« PreviousContinue »
kambagambaga, to talk at random habitually
kambagambina, to talk with some one at random. These compound tenses might be still further multiplied, by combining three or more of the simple conjugations into one; thus, kambinazaga, to cause to speak with some one habitually, but such extended combinations are seldom used.
Now, in relation to the above simple and compound forms of the verb, each one of them has, according to principles already mentioned, not only an affirmative active and negative active voice, but also an affirmative and negative passive voice, each one of which is inflected through all the moods and tenses according to the same rules as the radical conjugation, thus giving to the verb a variety and a number of inflections that is surpassed by no language in the world. The number of different forms into which every regular verb may be wrought, not including those which require auxiliary particles, is upwards of two hundred, which must appear astonishingly great when it is remembered that the verb is not inflected on account of person or number. The whole number of tenses or shades of meaning, which an Mpongwe verb may be made to express, with the aid of its auxiliary particles, is between twelve and fifteen hundred. It is not pretended that any one Mpongwe verb is habitually or frequently used in all of these varied and almost interminable ramifications; for this would imply a degree of mental activity to which no native tribe in Africa has attained; but we mean to assert that some parts of every conjugation are less or more frequently, and that the most remote rainification may, at any time be used and convey a precise idea to the mind of the native, even had it been the first time he had ever heard it so used.
It is further important to mention, that the natives do not al. ways confine themselves rigidly to the idiom which is implied by the character of the verb; that is, instead of using these compli. cated combinations, they may express their same ideas by the use of two or more independent words; thus, instead of saying e kanibize, he caused him to speak, they may say e pangë e kamba, i. e. he makes him to talk.
It will be borne in mind too, that, although the inflections of the Mpongwe verb are exceedingly complicated, it preserves a most marked method, and, by committing to memory a few very simple principles, every part may easily be traced up to its root.
It has been remarked that the Mandingo has no passive voice, 1847.]
and that the Grebo, if it really has one, seldom uses it. The Mpongwe, on the other hand, uses the passive voice much more freely than the active; and it may be said with truth, that it never uses an active verb when it can use a passive one. The great partiality which is felt for the use of the passive voice, leads to a species of idiom which is very remarkable indeed. For example, they would be much more likely to say mi töndo n'anlaga, I am loved by people, than to say anlaga wi tonda mie, the people like me; so mi tõndo ndē, I am loved by him, in preference to e tonda mie; they say e bongo n’alugu, i. e. “he is taken or overcome by rum,” for, he is drunk; e nya inyama si jono ndě, i. e. he eats the venison which is killed by him, instead of, which he killed; olõngâ w’inya wi tòndo ne reri yé, i. e. the kind of food that is liked by his father, instead of that which his father likes. The phrase, "your coming to this house," is expressed thus, ibia s'ibio nuwe, literally, " the coming which is comed by you ;" and again, the death which we die in this world, is thus rendered, ijuwa sijuwo zuwe ntye yinâ, i. e. “ the death which is died by us in this world.”
Syntax. But these dialects do not differ from each other less in their construction, or the mode of arranging their words in sentences, than they do in their etymological principles. This will be better understood, however, by arranging a few sentences together with an interlineation of English.
Mand. Abe bungo kono, he is in the bouse.
nge kunna le fa, we killed a bird.
Mpong. anlaga wazyo ui re pupu. All these dialects are poor in point of words; the Grebo much more so than the Mpongwe; there are no corresponding words for rich, hungry, happy, etc. The word pita signifies to squeeze, defraud, cheat, etc. The word die (se) in Grebo signifies to tell a falsehood, to mistake, etc. All terms which belong to the Christian religion, science, government, etc. are wanting. Again there are terms in these languages for which there are no corresponding words in English, the names of trees, grasses, birds, fish, their social economy, systems of idolatry and fables.
University of Oxford.
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
OXFORD is, in some respects, the most picturesque and peculiar city in Europe. Standing on a gentle eminence, it has a marked advantage over Cambridge, the site of the latter being perfectly
The public buildings, too, in Cambridge, are concentrated to a much greater extent than in Oxford on a single street. The eastern university has, however, one structure, with which the banks of the Isis have nothing to compare-King's College chapel,
-" that immense And glorious work of fine intelligence.” They dreamed not of a perishable home
Who thus could build.”— In Oxford, the public edifices are scattered in every part of a city, containing 25,000 inhabitants. The college buildings are situated, with few exceptions, around open courts or quadrangles larger or smaller. One of the colleges has four of these quadrangles; two others, three each. The whole number is about forty. In most of these edifices, taken singly, there is little architectural beauty or magnificence. A great proportion of the buildings are but two stories in height, built of brick and stuccoed. Yet view. ed as a whole, with all their towers and spires, with churches and other edifices intermingled, the effect is very impressive. The fretted pinnacles and lofty spire of St. Mary's church, the domes of the Radcliffe Library and the Theatre, the beautiful Martyrs' memorial cross, the massive tower of Merton College chapel, the unadorned but finely proportioned Magdalen tower, together with many other towers, steeples, turrets and cupolas, some of them partly hidden by the trees, afford a prospect of unmatched interest. Who can estimate the effects, on the heart and mind of a susceptible youth, of those piles, venerable with the moss and stains of ten centuries, before whose mullioned windows and along whose foot-worn halls,' have walked Wiclif, Wolsey, Jewel, Usher, Butler, Hampden, Selden, Locke, Addison, Johnson, Chatham, Wesley, Whitefield and others of the greatest names in history? Whose soul would not be kindled and exalted amid such scenes, where some of the noblest treasures of art VOL. IV, No. 16.
and antiquity are collected, hallowed by the genius and learning and religion of a thousand years!
One of the best points of observation is on the east, at the Magdalen bridge, which spans the Cherwell on the London road. Immediately in front are
“ The stream-like windings of that glorious street," with all its quaint, varied and most suggestive architecture. On the right, resting upon or near High-street, are Magdalen College with its fine gateway, St. Edmund's Hall, Queen's and All Soul's Colleges, the lofty spire of St. Mary's Church, the lesser one of All Saints' Church, the prospect terminating with St. Martin's
On the left is the botanic garden, and beyond are University College and St. Mary's Hall, while further back of this wide and winding street, on either hand, are many other objects in this most striking panorama.
But to obtain a good view of Oxford, it is not necessary to enter the city. The spectator may take his stand in Christ Church meadow on the south. He may step upon the “ Broad Walk," first made by Wolsey, and pass a quarter of a mile under a bow. er of lofty elms, whose branches interlace, till he comes to the margin of the Cherwell. “ Turning to the right and southward, he may follow it, in its windings and dallying eddies, beneath the grassy banks and about the little wooded isle, in which it affects coy reluctance to marriage with the Isis, till at last, bending to meet the renowned river in its fresh youth, the Cherwell adds fulness and perfection to the rejoicing stream.” “The meadow, containing fifty good acres, always beautiful, is, in early Spring, preeminently so; in the glory of the Summer months, the leafy screen shuts out gables, pinnacles, spires, towers; in Spring, the half-opened leaves permit to be seen, between stems and branches, the architectural features of the south face of Oxford ; and goodly, indeed, are they to look upon through that transparent veil.''
Christ Church, to which this meadow belongs, is the largest and richest of the colleges. It stands on the site of St. Frideswide's priory and some inns which were built for the use of students, it is said, in the eighth century. The college owes its es.
, tablishment to Wolsey and Henry VIII. The latter added to it the abbey of Osney, which was the cathedral of the see of Ox. ford, making Christ Church a collegiate church. The Hall is 115
"Oxford Protestant Magazine, May, 1847.