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LESSONS IN ENGLISHL–No. L In compliance with the wishes and surgestions-far
therefore, the Lessons on English Grammar, in a separate form, will be discontinued.] A MANUAL OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE, comraisixg ax intaolovctiox to Exgirsu cox root-ox. By Joss R. BEARD, D.D. Amour to write a series of lessons in English, I think it des-able to let the readers of the Portlas Enrcatoa know what they may expect. In general, then, I intend to exhibit the facts of the language and the productions of the language. The facts of the language, if systematically presented, will involve the laws of the language; and the productions of the language, historically treated, will comprise the literature of the language. The facts of the language and the productions of the language thus will obviously lead the careful student to a knowledge of the language. Nor without both facts and the actions can any one possess an acquaintwith the language. A knowledge of any language inis rity with its literature, and a fami-arity with ws of its construction. You cannot have the one without the other, any more than you can know the Prizciples of Grecisa unless you have studied its master- Apart from the literature of a language, Jo- to: its grammar; apart from the grammar of a larg—age Joatano know its i-erature. The literatore of a larg—ase is the organi: life, whose laws gram-air has to learn azo- exPoi. The grammar of a i-gaage is merely a system-itexposition of the laws coerve: - the top-star of its literature. Heate J- see that an acote wizz the litera:-re
source, than the undeepredominance of the logical faculty in , their ow-risis. Io another class of writers on English grammar fres greater departure from its usages of laws. English Erammar was first by classical scholars. Familiar : with the forms and usages of the Greek and Laris tongues, and holding them to be perfectin character, if not of universal manuals of English Grammar, and so made and diffilealt cae of the simplest and easiest in the worldHence came into or grammatical books, cases, teases, and constructions, which have no corresponding realities in or literature. With such things the student of Koslish stamimar has othing to do, and the sor or manuals are dise-|-o-o-o-o: Studying, as we shall do, the grammar of the languageia its productions, we shall be under the guidance and the control of fact, and take special care to reports ausage and establish as a re-emething but what has its sanctionin unquestionable authority. Letit then be observed that it is the English language that ivese so testess. Consequently it is the qualities and the laws of that language that it will be our business to ascertain. If we were i. Sanscrit or Hebrew, then the qualities and the laws of the Sanscrit and the Hebrew should we be in search of. Disregarding them, we are equally to disregard the qualities and the laws of the Latin. The best of Latin grammars would be a very bad English grammar, and a usage in Latin is no authority for the introduction into English o, similar usage. The same remark may be made in relation to the Anglo-Saxon; in an undue regard to which Latham with all his merits, and they are very numerous and very great, has not wholly avoided error.
T. principles now set forth determine the mode of my proceeding. I shall not copy forms and rules from the writings of former grammarians. } . not out of my own head devise forms and rules. I shall rather take the language as it is, and inquire into its qualities and laws. Beginning with the simplest enunciations of thought, I shall aid the student to analyse them, and from such analysis to deduce for himself the fundamental facts and principles of the English tongue. This process must be gone through three times: first, in regard to the forms of the language or its grammar ; secondly, in regard to the productions of the language or its literature; and thirdly, as an appendage to the last, in regard to the origin and progress of the language or its history. If the reader attentively accompany me over this extended field, he will #. a full as well as accurate acquaintance with the
I must add that it is for Englishmen I write. I write also for the uneducated and for the young. Having these facts before my mind, I shall study plainness and simplicity. Yet do I hope to be able to write in such a manner that scholars may not disdain to cast an eye on these pages. However that may be, I shall make it my first object and my last so to express my thoughts as to be fully understood, if not also readily followed by the now large and meritorious class, who are endeavouring to educate themselves. To labour for such is to me a very great pleasure. I ask for their confidence, and will endeavour to reward their attention.
I,ESSONS IN NATURAL HISTORY..—No. III. THE WILD CAT,--THE DOM ESTIC CAT, - AND THE LYNX.
