Imagens das páginas

of the alphabet. In Z, 5 words are in both editions of the Synopsis (ZEALOUS, ZECHIN, ZENITH, ZOCLE, ZOUTCH); one, (ZANY) is in the old Synopsis, but omitted in the new, because all reputable dictionaries now pronounce it ză'ni; ZUFOLO and ZYGODACTYLOUS of the new replace ZUFFOLO and ZYGODACTYLIC of the old, the difference of pronunciation being principally in the first syllable of each; and the 5 words, Zaim, Zayat, ZoÖPHYTOLOGY, ZOUAVE, ZYGOMATIC, found only in the last edition of the Synopsis, are positive and valuable additions.

"The Rules for Spelling Certain Classes of Words, founded on the Orthography of Dr. Webster, as exhibited in this Volume," have received additions of more or less importance in almost every paragraph, and some of these contain valuable information pertaining to new dictionaries and to changes of the last 25 years. One who does not agree with some of Dr. Webster's peculiarities of orthography will find the International Dictionary more tolerant, than he perhaps supposed it to be, in respect to different modes of spelling. The adherents of the Websterian orthography will not be pained by unreasonable abandonment of strongly supported positions under the specious pretence of a larger liberality. Both forms are given, for example, in the derivatives of travel (traveled or travelled, etc.), worship (worshiper or worshipper, etc.), kid'nap' (kid'nap'er or kid'nap'per, etc.), car'buret (car'buret'ed or car'buret'ted, etc.), and the like (Rule 8).-It will be noticed by keen-eyed critics, that the note under Rule 8 is much longer in the new edition than in that of 1864, because now the practice in recent dictionaries in regard to the doubling of final and p in the derivatives of such words as have just been mentioned (travel, worship, etc.) is fully given, in addition to what was said of Walker, Worcester, etc., in the earlier edition. Doubtless many, who have been accustomed to write fulfil, wilful, distil, fulness, etc., have been inclined to join in an outcry against Dr. Webster as a disturber of the peace, because he persisted in spelling fulfill, willful, distill, fullness, etc., contrary to the tradition from their fathers. But Dr. Webster sometimes had as good reasons for opposing conservatives in England or America, in regard to the spelling of English words, as he had in his early days for opposing and resisting the English tories

in their persistent taxation of English colonists in America who had no voice either in raising or expending these taxes. Thus, according to Rules 16 and 17, the words in the preceding sentence retain the double / of their primitive words when these primitive words retain their own accent and force in the derivatives, and they drop one of the double letters when this part is unaccented and of secondary importance.-In willful, skillful, fulfill, the important part or root is that which is accented (will, skill, fill), while the full in each of these words, being only subsidiary and unaccented, loses one l, as in handful, graceful, dreadful, etc. These matters may be studied. satisfactorily under Rules 16 and 17.-The vexed question about the plurals of nouns ending in y (compare ladies and monkeys) is decided in Rule 19; but, for greater convenience, the plural of any word of this sort is also given where it occurs in its regular place in the Dictionary itself. Great attention has been given, not only to plurals, where there may be difficulty or doubt, but also to the comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives, the oblique cases of pronouns, the principal parts of verbs, etc.

But we cannot enumerate all the additions or improvements, in one way and another, which this noble volume contains. One important fact we have not yet mentioned.

It can hardly be called an open secret, for it has been evident to many outsiders, that almost unprecedented care has been taken in regard to the proof-reading of Webster's International Dictionary. Not only have there been galley proofs and page proofs and plate proofs, but two or three or more of each of these have been read and perhaps re-read by several different and experienced proof-readers, especially in regard to the difficult department of pronunciation, so that it is fair to presume that this volume as accurately represents what it was meant to be, as any volume which has ever been issued from the famous Riverside Press. There may be, and probably are, some mistakes, for no infallible lexicographer or proof-reader has yet proved his existence and mission; but Webster's International Dictionary has cost much, and it will be worth much, to those who search diligently for treasure in this ample store house.

When, 20 years ago, the late S. Austin Allibone, in his Dictionary of Authors, had occasion to speak of Noah Webster and his works, he quotes as a general criticism the language, in 1866, of that distinguished scholar, Hon. George P. Marsh, LL.D., in respect to the edition of 1864:

"I think it superior, in most respects, to any other English Dictionary known to me. Undoubtedly the best etymologicon we yet possess of the language; its vocabulary is as ample as could well be given in the compass of a single volume; its definitions are in general exact and discriminating, and its pronunciation is apparently conformable to the best usage."

