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the word “Grecian.” Everybody else was con- Yet, really, one is ashamed to linger on cases tent with one “e ;” but he, recollecting the cor- so mild as those, coming, as one does, in the order nucopia of which Providence had thought fit to of atrocity, to Elphinstone, to Noah Webster, a empty upon the mother word Greece, deemed it Yankee—which word means, not an American, shocking to disinherit the poor child of its hereditary but that separate order of Americans, growing in wealth, and wrote it, therefore, Greecian through- Massachussets, Rhode Island, or Connecticut, in out his Homer, Such a modest reform the sternest fact, a New Englander*--and to the rabid Ritold Tory could not find in his heart to denounce. Noah would naturally have reduced us all But some contagion must have collected about to an antidiluvian simplicity. Shem, Ham, and this word Greece ; for the next man, who had Japhet, probably separated in consequence of much occasion to use it-viz. Mitford *-—who perverse varieties in spelling ; so that orthograwrote that “History of Greece" so eccentric, and so phical unity might seem to him one condition for eccentrically praised by Lord Byron, absolutely preventing national schisms. But as to the rabid took to spelling like a heathen, slashed right and Ritson, who can describe his vagaries? What left against decent old English words, until, in great arithmetician can furnish an index to his fact, the whole of Entick's Dictionary(ablaqueation absurdities, or what great decipherer furnish a and all) was ready to swear the peace against him. key to the principles of these absurdities ? In Mitford, in course of time, slept with his fathers; his very title pages, nay, in the most obstinate of his grave, I trust, not haunted by the injured words ancient technicalities, he showed his cloven foot whom he had tomahawked; and, at this present to the astonished reader. Some of his many moment, the Bishop of St. David's reigneth in works were printed in Pall-Mall ; now, as the his stead. His Lordship, bound over to episcopal world is pleased to pronounce that word Pel-Mel, decorum, has hitherto been sparing in his assaults thus and no otherwise (said Ritson) it shall be upon pure old English words: but one may trace spelled for ever. Whereas, on the contrary, some the insurrectionary taint, passing down from men would have said: The spelling is well enough, Cowper through the word Grecian, in many of it is the public pronunciation which is wrong. his Anglo-Hellenic forms. For instance, he in- This ought to be Paul-Maul; or, perhaps-agreesists on our saying—not Heracleidæ and Pelopidae, ably to the sound which we give to the a in such as we all used to do—but Heracleids and Pelopids. words as what, quantity, want—still better, and with A list of my Lord's barbarities, in many other more gallantry, Poll-Moll. The word Mr., again, cases, upon unprotected words, poor shivering in Ritson's reformation, must have astonished the aliens that fall into his power, when thrown upon Post-office. He insisted that this cabalisticalthe coast of his diocese, I had—had, I say, for, looking form, which might as reasonably be transalas! fuit Ilium.
lated into monster, was a direct fraud on the
national language, quite as bad as clipping the * Mitford, who was the brother of a man better known Queen’s coinage. How, then, should it be written? than himself to the public eye, viz., Lord Redesdale, may Reader ! reader ! that you will ask such a quesbe considered a very infortunate author. His work upon tion ! mister, of course; and mind that you put no Greece, which Lord Byron celebrated for its “ wrath and its capital m ; unless, indeed, you are speaking of partiality," really had those merits: choleric it was in excess, and as entirely partial, as nearly perfect in its injustice, as some great gun, some mister of misters, such as human infirmity would allow. Nothing is truly perfect in this shocking world; absolute injustice, alas! the perfection The plural, again, of such words as romance, age,
Mr. Pitt of old, or perhaps a reformer of spelling. of wrong, must not be looked for until we reach some high Platonic form of polity. Then shall we revel and bask in horse, he wrote romanceës, ageës, horseës; and a vertical sun of iniquity. Meantime, I will say—that to satisfy all bilious and unreasonable men, a better historian inasmuch as the e final in the singular is mute,
