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"Wæstmes *" of þat forbiddene treowe, hwa's tæst t
obedient; dicto audiens, obaudiens, or obediens, Lat. nerre is a common addition to express a quality, or the indication of some quality, as bynrumnerre, obedience; to which the guttural particle ge may be added ad libitum, which will form ge-hynrumnerre: if we then prefix the negative particle un, derived from the participle ge-pon, wanted, we shall see the whole structure of the Saxon word, ungehýnrumnerre. And it is remarkable, that the same process has been observed in the formation of the word dis-ob-ED-ience: the radical of which is aud-io, from the Greek, ous, ros, the ear. In some of the best MSS. and printed editions of Sallust we have the word obaudientia, not obedientia. Bell. Catilinar. sub init.
* Fruit being derived from fruit, Fr. fructus, Lat. it is necessary here to use the Saxon word wastmes, which signifies the same. And, for the same reason, un-hear-som-ness for disobedience.
+ The word mortal is omitted in this line; indeed, "mortal taste -Brought death into the world," &c. is a tautology unworthy of Milton, though it seems to have been overlooked by all his commentators and editors. Test is a noun formed from the past participle of the verb tasan, vellicare, to pluck, whence, in another sense, the modern verb to leaze. This, it is hoped, is sufficient authority. I believe the word taste, in our present acceptation of it, which Dr. Johnson and others derive from tester, to try (Qu. testari?) does not exist in any document written in the Saxon language that is now extant, being the same with test, an experiment, &c.
Steven, for voice, or oracle, was retained from the Saxon word as lately as the time of Chaucer, and afterwards. It is found in Hampole's "Stimulus Conscientia," an English Poem written in the fifteenth century; two MSS. of which are in the archives of Trinity College, Oxford. See Chaucer, passim, Johan. Capellan. and
· The final here, as the c above in heofenlic, was latterly almost quiescent, and the whole word was pronounced by the Normans, ydunrzie; I durst is a phrase well understood in the present day. The initial g, before e, &c. was also frequently pronounced as y in yet, ye, &c.
REV. SEPT. 1810.
Begeond pe' Aonisc munt, hwile hit "chte" thing
Mr. Ingram may be correct in the remark that rime should never be spelled rhyme, as if derived from the Greek; nor iland as if derived from the French isle; both these words having Gothic roots:- but when he propoes to write Rine and Rone, we are at a loss for his principle of decision. The Rhine and the Rhône being French rivers, the French orthography has most claim to attention, if we swerve from that of the natives on their banks. Now it happens that the French at Paris, and the Germans at Strasburg, both spell with Rh; der Rhein, le Rhin; and with Rh, too, the French and the Latins both spell the name of the Rhône.
*Thing was sometimes used by our Saxon ancestors both in the singular and plural number, as the vulgar now say, two mile, two pound, &c. instead of two miles, two pounds, &c.
Forth-riht is used by Elfric, the compiler of the LatinoSaxon Grammar in the eleventh century, to signify prose, as opposed to verse or metre. The word is very expressive, particularly with reference to the other term rime; and I hope here to be indulged in a little verbal criticism, because I find the latter word has been much misunderstood. Forth-riht denotes a composition which flows right onward, or forthward, without breaks or interruptions, from one line to another; and therefore properly signifies prose. Rime, which has been erroneously supposed by some to be derived from the Greek juos, and therefore corrupted by degrees, first into rbime, and then into rhyme, has been as erroneously restricted by others to signify those oporteta, or homoioteleutic lines in modern poetry, to the jingle of which the ancient poets were strangers. The word Rim, in most of the Northern languages, implies, in its first sense, any limit, end, or extremity whatever, as, the rim of a glass, the rime, or light hoar frost, which so beautifully tips the extremities of the trees, bushes, and hedges, in the winter. It sometimes signifies the completion of numbers, and rimcraft is arithmetic, or the science of numbers. Applied to written compositions, it is a certain number or measure of metrical feet, limited by the rules of poetry, and therefore properly opposed to forth-riht, or prose. Now it is obvious, that this definition of the word is not only consistent with its etymology, but also applicable universally to all poetry, both ancient and modern; which Milton of course intended it should be when he declared his lofty purpose of pursuing
"Things unattempted yet in prose or rime."
If the reader will turn to the variorum notes on this passage in Todd's edition of Milton, I trust he will not deem this long note unnecessary. That Mr. Todd should have invariably printed rhyme instead of rime, contrary to the text of all the best editions, is altogether inexcusable. Rim, Teut. Germ. Belg. Sax. Dan. Swed. Island. &c. rima, Ital. rime, Fr. &c. &c.'
Some remarks on the alphabet occur at p. 53, which deserve enlargement. To familiarize again the Saxon thetas might be a public service. If these letters were restored, and the guttural aspirate, or Greek chi, were represented by the letter q, the antient, the oriental, and the savage languages could more easily be described with our alphabet. The difficulty of learning to read a strange dialect, antient or modern, is more than doubled by the employment of a strange character. Homer in a modern alphabet would be as easy as Virgil: but the learned are too fond of perpetuating difficulties, which they themselves have conquered. The first step towards an universal language is an universal alphabet.
