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Take the very word which Walker On the whole, should Mr. S. see selects to exemplify the contrary po- fit, as I hope he will, in a subsesition to mimic. Now while we quent edition, to give us a correct must, as he observes, retain the k orthography, I believe his work in mimicking, we must omit it in would be immediately adopted inmimical and mimically. So of the to general use. But the error on word politic, from which we have which I have dwelt so long, is of so political, politically, and politician, fundamental a character in a spelall without the k. The same may ling-book, that I should advise the be shown of almost every verb, community to forego the other bennoun, and adjective, once ending efits of the book for a while, howevin ck, from which any formatives er highly I prize them ; for some are made. The very argument then other author will soon come forth which Walker brings against the who will embody his improvements wisdom of dropping the k, is as com- and avoid his obliquities, if he does plete as any majority of cases can not see fit to correct them. make it in favour of the omission. Where the present edition is inIt is the only way to produce regu- troduced in any school, I should larity in these formatives.
advise the teacher to be at the It is to be remembered that Wal- trouble of dashing out from every ker does not at all advise to the re- copy the words in wbich an obsoinstatement of k in words where lete spelling is adopted. It will custom has dropped it. He only not be so much trouble as for the wishes the revolution may stop children to learn and then unlearn where it is. To this, so far as the them and acquire a correct orthoconstruction of a present vocabu- graphy. Or perhaps the better way lary is concerned, we can have no will be, to omit the tables altogethobiection. Let Mr. S. only give er, and to teach the pupils spelling us the present fashion of spelling, from the reading lessons of almost and it is all we ask; but for him to any other book. One of the best give us an obsolete one, is really as items of advice which Lord Chesabsurd as to publish for the laws of terfield, that philosopher on fashthe land, a code long since repeal. ions, gave to his son, was, to acquire ed. It is surely worse than useless his orthography by observing the for a child to learn a mode of spel. manner in which words were spelt ling not in common use, for he will in common books, and not in dichave to unlearn it again, and to ac- tionaries. Then he would be in quire the current mode, on penalty fashion ; but if he had recourse of being branded as old fashioned to a dictionary, he would surely be a penalty, by the way, which Mr. behind it. s. would deem absolutely insuffer- I should think it an additional able in the article of pronunciation. improvement to the many which Upon what principle it is that he Mr. S. has already given us in his would so zealously urge forward our book, were heto introduce a well dichildren to adopt a new fashion in gested system of rules for the spel. pronunciation, even before it is gen- ling of derivatives. These words erally adopted in our community, are really the most perplexing to and which in itself is no improve- a writer of any in the language. ment, and at the same time drive He wants some rule, in participles them back to an old fashioned or for instance, to guide him when to thography, and beat them off from omit the final vowel of the verb, or a real improvement completely es- to double its final consonant. And tablished, I am at a loss to deter- what increases the necessity of such mine.
a system of rules tenfold, is the Vol. I.--No. III.
fact that these derivatives are not destitute of interest to the mass of inserted in common dictionaries, adult population, is still of vastly so that one is now left without any more importance to the coming means at hand for deciding the or- generations than many a mighty thography, in case he is not fortu tome which we patiently hear launate enough to recollect the man- ded through some fifty pages of a ner in which he has seen it spelt laboured review. Should these rein the course of his reading. Our marks contribute at all to render language, not withstanding its many any future work of this kind better, anomalies, is sufficiently regular to or to prepare the community te render an extensive code of rules appreciate any proposed improveat once practicable and of great ments, I shall not regret the labour utility. I would also add, that I they have cost me. see nothing which bids so fair to I must still beg leave to make preserve our orthography from in- one more suggestion, though but novation and to render it uniform. remotely connected with the pres. I believe too it would be a vast fa ent subject. May there not be cility in the acquisition of orthogra- ultimately introduced into printed phy, for the youth, at an early pe- books, a system of stenography in riod, to commit thoroughly to mem- which a single distinct character ory such a system of rules, illustra- shall denote a syllabic sound, howted by appropriate examples. It ever differently that sound may now would supercede the great toil and be spelt in different words? The burden to the memory now requis- benefits of such an improvement, ite for learning to spell in detail all if practicable, would compensate the words we have to use. Such the labour of a hundred lives. The rules, to some extent, have already immense labour now spent in the been given by different authors; acquisition and practice of spelling, but we should be glad to see them would be superceded--the pronunincreased and better digested, and ciation and notation of words, would embodied as a leading and principal stand a fairer chance to become part of an elementary work.
