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value of external evidences? Not to produce demonstrative conviction of the truth of Christianity, but only a very high degree of probability. But is the soul, with all its eternal issues, to depend upon a question of degrees, of less and more, of a few grains above or scruples below? Is there no straighter, higher, nobler road to conviction? May there not be a voice within us, corresponding with a voice in Christianity, changing a faltering 'perhaps' into a loud, confident, and commanding it is, it must be so?' Thus felt Pascal, and this is the true history of his faith. He did not, as Cousin pretends, in order to avoid the gulf of universal scepticism, to which his thoughts and researches were leading him, and where he knew perdition weltered at the bottom, turn back and throw himself into the arms of implicit faith, which, like a nurse a child, had followed him to the brink. No, but dissatisfied with the common evidences of Christianity, as demonstrative, he leaned down and listened to the hidden river of his own spirit, as echoing the voice of inspiration, and it became to him an oracle-a proof unutterable, an argument unstateable in human terms, only to be fully written out in soulcypher, and to be fully read by the eye of the soul.
Pascal, we must observe, felt the utmost value of external evidence; he believed that it made the truth of Christianity highly probable-nay, probable in the highest de gree, though the highest degree of probability is still, of course, remote from absolute mathematical certainty. But there are others who look upon the evidences pro and con as nearly balancing each other, and what for them is to turn the scale? Nay, there are some who conscientiously think that, after all Paley and Watson have written, the evidences con outweigh the evidences pro; and what can our boasted external argumentations do any more for them?
Thus has external evidence in a great measure failed of securing its object, and has by this felt failure produced in many of our present thinkers the form of scepticism we now describe and deplore. 'In our humble judgment, instead of miracles being the principal proof of Christianity, Christianity is a much stronger proof of miracles. A Book intrinsically so divine, so simple, so far superior to all others, and so adapted to the wants of human nature, cannot be imagined to be deceived or to deceive others in the relation of facts. The quantity and singularity of such facts is itself an additional circumstance in their favour. A wise imposture would have sprinkled them more sparingly and artistically, and brought down, in no case save in that of necessity, its Deus ex machina. The great purpose of miracles at first was to compel attention to the new system, by the glare of grandeur it threw around ita finger of supernal light must touch the head of the bashful boy-God, and mark him out to the world; their main use now is to corroborate a belief which has been formed upon quite independent grounds. Culture,' cries Strauss, cannot believe in miracles.' Culture, however, can and has believed in Christianity, and will not recal its belief, because she wears on her breast and forehead those mysterious ornaments which speak, not more forcibly than her whole dress and bearing, of a foreign and unearthly origin. Miracles must not be considered as splendid tricks-as mere mighty bravados, which whoso could not equal or explain was compelled to believe, as well as to believe whatever was said in the lecture that should follow or accompany those experiments. They were rather, in Foster's grand thought, the simple tolling of the great bell of the universe, to announce the great sermon that was to follow; and as the sermon continues after the bell has rung out, and becomes of its sound a memorial and testimony, so the marvellous words have outlived, and do testify of the marvellous works.
