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From The Saturday Review. that, in order to obtain a firm footing in MARSH'S LECTURES ON THE ENGLISH grappling with many of the problems of phiLANGUAGE. *
lology, a knowledge, however elementary, of THESE Lectures on the English Language, the language of the Brahmins is as indispendelivered at New York by Mr. G. P. Marsh,
It is partially true, as Mr. Marsh remarks, before what he calls a “post-graduate,” au
that “if the inquirer's objects are limited to dience, at the Columbia College in the au
the actual use of his own tongue, the study tumn and winter of 1858-9, will be welcome
of English authors is a better and safer guide in their collected form to many who take an
than any wider researches in foreign philolinterest in the past and present of their native tongue. They do not pretend to give ogies." What Mr. Marsh means is, that we either a complete history of all the changes ourselves completely masters of one language
must begin with special studies, and make and chances which, from the days of Hengist before we enter on a comparison of that one and Horsa to the present time, have befallen
with other cognate dialects constituting a the language of the British Isles ; nor do they enter on a full and systematic analysis natural group or family of speech. It is
true, also, that there are periods in the hisof the grammatical and etymologcial structure of this remarkable branch of the Gothic tory of every language in which that lanstem of the Indo-European family of tongues. dence and individuality that we may study
guage has acquired such complete indepenThough fully acknowledging the important certain chapters or events in all their comresults obtained by a comparative study of the principal languages of Europe and Asia, to the right or to the left, or to inquire into
pleteness without being obliged to cast about and looking forward with sanguine hope to the remote antecedents of every witness we a time " when Sanskrit will probably in a
may have to cross-examine. Confining himgreat measure supersede the Latin as the common standard of grammatical compari- has shown considerable skill in bringing to
self to that more limited sphere, Mr. Marsh son,” Mr. Marsh still looks upon the study gether from his large acquaintance with auof Sanskrit as kind of esoteric doctrine, ac- thors little known and little read those chance cessible, as he says, to the fewest only—as a words and expressions which are so essential study for the future rather than for the pres. in dogging the steps of language in its gradent. He has thus deprived himself of the ual progress from the material to the abvaluable assistance which even a slender acquaintance with Sanskrit and a study of the the natural to the artificial, the accidental to
stract, the matter-of-fact to the figurative, works of Bopp and Grimm, which surely are the customary and constant. It is here that accessible not to the fewest only, would have
our author seems to us most successful. He rendered him in tracing the ramifications of has evidently read the forgotten worthies of English words, and particularly of English English literature with a loving and observgrammar, to their true starting-point. The
ing eye, and has noted down many a pashistory of the English language does not be- sage which had escaped our lexicographers. gin on British soil; and even after the Saxon His history of the word grain, for instance, dialect of the early invaders of Britain has in the sense of a dye, is a very favorable been traced back to that cluster of dialects specimen of what can be achieved by carewhich together form the Teutonic class, fully collecting the scattered expressions of many problems belonging to a still earlier poets and philosophers. Milton describes period must remain unsolved, unless we are melancholy as clad able to confront the earliest Teutonic forma
“All in a robe of darkest grain, tion-the Gothic of Ulfilas—with the yet
Flowing in majestic train.” earlier formations of what may be called the Palæozoic period of Aryan specch. A schol- What is the meaning of grain in this pasar of Mr. Marsh's industry ought not to have sage ? Does it simply mean dye or hue ? been frightened by the apparent difficulties Most interpreters take it in the general sense of Sanskrit ; and he must have felt himself of color, but Mr. Marsh supposes—and, as
we think, rightly—that grain was intended * Lectures on the English Language. By George by Milton for a special color. P. Marsh. New York: 1860.