upon the following equitable consideration; that, of Greece, than Mitford, could not be fancied. And yet, at the very moment when he was stepping into his harvest of that is, by a general vote of the nation has been popularity, down comes one of those omnivorous Germans allowed to retire upon a superannuation allowtbat, by reading everything, and a trifle besides, contrive to throw really learned men--and perhaps better thinkers ance, it is abominable to call it back upon active than themselves into the shade. 'Ottfried Mueller, with service-like the modern Chelsea pensioners--as other archæologists and travellers into Hellas, gave new must be done, if it is to bear the whole weight of aspects to the very purposes of Grecian history. Do you hear, reader? not new answers, but new questions. And
a separate syllable like ces. Consequently, if the Mitford, that was gradually displacing the unlearned Gillies, nation and Parliament mean to keep faith, they &c., was himself displaced by those who intrigued with Germany. His other work on the Harmony of Language,"
are bound to hire a stout young e to run in the though one of the many that attempted, and the few that traces with the old original e, taking the whole accomplished, the distinction between accent and quantity, work off his aged shoulders. Volumes would not or learnedly appreciated the metrical science of Milton, was yet, in my hearing, pronounced utterly unintelligible, by the
suffice to exhaust the madness of Ritson upon this best practical commentator on Milton, viz., the best repro- subject. And there was this peculiarity in his ducer of his exquisite effects in blank verse, that any genera- madness, over and above its clamorous ferocity, one of the many accomplished scholars that are ill-used. that being no classical scholar (a mengre selfHad he possessed the splendid powers of the Landor, he taught Latinist, and no Grecian at all) though would have raised a clatter on the armour of modern society, such as Samson threatened to the giant Harapha. “In fact, a New Englander." This explanation, upon For, in many respects, he resembled the Landor: he had a matter familiar to the well-informed, it is proper to repeat much of his learning-he had the same extensive access to occasionally, because we English exceedingly perplex and books and influential circles in great cities—the same confound the Americans by calling, for instance, a Virgloomy disdain of popular falsehoods or common-places- ginian or a Kentuck by the name of Yankee, whilst that and the same disposition to run a muck against all nations, term was originally introduced as antithetic to these more languages, and spelling-books.
profoand as a black-letter scholar, he cared not that does not make him either learned enough or one straw for ethnographic relations of words, nor consistent enough. He never ascends into Anglofor unity of analogy, which are the principles Saxon, or the many cognate languages of tho that generally have governed reformers of spell- Teutonie family, which is indispensable to a searching. He was an attorney, and moved constantly ing inquest upon our language ; he does not put under the monomaniac idea that an action lay forward in this direction even the slender qualion behalf of misused letters, mutes, liquids, vowels, fications of Horne Tooke. But Greek and Latin and diphthongs, against somebody or other (John are quite unequal, when disjoined from the elder Doe, was it, or Richard Roe ?) for trespass on wheels in our etymological system, to the working any rights of theirs which an attorney might of the total machinery of the English language. trace, and of course for any direct outrage upon Mr. Landor proceeds upon no fixed principles in their persons. Yet no man was more systema- his changes. Sometimes it is on the principle of tically an offender in both ways than himself ; | internal analogy with itself, that he would distort tying up one leg of a quadruped word, and forcing or retrotort the language; sometimes on the prinit to run upon three; cutting off noses and ears, if ciple of external analogy with its roots; somehe fancied that equity required it; and living in times on the principle of euphony, or of metrical eternal hot water with a language which he pre-convenience. Even within such principles he is tended eternally to protect.
