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Aorist of the Present. Ipaíow. Scribo. I write.
Aorist of the Past. "Eypala. Scripfi. I wrote.
Aorist of the Future.
Middle or extended Present.
Scribo or Scribens fum. I am writing,
Completive Present. Teypepeo Scrips. I have written.
Inceptive Palt. "Emedor ypacew. Scripturus eram. I was beginning to write.
Middle or extended Past. "Eypac@or or érólxavor ypaćqwr. Scribebam. I was writing.
Completive Paft. 'Eyeypaceiv. Scripferam. I had done writing.
Inceptive Future. Marrow xpeépsus. Scripturus ero. I shall be beginning to write.
Middle or extended Future. "Ecopares ypałowy. Scribens ero. I shall be writing.
Completive Future. 'Ecout yeypaus. Scripfero. I shall have done writing.
It is not to be expected that the above hypothefis should be justified through all instances in every language. It fares with Tenses, as with other affections of speech; be the Janguage upon the whole ever so perfect, much must be left, in defiance of all analogy, to the harsh laws of mere Authority and Chance.'
Our author, having finished, in his first book, those principal parts of speech the substantive and the attributive, proceeds in his second to treat of definitives and conne&tives. Definitives, he tells us, are either articular or pronominal ; and connectives, either prepositions or conjunctions : all these he
.considers at full length. With regard to interjections, he fays, they coincide with no part of speech, but are either utter'd alone, or else thrown into a sentence, without altering its form, either in syntax or signification. To those who ask, What are they? he answers, Not so properly parts of speech, as adventitious sounds, certain voices of nature, rather than voices of art, expressing those passions and natural emotions, which spontaneously arise in the human soul, upon the view or narrative of interesting events, This book is closed with answers to those who ask, What is the utility of such enquiries ? Our author Thews, that there is a pleasure in science itself, distinct from any end, to which it may be farther conducive ; and that every exercise of the mind upon theorems of science, like generous and manly exercise of the body, tends to call forth and strengthen nature's original vigour. Be the subject itself, says he, immediately lucrative or not, the nerves of reason are braced by the mere employ, and we become abler actors in the drama of life, whether our part be of the busier, or of the sedater kind'.
In the third Book he considers language with a view to its matter and form. Its matter, says he, is recogniz'd, when 'tis considered as a voice ; its form, as ’tis fignificant of our several ideas : so that upon the whole it may be defined -- A System of articulate voices, the Symbols of pur Ideas, but of those principally, which are general or uniPerfal.
After this he proceeds to enquire by what process we come to perceive general Ideas. Man's first perceptions, says he, are those of the Senses, in as much as they commence from his earliest infancy. These perceptions, if not infinite, are at least indefinite, and more fleeting and tranfient than the very objects which they exhibit, because they not only depend upon the existence of those objects, but because they cannot subsist, without their immediate presence. Hence therefore it is, that there can be no sensation of either Past or Future, and consequently, bad the soul no other faculties than the Senses, it never could acquire the least idea of Time.
. But happy for us we are not deserted here. We have in the first place a faculty, called Imagination or fancy, which however as to its energies it may be subsequent to Sense, yet is truly prior to it both in dignity and use. This 'tis which retains the fleeting forms of things, when Things themselves are gone, and all Sensation at an end.
“That this faculty, however connected with Sense, is still perfectly different, may be seen from hence. We have an imagination of things, that are gone and extinct; but no such things can be made objects of Sensation. We have an easy command over the objects of our Imagination, and call them forth in almost what manner we please; but our Sensations are neceffary, when their objects are present, nor can we controul them, but by removing either the objects, or ourselves.
• As the wax would not be adequate to its business of signature, had it not a power to retain, as well as to receive; the fame holds of the Soul, with respect to Sense and
Imagination. Sense is its receptive power; Imagination its retentive. Had it Sense without Imagination, 'twould not be as wax, but as water, where, tho' all impressions may be instantly made, yet as soon as made they are instantly loft.
“Thus then, from a view of the two powers taken together, we may callSense (if we please) a kind of transient Imagination; and Imagination, on the contrary, a kind of permanent Sense.
• Now, as our Feet in vain venture to walk upon the ri'ver, till the frost bind the current, and harden the yielding surface; so does the Soul in vain seek to exert its higher powers, the powers I mean of Reason and Intellect, till 1magination first fix the fluency of Sense, and thus provide a proper basis for the support of its higher energies.
i After this manner, in the admirable oeconomy of the whole, are Natures subordinate made subservient to the higher. Were there no Things external, the Senfes could not operate; were there no Sensations, the Imagination could not operate ; and were there no Imagination, there could be neither Reasoning, nor Intellection, such at least as they are found in Man, where they have their Intensions and Remiffions in alternate fucceffion, and are at first nothing better than a mere Capacity or Power. Whether every IntelJect begins thus, may be perhaps a question ; especially if there be any one of a nature more divine, to which In• tension and Remission and mere Capacity are unknown.' But not to digress.