Now, grain is clearly derived from the
No. 916.-21 December, 1861,
1. Concerning People who Carried Weight in Life, Fraser's Magazine, 2. In and Out of School,
All the Year Round, 3. Catlin's Life amongst the Indians,
Examiner, 4. Charles Knight, 5. Mr. Olmsted on the Slave States,
Spectator, 6. Egyptian Hieroglyphics,
Athenaeum, 7. Marsh's Lectures on the English Language, Saturday Review, 8. The Crusades,
Spectator, 9. Recovery of a Lost Work of Eusebius,
Saturday Review, 10. Isabell Čarr-concluded,
St. James' Magazine, 11. Queen Hortense,
New Monthly Magazine, 12. Home-Made Gas A Simple Process, Mr. Leslie,
PAGE, 531 544 547 551 554 558 560 567 571 574 584 592
POETRY.-Seceding Virginia, 530. Knitting Socks, 530. Our Union and Our Flag, 566. The Spark, 566. Welcome to Capt. Wilkes, 566. After the Storm, 566.
SHORT ARTICLES.–Modern-Antique Coffin, 543. Sir William Cubitt, 546. Meteorology, 550. A Good Editor, 553. "Tide Power, 557. Fall of the Apple, 557. Lord Bacon, 557. Archives of Simancas, 565. Romance of a Dull Life, 583. Natural History Museum, at Liverpool, 583. Blanket Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor, 590. Monster Photographic Lens, 590. Perforation of Lead by Insects, 592. Bad Translation of Elsie Venner, 592.
NEW BOOKS. National Hymns; How they are Written, and how they are not Written: A Lyric and National Study for The Times. By Richard Grant White. New York: Rudd & Carleton.
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Yet, go in silent infamy,
Nor dare pronounce his name;
For thou hast of their sacred force, And of its mountain strand,
His farewell counsels reft, The oldest, noblest, proudest one,
And helped to scatter to the winds Of all our household band ;
The rich bequest he left ; Thou of the stately form and step,
And in the darkest trial hour, The flower-encircled hair,
Forsook the endangered side; Prime favorite of the fruitful earth,
And, ere the cock crew thrice, thy true And of the balmy air ;
Discipleship denied. Thou who didst hold thy cresset forth
Oh! that the pitying Prince of Peace Ere early dawn had fled,
On thee his glance might bend, The morning star whose lambent ray
And, from remediless remorse, Our constellation led,
Preserve our long-loved friend ! Yet when a comet madly rushed
Hartford, Conn., 21 May, 1861. Across the argent plain,
CLICK, click, click! how the needles go
Through the busy fingers, to and froAnd native, peerless grace,
With no bright colors of Berlin wool
Would settle on thy bays,
Only a yarn of deep, dull blue,
Socks for the feet of the brave and true. Our gratulating praise; * For thou hadst given thy great and good
Yet click, click, how the needles go, Our helm of state to guide;
'Tis a power within that nerves them so.! Thy Palinurus steered our barque
In the sunny hours of the bright spring day, Safe through the seething tide;
And still in the night-time far away, And when we spake of Washington
Maiden, mother, and grandame sit
Earnest and thoughtful while they knit.
Many the silent prayer they pray,
Many the teardrops brushed away, When she herself was young ;
While busy on the needles go, And thou shouldst still have succored her,
Widen and narrow, heel and toe. Though fiery serpents stung;
The grandame thinks with a thrill of pride Virginia Dare, the first-born bud
How her mother.knit and spun beside Of the true Saxon vine,
For that patriot band in olden days And old Powhatan, boary chief
Who died the “ Stars and Stripes” to raiseWho led the warrior-line;
Now she in turn knits for the brave
Who'd die that glorious flag to save.
She is glad, she says, “the boys” have gone, The font of Christ beside,
'Tis just as their grandfathers would have done Dreamed they that thou wouldst start aside,
But she heaves a sigh and the tears will start, When treachery's tocsin rang ?
For “the boys” were the pride of grandame's And in her heaving bosom fix
heart. Thy matricidal fang?
The mother's look is calm and high, Thou shouldst around her fourscore years God only hears her soul's deep cry
Have bent with hovering care, Who steadfast at thy cradle watched,
In Freedom's name, at Freedom's call, And poured her ardent prayer;
She gave her sons—in them her all. Thou shouldst not to her banded foes
The maiden's cheek wears a paler shade, Have lent thy ready ear,
But the light in her eye is undismayed. Nor seon them desolate her joys
Faith and hope give strength to her sight,
She sees a red dawn after the night.
