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set of stereotype rules on the patience of the teacher and the scholar. After the shape and stature of both have been conformed to one iron model, it is no slight punishment to put them to the fresh torture of a new elementary organization. A great quantity of elementary trash has been thrown upon the market, since the secret has oozed out as to the profits which have accrued to authors and publishers from the perpetration of primers and spelling books, and all kinds of literary patchwork. A rabble of literary tinkers and cobblers have infested the avenues of the temple of learning, and "the last infirmity of noble minds” has made way for the money-changing propensities of pirates and plagiarists, and ten other unclean spirits more wicked than they. If an author of an original genius should unluckily pass through this gang of second-hand dealers, he would find himself robbed of some article of his dress, and behold the prize on looking round barefacedly exposed for sale, before he could enjoy the legitimate benefits of his own property. The right of the appropriation of the labors of others is not to be derived from setting them in fresh typographical habiliment. That cannot be said to constitute a new work which, without changing the matter and principles, merely varies a little the form of what has preceded it. Standard works of learning which have assisted thousands in the acquisition of classical knowledge, should not be driven out of circulation, merely for the purpose of giving currency to petty larceny compilations, which come recommended only by the drapery of the typographical art which has been too often scandalously squandered on such mongrel pigmies of the human inteilect.
We do not intend, that these remarks should be applied to the authors whose names are prefixed to this article. We are inclined to believe that a perfect latin grammar is still a desideratum ; we believe, that any one is fully justitied in offering himself as candidate for the office of grammarian laureat, though we are of opinion, that in matters of grammar as in every thing else, no two minds will be found to agree as to the best form in which its principles should be presented ; and consequently for general convenience, the palm should be given to that grammar which has been already sanctioned by the prescription of long established usage. There should be an eternal fitness about the forms of first principles, that their adoption might
be general, and their usefulness universal. Uniformity is essential in grammatical dogmas as in other matters of greater importance. But as it is impossible altogether to stem the current of innovation, or repress the democratic rage for authorship, we must go along with the spirit of the age, and attempt to moderate its violence by some wholesome strictures.
Brevity and perspicuity, definiteness and comprehensiveness, fact and philosophy must be the prominent properties of a good granimar. He who can furnish these requisites may draw up a code of laws for the United States. grammar possessed of all these characteristics has as yet been produced, owing to the deficiency of talent employed upon the subject. At least it might be so presumed from the quantities of authors who have written upon this important science, as if in disparagement of the capacities of those who have preceded them.
The Eton Latin Grammar just republished on this side of the Atlantic, has for a long period enjoyed a high reputation in the mother country. It is from this the most eminent scholars of the age have drawn their first knowledge of the language; and it has been banished from American schools only because its syntax is composed in Latin, and its Propria quae maribus and As in præsenti, or the accidence of genders and of the inflexions of nouns and verbs drawn up in Hexameter memorial lines, leaves too great a tax on the memory. It is however from this part of it it has obtained much of its celebrity and usefulness. The plan is much better than that pursued by other grammars, of presenting long lists of nouns and verbs, arranged according to their initials and terminations, to be passed over by the student, or referred to only as occasion requires. The student of the Eton grammar seldom betrays those marks of ignorance of the minor yet not less essential properties of the language which American scholars evince when they have to make trial in Latin composition. They have not been accustomed to the drudgery of over stocking their memory. They have passed by rail road over the rudiments, and consequently iheir acquisitions are very defective and superficial. If a grammar is to be valued by what is learnt from it, the Eton grammar is a better summary of the language than the more diffuse grammar of Adams, enriched as it is with a treasury of notes which is never drawn on. Its rules are concise and
more definite: and if the syntax is written in Latin, it may be said in defence of that form, that what is more dfficult to be acquired by the memory, is, when once acquired, more permanently retained there.
