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signifies literally, a small dagger, similar in form to the stylus.

Tantalus a king of Phrygia; tantalize. Tantalus is represented by the poets as punished in hell with insatiable thirst, and placed up to the chin in a pool of water, which flowed away as soon as he attempted to taste it: hence the word tantalize.

Tornus a turner's wheel; turn, return; attorney. This last word signifies literally one who takes the tornus, turn or place of another; its application is now, however, restricted to individuals who act as substitutes for others concerned in an action before a court of law.

Tragosa he-goat; tragedy, tragedian. Tragedy, from the word in question, and ode=a song, is that species of poetic composition which by the ancients was rewarded with a he-goat given to him who excelled therein.


Tropaion a trunk of a tree maimed of its branches, and fixed by the victors on the spot, where they turned the enemy to flight; hence the word trophy.

Turannos a person who usurped the regal office without any title thereto; tyrant, tyranny, tyrannise. Such persons made the most of their position, not expecting to hold it long, and treated their subjects cruelly; hence the word tyrannise signifies, literally, to act the tyrannus, that is, to ill-treat.

Umbra a shadow; umbrageous, umbrage. A man is said to take or receive an umbrage, or offence, at somebody; that is, to be so disposed towards an individual as to indicate the disposition by a shade or gloom on the countenance, as opposed to brightness or cheerfulness.

Utopia the name of a work written by Sir Thomas More, in which he discusses what a perfect commonwealth should be; hence utopian is an English adjective, signifying imaginary, visionary, &c. &c.

Vallum a fence, rampart; interval. This word, from inter = between, and vallum, signifies literally the space between two palisades or ramparts; hence, secondarily, the distance between any two objects; and hence, again, it is applied to the distance in time between any two events.

Of the prefixes and postfixes, which enter so largely into, and exercise so much influence in modifying words derived

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from the classical anguages, it is superfluous to take notice, as they can be found discussed at large in every book, no matter how small, devoted to researches in the field of derivation. The foregoing examples have been given merely to shew in what way words should be traced to their original, and not as in any measure intended to exhaust the subject, which, as a matter of course, is intimately connected with philological grammar.



WORDS have been treated of hitherto according to the classes into which they are, for convenience sake, subdivided, and agreeably to their characteristic functions in their individual capacity. To know that house is called a noun, and was built a verb, and large an adjective, and carefully an adverb, however useful such knowledge may be, is, after all, but of secondary importance, and of itself manifestly insufficient to enable a man so to express himself as to convey an intelligible idea as to what he speaks of.

The aforesaid words may be so arranged as, when spoken or written, not to convey any sense or meaning whatever; they may also be so spoken by a certain arrangement, as to convey at once to the hearer a definite sense, and thereby the thoughts which are passing in the mind of the speaker. The assemblage of those laws which point out such an order of words as is conducive to the accurate expression of thought, and the collection of such rules as have been laid down by grammarians as to the government of words and their mutual dependence on each other, are usually called Syntax, from the Greek prefix sun together, and tasso I arrange or set in order.

It is not to be imagined, however, that such rules were first laid down, and that language adapted itself thereto afterwards. However language was acquired by man, there can be no doubt that at a certain period of the age of the human family, considered as an individual, it was both simple in its kind, and inartificial in its laws; it was adapted to the exigencies of the age, and required not the aid of artistic skill to arrange its order; the wants of man were few, and the signs capable of expressing such wants but comparatively scanty. Afterwards, when the human family had progressed in knowledge and civilization, when the human intellect had become expanded, and man had commenced the attempt of penetrating into the mysteries of mind and matter, language, no doubt, changed its external aspect, and adapted itself to the requirements of a new state of things. Improvements followed in this as in every other department of human knowledge; instead of the simple expression of simple men, such artificial complex expressions arose, as to render it necessary that an understood order and arrangement should be adopted, in order that men should not express themselves in their communications with each other in an unknown tongue.