THE wild cat is found throughout Europe, wherever it can secure an asylum in extensive woods. It is common in the forests of Germany, Hungary, Russia, and the western parts of Asia; and though scarce in the British islands, it is not yet absolutely extirpated. The mountains of Scotland, of the northern counties of England, and of Wales and Ireland, are its chief strongholds, the larger woods being its place of resort and of concealment during the day. It is generally admitted that the wild cat of the British islands is specifically distinct from our domestic race. It often happens, however, that individuals of the domestic breed betake themselves to the woods, or to extensive preserves of game, where, finding an abundant supply of food, they continue there, leading an independent life. But these must not be coufounded with the genuine wild cat, which is clearly distinguished from the other species. The wild cat stands higher on its limbs than the tame; its body is more robust; the tail is shorter, and instead of tapering, terminates somewhat abruptly; and it is almost invariably tipped with black. The soles of the feet are also black. The fur of the wild cat is full and deep; in the face it is of a yellowish-grey colour, passing into greyish-brown on the head; the general colour of the body is dark grey, a dusky black stripe running down the spine, while beautiful transverse wavings of an obscure blackishbrown, adorn the sides; the tail is ringed with the same tint. In its chosen retreats, the wild cat lurks on the branches of large trees, in the hollows of decayed trunks, and in the clefts and holes of rocks. As night comes on, it issues forth to seek its prey; it commits sad havoc on hares, rabbits, grouse, to: and all kinds of game; young lambs and fawns are y no means safe from its attacks, and of all our native beasts of prey, it is the most fierce and destructive. by Pennant, the “British tiger,” and it has all the ferocity, if
It was called:
not the size and strength of that animal. Bewick says that he recollects one killed in the county of Cumberland, which * from the nose to the end of the tail, upwards of five eet. At Barnsboro’, a village between Doncaster and Barnsley, in Yorkshire, there is a tradition of a serious conflict that occurred between a man and a wild cat. It is said that the fight commenced in an adjacent wood, that from thence it was removed and waged in the porch of the church, and that each of the combatants died from wounds received, during the struggle. The event is commemorated by a rude painting in the church. The story is sustained by the danger that is involved in attempts to destroy the wild cat. For when hard pressed, or enraged by a wound too slight to disable it, it darts fiercely on its antagonist, aiming chiefly at his face and eyes, and using furiously its claws and teeth.
THE DOMESTIC CAT.
It appears from an ancient law of one of the Welsh princes, that in his time a domestic cat was a rare and valuable animal. A penny for a kitling before it could see, which was doubled from that time till it caught a mouse, and quadrupled for a mouser, were very high prices, considering the relative value of money at that time. A person who had stolen the cat that guarded the prince's granary, was to forfeit a milch ewe, its fleece and lamb, or as much wheat as, when poured on the cat while suspended from the tail, with the head touching the floor, would form a heap high enough to cover the tip of the former. The Domestic Cat is too familiar to require description; but it has certain peculiarities which must be noticed. Its whiskers consist not only of long hairs on the upper lips, but also of four or five others standing up from each eyebrow, and also two or three on each cheek: all of which, when erected, form, at their extremities, so many points of a circle, equal, at least, in extent, to the circumference of the animal's body. It is supposed that with a little experience cats can tell by means of this gauge, whether any aperture, as among hedges or shrubs, is sufficiently large to allow them to pass. That cats are able to see in the dark, though generally supposed, is not absolutely true. It is certain, however, that they can see with much less light than most other animals. For this their eyes are peculiarly adapted ; as the pupils are capable of being contracted or dilated, according to the degree of light falling upon them. Thus in the daytime, the pupil of the cat's eye is always contracted, sometimes into a mere line, because it is with difficulty that this animal can see by a strong light; but in the twilight the pupil resumes its natural roundness, and the eye possesses its fullest power of vision. The cleanliness of these animals has frequently been the topic of remark. They wash their faces, and generally behind their ears, every time they eat. And here there is a remarkable exercise of instinct; for as they cannot lick their faces with their tongues, they first apply saliva to the inside of the leg, and then repeatedly rub them over with it. The cat is equally concerned to keep her progeny clean, as any one may notice where there are kittens. One tendency of these animals is illustrated by the following amusing anecdote. The celebrated Charles James Fox was one day walking up Bond-street with George IV., when Prince of Wales, when he laid his royal highness a wager that he would see the greater number of cats as they went onwards, though the prince might take which side of the street he liked. On reaching the top of the street, Mr. Fox had seen thirteen cats, but the prince not one, which led him to *}. the cause of so singular a fact. Mr. Fox replied, “Your royal highness took, of course, the shady side of the street as the more agreeable; I knew that the sunny side would be left to me, and that is the one that cats always refer.’’ p The fondness of the cat for warmth is indulged whenever it can enjoy its favourite place in cold or chilly weather before the fire. There it not only sleeps cozily; but often stretches out its limbs when awake in manifest enjoyment. The same feeling which is there gratified has obtained it many, enemies; from its nestling, when it can, about infants in beds and the little one is a vulgar error, which sound knowledge will
cradles. To suppose that it does so to “suck the breath” of plished is considered. The distance from Glasgow to Edinburgh
is forty miles; and as the cat could only carry one kitten at a time, if she brought one of them part of the way, then went
“Playful as a kitten” has become a proverb. The first toyl back for the other, and thus conveyed them by turns, she
it finds is the tail of its mother, who seems to move it about as she sits or reclines before the fire to amuse her offspring; and as she walks away, the little romp will bound after it, and continue perhaps its fo. in high glee.