O soldiers brave, will it brighten the day, Thou shouldst have propped its shattered staff And shorten the march on the weary way, With loyalty unspent;
To know that at home the loving and true Though all beside had recreant proved, Are knitting and hoping and praying for you! Thou shouldst have stood to aid ;
Soft are their voices when speaking your name, Like Abdiel, dreadless seraph,
Proud are their glories when hearing your fame, Alone, yet undismayed.
And the gladdest hour in their lives will be Who sleepeth at Mount Vernon,
When they greet you after the victory. In the glory of his fame?
NEVER HAD A CHANCE.
From Fraser's Magazine. strong rope to a tree, or weighted with ten CONCERNING PEOPLE WHO CARRIED tons of extra burden. That horse cannot WEIGHT IN LIFE.
run, even poorly. The difference between WITH SOME THOUGHTS ON THOSE WHO their case and that of the men who are placed
at a disadvantage, is like the difference beYou drive out, let us suppose upon a cer- tween setting a very near-sighted man to tain day. To your surprise and mortifica- keep a sharp look-out, and setting a man tion, your horse, usually lively and frisky, is who is quite blind to keep that sharp lookquite dull and sluggish. He does not get out. Many can do the work of life with difover the ground as he is wont to do. The ficulty; some cannot do it at all. In short, slightest touch of whip-cord, on other days, there are PEOPLE WHO CARRY WEIGHT IN suffices to make him dart forward with re- LIFE ; and there are some WHO NEVER HAVE doubled speed; but upon this day, after two or A CHANCE. three miles, he needs positive whipping, and And you, my friend, who are doing the he runs very sulkily with it all. By and by, work of life well and creditably; you who his coat, usually smooth and glossy and dry are running in the front rank, and likely to through all reasonable work, begins to stream do so to the end, think kindly and charitalike a water-cart. This will not do. There bly of those who have broken down in the is something wrong. You investigate ; and race. Think kindly of him who, sadly overyou discover that your horse's work, though weighted, is struggling onwards away half a seemingly the same as usual, is in fact im- mile behind you ; think more kindly yet, if mensely greater. The blockheads who oiled that be possible, of him who, tethered to a your wheels yesterday have screwed up your ton of granite, is struggling hard and makpatent axles too tightly; the friction is enor- ing no way at all; or who has even sat down mous; the hotter the metal gets, the greater and given up the struggle in dumb despair. grows the friction ; your horse's work is You feel, I know, the weakness in yourself quadrupled. You drive slowly home; and which would have made you break down if severely upbraid the blockheads.
sorely tried like others. You know there is There are many people who have to go in your armor the unprotected place at which through life at an analogous disadvantage. a well-aimed or a random blow would have There is something in their constitution of gone home and brought you down. Yes, body or mind, there is something in their cir- you are nearing the winning-post, and you cumstances, which adds incalculably to the are among the first; but six pounds more on exertion they must go through to attain their your back, and you might have been nowhere, ends, and which holds them back from do- You feel, by your weak heart and weary ing what they might otherwise have done. frame, that if you had been sent to the CriVery probably, that malign something exert- mea in that dreadful first winter, you would ed its influence unperceived by those around certainly have died. And you feel, too, by them. They did not get credit for the strug- your lack of moral stamina, by your feeblegle they were making. No one knew what ness of resolution, that it has been your presa brave fight they were making with a broken ervation from you know not what depths of right arm; no one remarked that they were shame and misery, that you never were running the race, and keeping a fair place in pressed very hard by temptation. Do not it, too, with their legs tied together. All they range yourself with those who found fault do, they do at a disadvantage. It is as when with a certain great and good Teacher of fora noble race-horse is beaten by a sorry hack; mer days, because he went to be guest with because the race-horse, as you might see if a man that was a sinner. As if he could have you look at the list, is carrying twelve pounds gone to be guest with any man who was not. additional. But such men, by a desperate effort, often made silently and sorrowfully, There is no reckoning up the manifold inmay—so to speak-run in the race, and do pedimenta by which human beings are weightwell in it; though you little think with how ed for the race of life; but all may be classified heavy a foot and how heavy a heart. There under the two heads of unfavorable influences are others who have no chance at all. They arising out of the mental or physical nature are like a horse set to run a race, tied by a lof the human beings themselves, and unfa
