« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
custom of the Moors" to watch from this point all merchantships going into or coming out of the Midland" Sea; and, issuing from this stronghold, to levy duties* according to a fixed scale on all merchandise passing in and out of the straits; and this was called, from the place whore it was levied, "tarifa," or "tariff;" and in this way we have acquired the word.
3. It is a signal evidence of the conservative powers of language, that we may oftentimes65 trace in speech the rec'ords of customs and states of society which have now passed so entirely away as to survive nowhere else but in these words alone. For example, a "stipulation," or agreement, is so called, as many are strong to affirm, from " stip'ula," a straw, because it once was usual, when one person passed over landed property to another, that a straw from the land, as a pledge or representative of the property transferred, should be handed from the seller to the buyer, which afterward was commonly preserved with or inserted in the title-deeds.
4. Whenever we speak of arithmetic" as the science of "calculation," we in fact allude to that rudimental period of the science of numbers when pebbles (cal'culi) were used, as now among savages they often are, to facilitate the practice of counting. In " library " we preserve a record of the fact that books were once written on the bark (liber) of trees.
5. No one now believes in astrol'ogy; yet we seem to affirm as much in language; for we speak of a person as "jovial," or "sat'urnine," or "mercurial;" "jovial," as being born under the planet Jupiter" or Jove; "saturnine," as born under the planet Sat'urn;1' and "mercurial," that is, light-hearted, as those born under the planet Mer'cury" were accounted to be.
6. With how lively an interest shall we discover words to be of closest kin which we had never considered till now but as entire strangers to one another! What a real increase will it be in our acquaintance with and mastery of English, to become aware of such relationship! Thus "heaven "30 is only the perfect of " to heave ;" and is so called because it is " heaved " or "heaven " up, being properly the sky as it is raised aloft. The "smith" has his name from the sturdy blows that he " smites" upon the anvil; "wrong" is the perfect participle of "to wring, that which one has wrung or wrested from the right.
7. The "brunt" of the battle is the " heat" of the battle, where it "burns " the most fiercely. "Haft," as of a knife, is properly only the participle perfect of "to have," that wherebj you " have" or hold it. Or, take two Or three nouns adjective: "strong" is the participle past of " to string;" a "strong" man means no more than one whose sinews33 are firmly "strung.i The "left " hand, as distinguished from the right, is the hand which we " leave ;" inasmuch as for twenty times we use the right hand, we do not once employ the left; and it obtains its name from being " left" unused so often. "Wild " is the participle past of "to will;" a "wild" horse is a "willed"or selfwilled horse, one that has never been tamed, or taught to submit its will to the will of another; and so with a man.
8. Do not suffer words to pass you by which at once provoke and promise to reward inquiry. Here is " conscience,"31 a solemn word, if there be such in the world. This word is from the Latin words " con," with, and "scire," to know. But what does that " con" intend ?" Conscience" is not merely that which I know, but that which I know with some one else; for this pre'fix82 cannot, as I think, be esteemed super'fluous, or taken to imply merely that which I know with or to myself. That ether knower whom the word implies is God,— his law making itseif known and felt in the heart
9. What a lesson the word "diligence" contains! How profitable is it for every one of us to be reminded, — as we are98 reminded when we make ourselves aware of its derivation from "dillgo," to love, — that the only secret of true industry in our work is love of that work!
10. These illustrations are amply enough to justify what I have asserted of the existence of a moral element in words. Must we not own, then, that there is a wondrous and mysterious world, of which we may hitherto have taken too little account, around us and about us; and may there not be a deeper meaning than hitherto we have attached to it lying in that solemn declaration, "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned " I59 R. C. Trench.
SLTII. — THE STREAM THAT WAS MADE TO WORK.
1. That stream which runs through my garden gushes from the side of a furze-covered hill. For a long time it was a happy little stream; it traversed meadows94 where all sorts of lovely wild-flowers bathed and mirrored themselves in its waters; then it entered my garden, and there I was ready to receive it. I had prepared green banks for it; on its edge and in its very bed I had planted those flowers which138 all over the world love to bloom on the banks and in the bosom of pure streams.
