[merged small][ocr errors]


Was Tooke ignorant that, in the the abstract termination -ness, which Gothic, the admitted original of our is so common in the Saxon languages. own tongue, there is a regular termi. In origin, the termination ITHĂ, or nation in ITHA, as a characteristic modern -th, is to be numbered among of nouns expressing abstract qualities; a large class of terminations characand that these nouns are as regularly terised by the use of the dental consodeclinable as penna or usou, and are nants, and which appear in different of the same gender ? What does any forms in the different Indo-Germanic man mean by saying that a flexible tongues. The termination itas, al. noun is the third person singular of a ready mentioned, with those of ta, verb ? Can we speak of such a thing -tas, and -tus in Latin, and cons in as the genitive plural of a verb's third Greek, are examples of them. To say person singular! Such a system is that any of them are parts of a verb, is destructive of all distinctions of gram. downright driveling or gross error.. mar and of language ; and can never It would tire our own patience, as be justified by any similarity of sound well as that of our readers, if we were or appearance. We might as well longer to continue this weary

work. say that amor, amoris, is the first per- We affirm that what we have already son singular of the present indicative done is a fair sample of what we could passive of amo, and means the feeling do with the rest of the treatise which by which I am loved ; or, what would we are considering, in so far, at least, more nearly resemble Tooke's inac: as it relates to the Teutonic tongues. curacies, that amator is the third per. Every page of it is full of blunders, for son singular of the same part of the which ameretyroin those studies would verb, and means the person by whom deserve the birch. The book in this any one is loved.

respect is a bag of chaif, and we doubt But let us look into this a little if it be redeemed by half-a-dozen grains more narrowly. Depth," says of wheat in its whole bulk. We beTooke, " is the third person singular lieve Tooke to have been grossly un. of dippan, submergere. Height the skilled in Anglo-Saxon-we are satissame part of hafan, extollere.” Now, fied that he was utterly ignorant of how stand the facts ?

Gothic-yet it was greatly upon a pe. DIUPS is the Gothic adjective for culiar acquaintance with these tongues deep ; and from this adjective, as we that both his pretensions and his repuconceive, is derived the abstract de- tation were founded. clinable feminine noun DIUP-ITHA, It is obvious that a writer so depth. This process we take to be the shamefully ignorant of what he prosame with that by which in Latin pro- fessed to know, and so incompetent to fundus produces profund-itas. There collect facts of any, philological value, are, indeed, two relative verbs in Gothic must be entitled to no weight in referDAUP-YAN, to dip or to baptize, ence to any views in that science that as Ulphilas uses it, and DIUP-YAN, may depend upon induction. Whether to deepen. The third persons singular any à priori speculations upon gram. of those verbs are respectively D AUP- mar are likely ever to be successful, EITH, dippeth, and DIUP-EITH or whether thos of Tooke are en deepeneth ; but these parts of the verbs titled to any attention, would lead are no more identical with the feminine to a still longer enquiry, though flexible noun DIUP-ITHA, than perhaps the last question may be alprofundat, if there were such a word, ready resolved, if, as we think, the would be with profunditas.

specimens of nonsense which we have Height, again, has nothing earthly given are a proof, not merely of want to do with hefan, or, as we take it to of knowledge, but of want of judga be, hebban, (Anglo-Saxon) to heave. ment. We do not consider that, on HAUHITHA is the Gothic for the subject of grammar generally, height, and can have no affinity with Tooke has stated any views which are the word for heave, which is HAF. not, in the main, to be found in his preYAN. HAUH-ITHA is an abstract decessors; and we are

certain that, noun, derived from HAUHS, high, in with a book so defaced with errors in the same manner as DIUP-ITHA matters of fact, which, upon his own is from DIUPS, deep.

showing, are essentially connected The termination - ITHA, thus used, with his theories, the safest course is to has a near resemblance, in import, to sweep it away as utter rubbish, and



same name.

begin to build upon a new foun- it is not every thing that answers to dation.

