« AnteriorContinua »
corrections on the etymology of in poetry." I. To prove the last remark terms: and in a preface of twenty- to be an error, we need not resort to three pages, too minutely printed, he the Saxon, for every book we read, enables us to judge of his qualifica- and every conversation we hear, de. tions for the undertaking.
monstrates the fact. “ The princes of Sinoe the publication of his former Israel, being twelve men, cach one was work Mr. W. has laudably applied for the house of his fathers." Numb. himself to the study of the Anglo- j. 44. This is the true original imSaxon, which he terms “the mother port of the word; it has no appropritongue of the English.” That our ate reference to two, more than to ten language derives its principal gram- thousand. “Thyder man ne mihte matical inflections, and a great pro- geseglian on anum monthe, gyf man portion of its terms, from the Saxon on nyht wicode and «lce dege hæfde dialect of the Teutonic language, is amberne wind.”, “Thither a man certain, but it is equally certain, that could not sail in a month, if he should it retains numerous terms of the an- watch at night, and each day should cient British and the Latin tongues, haye a fair wind.”. Alfred's Orosius, which were spoken by our ancestors Ch. I. See also page 61, 63, 79, 219. long before the Saxons, Jutes, or An Lond. 1773. and Sax. Ch. 1. By Gib. gles, ever landed in Britian; and that, son, page 185, 186. The second def. since the conquest by these invad inition of Johnson is therefore, the oners, it has undergone great variations ly true onebut not well expressed. in consequence of that by the Nor- « Either,” says Lowth, " is often man French. The English language, used improperly for each; each signitherefore, may be compared to a am fies both taken separately, either propily, rather than to an individual. erly signifies only the one or the other, The Lloegrian (or Cornish) dialect of taken disjunctively." In pursuance the ancient British tongue, may be of this false rule, he condemns such considered as its mother and the passages as this ;. 'they crucified two Latin, Saxon, and French, as the fæ- others with him, on either side one, thers respectively, of her various off. and Jesas in the midst." But the spring. It seem to be from a want sense in which the word is here used of reflection on the composite nature in [is] the true primitive 'one, and of our language, and a want of atten- still used by the best writers, “My. tion to those sources which historical cell wäl thär on ægthere hand gefcoll.” truth assigns to it, that the principal « There was great slaughter on either mistakes of our etymologists have hand.” Sax. Ch. 134. *Thet ægther arisen. While every new author un- hiopai on other hawedc.”. “ 'hat dertakes to correct his predecessors, he either of them might see the other." falls in consequence of this deficiency, p. 133. “Swithe mycet here egther into fresh mistakes. Another fer-ge land-here ge scip-here of Swathetile occasion of errors, is a supposi. ode.” “A very great army, either tion that the Saxon is not merely the land army, and ship-army from Swetmother tongue of the English,” but den.". That is both. p. 153. So far is that it is the English tongue itself. Lowth's rule from the truth, that Hence modern amenders and improvers either, in our primitive writers, was labour to annihilate that precision, rarely or never used in a disjunctive which our language has acquired sense. In reading considerable vol. from the genius and labour of elegant umes' of the best Saxon writings, I writers during the last two centuries, have not found a single instance. Its and to reduce it to that confusion disjunctive use is modem;. but its which prevailed among our barbarous original sense is still in use, and perconquerors a thousand years ago. fectly proper
In proof that these remaks are ap- " There full in view, to either, host plicable to Mr. Webster, as well as displayed.” Hoole's - Tasso, 22, 602. to other recent dabblers in etymology, The passages in Scripture, the lanwe adduce the following paragraphs guage of which Lowth condemns, are from the first page of his preface... strictly correct.
“Each," says Johnson, “denotes, In defence of these two great ,1st, Either of two. 2. Every one of scholars, whose remains it is now the any number. This sense is rare except fashion to insult, we need only to ap
peut to common senge and invitiated dy Latin, which evidently come to us taste. What if Saxon writers, and through the French, fas honour, fou the venerable translators of our Bible, Dour, &c.) militates against a rule to confounded the proper meanings of which we usually adhere in questioneach and every one ? Did they bind all able cases : that of preferring the of. their posterity to do the same? Is thography of the language from any thing more obvious, than that eos which a word directly comes to ours, ery one can only be applied to more whatever its origin may have been. than two ? while each must be used of This rule sets aside the argument txo, and is therefore best restricted which he has founded on the omis. to that number? And what if the dis- sion of u in derivatives from such janctive sense of either be mcdern? words ; because the French likeTo restrict it entirely to that sense, wise omit the u in those cases. Infosinstead of using it indiscriminately rior and superior, are terms which with each, as our ancestors did, and have been introduced by classical as is still tolerated in poetry, is an ev- English writers, directly from the ident and essential improvement; aš Latin. We are far from expecting it augments the precison, and there that Mr. W 's omission of the final fore the prima virtusi perspicuitas, of in such words as determine, doctrine our language.
