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vantage, which will always overbalance the flow Improvements of gradual Correction. Much less ought our written Language to comply with the Corruptions of oral Utterance, or copy that which every Variation of Time or Place makes different from itself, and imitate those Changes, which will again be changed, while Imitation is employed in observing them.
This Recommendation of Steadiness and Uniformity does not proceed from an Opinion, that particular Combinations of Letters have much Influence on human Happiness; or that Truth may not be successfully taught by Modes of Spelling fanciful and erroneous : I am not yet so lost in Lexicography, as to forget that IWords are the Daughters of Earth, and that Things are the Sons of Heaven. Language is only the Instrument of Science, and Words are but the Signs of Ideas : I wish, however, that the Instrų. ment might be less apt todecay and that the Signs might be permanent, like the Things whiwh they denote.
In settling the Orthography, I have not wholly neglected the Pronunciation, which I have directed, by putting an Accent upon the acute or elevated Syllable. It will sometimes be found, that the Accent as placed by the Authour quoted, on a different Syllable from that marked in the alphabetical Series ; it is then to be understood that Custom has varied, or that the Authour has, in my opinion, pronounced wrong: Short Directions are sometimes given where the Sound of Letters is irregular; and if theyare fome. times, omitted, Defect in such minute Observations will be more easily excused than Super fluity.
In the Investigation both of the Orthography and Signification of Words, their Etymology was necesfarily to be considered, and they were therefore to be divided into Primitives and Derivatives. A primitive Word is that which can be traced no further to any English Root; thus çircumspect, circumvent, Cir
cumstance, cumftance, delude, concave, and complicate, though Compounds in the Latin, are to us Primitives. Derivatives are all those that can be referred to any Word in English of greater Simplicity.
The Derivatives I have referred to their Primitives, with an Accuracy fometimes needless; for who does not see that Remoteness comes from remote, lovely from Love, Concavity from concave, and demonftrative from demonstrate ? but this grammatical Exuberance the Scheme of my Work did not allow me to repress. It is of great importance in examining the general Fabrick of a Language, to trace one Word from another, by noting the usual Modes of Derivation and Inflection ; and Uniformity must be preserved in systematical Works, though sometimes at the Expence of particular Propriety.
Among other Derivatives I have been careful to infert and elucidate the anomalous Plurals of Nouns and Preterites of Verbs, which in the Teutonick Dialects are very frequent; and though familiar to those who have always used them, interrupt and embarrass the Learners of our Language.
The two Languages from which our Primitives have been derived, are the Roman and Teutonick: Under the Roman I comprehend the French and Provincial Tongues ; and under the Teutonick range the Saxon, German, and all their kindred Dialects. Most of our Polysyllables are Roman, and our Words ef one SyMable are very often Teutonick.
In afsigning the Roman Original, it has perhaps fometimes happened that I have mentioned only the Latin, when the Word was borrowed from the French; and considering myfelf as employed only in the Illuftration of my own Language, I have not been very eareful to observe whether the Latin Word be pure or barbarous, or the French elegant or obfolete.
For the Teutonick Etymologies I am commonly indebted to Junius and Skinner, the only Names which I have forborne to quote when I copied their Books: not that I might appropriate their Labours to ufurp their Honours, but that I might spare a perpetual Repetition by one general Acknowledgment. Of these, whom I ought not to mention but with the Reverence due to Instructors and Benefactors, Junius appears to have excelled in Extent of Learning, and Skinner in Rectitude of Understanding. Junius was accurately skilled in all the northern Languages. Skinner probably examined the ancient and remoter Dialects only by occasional Inspection into Dictionaries; but the Learning of unius is often of no other Use than to shew him a Track by which he may
deviate from his Purpose, to which Skinner always presses forward by the shortest Way. Skinner is often ignorant, but never ridiculous : Junius is always full of Knowledge ; but his Variety distracts his Judgment, and his Learning is very frequently disgraced by his Abfurdities,
The Votaries of the northern Muses will not per: haps easily restrain their Indignation, when they find the Name of Junius thus degraded by a disadvantageous Comparison; but whatever Reverence is due to his Diligence, or his Attainments, it can be no criminal Degree of Cenforiousness to charge that Etymologist with Want of Judgment, who can seriously derive Dream from Drama, because Life is a Drama, and a Drama is a Dream; and who declares with a Tone of Defiance, that no Man can fail to derive Moan from mòr@, monos, who considers that Grief naturally loves to be alone *.
* That I may not appear to have spoken too irreverently of Junius, I have here subjoined a few Specimens of his etymological Extravagance.