the same description that receives the In some respects we would say,

Supposing it were as without hesitation, that the general . true as it is certainly false, that bread principles of Tooke's reasoning are in English is, as Tooke says, the extremely futile. The idea that ety- past participle of the verb to bray, mology can supply us with any new it would not follow that every thing or improved conceptions of things in that was brayed was bread; or that their actual or abstract existence, is Tooke, or any other sophist that truly preposterous. It seems to have Maga might pass through her mortar, been thought by philosophers of a cer- would thereby be converted into a tain school in that day, that an insight quartern loaf. Neither must we supinto the names of things would make pose that primitive expressions are us better acquainted with the things always correct, any more than they are themselves; and, in particular, the complete. The terms hippopotamus materialists seem to have imagined and walrus, do not prove that the anithat results of a most important nature, mals so designated are fit instruments in aid of their own doctrines, were thus of equestrian exercise ; nor are we to be developed in reference to the compelled to renounce the Copernican mind and its faculties. The absurdity system, because our ancestors spoke of of such a notion may perhaps be most the rising or setting of the sun. easily shown by asking a naturalist, Etymology is interesting and useful, whether any new discovery in the ex- but it is only so as a historical science, isting features of animal nature has and not as a means of discovering esever arisen from tracing the verbal sential truth. origin of the names of objects. His- We cannot, therefore, conceive how torical facts we may thus learn; we any one could, for a moment, have may learn something of the processes been swayed by Tooke's notion, that of our own species in the development the essence of an object, or idea, was of thought or in the formation or limited by the etymology of its name; extension of language ; but no inves- that right and truth, for instance, were tigation of names can explain the na- only what was directed and what was ture of existing things, or control the believed, because the words were said observations that we may make on to be past participles of regere, to gowhat we ourselves see around us. The vern, and TRAUAN, to trust. We earlier races of men, by whom names consider his etymological theory in may have been imposed, had no better both cases to be more or less erromeans of studying nature than is now neous; but even if it were otherwise, possessed by their descendants. Nei. our opinion as to what was justice or ther are names the express images of what was truth would not be turned things. Not the whole of an object away by an etymology from Horne

is ever expressed or figured by its Tooke any more than by a jest from E appellation, but merely some striking Pontius Pilate.

feature or phenomenon is suggested, In the same way, the fact at one time which is sometimes real, but may so much founded on in connexion with sometimes also be only apparent. To Tooke's speculations, that words exsay of any object that it is nothing but pressing the mind and its operations what its name expresses, is a glaring are generally traceable to a physical absurdity. In the name of a rhinoce- idea as their source, is wholly inconlos we express nothing but the horn clusive as to any abstract result. It in its nose, and in that of a squirrel might show that the inventors of lanonly its shady tail; but both of these guage had attained something like a animals have other important qua- complete vocabulary before they dilities, and other animals besides them rected their attention to spiritual may have the very qualities which speculations, and then that, in seeking those names import.

The cow is to express their new notions, they resaid to have her name from her chew- sorted to the analogous names of the ing or ruminating ; but the cow does subtlest physical objects rather than other things than ruminate, and many invent a new phraseology. The use animals ruminate besides the cow. of the word πνευμα, animus or spiritus, Aptos, the Greek word for bread, is to express the soul, will not prove that said to signify what is prepared ; but our mental essence is a breath or a NO. CCXCIY. VOL. XLVII.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

blast. It will scarcely show that the to be wrong and ridiculous, could only inventors or adopters of those expres- qualify themselves to appear as its sions were of that opinion; it merely opponents by first paying homage to entitles us to infer that, in labouring its ingenuity and learning. It reflects to make clear to themselves or to little credit on English philology that others a new series of ideas more it should have been so regarded then ; ethereal than they had yet experienced, and it is not much to our praise now, they illustrated them by names which that it should still be named in works most nearly represented an existence of science of a respectable character, at once immaterial and animated. But and named without censure, or even the facts are not in favour of any con- with eulogium and deference. Its auclusion that even this modified process thority and influence have done much is the universal characteristic of lan- harm to us as philologists, both in our guage. Many words express imma. reputation and in our progress. It terial objects, which we cannot trace has lowered the high name which to any material meaning. Nous, meus, England once could boast in Teumind, soul;—what, we ask, are the tonic philology. It has blinded us palpable forms or perceptible images to better guides—it has led us upon which these words represent? We a false track, and lulled us into a know of none to which they can with delusive security. It has palsied certainty be assigned; and, as they our better efforts and aspirations, like are of great antiquity, we are willing a nightmare upon our breasts. Let to believe that among our earliest an- us escape from the slavish fear or cestors there were ideas of a super- silly superstition that has tyrannized material character, to which they over us; let us shake the incubus from gladly assigned some distinctive ap- his hold, and hail with gladness the pellation.

