« AnteriorContinuar »
ciation. Yet we think that he might have discovered a reason for the variation that we give to the initial vowel in these words. The accent being strongly laid on the first syllable of anges, and ancient, probably, has rendered the a long and narrow ; which was not necessary in angelic and antiquity, because the accent is on the second syllable. In angle and anguish, though the first syllable is accented, it is short: whereas we presume that Americans, (like many country people in England) give to the a in an: gel, and ancient, the same sound that it has in command. This, at the commencement of a word, is repugnant to the analogy of English pronunciation. In like manner, we are told that the word pincers, is “in sonversation” correctly called pinchers : but these errors surprise us less than Mr.W.’s assertion (p. vii.) that “ though is a witious orthography; tho being much nearer to the original word.” Our author doubtless refers to the Saxon theah, and as we suppose him to be aware that gh is commonly substituted in English for the Saxon h, when following a vowel, we cannot account for his preference, on this ground, of its opission. If the Saxon h, had not been pronounced as an aspirated guttural, though probably much weaker than the Scotch sound of gh, those letters would surely never have been substituted for it by writers subsequent to the Norman conquest. This sound, in some instances, we have converted into that off, as in laugh, and cough - and accordingly, in some counties of England, thogh is now pronounced thof. Mr. W.'s remark is therefore totally ungrounded. The last division of his preface is entitled etymology; but it contains so little of importance on that subject, and so much that belongs to it is included under the preceding heads, that we think it unnecessary to pursue his arguments farther. The extent to which we have already proceeded, would indeed be disproportionate to a work which the author acknowledges (p. xix.) to be only “an enlargement and improvement of Entick's Spelling Dictionary :" but as he pro: sesses (p. xxiii.) to “have entered upon the plan of compiling, for his fellow citizens, a dictionary, which shall exhibit a far more correct state Vol. III. No. 2.
of the language than any work of this kind ;” and only “offers this compend to the public, in the mean time, as a convenient manual,” we have thought a considerable degree of attention due to the principles which Mr. W. has laid down ; and we heartily wish that it may contribute to render his larger work less exceptionable to Englishmen on both sides of the Atlantic, than the present has been made by the peculiarities of his orthography. We would earnestly advise him, before he proceeds with the etymological part of his undertaking, to investigate closely these terms which we have in common with the French language, and which are derived neither from the Latin nor the Teutonic. In order to trace these to their genuine sources, he will find it necessary to study the various dia. lects of the ancient British language; and we can assure him that the pains which he may, take for this purpose will not be thrown away. Lyd's Archaeologia Britannica is the best elenentary work on the subject.
We should gladly enlarge this arti. cle by extracting the author's sensible, obvservations on the necessity of various dialects being produced by the local circumstances of the widely dispersed millions who speak our lan. guage. On other topics, highly interesting to Grammarians, he has also many valuable remarks. While, there. fore, we do not think that it would be advisable to reprint the whole of his present performance, it would gratify us to see his preface, in a more legible forin, from a British press. The present paper and type are such as must be very injurious to the sight of most readers.”
In the commencement of their ob
servations, the Reviewers intimate some surprise that a work, proposed “to complete a system of c'.émentary
principles, for the inst uction of youth in the English language,” should not include the etymologies of words; yet without mr.ch consisten
cy, they remark, the “these can hardly be expected in a compend.” The gentlemen mistake the meaning of this part of iry preface. This compend is not in tended to complete the system, it is v derely a “convenieut
mannal” for those who do not wish to examine etymologies. And the preface is intended rather as an outline or sketch of a plan to be hereafter executed, than as a treatise on the principles of the language. The few detached etymologies, with some corrections of definitions, are intended chiefly to show the propriety and even necessity of a thorough revision of the language. From the limited nature of my design, the Compendious Dictionary must be a concise work, and contain only the parts of such a work, which are of most general use. I little expected that any man would question the propriety of calling the Saxon or Anglo Saxon, the mother tongue of the English. “The whole fabric and schene of the English language,” says Dr. Johnson, “is Gothic or Teutonic ;” and of that, the Anglo Saxon was a principal dialect. Not only the idioms and peculiar structure of the language are Teutonic, but a larger part of its words, than are derived from any other source. The Reviewers consider the Lloegrian or Cornish dialect of the ancient British tongue, as the another; and the Latin, Saxon and French as the fathers of modern English. This remark makes it necessary for me to explain what I mean by the Saxon language of England. It is a common opinion (and doubtless a gross error) that the Jutes, Angles and Saxons, who invaded and conquered Britain after the departure of the Romans, in the 5th century, destroyed or drove into the west of England, the British inhabitants, and introduced their own language, with a new race of people. History and etymology disprove this opinion. Long before the invasion of Julius Cæsar, , the southern maritime borders of Britain were peopled by Teutonic tribes, who migrated from Gaul and --Belgica. Caesar calls these people Belgae, and informs us that they possessed Gaul, as far south as the Siene. Tacitus confirms this ac
count, when he tells us the people in .
