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“ VIII. Possibly prepositions which have been distinetly marked tere, at first, thort interjectional by grammarians. Those variations words, such as our carters and thep- in termination, which were' adopted herds make use of to their cattle, to in order to denote the states and redenote the relations of place. Or lations of certain parts of speech, perhaps a more skilful linguist and constitute the next object which preantiquary may be able to tracefents itself for investigation. them from other words, as the con- “ The plural of nouns is frejundlions have been traced by quently marked by rude nations by the learned author above men- a repetition of the fingular. I have tioned.
fecn a letter from an African chief “ Many prepositions are evident- to his correspondent in England, ly formed by composition, as, be- during the late war. The man had twveen ; befiules, that is, being or ex- learned to speak and even to write ifting at the side or near.
a little English; but, probably fol“ IX. The definitive article, in lowing the idiom of his own lanall the languages with which I have guage, he complains of the merany acquaintance, is formed from chants, that they had lately sent no the demonstrative pronoun this, hic, ship ship, at which he wonders very or ille. The Greek article è, , To, much, for that they had plenty of may appear to be derived immedi- Nave Nave very chcap, &c. I am not ately from the relative oç; but I able to account for the formation of think both are very evidently no the plural upon any other principle other than the demonstrative zlos, than that, on which I account for reduced by a kind of contraction the formation of the other states or very common in words much in cases. use.
6. The terminations, which serve “ The Spanish article il, la, and to mark the cases of nouns in the lo, and the Italian, il, la, are evi- ancient languages, I have no doubt dently the Latin, ille. The French were originally petty words, equile, is apparently derived from either valent to our prepositions, only the Spanish or Italian.
placed after, instead of before, the “ Our the is an easy corruption noun; and which in conversation, from this. Perhaps in common and before the language became ftaspeech the s might be left out be- tionary in writing, being constantly fore consonants, and the i pro. added to nouns to denote their states nounced short, which would reduce and relations, became, after the init almost immediately to our defi- vention of writing, part of the nite article. The Lowland Scots, noun. who continue to speak a dialect of
" The distinguishing of the genthe old English, make use of a limi- ders by the termination is a refinelar ellipfis, commonly using the forment inuch farther removed from the plural thesi.
common practice : indeed, many “ The most probable etymology languages have never arrived at it'; of our indefinite article a is, that it nor is it quite impoffible that it may is a contraction of any, as seems to have been accidental. This idiom, be iinplied by the form which it af- as I may call it, has its inconvenifumes before a vowel, an.
It has led to strange mis“Such appears to have been the applications of gender in the Laorigin of the several species of words sin; and we find that the French
language has entirely lost the use of the verb, are, 1. The present, of the neuter, probably from this I am reading. 2. The perfect pait, circumstance.
I have read, or have done reading “ The inflexions of verbs ori. 3. The future, I am about to read. ginated from the practice of com- 4. The aorist (or indefinite) of the pounding the radical word with present, of use in general assertions, particles and auxiliaries : the per- as, I read frequently. 5. The aorist ions were probably ditiinguished by of the pait, I read, or did read. 6. the addition of a pronoun; and I The aorist of the future, I Mall think this might be demonstrated read. 7. The imperfect, I was by a nice examination into the ety- reading. 8. The plusquam-perfect mology of the pronouns, and due (or the more than perfectly past) confideration in what manner they i. e. was palt at a definite point of might be corrupted, when com- time, as, I had read Homer, before pounded with verbs.
I fazu Mr. Pope's translation. 9. ". The personal inflexions might The future-perfect (or the after. be dispented with (as in some bar- future) which is to the future what barous languages) provided the no- the plufquam-perfect is to the past, minative cafe always stood immedi as, I fall have read the book, before ately before the verb; but as this
wvill want it. was found to be frequently incon- “ I know no language that difistent with convenience, as well as ftinguishes all these divisions of time with elegance, the inflexion of the by the inflexions of the verb. The verb became necessary, to avoid Greek approaches nearest to perambiguity, The Greek and Latin fection in this point ; but it has no languages poflefs greater accuracy present aorist, and is very incorrect in this respect than any I know, in the use of the second aorist and which enabled their auth'rs to use second future, which, notwithgreater liberty of transposition, and standing the apologies of some ineven on some occasions wholly to genious writers, I am still inclined omit the personal pronouns.
to think redundant : most probably ". The personal inflexions serve they may be the antiquated tenses. to mark distinctly the agent: but The Latin wants an aorist of the there is a more material circum- present, a definite future, and a stance to be defined by the inflexion paulo-poft-futurum, or future-perof the verb, and that is, time ; as fect. The reader will see by the a thing may exist at one moment above statement of the tenses,' that in a state different from that which we have only two intlesions to deit will exist in the next. But since note the times, viz. those of the it would be neither necessary nor present and the past; the rest is convenient always to specify the performed by auxiliaries; and afdirect point of time, a few general ter all, it is with difficulty that we divifions took place, and these are avoid confounding the present with more or less in number, in propor- the aorist of the present; e. g. A tion as the language was more or mcrry heart maketh a chearful counteless formed when it became fta. tionary in writing.
