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like it in some respects, is wholly different from it in others; as different from it as the paint and canvas of a portrait are from the flesh and blood of the person portrayed. We see, too, how the element of representation, which is essential to all art, is a factor in the very constitution of language from which poetic art is developed. We see also how the means of representation are furnished mainly by the objects and operations of nature; and this not only by those appealing to the ear, the sounds of which can be imitated, but also by those appealing to the eye, the appearance of which suggests words like express and impress. In fact, the uses to which the sights and sounds of nature are thus constantly put, make literally true a statement like this of Wordsworth :
I have learned
-Lines Composed above Tintern Abbey. Were it not for nature, where would be the music, the voice, the language, the symbolism, through which only thought can be represented ?
It is superfluous to point out to those at all acquainted with this subject, how through continuing the kinds of comparisons that have been mentioned, one word may often come to have a large number of very different meanings. The noun stock, for instance, as Trench reminds us in his “ Study of Words," is the old past participle of the verb to stick, and indicates any thing that is fixed in its character. Hence we speak of railway stock, family stock, gunstocks, stock in trade, live stock, stocks that ships are built on, etc. So from the word post, meaning placed, we get the terms, military post, official
post, posting a ledger and a letter, a post-office, posthaste, etc.
Though all languages are largely composed of words, the meanings of which can be traced with comparative ease to causes similar to the ones just mentioned, these words are so familiar to us, we have become so accustomed to their conventional significance, that we seldom pause to inquire how they came to mean what they do. I can remember distinctly the moment when, as a boy, it flashed upon my mind that a term, having so obvious an origin as the Fourth of July, was not a grandiloquent word of many syllables, originated for the purpose of necessarily suggesting gunpowder and fireworks; but merely a phrase indicative of the fourth day of the seventh month. A similar revelation is constantly awaiting the mind that makes a study of other words. Similar revelations, multiplied by almost the whole number of words employed, must flash light through all the hidden depths that underlie the surface forms of one's vernacular, before he can understand them, and use them with absolute appropriateness. Especially is this so in the case of the words with which we are now dealing,—the words formed as a result of comparison; because these contain, far more decidedly than those derived from association, a representative or picturesque—what grammarians term a figura. tive_element. But before we go on to exemplify this statement, and in doing so, to trace out further than has yet been done how naturally the representative language of poetry is developed from ordinary language, let us consider the subject in another aspect.
MEANINGS OF PHRASES AS DETERMINED BY ASSOCIATION
Language, a Process in which Words and Ideas represented by them are
used consecutively—How Words in Progression can represent Mental Processes—How Acts in Progression do this in Pantomime-How this is done when Words, as Symbols, are substituted for the Acts in Pantomime-How Subject, Predicate, and Object are put together-Subject, Predicate, and Object of a Complete Sentence, are the Beginning, Middle, and End of a Complete Process, of which all the Parts of Speech are Logical Parts
Examination of Certain Sentences—How the Meanings of them, considered as Wholes, depend on the Principle of Association or of Comparison.
AS S was said, when treating of the representative nature
of sounds, language is a form for thought, and thought implies mental activity, a process, a series of sensations and experiences, all of them exerting more or less influence upon one another. A single idea might be represented in a single word, but a series of ideas necessitates a series of words. How, now, can these series of words represent, with any thing like accuracy, internal processes of the mind, together with the necessary relationships and interactions that must exist between their constituting elements ? Or, to begin at the right place, how can any series of external and material elements, even though they do represent a process, represent a process that takes place in thought? If we can come to understand this, it will be
easy for us to understand how, according to a similar analogy, series of words can do the same.
Those of us who have been in countries with the languages of which we were not familiar, have, perhaps, improved our powers of origination, as well as started original conceptions in the minds of those about us, through presenting our internal processes of thought to men who had not ears to heed our English, in the form of pantomime. What other resource could we have, when thirsty or sleepy or wishing to hire a hack or take a sail ? But suppose that we had been shut out from pantomime, and shut in to sound, how, according to the same analogy, could we have expressed our processes of thought through the latter medium? Had we possessed the power of rendering intelligible to others our references to our internal sensations, as well as to external objects and operations, by the use of exclamations, imitative sounds, and words derived from them by association and comparison,-how could we have combined all these elements in such a way as to represent in sound a process of thought? Is not the answer simple? Instead of taking two objects and joining or separating them, could we not have taken two names for these objects, and joined or separated these? or, if we wished to make our meaning still more intelligible, joined the names by putting between them an intervening exclamation expressive of assimilation, or separated them by putting there an expression of aversion ? Could we not thus have represented in words what circumstances had prevented us from representing in pantomime? Instead of emphatically flinging ourselves on the floor, or pathetically resting our heads upon our hands, when, tired out in the evening, we desired to show our wish to go to bed why might we not have exclaimed “I-bed," or "I-oh
bed"? Is not this precisely what, though put in different forms, we have heard the foreigner do, a hundred times, perhaps, when trying to express in sound the thought which his ignorance of our language prevented him from expressing fully? Is not this precisely the method through which every child begins the difficult process of conversation-i.e., by placing two words together, which thus constitute a compound word; or by uniting the two, one of which is used for the subject of a sentence and the other for its object, by a third, which serves the purpose of a predicate? And it is well to notice, too, in this connection, that, whether used by a foreigner or a child, the predicate is always the last essential factor of a perfect sentence to be used with accuracy. “I seen him," cried a street-boy under my window the other day; "and I throw'd a stone at him."
While on this subject, in order to show that the use of the exclamation for the verb in the illustration of a sentence just given, though fanciful, is not entirely out of analogy with what is really done in language, it may be interesting to recall what Max Müller says of one of our most common grammatical forms-it is. He tells us that this sound can be traced back almost as far in language as we can go. The German says ist, the Roman est, the Slave yeste, the Greek esti, and the Hindoo asti. But asti is a compound of the pronoun ti and the verb as, the root of which signifies to breathe. Whatever breathes exists or is; so that in the oldest language in which we find the verb, it seems to be only an expression representative of the fact, and, very probably, of the act of aspiration or breathing
But, to return from theory to fact, we have found how it is possible to put words together in such a way as to