Page images

versal as speaking, words exist as much perhaps for the first as the last. That in the written, is the permanence and continuity of language and learning, and that the connection is most intimate of a true orthography, with all this, is affirmed in our words, letters, literature, unlettered, even as in other languages by words entirely corresponding with these, as in the Latin litterae' and the Greek grammata.

“ Words have now an ancestry, and the ancestry of words, as of men, is often a very noble part of them, making them capable of great things, because those from whom they are descended have done great things before them ; but phonetics would deface their scutcheon, and bring them all to the same ignoble level. Words are now a nation, grouped into tribes and families, some smaller, some larger. But phonetics would go far to reduce them to a promiscuous and barbarous horde. Words are now often translucent with their idea, as an alabaster vase is lighted up by a lamp placed within it? In how many cases would this inner light be quenched by phonetics? Words have now a body and a soul, and the soul looking through the body; but if phonetics prevail, then nothing but the body, not seldom nothing but the carcass of the word remains. Lord Bacon long ago characterized this so-called reformation that writing should be consonant to speaking,' as a branch of unprofitable subtlety,' and especially urges that thereby the derivations of words, especially from foreign languages, are utterly defaced and extinguished.

“ Indeed the slightest tendency towards the phonetic mode of writing is to be objected to, in respect to all classical words. We have lost rather than gained by our approximation towards that system. When fancy was spelled phantsy, by the old scholars, no one could doubt of its connection, or rather its original identity, with phantasy, as no Greek scholar could miss its relation with pavraoía. Spell analyze as I have sometimes seen it, and as phonetically it ought to be, analize, and the tap root is cut off. What numbers of readers will recognize in it then, the image of dissolving and resolving aught into its elements, and use it with a more or less conscious reference to this?

“ It may be urged that few do so now, even among those who use the word. Then the more need they should not be fewer --for those few do in fact retain the word in its place, prevent it from gradually drifting from it, and preserve its vitality, not for themselves only, but for others who have not this knowledge. In phonetic spelling there is in fact the proposal, that the educated should voluntarily place themselves in the conditions and under the disadvantages of the ignorant and uneducated, instead of seeking to elevate these last to theirs." All which is respectfully submitted.


no one "com when forma sained in respect and the extinguicially


No. II.

[Continued from page 17.] Orthography.-The Anglo Saxon alphabet contains 23 letters. It wants j, k, 9, v, and 2, and has distinct characters to represent the sharp and smooth sounds of th. Owing to the little acquaintance of writers with each other, the errors of transcribers and other causes, the orthography is very irregular, the same word being often spelled in half a dozen or more different ways. We may notice two particulars in which our language and the Anglo-Saxon differ, and in which we think the latter has the ad. vantage. 1st. In the Anglo-Saxon, we have hw instead of the combination wh, as in English ; as, hwa, who; hwit, white. 2d. Our termination le, was in Anglo-Saxon el; as aeppel, apple; botel, bottle.

Etymology.--There are nine parts of speech. The Noun, Pronoun, Article, Adjective, and Verb, declinable; the Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction, and Interjection, indeclinable. The Substantive parts of speech were declined with three Genders, four Cases and two Numbers.

The Article.-There are two articles ; both definite the, and se, seo thaet. Th has the sharp sound. We give the declension of the Article se, seo, thaet.


Fem. Nrut.
Nom. se seo thaet the

thaere thaes of the
Dat. tham thaere tham to, for, with the
Acc. thone tha thaet the.

Plural, Nom. tha, Gen. thara, Dat. tham, Acc. tha, for all genders. The articles were also used for the relatives who, which, and thaet.

The Noun.—The Nouns have three declensions, depending on the termination of the Genitive singular, in es, an, or e. As a general rule, the Dative singular is like the Genitive, dropping s when the latter ends in es; the Accusative singular is like the Nominative, except in the 2d declension, when it ends like the Genitive. The Genitive plural always ends in a, and the Dative in um, or on; the Accusative is like the Nominative. We give the declension of a Noun of the 1st Declension, Masculine gender. Se ende, the end. SINGULAR.

N. Se end-e the end tha end-as the ends
G. thaes end-es of the end thara end-a of the ends

tham end-e to the end tham end-um to the ends A. thone end-e the end tha end-as the ends.


This will serve as a general specimen, there being, of course, many special rules. The termination of the possessive in English seems to be derived from the Genitive in es above given, although some grammarians have supposed it to be a contraction of his, denoting possession. We may mention, as somewhat curious, that mona, moon, is masculine, sunne, sun, feminine, and wif, woman, neuter.

The Adjective.-Adjectives are declined, to correspond with the nouns they describe. They have two forms of declension, the indefinite, and definite. The former, when the adjective stands alone with its noun; the latter, when it is preceded by an article, or pronoun. The declension of the article will give a sufficient idea of that of the adjective. Adjectives are compared by adding ra or re for the comparative, and ost, est, or esta, este, for the superlative. As, smael, smael-ra, smal-est.; small, smaller, smallest. Some are irregularly compared, corresponding with similar ones in English. As, god, betera, betst, good, better, best: lytel, laessa, laest, little, less, least.