There are certain elementary parts of every language which ought to be indelibly impressed upon the memory, before any other part of it is touched. The Eton grammar is formed on this design; and no one after having conned the Propria quæ maribus and As in præsenti can ever forget those necessary rudiments of the tongue, the genders and inflexions of nouns and the conjugation of verbs.These essentials ought not to be thrown into notes; but to be protruded on the page in a bold type and a commissible form. The material parts of the accidence ought to be fully developed without abridgement. We are not to be told that alius is declined alius in the genitive case but in other respects like bonus, as Adams and Hall inform us, but it ought to be declined in full as it is in the Eton and Anthon's grammar, alius, alia, aliud, etc. The inflexions must not be cut short and chopped up by hyphens, as Hall has done, through an illjudged economy of paper and type. This perplexes the younger student, and is after all no real saving. What is essential to be learnt in the accidence, ought to be displayed in bold type and in a full memorial form. Scholars ought to be early drilled in committing this to memory, as was always the practice pursued in schools in England, our ancestors rightly judging, that before the maturer developement of the mind, boys might be usefully employed in the mechanical process of stocking their memories with the elementary materials of the language, so that from habit they might acquire a natural familiarity with its moods, cases, and genders. The Eton grammar is, in this respect, superior to Anthon's, as Anthon's is to Adams's, and Adams's to Hall's. But here we are not considering the systematical part. Another thing is the diction of the accidence ought to be plain and perspicuous, without any technical refinements or any puerile elucidations. Thus we do not want to be told, that the three degrees of comparison might be called “ the indefinite, the definite dual, and the definite plural,” which are not so expressive as the ordinary terms. So Mr. Hall. Nor do we desire such an illustration as this. « The Latin alphabet is the same as the English except in its wanting the w and also the capital Y.” So Professor Anthon, this is like the elucidation of a certain mathematical Professor, who always informed his pupils that the sign of multiplication might be distinguished from the sign of addition, from its being made like St. Anthony's cross. We do not agree with some, that the memorial method finds a sufficient substitute in the use of a general Praxis. The praris ought not to be a praxis of reference, but a praxis of memory, a trial of previous acquisition. It ought not to be
a merely an examination of what students understand from reading ; but what they understand and know from remembrance.
The grand deficiency of the grammars of the present day in that portion of them called the Syntax, is the utter absence of all definiteness in the rules, if indeed, such as they are, they can be called rules. “One substantive governs another signifying a different thing in the genitive.” “An infinitive has an accusative before it." “One verb governs another in the infinitive." These and others are comprehensive enough, but from want of definiteness, are in the long run not true. One substantive governs another signifying a different thing in many other cases besides the genitive, and this only takes place where it has another to govern, which is not always the case. An infinitive has not always an accusative before it. It sometimes has no case at all before it, being frequently the subject of the verb. One verb does not always govern another in the infinitive, but sometimes in the subjunctive. Mr. Hall and Professor Anthon have seen the vagueness of these rules, and have substituted others. Mr. Hall says, “ the genitive is governed by the name of the thing possessed or defined.” Professor Anthon, "A noun which limits the meaning of another noun, denoting a different person or thing, is put in the genitive." Mr. Hall has left the rule altogether out concerning the accusative before the infinitive, while Professor Anthon has judiciously restored the Eton rule. When quod, quin, ut or ne is omitted in Latin, the word which would otherwise be in the nominative is put in the accusative, and the verb in the infinitive mood.” Mr. Hall has thrown his rule on the subjunctive and infinitive into a long ill digested note, while what he calls a rule on the subject, viz. rule 60 is not a rule but a difinition. In fact one verb governs another in the infinitive, when the latter is the object of the former, and in the subjunctive, when it denotes the wish or pur. pose of the former or some contingent action dependent on it. Mr. Hall has attempted a new rule on the ablative absolute. “A noun and a participle, constituting a new subject in a sentence, are put elliptically in the ablative." But however this does not appear to be the true rationale of the case.
It has been Mr. Hall's favourite object throughout his grammar to present the philosophy of the language along with its phenomena, or in other words, to preserve the synthesis of the old grammars, and illuminate the genuine laws of the syntax, with analytical notes. But it is our opinion, that if we are to introduce at all the theory of the analytical art into the illustration of the syntax, the rules ought to be the synthesis founded upon the analysis. It has been lately growing the fashion by their particular votaries to array the analytical method against the synthetical, and the synthetical against the analytical, as if they were necessarily distinct and independent, as if the whole was not made up of its parts or the parts did not compose the whole; as if one could not be the result of the other. We believe that a system of rules may be formed which shall be more fully and naturally the result of analysis, than any which has yet appeared. The analysis might even appear in grammars designed for higher use, for those who are prepar d to investigate the language philosophically. It is owing to imperfect analysis that some of the synthetical rules are unintelligible to beginners.
What real information is conveyed to us when we are told that “one substantive governs another, signifying a different thing in the genitive.” This is a rule but where are the instructions ? We are left to guess or fancy what is meant by governo.
Government is an imaginary quantity, an algebraic assumption, an x assumed, which at the end of years we shall have some glimpse of, when we have finished the study. Is the genitive governed by the name of the thing expressed or defined ? Is it not the nature of the genitive itself to denote possession, or to define the meaning of some other word? Does the nominative in the phrase, the love of virtue, govern the genitive, more than the genitive does the nominative? Or rather does not the genitive govern the nominative when it defines it? one word govern another in the infiinitive; or is it not rather the nature of the infinitive, its very accidence, which