16 To trace the formation of the " The general divisions of time, Greek tenses would be very diffithat we know to be capable of be- cult : the Latin is a less complex ing distinctly marked by inflexions language, and in it we can trace
them with more certainty. In the of the contingent mood, than supauxiliary verb fum, it appears that posing it formed by the addition of the three principal tenses have been some particle, and a consequent originally different verbs ; fum, fui, contraction. The fubjunctive of cro (whence I suppose eram). The the Latins was probably made by tenses of the regular verbs are evi. adding to the indicative dently formed by compounding the Greek particle far, min (fi, or these with the radical verb; as, if ), as amo-em, amem, &c. Where amabam, in all probability it was there are two forms of conjugation, formerly ama-ram; ama-vi, at tirit perhaps the antiquated form is ait was probably ama-fui, which dopted to signify contingencies onwould calily foften into amavi; a- ly. This is evidently the cafe in maveram, or amavi-eram; amabo, our own language; as, Indic. I or ama-ro, corrupted like the im- am; Subj. I be, or if I be. I am perfect. This fpe ies of compofi- inclined to think the Greek Subs tion is still more plainly exempli- junctive came into use in the same fied in what we call the irregular manner. verb poffum. Pol-lum, that is, po- " I have little doubt that what tens-fum ; pot-ui, or potens fui ; por- is called the imperative mood is no ero, or potens-ero : the formation of other than a corruption of the inthe other tenfes is evident. The dicative or subjunctive, by an iter. two tenses of our auxiliary, an and ation of the pronoun, as amas-te, avas, appear also to have been ori- which by use came to amate or aginally different verbs. Perhaps mato, and aficrwards by ellipfis to the Greek augment is derived from ama. the past tense of space, jv, orý; the 6. krow but one language that only difference is, that it is pre- has an optative mood. In Greek fixed, instead of being postfixed as the verb obci (oimai) anciently ligwith the Latins.
nified to wish, and it is compound66 Belides the circumstance of ed with all the tenses of the optatime, there are two other circum- tive mood, as tumlovas (tuptoimi), stances of which verbs ought to in- &c. form us, and those are, actuality " The infinitive mood is to verbs and contingency: whether a thing what the abstract noun is to. adreally exiits, or there is only a pol- jectives. It conveys a particular fibility of its existence; whether idea of the action, which may be an action be really done, or is only generally applied. Thus the idea commanded or wished to be done. which the word whiteness conveys Hence those inflexions, which are is, that of fome particular white called moods (mode or manner of body; the idea which the word to existence), of which all that we eat conveys is, that of some ania have feen are, the indicative, the mal in the action of eating. fubjunctive (or contingent), the im- “ 'The Greeks formed their iofiperative, and the optative. nitive directly into a nouu, by pre
“ The indio ative denotes the fixing the neuter article to. The thing or action as it really is ; and Latins conformed theirs to the man. is the verb in its primitive state, ner of a noun ; and their g’runds only subject to the temporal in- and lupines appear to have been flexions.
formed by imitating the cases of “ I can give no better account nouns, and endeavouring to adapt
the verb to their regimen. Thus cessary to enlarge on them in this the verb in the infinitive sometimes place; lince I am not writing a represents a nominative case, as, grammar, but a sketch of the hiSeire tuum nihil eft, &c. When the liory of language. verb ftood in the place of the ob- có The pailive voice is evidently ject, they frequently conformed it
a late invention, and the middle to the rule of the accusative, as, voice a refinement till farther reEo amatum. Amandi corresponds moved from common practice, al. to the genitive case of the noun, most peculiar indeed to the Greeks. amando to the ablative.