Y. Y. [To be continued in the next No.]


HONOLULU, Sandwich Is., Sept. 3d, 1852. * * * You ask about the arrangements of my school. I hope you may see them for yourself, in the course of six or eight months. If you should not, though they are hardly worth recording, and though you will find little in them worthy of imitation, perhaps you may find some things to be avoided, so I will give you a hasty description. All the pupils study in school during school hours. Every scholar is expected to be in his seat at nine o'clock, A. M., without being called. No bell is rung for them at that hour-I speak now of only my department; the other scholars are too young to tell the time by the town clock, which is in plain sight of the school-house. Two or three or five minutes before nine you will see the scholars coming in from their sports and getting quiet in their seats. Every one not in his seat at nine is marked tardy, or absent, as the case may be, which appears in the report, and every one who is tardy loses his morning recess. There is to be silence at nine,-no more talking or leaving seats. Any who are found talking or whispering, or communicating in any way, after nine, are marked for misconduct, which appears in the weekly report. A quarter of an hour is spent in devotions, reading the Bible, singing, and prayer. The school reads in turn, each pupil

reading one verse. Sometimes we read a whole chapter, and sometimes not more than a dozen verses. I take occasion to make explanations or general remarks, from time to time. Each scholar keeps his own place, and remembers when it is his turn to commence. Nothing is said, but, as soon as school opens, I read a verse, and then he whose turn it is follows. Our recitations follow in order, its own time being allotted to each recitation. Some pupil keeps the watch and the bell, and indicates by one or two strokes of the bell that the time for that exercise has almost expired. In two or three minutes the bell strikes again, when the clsss are expected to have had their lesson assigned and to have passed to their seats, and the next class comes immediately up. The classes sit at the time of recitation, but each pupil stands when called upon to recite. Some of the classes, such as those in mental arithmetic, stand during the whole recitation. In conducting recitations, pupils sometimes recite by topics, and sometimes by questions, as I see fit. I adopt neither extreme in this respect. I have a great deal of criticising each other, both in respect to the manner of reciting and the matter recited, and it works admirably. I allow them, or rather desire them, to criticise everything which is out of place, in position, or in the manner of holding their books, or anything which may properly be criticised. I have never found an instance in which the person criticised did not take it in good part, although the criticisms are sometimes very severe. There are many advantages in this ; two in particular are worthy of mention. It secures the attention of every member of the class as nothing else will that I have tried. It also leads pupils to study their lessons so as to understand them. I do not find any difficulty in their making improper criticisms, and I am sometimes surprised at the minuteness and justness of them. We carry this practice into our reading exercise more than into any other, and the effect is wonderful. I rarely have any difficulty in keeping the attention of the class fixed on the lesson, and you will often see all the hands up for some criticism as soon as one has finished reading. In this exercise I generally have the pupil re-read till he has corrected the faults pointed out. I vary the reading exercise from time to time. Sometimes the whole class read in concert sometimes I give out a piece for them to commit to memory, and then have them rehearse it separately and in concert-sometimes I give out a piece written by some particular person and require them to learn all they can about him and his works. For instance, I tell them to learn Longfellow's Psalm of Life, and then we discuss Longfellow and his works. One object I have in this is to direct their attention to the literary world, and introduce them a little into it. Sometimes I give them a lesson and request them to study

keeping the all the hands this exercise faults pointed

it with reference to describing the picture presented, and ask such as choose, to draw pictures of the scene represented. They have made drawings which illustrated some of the pieces very well, much better than most of the illustrations of the popular works of the day. I have one lad in particular who illustrates to the life, and he is only fourteen years old. Sometimes we read a piece with reference to its literary merits, examining and analyzing it critically. But I will speak no further of this point except to say that our reading exercise is generally an interesting one.

In arithmetic I generally call up the subject under consideration and see that they understand it, sometimes asking questions, and sometimes calling upon pupils to explain the whole subject. After the subject is clearly understood, I send the whole class to the blackboards, sometimes giving them all the same problem, and at other times assigning different problems to different individuals, either original problems made up for the occasion, or from the book. We spend a considerable time in mental arithmetic with the first class, not having regular lessons in it, but calling upon the class to add, multiply, divide, &c., with rapidity, such numbers as I choose to give out or write on the board.

In grammar I can hardly tell what my plan is. We have no book as a text book, though I shall put a class into “ Greene's Analysis” as soon as our books come. We have given out lessons upon the different parts of speech, letting them learn their lessons wherever they choose, and then at the recitation we discussed the points and settled what we thought was correct. For instance, speaking of gender, the class would say there are four genders. Then we would correct them something after this manner. What is gender ?” “Gender is a distinction in nouns with reference to sex." "Is it a distinction with reference to anything else besides sex ?" "No." " How many sexes are there ?" “ Two." " Then how many genders are there ?” “ Two." “ What are they ?” “ Masculine and feminine." 6 But is there no neuter gender ?” “No," “yes,”—“no,"–. "Silence.”_"Do nouns which are called neuter represent objects which have sex ?”. “ They do not." " Have they, then, any geuder, since gender refers only to sex ?” “ They have not.” “ But why have grammarians almost universally fallen into the error of giving a neuter gender to English nouns ?” No reply, “ Probably because they have tried to extend the similarity between our language and others

as the Latin, for example too far. In Latin, gender is not merely a distinction in regard to sex, but also in regard to the form of the word, a certain form of termination in the noun requiring a certain form of the adjective to agree with it, and

« PreviousContinue »