« 上一頁繼續 »
tive-cotemporary for contemporary-L. L.D. for LL.D. -feign for fain-accepted for excepted-wrapt for rapt― statute for statue-principle for principal-affect for effect -cannon for canon-ingenius for ingenuous-diverse for divers-aye for ay-practice for practise: and vice versa in reference to several of the last mentioned.
In one of my recent felicitous inspirations, I found intuitively substituted for instinctively-and vanished for evanished. I was doubtful whether the first was an editorial correction, or a compositorial blunder, or whether it was to be debited to my unreadable hieroglyphics. The last, I suspect, must have arisen from a malicious combination among the corps to exclude it altogether from their columns-because the said evanish had been, in like manner, cashiered twice before. Now the precise distinction between evanish and vanish cannot be told— it must be felt. It is as great, however, as between champagne and small beer.
A late number of the National Banner contained some very judicious and orthodox remarks on orthography; and had the editor reached the whole of my case, I should have withheld this imperfect account of my typographical calamities. I was glad to see depository and depositary, guarantee and guaranty, impassable and impassible, etc. among his specifications-as they are very generally confounded and misused.
Will you have the goodness, Mr. Editor, to give some worthy gentlemen a hint about such current vulgarisms as-I done it for I did it-I had went or underwent for I had gone or undergone—I plead for I pleaded—he arriv
for he arrived-the company detained for remained—he lays in bed for he lies in bed-he sets at table for he sits— and a score or two more-besides Americanisms and provincialisms innumerable?
F. G. F.
P. S.-I do not adopt the peculiar orthography or orthoepy of Dr. Webster, except in a few obvious cases. His vocabulary and definitions are invaluable. He has, however, sanctioned the use of some unnecessary and inelegant neologisms-as to progress, lengthy, etc. Modern English authority, it is true, may be cited for these and similar innovations. But no additions or changes ought to be tolerated, which do not manifestly improve or enrich the language.
HORRID ROBBERY AND MURDER.*
I HAVE read many a tale of wo, and wept over a thousand and one horrifying accounts of mortal man's dreadful deeds of darkness and barbarity-but neverno never have I met with anything parallel to the circumstantial and deliberate villany which has been recently perpetrated in the midst of this enlightened, hospitable, virtuous and benevolent community. Indeed, I cannot find, within the vast compass of my truly opulent and exhaustless vocabulary, words of adequate potency to portray the frightful features of the iniquitous, cruel and monstrous outrage which it has become my melancholy duty to record. I shudder and quake in every limb and throughout my entire corporeal establishment, at the bare thought of essaying the dismal development of such unheard of wrongs. But murder will out-and if I do not expose the whole nefarious transaction, it will find a tongue and speak for itself.
In order to conduct the courteous reader kindly and gently to the pith and marrow-to the very raw
*Printed in the Nashville Herald, January, 1832.
head and bloody-bones-of my most awful tragedy-I will calmly premise a few simple truisms by way of preparation. I do not wish to alarm or to distress him prematurely, or to agitate his nervous system too intensely at the threshold. He will require all his native fortitude and all the accumulated stores of philosophy and experience, to enable him to maintain his intellectual balance, when fairly ushered into the full presence of majestic truth and eloquent fact.
TIME then is money-it is an estate-it is honour-it is science—it is history-it is poetry-it is eloquenceit is empire-it is fame-it is life-it is immortality. Rob a man of his time, and what do you leave him? Had Homer or Demosthenes or Tully or Cæsar or Milton or Washington been cheated out of ten, twenty or thirty years of their time-what would they have been? Or where would now be the proud memorials of their existence? Time to them, as it is to all men, was everything. Happily for their fair fame, some modern timekilling contrivances were then unknown. Now here is multum in parvo for sage cogitation and grave calculation. I suggest these brief hints in limine, and leave them to be followed out in all their bearings and applications, as the exordium and the key to the deplorable case which is the present matter of lamentation and complaint.
I have been cozened, defrauded, bamboozled and swindled out of more precious time, by all sorts of honest men and rogues, than would have sufficed a master genius, like myself, to compose the Iliad or Paradise
Lost, or to have liberated the Poles or conquered China. I will specify but one mode, among the many, by which this irreparable mischief has been inflicted. I belong to sundry companies, clubs, corporations, societies, boards and institutions-the members of which are required to meet for the gratuitous transaction of business at certain places and at stated hours. Of course, I am always punctually at my post-but there I must wait, and wait, and wait in vain, for a quorum. Another meeting must be called in consequence—and, for the like failure, another,
-and perhaps another. Thus am I compelled to go four times, and to waste two or three hours each time, in order to do the business of half an hour! And when a quorum do get together, it is usually at least an hour after the time appointed-and this again I must lose. From this one cause I have lost, on an average, three hours a week, for the last seven years—which is 156 hours a year, or 1092 hours in seven yearswhich, at twelve working hours a day, amounts to 91 days. If to this one item be added all other similar losses occasioned by the want of punctuality in others in regard to the every day concerns of life-the sum total could not be less than one year in seven! So much of my life has been nullified - destroyedannihilated.
I have been robbed of all the money which I might have earned in that time—of all the knowledge which I might have acquired of all the great and good and wonderful things which I might have achieved in that time. In a word, my life has been thus much curtailed.