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of revealed religion shall have been used to spread its pure and cheering rays over the shades of Superstition, and to invite Idolatry from its cruel and vain homage, to take shelter under the banner of eternal peace-then shall we find that nation venerable for its antiquity, perpetuated in vigour and council, great in arts as in arms, and at the period when other nations shall by their destined course have shrunk from the light of day, be promoted to the glorious designs of Providence as its final reward, to be the eminent instrument of effecting, that all the existing Kingdoms of the Earth should become the Kingdoms of God and of his Christ.
CAN you, or any of your Cor- Class, an
information respecting the two following Tracts?
The first is entitled "The Quarrel of the School-Boys at Athens, as lately acted at a school near Westminster." London, 1717: and seems to treat of a rebellion against the discipline and Masters, together with the characters of the heads of the school at that period.
"One of these (p. 10) was Captain of the Mathematical Form or Class; which being the first in the whole school, he was by consequence called Captain General of all the Boys. H was of an antient race among t Greeks, a sprightly, vigorous you of wonderful vivacity and spirit had a genius for great things, an particular study was in those pa the Mathematics, which relate Art of War; such as fortif Towns, encamping of Armi managing great enterprizes
neral o word, given less being dicte
w that r part of Bishops in ir spouse the or Prebends afment? If any of give any reasonable e use, the age, &c. of ich I have described, should imagine to have some of the religious this antient Deanery, it er a favour on
HE readiness with which some former remarks of mine have been received, leads me once more to trouble you upon a subject which I most earnestly wish may be taken up by some abler hand. I mean, the present state of the English Language, which, from a variety of causes, is ned, becoming so unlike what it once was,
obtained such a great chast that, in a few years, it is to be feared his studies, that it was th such that Shakspeare and Milton, nay, was fit to have led on thused) even Dryden and Pope, will need a pablick glossary as much as Chaucer, or any AG. of the writers of elder time. Nor is this change by any means for the bet
Je 20. ter :-the immense influx of words V of St. derived from the Latin and Greek has ghbour- no other effect than that of puzzling the Sexton the mere reader, and sending him perbe very petually to search his Dictionary for favour the meaning; and every attempt at a Readers foreign style of construction increases mation rela- the evil: to which we may add that efit There both are offences against good taste, cd near it. very displeasing to all who have in
Present State of the English Language.
1] Tracis relating
they put all the indignity (7
hen it was his turn. did not make him ary Classes, which a more suitable his femper, but selected boys, the greatest and direct
earlier and barbarism is introduced.
time when a shopman told us that this article was equally as good with other, we smiled at his bad Eng"t now, alas, for the decline mar! equally as good print, and no re
thus, performance deth
Schoolmaster took at the Royal Theatres of So ad
persist deed dre
l." This run than any thing yet exhibited on "This performance has had a longer La for the benefit (though not the enter the Stage, as it has always been acted Dr. tainment) of several juvenile societies "The Rod is abject both inte resting and important, if properly
"To this the greatest Den in Church d State (if they have honesty enough acknowledge old friends) must als themselves greatly in febled." argument is by no means ill ; but the Drama itself is obably out of respect to the posed to be exhibited, and concludes with the follow lines, set to mesic by
st against it: De observed of 9, which I have
by what rules the eriod, which has been our Augustan age,. style; but I am much nink that by carefully reery word of foreign derivare there was an English one would answer the purpose as much would be done towards ning the easy grace of those aurs. In Mr. Turner's History of e Anglo-Saxons, towards the end of vol. 11. there is a short analysis of the style of many of our most admired writers; which clearly shows how large a proportion of our old mother dialect finds its place in the language of Addison, Swift, and others, whose purity of diction has been generally acknowledged. Let the same mode of analysis be pursued with our modern writers, and it will be found that the words of Latin and Greek derivation are trebled, and in some instances, quadrupled: but has our language been The universal benefited by this? voice which calls that our Augustan age, must be allowed to give a contrary decision, and justify my first assertion that good taste and good English are alike violated by this needless introduction of foreign terms. I have accused the Reviewers of being remiss in suffering barbarisms to pass them unnoticed: the following passages from a work* mentioned with considerable praise in the Monthly Review for March, may serve to show that this accusation is not ill founded:
den (nay, in many cases to a greater) than the Proprietor of a Tavern, who perhaps retails an 100 doz. in a less period of time), a weight which presses manifestly much heavier upon the less wealthy individual. I would make the consumption the standard from which the tax should be equitably measured, and the gauge of the excise officer would always be a sure and ready guide to the quantity consumed in spirits. Another evil which might be avoided in regard more particularly to liquors, is the loss which the poorer members of the fraternity experience from their more wealthy brothers, who, having an infinitely larger sale, perhaps as one gallon to a pipe, and feeling but the same draw. back, are enabled to vend their commodity at a much lower price, to the utter ruin of their less fortunate competitors; this unfair gain by monopoly might thus be destroyed, as they would then be obliged to keep up their price to enable them to pay their just quota of duty, at the same time that they would feel no other inconvenience themselves than the loss of what might have been gained by the unjust practice of monopoly.
