Abbildungen der Seite


exists in our own island in the lowland Scotch, as in Walter Scott's novels, "he dashed out his harns.” Moreover, we are justified in assigning the idea of brains to the first syllable of cerebrum, for in the older Latin writers the full word denotes, not the brain, but the vessel that holds the brain, the skull, as might be expected from the power of the suffix brum, which the word shares with candela-brum, &c. Thus, the passage in which Ennius practically expresses his meaning by the bold artifice of dividing the word : cere comminuit brum,“ he broke his skull into a thousand pieces,” becomes much more significant than it can be to those who see in the word cerebrum merely the soft contents. On the other hand, as regards the final letters rn, hirn stands to cur of curro precisely as burn to the syllable bur, as seen in com-bur-o, am-bur-0. But it may be objected that in these two compounds the 6 is merely an outgrowth from the preceding m, and that the more fitting division of the words would be comb-uro, amb-uro. It is enough, in reply, to point to the substantive bustum," the place where bodies were burnt.”* The example of a final r, lengthened into the form of rn, as in hirn compared to cur, is common between the two languages. Thus, maere-o is with us mourn. The n may possibly be a euphonic addition, or it may be a suffix, as in our own verbs, hasten, open, listen, reckon, from the monosyllabic verbs haste, ope, list, reck. Be this as it may, the change is seen in sperno, sterno, of the Latin, which have a second liquid, that is unknown to the forms of the perfect, sprevi, crevi, stravi. We repeat, then, that hirn is identical in origin with the Latin curr-ere. As the former is also identical with run, it follows that cur and run are of one stock, a statement which, put forward in a naked manner, without reasons, would only have excited ridicule.

But we must be prepared for other varieties of form in words which appear with an initial r. When such words are subjected to the metathesis which presents the r as the third instead of the initial letter, we shall often find not an h but an s, or a w, in possession of the first place. That an initial s and h should interchange between themselves is of course a familiar fact to the Greek scholar, as in Étta, E, Étouan, by the side of septem, sex, sequor. Hence no one doubts about the virtual identity of rēpo, serpo, and éprw, the first owing its long vowel solely to the principle wnich lengthens the root-vowel in the imperfect tenses, so that rep, as pronounced in our reptile, must be considered to be the base of rēpo. Again, popew and sorbeo are known to be but one word, the


and b maintaining that law of relation between the two languages which we have already seen in so many words ; ομφαλο-, ονυχ-, ορφανο-, νεφελη, the aspirates of which appear in Latin as medials, umbilicus, unguis, orbus, umbra (see No. 47, p. 404.)

The Latin word robur having in the neuter suffix ur or or (roboris), what is substantially the same as the er or us of ub-er, gen-us, dec-us, &c. directs us to make search for a verb as the base. But no such

* Similarly in am-bed-o, am-bi-o, it will be found, on a careful examination, that the b is an original letter of the verbs. We mention this, lest it should be supposed that these words have been forgotten; but it would take too much space to prove the assertion here.



verb presents itself. If, pursuing the inquiry, we turn our thoughts to the English language, we must remember a law which exists between the two vocabularies, viz. that a b at the end of a syllable in a Latin word, especially if it has a preceding r or 1, will probably take the form of a din English (t in German). Thus verbum is our word (Germ.wort); barba our beard(Germ. bart); curb- of cucurbita our gourd ; creb-or celeb-, of creber,celeber, our crowd and curd; gleba our clod; sabulum our sand; rub of rubeo our red. Hence rob of robur and the English hard may, as to form, be substantially one; for even the change of vowel is rather to be expected than not, as our tongue and the German have a love for the vowel a, where the Latin prefers an o or u, as seen in domare, longus, nox, unguis (onugui), umbo (o-nub-on), compared to tame, zähmen, lang, nacht, nagel or nail, nabel or navel, &c. We next turn to the Greek vocabulary, and at once come across pwv-vvue, in which the first v is commonly treated with utter disregard, as also is the o in the derivatives ρωσ-τηρ, ρωσ-τικος. Such letters are precisely what we should expect a ò to become in such positions, and certainly the notion of to harden, is precisely that which in a perfect participle éppwuevos would signify “ hardened,” “ strong," "stout." Thus rob of robur, and pwò of pwryuui correspond to our own monosyllable hard, with the -meaning of a verb “harden.” Of course we consider the sense“ hardness” as entitled to precedence over that of “ oak” in the Latin robur.