A second cause of our recent refined scepticism may be found in the narrow, bigoted, and unworthy notions of Christianity which prevail, in the obstinacy with which they are retained, in the fury with which they are defended, and in the contrast thus presented to the liberal and fluent motion of the general age. This is a large text, and opens up a field which we have not at present time to em
brace. Religious authorship may be taken as a correct index of the general state of religious culture and progress. Now this has decidedly improved since John Foster wrote his first essays, where he so sternly characterises a large proportion of its writings, where he speaks of one writer who seems to value religion as an assassin his dagger, and for the same reason-of another, who in all his motions is clad with sheets of lead-of a third, from whose vulgar illuminations of religious themes you are excessively glad to escape into the solemn twilight of faith-and of a fourth, who represents the Deity as a dreadful king of furies, whose dominion is overshadowed by vengeance, whose music is the cries of victims, and whose glory requires to be illustrated by the ruin of his creation.' For such, perhaps, we may now search our religious literature in vain; but we could point out some curious specimens still extant: here a writer, who would sacrifice all the records of creation to the arbitrary interpretation of a Hebrew particle; there another, who, in order to prove Christianity the most excellent of the sciences, raves like a maniac against all science, and cares less for the sun, moon, and stars, than for a farthing candle glimmering in the corner of a conventicle; a third propounding the horrible doctrine, that if you are not immersed in water you must be immersed in everlasting fire; a fourth turning the Bible into a padlock on the chains of the slave; a fifth, seeking to excommunicate from fire and water here, and from water hereafter, one of the most gifted and amiable, albeit misled men of the age, who came an invited and unassuming stranger to our shores; a sixth, hanging around the majestic form of Christianity a dirty finery, picked up from the cast-off clothes of second-rate poets, and sinking the mother-tongue of heaven into the sickly whine of a mendicant, as though Isaiah had become an old Jew clothesman; a seventh indulging, while defending religion, in the worst of human passions and language, as if rancour, and want of charity, and spleen, could be baptised and consecrated to Christ's service-as if the raven perched in Noah's ark were not a raven, a bird of foul feeding and bad omen still; an eighth, peppering bad poems with religion to make them sell; and a ninth, talking of the fearful secrets of fu ture punishment as coolly as if he were not also in danger of the judgment, and who perhaps goes smacking his lips from the side of the great universe darkening sacrifice to the Lord Mayor's feast! Add to this the deluges of commonplace, issuing in the form of religious pamphlets and periodicals of the day, and the thousand narrow and fierce controversial productions which each month spawns, and conceive of the three-piled disgust, which in so many of the refined and intellectual darkens into a deeper feeling, and provokes the cry, If this be religion, better scepticism, pantheism, atheism itself.'
This, indeed, thank God, is not religion. But it must bear the reproach of having turned away many who otherwise would have come near and seen this great sight, and found how vast the difference between those crackling, whizzing, empty, and transient fireworks, and the low light of the wilderness, uneclipsed by the noonday ardours, clear, innocuous, but piercing as the eye of the Inspired, kindled from, and pointing above-the bush ever burning and never consumed.
Thirdly, The divided and unhappy state of the church must bear its full share in accounting for the evil, and this the more especially when at present both letters and science are approaching closely the ideal of a commonwealth-when associations of the scientific and literary are the order of the day-when rancorous personalities and jealousies are dying out-when an appeal made in behalf of the family of a deceased poet is responded to with such promptitude by men of all politics and creeds, as to show that an electric cord of communication is fast binding the literary world into one. And yet alas! alas! for the divisions of Reuben, and the rents in the seamless garment of Christ. Where any real love between various parties? Where aught but hasty and ill-considered armistices? Where any broad comprehensive plan of union? Where a genuine esprit de corps among Christian churches? Where
any actual unions consummated, except in cases where the parties had coine so near before, that their union lost much of its romance-where it seemed more a shaking of hands in the market-place than a marriage, and where, as at the peace of Amiens, everybody on both sides was glad, but nobody proud? What philosophical examination of prineiples, conducted by wise and impartial men, such as should precede a great scheme of permanent union, has ever been even talked of; and are even the meanest and basest of old arts of polemical depreciation and abuse altogether obsolete? It were long to trace the causes of this sad spectacle, which just amounts to-the church inferior to the world, in culture, in gentlemanly feeling, in Christian charity; but such is the fact, and prodigious the mischief which is springing from it. There are other causes which might have been illustrated, such as the contempt and prejudice entertained by many Christians for science and letters-the piece of well or ill adjusted mechanism to which the office of the ministry has been reduced-the superiority which the press has acquired over the pulpitthe political spirit which our churches of all kinds have been led to cheri-h-and the infection of German, and, in general, of Continental mødes of