both countries spoke nearly the same language. Sermo haud multum diversus. See Caesar De Bel. Gal. lib. v. 10. Tacit. Life of Agricola. These Belgic inhabitants, therefore, had driven the original Celtic possessors of
Britain into the interior parts of the isl. and, and introduced the Teutonic language, before the Romans conquered the country. This Teutonic population was never exterminated, either by the Romans, Saxons or Danes; and from those early Belgic settlers, we have received the body of the English language. The Saxons and Angles, who conquered Britain in the sixth and seventh centuries, spoke a dialect of the same language with the Belgic inhabitants—they were comparatively few in number—they introduced few females—and incorporating with the former inhabitants, they could not have introduced a new language ; though not improbably the language might have suffered some variations from the Saxons, as well as from the later invaders, the Danes.
The Saxons and Angles impressed
their names, the one upon the language, the other upon the country :" but the affinity between the Saxon" part of English, and the modern Dutch, prove satisfactorily that the English is the direct offspring of the Belgic dialect planted in England before the Roman conquest of the island. This is what I call the Anglo-Saxon lan. and the parent of modern English ; and if this is what the Reviewers denominate the “Cornish dialect of the ancient British,” we are agreed. But the Cornish dialect, as it is given in Lhuyd, is a compound of Celtic or Gaulish, Latin and Teutonic, with a predominant portion of Celtic ; and I apprehend is not entitled to be called the mother of the English language. The remarks of the Reviewers on
the ignorance and want of reflection in etymologists, and the efforts of amendess and improvers to annihilate the precision of our language and introduce confusion, indicate a want of that candour and moderation, which ought to characterize criticism, and insult the literature of the age. It is more easy, than civil, for one writer to call another a dubbler in a particular sub
* Angles signifies dwellers on a plain, from ing; a plain, level country. They were the Ingevones of Tacitus. De Mor. Germ. 2. They inhabited the flat country of Friesland, Denmark, &c. La Ouver, Germ. Ant, lib. 3.
ject; and the writer who thus deals in names, should recollect that the question, who is, and who is not a dabbler, is to be decided by future generations. Without further remark on this exceptionable part of the review, I will proceed to vindicate my own criticisms on the words, each and either, which the gentlemen have called in question. In the preface to my Dictionary, page 1, I have cited authorities from the translation of the scriptures, and from Saxon books, to convict Johnson of a mistake in the definition of each ; and Lowth, of an error in criticism on the word either. The Reviewers do not deny my authorities; but they say, “What if Saxon writers, and the venerable translators of the Bible, confounded the proper meanings of each and every one * Did they bind all their posterity to do the same 2 Is any thing more obvious, than that every one can only be applied to more than two 2 while each must be used of two, and is therefore best restricted to that number " These remarks are error and absurdity from beginning to end. What, let me ask in reply; did not Saxon writers and the venerable translators of the Bible use words with precision Were they ignorant of the true signification of the words they used ? Did they confound terms ? Surely, these critics should be the last to charge other men with “insulting the remains of great scholars.” No, gentlemen; they did not confound terms ; nor have posterity deviated from their practice. The practice of ancient and of modern writers is uniform and correct. I complain not of the practice, but of Johnson’s definition of each. He says that each, in the sense of “every one of any number,” is rare, except in poetry. This is not true. On the other hand, I affirm, and will prove, that the primitive sense of each was etery one of any number; that from the first Saxon writings to this day, it has been used in that sense, in prose, in poetry, and in discourse, and that it has not, nor ever had any appropriate application to two, more than to two theusand or any other Duinber.