BANISH, religare, ex banno vel territorio exigere, in exilium agere. G. bannir. It. bandire, bandeggiare. H. bandir. B. bannen. Ævi medii scriptores bannire dicebant. V. Spelm. in Bannum & in Bana Jeuga. Quoniam verò regionum urbiumq; limites arduis plerumq; montibus, aliis Auminibus, longis deniq; flexuofisq; anguitiffimarum viarum amfractibus includebastur, fieri poteft id genus limites
Our Knowledge of the Northern Literature is so fcanty, that of Words undoubtedly Teutonick, the Original is not always to be found in any ancient Language, and I have therefore inserted Dutch or German Substitutes, which I consider no: as radical, but parallel ; not as the Parents, but Sisters of the English.
The Words which are represented as thus related by Descent or Cognation, do not always agree in Sense ; for it is incident to Words, as to their Authours, to degenerate from their Ancestors, and to change their Manners when they change their Country. It is sufficient, in etymological Enquiries, if the Senses of kindred Words be found, such as may easily pass into each other, or such as may both be referred to one general Idea.
The Etymology, so far as it is yet known, was easily found in the Volumes where it is particularly and profeffedly delivered ; and, by proper Attention to the Rules of Derivation, the Orthography was ban dici ab eo quod Barvátai & Bávargo. Tarentinis olim, ficuti tradit Hesychius, vocabantur ai doğors i man ibuteveīz odos, “obliquæ ac 6 minimè in rectum tendentes viæ." Ac fortaffe quoque huc facit quod Bave's, eodem Hesychio teste, dicebant ögn seagrúan montes ar
EMPTY, emtie, vacuus, inanis. A.S. Æmrig. Nescio an fint ab fuém vel fuerów. Vomo, evomo, vomitu evacuo. Videtur interim etymologiam hanc non obscure firinare codex Ruth. Mat. xii. 22. ubi antiquè fcriptum invenimus gemoeted hit emerig. “ Invenit am
Hill, mons, collis. A. S. hyll. Quod videri potest absciffum ex xohavn vel sowvós. Collis, tumulus, locus in plano editior. Hom. Il. 5. ν. 811, έςι δε τις προπάροιθε σόλεG- αιπεία, κολώνη, Ubi authori brevium fcholiorum κολώνη exp. τόπG- εις ύψώ ανήκων, γεώλοφG. Εξοχή. .
NAP, to take a Nap. Dormire, condormiscere. Cym. heppian. A.S. hnæppan. Quod poftremum videri poteft defumptum ex nrétas, obscuritas, tenebræ : nihil enim æque solet conciliare fomnum, quàm caliginosa profundæ notis obscuritas.
STAMMERER, Balbus, blæsus Goth. STAMMS. A. S. sramen. rramur. D. ftam. B. ftameler. Su, stamma. in. stamr. Sunt a çapaudety vel swpúrnev, nimiâ loquacitate alios offendere ; quod impeditè loquentes libentiffimè garrire foleant; vel quòd aliis nimii femper videantur, etiam parcidimè loquentes.
foon adjusted. Bert to collect the Words of our Language was a Talk of greater Difficulty: The Deficiency of Dictionaries was immediately apparent ; and when they were exhausted, what was yet wanting must be fought by fortuitous and unguided Excursions into Bouk, and gleaned as Industry should find, or Chance should offer it, in the boundlefs Chaos of a living Speech. My Search, however, has been either ikilful or lucky; for I have much augmented the Vocabulary.
As my Design was a Dictionary, common or appellative, I have omitted all Words which have Relation to proper Names; such as Arian, Socinian, Calvinist, Benedicline, Mahometan: but have retained those of a more general Nature; as Heathen, Pagan.
Of the Terms of Art, I have received such as could be found either in Books of Science, or technical Dictionaries; and have often inserted, from philosophical Writers, Words which are supported perhaps only by a single Authority; and which being not admitted into general Use, stand yet as Candi: dates or Probationers, and must depend for their Adoption on the Suffrage of Futurity.
The Words which our Authours have introduced by their knowledge of foreign Languages, or Ignorance of their own, by Vanity or Wantonness, by Compliance with Fashion, or Lust of Innovation, Í have registered as they occurred, though commonly only to censure them, and warn others against the Folly of naturalizing useless Foreigners, to the Inju: ry of the Natives.
I have not rejected any by Design, merely because they were unnecessary or exuberant ; but have res ceived those which by different Writers have been differently formed; as viscid, and Viscidity; viscouss and Viscosity
Compounded or double Words I have seldom noted, except when they obtain a Signification dif