The Greek words ρημα, ρησις, ρητωρ, are referred to a supposed verb pew or ep-w. Now the Latin word which most nearly represents in power the Greek word onua is verbum, and this of course is our own word, or German wort. But we have also in our own tongue the verb read or rede, or in German red-en. The fact that our verb rede in the old language is used in the sense of speaking is a proof that it is identical with the German red-en to speak ;" but even without this fact, a change of meaning precisely similar in the Latin lego, I read," as compared with the Greek léyw “ I speak," would have removed all doubt. Thus the German red of reden connects in form as well as meaning the Latin verb-um and the Greek

This Latin substantive verbum reminds one by its shape of the substantive verber, where we must divide the parts etymologically by inserting a hyphen after the b; and we find the first element of the word in our English "rod,” the 6, as usual in such position, taking the sound of a d. The Greek also has the root, and seems, as it were, to hesitate between the two consonants 6 and d in the noun paßdos. This substantive we find is referred to paoow, “I strike," so that we are brought as usual to a verb for the ultimate word. It may be noticed also ihat the Latin rad-ius, “a rod,” is probably of the same stock.

The Latin rad-ix, as regards the first syllable, and our root, are, of course, the same word; but here also we find the y reduced to the third place in the variety, wort, applied by us to so many low plants, and in the German, wurz-el.

Rota and rotundus * of the Latin may now, without hesitation, be put down as equivalent to such words as vort-a, vort-undus ; an nected directly with the verb vort-o, better known as vert-o," I turn.” So in English the verbs, roll and whirl, are but varied forms of the


[ocr errors]

So con

* See No. 46, p. 359.

in ver.

same word. We do not hesitate, however, to treat verto and whirl as older forms than those which begin with an r; and this for two reasons, first, because the loss of an initial digamma is more easy to conceive than the acquisition of one by a word not originally entitled to it. Secondly, of ver-t and whir-1, the first element whir (for the Latin v was pronounced, in all probability, as a w) gives us precisely the noise which is made by a rapid revolution in the air, and thus we have a natural explanation of the origin of the words.

The Greek words ρεζω (ερεξα) εργον, or rather Fεργον, have been long known to have the same origin as our work, wrought, wright, &c. The Latin verb, ex-erce-re, has been justly explained as a kindred word, with the sense of to work out, work thoroughly. Those who would connect it with the Latin verb arcere, will have a difficulty in reconciling the two meanings.

Sarcire is a verb which seems to blend together the fourth and third conjugations, for the i is not visible in the perfect tenses, or in the substantive sartor. As a Greek 7 is regularly represented by a Latin c or 9, for example, in Tew and coquo, TELTTOS and quintus (old form quinctus), we have no difficulty in treating sarc of sarcire, and par or ραφ of ραπτειν as equivalents. .

So again the Greek pɛT-ELV, and verg-ere, both signifying “ to incline,” would present no difficulty if we found a c, instead of a g at the end of the Latin verg; and this difficulty is not sufficient to prevent our believing in the identity of the two roots. Indeed, the g gere is not an original letter of the word. This assertion is founded on à consideration of the words terg-ere, sparg-ere, merg-ere. In ter-g-,

wipe," we have evidently only a diminutive of ter, rub." A comparison of sparg, with the Greek OTELDELV, whose base is onep, shows that the g in the former word is no fundamental part of it; and, lastly, merg-, we would connect with the substantive mari- (nom. mare). That this word mari originally denoted “water " alone, and not exclusively " salt water,” is proved partly by our having the same root in the words meer and marsh, and partly by the fact that it is only a variety of the Sanscrit word vari,“ water." Indeed the g in the four words terg-,* sparg-, merg-, verg-, performs precisely the same office as the k in our own verbs, hark, talk, pluck, walk, which are but diminutives of hear, tell, pull, and an obsolete verb, wal or wall, which, though no longer found in our language, still survives in the German verb wallen, " to go," as in the Psalm xlii. v. 4, “ Ich wollte wallen zum hause Gottes ”—I would go to the house of God. And not only do the

9 and k in these two series of words perform the same office; but what difference there is between the two letters (both being gutturals) is agreeable to the well-known law of the German scholar Grimm, that a g in Latin and a k in the Teutonic languages should correspond, as in genu, gnosco, gleba, compared to knee, know, clod. Thus verga,

incline," seems to be only a derivative from that very fruitful root, ver, “turn,” whence come ver-t-, " turn,” ver-U, a spit,” &c.

The Greek platw seems not to have a correlative in Latin, but that the claim of p to the initial place is open to dispute, appears from the

* This view is not put forward now for the first time. It was given a short time back in the Transactions of the Philological Society.


cause a


German werf-en “to throw," for the a of pintw and the f of werfen stand to each other in the usual relation, as seen in pluma, flaum ; piscis, fisch ; pro, für, &c.

The Greek apa-aðeiv and Latin rap-ere were mentioned in the last paper.