Concerning the geography of Gothic Europe in the year 1000, it would be worth while to draw up a memoir accompanied with maps; and the extracts here given from Alfred's Orosius form valuable contributions. An imperfect translation of Oether's voyage was published in Daines Barrington's Miscelianies: but one that is far superior, and admirably commented, occurs in Forster's Voyages and Discoveries in the North. Of this version, and of the notes attached to it, Mr. Ingram makes a praiseworthy use; and he has added many important corrections and elucidations. This is the soundest and most interesting portion of the book: which throughout displays perhaps more talent than acquirement, more ambition than patience, and more sagacity than erudition, but which is adapted to awaken expectations of the higher kind. Its deficiencies might all be remedied by labour: but its excellencies could have been conferred only by intellect.
ART. X. The Means of finding the Longitude at Sea, gradually developed, discovered, and demonstrated in four Astronomical, Geographical, Nautical, Historical, Mathematical, and Mechanical Dissertations. By Major General Grant, Viscount de Vaux, Author of the History of Mauritius, &c. 4to. pp. 67. 11. 5s. Boards. Wyatt, Picket Street.
E apprehend, from the titles which the Viscount de Vaux bears, that the late revolution in France has thrown him out of his original profession and employment; and we must regret this circumstance, inasmuch as it may probably have spoiled a good Maréchal des Camps, and certainly has not created an able author. Though the Viscount deals in large pretensions, we are sorry to be obliged to state that he has brought to the discussion of subjects of moment and difficulty very inadequate qualities. We say not this from unnecessary rudeness, nor in a momentary fit of pique at the loss of the
time which the perusal of the work has cost us, but because our compact with the public does not permit us to conceal the truth. Yet, as in these cases something like a justification of censures which may appear harsh is usually expected, we quote for that purpose the following passages:
· PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES.
By comparison of the ancient observations with the modern, it has been seen that their longitudes vary; that is to say, they have an apparent motion from east to west, contrary to that of the planets. This apparent motion of the stars is of about one degree towards the west in seventy-two years, or fifty seconds of a degree in one year; which would make them cross all the meridians in a direction parallel to the ecliptic, and turn round all the world in the space of 25,9 20 years, commonly called the great year; and their annual variation, the precession of the equinoxes.
Several systems have been formed by philosophers, in order to explain this phenomenon, and to demonstrate its cause; but none of them have yet treated this question in a satisfactory manner.'
What the words their longitudes mean in the first sentence, we cannot tell; and certainly, when we recollect the labours of Newton, D'Alembert, and Laplace, we cannot subscribe to the truth of the last sentence.
At page 7. the Viscount says, particularly at the solstices, that is, at the extremities of the apsides: but here we suppose he meant simply to confound the solstices with the apsides. The extremities of the apsides we leave to be comprehended by those who can conceive the end of an end.
P. 1o. The author prescribes to us certain meditations as a kind of preparatory regimen, before we enter on a course of astronomy:
But before I enter on these details, I will engage all those who wish to make a study or an amusement of Astronomy, and of Navigation, to form themselves some just ideas of MOTION in general, and of proportion, from the infinite greatness to the infinite smallness, of infinite distance and space, &c. Without fixing our ideas on these points, we never can well understand Astronomy. We must also extend our intelligence on the solidity or fluidity of the elements and bodies, and on the means of measuring weights and distances. All this belongs to the science called Philosophy.'
Pages 14, 15, 16, afford a ludicrous description [ludicrous not according to the intention of the author] of the solar system, to be represented in the Isle of Wight on a large grass-plat, with a pavilion for the sun, gravel walks for the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, &c. &c.
At p. 20. we have a very important communication of the author's own opinion relative to the electric fluid; which, he
thinks, is nothing more than fire generally spred in the atmosphere and in the space.
In speaking of the Cleopatras, he says:
The four Cleopatras, who finished that race, tarnished the glory of their ancestors by their multiplied crimes; and all the accomplishments, the amability, and the charms of the last, could not atone for her vices. After having successively seduced even the great Julius Cæsar by her enchanting allurements, effeminated Mark Anthony, and failed in the same attempt on Octavus Cæsar; without any other sentiments than her passions and her ambitious desire of reigning, she put an end to her own life, as do all those who think that they cannot do any more harm or good in this world.'
Our readers will see from this passage that it was not without good reason that the author has made an apology for his English; and though we blame him not for being less perfect in that language than a native, we must say that his work should have obtained the necessary correction before it was given to the public. The most curious passage of all is in the introduction to the method of finding the longitude.
Time and civilization have exalted human knowledge to the highest degree: all the objects of utility and pleasure seem discovered, and brought to perfection. Four great points, however, are still considered as beyond the reach of the human intellect; namely, the quadrature of the circle, the philosopher's stone, perpetual motion, and THE MEANS OF ASCERTAINING THE LONGITUDE AT SEA.
But these four points are very far from being of equal im
The first, the quadrature of the circle, would be the perfection of geometry; but there is no reason to suppose that the discovery of it would be attended with great advantages.
The second, the philosopher's stone, is a chimera, the discovery of which might enrich the discoverer, but would probably impoverish all others, its value being imaginary.
The third, perpetual motion, would be of much greater utility. The discovery of it would tend to improve all the arts, and would no doubt afford the means of ascertaining the longitude at sea; but perpetual motion can be found only in nature. God alone can comprehend the perpetuity of motion and the infinity of space: God alone can move all eternally, without universal destruction. Nature is so perfect, and the great whole of an immensity so inconceivable to human reason, that to the Deity himself it must be left.
The fourth point, the means of finding the longitude at sea, is an object more likely to be within the reach of man, and is the most important of those which he is anxious to discover. It would complete our knowledge of the globe, and secure to us the means of enjoying all the advantages spread by Nature over the surface of it, with less danger to those who undertake to collect them for others and for themselves."