thought and speech. But, prominent above all, stands the enemy within the campthe ghastly fact that Christianity has not the vital hold over men which it formerly possessed—that we are now rather haunted by its ghost than warmed by its presencethat formality, mechanism, and a thousand other evil influences have crushed and choked it—and that its extension, however wide and rapid, will in all probability extend its evils at even a greater ratio than its advantages-propagate more tares than wheat. We unite our feeble voice with that of Chalmers, and James, and Thomas Binney, in proclaiming this alarming state of matters. It cannot now be concealed that a great proportion of the mind of the country-of those who make our laws, who distribute our justice, whose eloquence fills our courts, whose talent informs our press, whose energy inspirits our business, whose genius animates our higher literature, whose benevolence supports our charities, and whose beauty, taste, and accomplishments decorate and refine our society, have travelled away from churches, and resigned faith in creeds, and that this they have done principally because the charm and the power which were wont to detain them there have departed. Were a dance of the living suddenly turned into a dance of the dead, though there remained the same splendour in the decorations, and the same lustre in the lamps, and even the same grace in the movements, would there remain the same delight in the spectators? Would not they rush forth in confusion, and shrieking dismay at the sight of this ghastly mimicry of life, enacted where its pulse was beating highest, and where its stream most richly and tumultuously ran? Thus feel many to our deserted churches-deserted not of the dead but of the living, not of worshippers but of God. Pathetic the unseen Ichabod inscribed on the fallen cathedral-more pensive still the Here God once dwelt,' visible through the moonlight of meditation on the chambers of the soul in ruins; but, most sorrowful of all, the sight of a large assembly of professing Christians, where all the elegance, splendour, light, decency of deportment, eloquence of speaker-where sympathetic thrill, awful shadow, heaving breasts, and bursting tears themselves, will not disguise the fact, that one is absent, and that this place is no more dreadful' with his presence, nor glorious with his grace.
The statements thus made must be somewhat qualified. In the first place, we must not be understood to hold that all our modern sceptics are actuated by such motives, or influenced by such causes. Many, we fear, like their brethren in times past, just hate the light because their deeds are evil, while others are stimulated to scepticism by vanity, pride, or ignorance. There is another class still, very intelligent but very inconsistent, of whom Miss Martineau may stand as a specimen, who, not merely doubting, but absolutely denying all the supernaturalism of Scripture, express their respect and reverence for the writers, although, on their own showing, those writers
were either fools or rogues. But the class whom Sterling typified, while sorely perplexed about the supernatural part, and even the genuineness and authenticity of many of the documents, are smit to a passion with the grandeur and heavenliness of the system, even to its peculiarities of atonement, spiritual influences, &c.
Secondly, We must not be understood to homologate the train of thought which we have ventured to put into the mouth of the Sterling-sceptic, except so far as that relates to the insufficiency of external evidence, nor to insinuate that the causes we have mentioned excuse his scepticism. Prophecy, as well as miracles, we look on as powerfully corroborative of the divinity of religion, and the fate of nations, besides, not being the sole subject of prediction, is very important when taken in connection with that system which they opposed, and which proclaimed their destruction, as well as in itself. The internal evidence of Christianity seems complete, notwithstanding the fact of a partial decline; and the genius of our religion seems absolutely to forbid its contentedly taking its place at the head of other faiths; it must be all or nothing-a devil's lie or divine. And if it does not answer to the sceptic's idea of a unique and solitary emanation from heaven, may not the blame lie not with it, but with the nature of his idea-with himself?
Thirdly, We do not wish, from these giddy heights, to waft a lesson of despair' to any one. We are sorry for || the position of such men as Sterling, but it were to be weaker than old Eli, on their account to tremble for the ark of God. The lessons we do mean to draw are as fol Fows: 1stly, of charity; 2dly, of warning; 3dly, of shame; and 4thly, of courage.
1st, We have need of much charity at the present crisis. It will not do now to skulk from the field under a flight of nicknames. It will not do to call our opponents misereants and monsters. There never were many in the world really deserving these names; fools only can believe that there are many now. Here, at least, in Sterling, Arnold, Foster, we have to do with mist-severed brethren upon one great common march, with sincere lovers of mankind, with practisers of the Christian virtues, with men who diligently discharged the duties of the Christian ministry, and whose latest deathbed murmur was of Christ. While we blame their doubts, let us pity the pain and sorrow, amounting almost to distraction and despair, which attended them, and let us inquire, if we have no difficulties, may it not be because we have never thought at all? and let us envy them the resolution of their doubts, to which they have now attained, we trust, in that land where the strength of light is not measured by the intensity of shade-where, amid all the constellations which may garnish that upper firmament, that of the 'Balance' vibrates no more-where the inhabitants bask in spotless love, and see in perfeet vision.