The patlive in Greek is plainly “ The participles are adjectives formed by the addition of sui to the formed from the verb, and are pro- participle.” bably a late invention. It is unne
OF HOM ER, AND
[ From the Observer. ] WHEN the human genius from the sudden and abrupt effu
was more matured and fions of unpremeditated verse. better qualified by judgment and « In this manner Homer, the experience, and the thoughts, in- great poet of antiquity, and the fastead of being hurried along by the ther and founder, as I must think, furious impulte of a heated fancy, of epic poetry, revolving in his cabegan to take into fober contempla- pacious mind the magnificent events tion the worldly actions of men, and of the Grecian association for the the revolutions and changes of hu- destruction of Troy, then fresh in man events, operating upon society, the tradition, if not in the memothe poet began to prepare himself ries, of his contemporaries, planned by forethought and arrangement of the great design of his immortal ideas for the future purposes of com- Iliad. With this plan arranged and pofition. It became his first business settled in his thoughts beforehand, to contrive a plan and groundwork he began to give a loose to the force for the Itructure of his poem: he and powers of his imagination in faw that it muit have uniformity, strains and rhapsodies, which by fimplicity, and order, a beginning, frequent recitation fixed upon his A middle, and an end ; that the main memory, and, as he warmed with object must be interesting and im- the advancing composition, he fal. portant, that the incidents and ac- lied forth in search of hearers, ccfiary parts must hinge upon that chaunting his verses in the aflemobject, and not wander from the blies and cities that received him; central idea, on which the whole his fancy working out those wonought to rest; that a subject cor- derful examples of the sublime, as responding thereto, when elevated he took his folitary migrations from by language, fuperior to the phrase place to place. When he made his and dialogue of the vulgar, would passages by fea, and committed him. constitute a work more orderly and self to the terrors of the ocean, the better constructed, than what arose grandest scenes in nature came un.
der his view, and his plastic fancy, which might be found in the Ilias seizing every object that accorded Minor. It is evident by the context, to its purposes, melted and com- that he does not think either of pounded it into the mass and mat. these poems were composed by Hoter of the work, on which his brain mer, and no less evident that he was labouring: thus with nature in does not know to whom they are to his eye, inspiration at his heart, be ascribed ; their high antiquity and contempaltion ever active, fc. therefore is the only point which cured by solitude against external this celebrated critic'has put out of interruption, and undisturbed by doubt. worldly cares and concerns from 66 The Ilias Minor appears to within, the wandering bard per. have been a poem, which includes formed what time has never equall. the taking of Troy, and the return ed, and what to all posterity will of the Greeks. Thcincidents of the remain the standard of perfection - Æneid, as far as they refer to the Hunc nemo in magnis fublimitate, Trojan story, seem to have been in parvis proprietate, fuperaverit : taken from this poem, and in partiidein latus ac pressus, jucundus et cular the episode of Sinon, which gravis, tum copia tum brevitate mi- is amongst the dramatic subjects menrabilis ; nec poetica modo fed ora- tioned by Aristotle : the controversy turia virtute eminentiffinus-Quin- between Ajax and Ulysses for the til. lib. x. “ Him no one ever arınour of Achilles was copied by excelled in fublimity on great to
Ovid from the fame poem. If this pies, in propriety on small ones; work is not to be given to Homer, whether diffused or compressed, gay we must believe it was written fince or grave, whether for his abun. the Iliad, from the evidence of its dance, or his brevity, he is cqually title; but if the author's name was to be admired; nor is he fuperemi- lost in Aristotle's ti'ne, his antiquity nent for poetical talents only, but is probably little short of Homer's'; for oratorical also.”
fome fcholiasts have given this poem “ There is no doubt but Homer to Lesches; but when Lesches livcomposed other poems besides his ed, and of what country he was, I Iliad and Odyfiev. Aristotle, in his find no account. Poetics, de idedly afcribes the Mar- “ The Cypriacs are supposed to gites to Homer; but as to the Ilias contain the love-adventures of the Minor and the Cypriacs, though it Trojan ladies during the fiege, and is evident those poems were in his probably was a poem of fiction. hands, yet he seerns ignorant of their Herodotus has an observation in author; the pairage I allude to will his second book upon a passage in be found in the twenty-third chap- this poem, in which Paris is said to ter of his Poetics : he is comparing have brought Helen from Sparta to chose two poems with the Pliad and Troy in the space of three days; Odyffey, as furnishing lubjects for whereas Homer says they were long the drama, and obterves that the driven about on their
voyage flage could not properly draw above place to place. From this want of one or at most two plots for tragedy correspondence in a fact of such from the lliad and Odyssey reipec- confequence, Herodotus concludes tively; whereas many might be upon fair grounds of criticism, that taken from the Cypriacs; and he Homer was not author of the Cycnumerates to the amount of ten, priacs, though Pindar ascribes it to