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Anningait, and meet my return with the smile the merit and the presents of Anningait, and of virginity. I will chase the deer, I will subdue decreed Ajut to the embraces of Norngsuk. She the whale, resistless as the frost of darkness, and entreated; she remonstrated ; she wept, and unwearied as the summer sun. In a few weeks raved; but, finding riches irresistible, fled away I shall return prosperous and wealthy; then into the uplands, and lived in a cave upon such shall the roefish and the porpoise feast thy berries as she could gather, and the birds or hares kindred; the fox and the hare shall cover thy which she had the fortune to ensnare, taking couch; the tough hide of the seal shall shelter care, at an hour when she was not likely to be thee from cold; and the fat of the whale illu- found, to view the sea every day, that her lover minate thy dwelling."
might not miss her at his return. Anningait having with these sentiments con. At last she saw the great boat in which Anninsoled his grief, and animated his industry, found | gait had departed, stealing slow and heavy-laden that they had now coasted the headland, and along the coast. She ran with all the impatience saw the whales spouting at a distance. He there- of affection to catch her lover in her arms, and fore placed himself in his fishing-boat, called relate her constancy and sufferings. When the his associates to their several employments, plied company reached the land, they informed her, his oar and harpoon with incredible courage and that Anningait, after the fishery was ended, being dexterity; and, by dividing his time between unable to support the slow passage of the vessel the chase and fishery, suspended the miseries of of carriage, had set out before them in his fishingabsence and suspicion.
boat, and they expected at their arrival to have Ajut, in the meantime, notwithstanding her found him on shore. neglected dress, happened, as she was drying some Ajut, distracted at this intelligence, was about skins in the sun, to catch the eye of Norngsuk, to fly into the hills, without knowing why, on his return from hunting. Norngsuk was of though she was now in the hands of her parents, birth truly illustrious. His mother had died in who forced her back to their own hot, and en. childbirth, and his father, the most expert deavoured to comfort her: but when at last they fisher of Greenland, had perished by too close retired to rest, Ajut went down to the beach ; pursuit of the whale. His dignity was equalled where, finding a fishing-boat, she entered it with. by his riches; he was master of four men's and out hesitation, and telling those who wondered two women's boats, had ninety tubs of oil in at her rashness, that she was going in search of his winter habitation, and five-and-twenty seals Anningait, rowed away with great swiftness, buried in the snow against the season of dark
| and was seen no more. ness. When he saw the beauty of Ajut, he | The fate of these lovers gave occasion to various immediately threw over her the skin of a deer
fictions and conjectures.
Some are of opinion that he had taken, and soon after presented her that they were changed into stars; others ima. with a branch of the coral. Ajut refused his
gine that Anningait was seized in his passage by gifts, and determined to admit no lover in the the gening of the rocks: and that Aint was place of Anningait.
transformed into a mermaid, and still continues Norngsuk, thus rejected, had recourse to stra
to seek her lover in the deserts of the sea. But tagem. He knew that Ajut would consult an
the general persuasior. is, that they are both in angekkok, or diviner, concerning the fate of her the
that part of the land of souls where the sun never lover, and the felicity of her future life. He
sets, where oil is always fresh, and provisions therefore applied himself to the most celebrated
always warm. The virgins sometimes throw a angekkok of that part of the country, and by a
thimble and a needle into the bay from which present of two seals and a marble kettle, ob
the hapless maid departed; and when a Green. tained a promise that, when Ajut should consult
lander would praise any couple for virtuous him, he would declare that her lover was in the
affection, he declares that they love like Annin. land of souls. Ajut, in a short time, brought
gait and Ajut. him a coat made by herself, and inquired what events were to befall her; with assurances of a much larger reward at the return of Anningait,
ON THE COMPILING OF A if the prediction should flatter her desires. The
DICTIONARY.* angekkok knew the way to riches, and foretold It is the fate of those who toil at the lower that Anningait, having already caught two employments of life to be rather driven by the whales, would soon return home with a large fear of evil than attracted by the prospect of boat laden with provisions.
good; to be exposed to censure without hope of This prognostication she was ordered to keep praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or pune secret; and Norngsuk, depending upon his arti- ished for neglect, where success would have been tice, renewed his addresses with greater confid- without applause, and diligence without reward. ence; but, finding his suit still unsuccessful,
| Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of applied himself to her parents with gifts and promises. The wealth of Greenland is too power- From the preface to Johnson's "English Dictionful for the virtue of a Greenlander; they forgot ary."
