had terms appropriated to them, nothing that would be gained but ridicule if we were or something very like them; in the language in to substitute • bone-knowledge' for osteology,' or which those who had most occasion to express such shell-craft for conchology, or ship-skill for the ideas read and wrote, and almost thought. The art of navigation.' Nor is the disposition volun