beaming of a better day, in which, In every light, therefore, in which under fairer auspices, we shall purwe view it, we are inclined to consider sue, with reverential zeal and humble the Diversions of Purley as a fallaci- diligence, some of the worthiest and ous or a frivolous book. It is with a most mysterious subjects of knowledge mixture of mirth and amazement that that the study of man can open to we look back to the position it used to our understandings. occupy; when even those who felt it

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

any letters

[ocr errors]

Carlo SEBASTIANI was the son of « Oh! several hundred thousands, an Italian colonel of engineers in the they tell our people, at the other side Imperial service. The Colonel had fall of the water. They are capital fellows en in one of the Turkish campaigns, for recruiting, as every body knows;

and left his son to the protection of and I think that they ought not to - the Imperial family. Intended for sols have let us off so cheap. Several mil27 diership, he had been placed at the lions would have sounded better; and le celebrated military school of Ratisbon, I daresay that they will have them by tski and was distinguished among his the next report.”

comrades by all the promise of a fu- The group of the staff burst out into ture Alexander. However, the glories loud laughter; for no aid-de-camp is of the academy in time grew tiresome fit for his duty who does not laugh at to a dashing youth of eighteen, tall as his general's jokes.

a grenadier, able to tame a Hungarian “ Pray, Carlo," asked the general Ens horse, ready to hang himself for every in turn, “ have


had E pair of epaulets which he saw on the from Vienna ? The news there is, that

shoulders of the garrison-officers, and the Archduke Charles is likely to take

wearied to death with sketching eternal the command of the Rhenish army; if dire plans of imaginary fortifications, out. so, we shall have warm work. He is

manæuvring old Frederick and Daun not a man to wear gouty shoes." in every battle of the Seven Years' The aids-de-camp burst out again

War, and gazing in summer at castles into a laugh. mari in the clouds, and in winter making “ No, gentlemen, nor to let any one ti them in the fumes of his iron stove. else wear them."

One lovely evening, at length, The general said this in a tone of in June of the memorable year importance, more than enough to ret 1796, brought him other things. buke their previous familiarity; and

The commandant of the garrison was the aids.de-camp, to a man, instantly seen furiously riding, at the head of stroked their yellow moustaches, and a group of aids-de-camp, from the looked grave. The general now galgates of the city. His road lay by the loped down the descent, on his way to foot of a hill, on which Carlo was inspect some works building on the lying with Schiller’s Robbers in his adjoining hills, and Carlo was left to hand, and, like Charles de Moor, himself. was pouring out his sorrows and his But he could even read Schiller no soul to the most brilliant of all possible more: a robber was made to be hangsunsets. The clatter of the horses' ed, and Carlo felt himself made to be hoofs startled him from a reverie, in a generalissimo; the difference was which he performed the part of the considerable, and he decided against poetical robber with great success, being the magnifico of a Bohemian and was deliberately considering, whe- cavern. ther a life in the woods, pistol in hand, With a heart panting with a thouand the honour of commanding a sand undefined emotions, he hurried to troop of invincible heroes of the high- his chamber, and there saw a couple of way, was not the true definition of letters lying on his table. One was from glory after all. The commandant had the Countess Sebastiani, his mother, by this time reached the foot of the and the other from the office of the War height, and, as its steepness brought Minister. It must be acknowledged that the whole group to a walk, Carlo, he tore open the minister's letter first. who knew and was known by every It was brief—a simple order for him to body, was enabled to ask the news. return from the school without loss of “ Plenty of both, my boy-good and time. The letter from the countess bad,” was the answer. " The French was like a mother's letter--long, tenwant a little more blood-letting, I sup- der, and crowded with advice, precaupose, and are said to be in motion. tions, and prospects, finishing with But we shall be ready for them, hopes that the war was at an end ; the sharp as the scoundrels are.”

postscript saying, that having thus « Are they in force, general ?" no further use for his military educa.




