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principal varieties of mood and tense; all the adverbs most frequently employed; and the prepositions and conjunctions almost without exception." *
The English language, like the Continental languages of Europe, substitutes new forms of expression for inflections, and, as is reasonable to suppose, becomes more and more perfect as its grammar becomes simpler.
THE DICTIONARY. The language derives its words from, 1. The Anglo-Saxon, — above twenty thousand.
2. Latin and Greek, many of the latter coming through the Latin.
3. French, other languages, and provincialisms.
From the Anglo-Saxon come the words, and parts of words, indicating relations; also the adjectives, nouns, and verbs classed as irregular, the same being words of most common use in the language; the names of objects of most frequent and striking occurrence, — sun, moon, stars, land, water, wood, stream, hill, and dale; horse, cow, and the most common animals and plants; spring, summer, winter, light, darkness, heat, cold, rain, snow, thunder and lightning; sounds, postures, and motions of animal life. Specific terms render style more animated, forcible. Our specific terms are generally Anglo-Saxon. Color is Latin, as most of our abstract terms are, or French; but red, yellow, blue, white, black, green, and brown are Anglo-Saxon. Motion is Latin; but leap, spring, stagger, slip, slide, glide, fall, walk, run, swim, ride, creep, crawl, and fly are Anglo-Saxon. Affection and animation are Latin; but love, hate, hope, fear, gladness, sorrow, weeping, laughter, smile, tear, sigh, groan, father, mother, man, wife, child, son, daughter, kindred and friends, home, hearth, roof, fireside, and many other of the most touching words in the language, and most frequently on the tongue, are Anglo-Saxon, and, for the greater part, “the language of business, of the countinghouse, the shop, the market, the street, the farm.” The principal and most forcible language of invective, humor, satire, and pleasantry, is Anglo-Saxon.
From the Latin and French, it being difficult always to tell which, since the French itself is from the Latin, are coln (colonia), in Lincoln, chester from castrum, monk, bishop, saint, minister, porch, cloister, mass, psalter, chalice, pall, candle, most general and abstract words, and many thousand terms of theology, metaphysics, and all the old and new sciences. The nomenclatures of modern sciences manufacture much from the Greek.
* Edinburgh Review, vol. lxx., 1839.
In the analysis of words, as a general rule, the prefixes,
a, be, em, en, for, fore, gain, of, on, out, to, un (an or on), under, up, with, relatives, are Anglo-Saxon, or of Teutonic origin.
From Latin and French are
Ad, a, ac, af, ag, al, am, an, ap, ar, as, at, with force of to addition; ab, abs, a, from ; ambi, amb, about; ante, ant, before; circum, cis, con, co, cog, col, com, cor, coun, with ; contra, contro, counter; de, dis, di, dif; en, ex, e, ec, ef; extra; in, il, im, ir, en, em, indi, ind, infra, inter, intra, intro, enter, juxta ; ob, obs, oc, of, op, os; per, post, pre, præ, præter, pro, pur; re, red, retro; se, sans, sine, suc, suf, sug, sum, sup, sub, subter, super, supra, sur; trans, tran, tra; ultra, ult, ulter, outr.
From Greek are a, an, apo, aph, amphi, ana, an, anti, ant, anth; cata, cat, cath; dia, dea, de; en, em, endo, ento, epi, ep, eph, ex, ec; hyper, hypo; meta, meth; para, par, pa, peri, pros; syn, sy, syl, sym.
Examining the definitions, with the dictionary, of a few words having the same prefix, will fix the force of it securely in the pupil's memory.
OF Nouns, — r, ar, er, or, ster, en, ess, et, let, kin, ling, ock, th, t, ing, head, hood, ness, dom, ship, son, burn, are from the mother-tongue.
Latin and French : an, ean, ian, ine, ant, ent, or, er, eer, ary, at, ate, ee, ine; ix, cle, cule, ule, age, ry, SiON, TION, ure, ture, cy, ty, ance, ence, ancy, ency, ment, escence, ory.
Greek: ic, iac, ician, is, ism, cy, sy, ty.
OF ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS, — er, or, est, st, en, ch, ern, ese, esque, ful, ing, y, ish, less, ly, some, ward, n, s, ce, st, xt, ways, wise, are our own.
Latin and French : ble, able, ible, ic, fic, ceous, cious, tious, id, al, il, ite, le, eel, nal, an, ain, ean, ian, ane, ene, ine, end, cund, ant, ent, ar, ary, ory, t, ate, ete, ive, lent, ose, ous, ple, plex, se, a, tim.
Greek: ac, ic, id, oid, gen.
OF VERBS. — Those in ate, esce, fy, ise, ish, are from French and Latin; ize, from the Greek; en, er, are Anglo-Saxon.
