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suppose, one of those which rest on a Biblical as well as on a Catholic basis; but the Church of
Sweden, in omitting the essential part of the rite, • rests, it appears, on her own basis alone.
The administration of this Rite, if we can use such terms in speaking of Swedish confirmation, is not restricted to the episcopal office; each parish priest confirms his flock; and even in this case favouritism is allowed to act, and, with consent obtained, young people may go to read before the priest who is most congenial to themselves or their parents.
WOULD not the most ardent young votary that ever started on a career of dissipation or vice, be checked, if not arrested, at its commencement, by seeing its termination represented in grey-haired age?
I do not mean this for the prelude to a homily, but for an illustration of my observations on the Frenchisms incorporated with the Swedish language; and I intend its moral to apply to ourselves rather than to the Swedes.
Poverty is often pleaded in excuse of crimes : doubtless it is the cause of many : for the destruction of the poor, says Solomon, is their poverty. Therefore the Swedes, arguing on this ground, say they are excusable for all the parodies they have made of the French language, because their own is so poor they could not well read, or write, or speak, without helping themselves from their neighbour's property.
This is true; but the transformation of these terms of speech has a curious effect, both in look and sound; for, being twisted into Swedish on the phonetic principle, they are spelled as they are pronounced. Thus, Följetong, for feuilleton; Fotölj, for fauteuil; Salong, for Salon, and a crowd of others, tend to act as a warning to us against the corruption of two languages.
Sweden has another excuse besides its poverty of speech, for it has recently had a French King and a half; Carl Johan was the whole one, and spoke French only; Gustavus III., the great patron and promoter of literature and the arts, was the half-one. He loved all that was French; and some of his own curiously spelled, and strangely ungrammatical French writing, is preserved in the Upsala library. Grefve P. tells me that French is not nearly so general a part of Swedish school education as it was in his boyhood, when the time of Gustavus III. was not so
far removed; for the spirit of opposition, when a King who could not, or would not, speak Swedish came to the throne, has forced the people back to their own language.
Still these transformed Frenchisms not only remain, but are constantly added to the language. The Swedes are at liberty to do as they like with their mode of speech ; but I wish some stringent law were made at this critical time in England, to prevent the same barbarous infliction on ours.
I find in my truly waste note-book, this entry -“Stupid day-saw no one but Major P. ; talked of Louis Napoleon, and an invasion of England. Spent the evening with a serious Englishman, who fell asleep while I was arguing that the only French invasion we need fear, was from those foreign auxiliaries of our language, which were likely to become adopted children in it, as they had done in that of Sweden.”
Nor is this fear unreasonable. It was only during my last visit to London, that I read a novel by a Scotch M.P., in which I saw this vice beginning that career which I see in its greyhaired horrors in all the literature and speech of Sweden. Think of such an offence as coolly writing into English the word entrainé, thus
"he was entrainé’d." I do not know what critics said, but in my opinion this is the sort of French invasion against which our English militia should be called out. The conspirators against the purity of our language ought to meet with capital punishment.
I believe that the English are rich enough in words, as well as other things, if they chose to be content with them; but if they must borrow, let them not disguise their act, and send forth the loan in a miserable mask to perplex future generations. « Viséd” has become almost a common term, but fortunately it is one not likely to be incorporated into daily speech or writings. Were we to carry on this torturing system with all the French terms which, for brevity, or expressiveness, we are so much in the habit of using, what a strange appearance would our written language present ? Much the same that the Swedish does, for we should spell all French words as we pronounced them; and thus the good creatures who now print them in hand-bills and newspapers, and post them on street walls, need not be at the trouble of taking a foreign garb for their ideas, but commit the vulgar sin of which a poor Irish servant accused her mistress of—"calling things