2. It flowed through my garden, murmuring its plaintive song; then, fragrant90 with my flowers, it left the garden, crossed another meadow, and flung itself into the sea* over the precipitous sides of a cliff which it covered with foam. It was a happy
stream; it had literally nothing to do beyond what I have said, — to flow, to bubble, to look limpid, to murmur amid flowers and sweet per'fumes.82 But the world is ever jealous of the happiness of gentle indolence.
3. One day my brother Eugene, and Savage, the clever" engineer, were talking together on the banks of the stream, and to a certain degree abusing it, "There," said my brother, " is a fine good-for-nothing stream for you, forsooth! winding and dawdling about, dancing in the sunshii. and revelling in the grass, instead of working and paying for tnt ulace it takes up, as an honest stream should. Could it not be made to grind coffee or pepper ?"—" Or tools ?" added Savage.—" Or to saw boards?" said my brother. I trembled for the stream, and broke off the conversation, complaining that they were trampling on my forgetme-not bed. Alas! it was against these two alone that I could protect the devoted streamlet.
4. Before long there came into our neighborhood a man whom I noticed more than once hanging about the spot where the stream empties'" itself into the sea. The fellow,** I plainly saw, was neither seeking for rhymes nor indulging in reVeries upon its banks; he was not lulling thought to rest with the gentle murmur of its waters. "My good friend," he was saying to the stream, "there you are,83 idling and meandering about, singing to your heart's content, whilellB I am working and wearing myself out. I don't see why you should not help me a bit; as yet you know nothing of the work to be done, but I will soon show you. You will soon know how to set about it. You must find it dull to stay in this way, doing nothing; it would be a change for you to make files or grind knives."
5. Very soon138 wheels of all kinds were brought to the poor stream. From that day forward it has worked and turned a great wheel, which turns a little wheel, which turns a grindstone: it still sings, but no longer the same gently-monofonous song in its peaceful melancholy. Its song is loud and angry now; it leaps and froths and works now, — it grinds knives! It still crosses the meadow, and my garden, and the next meadow; but there the man is on the watch for it, to make it work. I have done the only thing I could do for it. I have dug a new bed for it in my garden, so that it may idle longer there, and leave me a little later; but, for all that, it must go at last and grind knives. Poor stream! thou didst not sufficiently conceal thy happiness in obscurity ; — thou hast murmured too audibly thy gentle music. From The French Of Alphonse Kars.
XLVIII.—A RETROSPECTIVE" REVIEW.
1. O, When I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blithe and kind!
To cast a look behind!
2 A hoop was'an eternal round
Of pleasure. In those days I found
A top a joyous thing;
And careful thoughts the string!
3. My kite,131 how fast and far it flew!
My pleasure from the sky!
Will never soar so high!
4. My joys are wingless all and dead;
My dumps" are made of more than lead
My flights soon find a fall.
And seldom with a call!
5. My football's laid upon the shelf;
The world knocks to and fro;
My arrows and my bow!
6. No more in noontide sun I bask;
My head's ne'er out of school.
And friends grow strangely cool!
7. No skies so blue or so serene
As then ; — no leaves look half so green
As clothed the playground tree;
8. O, for the garb that marked the boy
Well inked with black and red ,
Kepose upon my head!
9. 0, for the lessons learned by heart!
Should mark those hours again;
Some sugar in the cane!
10. When that I was a tiny boy,
My days and nights were full of joy,
My mates were blithe and kind!
To cast a look behind! Thomas noon.
XLIX. — ADDRESS TO THE INDOLENT.
1. Is not the field with lively culture green
A sight more joyous than the dead morass'?
2. It was not by vile loitering in ease
That Greece" obtained the brighter palm57 of art,
3. Had unambitious mortals minded naught