Before I dismiss the subject from your notice, Mr. Urban, I would direct your attention to an abuse of the Licensing System, in daily, and I may almost say open violation at houses with which the Metropolis is now thronged (excellent institutions in proper bounds) established under the specious pretence of coffeehouses; but whose more profitable branch consists in the private sale of liquors, but vended with caution, and to them only who have for some time frequented the house. Of these circumstances I am credibly informed, and every disinterested person must perceive how replete with ruin such institutions (I mean when thus abused) are to the fair trader and the publick at large. J. A. G.
The Ring is silver, but so very well gilt, that it is only upon accurate examination that you perceive that it is not gold; the hoop of it is looped, and at the juncture of each loop there is a rose or some flower; but the most remarkable part is the figure of an angel, in the place of a seal. Instead of a seal there is an angel with spread wings and holding a book or tablet or heart in his hands, exactly such a figure as we see placed as an ornament at the spring of the arches of Gothic roofs: this figure of the angel is soldered on to the Ring in a very clumsy way: in all other respects the workmanship is good.-Burien was a collegiate church, founded by Athelstan. At the Norman Conquest there were secular Canons here, and in the reign of Edward I. a Dean and three Prebends. We know that the ring formed a particular part of the form of investiture of Bishops in wedding them to their spouse the Church. Did Deans or Prebends affect the same ornament? If any of your Readers can give any reasonable conjecture of the use, the age, &c. of the Ring, which I have described, and which I should imagine to have belonged to some of the religious officers of this antient Deanery, it will confer a favour on
UNUS EX OMNIBUS.
June 21. HE readiness with which some former remarks of mine have been received, leads me once more to trouble you upon a subject which I most earnestly wish may be taken up by some abler hand.—I mean, the present state of the English Language, which, from a variety of causes, is becoming so unlike what it once was, that, in a few years, it is to be feared that Shakspeare and Milton, nay, even Dryden and Pope, will need a glossary as much as Chaucer, or any of the writers of elder time. Nor is this change by any means for the better-the immense influx of words derived from the Latin and Greek has no other effect than that of puzzling the mere reader, and sending him perpetually to search his Dictionary for the meaning; and every attempt at a foreign style of construction increases the evil to which we may add that both are offences against good taste, very displeasing to all who have in
any degree studied our earlier and best authors.
It should be considered, Sir, that the larger portion of the people of this country are, and must be, to a certain extent, unlearned; that is to say, but little, if at all acquainted with the dead languages: yet these are the people mainly concerned in whatever is written or spoken. These are the people addressed from the Pulpit;-in our Courts of Law, the Jury is selected, for the most part, from these; and all books on general subjects must be intended for their perusal, or the author would rarely be a gainer by his works:-surely, then, it is folly to cultivate a style unintelligible to two-thirds of our countrymen. If the spread of sectarianismi has been, as many think, owing to the discourses of the Clergy being above the capacity of the greater part of their hearers; and if, as has also been asserted, and once been seen, dislike to the government of the Church leads to a no less distaste towards that of the State which supports it, what was at first only a matter of taste, becomes one of serious import: but that I leave others to consider. My object at present is solely to call back the attention of my countrymen to the models from which they are perhaps insensibly deviating; in order that, as every thing seems now guided by fashion, some fashionable author may at last be led to set the example of writing the good old Anglo-Saxon dialect of Shakspeare, Atterbury, and Addison, instead of the Græco-La'ino-Francojargon which is now so widely adopted, and which is beginning to bar. barize our oral as well as our writ ten language. It is evident that words newly coined from the Latin or Greek can only be used with propriety by those who understand their derivation: but the tradesman and the farmer love not to be outdone, and delight to show their more deeply learned neighbours that they too scorn to use a word of one syllable when they can command one of three or four and frequently, in their eagerness for a high sounding phrase, drag these unlucky" long-tailed words" into a sense very wide of that which they originally bore;till, at last, even well-educated people yield to common usage; and a fresh
barbarism is introduced. For some time when a shopman told us that this article was equally as good with another, we smiled at his bad English; but now, alas, for the decline of good grammar! equally as good finds its way into print, and no reviewer enters his protest against it: the same thing may be observed of several other phrases, which I have not room to notice here.