f set before a looking-glass, a kitten appears surprised and pleased ; it makes several attempts to touch its new acquaintance, and, failing to do so, it looks behind the glass, and finding nothing there, seems
not a little per- a
plexed. Again it turns to the image of itself, tries to touch it with its foot, looks perhaps again and againsuddenly behind the
THE WILD cat.
glass, stretches out its paw in various directions as if making I were dead.
experiments; and as the motions are repeated by the figure in the glass, the kitten seems at length to conclude it is a play
How careful the cat is of her young is matter of common observation; * the following fact cannot fail to interest the
reader : — “
lady residing in Glasgow, had a handsome cat sent to her from Edinburgh, in a close too. which w" as placed in a carriage. She was carefully watched for two months, but having had two young ones at the end of that time, she was left to herself. It was not long, however, before she disappeared wivh bo her kittens. The lady prizing the cat highly, wrote to her friend in Edinburgh, lamenting the loss of the animal; and, about a fortnight after the cat was
missed in Glasgow, her well-known mew was heard at the
must have travelled, at least, one hundred and twenty miles; while her sagacity must have suggested the necessity of journeying in the .#. with many other precautions for the safety of her young. er strong attachment to her former circumstances, is equally remarkable." Of the sagacity of
the cat, the following
is one among many examples: — At a time when insects, in consequence of the cold, flew low, and swallows were forced to hawk for their prey by skimming the surface of the ground, a wily cat stretched herself on a sunny grassplot, with her legs extended as if she
The flies in consequence, collected about her, and the swallows not dreaming of any harm, pounced down on the files, when grimalkin seeing her prey within
reach, made a rapid spring, and just when she pleased, struck
down with her paws, a poor unsuspecting bird. A good marksman knows how difficult it is to shoot a swallow on the
wing; yet the cat, in this curious instance, found her patience, cunning, and activity rewarded. “To live like cat and dog" is a proverb for a life of ceaseless conflict; but often do these animals live toether in peace. he following is a very remarkable case. M. Wenzel says, “I had a cat and dog, which became so attached to each other, that they would never willingly be asunder. Whenever the dog got any choice morsel of food, he was sure to divide it with his whiskered
friend. They always ate socially out of one plate, slept in
kittens,—they looked plump and well, but their mother was extremely thin ; and no wonder, when the task she had accom
“Wishing to put this apparently sincere friendship to the proof, I one day took the cat by herself into my room, while I had the dog guarded in another apartment. I entertained the cat in a most sumptuous manner, being desirous to see what sort of a meal she would make without her friend, who had hitherto been her constant table companion. The cat enjoyed the meal with great flo, and seemed to have entirely forgotten the dog. I had had a partridge for dinner, half of which I intended to keep for supper. My wife covered it with a plate, and put it into a cupboard, the door of which she did not lock. The cat left the room, and I walked out on business. My wife, meanwhile, sat at work in an adjoining apartment. “When I returned home, she related to me the following circumstances:—The cat having hastily left the dining-room, went to the dog, and mewed uncommonly loud, and in dif: ferent tones df voice; which he from time to time answered with a short bark. They then went both to the door of the room where the cat had dined, and waited till it was opened. One of my children opened the door, and the two friends entered the apartment. The mewing of the cat excited my wife's attention. She rose from her seat, and stepped softly to the door which stood ajar, to observe what was going on. The cat led the dog to the cupboard which contained the partridge, pushed off the plate which covered it, and, taking out my intended sup#. laid it before her canine friend, who devoured it greedily. robably the cat, by her mewing, had given the dog to understand what an excellentomeal she had made, and how sorry she was that he had not participated in it; but, as the same time, had given him to understand that something was left for him in the cupboard, and persuaded him to follow her thither. Since that time I have paid particular attention to these animals, and am perfectly convinced that they communicate to each other whatever seems interesting to ...;
Another animal of the feline race is the lynx, of which we ive an engraving. Its ea's are terminated with a tuft of hairs invariably black. The names given by the Turks and the Persians to the lynx are founded on this peculiarity. This animal was formerly spread over the Old World, was common in France, and has but recently disappeared from Germany. It is found in Spain, and in the north of the European continent. America certainly produces two species, of which one, the Canadian lynx, is a fine creature. The aspect of the lynx is rather gentle than savage, and indeed appears to be less ferocious than most of the species of the same genus. It walks and leaps, or bounds like a cat, and hunts martens, ermines, squirrels, and other creatures. Its skin is changed by climate and season, and in high latitudes, particularly in winter, the fur is much finer and thicker, and more esteemed. When of a pale colour, with tolerably distinct spots, the fur is extremely valuable. The Russians sell the skins of lynxes to the Chinese at a rate varying from about sixteen shillings to five or six pounds each, exclusive of the fore-feet, which are also valuable, and sold separately. Many thousand skins of the Canadian lynx have been imported in one year by the Hudson's-bay Company. Among the hunters of America the lynx is called the wild cat.