dictionaries, whom mankind have considered and understand the teachers of truth; if my not as the pupil, but the slave of science, the labours afford light to the repositories of science, pioneer of literature, doomed only to remove and add celebrity to Bacon, to Hooker, to Mil. rubbish and clear obstructions from the paths ton, and to Boyle. through which learning and genius press for. When I am animated by this wish, I look ward to conquest and glory, without bestowing with pleasure on my book, however defective, a smile on the humble drudge that facilitates and deliver it to the world with the spirit of a their progress. Every other author may aspire | man that has endeavoured well. That it will to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to | immediately become popular, I have not pro. escape reproach, and even this negative recom- mised to myself: a few wild blunders and pense has been yet granted to very few.
risible absurdities, from which no work of such I have, notwithstanding this discouragement, multiplicity was ever free, may for a time fur. attempted a dictionary of the English language, | nish folly with laughter, and harden ignorance which, while it was employed in the cultivation into contempt; but useful diligence will at last of every species of literature, has itself been prevail, and there never can be wanting some hitherto neglected; suffered to spread under the | who distinguish desert; who will consider that direction of chance into wild exuberance; re- | no dictionary of a living tongue ever can be signed to the tyranny of time and fashion; and perfect, since, while it is hastening to publicaexposed to the corruptions of ignorance and | tion, some words are budding and some falling caprices of innovation.
away; that a whole life cannot be spent upon No book was ever turned from one language syntax and etymology, and that even a whole into another without imparting something of its life would not be sufficient: that he, whose native idiom; this is the most mischievous and design includes whatever language can express, comprehensive innovation; single words may must often speak of what he does not underenter by thousands, and the fabric of the tongue stand; that a writer will sometimes be hurried continue the same; but new phraseology changes by eagerness to the end, and sometimes faint much at once; it alters not the single stones of with weariness under a task, which Scaliger the building, but the order of the columns. If compares to the labours of the anvil and the an academy should be established for the cultiva. mine; that what is obvious is not always known, tion of our style, which I, who can never wish to and what is known is not always present; that see dependence multiplied, hope the spirit of sudden fits of inadvertency will surprise vigiEnglish liberty will hinder or destroy, let them, lance, slight avocations will seduce attention, instead of compiling grammars and dictionaries, and casual eclipses of the mind will darken endeavour, with all their influence, to stop the learning; and that the writer shall often in vain licence of translators, whose idleness and igno- trace his memory at the moment of need, for rance, if it be suffered to proceed, will reduce us that which yesterday he knew with intuitive to babble the dialect of France.
readiness, and which will come uncalled into his If the changes that we fear be thus irresistible, thoughts to-morrow. what remains but to acquiesce with silence, as in In this work, when it shall be found that the other insurmountable distresses of humanity? much is omitted, let it not be forgotten that It remains that we retard what we cannot repel, much likewise is performed; and though no that we palliate what we cannot cure. Life may book was ever spared out of tenderness to the be lengthened by care, though death cannot be author, and the world is little solicitous to know ultimately defeated; tongues, like governments, whence proceed the faults of that which it conhave a natural tendency to degeneration; we demns, yet it may gratify curiosity to inform have long preserved our constitution, let us it, that the “ English Dictionary” was written make some struggles for our language.
with little assistance of the learned, and withIn hope of giving longevity to that which its out any patronage of the great; not in the soft own nature forbids to be immortal, I have de-obscurities of retirement, or under the shelter voted this book, the labour of years, to the of academic bowers, but amidst inconvenience honour of my country, that we may no longer and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow. It yield the palm of philology, without a contest, may repress the triumph of malignant criticism to the nations of the Continent. The chief glory to observe, that if our language is not here fully of every people arises from its authors; whether displayed, I have only failed in an attempt which I shall add anything by my own writings to no human powers have hitherto completed. If the reputation of English literature must be left the lexicons of ancient tongues, now immutably to time: much of my life has been lost under the fixed, and comprised in a few volumes, be yet, pressures of disease; much has been trifled away; after the toil of successive ages, inadequate and and much has always been spent in provision for delusive; if the aggregated knowledge and cothe day that was passing over me; but I shall operating diligence of the Italian academicians not think my employment useless or ignoble if did not secure them from the censure of Beni; by my assistance foreign nations and distant if the embodied critics of France, when fifty ages gain access to the propagators of knowledge, years had been spent upon their work, were obliged to change its economy, and give their my work till most of those whom I wished th second edition another form, I may surely be please have sunk into the grave, and success and contented without the praise of perfection, miscarriage are empty sounds: I therefore dis. which, if I could obtain in this gloom of soli- miss it with frigid tranquillity, having little to tude, what would it avail me? I have protracted | fear or hope from censure or from praise.