No such charity, however, can we or dare we extend to those half-fledged children of impudence and conceit, or else of pride and profligacy, in whom this age abounds, who at the finding of each new difficulty (one, perhaps, resolved for centuries) raise a noisy Eureka, as they rush out with their filthy treasure-for those who cull from such writers as Shelley the blood-red stones of his blasphemy that they may wreathe them into a necklace of ruin for themselvesnor even for those miniatures of Giant Despair, who seat themselves in we know not what churches of doubters or Doubting Castles, to confirm those misconceptions which they cannot or seek not to cure. The charity which would extend to such must verily be of that sort which covers a multitude of sins, and of sinners too.
2dly, We must take up anew a voice of warning-the voice of him who saw the Apocalypse. There is coming up the church a current of doubt, deeper far and darker than ever swelled against her before-a current strong in learning, crested with genius, strenuous yet calm in progress. It seems the last grand trial of the truth of our faith. Against the battlements of Zion a motley throng have gathered themselves together. Unitarians, atheists, pantheists, doubters, open foes, secret foes, and bewildered
friends of Christianity are all in the field, although no trumpet has openly been blown, and no charge publicly sounded. There are the old desperadoes of infidelity-the last followers of Paine and Voltaire; there is the soberer and stolider Owen and his now scanty and sleepy troop; there follow the Communists of France-a fierce but dis orderly crew; the commentators of Germany come, too, with pickaxes in their hands, crying, 'Raze, raze it to its foundations!' Then you see the garde mobile-the vicious and the vain youth of Europe; and on the outskirts of the fight hangs, cloudy and uncertain, a small but select band, whose wavering surge is surmounted by the dark and lofty crests of Carlyle and Emerson. Their swords are a thousand'-their purposes are various; in this, however, all agree, that historical Christianity ought to go down before advancing civilisation. Sterling and some of his co-mates the merciful cloud of death has removed from the field, while others stand in deep uncertainty, looking in agony and in prayer above.
3dly, Of shame.
While thus the foeman is advancing, what is Zion about? Shame and alas! her towers are well nigh unguarded; her watchmen have deserted their sta tions, and are either squabbling in her streets with each other, or have fallen fast asleep. Many are singing psalms, few are standing to their arms. Some are railing at the enemy from the safest towers. The watchman who first perceived the danger and gave the alarm, almost instantly fell back in death.
4thly, Of confidence. Shall, then, these old and glorious battlements be trodden down? Between the activity of their foes and the supineness of their friends must they perish? No; vain is perhaps the help of man, but we, too, will look above. We will turn our eyes to the hills whence our aid is expected. Our grand hope as to the prospects of the world and the church has long lain in the unchanged and unchangeable love of Christ. As long as his great, tremulous, unsetting eye continues, like a star, to watch her struggles as the eye of love the tossings of disease, we shall not fear. And whenever the time arrives for that Bright and Morning Star' starting from his sphere to save his church, he will no longer delay his coming, whether in power or in presence. To save a city like Zion, there might fall the curtain of universal darkness. That curtain shall not fall, but there may, in lieu of it, burst the blaze of celestial light; and who can abide the day of that appearing?
RUTH AND NAOMI.
Go back, my danghter-I would tread
My thorny path alone;
'Tis all too rough for youthful feet
Most grievous to my own.
Jehovah's hand is on me now,
To bring me very low;
Why wouldst thou blend thy lot with mine?
My gentle daughter, go.
Oh! kindly hast thou dealt with me,
And kindly with the dead.
The Lord do so to thee, and pour
His blessings on thy head.
I am the dry and wither'd trunk
It matters little how I spend
Thine eye hath all its brilliance yet,
And not one silver thread appears
Amid thy rich dark hair.