&'c. will receive the stamp of public . Several observations in this division approbation. We think, on the conof Mr. W.?s preface are liable to trary, that these deviations from unisimilar objections : but we gladly versal custom must greatly lessen the pass them by, to take notice of some utility of his dictionary. A lexicogvariations from Johnson's definitions rapher's business is to adopt the preof words, which are real corrections vailing orthography of the age in or improvements. In the former of which he writes ; fand not to at. these, Mr. W.'s professional knowl- tempt changes, the success of which edge guarded him against danger of must be dubious, if it be not utterly mistake.
improbable. Misnomer.' "An indictment or any In pronunciation this is still wore ar.
other act vacated by a wrong duous than 'in orthography; and in Bame.” Fohnson " The mistake Mr. W's situation, it was evidently of a name in law proceedings. more hazardous. He finds fault with Webster.
Walker for pronouncing bench, branch, Obligee. One bound by a legal and &c. with the final sh ; instead of tsk,
written contract. Fohnson. One as Sheridan and Jones direct; but he to whom a bond is executed.” passes no censure on the accenckuaWebster, still
tion, and grachilation, &c. of the for Murder. “The act of killing a man mer; or on the furnichur, and multi
unlawfully. Fohnson. " A killing thood of Sheridan: In these instances, * unlawfully with malice.” Webster. Jones is eertainly right? Mr.Web. To boll." To rise in a stalk." Fohnster 'properly blames Sheridan for
SOR! ** To seed, or form into a seed sonnding the d in father and in fat I'vessel.” Webster.
alike: but in justifying that writer's To acquire “ To gain by one's own representation of the ti before a vowel
tabour." Fohnson. “To gain some as always equivalent to sh; he goes too
thing permanent."..Webster. far. On or bus, after ti, ci, or si form 1 On the subject of Orthography, we but one syllable ih pronunciation; but acquiesce in Mr. Webster's prefer ingratiate, official;&care inadequateence of hainous to heinous : drorth and ly expressed by ingrás hate, offishal, &e. highih, to drought and height ; and We join with Mr. W in preferring public, &c. to publick: but we appre: acceptable, and commendable, to acherid that the last is the only one of ceptable, and córnmendable ; but we these corrections that can be general- cannot follow him in irrifrágable, hórly adopted. His objections against .izon, and ásvlam. He informs us, retaining the French termination in that the Anglo-Americans give the Scepire, theatre, &c. while it is angli- same sound to a in angel, and ancient, cised in number, chamber, &c. are as in angelic, and Lantiquity • and he certainly reasonable ; but his wish cautions them against to adopting an to dismiss the from words originali English corruption," of the pronun
ciation. Yet we think that he might of the language than any work of this have discovered a reason for the va- kind ;” and only “offers this comriation that we give to the initial vow. pend to the public, in the mean time, el in these words. The accent being as a convenient manual,” we have strongly laid on the first syllable of thought a considerable degree of atangel, and ancient, probably, has ren- tention due to the principles which dered the a long and narrow; which Mr. W. has laid down; and we hear. was not necessary in angelic and tily wish that it may contribute to antiquity, because the accent is on render his larger work less exceptionthe second syllable. In angle and an- able to Englishmen on both sides of guish, though the first syllable is accent- the Atlantic, than the present has ed, it is short: whereas we presume been made by the peculiarities of his that Americans, (like many country orthography. We would earnestly people in England) give to the a in an- advise him, before he proceeds with 3:1, and ancient, the same sound that it the etymological part of his underhas in command. This, at the com- taking, to investigate closely those mencement of a word, is repugnant to
terms which we have in common with the analogy of English pronunciation. the French language, and which are
In like manner, we are told that derived neither from the Latin nor the word pincers, is “in conversation” the Teutonic. In order to trace these Correctly called pinchers : but these to their genuine sources, he will find errors surprise us less than Mr. W's it necessary to study the various diaassertion (p. vii.) that " though is a lects of the ancient British language ; vitious orthography; tho being much and we can assure him that the pains nearer to the original word.”
Our which he may take for this purpose author doubtless refers to the Saxon will not be thrown · away. Llyd's theah; and as we suppose him to be Archäologia Britannica is the best el. aware that gh is commonly substitut. ementary work on the subject. ed in English for the Saxon h, when We should gladly enlarge this artifollowing a vowel, we cannot account cle by extracting the author's sensi. for his preference, on this ground, of ble obvservations on the necessity of its omission. If the Saxon h, had not various dialects being produced by been pronounced as an aspirated gut- the local circumstances of the widely tural, though probably much weaker dispersed millions who speak our lanthan the Scotch sound of gh, those guage. On other topics, highly inter. letters would surely never have been esting to Grammarians, he has also ma. substituted for it by writers subse. ny valuable remarks. While, there. quent to the Norman conquest. This fore, we do not think that it would be sound, in some instances, we have advisable to reprint the whole of his converted into that of f, as in laugh, present performance, it would gratify and cough : and accordingly, in sonie us to see his preface, in a more legible counties of England, though is now form, from a British press. The pres. pronounced thof. Mr. W.'s remark ent paper and type are such as must is therefore totally ungrounded. be very injurious to the sight of most
The last division of his preface is en. readers." titled etymology ; but it contains so
REPLY. little of importance on that subject, and so much that belongs to it is in. In the commencement of their obcluded under the preceding heads, servations, the Reviewers intimate that we think it innecessary to pursuie some surprise that a work proposed bis arguments farther. The extent to to complete a system of elementary which we have already proceeded, principles, for the instruction of would indeed be disproportionate to youth' in the English language," a work which the author acknowledgshould not include the etymologies of es (p. xix.) to be only “ an enlarge words; yet without much consistenment and improvement of Entick's cy, they remark, that “ these can Spelling Dictionary :” but as he pro. hardly be expected in a compend." fesses (p. xxiii.) to “have entered The gentlemen mistake the meaning upon the plan of coinpiling, for his of this part of my preface. This fellow citizens, a dictionary, which compend is not intended to complete shall exhibit a far more correct state the system ; it is merely a “convenient Vol. III, No. 2.
manual” for those who do not wish to Britain into the interior parts of the isl. examine etymologies. And the pre- and, and introduced the Teutonic lan. face is intended rather as an outline guage, before the Romans conquered or sketch of a plan to be hereafter the country. This Teutonic populaexecuted, than as a treatise on the tion was never exterminated, either principles of the language. The few by the Romans, Saxons or Danes ; detached etymologies, with some and from those early Belgic settlers, corrections of definitions, are intend. we have received the body of the ed chiefly to show the propriety and English language. The Saxons and even necessity of a thorough revision Angles, who conquered Britain in the of the language. From the limited sixth and seventh centuries, spoke a nature of my design, the Compendi. dialect of the same language with the ous Dictionary must be a concise Belgic inhabitants-they were comwork, and contain only the parts of paratively few in number--they introsuch a work, which are of most gen- duced few females and incorporating eral use.
with the former inhabitants, they Š little expected that any man could not have introduced a new lan. would question the propriety of call. guage; though not improbably the ing the Saxon or Anglo Saxon, the language might have suffered some mother tongue of the English. “ 'The variations from the Saxons, as well as whole fabric and scheme of the En- from the later invaders, the Danes. glish language," says Dr. Johnson, The Saxons and Angles impressed is is Gothic or Teutonic," and of their names, the one upon the lan. that, the Anglo Saxon was a princi- guage, the other upon the country ;* pal dialect. Not only the idioms and but the affinity between the Saxon peculiar structure of the language part of English, and the modern Dutch, are Teutonic, but a larger part of its prove satisfactorily that the English words, than are derived from any oth- is the direct offspring of the Belgic
The Reviewers consider. dialect planted in England before the the Lloegrian or Cornish dialect of Roman conquest of the island. This the ancient British tongue, as the is what I call the Anglo-Saxon lanmother ; and the Latin, Saxon and guage, and the parent of modern French as the fathers of modern En. English ; and if this is what the Re. glish. This remark makes it neces. viewers denominate the “ Cornish di. sary for me to explain what I mean alect of the ancient British,” we are by the Saxon language of England. agreed. But the Cornish dialect, as
It is a common opinion (anil doubt. it is given in Lhuyd, is a compound less a gross error) that the Jutes, of Celtic or Gaulish, Latin and Teu. Angles and Saxons, who invaded and tonic, with a predominant portion of conquered Britain after the departure Celtic; and I apprehend is not enti. of the Romans, in the 5th century, de. tled to be called the mother of the Engstroyed or drove into the west of lish language. England, the British inliabitants, and The remarks of the Reviewers on introduced their own language, with a the ignorance and want of reflection in new race of people. History and et. etymologists, and the efforts of amend. ymology disprove this opinion. Long ers and improvers to annihilate the prebefore the invasion of Julius Cæsar, cision of our language and introduce the southern maritime borders of confusion, indicate a want of that can Britain were peopled by Teutonic dour and moderation, which ought to tribes, who migrated from Gaul and characterize criticism, and insult the Belgica. Cæsar calls these people literature of the age. It is more eaBelgx, and informs us that they pos- sy, than civil, for one writer to call sessed Gaul, as far south as the another a dabbler in a particular sub. Siene. Tacitus confirms this ac. count, when he tells us the people in both countries spoke nearly the same Angles signifies dwellers on a plain, language. Sermo hand multum di- from ing; a plain, level country. They
See Cæsar De Bel. Gal. lib. were the Ingevones of Tacitus, De v. 10. Tacit. Life of Agricola. These Mor. Germ. 2. They inhabited the Belgic inhabitants, therefore, had flat country of Friesland, Denmark, driven the original Celtic possessors of &c. La Ouver. Germ. Ant, lib.3.
