« 上一頁繼續 »
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 reafonable Allowance for Frailties and Defects, where the Caufe and Defign is good and honourable.
their Folly, and to admire his Wisdom and Goodnefs, by permitting them the Experience of their own Choice a while.
Character of a
MOMUS is the laft Mythologic Character I Momus, the shall confider the Moral of: His Story has been Mythologic related, where we find indeed that he was reckon❜d a Deity, but was dignified with no other tic. Epithet than that of the Carping God. He was faid to be the Son of Night and Sleep, because of his dull and gloomy Mind, which render'd him very imprudent, injudicious, and confequently unfit for a Judge or Critic. He was call'd 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 eafily difplays itself in the Perfon 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, fo he (ambitious notwithstanding) has no other Way to diftinguifh himself, and feem confiderable, but by defaming, calumniating, and undervaluing the Works and Perfons of other Men. He is confcious of his own Imbecillity and Incapacity to merit Praise and genuine Honour; and envying others the Happinefs, he does all he can to deprive them of it, and make the World believe they deferve it not. But how ftupid and vain, as well as proud and envious, must such a Wretch as Momus be, to think that a Man's Character for Learning and Merit is to be eftimated and determined by his ungenerous, ignorant and malicious Verdict! Does not this great Affair depend on the Judgment of the Wife and Prudent, who are well acquainted with K 2
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 Caufe and Defign is good and honourable.
Of LANGUAGE in general; of GRAMMAR in general; and particularly that of the ENGLISH
ANGUAGE is a Set or Col- Language, lection of Sounds or Notes made what. ufe of by any Nation or People to exprefs the Ideas of their Minds, and by this means to render their Thoughts and Conceptions intelligible to each other. The Actual Commu- Speech. nication of our Sentiments to others in this Manner, is call'd Speech, or Speaking.
THE component Parts of a Language are dif- The component ferent Kinds of Sounds; of which fome are Simple, Parts of Lanand others variously Compounded. The Marks Suage. whereby the Simple Sounds are expreffed to the Sight, are called Letters or Characters; and the Letters. various Affemblage and Combinations of Letters make the Expreffions of Compound Sounds, which
again are of divers Sorts, as Syllables, Words, and Words, &c. Phrafes; of which more by and by.
It is cuftomary among all People to make an Alphabet. orderly Arrangement of all the Letters ufed in their Language, which we call by the Greek Name Alphabet; as alfo of all the Words and Terms which compofe the fame: And fuch a Collection or Catalogue of Words is by Us called a Difti- Dictionary or onary, and for the learned Languages, a Lexicon. Lexicon. And the Art which teaches how the Letters and
Words of any Language ought to be fet and combin'd together for proper Speech, is what we call Grammar.
IN Language we are to confider two main Speech, what. Things, viz. (1.) The Idiom, Phrafeology, or Manner of Expreffion, which is peculiar to that Nation, and different from what is used by any other. *Gen. xlvi. Thus when we fay, *All that came out of his Loins, the Hebrews fay, out of his Thigh. We fay, A Perfon is Ten Years old; the Hebrew Idiom is, He is the Son of Ten Years. We fay, An Husband-man; they, A Man of the Earth, &c. (2.) The fecond Thing is Dialect, which is the fame in the main as the Original Language, but differs therefrom in the Ending or Termination of Words, for the moft 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 Theos, but in the Doric Dialect it is Seos; thus for Gloffa, a Tongue, the Attic Dialect fays Glotta; and thus in others.
Mother Tongues, what.
Of the He
THE Relation between the Standard or Original Language, and the Dialects which proceed from it, is fimilar to that between the Mother Parent and her Children; and on this Account it is, that thofe Original Languages are commonly call'd Mother Tongues. Of thefe Parent or Mother Languages, there are feveral in the World; fome reckon Eleven, fome count more. Among them all, there are Four which deferve more Notice than the reft, and they are (1.) The Hebrow; (2.) The Greek; (3.) The Latin; (4.) And the Old Gothic. The others are lefs confiderable.
THE Hebrew Tongue is the most antient in the brew and its World, at leaft that are known to the EuroTeans. From it fprang a very august and flou