Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση



1. Nor in books only, but often also in words contemplated singly, there are boundless stores of moral and historic truth,' and no less of passion and imagination, laid up; and lessons of infinite worth may be derived from them if only our attention is roused to their existence. Well will it be for you to study the words which you are in the habit of using or of meeting, whether they be such as relate to highest spiritual things, or whether they be our common words of the shop and the market, and of all the familiar intercourse of life. It will indeed repay you far better than you can easily believe.

2. To many a young man his first discovery of the fact that words are living powers-are the vesture, yea, even the body, which thoughts receive for themselves-has been like the dropping of scales from his eyes, like the acquiring of another sense or the introduction into a new world. He is never able to cease wondering at the moral marvels that surround him on every side and ever reveal themselves more and more to his gaze.

3. We indeed hear it not seldom said that ignorance is the mother of admiration. No falser word was ever spoken, and hardly a more mischievous one; for it implies that this healthiest exercise of the mind rests, for the most part, on a deceit and a delusion, and that with better knowledge it would cease. But, in truth, for once that ignorance leads us to admire that which with fuller insight we should perceive to be a common


thing, and one therefore demanding no such tribute from us, it prevents us a hundred-nay, a thousand-times from admiring that which is truly admirable indeed.

4. And this is so whether we are moving in the region of Nature, which is the region of God's wonders, or in the region. of art, which is the region of man's wonders; and nowhere truer than in this sphere and region of language. Oftentimes here we walk up and down in the midst of intellectual and moral marvels with a vacant eye and a careless mind. Wanting the knowledge and insight which would serve to kindle admiration, we are deprived of this pure and elevating excitement, and miss no less that manifold instruction which ever lies about *our path, and nowhere more largely than in our daily words.

5. What riches lie hidden in the vulgar tongue of our poorest and most ignorant! What flowers of paradise lie under our feet, with their beauties and their parts undistinguished and undiscerned, from having been daily trodden on! Certainly there is in itself no study which may be made at once more instructive and entertaining than the study of the use, origin and distinction of words.

6. A learned scholar, to whom we owe one of our best Greek lexicons, speaks, in the preface to his great work, with a just disdain of some compilers who complained of the irksome drudgery of such toils as those which had engaged him so long; who claimed pity for themselves as though they had been so many galley-slaves chained to the oar, or martyrs who had offered themselves to the good of the literary world. He declares that to him the task of classing, sorting, grouping, comparing, tracing the derivation and usage of words, had been no drudgery, but a delight and a labor of love.

7. If this may be true in regard to a foreign tongue, how much more aptly may it be said of our own-our mother tongue, as we affectionately call it! In a language like ours, where so many words are derived from other languages, there are few modes of instruction more useful or more amusing than that of accustoming young people to seek for the etymology or primary meaning of the words they use. There

are cases in which more knowledge of more value may be conveyed by the history of a word than by the history of a campaign.

8. Man makes his own language, but he makes it as the bee makes its cells, as the bird its nest. How this latent power evolved itself first, how this spontaneous generation of language came to pass, is a mystery, even as every act of creation is of necessity such. We may liken it to the growth of a tree springing out of, and unfolding itself from, a root, and according to a necessary law; that root being the divine capacity of language with which man was created, and that law being the law of highest reason with which he was endowed. TRENCH (altered).


SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Attend: L. atten'do, atten'tum, to stretch to, h., to give the mind to; fr. at ad, to, and ten'do, I stretch: v. TENSION. Compile: L. compi'lo, compila'tum, to plunder; fr. con, intens., and pilo, I rob; h., pilfer, pillage. Deceive: L. decip'io, decep'tum, to catch away from, to trick, to insnare; fr. de, from, and cap'io, I take: v. CONCEPTION.




Derive: L. deri'vo, deriva'tum, to draw from as a source; fr. de and riv'us, a brook, a river; h., derivative, rival (L. riva'lis, relating to a brook, h., applied to neighbors having the same brook in common), river, rivulet. . . . Etymology: Gr. ĕt'umos, true, logos, a word; the analysis of a word so as to find its origin; h., et'ymon, an original or primitive word, a root. Evolve: L. evol'vo, evolu'tum, to roll out or forth: fr. e, out of, volvo, I roll; v. REVOLUTION. . . . Habit: L. hab'itus, the state of anything, that which it has, custom, dress; fr. hab'eo, hab'itum, to have: v. ABILITY. . . . Ignorant: L. igno'rans, p. pr. of igno'ro, I have no knowledge of; fr. in-, not, gna'rus, knowing; h. ignora'mus, we know not, we ignore (the word formerly written by a grand jury on a bill of indictment when there was not sufficient evidence to find a true bill). . . Infinite: L. infini'tus, boundless; fr. in-, not, and fi'nis boundary, end: v. DEFINITE. . . . Instruction: L. instructio; fr. in, in or upon, and stru'o, structum, to join together, to pile up: v. CONSTRUCT. . . . Language: fr. L. lingua, the tongue; h., linguist. . Lexicon: Gr. lěxi'kon, a dictionary; fr. lex'is, a speaking, diction. ... Martyr: Gr. mar'tur, one who testifies with his blood.... Mischief: old F. mes'chef, misfortune; fr. mes, error, and chef (shěf), the head; L. min'us, less, and cap'ut, the head.



Mystery: Gr. mustěr'iōn, a secret thing; fr. mu'ein, to shut the eyes. Passion: v. PATIENCE. Prevent: L. præven'io, præven'tum, to come before, to hinder; fr. præ, before, vcn'io, I come: v. INVENT. . . . Scholar: fr. L. schol'a, Gr. schol'ě leisure given to learning, a school; h., scholastic. Spontaneous: L. spon-ta'nc-us; fr. spon'te, of free will. . . . Vesture: L. ves'tis, a covering for the body; h., di-vest, in-vest, vest, vestry (a room in a church for vestments, etc.).




1. MORNING dawned; and with my kind host, to whom every spot in and around Jerusalem was familiar, I ascended to the terraced roof. Behind Olivet, on the east, the sky was all aglow with red light, which shot slanting across the hilltops and projecting cliffs, and upon the walls and prominent buildings of the city, throwing them up in bold relief from the deeply-shaded glens. No time could have been more opportune, no spot better fitted, for seeing and studying the general topography of the Holy City. The whole site was before us, distinct and full, like a vast and beautiful embossed picture. At our feet, along the base of Olivet, was the Kidron, a deep and narrow glen, coming down from an undulating plateau on the right, and disappearing round the shoulder of the hill on the left; its banks terraced, and dotted here and there with little groves and single olive trees. Directly opposite us was Mount Moriah, its bare sides rising precipitously from the bottom of the Kidron to a height of some two hundred feet.

2. On its summit is a rectangular platform, about thirty acres in extent, and taking up fully one-half of the eastern side of the city. It is encompassed and supported by a massive wall, in some places nearly eighty feet high, and looking even higher where it impends over the ravine. This platform constitutes by far the most striking feature of the city. It is unique. There is nothing like it in the world. Its history, too, is wonderful. It has been a "holy place" for more than thirty centuries. Its Cyclopean walls were founded by Solomon. Upon it stood the Temple, in whose shrine the "Glory of the Lord" so often appeared, and in whose courts the "Son of God" so often taught. It is still to the Moslem "the noble sanctuary," and, next to Mecca, the most venerated sanctuary in the world. The platform itself-simple, massive and grand-is a striking object, but the buildings it contains greatly contribute to its beauty.

3. In its centre, on a raised area of white marble, stands one of the most splendid mosques in the world, octagonal in

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »