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the Opinion of fome very judicious Perfons, with whom I confulted. They all agreed, That nothing would be of greater Ufe towards the Improvement of Knowledge and Politenefs, than fome effectual Method for Correcting, Enlarging and Afcertaining our Language; and they think it a Work very poffible to be compaffed, under the Protection of a Prince, the Countenance and Encouragement of a Ministry, and the Care of proper Perfons chofen for fuch an Undertaking. I was glad to find your LORDSHIP'S Answer in fo different a Style, from what hath been commonly made ufe of on the like Occafions, for fome Years paft, That all fuch Thoughts must be deferred to a Time of Peace: A Topick which fome have carried fo far, that they would not have us, by any means, think of preferving our Civil or Religious Constitution, because we were are




engaged in a War abroad. It will be among the diftinguifhing Marks of your Ministry, My LORD, that you had a Genius above all fuch Regards, and that no reasonable Proposal for the Honour, the Advantage, or the Ornament of Your Country, however foreign to Your more immediate Office, was ever neglected by You. I confefs, the Merit of this Candor and Condefcenfion is very much lesfened, because Your LORDSHIP hardly leaves us room to offer our good Wishes, removing all our Difficulties, and fupplying our Wants, fafter than the most vifionary Projector can adjuft his Schemes. And therefore, My LORD, the Defign of this Paper is not fo much to offer You Ways and Means, as to complain of a Grievance, the redreffing of which is to be your own Work, as much as that of paying the Nation's Debts, or opening a Trade into the South



Sea; and though not of fuch immediate Benefit, as either of thefe, or any other of Your glorious Actions, yet perhaps, in future Ages, not lefs to Your Honour.

My LORD, I do here, in the Name of all the Learned and Polite Perfons of the Nation, complain to Your LORDSHIP, as Firft Minifter, that our Language is extremely imperfect; that its daily Improvements are by no means in proportion to its daily Corruptions; that the Pretenders to polish and refine it, have chiefly multiplied Abuses and Abfurdities; and, that in many Inftances, it offends againft every Part of Grammar. But left Your LORDSHIP fhould think my Censure too fevere, I fhall take leave to be more particular.


I BELIEVE Your LORDSHIP will agree with me in the Reason, Why our Language is lefs Refined than thofe of Italy, Spain, or France. 'Tis plain that the Latin Tongue, in its Purity,was never in this Ifland; towards the Conqueft of which few or no Attempts were made till the Time of Claudius; neither was that Language ever fo vulgar in Britain, as it is known to have been in Gaul and Spain. Further, we find, that the Roman Legions here, were at length all recalled to help their Country against the Goths, and other barbarous Invaders. Mean time, the Britains, left to shift for themfelves, and daily haraffed by cruel Inroads from the Picts, were forced to call in the Saxons for their Defence; who, confequently, reduced the greatest Part of the Ifland to their own Power, drove the Britains


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tains into the most remote and mountainous Parts, and the reft of the Country, in Customs, Religion and Language, became wholly Saxon. This I take to be the Reafon, why there are more Latin Words remaining in the British Tongue, than in the old Saxon; which, excepting fome few Variations in the Orthography, is the fame, in moft original Words, with our present English, as well as with the German, and other Northern Dialects.

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EDWARD the Confeffor having lived long in France, appears to be the firft who introduced any mixture of the French Tongue with the Sax on; the Court affecting what the Prince was fond of, and others taking it up for a Fashion, as it is now with us. Will am the Conqueror proceeded much further; bringing over with him vaft


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