[ocr errors]


tion, she had returned his commission the opposite quarter, and was covering to the Emperor, with a proposal that he the forest and its hills with all the should enter the career of diplomacy, hues of a fine summer's evening, that in which she had some interest. The he discovered his new position among letter was explanatory to the full in. mankind. He was lying on the ground, tent; but it was like an icebolt to him. close to a circle of Austrian Hulans, It lowered him from the fever-heat of who were eating, drinking, and makfame a hundred degrees below zero. ing merry like true sons of the sabre. If the Rhine had been then within any Carlo sprang on his feet, and felt for accessible distance, he would probably his purse and his Leipsic gold-mounthave finished his perplexity, by going ed cane ; but both had taken their to sup with the mermaids of the North leave. He approached the group to Sea. He passed the night without make his angry enquiries. They closing his eyes. " What! he a di- laughed at him, and invited him to plomatist ?-he to linger out the next take some of their bread and brandy dozen, or the next fifty years in learn- as a means of bringing back his undering to fold a despatch?--he to be the standing. He was indignant, and escort of all the old countesses of the would have fought the whole group, minor courts of Germany, and vege- or the whole regiment; but he suddentate into a thin figure of frivolity, on ly felt a sensation of intolerable huna pension of five hundred thalers a- ger, and the feeling which tames year? No: better be blown from the elephants and lions, may be forgiven mouth of a howitzer, or spiked on a for taming a handsome hero not yet French bayonet! If not a soldier, he arrived at years of discretion. The would be nothing, but”-the Charles scene ended by his being ordered by de Moor scheme hovered over his the corporal of the troop to mount bemind again,-“ at all events,” said he, hind one of his men, and proceed with " to Vienna I will not return. The them. This was rather à fall for the world is wide. I shall not suffer my- son of an Imperial colonel of engiself to be laughed at by the whole circle neers, and a German countess. But, of the palace. I can live in America on second thoughts, what was the by hunting buffaloes ;–I can live in difference between him and the hardy Siberia by shooting black foxes ;-I and light-hearted savages round bim? can live in Africa by hunting for gold If I am destined to be shot in the dust ;-I can live in India by black-field,” thought he, “I may as well ening my face and strangling some of save myself the trouble of walking the native Rajahs ;- but never will I round the world for it. If I am to return to Vienna.”

earn my bread, I may as well do it Having embodied those profound fighting for Austria, as fighting for thoughts in the most eloquent lan- the bronzed-faced chief of the Chacguage he could command, and satisfied taws, or the black-muzzled Rajah of himself that the countess must feel Nepaul." his letter to be demonstration itself, His mind was made up,

his profeshe sallied forth at twilight, with his sion was chosen for him—a prodigious purse and his walking-stick as his saving of that toil of the brains which sole companions; and, not very con. troubles so much those who have to scious in which direction he was rush- choose forthemselves; and before night ing, nor even very clear whether the Carlo Sebastiani was a Hulan, and in hour was midnight or morning, he the way to be a hero. left Ratisbon behind him with a giant

The corporal honoured him with stride.

his particular regard-approved of his To a hero of eighteen, hunger style of sitting his horse,-he, upon and weariness are inconceivable ideas. inauguration, having been relieved But they will have their own way after from guarding the rear of his fellow all; and by daybreak, the sun, rising trooper, and now having over one of the rich valleys which in himself,—and predicted, that by como dent the far-famed Black Forest, seem- ducting himself

with due deference to ed to Carlo to melt him into the stran.

his authority, and especially by adoptgest imaginable propensity to slum. ing his example, the sho Wy recruit

; struggle became more difficult, and it

The regiment formed part of a was not till the same sun had reached

corps of observation posted along the


a charger

« ElőzőTovább »