Imagens das páginas

sions and of its structure as a stranger to it, with ideals and formulas of criticism and comparison, formed out of its atmosphere. His point of view, on the contrary, is within the bright azure sphere of the language itself, where he looks around upon everything beautiful and true, with a deep, glad home-sense, in sympathy with all that he beholds. Possessed of such feelings and standing at such a point of observation, a true scholarly critic will soon become able to determine at once, by a sort of instinctive interior sense, the real or counterfeit value of many minor and yet significant points of etymology. The place thus allowed for disciplined philosophic insight, is narrow and confined; but it really has a function and a sphere for its exercise, and they should be pointed out. Perfect scholarship would seem, when at work, both to him employing it and to those witnessing its manifestations, like perfect spontaneity in its decisions.

(2) Simplicity and naturalness of derivation, in respect to both form and sense.

Truth is always simple in its nature, as is also the mind, in its spirit and tastes, that seeks to discover and appropriate it to itself. And every science, as a fragment of the great orb of universal truth, is simple always in its elements and proportions.

(3) Archaic forms, having a determinate influence.

In the early state of a language, its original forms are least impaired. Connections that then existed between words are often covered up afterwards by the growth of centuries. Thus in the light obtained in such a way, we find that bonus in Latin was originally duonus (from duo), implying in its very origin, as all goodness does in fact, the existence of two parties, the giver and receiver. So bellum was at first duellum, as also bis represents dvis, like the Greek St? for hFk; and thus bis (for dvis) and viginti (for dviginti) twenty, stand together before the eye even, in close mutual connection: facts these, which, if only surmised without such evidence, would have been treated with ridicule.

(4) Double forms.

These occur in Greek abundantly in Homer. There is often a third form also exhibited, the second being in such a case medial between it and the one which was primitive. Such different stages in forms are as interesting to a philologist, as specimens of the influence of time upon language, as to the geologist are the different orders of rocks, primary, secondary, and tertiary, in helping him to determine the mode and the length of time in which this world was fitted up for its present inhabitants.

(5) Dialectic changes and differences.

The Greek is the only specific language whose dialects are at the same time numerous, and each in marked advance beyond its predecessor; while all are mutually illustrative, in the fullest and strongest philological relations, of each other.

It is thus quite apparent that a thoroughly accomplished etymologist must needs be a man of very comprehensive learning as well as of large intellectual capacities, and these brought under the power of long and intense discipline.

The supposition or dictum of an ancient himself, as of Cicero, many of whose etymologies are preserved to us in his essays, or of Varro, whom Cicero greatly admired, has no authority as such, concerning the origin or elements of a word. An ancient was just as likely as a modern, under the influence of fancy or haste, to go astray; and, in the classical age of Latin or Greek, an author was as far removed from the primas rerum origines, so far as his power to give any testimony respecting them is concerned, as we are. His opinion is but a mere opinion, and no evidence. Varro's etymologies, which are not so simple as to be undeserving of any special notice, as of dux from duco, are, very many of them, like that of pater from patefacio.

V. Some of the advantages of the study of etymology.

The word etymology (e7Vfio\o>yta), is derived from erv/j.o<;, true or real, and \6yo<;, speech. The Latin synonym, veriloquium, expresses the same elementary idea. So that a person is etymologically ignorant of language, who does not, like one seeing sands of gold through a limpid stream, behold within its forms, as if transparent, its etymological elements and treasures.

Among the advantages of studying etymology may be mentioned the following, viz.:

1. The high pleasure derived from it.

No study is more fascinating. "Diversions," the investigators into the origin of words, call their labors, and etymology itself they describe as " fossil poetry." It is indeed this, and more. It is fossil poetry, philosophy and history combined. In the treasured words of the past, the very spirits of elder days look out upon us, as from so many crystalline spheres, with friendly recognition. We see in them the light of their eyes; we feel in them the warmth of their hearts. They are relics, they are tokens, and almost break into life again at our touch.