I know not by what rules the writers of that period, which has been justly termed our Augustan age, formed their style; but I am much inclined to think that by carefully rejecting every word of foreign derivation, where there was an English one which would answer the purpose as well, much would be done towards attaining the easy grace of those authors. In Mr. Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons, towards the end of vol. II. there is a short analysis of the style of many of our most admired writers; which clearly shows how large a proportion of our old mother dialect finds its place in the language of Addison, Swift, and others, whose purity of diction has been generally acknowledged. the same mode of analysis be pursued with our modern writers, and it will be found that the words of Latin and Greek derivation are trebled, and in some instances, quadrupled: but has our language been benefited by this? The universal voice which calls that our Augustan age, must be allowed to give a contrary decision, and justify my first assertion that good taste and good English are alike violated by this needless introduction of foreign terms.
I have accused the Reviewers of being remiss in suffering barbarisms to pass them unnoticed: the following passages from a work * mentioned with considerable praise in the Monthly Review for March, may serve to show that this accusation is not ill founded :
"Superstition, racked by her own mental terrors, and hurling around her the fire-brands of bigoted zeal, and savage intolerance, derives her strength from views of the Divine nature, partial and obscurc. Civil tyranny, whether arrayed in the imperial purple, or waving the banners of popular power, owes its origin
chiefly to the blind passions," &c.
* Maltby's Sermons.
"In minds owing obedience to the authority of Revelation, when we see notions prevail, mystical, enthusiastic, most discordant from those truths," &c.
and powers unimpaired, to take the post of honour in the ranks of her defenders." Are we to suppose that the Critic has unknowingly or wil fully changed the natural arrange. ment of the English by thus placing the adjective after instead of before the substantive? I know not how he is to escape the charge of ignorance on the one hand, or bad taste on the other. But I pause, aware that my Letter will already be thought too long, where the subject is so dry.-I repeat it, Mr. Urban, my main wish is to call the attention of some abler writer to the points I have here slightly touched on ;-but till some such one steps forward, I shall feel inclined to repeat my warding from time to time, that I may not in the eye of the Law be deemed accessary to the deed, for standing quietly by while the King's English is barbarously murdered.
I cannot better conclude than with the admonition of the elegant and accomplished Scholar who, like the fabulous deities of old, has chosen to veil his divinity under the Stowmarket collar-maker's leather apron. im-Lastly, the common people I beseechDear people!
I must not quote at length, but am of opinion that the Reviewer betrays his duty who quotes these and the like passages from what he calls an eloquent and interesting Discourse, without entering his protest against the bad taste displayed by the reverend author. Can the English indeclinable adjective ever be thus removed from its natural position and placed at a distance from its substantive without making the sentence obscure, and spoiling the easy and graceful flow of the words? The cumbrous yet tinsel ornaments, and the inverted order of the above quotations, offer in style as complete a contrast to what is genuine pulpit oratory, as the tricks of a rope-dancer would be to the grave appearance of the divine. How would Atterbury or Sherlock (I mean the Bishop) have sighed for the taste of the age, which could call this bustle of " imperial purple" and “popular banners" eloquence!—Nay, I am convinced that if Dr. Maltby would turn to the elegant and pressive discourses of these admirable writers, where every epithet is so appropriately placed, that it could not be removed without injuring the sense, if, I say, he would be persuaded to study these writers with attention, he would himself laugh at the commendations of his critick. But how should those who have themselves yielded to the torrent, drag others from its vortex ? The Reviewers who ought to be the guardians of the public taste, are but too guilty of countenancing, by example, the faults they ought to repress. Let the Editor of the British Critic consider for a moment whether "corrugation of the forehead" has any reasonable plea to be preferred before knitting the brows; or whether finesse, destitution, fecundity, vacillating (1 quote at random from some late Number of the British Critic), are one whit better, or more expressive words than cunning, want, fruitfulness, wavering; or whether the juxta position (crabbed terms must be used in speaking of grammar) of the words in the following sentence is English: "Her veteran soldiers, &c. .... are still willing with zeal undiminished,
Preserve with care your noble parts of speech,
And take it as a maxim to endeavour
With long-tail'd words in osity and ation."
Chichester, June 17. SHOULD not presume to occupy a space in your pages, which the writings of much abler individuals might fill, were it not for the unfounded aspersions cast upon a very respectable body of individuals, to which I belong, by a Correspondent iu p. 404, under the signature of “A COUNTRY RECTOR." That the writer of the article in question is not a Country Rector, I would fain believe, trusting that no Rector in the united kingdoins can really suppose that conscientious Dissenters have no better grounds for dissent than those enumerated by this writer; or that they are only worthy of being ranked among men of minds "impure, opiniative, and unsubdued." There is a