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prest. Now, what would be thought of an English grammarian who should lay down, that` English verbs have two past tenses, and should exhibit them thus :
saw, or seed Come, came, or coni'd Give, gave, or giv'd
Live, lave, or liv'd
A foreigner would never guess that seed and com'd were not quite as good English as saw and came; and if, late in his studies, he were told that lave, laf, and sorch were all words invented ' for illustration,' he would think he had been most unfairly imposed on. Yet this is not a caricature of the mode of instruction pursued in all, at least except the most recent, Greek grammars. The Greeks, as the English, have two modes of forming the past tense; and this the grammarians perversely call, having two past tenses. The one mode, called second Aorist, is formed by change (generally shortening) of vowel; as in In0, ela0; Teu, erau ; delt, Edit. The other mode, called First Aorist, is to add o; as TUTT, ετυψ; λυ, ελυσ; τι, ετισ. Now doubtless sometimes in Greek, as in English, both past tenses exist in one verb, especially if we embrace several centuries of time in our thought; just as we have lit and lighted, hung and hanged, brought and bringed, shone and shined : and if we rake up our old ballads, which are most analogous to the Homeric poems, we can find authority for an extraordinary, mass of strange words, such as com’d, seed, lough, mough, kep (for laughed, might, kept). But a foreigner learning English, would first desire to know the common language of literature, and to master this thoroughly, before he incurred the danger of vitiating his perceptions by such vulgarisms: and it is no more true in Greek than in English, that we may indifferently employ either mode of forming the past tense. The like remarks apply to the two modes of forming the Greek Future, in verbs called regular. For all these reasons, it is highly necessary that a Greek Lexicon should inform the student concerning each verb separately, what is the past and future tense really in use; or, which method prevailed in different times and dialects.
Another source of confusion hardly paralleled in English, exists in the Middle Voice of the Greek verb. We have a few such idioms as, To be mistaken, for, To mistake; where the passive is used for the active. So the Greek middle voice, besides its legitimate senses, which are numerous enough, is in particular instances,-perhaps only in certain tenses,- used for the active, or for the passive; or sometimes again, it borrows passive tenses to make up its own complement. The irregularities meet one most unexpectedly, even in different compounds of the same verb; as προτρέπεσθαι and αποτρέπειν, επιθυμείν and ενθυμείσθαι, εννοείν
and διανοείσθαι. Βουλεύεσθαι and συμβουλεύεσθαι are generally Middle; but émepovlevouai is Passive, almost never Middle. In all these matters we look to the Lexicon for help.
Again, since three cases of nouns may follow verbs, and it is often uncertain which of the three, the Lexicon ought here likewise to inform us. A student who knows that verbs of superiority generally govern a genitive, but sometimes a dative (which is more Ionic and Latinized), and sometimes an accusative; may wish to know whether to write κρατειν γής, or κρατείν γήν, ανάσσειν Τρώων or ανάσσειν Τρώσιν: and whether any difference of sense is involved.
It is further requisite, that the Lexicon distinguish poetical terms from common ones. To write ανάσσειν for βασιλεύειν, , πρύπας for άπας, θάσσω for καθέζομαι, and so forth, would produce as ridiculous an effect on a low topic, as in English to say sway for govern, steed for horse, rampire for battlement, &c. We would almost rather not understand poetry at all, than confound its vocabulary with that of prose. But here, a peculiarly difficult task is imposed on the Lexigrapher. Numerous words occur but rarely in Attic prose (such prose at least as we most commonly read), and are tolerably common in poetry : whence the more and the less learned are alike apt to infer too hastily that they are poetical words. For example, daihat, Ovella, katayis, are easily mistaken for synonyms of A Storm, too high-sounding for prose; whereas, in fact, they are specific terms, like hurricane, squall, tornado. In these points, natives have an advantage over foreigners, difficult to appreciate in amount,
We may lastly remark, that it is yet more important in Greek than in English, to arrange the different senses of a term in their philosophical order. For our language, having received its cultivation on a foreign basis, has in very numerous instances adopted a foreign term in place of the metaphorical use of the Saxon word. Thus, in a physical sense, we say, to wrest ; in a moral, to extort : in a physical, to squeeze out; in a moral, to express, to imitate : in a physical sense again, to meet or come together; in a moral, to agree or make a compact. In these, and hundreds besides, the Greeks would have but one word, where the English have two; which ought to be exhibited systematically in the arrangement of meanings.