WILLIAM COWPER.* BORN 1731: DIED 1800.
(From the Connoisseur.)
| who have thus lost the faculty of retention, the THE TALENT OF SECRECY. desire of being communicative is always most
prevalent where it is least justified. If they are Leaky at bottom; if those chinks you stop, entrusted with a matter of no great moment, In vain-the secret will run o'er at top.
affairs of more consequence will perhaps in a few
hours shuffle it entirely out of their thoughts; THERE is no mark of our confidence taken more
but if anything be delivered to them with an kindly by a friend than the entrusting him with
earnestness, a low voice, and the gesture of a a secret, nor any which he is so likely to abuse.
man in terror for the consequence of its being Condants in general are like crazy firelocks, known; if the door is bolted, and every precau. which are no sooner charged and cocked than the
tion taken to prevent surprise, however they spring gives way, and the report immediately
na the report immediately may promise secrecy, and however they may follows. Happy to have been thought worthy intend it, the weight upon their minds will be so the confidence of one friend, they are impatieut extremely oppressive, that it will certainly put to manifest their importance to another; till, their tongues in motion. between them and their friend and their friend's This breach of trust, so universal amongst us, friend, the whole matter is presently known to is, perhaps, in great measure owing to our educa. all our friends round the Wrekin. The secret tion. The first lesson our little masters and catches as it were by contact, and like electrical
misses are taught is to become blabs and tell. matter breaks forth from every link in the chain, tales: they are bribed to divulge the petty almost at the same instant. Thus the whole intrigues of the family below stairs to papa and Exchange may be thrown into a buzz to-morrow, I mamma in the parlonr. and a doll or hobby. by what was whispered in the middle of Marl. horse is generally the encouragement of a proborough Downs this morning; and in a week's pensity, which could scarcely be atoned for by a time the streets may ring with the intrigue of a whipping. As soon as children can lisp out woman of fashion, bellowed out from the foul the little intelligence they have picked up in the mouths of the hawkers, though at present it is hall or the kitchen, they are admired for their known to no creature living but her gallant and i wit; if the butler has been caught kissing the her waiting-maid.
housekeeper in his pantry, or the footman de As the talent of secrecy is of so great import tected in romping with the chamber-maid, away ance to society, and the necessary commerce flies little Tommy or Betsy with the news; the between individuals cannot be securely carried parents are lost in admiration of the pretty on without it, that this deplorable weakness rogue's understanding, and reward such uncom. should be so general is much to be lamented. ! mon ingenuity with a kiss or a sugar-plum. You may as well pour water into a funnel or Nor does an inclination to secrecy meet with sieve, and expect it to be retained there, as com- less encouragement at school. The gouvermit any of your concerns to so slippery a com. nantes at the boarding-school teach miss to be a panion. It is remarkable that, in those men
good girl, and tell them everything she knows:
thus, if any young lady is unfortunately dis“During Cowper's visit to Eartham, he kindly
covered eating a green apple in a corner : if she pointed out to me," Hayley observes, “three of his is heard to pronounce a naughty word, or is papers in the last volume of the Connoisseur. I in- caught picking the letters out of another miss's scribed them with his name at the time; and imagine sampler; away runs the chit who is so happy as that the readers of his life may be gratified in seeing
to get the start of the rest, screams out her inforthem inserted here. I find other numbers of that work
mation as she goes; and the prudent matron ascribed to him, but the three following I print as his,
chucks her under the chin, and tells her that she on his own explicit authority: No. 119, Thursday, May 6. 1756: No. 134. Thursday, August 19: No. 188. | is a good girl and everybody will love her. Thursday, September 16."_" Life of Cowper," by the i The management of our young gentlemen is Prv, T. S. Grimshawe.
equally absurd; in most of our schools, if a land