That the Latin ruga is connected with the Greek verbs ρυομαι, ερυω, I draw,” is proved by the fact that these Greek verbs have derivatives puoos, wrinkled; QUtic, a wrinkle. On the other handourown wordsaruck, wrinkle, and rumple (or as pronounced in Somersetshire wrumple), also claim kin with ruga. Thus an initial w may fairly be claimed for the word on the evidence of its English representatives ; but the Greek ερυω also is admitted to belong to the words which in the Homeric poems had at times a digamma.



is only a reduced form of a fuller word Fep-ux or something like it. We add the x partly be

should correspond to the g of ruga, and partly because the

g loss of a final consonant seems implied in the derivatives puo-pos, puo

Now Fep-vx- like Fɛl-k-(ENKw), which also signifies“ draw,” is but a derivative from a root Fel, or, as the Latin language has it, vellere, “ to pull.”

The substantives lupus and Aukos are of course but varieties of each other, but they stand in direct opposition to that law which has been mentioned above, inasmuch as the Latin, rather than the Greek, should have had the guttural. The explanation of this difficulty lies probably in the fact, that the names given to the wild animal (as might fairly be expected) agree with the country dialects rather than the city pronunciation, Thus a r in Athens was habitually changed to a x in the lonic dialect of the country around Athens, as in mov, TOTE, Totepos, changed to kov, KOTE, korepos. Conversely among the Romans, though the sound of c or q was in favour within the walls, that guttural was at once converted into a labial in the mouth of the Oscan population around. Thus quicquid became pitpit, and while columba was the tame pigeon, palumbes was the wild bird. But to return to the words lupus, Lukoc, these evidently are represented in our own tongue, both in sense and sound, by the word wolf, or, as the Danish has it, ulv. Nay, the Latin vulpes is probably the same word, for the wolf and the fox have so much in common, that the same name was likely to have been given to both. Thus we have the letter | undergoing the same metamorphosis that we have seen so repeatedly affecting the liquid r.

We will conclude this discussion with two remarks : first, a statement that the Latin substantive re-, “thing,” and the Greek verb pe-, “ flow," have suffered from the same change; but as the consideration of these words involves much previous inquiry, we must postpone it. Secondly, we would ask Greek scholars whether pafodos is really connected with ραπτειν,

The authority of the ancients in a question of etymology is of very little weight, and we know that in many cases a false historical statement was often manufactured in support of a false derivation. Did not the word rather denote, like Kelapodos, &c., a player on a musical instrument? The names of musical instruments are numerous and ever changing, but have we not in the commencing letters of pafydog a Greek equivalent for our word harp?


[ocr errors]

to sew."



GROUPING OF FACTS. The rearing or training of the human mind is similar in many respects to the erection of an ordinary building. In either case there must be an architect with definite plans, proper materials duly prepared, and skilful workmen to arrange and adapt them.

Not to dwell on other points of resemblance which will furnish matters for future consideration, it is an essential and universal principle in building to blend one part of the work with another, and not to leave it in detached pieces. The timbers are all connected with each other and with the brick-work, and the bricks themselves have all a bond of union. And this principle must be carried out in mental work. To convey instruction or to make facts stick, to make them lasting and impressive, there must be a cement to bind them; they must be in some way connected, and not isolated facts. Now interest blended with instruction is a species of cement. But there is another method, novel and very amusing, which will be found extremely serviceable. Instead of giving facts singly, they may be grouped together. And when a number of groups have been committed to memory, each fact in the group may be taken singly, and analyzed and explained. By this means the memory gains strength, and the teacher has some useful materials to operate upon in his mental structure.

This plan answers admirably in all cases and with all subjects. It is like administering a powder in a jelly; the most unpalatable parts of instruction, which are often the most important, are rendered attractive in this way. With a relentive memory, quick perceptive faculties, and the power to compare and investigate, a foundation is laid for the highest and noblest operations of the mind, for intellectual and moral reflection, a sound judgment in all things, a well regulated will, and a refined and cultivated imagination.

The following groups, which contain a variety of the most important facts in history, may serve as a specimen of their kind. But they are merely a specimen, and may be continued almost indefinitely. The facility with which this body of instruction is committed to memory almost exceeds the bounds of credibility. Children of very ordinary intellects readily catch a few groups of facts; if they can write, they might transcribe them in a note book, as a dictation lesson, and they might also from time to time enlarge their stock by their own discoveries.

As a commencement, you may take the number seven ; this is undoubtedly the most fertile field of inquiry. Children might be informed that there is something peculiar about the number seven ; that it has become proverbial as a mystic number; that it consists of two combinations, a A triangle and a I square (3 + 4), which have also an air of mystery about them. Further, that the product of these numbers (3 x 4 = 12) maintains the same character,—that twelve denotes perfection or completion. And that ten (3 + 7) will come under the same rule. And lastly, they might be informed that of old the Deity was said by the heathen to delight in uneven numbers (“ Numero Deus impari gaudet."-Virgil), which will bring in the number five with all its multiples.

« ZurückWeiter »