permanent, as we are informed is I will here take occasion to re- the fact in some languages of India mark that we manifestly need a pri- by their having no silent nor supermary book for children of much fluous letters, nor any letter denosmaller dimensions than a common ting more than one sound and spelling-book, and of perhaps one books might be reduced to half the fourth the price, for the purpose of price by the reduction in size. teaching the alphabet and a very The obvious mode of effecting such few of the first rudiments. It might a change, would be, first to conperhaps be more adapted to the in- struct with great care the requisite fant mind, and would certainly be system of stenography; and then a great saving of expense to the to print the bible and other common community, as it is an obvious waste books in this character, with the for a child to destroy a large book, requisite explanations of the noas is the common fact, in acquiring tation at the beginning; and to rely what is contained on a very few of on the reduction of price to give its pages. Perhaps the Franklin them currency. Once introduced, Primer is the work we need.. the system would then be taught
My apology for having detained in schools, instead of the alphabet, your readers so long on this article, spelling, &c., and the toil of years is the importance of the subject would be reduced to months, and A spelling-book, however small in the time saved would be so much size, and humble in pretensions, and added to each one's life and use
fulness. The present tedious and correct and elevate our standard of absurd* notation would be learnt excellence. But if we look for asonly by a few, as Greek and Saxon sistance in our endeavors to reach are now; and for the same rea- the standard they thus enable us sons. Such a project is at least to conceive, we must go farther. worthy of a sufficient investigation When we have ascertained the exto enable those to decide on its cellencies that marked the public practicability who may now be spen- efforts of an eminent orator, we ding their learned leisure to no should trace back those excellenbetter purpose.
cies to their source in the intellectI close by reminding Mr. S. that ual and moral character of the in the attempt to revive an obsolete man; and not only so, but we orthography, he is virtually guilty should inquire how that character of the very crime he so heavily was formed. We should recur to charges on Mr. Webster—"inno- his history ; learn what were the vation.” It is very much the same powers and traits which nature sort of innovation as to explode our gave, and by what discipline they present well established improve- were improved and brought into ments in government and reduce useful exercise ; what was the us again to the shackles of a foreign peculiar style of eloquence he had monarchy.
proposed to cultivate, and what course he pursued to effect his de
sign. THE ELOQUENCE OF MASSILLON. He who should thus present to
In consulting the great models us the eloquence of Massillon, givof pulpit eloquence, we have not ing to its principal traits that dissecured our only, or our chief ad. tinctness and bold relief that would vantage, while we limit our inqui. impress us with a just sense of their ries simply to an examination of value ; and then point to their ortheir public efforts. We may ac. igin in the private character and curately analyse the eloquence of life of the man, would doubteach ; we may refer the success of less render us important service. one to an impressive delivery, of Shrinking, for reasons obvious another, to sound and logical argu- enough, from such a task, I shall mentation, of a third, to strength only say a few things respecting and vivacity of conception, of a Massillon as a man and as a preachfourth, to an earnest and powerful er. mode of appeal to the hearts and Massillon was born in 1663, in consciences of men, and of another an obscure town of Provence, still, to some or all of these united. where his father lived, a poor AtSo far we have done well. By a torney. At the age of seventeen, familiarity with these qualities as he joined the congregation of the they appear in others, and an esti. Oratory, by which I suppose we are mate of their comparative value, we to understand the preaching frater
nity of the Roman Catholic church. * Absurd. An uncommonly intelligent He soon distinguished himself by and enterprising Moonshee commenced
his public addresses in various parts the study of English under the tuition of one of our missionaries in India. But
of the country, whither he was sent when he had spent some time in an at- by his superiors. tempt to learn our mode of combiningA simple circumstance will show letters into syllables and words, perplexed that modesty and humility were with the use of silent letters, and the very prominent traits of Massillon at different powers of the same letters, he abandoned the project, declaring that such
this early period. Though but a a language could contain nothing worthy mere boy, he was appointed to proof the acquisition.
nounce funeral orations on two the heart of the young monarch, archbishops ; and his attempts on for whom they were designed. these occasions were attended with About this time, he was elected the most flattering success. Alarm- member of the French Academy. ed at his growing reputation, and But nothing could detain him longdreading, as he said, the demon er from his flock. He sought in of pride, he resolved to escape him Clermont, a retreat from the great forever, and consigned himself to world where his talents had gained seclusion by becoming a monk in him the applauses of courtiers, and an abbey, where the strictest disci- dedicated those talents to the inpline was observed. It was not struction of a less splendid, but long, however, before he exposed more humble and docile audience. himself again by a letter, which he The charges which he delivered was employed to address, on some from time to time to his curates, particular occasion, to a dignitary are placed high among his works. of the church. The merit of the “He preached to them,” says composition excited inquiry, and d'Alembert in his eulogy, “the as soon as it was ascertained that virtue, of which he set an example, he was its author, he was obliged disinterestedness, simplicity, forto quit the habit and resume that getfulness of himself, the active and of the Oratory.