Mr. Allibone also quotes from the London Reader in 1864 the sentence: "As Webster may be very fairly called the Johnson, so Dr. Worcester is the Walker, of America."

Mr. Allibone thus expressed his own deliberate judgment: "As regards the practice of authors and publishers, we estimate from data before us that in about 10,000,000 of volumes of school-books-a very large majority of the whole numberpublished annually in the United States, Webster is recognized as the general standard of orthography. Charles James Fox remarked of Gibbon's great work, 'If any man were to say, "I don't like his history: I will acquire the information another way," he would find it a very hard task'. . . . We-not an orthographical Websterian-apply this observation to the contemner of The American Dictionary."

Our conclusion is briefly stated and plain. If Webster's American Dictionary has commanded the respect of both friends and foes for more than sixty years, Webster's International Dictionary, fully refitted and prepared for its place and use, and strongly intrenched in the public favor of all English-speaking countries, as a dictionary of the people and for the people, will not surrender its vantage ground. It will continue to maintain its noble position as the best dictionary, not for its native land alone, but for all the civilized lands that use and welcome the common language, the common liberty, and the common Christianity of England and America.


"Go good folks, God be with you, and give the people your play; from my childhood I have been always in love with the Masks, and in my youth my eyes have turned to the players of farces with delight." -Don Quixote.

WHEN Andronicus, the Greek slave taken at the Capture of Tarentum, introduced at Rome comedies as they were known in Greece, he found a form of drama there which, if it was rude, contained a principle quite new to him.

This was improvisation, which the Roman youth had probably brought from Fescennia, a city of Etruria. The Fescennines were not so much dramatic pieces as burlesque dialogues in verse, relating to well known persons or to affairs of the day, composed on the spot. In order not to be recognized, the actors muffled themselves in all kinds of clothing, and colored their faces with various pigments, or put on masks. These Fescennines had been engrafted by the Romans on the Ludi Etrusci which consisted of dances to the sound of the tibia (a rude sort of clarinet) introduced from Etruria on the occasion of the plague which carried off Camillus, the Second Founder of Rome.

Some of our readers may possibly have seen last year in London a collection of Egyptian articles of the XIIth Dynasty, brought by Mr. Petrie from the Fayum, after lying hidden some five thousand years. Among other things was the little wooden figure of a female dancer in a comic mask, fashioned in the likeness of the jovial god Bes. It was found with a large pair of ivory castanets in one of the houses, and in an adjoining room, the identical mask which was used was discovered, being exactly similar to that represented on the head of the statuette. It was well modelled, made of canvas, and painted black holes were left for the eyes, and the nostrils were pierced for breathing.

The ludi of Fescennia, the work of a race which we can hardly be wrong in describing as intimately connected with

that of the lady of the castanets and mask-standing in point of time half-way between her and ourselves-found in the rudely comic dramas formidable rivals. Soon however the Roman youth discovering that these were of too serious a nature for them, and disliking to be shackled by rules, relinquished them to actors by profession, and returned to the practice of improvising. From this period dates the separation of the Improvised Drama-which became the Italian Commedia dell' Arte-from the Literary Comedy which Livius Andronicus had introduced, and which the rude but witty Plautus, with the courtly Terence, afterwards developed.

While engaged in making the Fescennines more attractive, the Romans came upon the Fabuli Atellana, farces which were acted by the people of Atella, an Oscan city in the Campagna, and which presented certain peculiarities unknown elsewhere. In them certain local fixed types were always represented under the same names, with the same garb and retaining the same disposition. Hence the necessity of the same mask remaining the special property of the character represented, so that the actors were called personati.

The ordinary masks, or characters, were four in number— Maccus, Buccus, Pappus, and Dossennus.

Maccus was a rough countryman, showing a low forehead with an enormous aquiline nose. He was represented with a hump behind and his stomach sticking out in front. He has been identified by many writers, but hardly on sufficient grounds with the Mimus Albus, so called from that character always being dressed in white, and credited with the paternity of Pulcinello. He was a sensual, credulous fellow, insolent and aggressive, but on account of his ready wit he was ever a great favorite.

Buccus had more pretension than Maccus, a flatterer, laying himself out to please his patron in any way, he was a boaster and a coward. He is said to have gained his name from the puffing out of the cheeks, in the sense of making them appear bigger than natural.

Pappus was an old fellow with two absorbing passions, one for amassing wealth and the other for playing the rake. He was constantly being robbed and outwitted.

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