vorable influences arising out of the circum- make a pretty country house on a site which stances in which the human beings are placed. had some one great drawback. They were alYou have known men who, setting out from ways battling with that drawback, and trying a very humble position, have attained to a to conquer it; but they never could quite sucrespectable standing ; but who would have ceed. And it remained a real worry and reached a very much higher place but for vexation. Their house was on the north their being weighted with a vulgar, violent, side of a high hill, and never could have its wrong-headed, and rude-spoken wife. You due share of sunshine. Or you could not have known men of lowly origin, who had in reach it but by climbing a very steep ascent ; them the makings of gentlemen ; but whom or you could not in any way get water into the this single malign influence has condemned landscape. When Sir Walter was at length to coarse manners and a dirty, repulsive able to call his own a little estate on the banks home, for life. You have known many men of the Tweed he loved so well, it was the ugliwhose powers are crippled and their nature est, bleakest, and least interesting spot upon soured by poverty ; by the heavy necessity the course of that beautiful river; and the for calculating how far each shilling will go ; public road ran within a few yards of his by a certain sense of degradation that comes door. The noble-hearted man made a charm. of sordid shifts. How can a poor parson ing dwelling at last; but he was fighting write an eloquent or spirited sermon, when against nature in the matter of the landscape his mind all the while is running upon the round it; and you can see yet, many a year thought how he is to pay the baker, or how after he left it, the poor little trees of his behe is to get shoes for his children ? It will loved plantations, contrasting with the mag. be but a dull discourse which, under that nificent timber of various grand old places weight, will be produced even by a man who, above and below Abbotsford. There is somefavorably placed, could have done very con- thing sadder in the sight of men who carried siderable things. It is only a great genius weight within themselves; and who, in aimhere and there, who can do great things, who ing at usefulness or at happiness, were hamcan do his best, no matter at what disadvan- pered and held back by their own nature. tage he may be placed ; the great mass of There are men who are weighted with a ordinary men can make little headway with hasty temper; weighted with a nervous, anxwind and tide dead against them. Not many ious constitution ; weighted with an envious, trees would grow well, if watered daily-let jealous disposition; weighted with a strong us say-with vitriol. Yet a tree which would tendency to evil speaking, lying, and slanspeedily die under that nurture, might do very dering; weighted with a grumbling, sour, fairly, even might do magnificently, if it had discontented spirit ; weighted with a dispo fair play, if it got its chance of common sun-sition to vaporing and boasting; weighted shine and shower. Some men, indeed, though with a great want of common sense; weightalways hampered by circumstances, have ac-ed with an undue regard to what other peocomplished much; but then you cannot help ple may be thinking or saying of them; thinking how much more they might have weighted with many like things of which accomplished had they been placed more more will be said by and by. When that happily. Pugin, the great Gothic architect, good missionary, Henry Martyn, was in Indesigned various noble buildings; but I be- dia, he was weighted with an irresistible lieve he complained that he never had fair drowsiness. He could bardly keep himsel! play with his finest ; that he was always awake. And it must have been a burning weighted by considerations of expense, or by earnestness that impelled him to ceaseless the nature of the ground he had to build on, labor, in the presence of such a drag-weight or by the number of people it was essential as that. I am not thinking or saying, my the building should accommodate. And so friend, that it is wholly bad for us to carry he regarded his noblest edifices as no more weight; that great good may not come of than hints of what he could have done. He the abatement of our power and spirit which made grand running in the race; but oh, may be made by that weight. I remember what running he could have made if you had a greater missionary than even the sainted taken off those twelve additionnl pounds! I Martyn, to whom the Wisest and Kindest dare say you have known men who labored to appointed that he should carry weight, and