not uniform. All well-built English scholars, for And yet all these fellows were nothing in com- instance, know that the word feälty cannot be parison of Mr.* Pinkerton. The most of these made into a dissyllable: trissyllabic it ever was* men did but ruin the national spelling ; but with the elder poets--Spencer, Milton, &c. ; and Pinkerton--the monster Pinkerton-proposed a so it is amongst all the modern poets who have revolution which would have left us nothing to taken any pains with their English studies : e.g. spell. It is almost incredible--if a book regularly
" The engle, lord of land and sea, printed and published, bought and sold, did not
Stoop'd down--to pay him fe-al-ty.” remain to attest the fact--that this horrid barba- It is dreadful to hear a man say feal-ty in any rian seriously proposed, as a glorious discovery case ; but here it is luckily impossible. Now, for refining our language, the following plan. Mr. Landor generally is correct, and trisects the All people were content with the compass of the word ; but once, at least, he bisects it. I comEnglish language : its range of expression was plain, besides, that Mr. Landor, in urging the equal to anything : but, unfortunately, as com- authority of Milton for orthographic innovations, pared with the sweet orchestral languages of the does not always distinguish as to Milton's motives. south - Spanish the stately, and Italian the It is true, as he contends, that, in some instances, lovely—itwanted rhythmus and melody. Clearly, Milton reformed the spelling in obedience to the then, the one supplementary grace, which it Italian precedent: and certainly without blame ; remained for modern art to give, is that every as in sovran, sdeign, which ought not to be should add at discretion o and a, ino and ano, to printed (as it is) with an elision before the s, as if the end of the English words. The language, in short for disdain ; but in other instances Milton's its old days, should be taught struttare struttis- motive had no reference to etymology. Somesimamente. As a specimen, Mr. Pinkerton fa- times it was this. In Milton's day, the modern voured us with his own version of a famous pas- use of Italics was nearly unknown. Everybody sage in Addison, viz., “ The Vision of Mirza.” is aware that, in our authorised version of the The passage, which begins thus, “ As I sat on the Bible, published in Milton's infancy, Italics are top of a rock,” being translated into, “ As I never once used for the purpose of emphasis--but satto on the toppino of a rocko, But exclusively to indicate such words or auxiliary luckilissime this proposalio of the absurdissimo forms as, though implied and virtually present in Pinkertoniot was not adoptado by anybody-ini the original, are not textually expressed, but must whatever-ano.
be so in English, from the different genius of the Mr. Landor is more learned and probably more language. Now, this want of a proper technical consistent in his assaults upon the established resource amongst the compositors of the age, for spelling than most of those elder reformers. But indicating a peculiar stress upon a word, evidently
Pinkerton published one of his earliest volumes, muder drove Milton into some perplexity for a compenthis title--" Rimes, by Mr. Pinkerton," not having the fear of Ritson before his eyes. And, for once, we have reason * “ It ever was”-and, of course, being (as there is no to thank Ritson for his remark--that the form Mr. might need to tell Mr. Landor) a form obtained by contraction just as well be read Monster. Pinkerton in this point was from fidelitas. a perfect monster. As to the word Rimes, instead of + of this a ludicrous illustration is mentioned by Rhymes, he had something to stand upon: the Greek the writer once known to the public as Trinity Jones. rhythmos was certainly the remote fonntain; but the proxi. Some young clergyman, unacquainted with the techmate fonntain must have been the Italian rima.
nical use of italics by the original compositors of Jaines + This most extravagant of all experiments on language the First's Bible, on coming to the 27th verse, chap. is brought forward in the “ Letters of Literature, by Robert xiii. of Ist Kings, " And he” (viz. the old prophet of Heron. But Robert Heron is a pseudonyme for John Bethel) " spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. Pinkerton; and I have been told that Pinkerton's motive | And they saddled him;" (where the italie him simply meant for assuming it was—because Heron had been the maiden that this word was involved, but not expressed, in the orinajne of his mother. Poor lady, she would have stared ginal), read it, “ And they saddled him;" as though these to find herself, in old age, transformed into Mistressina undutiful sons, instead of saddling the dunkey, had saddled Heronilla. What most amuses one in pursuing the steps the old propbet. In fact, the old gentleman's directions of such an attempt at retinement, is its reception by are not quite without an opening for a filial misconception, "Jackin the navy.
if the reader examines them as closely as I examine words.
