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expected that so soon as February, 1745–6, the inconstant Francis should be entering into the same engagement for one Ann Irby; that in June of the same year he should render the like affectionate service for Ann Woodard, a damsel in similar misfortune; nor that in April, 1747, his chivalrous instincts should have led him to rescue Elinor Brookes from the consequences of their mutual attachment. If no later record of like generosity has been found in the remaining years of this volume, it must be ascribed rather to an exhausted estate than to impaired vitality; for in the tax levy of 1747 this heir of a Virginia gentleman is inscribed for 108 pounds of tobacco, "for whiping ye. Negros," and almost upon the last page he disappears forever from our view as defendant in an action for assault and battery. Let the obvious moral end our tale, if it does not either point or adorn it. If the son's teeth are set on edge, may it not have been the father who ate sour grapes on the Sundays when he absented himself from church? And if " Sabbath-breaking and procrastination " have been traced as results from an excessive indulgence in the vice of murder, is there not revealed to us here a lower depth that De Quincey had never thought of, in the public flogger of unruly negros ?




LANGUAGE is to be regarded-under whatever theory as to the manner of its origin--as one of the gifts of God to man. Especially, as the main and essential instrumentality in the development of man's intellectual, moral, and social being, it is in the highest sense one of the most truly invaluable of those gifts. Human language is, indeed, -apart from the written representation,-nothing but a mode of human activity; yet it is one for which provision has been made, not only in the constitution of man, mental and corporeal, but in that of the world in which he lives.

This topic, namely, the adaptation in the constitution of the world to the exigencies of language, we shall endeavor to unfold in the present article. It is one which, so far at least as concerns all that comes under the head of "the environment," has usually bad small place given it in treatises on pbysicotheology, and none at all in those on the science of language. This constitution of things is, it is true, one that has relation at the same time to other ends; but is especially worthy of notice here, where it is so much overlooked. It is to be remarked that-since language, though not identical with thought, is yet the product of thought, the expression of thought, and the aid to thought—the adaptation of nature to language must be, in part at least, coincident with its adaptation to the mind of man.


The principle is a familiar one, that language is, and must be, composed mainly of words that are general in their signification. This is even an absolute necessity of language in order that it may be language at all: is more than a mere difficulty from the limitless number of words it would require to denote everything by proper names. Let us suppose, for a moment, that we had proper names, and only such, for all the objects of thought which we now denote by general words, single or com

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bined ; that we had such names for actions and events, as well as for persons and things; one such name, for instance, for the Death of Socrates," another for "the Battle of Waterloo," another for "the Revolution of 1688," and others for other events and series of events, of whatever kind, public and private,names which should not be "connotative,” or in any way descriptive, but each simply a mark or sign for an individual event that had actually occurred; let us suppose, also, names for single qualities and as confined to individual objects; such an apparatus of mere names would not be language-would not serve the ends of language in communicating thought or conveying information. All that the word could do would be to indicate that the speaker had in mind and recollection the individual thing signified. All beyond this would have to be guessed at or inferred, or conveyed in some other way than by words. What had never been known as an individual thing to both speaker and hearer could be the subject not even of this amount of communication. To combine two or more such words would not belp the matter; indeed, they would not admit of combination at all, but only of being joined together in succession, or, juxtaposition. A word-combination is such only as it indicates a thought-combination. To conjoin two names such as John and Thomas would convey no thought: among the thousand possible relations between the two persons, what might be meant would be wholly unindicated. Even if to the name of a person should be joined a proper name of the house he lived in, or of his horse or ox, or of a field or river or mountain, it could only be in certain circumstances, and with the help of other means of indication, that any particular relation between the two could be understood as intended.

We come thus to another fundamental principle—to which the one just now discussed is mostly subordinate,-namely, that of the combination of words in speech, or discourse. By this we mean the necessity of employing for the most part two or more words for the expression of a single thought, to which they each contribute a part or an element.*

* We must beg leave respectfully to remonstrate against the innovation on the part of Professor Max Müller, in Vol. IV of “Chips from a German Work-Shop," in VOL. XXXV.


This combination is necessary, in the first place, as an economy required by the limited capacity of our minds. By combining two or more general words we can indicate an object of thought more specific than either of the words would denote by itself. By various combinations we can express thought in endless variety: can describe objects more or less specialized, also individualized by relations to ourselves or to other individual things. So infinite in number and variety are the thoughts we have occasion to express, that we can conceive of no possible way for the ends of language to be fulfilled except it be constituted so as to involve combination, and even the frequent union of a considerable number of words in single combinations.

As with a small number of letters or vocal elements we are able to produce the external form of an endless number of words, and to use with advantage and with ease a far larger number than would otherwise be possible—are able readily to apprehend them when spoken and to read them when written, so with a limited number of words, or thought-symbols, capable of various combination, we have a manageable instrument for the expression and the communication of an unlimited variety of thought.

There is yet another end served by combination, which is far higher and more important than any mere gain on the score of economy. Even as new words can be formed at will by new combinations of letters, so new thoughts can be expressed and be communicated by means of the combination of words: that is, things can be described and thoughts conveyed which are specifically different from anything in the actual previous experience of those to whom the words are addressed ; and what is newly conceived by a speaker or a thinker can find suitable and adequate expression.

For anything of this sort to be done, without the principle of combination as a feature of language, would be absolutely impossible. What is thus done is done by the action of that wonder-working faculty which, even more than the capacity for general conceptions, distinguishes man from the brute, that faculty to which in its higher workings we sometimes apply the epithet divine, —we mean the faculty of making new thoughtproducts out of elements derived from old experience—a power which we can call by no better name than the imagination. This faculty is needed as truly to enable us to receive new conceptions and new thought-combinations through the medium of words as it is to empower for the creation of new products. As a constructive faculty, it is essentially the same—that is, as really constructive—in the one mode of exercise as in the other.

substituting "combination" to denote the kind of word-formation usually desig. nated by the term “agglutination." This new usage, if accepted, would entail the danger of ambiguity and of confusion of ideas to a considerable degree in applying the term to designate a class of languages, while the objection to the old word is quite trivial.

Combination is a highly generic term and comprehends a great many specific sorts. What, then, is the kind of combina


, tion here under consideration? It is a very different kind from that of letters as combined into words, which itself is considerably different when, on the one hand, we regard a letter as a vocal element, and when on the other as a written character. The combination of words in discourse may be defined or described as follows. Requiring the use of general terms, it consists essentially in the application of a plurality of words to one and the same object of thought. A general word "connotes” some quality, act, or state, or some relation to an object, or some composition of parts or elements,-in short some attribute,--that is common to many individual things. Now, as one and the same thing has a plurality of attributes—is the subject of properties and qualities, and at the same time of acts, states and relations, and of several of each of these either all at once, or at different times,—we have a ground for the application of several words to one and the same object, each word contributing its part to the total conception or thought. This is obvious enough in the simple combination of adjective with substantive, and of a verb with its subject. We may regard transitive verbs and prepositions and other interpositive or connecting words as connoting at the same time two attributes, each the converse of the other, or, if a relation simply, the opposite sides of the relation,—not only an attribute on the one hand as appertaining to the subject, or first term, but another on the other hand as appertaining to the object, or second term; that is, we may regard such words as applied at the same time

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