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History of Latin Grammar.


of the later editions of Wenck, had the confidence to say, in a preface, that he believed he had now brought the grammar of the Latin language to its highest degree of perfection. The work, however, had but a limited circulation. It was at this time that Zumpt first made his appearance as a Latin grammarian; and certainly no book of the kind ever published, was more deserving its reputation than this has been; a reputation which it still continues to enjoy. The principal aim of the author seems to have been to devise a logical system of grammar, and in this he has been unusually successful. He has accurately distinguished the different periods in the history of the language, and also the different kinds of composition employed by the various classes of writers, and then has presented the whole in a simple and per. spicuous style. In this last respect, his Grammar is the rival of the Greek Grammar of Buttmann, which, as to style and manner of execution, is universally regarded as a model. Like Buttmann, he is willing to appear before the public in the character of a learner. Every successive edition gave evidence of the author's diligence in study.

Ranishorn, who next appeared before the public as a Latin grammarian, though he wrote in different journals disparaging reviews of the work of his predecessor, could effect no more for himself than to secure undue praise for his merit as a collector of original examples to illustrate the rules of grammar. These examples, on which his fame chiefly rests, are often taken from false readings, or from passages misinterpreted by him, and besides not unfrequently fail to establish the point for which they are adduced. A work so artificial in its arrangement, so overloaded with minute divisions and refinements, so erroneous in its rules, followed as they were by a multitude of examples, which, instead of illustrating a principle often perplex one by their obscurity, could never be generally adopted as a guide in teaching the young

About this time, a new epoch in respect to Latin grammar was introduced. The influence of the Hegelian philosophy did not indeed directly affect this department of study. But the gram. matical researches of Grimm, which brought to light such treasures of knowledge hitherto unknown, could not fail to extend their influence to the Latin language. With him commenced a process of historical inquiry so illimitable in its extent and so astonishing in its results, that the cultivators of Latin philology desired to apply the same method to their own department, and see if they could not arrive at similar results. At the same time, the comparative study of languages in connection with the Sanscrit, as prosecuted by Bopp and others led to the discovery of general laws, by which many isolated facts could be explained that had hitherto baffled all the learning and ingenuity of the grammarians. Meanwhile Becker has brought out a system in respect to the German language, according to which the language appears to have within itself a perfect organization. This development is, to the best of our knowledge, more perfect than any which has been made in respect to other languages. Various writers, as Weissenborn, A. Grotefend, Feldbausch, and, at length, Kühner have endeavored to apply the system of Becker to Latin grammar, while others have given the preference to other methods. Among the latter, Bilroth deserves the first place, whose early death all unite in deploring. He had been trained in the Hegelian school of philosophy ; and he retained the discipline and exactness of method which that school imparts to its disciples, while he abandoned its peculiar doctrines. There is no grammatical work on the Latin language, whose design and plan are so perfect as that of the School Grammar of Bilroth, recently edited by Ellendt. The arrangement is so systematic and the rules so clear and precise, that, had the author given as much attention to the details of the language as to the method of treating it, scarcely anything more could be desired. Otto Schulz has also won general respect on account of the logical accuracy and the perspicuity which characterize his Latin Grammar. Reuscher, from Reissig's school, has attracted less notice. Reissig's lectures on Latin grammar, edited after his death by Haase, give abundant evi. dence of the high aims of their author, but they also betray his defects. In themselves considered, they are a singular compound of seriousness and frivolity, of ingenuity and prejudice; while for the present age they are rendered truly valuable by Haase's ample and critical notes. Though these latter are very rich, and accurate in the examples collected, the results cannot always be trusted, on account of the occasional incompleteness of the collections made.

Before we pass to an examination of the work before us, it seems to us necessary to premise a few observations on the nature of grammar in general, and on the method of the grammar of a given particular language in particular. We may thereby not only avoid a direct collision with the respected author,—which would be of no use here where we are concerned with principles


Syntax of Zumpt's Grammar.


alone,—but we may have more space for the discussion of the necessary details. We have directed our attention, with intense interest, for a series of years to the grammar of Zumpt, and made it the basis of our study of the Latin language, and especially of the language of Cicero, whose entire works we have perused fourteen times for grammatical purposes, and may therefore, perhaps, indulge the hope of being able to contribute something from this source to the improvement of that valuable work. It will, of course, be impossible to incorporate in this review all the results of the investigations which we have thus made. We must, therefore, content ourselves with producing only so much as a regard to the practical influence of this work as a school-book requires.