ject; and the writer who thus deals Each is deduced by Skinner and in names, should recollect that the Junius, followed by Bailey and John. question, who is, and who is not a son, from the Saxon æle, and in pur. dabbler, is to be decided by future suance of this etymology, I have, in generations.
the preface to my Dictionary, cited Without further remark on this and referred to a number of authori. exceptionable part of the review, ! ties to establish the precise meaning will proceed to vindicate my own of the word, as equivalent to every criticisms on the words, each and ei. one. It is probable that this etymol. ther, which the gentlemen have call. ogy is erroneous ; and that each is the ed in question.
Celtic gach ; the guttural being drop. In the preface to my Dictionary, ped. But æle and gach being prepage 1, I have cited authorities from cisely synonymous, it is not of importhe translation of the scriptures, and tance to the present question, which from Saxon books, to convict John is the word from which we have de. son of a mistake in the definition of rived each; for both had, in the primcach; and Lowth, of an 'error in itive languages, the sense of every. criticism on the word either. The Junius and Skinner define each, by Reviewers do not deny my authori. unusquisque, which, as translated by ties; but they say, “ What if Saxon Ainsworth, signifies, every, or every writers, and the venerable translators one. Somner, in his Dictionary, de. of the Bible, confounded the proper fines ale by omnis, all. Lye, in his meanings of each and every one ? Did Dictionary, defines it by omnis, and they bind all their posterity to do the unusquisque ; and cites, [I suppose the same? Is any thing more obvious, Saxon version of the gospels, which than that every one can only be appli. I do not possess] Matthew iii. 10. ed to more than two? while each “ Every tree, which bringeth not forth must be used of two, and is there. good fruit." He defines the fore best restricted to that num- word also by singuli, and cites Mat. ber?"
xx, 2. John ii. 6. Luke xxi. 36. These remarks are error and ab. In all which passages, the word re: surdity, from beginning to end. fers to more than two, and signifies What, let me ask in reply; did not all, or every one. Lye cites also a Saxon writers and the venerable passage in Psalm cxv. but I think translators of the Bible use words there must be an error in printing. with precision? Were they ignorant Every authority I possess, is in my of the true signification of the words favour: not a single exception. I they used? Did they contound terms? have marked a great number of pas. Surely, these critics should be the sages in Saxon authors to the same last to charge other men with "in- point, and every instance I have found sulting the remains of great schol. justifies the definitiou of the forego. ars." No, gentlemen ; they did not ing lexicographers. confound terms ; nor have posterity But I believe each to be the Celtic deviated from their practice. The gach, which Lhuyd, in the Irish Dicpractice of ancient and of modern tionary, in his Archäologia, translates writers is wniform and correct. I by every, gach aon, every one ; gach complain not of the practice, but of neach, each: gach uile, all. The same Johnson's definition of each. He definition is given in Shaw's Analysis says that cach, in the sense of “eve. of the Galic language, page 57. And ry one of any number,” is rare, except it appears that in the primitive lan. in poetry. This is not true. On the guage, this word was used with one, other hand, I affirm, and will prove, gach aon, each one, a use which that the primitive sense of each was is still preserved in English. “ Each every one of any number ;
that one resembled the children of a from the first Saxon writings to this king,". Judges viii. 18. See also day, it has been used in that sense, Num. i. 44, vii. 3, Isai. ii. 20, vi. 2, in prose, in poetry, and in discourse, lvii. 2. But one is more usually and that it has not, nor ever had any omitted. appropriate application to two, more Whichever word therefore may be than to two thousand or any other the original of each, the Celtic gace pomber.
or the Saxon gle, the authorities,