Besides the derivatives formed by the use of one or more prefixes or suffixes, or both, there is no limit to the number of compounds from two or more simples. Indeed, so simple is its syntax, and so limited its inflections, that, without danger of ambiguity
or obscurity in the meaning intended, the English language readily adopts all names, transforms them into all necessary parts of speech, retaining all the elegance, and softening all the harshness of its borrowed elements, with so much ease and rapidity, that the capacity of its vocabulary, now numbering about a hundred and fifteen thousand words, seems limited only by the objects of sense and the thoughts and deeds of men. By discovery and invention, words fall into disuse, or become obsolete in one or more senses, and receive a new signification. New words are made by change of spelling, by addition, transposition, or dropping of letters.
Notwithstanding the rapid increase, in the whole number of words, of the words in actual use, the greater per cent are AngloSaxon: of Shakspeare and the New Testament, about ninety per cent; of Milton and Pope, about eighty; Webster and Junius, seventy-five. Of the whole number of words, it has been estimated that about sixty per cent are really Anglo-Saxon in origin; thirty per cent, Latin and French ; five, Greek; and five, miscellaneous.
SOURCES OF ENGLISH LITERATURE.
THE geometer solves a few only of the infinite variety of problems involving the general principles and methods of reasoning he has learned; and yet he may with truth be accounted skillful in his science. The architect would miserably waste his time examining every ant-hill and log-cabin in the land for fear the number and builders of them would be unknown to him; though architecture, in its broadest sense, might include every structure built by man or other animal. In almost any one branch of the modern sciences, facts have accumulated to such an extent as to render an accurate knowledge of them, and of the circumstances of their discovery, utterly beyond the ability of any single mind profitably to retain. The literature of the English language, in the broadest sense, may be said to include all manuscripts and books written in English; yet a comparatively few of them, and of their authors, can be profitably known by the student. It is impossible for him, to say nothing of the past, to read a tithe of what is written at the present time. He should not attempt this; his immediate want being a critical knowledge of the rules applicable to all styles, and the productions of a few anthors who are admitted to be masters, each of his own style. Believing the study and imitation of the styles of a few authors to be of so much more importance to the young student, we would not, for purposes of general education, burden him with learning carefully the history of English literature, leading him from the bardic mummery of the Druid priests, through the monkish chronicles of the Saxon and semi-Saxon periods, along the theological and metaphysical dark ages, down to the period of the revival of learning; all which, undoubtedly, would be entertaining and instructive to him, but can be easily and profitably deferred to subsequent leisure. The printing-establishment of the indefatigable Caxton and that of “The London Times,” or of a modern publishing-house, are eminently typical of the literature of the fifteenth century and that of the nineteenth. Besides translations of the best works of foreign authors, the principal sources of modern English literature are,—
1. Poetry, of which the principal kinds are the epic, lyric, - and didactic. The proper epic is illustrated in “Paradise Lost;" the burlesque, in “Hudibras.” Under the epic is classed, by some, the dramatic, and, indeed, all poetry not didactic, lyric, or elegiac. Of the lyric are the ode, song, and sacred lyrics, psalın and hymn. With the elegiac proper is classed the sonnet. According to the subject, poetry is historical, narrative, descriptive, pastoral, satirical or humorous, and didactic; having one or several of these elements. It is not more difficult to find prose that is poetical than to find poetry that is prosaic; since neither rhymes nor measures are alone essential to poetry. It is impossible to predict of modern poetry, or, indeed, of modern literature, what will be permanent; time alone can do that: but of this we can be assured, that scattered through it all are the elements of heroic poetry and lofty prose infinitely more numerous than when the present great masterpieces were executed; that noble thoughts and deeds, marvelous workings of man and nature, far excel in number and magnitude the imaginary exploits of chivalrous knight, or even of heathen demi-god. The facts of modern science, the revelations of the telescope, microscope, and the spectroscope, excel in grandeur and beauty the most poetical fancies of ancient or modern poet.
2. Fiction, historical, political, romantic, allegorical, mythical, and legendary. Indeed, here the field is boundless, and must be entered upon with a faithful guide. During the period of school, none of it should be read by the pupil, except under the direction of the teacher.
3. Histories, biographies, memoirs, essays, criticisms, lectures, orations, speeches, sermons, debates, and dissertations.
4. Periodicals, — newspapers, magazines, reviews, and encyclopædias.
5. Dramatic writings, – tragedy, comedy, farce, opera, and whatever may be written for the stage.
INDEX OF AUTHORS.
200 Bellenden, John......................
Bentley, Richard ...............
Berkeley, George ...............
Bethune, George W...........
Bible, the .........
Blackstone, Sir William.........
Blair, Robert. ........
w ... 622 Bloomfield, Robert ....................
Borrow, George. ..................... 344
Bowring, Sir John ................
Brewster, Sir Davidl. ........
414 Brooks, Maria ...... ........... 103
624 Brooks, Shirley....................226, 266
202 Brough, Robert B.....................
Brougham (Lord) Henry .............. 378
Brown, Charles Brockden............. 201
Browne, Sir Thomas ..................
190 Browne, William..
471 | Brydgos, Sir Egerton
Buckingham, Joseph T.............
266 Buckle, IIenry Thomas.............