It's not for me to shrink;
I would not have thee drink.
Entreat me not to leave thee now;
We'll drink of it together.
And if ye be a wither'd trunk,
The living and the true;
Our idols are self-carved, and served
What if the dull and voiceless things
To bow before the altar whence
And it were shared by thee,
My husband's mother, wouldst thou take This weary pilgrimage
Without one friendly voice to cheer
Thy desolate old age?
And who will speak to thee of him,
When thou art gone away?
Alus! I'd fain do nothing else
For all the live-long day.
Dead! but still dear to me as when
But, bad he lived, to cherish thee
And though, God help me! he is dead,
I'll do his bidding still.
Yes! I will be to thee instead
Of son and daughter too;
To earn thy daily bread my hands
And when the weary day is done,
We'll sit upon the same hearthstone,
And talk of long ago.
I'll tend thine age; when sickness comes I'll lift thy heavy head;
We'll share each other's griefs and cares Till one of us is dead.
I will be buried by thy side;
And may our common Lord
THE DUPLAY FAMILY.* THE house in which Robespierre resided belonged to a joiner and builder of the name of Duplay, who had adopted with enthusiasm the principles of the Revolution. Connected with several members of the Constituent Assembly, Duplay had besought them to bring Robespierre to his house; and, from the thorough conformity of their opinions, they were not slow to unite on the day of the massacre of the Champ de Mars. Some members of the society of Friends of the Constitution thought it would be imprudent to leave Robespierre to return alone to the end of the Marais, across a city still full of excitement, and to abandon him, defenceless, to the dangers they said he was threatened with; so Duplay offered him refuge, which was accepted. From this moment Robespierre continued to reside in the carpenter's family. A long cohabitation, a common table, the intimacy of their lives for several years, converted the hospitality of Duplay into mutual attachment, and his landlord's family became a second family to Robespierre, who made them adopt his opinions, without taking away anything of the simplicity of their manners, or even of their religious practices. The family comprised the father and mother, a son, and four young women, the eldest of whom was about twenty-five, and the youngest eighteen. The father, occupied all day at his craft, went sometimes of an evening to hear Robespierre at the Jacobins; he returned penetrated with admiration for the people's orator, and with detestation and horror of the enemies of so young and pure a patriot. Madame Duplay partook in her husband's enthusiasm. The esteem she cherished for Robespierre made all the little acts of voluntary servitude she paid him pleasing and honourable, as though she had been rather his mother than his landlady. Robespierre repaid those services and devotion with affection. He set up the tabernacle of his heart in this poor house. He talked with the father, was a son to the mother, was paternal almost to the son, and familiar and brotherly with the daughters; he inspired and experienced, in this interior circle formed around him, all the sentiments an ardent mind inspires and experiences only in spreading itself over a large
Even love attached his heart to the place in which labour, poverty, and union fixed his life. Eleanor Duplay, the eldest daughter of his landlady, inspired Robespierre with a more serious and more tender attachment than he felt for her sisters. That sentiment-a predilection rather than a passion was more reasonable in Robespierre; more ardent and simple in the young woman. Neither of them could have said whence the sentiment dated; but it had grown with age in Eleanor's mind, with habit in Robespierre's heart. This attachment gave him tenderness and no torment, happiness and no anxiety: it was the love that suited a man thrown every day into the agi
* From Heroic Women of the French Revolution.' By M. de LAMARTINE.
tations of public life, a repose of heart after the weariness of spirit; a masculine mind, that would know how to die, as well as how to love,' he said, speaking of his mistress. They had given her the name of Cornelia. This inclination, avowed by both, and approved by her family, was respected in its purity. They lived in the same house, like two betrothed, not two lovers. Robespierre had asked the young woman of her parents: she was promised to him. The absence of fortune and the uncertainty of the morrow, hindered him from uniting himself to her before the destiny of France was cleared up; but he only looked forward,' he added, to the moment when, the Revolution ended and established, he could retire from the strife, and marry her he loved, and go and live in Artois, on one of the farms be still preserved from the property of his family, there to confound his obscure happiness in the general felicity.'