Such order and such arrangement were dictated, in every instance, by necessity, and not by arbitrary rules. The modes of expression originated in the desire of men to express themselves intelligibly, and the several formulæ of words had their existence in the disposition of man to convey to his fellow man the sentiments of his mind in the shortest possible time. By degrees, such order became so intricate, and such formulæ so diversified, as to originate a necessity for treatises thereon, in order to facilitate the knowledge thereof; hence the rules of Grammar, which deal with, and illustrate the usage of a language, rather than attempt to establish it—which point out the laws of a language as it has existed, rather than attempt to alter it into the form in which it should exist; and thus the usage of a language is first established, and rules are afterwards collected to illustrate it.

Rules, therefore, do not precede nor establish usage; but usage gives birth to rules, which are useful in their place, but can never obviate the necessity, on the part of him

who would acquire a thorough mastery over a language, of studying it as it is exhibited in the writings of such authors as are acknowledged to be standards of composi tion therein. If all the intricacies and verbal formulæ, the genius and philosophy, the idiomatic phrases and figures of a single language were searchingly discussed, volumes upon volumes would be requisite, and afterwards something would remain to be done; the laws laid down in such discussion would never be sufficient for the formation of a man's style of writing; nor, possibly, to protect him against the commission of the grossest blunders.

Rules of grammar are the result of observation; he, therefore, who observes accurately and closely the laws and usage of a language has, to a certain extent, forestalled the compiler of rules; but, as the experience and observation of no single individual extend to every peculiarity of a language, rules, even to him who is deeply read in such matters, are not without their use, in enabling him, if no more, to compare his own experience with that of others, and test the accuracy of his own observations by bringing them into contact with those of others put before him in the tangible form of practical rules; whilst to him, who has not the opportunity of extensive observation, or wants that power of analysis which would enable him to judge for himself, rules are indispensable, as the means whereby he can acquire anything like accuracy of expression and perspicuity of style. Still, even for such as the latter, rules and formulæ will of themselves be insufficient, without, at least, such an amount of reading and observation as will render language familiar to him, and enable him clearly to apply and forcibly reduce to practical effect the principles he may have gathered from writers on Grammar.

To all, therefore, who would acquire correctness of expression, and such views of the functions, government, order, and usage of words, as conduce thereto, extensive reading, and, above all, habitual observation and deep thinking, are recommended as necessary in addition to the acquisition of a knowledge of book rules, in order to the formation of that style of writing and speaking which exercises such important influence on the career of every individual on whom is laid the necessity of making (so to

speak) his own fortune, and rising above the position in which he may find himself accidentally placed.

All language, whether spoken or written, consists of sentences, or, logically speaking, propositions; that is, an assemblage of words so arranged and connected together in such order as to convey a perfect sense, and represent clearly to him who reads or hears, as it may be, the idea present to the mind of him who writes or speaks.

All sentences assert something of some noun, called the subject of affirmation. In the expression, “The sun shines," shines makes the affirmation, and hence is called the predicate, that is, the word which asserts; sun is the name of that of which it is asserted that it shines, and hence is called the subject of affirmation, or the subject of the sentence. Besides the foregoing two parts, there is in some sentences another, as in the expression, "The master beats his slave;" wherein the word slave, the name of the individual who receives the act expressed by the verb, is called the object or receiver of the act, from ob=in the way of, and jectus thrown. It is laid down, therefore, that the essentials of all sentences are a subject and predicate; and in the case of sentences wherein occurs a transitive verb, an object in addition.


The old logicians reduced all things capable of being asserted into five divisions, called predicables, under which, they said, was contained all that can be logically asserted about anything. These predicables were called-genus, species, difference, property, and accident; and the doctrine of those who made such subdivision was, that when we make any affirmation whatever about anything, we can declare only to what genus or species the thing belongs, or what the essential difference of it is, or some property or accident which it has connected with it.


All sentences are either simple or complex. A simple sentence has in it but one subject and one predicate. `A complex sentence has in it more than one subject or more than one verb or predicate. Pompey the Great conquered the Jews," is a simple sentence, there being in it but one subject, Pompey the Great, and one verb, conquered. "Pompey the Great conquered the Jews, and annexed Palestine as a tributary province to the Roman

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