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LAW : ITS NATURE AND SEVERAL BRANCHES.
1. Foreconceived.-We should now say preconceived; more correctly, if the rule is to be
strictly followed of using Saxon prefixes with words of Saxon origin only. 2. Moderate, in the sense of the Latin moderari, to regulate or control. 3. That, what. We may suppose an ellipsis of which. This use is common in the older
writers: “That thou doest, do quickly."-John xiii. 27. 4. The proceeding of the Spirit.-A reference to what divines call the Procession of the Holy
Ghost; His eternal emanation from the Father and the Son. Thus, in the Athanasian Creed, the Holy Ghost is said to be “not created nor begotten, but proceeding." The
doctrine and its expression are alike founded on John xv. 26. 8. Without, beyond. 6. Which superior authority imposes. This is the ordinary and popular view of law.
Thus Blackstone: "Law is a rule of action and it is that rule of action which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey." The first chapter of Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws may be referred to, as helping to Illustrate this extract
from Hooker. 7. Reasonable. We should now say rational. According to modern use, rational means . endowed with reason; reasonable, amenable to reason. Shakspere uses the word
reasonable in both senses. He has rational also once or twice. 8. Unwittingly, unconsciously; Anglo-Saxon, witan, to know. The noun wit originally
meant understanding. 9. The travail of wading herein is given of God to the sons of men. - This means that God has made the investigation of the laws of nature difficult and laborious.
“..... Pater ipse colendi Haud facilem esse viam voluit. ....."
Virgil, Georg. I. 121, Travail (French, travailler), painful labour.- Travel in the sense of Jonrneying is the
same word: the difference of orthography marks the difference of meaning. 10. If the frame of that heavenly arch erected over our heads, &c.--He means the firmament,
which by the ancient astronomers was believed to be (as the name implies) a solid hemisphere. The reference to the celestial spheres is also based on the old astronomy, which taught that there was a succession of solid spheres enclosing the heavenly bodies, or rising above them, one after the other, to the primum mobile. See Milton, Paradise
Lost, iil. 482. The Copernican system of astronomy was not generally accepted in
Hooker's time. 11. Defeated of heavenly influence, disappointed or deprived of it. 12. Phidias, a famous Athenian sculptor, who flourished in the time of Pericles (B.C. 440),
and did much by his works to beautify his native city. 13. Resolution, the solving or settling of the question. 14. Exemplary draughts or patterns.--This refers to Plato's doctrine of ideas. Plato held
that the world was made after a pattern or archetype, existing from eternity in the mind of God, and that the forms of all things were but copies of ideas that subsisted,
like real beings, in the divine reason. 15. Hippocrates, the most eminent physician of antiquity; a native of Cos, born B.C. 460.
Several of his writings have come down to us. By the oracle of Hippocrates is meant his wise or inspired saying. “But we have better oracles."-Bacon, Essays. Compare
also Acts vil. 38; Rom. iii, 2.
“ Most humbly, therefore, bending to your state,
Shakspere, Othello, i. 3.
" Whose messengers are here about my side,
Othello, i. 2. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”—Psalm xlvi. 1. 18. Before whatsoever their own particular.-The grammatical structure of this phrase is
peculiar. Particular is an adjective attributive to the noun good, understood. To see the proper relation of the indefinite pronoun whatsoever, we must supply what is want
ing. The phrase is equivalent to, Before their own particular good, whatsoever it may be. 19. The Mirror of human wisdom.-He means Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher, who
was regarded as an absolute oracle by the schoolmen and divines of the middle ages. It was a part of Lord Bacon's merit that he did much to overthrow the supremacy of
Aristotle in philosophy. 20. Every of which their several functions.-Two or three points in the grammar should be
noticed here. The use of every alone in the partitive relation is rare, and now obsolete. We should write, every one. Shakspere, however, has the same use:
"If every of your wishes had a womb,
Antony and Cleopatra, i. 2.
is, Each of which several functions of theirs. See next note. 21. That their fall.- Observe the demonstrative followed by the possessive adjective. It is
common in the older language: "Art thou that my lord Elijah ?"-1 Kings xviii, 7. “This my son was dead, and is alive again.”—Luke xv. 24. "Our princes have commonly left their deputies in Ireland three years; whence, by reason of the strictness of
that their time, many of them have returned as wise as they went out."-Ralegh. 22. Conceit.--The meaning of this word has quite changed. It originally signified conception,
notion, or opinion: “Such a consonancy it hath to men's conceits in the expressing, and to men's consents in the allowing."- Bacon, Advan. of Learn., I. 3, 2.
“ You have a noble and a true conceit
Merchant of Venice, iii. 4.