prudent earnestness of an enlightAfterwards, while theological pro- ened conviction, very different from fessor at Vienne, he delivered the that fanaticism which proves nothfuneral oration of Villars, archbish- ing but the blindness of zeal, and op of that city. On this occasion which makes its own sincerity very he seems to have given brilliant doubtful.” promise of his future celebrity. In His charity to the poor was unconsequence of his rising reputa- bounded. His whole revenue was tion, he was called to Paris, where at their service. Says the same he charmed the most crowded au- writer, “His diocese retain the diences, by a style of eloquence remembrance of his benefits now, peculiarly his own. Appointed, at after thirty years, and his memory length, to preach before the court is still honored by the most eloof Versailles, he was received with quent of all funeral orations, the undiminished favour. After the tears of a hundred thousand peodeath of Lewis XIV, the regent ple, whom his bounty made hapnominated him to the bishopric of py.” Not content with devoting Clermont. Before retiring to his his fortune to the indigent, he emdiocese, however, he was engaged ployed his interest and his pen in to preach again at Versailles before their favour; and presented to the the new king, then nine years of court such pictures of the misery age. In the course of three months, he saw around him, as obtained he composed and delivered those either actual contributions for them, discourses which are known by the or a considerable abatement of their name of Petit Careme. Of these taxes. His letters on this subject it is remarked, that though not in are said to be master-pieces of elothe highest degree finished, and quence and pathos, superior even perhaps inferior to some of his great to the finest of his sermons. He sermons, in pathos and vehemence, died in 1742 in the 79th year of his yet their eloquence is more insin- age. uating and delicate, and they con Massillon, as an orator, enjoyed vey those simple and affecting les- unrivalled favour in his day, and he sons, which were calculated to pen- has gained to himself a name which etrate agreeably as well as forcibly will not soon be forgotten. To
what did he owe this uncommon Lewis XIV, which convey the favour, to what his celebrity ? highest encomium a minister of
I believe it may be said to the Christ can deserve, and which credit of Massillon, that his popu- should be told wherever the name larity did not arise from any thing of Massillon is known. “Father,” like a compromising spirit, which said he to the orator, “when I would lead him to relax the strict- hear other preachers, I often go ness of religious truth, the better to away pleased with them, but your conciliate the favour of his hearers. sermons always leave me displeasOn the other hand, he appears ed with myself.” every where clothed in the dignity Massillon does not owe his disof the messenger of God to guilty tinction either to peculiar copiousman, every where he manifests the ness or depth of thought, or to any same holy indignation against impi- niceness of logical argument. In ety. How far he could use the these respects he is ranked below language of compliment, may be his countrymen Bourdaloue and seen in the following instance. It Bossuet. He has less parade of is from d'Alembert's account of learning too, than the first, at least his first effort at Versailles. “Lew- of patristic lore. It is remarked is XIV, was then at the zenith of by many that he was not sufficienthis power and glory ; he had been ly studious in his youth, but trusted victorious in every part of Europe ; too much to his quickness of parts, he was adored by his subjects, in- and that often he does not suffi. toxicated with fame, and surfeited ciently search beforehand into the with adulation. Massillon chose for bottom of his subjects. his text that passage of scripture The great excellence of Massilwhich seemed the least adapted lon as an orator consisted in a for such a prince, “ Blessed are knowledge of the human heart, that they who weep ;" and from that enabled him to present to every text he conveyed a compliment hearer a picture of himself which which seemed to be dictated by he could not but recognise, and an the gospel itself, (and such as an unction both of style and delivery, apostle might have paid) “ Sire," which by its mild, insinuating, atsaid he, addressing the king, “ if tractive influence, charmed away the world were to address you from the opposition of even the unregenthis place, it would not say, Blessed erate man, and made him look are they who weep. Happy, would steadily at the painful picture so it say, that prince, who never fought accurately drawn. These are the but to conquer ; who hath filled traits on which the admirers of the universe with his fame, who in Massillon fix their eye, and which the course of a long and prosper- indeed flash upon us wherever we ous reign, has enjoyed all that open his volumes. I would have men admire in the splendor of con- you view them as they were comquest, the love of his people, the bined in the orator ; and to aid you esteem of his enemies, the wisdom in this I cannot do better than to of his laws. But, Sire, the gospel quote again the finished eulogy of does not speak the language of the d'Alembert. “He was persuaded world.” Even when addressing a that if a minister of the gospel dehaughty monarch and a dissolute grades himself by circulating known court, Massillon seems to have truths in vulgar language, he fails been ever true to his sacred office : on the other hand, in thinking to humble, but firm. Of this we have reclaim by profound argumentasufficient evidence, if other proofs tion, a multitude of hearers who are were wanting, in those words of by no means able to comprehend