Each is deduced by Skinner and Junius, followed by Bailey and Johnson, from the Saxon acle, and in pursuance of this etymology, I have, in the preface to my Dictionary, cited and referred to a number of authorities to establish the precise meaning of the word, as equivalent to every one. . It is probable that this etymology is erroneous; and that each is the Celtic gach ; the guttural being dropped. But ele and gach being precisely synonymous, it is not of importance to the present question, which is the word from which we have derived each ; for both had, in the primitive languages, the sense of every. Junius and Skinner define each, by unusquisque, which, as translated by Ainsworth, signifies, every, or every one. Sommer, in his Dictionary, defines rle by omnis, all. Lye, in his Dictionary, defines it by omnis, and unusquisque; and cites, [I suppose the Saxon version of the gospels, which I do not possess] Matthew iii. 10. “Every tree, which bringeth not forth good fruit.” He defines the word also by singuli, and cites Mat. xx. 2. John ii. 6, Luke xxi. 36. In all which passages, the word refers to more than two, and signifies all, or every one. Lye cites also a passage in Psalm crv. but I think there must be an error in printing. Every authority I possess, is in my favour: not a single exception. I have marked a great number of passages in Saxon authors to the same oint, and every instance I have found justifies the definition of the foregoing lexicographers. But I believe each to be the Celtic gach, which Lhuyd, in the Irish Dictionary, in his Archaeologia, translates by every, gach aon, every one ; gach neach, each ; gach uile, all. The same definition is given in Shaw's Analysis of the Galic language, page 57. Ånd it appears that in the primitive language, this word was used with one, gach awn, each one, a use which is still preserved in English. “Each one resembled the children of a king,” Judges viii. 18. See also Num, i. 44, vii. 3, Isai. ii. 20, vi. 2, lvii. 2. But one is more usually omitted. Whichever word therefore may be the original of each, the Celtic gach or the Saxon ale, the authorities,
84 Hebster's Compendious Dictionary.
without an exception, prove, that the original signification of the word was every or every one, applicable to the separate individuals of any indefinite number. So far the point is established beyond the possibility of being controverted. Modern authorities are equally de; cisive of the question. Skinner and so have already been cited. Baiey, who, as far as his definitions go, is more correct than Johnson, defines each by every one, giving it no other signification. The late compilers of dictionaries, having copied Johnson's definitions, are chargeable with the same inaccuracies. In twenty passages of scripture out of twenty eight, cited in Cruden's Concordance, in which each is used, the word refers to more than two. The translators did not “confound terms,” as the Reviewers insinuate; they used the word in its true sense, either as applicable to two or to any other number ; and so is the word still used by every man who speaks English; nor, until Johnson's definition appeared, was it ever supposed that the word had any appropriate ref. erence to two. Each soldier in the army, and each ship in the navy are perfectly good English. Indeed each is applied to two, only for the same reason that it is to any other number, viz. because that is the whole number which is the subject of discourse. There is one other authority in my favour, which, I presume, must be conclusive with these gentlemen, and this is, their own use of the word. The Reviewers say, “each must be used of two,” but in the very number of the Review in which this criticism is found, they apply the word to a greater number. Page 10, “In a volume of sermons, each discourse must have its head and tail piece.”
Surely the gentlemen do not mean a volume of two sermons only. Page 26, speaking of Courts Martial in general, they say, “The fundamental laws. by which they are governed, their different kinds, the analogy they bear to each other...” If the gentlemen are not satisfied with all the authorities cited, supported by their own, they would not be “persuaded though one should rise from the dead.”
My remarks on either are equally well supported by authorities. To save trouble, the Reviewers are refer. red to Lye's Saxon Dictionary, where the senscs of either are explained and the authorities cited. Lye defines the word by utergue and ambo. It was appropriately used for two, equiv. alent to each, when used of two only. See the authorities cited. Mat. ix. 17. xiii. 30. Gen. xxi. 31. xiii. 11, and others in Lye's Dictionary; to which I can add a multitude of passages, which I have marked on the margins of Saxon books, but the insertion of them would be of no use to readers in general. Its disjunctive use was anciently very rare, but since it is established by usage, I do not complain of the change ; I contend only that the original sense of the word, “on either side,” for “on each side,” is still a legitimate use of the word, which no man has a right to proscribe. In poetry, it has a peculiar force and beauty ; and it is not the man, who vindicates such ancient and long established usages, who “annihilates precision and introduces confusion;” but it is the learned critics, the Johnsons and Lowths, who condemn such usages, without that minute attention to the history, progress, and present state of the lan: guage, which the intrirate nature of the subject deserves. N. Webster.
(To be continued.J z
was stated the design and advantages of such an institution; taking care not to propose any thing, in the performance of which, I could not exceed the promise; as a single failure would have destroyed my credit and ruined the design. The effect was, that in October, at the time of the distribution of the annuity, a council, consisting cfupwards of 2000 Indians, assembled, including all the Chiefs of the nation. Before this council I laid my plan, and stated all the points I conceived nectsary to aid me in its execution. er spending a day or two in close deliberation, I received their approbation in writing, with a declaration that they would send their children according to my wishes; at the same time they agreed to assist me in fixing a place for the school. The place was chosen near the Highwassee fiver, in a part of the nation most unlikely to be civilized. A school-house, and a house for the teacher were immediately erected. The school-house was so constructed that it might serve the children to eatin, and be comfortable for the lodging of the males. The females were appointed to sleep in the master's family. I was remarkably fortunate in the choice of a master; he was a man of prudence, sense, and piety ; with a heart ully set on the work. His family was conveniently small, consisting of a wife and one child. All things being now fully prepared, the school was opened in the spring of 1804. In the course of the first week we had twenty-one children, who all gave flattering evidences of Promising geniuses. I had conceived it would be one of my greatest difficulties to keep the children at the school. In order to ouard against this contemplated evil, I had agreed with the Chiefs, that if any of the children should leave the *chool without permission, or if permitted to go home should stay ten ¥s longer than allowed, without a *asonable excuse, they should forfeit the clothing I had given them . The Chiefs were bound to send the clothes back, or on their refusal, then, at the distribution of the next annuity, I *ould have a right to deduct the *mount from the dividend of such hief, to be applied to the use of the *hool. This proved an effectual
check to their leaving the school, till they become so pleased, that checks were unnecessary. With regard to order and discipline, I presume few schools can exceed this. Between inducements and strict discipline, the children were insensibly brought to yield entire submission to the regulations of the school. At each examination a prize was proposed for the next examination, to be given to the one making the greatest progress. This was faithfully given according to promise. And lest the others should be depressed and discouraged, sinall presents were given to each one according to his merits. All this was done, as much as possible, under the eye of their parents. As my design was to introduce Christianity, as the young mind should be capable of receiving it, the first principles of religion, as contained in the Shorter Catechism, were early taught, together with other short questions of a similar nature. Many hymns of praise were committed to memory from Dr. Watts' Divine Songs, Rippon's Selection, and other compositions. They were taught to sing plain and melodious tunes with a great deal of ease and sweetness. During all these exercises the utmost care was taken to impress them with solemnity, in order to avoid those habits of levity so often discovered among ourselves, when acquiring the music we expect to use in the worship of God. With one of these songs, a portion of Scripture, and prayer, the school was begun and closed each day. This acquisition of songs of praise was also useful, in assisting to open the minds of the parents to hear the truths designed to be communicated to them. While seated round in a convenient semi-circle, and the children in the midst, after communicating a few ideas by an interpreter, (which was one of the children, assoon as they were capable of the service) the children would join in one of those songs of Zion. Then more instruction could be given, and then another song, and in this way the mind be kept open to the truth; and also the profiting of the children be made to ap: péâr to their parents and friends. I will not say music can transform, but sure I am, it has a remarkable tendency to soften, the savage mind. I