Of all Eleanor's sisters, the one Robespierre was most attached to was Elizabeth, the youngest of the three, whom his countrymen and colleague, Lebas, afterwards sought in marriage, and espoused. This girl, whose friendship for Robespierre cost her her husband's life, eleven months after their union, survived that day half a century, without once denying her worship for Robespierre; and without comprehending the maledictions of the world against this brother of her youth, who ever appeared to her, in all her recollections, so pure, so virtuous, and so mild.
In this home, as elsewhere, Robespierre's habits and pursuits were of the simplest charac.er: he was essentially a man of domesticated habits. Among the few friends who visited him, mostly politicians, was a woman, Madame de Chalabre, a lady of rank and wealth, enthusiastic as to Robespierre, devoting herself to him, like the widows of Corinth or Rome to the Apostles of the new faith, offering him her fortune to serve in the popularisation of his ideas; and seeking the affection of Duplay's wife and daughters, to merit a look from Robespierre at such meetings. The Revolution was the usual topic of conversation. At other times, after a short conversation, and some playful raillery with the daughters, Robespierre, who was desirous of adorning the mind of his wife, gave readings to the family. They were usually from the tragedies of Racine, who, with Rousseau, was his favourite author. He loved to declaim these fine verses, whether to exercise himself in the theatre for the tribune, or to | raise these simple minds to the level of the grand sentiments and catastrophes of antiquity, to which each day was drawing his life and career more near. He rarely went out of an evening. He took Madame Duplay and her daughters to the play two or three times a year. it was always to the Théatre Français, and to classic representations. He only loved the tragic declamations which recalled the tribune, tyranny, the people, great crimes, great virtues-theatrical even in his dreams and in his amusements.
At Robespierre's downfall, the Duplays were, of course, involved in his ruin. The whole family were arrested, and thrown into the Conciergerie. Before the house, which he had inhabited, a hand of women stopped the procession, and danced round about the cart, on the day of his execution. A child holding in its hand a butcher's pail filled with bullock's blood, and dipping a broom in it, sprinkled it against the walls of the house. Robespierre shut his eyes during this halt, not to see the roof of his friend insulted, on which he had brought misfortune. This was his only gesture of sensibility, during the thirty-six hours of torture. Duplay was executed with Robespierre. And in the evening of the same day, these furies of vengeance invaded the prison where his wife had been thrown, strangled her, and hung her to the rod of the bed-curtains.
Some weeks after a young woman, clad as a washer
Lebas, the husband of Elizabeth Duplay, had shot himself dead at the moment of Robespierre's arrest; his body had been removed to the tribunal, and had accompanied the condemned to the scaffold, to be buried with them in the same tomb.
woman, and bearing a young child in her arms, presented herself at the door of the furnished house Saint Just had inhabited, and requested a few words in private with the daughter of the owner. The stranger was the widow of Lebas, daughter of Duplay. After her husband's suicide, and the death of her father, the murder of her mother, and the imprisonment of her sisters, Madame Lebas had changed her name, and had attired herself as a working woman; she was getting her own and her child's living by washing linen in the boats, which serve as wash-houses on the river. Some persecuted republicans alone knew her disguise, and admired her courage. No vestige of her husband-neither inheritance nor portrait-was left her. She adored his memory in silence.
The young fugitive had heard that Saint Just's hostess, a painter by profession, was possessed of a portrait of Robespierre's disciple, painted by her, a short time before his death. She burned with the desire to possess this picture, which would at least recall her husband in the figure of the young republican, Lebas's colleague and dearest friend. The artist herself, reduced to indigence by her own father's imprisonment, prosecuted as a friend of Saint Just, asked six louis for her work. Madame Lebas did not possess this sum. She had saved nothing from the sequestration, but a trunk of clothes, linen, and wedding garments, all her fortune. She offered this trunk, and all it contained, as the price of the portrait. The offer was accepted. The poor widow brought back the articles at night, and carried away the treasure.
THE SAXON LANGUAGE.
sounded) which affords really a good idea of the respective actions.
