Such are the general principles of the method recommended. Particular cases where they must slightly be departed from will occur. These are matters for the discretion of the teacher.

It is considered that the book may be put early into the hands of the pupil. At the same time it must be studied steadily and slowly. The historical part, which

which may be taken up as soon as the succession of the English Kings, with a few other historical facts, equally elementary, has been learned, should be gone over twice. The portions that will require the most explanation from the teacher, are Part II. (on the Nature of Sounds, &c.), and the explanation of the logical terms, Proposition, Subject, and Copula. Until, however, the first of these subjects is thoroughly understood, it will not be advisable to proceed with the Etymology ; whilst familiarity with the second is necessary for the Syntax.

The Prosody should be taught or omitted according to the amount of poetical literature that has been read by the pupil. In cases where there is neither a knowledge of the English poets, nor a taste to acquire it, it is unnecessary to teach the principles of versification,





§ 1. Distribution of the English Language over the British Isles. With the exception of a few places on the frontier of Wales, the English Language is spoken exclusively throughout all the counties of England.

§ 2. It is spoken in Wales, partially; that is, in the Principality of Wales there are two languages, viz. the English, and the Welsh as well.

§ 3. It is also spoken in Scotland, partially; that is, in the Northern and Western counties of Scotland, there are two languages, the English, and a language called the Scotch Gaelic as well.

§ 4. It is also spoken in Ireland, partially; that is, in several of the counties of Ireland, there are two languages, the English, and a language called the Irish Gaelic as well.

§ 5. It is also spoken in the Isle of Man, partially ; that is, in the Isle of Man there are two languages, the English, and a language called the Manx as well.


§ 6. Finally, it is spoken in the United States of America, in Canada, in Australia, and, more or less, in all the English colonies and dependencies.

Extension of the English Language over different and distant Countries. The extension of the English language beyond the British Isles is a recent event when compared with its extension over the British Isles in the early periods of our history. Indeed, the former has taken place almost entirely since the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was then that the first English colony, that of Virginia, was planted in North America ; and it was only natural that the emigrants who left England should take their language with them. Upon the shores of America it came in contact and collision with the numerous dialects of the native Indians; and upon these it encroached just as, a thousand years before, it had encroached upon the original British of Britain. Numerous languages then became entirely lost, and, at the same time, the tribes who spoke them. Sometimes they were wholly exterminated; sometimes they were driven far into the interior of the land. In a short time populous cities stood upon the hunting-grounds of the expelled tribes, and the language of the mother-country became naturalized in a New World. The subsequent settlement of Maryland, Georgia, and the remaining States of America completed the preponderance of the English language from the boundaries of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

During the Protectorate of Cromwell, the island of

[ocr errors]

Jamaica was taken from the Spaniards, and from that time forwards the English has been the language of a greater part of the West Indian Islands. Here, also, it gradually displaced the dialects of the native Indians.

In Canada, it first took root after the taking of Quebec by General Wolf, in the reign of George the Second. As Canada, however, had been previously a French colony, the European language that was first spoken there was not the English but the French. Hence, when Quebec was taken, the language of the country fell into two divisions. There were the different dialects of the original Indians, and there was the French of the first European colonists. At the present moment, both these languages maintain their ground ; so that the English is spoken only partially in Canada, the French and the Indian existing by the side of it.

At the Cape of Good Hope the English is spoken in a similar manner; that is, it is spoken partially. The original inhabitants were the Caffre and Hottentot tribes of Africa, and the earliest European colonists were the Dutch. For these reasons Dutch and English, conjointly with the Hottentot and Caffrarian dialects, form the language of the Cape of Good Hope. In Guiana, too, in South America, English and Dutch are spoken in the neighbourhood of each other, for the same reason as at the Cape.

In Asia the English language is spoken in India; but there the original languages of the country are

spoken to far greater extent than is the case in either America or Africa.

Australia and New Zealand are exclusively English colonies, and, consequently, in Australia and New Zealand English is the only European language that is spoken. In each of these settlements it encroaches


the native dialects. Malta, Gibraltar, Heligoland, Guernsey, and Jersey, and many other localities of less note, are isolated spots, which, being portions of the English dominions, use the English language.

$ 7. Extension of the English Language over the British Isles.—As late as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and even later, the English language was not spoken universally and exclusively even in England. A second language was spoken in Cornwall, called the Cornish.

§ 8. As late as the reign of King Stephen, a language very closely resembling the Welsh, was spoken in Cumberland and Westmoreland.

$ 9. In the first, second, and third centuries the English language was either not spoken in Great Britain at all, or spoken very partially indeed.

A little consideration will shew that the extension of the English language over the different English counties, and over the British Isles in general, was carried on in the same way as the extension of the English language over countries like America, Australia, and New Zealand. In America, Australia, and New Zealand there were the original native languages, origi

« ElőzőTovább »