LES SONS IN LATIN.—No. IX. By John R. Beard, D.D. DEGREES OF COMPARISON.
WHEN two objects are compared together, the ideas involved in the word, more and most come into prominence. Thus we say, “the father is more learned than the son;” “Cicero is the most learned of the Romans.” The question which we have to answer is, how are such forms of thought expressed in the Latin *. Observe that at the bottom of more learned and most learned is the quality learned; for no one can be more learned or most learned without being learned. This ground quality is something positive, a real definite quality. Hence in grammar it is called the positive degree. It is the first step. A higher step is indicated by our word more; and the Host by most. You thus see that besides the positive there are two other degrees, of which the one is the higher, and the other the
highest of the three. The o: is called the comparative degree, and the highest is called the superlative degree. Accordingly, there are three degrees of comparison, the positive, the comparative, the superlative. It has been denied that the positive is a degree of comparison. The term may not be rigidly correct, but it is in use, and no better substitute has been offered. Our business is not so much to criticise as to explain; and consequently only then must we enter into criticism when it smooths the way to explanation.
Now these three forms of speech which I have just given, stand in Latin, thus:–
Look at the terminations of the adjective. In the first case it is us, that is the positive, or ordinary form of the adjective. In the second case, it is ior, that is the comparative. In the third case, it is issimus, that is the superlative. You thus see that what in the English is expressed by more is in Latin expressed by ior; and what in the English is expressed by most is in Latin expressed by issimus. Remember, then, ior is the form of comparison, issimus is the superlative form. You might thus . for yourself the rule, and say that to the stem of the positive add ior, and you have the comparative; and to the stem of the positive add issimus, and you have the superlative. Such in reality is the rule. These two endings ior, m. and f. ius, n. ; and issimus, a, um, are to be added to the stem of adjectives and participles, in order to convert the positive degree into the comparative and the superlative. I subjoin some instances:—
} happy felic-ior, happier felic-issimus, happiest
Felic-is If, however, the adjective ends in er, rimus is used instead of issimus, for the sake of sound; as, miser, unhappy, miserable; miser-ior, more unhappy; miser-rimus, most unhappy; pulcher (pulchr-i), beautiful; pulchr-ior, more beautiful; pulcher rimus, most beautiful. In like manner, vetus (g, veter-is), old, veterrimus, oldest; the comparative veter-ior is rarely used; also nuper-us, late; (no comparative;) nuper-rimus, latest. The six adjectives which follow, take limus in the superla. tive;—namely, facil-is, easy; difficil-is, not easy, difficult; similis, like; dissimil-is, unlike; gracil-is, thin ; humil-is, humble thus, facil-limus, most easy; simil-limus, most like, gracil-limus, most thin; humil-limus, most humble. In full, thus:–
There are some compound adjectives which form their comparatives and superlatives, by endings different from these. Such adjectives are those which in the positive end in dicus, flous, and volus; for instance, maledicus, magnificus, benevolus. I have called these compound adjectives because they are composed each of two words. Maledicus is formed from male, badly (in an evil manner), and dico, I speak; and consequently denotes an evil-speaker; magnificus is formed from magnus, great, and facio, I do ; and consequently denotes a great doer; benevölus is formed from bene, well, and volo, I wish; and consequently denotes a well-wisher. To form the comparative of these, add to the stem entior, and to form the superlative, add entissimus; thus:
Positive. Comparative. Superlative. Bonus, good melior, better optimus, best Masus, bad pejor, worse - pessimus, worst Magaus great major, greater maximus, greatest Paryus, little minor, less minimus, least Ius (n.), more Mustus, much s : (m. and f.) I plurimus, most I