If language is the form which thought assumes, grammar is one department of the philosophical treatment of that form. Lex. icography is the other. Grammar treats of the connection of single forms of thought in constituting a sentence. Now as every man has an individual character peculiar to himself, so has every nation its peculiar character. Although the individual thinks according to the same general law as the nation, and even the race, still, if he have a marked character, he will express his thoughts in a peculiar way. This constitutes his style, by which nothing is meant but his peculiar mode of expressing his ideas. Precisely the same is true of a nation as such. Its language has differ. ent characteristics from those of any other nation. Even when several languages have one common descent, the offspring have a family resemblance. But they nevertheless differ from each other like different children of the same parents.

For authors of grammars, it was a happy era when men were unsuspecting enough to regard grammar as a statute-book, which regardless of legal principles, was a mere record of positive enactments. At that time, all grammars of the various languages were of the same stamp. The grammatical observations of most of the Dutch philologists on particular authors would fit one author just as well as another. When this comfortable manner had had its day, an attempt was made to substitute in its place what was called philosophical grammar. To this class belong the grammatical works of Vater and Sylvester de Sacy. It could not, however, but become evident in a short time, that nothing could come of such a method but definitions; and even these were defective because they were not the result of historical investigation. At present, this method is merged in the logical, founded on the

analysis of thought, which Becker, Herling and their numerous followers have adopted.

It is, to be sure, possible to sketch an image of an individual, by stating and illustrating the nature of man in general, and then pointing out how that nature is modified in the case of a given person. But this is a long and circuitous way, in which one is in danger of losing sight of the direct object of his pursuit. Again, all the grammars of languages the most various would, by such a procedure, come to have the same features. This method is correct only when one applies it to his mother tongue, which in this way alone can be thoroughly comprehended; for the investigator then sees in it his own spirit embodied in a distinct form, and thus the laws of the language are laid open to him.

If two grammars of two distinct languages resemble each other more than the languages themselves do, or-to retain the figure formerly employed-more than two individuals do, either one or both of them are constructed on false principles. The true principle is to be found only in the nature of the language, as the form which thought assumes, that is, in the form as such. The key to the peculiar character of a people is furnished by this form or mode of expression, not by the thought or thoughts as such, which, in particular circumstances might, for anything that appears to the contrary, belong to many nations. But how differently are the same thoughts expressed in different languages !

The grammarian must first acquire a view of the character of a people by studying separately and distinctly and then classifying the facts of its language and history, which together constitute, as it were, its soul and body. Hereby will he obtain a true image of the nature of the human mind as it is modified in the particular type before him. Then can he with the greater certainty, trace the individual traits, and show how these, when combined, must produce the general features as a whole.

We cannot here follow out this train of thought, or give more particularly the grounds for characterizing the Latin as the language of rigid law, the Greek, as the language of art unconscious. ly representing ideal beauty, and the German as the transition from the former to the latter, or rather the combination of what is authoritative and objective in the former with what is spontaneous and subjective in the latter. We have discussed these points in another place. We are here concerned, not so much with these views, as with the right apprehension of the principle on

· Otto Wigand's Vierteljahrschrift, Vol. I. No. 1, 1845.

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True Principles of Grammar.

417 which every grammar of a foreign language must be founded, namely, that of the particular form of such language. The prin. ciple on which a grammar of one's mother tongue is to be prepared, must, indeed, always be that of logical analysis.

Our author was the first to construct a grammar thoroughly on the latter principle. At the same time, his talent for nice observation, and his habits of careful investigation tended, in the course of several successive editions, to render that principle a secondary, and the perfecting of the several rules, a primary object. This the author himself confesses in his various prefaces, though not without side glances and an unfriendly mien at the method of later grammarians. We can easily imagine that a man who has accomplished what Zumpt has done, may become so attached to his work as to be shy of those who would improve upon the principle on which it is founded. We are far from wishing to cast reproach upon him, or upon any other person, for such a cause ; for we recognize in this a necessity of nature from which no one is exempt, and least of all any one who, with great effort and devotedness to his task, has, for his times, accomplished it in a manner worthy of all imitation.

Being unable to compress into a single article any thorough examination of so broad a subject as that of Latin grammar in its whole extent, and having elsewherel reviewed the etymological part of this same work, we shall restrict ourselves, in the present instance, to that part of the grammar which treats of the Syntax of the Latin tongue. We shall follow our author section by section, making such corrections and additions as seem to us neces. sary.

It may be proper here to remark, that the ninth edition of this Grammar does not differ essentially in its character from the eighth. The changes introduced relate not to the plan or ten. dency of the work, but consist in additions, improvements and corrections; and these are to be found on almost every page. The sections from 804 to 812, vary indeed in their order slightly from those of the preceding editions; but no great inconvenience to those who wish to combine the use of the last with


other edition will arise from so trifling a change.

We begin with $ 363. In this section, according to the most recent investigations, a larger range is given to the use of the adjective as a substantive than was given in the former edition. Even before that edition Klotz had proved, in a remark on Cice

· Mager's Padagogische Revue, 1845, Nos. 1 and 2.

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