satory contrivance. It was unusually requisite logy, he must call Didius Julianus by the shockfor him, with his elaborate metrical system and ing name of Did, which is the same thing as Tit his divine ear, to have an art for throwing atten- -since T is D soft. Did was a very great man tion upon his accents, and upon his muflling of indeed, and for a very short time indeed. Proaccents. When, for instance, he wishes to direct bably Did was the only man that ever bade for an a bright jet of emphasis upon the possessive empire, and no mistake, at a public auction. pronoun their, he writes it as we now write it. Think of Did's bidding for the Roman empire : But, when he wishes to take off the accent, he nay, think also of Did's having the lot actually writes it thir.* Like Ritson, he writes therefor knocked down to him ; and of Did's going home and wherefor without the final e ; not regarding to dinner with the lot in his pocket. It makes the analogy, but singly the metrical quantity: one perspire to think that, if the reader or niyself for it was shocking to his classical feeling that a had been living at that time, and had been sound so short to the ear should be represented prompted by some whim within us to bid against to the eye by so long a combination as fore ; and him, we- ---that is, he or I-should actually have the more so, because uneducated people did then, come down to posterity by the abominable name and do now, often equilibrate the accent between of Anti-Did. All of us in England say Livy the two syllables, or rather make the quantity when speaking of the great historian, not Livius. long in both syllables, whilst giving an over- Yet Livius Andronicus it would be impossible to balance of the accent to the last. The “Paradise indulge with that brotherly name of Livy. MarLost,” being printed during Milton's blindness, cus Antonius is called---not by Shakspere only, did not receive the full and consistent benefit of but by all the world—Mark Antony; but who is it his spelling reforms, which (as I have contended) that ever called Marcus Brutus by the affectionate certainly arose partly in the imperfections of name of Mark Brute? “Keep your distance," typography at that æra ; but such changes as we say, to that very doubtful brute, "and expect had happened most to impress his ear with a sense no pet names from us." Finally, apply the prinof their importance, he took a special trouble, ciple of abbreviation, involved in the names Pliny, even under all the disadvantages of his darkness, Livy, Tully, all substituting y for ius, to Marius to have rigorously adopted. He must have asto
--that grimmest of grim visions that rises up to nished the compositors, though not quite so much us from the phantasmagoria of Roman history. as the tiger-cat Ritson or the Mr. (viz. monster) Figure to yourself, reader, that truculent face, Pinkerton-each after his kind--astonished their trenched and scarred with hostile swords, carrying compositors.
thunder in its ominous eye-brows, and frightening But the caprice of Mr. Landor is shown most armies a mile off with its scowl, being saluted by of all upon Greek names. Nous autres say the tenderest of feminine names, as “My Mary." “ Aristotle,” and are quite content with it, until Not only, therefore, is Mr. Landor inconsistent we migrate into some extra-superfine world ; but in these innovations, but the innovations themthis title will not do for him: “ Aristoteles” it selves, supposing them all harmonised and estamust be. And why so? Because, answers the blished, would but plough up the landmarks of old Landor, if once I consent to say Aristotle, then I hereditary feelings. We learn oftentimes, by a am pledged to go the whole hog; and perhaps the man's bearing a good-natured sobriquet amongst next man I meet is Empedocles, whom, in that his comrades, that he is a kind-hearted, social creacase, I must call Empedocle. Well, do so. Call ture, popular with them all! And it is an illushim Empedocle ; it will not break his back, which tration of the same tendency, that the scale of seems broad enough. But, now, mark the contra- popularity for the classical authors amongst our dictions in which Mr. Landor is soon landed. He fathers, is registered tolerably well, in a gross says, as everybody says, Terence, and not Teren- general way, by the difference between having tius, Horace and not Horatius; but he must leave and not having a familiar name. If we except off such horrid practices, because he dares not the first Cæsar, the mighty Caius Julius, who call Lucretius by the analogous name of Lucrece, was too majestic to invite familiarity, though too since that would be putting a she instead of a he; gracious to have repelled it, there is no author nor Propertius by the name of Properce, because whom our forefathers loved, but has won a sort that would be speaking French instead of English. of Christian name in the land. Homer, and Next he says, and continually he says, Virgil for Hesiod, and Pindar, we all say; we cancel the Virgilius. But, on that principle, he ought to alien us; but we never say Theocrit for Theocrisay Valer for Valerius ; and yet again he ought tus. Anacreon remains rigidly Grecian marble ; not; because, as he says Tully and not Tull for but that is only because his name is not of a Tullius, so also is he bound, in Christian equity, plastic form-else everybody loves the sad old to say Valery for Valer; but he cannot say either fellow. The same bar to familiarity existed in Valer or Valery. So here we are in a mess. the names of the tragic poets, except perhaps for Thirdly, I charge him with saying Ovid for Æschylus ; who, however, like Cæsar, is too awful Ovidius: which I do, which everybody does, but for a caressing name.