''Tis then on these permanent phantasms that the human Mind first works, and by an energy as spontaneous and familiar to its nature, as the seeing of colours is familiar to the
eye, it discerns at once what in many is one ; what in things dissimilar and different is similar and the fame. By this it comes to behold a kind of superior objects ; a new race of perceptions, more comprehenlive than those of
Sense; a race of perceptions, each one of which may be found intire and whole in the separate individuals of an infinite and fleeting multitude, without departing from the unity and permanence of its own nature.
And thus we see the Process by which we arrive at general Ideas ; for the perceptions here mentioned are in fact no other. In these two we perceive the objects of Science and real Knowledge, which can by no means be, but of that which is general, and definite, and fixt. Here too even Individuals, however of themselves unknowable, become objects of Knowledge, as far as their nature will permit. For then only may any particular be said to be known, when, by asserting it to be a man, or an animal, or the like, we refer it to some such compreben five or general Idea,
Now, 'tis of these comprebensive and permanent Ideas, the genuine Perceptions of pure Mind, that Words of all Languages, however different, are the Symbols. And hence it is, that as the Perceptions include, so da these their Symbols express, not this or that set of Particulars only, but all indifferently, as they happen ta occur. Were therefore the inhabitants of Salisbury to be transferred to York, tho' new particular objects would appear on every fide, they would still no more want a new language to explain themselves, than they would want new Minds to comprehend what they beheld. All indeed that they would want would be the local proper names ; which names, we have faid already, are hardly a part of language, but must equally be learnt both by learned and unlearned, as often as they change the place of their abode.
''Tis upon the same principles we may perceive the reafon, why the dead languages (as we call them) are now intelligible; and why the language of modern England is able to describe antient Rome; and that of antient Rome to describe modern England.'
Having taken a view of the process, by which we acquire general Ideas, our author endeavours next to discover whence'tis they originally come, and what kind of beings they are. Here he has several oblique reflexions on our modern Metaphysicians, who derive our Ideas from Sensation, &c. tho', if we rightly apprehend his meaning, the difference between him and them is not very great, and rather verbal than real.
In the last chapter of this book he treats of the subordination of Intelligence, the different genius of different Languages, &6. hear what he says.
Original Truth, having the most intimate connection with the supreme Inteligence, may be faid (as it were) to Ahine with unchangeable splendour, enlightening throughout the universe every pollible subject, by nature susceptible of its benign influence. Paflions and other obstacles may prevent indeed its efficacy, as clouds and vapours may obscure the sun ; but itself neither admits diminution nor change, because the darkness respects only particular percipients. Among these therefore we must look for ignorance and error, and for that subordination of Intelligence, which is their natural consequence.
“We have daily experience in the works of Art, that a partial kuowledge will suffice for contemplation, tho' we know not enough, to profess ourselves artists. Much more is this true, with respect to Nature ; and well for mankind is it found to be true, elle never could we attain any natural knowledge at all. For if the constitutive proportions of a clock are so fubtle, that few conceive them truly, but the artist himself; what shall we say to those seminal proportions which make the essence and character of every natural subjeet ? --- Partial views, the imperfections of Sense; inattention, idleness, the turbulence of passions ; education, local sentiments, opinions, and belief, conspire in many instances to furnish us with Ideas, some too general, fome too partial, and (what is worse than all this) with many that are erroneous, and contrary to truth. These it behoves us to correct as far as poffible, by cool suspense, and candid examination,
Νηφε, και μέμνησ’ απισεϊ, άρθρα ταύτα των φρενών. . And thus, by a connection perhaps little expected, the cause of Letters and that of Virtue appear to coincide, it being the business of both to examine our Ideas, and to amend them by the standard of Nature and of Truth.
In this important work, we shall be led to observe, how Nations, like single Men, have their peculiar Ideas ; how these peculiar Ideas become the Genius of their Language, since the Symbol must of course correspond to its Archetype ; how the wisest nations, having the most and best Ideas, will consequently have the best and most copious Lauguages; how others, whose languages are motly and compounded, and who have borrowed from different countries different arts and practices, discover by Words, to whom they are indebted for Things.
• To illustrate what has been said, by a few examples. We Britons in our times have been remarkable borrowers,