When the vast extent of the language is considered, and the amount of reading needed to produce such a Lexicon as the age demands, it appears evident that the attempt is too arduous for an individual. If one or more persons really qualified for the work are to give up adequate time to it, they must expect to be remunerated for their labor. But the publishers cannot command the market; and to avoid actual loss, a favorable crisis must be seized, when no existing Lexicon has pre-occupied the public. Time
cannot be granted ad libitum : the author must finish it somehow, within the period prescribed ; and be the book ever so valuable, there is a limit of price which it must on no account exceed. For all these reasons, we never expect a really good Lexicon, until the work is taken in hand by one of our universities. If Oxford were what she fancies herself, this would not long be wanting : but now she does nothing for us in her organized and collective capacity, except that which the Priestleys or the Talboyses with her means, would perform just as well, viz., execute judicious reprints of the German classics. The University ought to appoint a committee for compiling a Greek Lexicon ; she could distribute it into a sufficient number of able hands to ensure its rapid completion, appointing a single editor, to attain uniformity: she could afford to remunerate them, and to print the work at a not extravagant price; while if composed under such auspices, it would find immediate entrance into every great library in the kingdom. It is wonderful that with all her pretensions, she has so little ambition ; but tamely goes on reprinting from the Germans, whose universities she so meanly esteems.
When we form so high an idea of the arduousness of Dr. Giles's undertaking, and of the disadvantages to which he, as any other individual, is probably exposed; it is not to be expected that we should find his execution correspond to our desires. To judge thoroughly of a Lexicon, is a work of time; even if the judgment is to be one of comparison, and we are to ascertain only whether he has much improved upon other popular works of the same kind. The measure of examination which we have been able to give, leads us to believe that in the total amount of information conveyed, this dictionary will bear a comparison with any other of equal magnitude; but to estimate the author's improvements is the more difficult, since his preface does not explain to what he has specially directed his attention.
We do not, therefore, undervalue his work, nor mean to censure him for haste, when we add, that judging by an absolute standard, it seems to us very defective. As it is only by specimens that we can make an estimate, so there is no other way of setting forth the grounds of our opinion; and as no small portion of our readers are students of this noble language, we hope that those who are not, will not grudge us a couple of pages employed in verbal discussion uninteresting to them. We purposely looked to various words, which have some nicety of meaning not always well understood; others caught our attention in turning his pages; and thus the following miscellaneous list was produced in the course of, perhaps, twenty minutes. (We do not mean that this is the only portion of time which we have allotted to the book.) Our own remarks are in brackets : the rest is from Dr. Giles.
Aigów....(uigw) to take:.... 'Aygéw, to catch in the chase. [We apprehend that Aigéw is not at all derived from ảcigw or aigw, to lift up;
but is, as Buttman states, an Attic form of dygéw, the y being guttural with the Greeks. Nor is dypów to catch in the chase, necessarily; but simply, to catch, to take; as is proved by mugáyzn, tongs, and avráyzéros, Ionic for atlaigeros, chosen freely. It ought to be noticed in the Lexicon that dygéw is Ionic.]
'Aéyw,* to speak, say, tell, collect, gather, count, reckon, deliver, lay down, put to rest, quiet, soothe.'—[Rather : Aéyw, (1) to gather, (2) to count, (3) to recount in order, tell, (4) to speak or harangue, (5) to say or mean : chiefly in the present tense ; égã, fut. and sira or Einov, aorist. There are several tenses formed from another root, with the sense of lying down : viz., perhaps in Attic, the 2nd aor. pass. as zateméynoav, they lay: certainly in Ionic, réžov, cause to lie, mid. λέξεται, ελέξατο, ελεκτο. Τhis root is connected with λέχος.]
Ilgáğevos, a person appointed to perform hospitality towards ambassadors.'-[Rather: a person who, in his own state, officiated as patron, or in modern language, as consul, for those of some other state : not for ambassadors solely.]
• OTTW, for ÕTTOLQI, to see.'-[We believe that neither word has any existence. The Greeks said, ogã, I see, fut. ő fouci, aor. Eldov perf. śúgaxa, Poet. ÖTWTA—which cannot be found from Dr. Giles's grammar, any more than from his Lexicon.]