But Roman names were, which he must not do; for, if he means to persist generally, more flexible. Livy and Sallust have in that, then, upon his own argument from ana- ever been favourites with men: Liry with every
body; Sallust, in a degree that may be called ex* He uses this and similar artifices, in fact, as the damper in a modern piano-forte, for modifying the swell of the travagant, with many celebrated Frenchmen, as intonation.
the President des Brosses, and in our own days
with M. Lerminier, a most eloquent and original | How does he like, for instance, Sipahee the mowriter (* Etudes Historiques”); and two centuries dern form for Sepoy ? or Tepheen for Tiffin ? ago, with the greatest of men, John Milton, in a At this rate of metamorphosis, absorbing even the degree that seems to me absolutely mysterious. consecrated names of social meals, we shall soon These writers are baptized into our society–have cease to understand what that disjune was which gained a settlement in our parish: when you call his sacred Majesty graciously accepted at Tilliea man Jack, and not Mr. John, it's plain you like tudlem. But even elder forms of oriental speech him. But, as to the gloomy Tacitus, our fathers are as little harmonised in Christendom. A few liked him not. He was too vinegar a fellow for leagues of travelling make the Hebrew unintellithem; nothing hearty or genial about him; he gible to us; and the Bible becomes a Delphic mysthought ill of everybody; and we all suspect that, tery to Englishmen amongst the countrymen of for those times, he was perhaps the worst of the Luther. Solomon is there called Salamo; Sampbunch himself. Accordingly, this Tacitus, be- son is called Simson, though probably he never cause he remained so perfectly tacit for our jolly published an edition of Euclid. Nay, even in this old forefathers' ears, never slipped into the name native isle of ours, you may be at cross purposes Tacit for their mouths; nor ever will, I predict, on the Bible with your own brother. I am, myfor the mouths of posterity. Coming to the Ro- self, next door neighbour to Westmoreland, being man poets, I must grant that three great ones, a Lancashire man; and, one day, I was talking riz., Lucretius, Statius, and Valerius Flaccus, with a Westmoreland farmer, whom, of course, I have not been complimented with the freedom of ought to have understood very well ; but I had no our city, as they should have been, in a gold box. chance with him; for I could not make out who I regret, also, the ill fortune, in this respect, of that No was, concerning whom or concerning Catullus, if he was really the author of that grand which, he persisted in talking. It seemed to me, headlong dithyrambic, the Atys: he certainly from the context, that No must be a man, and by ought to have been ennobled by the title of no means a chair; but so very negative a name, Catull. Looking to very much of his writings, you perceive, furnished no positive hints for solvmuch more I regret the case of Plautus : anu Iing the problem. I said as much to the farmer, am sure that if her Majesty would warrant his who stared in stupefaction. What,” cried he, bearing the name and arms of Plaut in all time “did a far-larn'd man, like you, fresh from Oxcoming, it would gratify many of us. As to the ford, never hear of No, an old gentleman that rest, or those that anybody cares about, Horace, should have been drowned, but was not, when Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, Martial, Claudian, all have all his folk were drowned ?" “Never, so help me been raised to the peerage. Ovid was the great Jupiter," was my reply: “never heard of him to poetic favourite of Milton; and not without a phi- this hour, any more than of Yes, an old gentlelosophie ground : his festal gaiety, and the bril- man that should have been hanged, but was not, liant velocity of his aurora borealis intellect, form- when all his folk were hanged. Populous Nom ing a deep natural equipoise to the mighty I had read of in the Prophets ; but that was not gloom and solemn planetary movement in the an old gentleman.” It turned out that the farmind of the other ; like the wedding of male and mer and all his compatriots in bonny Martindale female counterparts. Ovid was, therefore, rightly had been taught at the parish school to rob the Milton's favourite. But the favourite of all the Patriarch Noah of one clear moiety appertaining world is Horace. Were there ten peerages, were in fee simple to that ancient name. But afterthere three blue ribbons, vacant, he ought to have wards I found that the farmer was not so entirethem all.