The etymologist unites in himself the characteristics of the traveller, roaming through strange and far-off climes; the philosopher, prying into the causes and sequences of things; the antiquary, filling his cabinet with ancient curiosities and wonders; the historiographer, gathering up the records of by-gone men and ages; and the artist, studying the beautiful designs in word-architecture, furnished him by various nations and especially by that greatest of all nations in all forms of art, the Greeks, whose language is the most perfect specimen of organism, for power and for beauty, to be found in the world of speech. Shall then the traveller, the philosopher, the antiquary, the historian and the artist, find high gratification, each in his exalted employment, and not he who unites all their occupations in one, and all their pleasures in his own?

The pursuit of knowledge is always pleasant; and the mind engaged in it, walks, runs, flies in its course, as if born for any and every element; every limb instinct with motion and every nerve vital and vivid with its impulse. The more rich the landscape is in details, and the more infinite its fulness before the ravished eye, the greater the pleasure in the survey, and the greater the consciousness of power in being able to appreciate and interpret such a wide array of beauties and wonders unto others.

Every language is polyhedral in its structure, and while for substance it is all of the same material, each side of it has a different face and different adornments from every other. He therefore who walks around about the whole castellated and turreted structure of the Latin, scanning thoroughly all its own inner beauty of height and breadth and multiform composition, and surveying, without, each wondrous side of the varied whole, its Sanscrit side and its Greek, Celtic, Gothic and Slavonic sides, one after the other, gratifies that natural love of curiosity which is so strong an impulse to travel, research and effort in other things, and which nowhere finds a purer gratification than in the realms of science and of letters.

As also it is one of the highest exercises of the mind, to adapt means to ends, the act of doing which we call skill in matters physical and intellectual, and wisdom in those which are moral; so it is one of the highest intellectual pleasures to trace adaptations, connections, sequences and harmonies, scientific and historical, and to find ourselves on a path of discovery in which they are perpetually coming into view, when and where we least expected them. It is specially pleasant to find analogies, mutually explaining objects before regarded as unrelated and isolated, and connecting together things widely separated and of a diverse aspect from each other. The formation of comparisons is one of the chief exercises and pleasures of the imagination. It is in this employment that the poetic faculty in our nature, the natural fountain of youth in the heart, bursts forth in all its strength of life and joy. So much indeed are the faculties of invention and comparison stimulated into action in this study, that the tendency is ever present to fly off from the centre of a real logical stability, into the ideal and the fanciful, except in one of thoroughly scholastic habits, which indeed, as a centripetal force, balancing the opposite centrifugal tendency, serve to keep such a mind, though moving onward with delighted energy, yet true to its proper orbit of revolution.

2. Its great promotion of the higher mental discipline. Human language is the highest of all objective realms of art, among men. The highest absolute realm of art on earth, as in heaven, is subjective; in the culture and perfection of character, in everything lovely and heroic, manly and godly, according to the pure and perfect ideal presented to us, in the abstract, in the Bible, and, in the concrete, in the beautiful and sublime life of Jesus Christ. The Greeks deemed architecture, as the word shows in its very etymology, "the principal art" of life. But the art of speech transcends, in all its uses and relations, not only that of house-building, but also every other art that can be named among all the outward employments of men. A dead language is full of all monumental remembrances of the people who spoke it. Their swords and their shields are in it; their faces hang pictured on its walls; and their very voices ring still through its recesses. And, in a living language, you may see, as in a vast panorama, the whole varied busy activity and experience of a nation's present condition. Language has not merely, for height, and breadth, and organic structure as the dome of thought, all the sublime capacities of architecture; or, for severe chiselled dignity of form, all the majesty of sculpture; or, for wondrous power of imagery, all the exquisite beauty of painting; or, for sweetness and ravishment, the magic. charms of music; it contains the mysteries and energies of all these exalted arts in one. In it also, as a garner, are gathered together all the rich harvests of human genius, from every field which human thought or effort has essayed to reap. It is the archives of all man's history, migratory, civil, political, statutory, literary, scientific, experimental and personal. Surely on an area of action so wide and so varied, there must be scope enough for every kind of mental exercise and inquiry; and prizes, of every possible variety of value, must await the grasp of him who earnestly seeks for them.

And in no way, as a matter of general experience and of general testimony, can all the higher faculties of the mind be so well trained to lofty, vigorous, sustained action, as by the study of language; its analytic, philosophic, artistic,

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