* ExéTTOO, to behold. Exonew, how, to look out. [Extenso is found in Homer, but we believe the present is not used in Attic Greek: oror how is equally unknown so us. The Attics say, σκοπώ or σκοπούμαι, fut. σκέψομαι.]
Obw, to burn incense, sacrifice, make an oblation, rush impetuously, flow in torrents, be in a state of fury. 'Anodiw, to perform sacrifices in honor of; dedicate to.'-[Rather: w, (1) fumigate or burn incense, (2) fume or rage, (3) sacrifice a victim, Ovóuai, sacrifice in order to consult the entrails ; properly, as when a general orders a diviner to sacrifice (This middle sense is omitted). 'Afrodiw, to sacrifice, by way of payment, a vow due to a god.]
Eůvoũxos, from cún, oi, fyw.-[A truly extraordinary mistake, and, we think, original to Dr. Giles. Oj, not, does not enter into the word, any more than into an ngoãyos. It properly means, a Chamberlain.]
Arávosa, thought, understanding, soul, the mind, reason, consideration, resolution, thought.--[Rather, Asávora, (l) an intention, (2) meaning of words, (3) the intellect, as voūs, opposed to the moral sentiment.] *Aera, a tempest, hurricane, whirlwind. usada, a storm, hurri
Katasyis, a sudden blast. Sairat, a great storm, hurricane.
We were directed to this word by Dr. Giles's remark in the preface: * The compiler has thought it sufficient to give only the primary and principal meanings of Greek verbs, and considers it worse than useless, when he has once explained such words as kai, Néyw, &c. ... to extend the subject ... We were surprised after this to find so many meanings to déyw.
*Avaqúonua, a blast.-[Thus we do not learn any distinctions. "Agaa, we believe, is foreign to the Attics. Aristotle (de Mundo) says, that Θύελλα is a squall ; Καταιγίς, a descending squall ; Λαίλαψ, an ascending whirlwind; 'Avapúonia, a puff of wind ascending from a hole in the earth.]
"Ogəros, erect, &c.—[He does not explain ög0105 hóxos, a regiment in file, or with narrow front.]
'Etiterx'w, to wall, fortify.--[Properly, to erect a fort for offensive purposes; as, against another fortified place.]
Aloup vów, to assign, administer, rule, govern.- [Rather, to govern, as elective king. No learner will guess this sense to belong to the whole family; though, under Alouumans, Dr. Giles gives, as one sense, a magistrate chosen by election.']
Zopía, wisdom, skill, cleverness, art, prudence, knowledge, virtue. -[The three last senses, we presume, are only a fruit of Socrates's theory, that all virtue is knowledge, and all vice ignorance. But, if we may believe Aristotle, Eopía means, (1) cleverness in the arts, (2) knowledge in the exact sciences, (3) power of abstract speculation, also erudition, concerning things superhuman and unpractical. On the contrary, copía cannot be used for practical wisdom.]
But we find that we must not proceed, although only about half of our list is finished.* The above will suffice to show that we cannot regard this Lexicon as having made great approaches to our beau idéal. The most serious defects running through the whole book, are—the want of distinction, order, and gradation, in the different senses assigned to words, which are often far too numerous; and, the total neglect to mark the dialect to which words belong; or, generally, the aorists and regimen of particular verbs. Such neglect, no thoughtfulness and examination on the part of him who consults the Lexicon, can remedy; the book itself provides him with no materials.
But it would be unjust to finish our remarks thus, since we have not yet noticed a part of the work on which Dr. Giles has, doubtless, spent much labor, probably more than on all the rest; viz. the English-Greek Lexicon. The importance of composing in any tongue which we desire to learn, is now generally recognised; and hence the value of Inverse Lexicons, even for the dead languages. We have observed, also, that in the Greek Lexicons which have. been published successively in the last fifteen years, this department has been more and more carefully cultivated. To exhibit
* As a specimen concerning the tenses of verbs, we looked out årouw to hear. We had noted, that in his grammar, he first gives akoúw future, droúró (active), and úrouoouai (middle); and afterwards states that drouw has only a future middle. We do not know whether a learner will understand that drotow is a fictitious word, which is the fact. In the Lexicon, he gives ακούω, ακούσομαι, ήκουκα. Is not ήκουκα another fictitious word? We do not remember any other perfect than akýkoa, which is not down at all.