plura (n.) 1 plurimi, very many J Many Latin adjectives do not take any of these forms of comparison. Such are adjectives which have e before the termination us; as idome-us, fit. These are formed by prefixing magis, more; and maxime, most; as, magis idoneus, more...ft; maxime idoneus, most fit; so, Pius, pious; magis pius, more sous; maxime pius, most pious. In the same way, form nearly all adjectives and participles ending in scus, Imus, inus, ivus, orus, undus, and us, and bundus. In the English meanings added to facilis above, I have given the forms easy, easier, easiest. Here you see changes made at the end of the positive, similar to those you have just been instructed to make in the Latin. First, the positive easy is changed into easi, and then to this, as the stem, we add er for the comparative, like the Latin ior, and est for the superlative, like the Latin issimus. This similarity of forms indicates in the two languages a sameness of origin. As too, in English, we use more and most, so do the Latins use, magis and maxime, to denote the comparative and the superlative. Magis and maxime must be used for this purpose, in the case of adjectives which do not admit the termination forms. Besides expressing the formal degree of comparison, the Latin superlative signifies a very high degree of the quality involved in the positive, as doctissimus, very learned; pater tuus est, doctissimus, thy father is very learned. So in English, Milton uses wisest—
who at least, are in use in the language, and have th o, the other poore, above given. guage, he same meaning
Nihil est naturae bominis accommodatius quam beneficentia; nihil est amabilius quam virtus; lux est velocior quam sonitus; nohil est melius quam sapientia; multi homines magis garruli sunt quam hirundines; paupores saepe sunt munificentiores quam divites; in adversis rebus saepe sunt homines prudentiores quam in secundis; divitissimorum vita saepe est miserrima; simulatio amoris pejor est quam odium; nihil est melius quam ratio; sol major est quam terra; luna minorest quam terr.; omnium beatissimus est sapiens; Homerus omnium Graecarum poetarum est veterrimus; adulao, est pessimum malum (eris); urbs Syracusae maxima et pulcherrima est cmnium Graecarum urbium; pessimi homines suit maledici; omnium hominum maledicentissimi sunt fratres tui; in amicitia plus valet similitudo morum quam affinitas; soror tua amabiliorest quam mea.
Nothing is worse than the pretence of love; the sun is very great; the sun is greater than the moon; the life of men is very short; the richest are often the unhappiest; the poorest are sometimes the happiest; the labour is very easy; my labour is easier than yours; the customs (character) of men are very unlike; the king is very free in giving; the worst men are not often happy; good men are happy; very good men are happiest; God is the #. of all; the best men are sometimes despised by the worst; the health of my friend is very weak; thy father's garden is very beautiful; thy son's garden is more beautiful; the labour is very difficult; the walls of the city are very low (humilis); most (plurimi) men love their native country; nothing is better than virtue; the port is very much visited; God is the greatest, best, and wisest of all; the customs (or character) of the Laeedemonians were very simple; the horse is very swift; ravens are very black; thy father is very benevolent and very liberal; thy brother builds a very beautiful house; a very beautiful house is built by thy brother; virgins must (debee) be very modest; thy sister is more modest than thy brother; the ape is like men; is the ape very much like men of all animals the ape is most like men; nothing is sweeter than friendship; the Lacedemonians were very brave; light is very quick; light is quicker than sound.
LESSONS IN BOTANY.-No. W.
“I should like to botanise,” is the expression of a wish which we are concerned to gratify. We shall glance, therefore, at systematic botany, by which alone the discrimination or recognition of a plant can be secured. Without such "ability, even a knowledge of the properties of the vegetable tribes would be of little or no use. For want of this acquaintance with them, persons have lost their lives by mistakin noxious and poisonous plants for wholesome herbs; an others have administered what they deemed to be salutary and restoring medicines, but which have proved to be deadly poison. It will consequently be evident that the study of systematic botany is one of great utility, associated with objects of peculiar interest. Some persons may anticipate difficulty from observing the hard and outlandish names employed in botany; but it should be remembered that this science is not the study of names, but of an admirable and most important branch of the economy of nature; and even the use of a hard name does not necessarily imply that the thing itself is difficult to be understood. Aloysia citriodora is a hard name, yet multitudes who would consider it to be so are well acquainted with the shrub to which it is applied—the sweet-scented verbena; and