23. Clean. The use of this adverb, now looked upon as a vulgarism in speech, is common
enough among the best of our older writers: “I am clean forgotten, as a dead man out of mind. I am become like a broken vessel."--Psalm xxxi. 14 (Prayer Book version).
“But men may construe things after their fashion,
Shakspere, J. Caesar, i. 3. Clean in this sense is the Anglo-Saxon adverb claene, entirely. 24. These wicked spirits the heathens honoured instead of gods.--It was the notion of the Fathers
of the Christian Church that the false gods of the heathen were real beings, and were identical with the fallen angels. To this notion Milton alludes in the following passage:
"...... Wandering o'er the earth,
Paradise Lost, ii.
PSALMODY AND CHURCH MUSIC.
1. They savour not, they do not relish. The commoner use of the verb to savour is with
the preposition of, in the sense of to taste or smack of anything. 2. The soul itself by nature is, or hath in it harmony.-Several ancient philosophers held this
opinion about the soul; among others Aristoxenus, a musician of Tarentum and a pupil of Aristotle. See Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, i. 10.
“Verum habitum quendam vitalem corporis esse
Lucretius, iii. 100. 3. Sensible mean, an instrument operating through the feelings or affections. The use of the singular form, inean, should be noted.
“Know, noble lord, they have devised a mean
Two Gentlemen of Verona. 4. Eager, sharp or keen. It is the same word as the Latin acer; French, aigre.
" It is a nipping and an cager air."-Hamlet, i. 1. 5. Pretence of the law ceremonial abrogated.-An imitation of the Latin use of the preposition,
noun, and past participle passive: “After the three concordances learnt, let the master
read unto him the Epistles of Cicero."-Ascham. 6. Api, adapted.
“..... Live a thousand years,
Shakspere, J. Caesar, iii. 1. "All that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive
to Babylon."-2 Kings xxiv. 16. 7. The faults prevented, &c.--Faults prevented is an absolute clause, corresponding to the
Latin ablative absolute. The whole passage means that if the faults referred to before are avoided, the effect of music is most excellent, so long as it is associated with words
setting forth the praise of God, and does not overpower them. The phrase to suit with, means to correspond or harmonize with.
"...... Give me not counsel,
Shakspere, Much Ado, v. 1. 8. Rabanus Maurus, an eminent German prelate and theologian of the ninth century. He
was the pupil of the famous Englishman Alcuin, Charlemagne's preceptor. He was the author of Commentaries on the Scripture, Homilies, &c. “Whoever acquaints himself with the opinions of Rabanus Maurus, learns all that the best of the Latins thought and believed for about four centuries."--Mosheim, Century IX., ii. 2.
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.
POETRY : TIE EARLIEST AND MOST EXCELLENT OF THE SCIENCES.
1. Feed of tougher knowledges.- Observe use of knowledge in plural. It is equivalent to
sciences, and, indeed, exactly corresponds to the Latin use of scientia in the plural. The preposition of here = upon. It may be worth while to take this opportunity of illustrating the various uses of of in the older condition of the language. (1.) Of, by: "Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of all men." --2 Cor. iii. 2. “The travail of wading herein is given of God to the sons of men." - Hooker. See Extract. (2.) Of, from: "I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you." 1 Cor. xi. 23. (3.) Of, upon, as in the passage annotated on; also infra. “The skin, as it were, and beauty, depended most of poetry." (4.) Of, with: "A window thikke of many a barre of yren grete."-Chaucer. “Fulfilled of ire and of iniquitie."-Ibid. Compare an expression in the Liturgy: “May be fulfilled with thy grace and hearenly benediction." "Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness."- Luke
xvi. 9. 2. Play the hedgehog. ... or rather the vipers, &c. - The reference to the hedgehog is taken
from an old fable. What is said about the viper is one of the fallacies in natural history that prevailed very widely in former times. It was a very ancient belief that the young of the viper eat through the belly of its mother, and thus killed its came into the world itself. From this notion it is said that the custom arose among the Romans of punishing a parricide by drowning him in a sack with a viper. See
Sir Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errors, iii. 16. 2. Wits. It may here mean either understandings, or beings endowed with understandings.
In the first of the two following quotations it means the former, in the other the latter: " Home-keeping youths have ever homely wits."--Two Gentlemen of Verona, i. 1. "There remain certain discoursing wits which are of the same vein."-Bacon, Essay
on Truth. 4. So as Amphion, &c.—As where we should use that after so is of constant occurrence in older prose. With regard to Amphion and Orpheus, compare Horace :
“ Silvestres homines sacer interpresque deorum
Caedibus et victu foedo deterruit Orpheus,
Ars Poet., 391.