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for children; whilst Etymology and Syntax are treated of as amply as the nature of the work would allow. The Rules of Syntax are arranged in the order of the different parts of speech to which they respectively relate, that, by a distinct classification, reference may be the more easily made to each when necessary, and the con. nexion of the several rules with one another, more clearly shown.
To tbe rules has been appended a large collection of examples and exercises, selected from the most approved writers. Many of them contain valuable information on some of the most' useful and popular branches of science and literature ; others are calculated to impress the mind with principles of the purest morality. They are intended not only as exercises on grammatical construction, but as a means of conveying useful knowledge, and creating a spirit of inquiry, which may, in after-life, lead the pupil to the intimate study of the subjects to which he will thus have been partially introduced.
All these extracts are placed before the pupil in their correct form, divided into two portions. In one portion, the words to which the particular rule refers, are printed in Italics; in the other, such words are omitted altogether, which omitted words it is intended the pupil should supply. The former may be made available in exercising the learner on the different forms in which the sentences might be incorrectly expressed; the latter will afford an opportunity for exercising his judgment on the sense of the passage by the introduction of the elliptical words, and of teach. ing him, at the same time, the correct expression which the grammatical construction may require. Recourse has been had to this method to prevent the eye, and consequently the mind, from becoming familiar with incorrect language, and from having the attention directed from the information wbich the sentence may convey, or the moral effect which it may be calculated to produce, by the often ludicrous manner in which it may be expressed.
The languages* of Europe may be classed into four groups,--the Pelasgic, the Celtic, the Sclavonic, and the Gothic. In the Pelasgict group are included the Greek, the Romaic or modern Greek, the Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, with some minor dialects.
The Celtic comprehends the Irish, Gaelic or Erse, Welsh, Manx, and the Armoric, still spoken in Bretagne.
* Adelung and his continuator, Vater, two learned Germans, in their “Mithridates, oder Sprachenhunde,” &c., printed at Berlin, from 1805, to 1818, 5 vols, 8vo., have given a classification of the known languages and dialects. They estimate them at 3000:1200 in America; 1000 in Asia; 500 in Europe; and 300 in Africa; to which subsequent writers have made considerable additions. All these may be reduced to about 80 original languages, which may be farther lessened to a few groups or families.
+ The Pelasgians were the inhabitants of remotely ancient Greece.
The Sclavonic includes the Polish, Russian, Bohemian, Illyrian, and Croatian, all of which are traceable to the Sarmatians or Sclavonians, who migrated from Asia.
The Gothic or Teutonic contains the German, Saxon, Danish, Dutch, Flemish, Swedish, Icelandic, and English, with some few other dialects.
Britain being inhabited by the Celts at an early period, their language was that spoken there; but the Romans, commanded by Julius Cæsar in person, invaded the country 55 years before the Christian era ; and thus Latin was partially introduced. Britain remained in possession of the Romans for nearly four centuries.
In 449, Hengist and Horsa, with a horde of Saxon adventurers, from the country adjacent to the modern Hamburg, came by invitation to aid the Britons against the Scots and Picts. They finally turned their arms against the Britons or Celts, whom they conquered and banished into Wales and Scotland, when they introduced their own vernacular tongue, the Saxon. The Saxon is the basis of the modern English, and has contributed to it about two-thirds of its social or colloquial idiom.
In order to demonstrate that the Saxon dialect formed the most important element of English, Sir James Mackintosh analysed a collection of passages, not selected, but casually extracted from the first opened pages of the Bible, Spenser, Shakspeare, Cowley, Milton, Pope, Robertson, Hume, Gibbon, and Johnson. Of 1492
words, only 266 were found not to be of Saxon origin; but as the articles, auxiliary verbs, and pronouns, appear not to have been excluded, this relative proportion cannot present an unerring ground of deduction. In a general view, however, there cannot be a doubt, but that the terms traceable to a Teutonic root constitute, as we have said, the two-thirds of the integral structure of modern English. Indeed, nearly all the classes of words, which it is the office of grammar to investigate, are, as it has been observed, thence derived, as equally are our inflections, which, though few, are still more numerous than those of the French. The Lord's Prayer contains only three or four words not of Saxon etymology.
After several alternate defeats and successes of the Danes, for a period of more than a century, their countryman Canute became sole king of England in 1017. Edward the Confessor, of the Saxon line, in 1041 expelled the Danes, who left after them many words of their own dialect embodied with the Saxon.
Harold II succeeded the sainted Edward in 1066. The Normans, or Danish and Norwegian settlers in France, successfully invaded England that year, under William, Duke of Normandy, and introduced their language, which was a mixture of Latin and Gothic. Under the haughty Conqueror and his successors, the Norman or French prevailed as the language of the court, the pulpit, and the higher classes of society. Many of the English Saxons became so subservient to the Conqueror, as meanly to assist in decrying their own language, and, on its depreciation, exalting that of their master. The Saxon continued to be spoken in the remote parts of the country by great numbers; and in the course of time it amalgamated with the Norman, when both substantially formed the body of our modern idiom. The English was substituted instead of Norman or French in the puba lic acts and judicial proceedings, by Edward III; and when Latin was translated in the schools, it was not translated into French, as heretofore, but into English. The Saxon preponderates in the names of places, towns, rivers, mountains, and in common-place words; the French in military terms, legal phrases, mottoes, and in terms of fashion and cookery.
Many words of Latin must have crept in by the residence of the Romans, and more, still, by the introduction of Christianity, prior to the Saxon conquest, and a second time by St. Augustin, before the close of the sixth century,—that being the language then used, as at present, in the administration of the sacraments, in performing the sacred ceremonies of the Church, and at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The learned compositions of these and subsequent ages, even down to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, were written in that tongue. Latin, to which we also, or at least principally, owe the vocabulary of our literature, brought with it its kindred Greek,* which has been more extensively used since the
Ce langage aux douceurs souveraines,