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the Imperfections of human Nature, and are therefore to be reputed the only equitable Judges of the Merit of human Productions ? Such will make a generous and reasonable Allowance for Frailties and Defects, where the Cause and Design is good and honourable.

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their Folly, and to admire his Wisdom and Goodness, by permitting them the Experience of their own Choice a while.

MOMUS is the last Mythologic Character I Momus, the shall consider the Moral of His Story has been Mythologic related, where we find indeed that he was Carping Cri

Character of a reckon'd a Deity, but was dignified with no other ric. Epither than that of the Carping God. He was said to be the Son of Night and Sleep, because of his dull and gloomy Mind, which render'd him very imprudent, injudicious, and consequently unfit for a Judge or Critic. He was callid Stygian Momus, because he was hated by the Gods and Men. He did nothing himself, but spent all his Time in reprehending, cavilling with, and depreciating the Works and Labours of the Gods and Men. From all which Characters, the Moral of Momus easily displays itself in the Person of an ill-natured, ignorant, envious, carping Critic, who, as he is generally too idle and deficient in his Intellects to do any thing of Merit himself, so he (ambitious notwithstanding) has no other way to distinguish himself, and seem considerable, but by defaming, calumniating, and undervaluing the Works and Persons of other Men. He is conscious of his own Imbecillity and Incapacity to merit Praise and genuine Honour ; and envying others the Happiness, he does all he can to deprive them of it, and make the World believe they deserve it not. But how stupid and vain, as well as proud and envious, muft such a Wretch as Momus be, to think that a Man's Character for Learning and Merit is to be estimated and determined by his ungenerous, ignorant and malicious Verdiet! Does not this great Affair depend on the Judgment of the Wife and Prudent, who are well acquainted with K 2

the

the Imperfections of human Nature, and are therefore to be reputed the only equitable Judges of the Merit of human Productions ? Such will make a generous and reasonable Allowance for Frailties and Defects, where the Cause and Design is good and honourable.

133

PLANA

Of LANGUAGE in general; of

GRAMMAR in general; and
particularly that of the ENGLISH
TONGUE.

GANGUAGE is a Set or Col- Language,

lection of Sounds or Notes made what.
use of by any Nation or People
to express the Ideas of their
Minds, and by this means to ren-

der their Thoughts and Conceptions
intelligible to each other. The Aktual Commu- Speech.
nication of our Sentiments to others in this Man-
ner, is call'd Speech, or Speaking.

The component Parts of a Language are dif- The component ferent kinds of Sounds ; of which some are Simple, Parts of Lanand others variously Compounded. The Marks Suage. whereby the Simple Sounds are expressed to the Sight, are called Letters or Charaēters; and the Letters. various Affemblage and Combinations of Letters make the Expressions of Compound Sounds, which again are of divers Sorts, as Syllables, Words, and Words, &c. Pbrases; of which more by and by.

It is customary among all People to make an Alphabet. orderly Arrangement of all the Letters used in their Language, which we call by the Greek Name Alpbabet ; as also of all the words and Terms which compose the same: And such a Collection or Catalogue of Words is by Us called a Dieti- Dictionary or onary, and for the learned Languages, a Lexicon. Lexicon. And the Art which teaches how the Letters and

Words

K 3

Words of any Language ought to be set and com

bin’d together for Troper Speech, is what we call Grammar. Grammar. Idiom of

In Language we are to consider two main Speech, what. Things, viz. (1.) The Idiom, Phraseology, or Man

ner of Expresjion, which is peculiar to that Na

tion, and different from what is used by any other. * Gen. xlvi. Thus when we say, * All that came out of his 26.

Loins, the Hebrew's say, out of his Thigh. We say, A Person is Ten Years old, the Hebrew Idiom is, He is the Son of Ten Years. We say, An

Husband-inan ; they, A Man of the Earth, &c. Dialect,

(2.) The second Thing is Dialekt, which is the wbat. lame in the main as the Original Language, but

differs therefrom in the Ending or Termination of Words, for the most part ; the Change of many entire Words, or the Addition or Leaving out proper Letters in the Syllables of Words. So the Name God in the Standard Greek is Tbeos, but in the Doric DialeEt it is Seos; thus for Gloffa, a Tongue, the Attic Dialečt says Glotta; and thus in others.

The Relation between the Standard or Original Language, and the DialeEts which proceed from it, is similar to that between the Mother Parent and her Children ; and on this Account it is, that those Original Languages are commonly callid Mother Tongues.

Of these Parent or Mother Tongues, Metber Languages, there are several in the World; wbat, fome reckon Eleven, some count more. Among

them all, there are four which deferve more Notice than the rest, and they are (1.) The Hebrow; (2.) The Greek ; (3.) The Latin ; (4.) And the Old Gotbic. The others are less confi

derable. of the He. The Hebrecu Tongue is the most antient in the brew and its World, at least that are known to the EuroDiuluis. Teans. From it sprang a very august and flou

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