Lag carries in its sound an expression of heaviness and weariness; but one very unlike that of drag, however, which clearly denotes exertion, though of a slow kind. Observe how appropriately soft are the terms lamb and lambkin. In the utterance of the verb lap, we with pointed propriety close the lips-both words painting the action implied by labial movements. Lick is of no dissimiliar meaning; and yet, though forcible, how different is its quick sense from that of lap, by which word the very noise made by dogs in drinking seems to be conveyed to the ear! Lash has much of the strength which this termination of letters always gives, though modified so far by the various opening vocables. Clash, crash, dash, flash, gnash, mash, quash, plash, slash, smash, thrash-all of these may be said to have their signification principally embodied in the closing sh; and yet a visible difference certainly results from the effect of the various initial letters. What speed lies in flash, and what force in smash? In the word laugh there is much of the same power as in cough, particularly when the guttural old Saxon er unciation is adopted. Like most of the terms beginning with /, where a double consonant can scarcely occur (always saving in Welsh), the verb leap has its sense chiefly depending on the close, where the letter p catches up the sound in a way extremely significant of the action, as it does also in jump. Leer embodies in its utterance much of the cunning impertinence of the action implied, and may be well contrasted with gaze and stare, the first of which expresses a kind of soft anxiety, and the second a bold force, neither of which appertain to leer. It is curious to note how many of the old Saxon radicals ending with eer express an action more or less scornful or impudent. Jeer, peer, and sneer, are examples of such terms, and their point may be held to lie in the partial movement of the under-lip in their enunciation, which movement is of itself the very mode of displaying pert contempt without words. As a general rule, characteristic physical motions in utterance must have mainly How-guided the formation of words in all primitive languages. But, indeed, the whole of our present argument, as already implied, rests on this principle.
OUR object in continuing the present observations on the
Does not the reader hear the very sound indicated (to resume our philological lucubrations where we left off), when the word kaw, the cry of the crow, is pronounced even by human lips? And who can say keckle, without half a langh in the act? Does not the great toe feel the impulsiveness of the verb-active to kick? Is it not the identical sound implied to be heard in klick? It would appear as if te initiatory letter k give a certain form or phase of energy generally to the signification of the verbs of action which it precedes. But much (as we shall hereafter show) may also depend on the terminative vowels or consonants. For example, in the word kill, the closing Uls add most materially to the power of the opening k, and the force of So, in the word knell, do they give a similar ringing sound most indicative of the meaning. How much is the case altered here by using two vowels and one ? Knee' has a degree of softness, remarkably appropriate to its meaning, and which no dexterity of pronunciation could give to knell. Knead and knit have a sort of twist in the very sound and spelling (and the k was at first partly
The verb to lift is derived, as some lexicographers say, from the Latin synonyme levare. If it be so, how very dif ferent is the effect of the two words, lift having a catching up and exertion in the sound itself, which the Roman verb altogether wants; but lift is really from the old Saxon. Does not limp express its meaning, also, in the mere utterance-the sound leaving on your mind the idea of a limb caught in the air during its progression? Lisp is the very action itself in the pronunciation, as much so almost as hiss. There is a softness in list and listen, which verbs have a clear reference to their fundamental significations, resembling in effect the interjection hist. List! oh list!' says the ghost in Hamlet with fine effect, as respects both sound and sense. The concluding letters in loathe and lock give respectively a slow and a quick effect to the two words, which corresponds well with their meanings. Log lies as heavy as a log on the tongue. The word loll, again, seems to us admirably significative.
The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling, From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause.' Trolius and Cressida, Thoroughly cognisant Shakspeare seems to have been of the force of his true mother-tongue, and in numberless instances uses the double liquid (7) as effectively as he has here done in the case of lolling.'
Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell.'-Macbeth. The last word here, again, sounds in the mouths of great actors like a funeral knell. Lull, a verb-active terminating similarly, has a very different (and yet appropriate) effect when compared with loll, the vowels only being changed. Lop, lour, low, luy, lumber, are all verbs having a distinct union in them of appropriate sound and sense. It seems to us that there is an appropriateness, too, in the composition of the word burk, considering its signification;