ly absurd as he had seemed. The Septuagint, Besides, if Mr. Landor could issue decrees, and indeed, is clearly against him ; for there, as plain even harmonise his decrees for reforming our as a pike-staff, the farmer might have read Nwi. Anglo-Grecian spelling-decrees which no Coun- But, on the other hand, Pope, not quite so great eil of Trent could execute, without first rebuilding a scholar as he was a poet, yet still a fair one, the Holy office of the Inquisition-still there would always made Noah into a monosyllable;
and that be little accomplished. The names of all conti- seems to argue an old English usage ; though I nental Europe are often in confusion, from diffe- really believe Pope's reason for adhering to such rent causes, when Anglicised: German names are rarely spelled rightly by the laity of our isle: national rivalships : French travellers in India, like JacPolish and Hungarian never.
quemont, &c., as they will not adopt our English First
Many foreign Meridian, will not, of course, adopt our English spelling. towns have in England what botanists would call in one of Panl Richter's novels a man assumes the First trivial names ; Leghorn, for instance, Florence, Meridian to lie generally, not through Greenwich, but
through his own skull, and always through his own study. Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Munich, Antwerp, I have myself long suspected ihe Magnetic Pole to lie Brussels, the Hague-all unintelligible names to under a friend's wine cellar, from the vibrating movement the savage Continental native.
which I have remarked constantly going on in his cluster Then, if Mr.
of keys towards that particular point. Really, the French, Landor reads as much of Anglo-Indian books as
like Sir Anthony Absolute, must“ get an atmosphere of I do, he must be aware that, for many years back, their own,"such is their hatred to holding anything in comthey have all been at sixes and sevens ; so that now
mon with us. 2. They are to be sought in local Indian dif
ferences of pronunciation. 3. In the variety of our own most Hindoo words are in masquerade, and we shall British population--soldiers, missionaries, merchants, who soon require English pundits in Leadenhall Street.* are unlearned or half-learned-scholars, really learned, but
often fantastically learned, and lastly (as you may swear) The reasons for this anarchy in the naturalisation of young ladies-anxious, above all things, to mistify us outEastern worls are to be sought in three causes; 1. In side barbarians.
an absurdity was with a prospective view to the nearly hopeless a task as the proverb insinuates rhymes blow, or row, or stow, (an important idea that it is to attempt a reformation in that old to the Ark) which struck him as likely words, in lady's mode of eating eggs. She laughs at case of any call for writing about Noah.
She has å vain conceit that she is able, The long and the short of it is—that the whole out of her own proper resources, to do both, viz., world lies in heresy or schism on the subject of the spelling and the eating of the eggs. And orthography, All climates alike groan under all that remains for philosophers, like Mr. Lanheterography. It is absolutely of no use to be dor and myself, is—to turn away in sorrow rather gin with one's own grandmother in such labors than in anger, dropping a silent tear for the poor of reformation. It is toil thrown away : and as old lady's infatuation.
THE SYCAMORES OF SCOTLAND.
BY MRS. CHARLES TINSLEY. [Gardening was one of the favourite pursuits of Mary Stuart. She had bronght from France a little sycamore plant--the first, according to tradition, which had ever been seen in Scotland ;--this she planted in the gardens of Holyrood, and from this parent stem arose the beautiful groves of sycamore which are now met with in Scotland.) Lift up your stately heads,
Growing hourly and daily
In beauty and strength,
The stranger-tree flourished
Right bravely at length.
But she, yet more beautiful,
She, yet more strong-
In the woman's endurance
Proved hardly and long-
She found that her native soil
Round her had thrown
The mildews and shadows
Of darkness alone.
O spirit of beauty!
Thy lessons, though stern,
Were such as immortal things
Only may learn :
Trees yet bravely flourish,
And suns brightly shine,
In a world where hearts pine for
The glory of thine.
BY GOODWYN BARMBY.
A stallion as black was that steed as night,
With a toss of his mane, and a flash of his eyes,
No bridle, no saddle, no harness hath he,