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he hath ufed the allufion, at leaft twenty times, in the progrefs of his work on language; and feems to be always hunting after extremes, merely for the fake of introducing them.
Conjunctions have been compared to plumes on helmets, to handles to cups, &c. &c. ; they have been called the nails and nerves, the glue, the pitch, and the mortar of language.
With fuch fimilies as thefe, the reader hath been amufed, while the grammarian hath luckily fheltered his ignorance.
But all the while the true nature of the conjunction was left in the dark.
Mr. Tooke hath brought it out of the fhade of mystery and nonsense, and given it a proper place and ftation, not among unmeaning or half-meaning indeclinables, but among words that have both declenfion and fignification, too.
He hath given us a table of the conjunctions, and from a comparison of them with their original SAXON roots, it is clear that they are verbs, used either as participles, or in the imperative mood.
We will present our readers with a fpecimen, which will fufficiently explain the Author's general idea.
IF was written Gif by G. Douglas; and if the conftruction!
AN hath precifely the fame meaning. They are the imperatives of the Saxon Lifan and Anan, to give and grant.
An the weather be fair to-morrow I will go abroad;' is the fame as if the weather, &c.' and both are only imperatives of the two verbs which fignify to give or grant.
Dr. Johnfon ftrangely mifconceived the original meaning of
UNLESS (formerly fpelt with an o) is the Saxon onler, dimitte, from the verb onleran, dimitto, I difmifs, or fend away. Let any fentence be examined where it occurs, and it always bears this meaning,
Lefs and elfe come from the fame common root [Leran), and have the fame fignification. They always imply that fomething is difmiffed, excepted, or put out of the way.
The Author traces the etymology of the other English conjunctions with great fkill and ingenuity; and establishes his obfervations by the cleareft examples.
Chapter the ninth difcuffes the nature and fignification of the prepofitions. Grammarians are much divided among themselves about the number of the prepofitions. The ancient Greek grammarians only admitted eighteen: the ancient Latin grammarians about fifty. The moderns have not fettled the point.
Mr. Tooke blames the philofophers more than the lexicographers. As the former have not defined the nature of the prepofitions, it is no wonder that the latter fhould be fo much divided about their number. If a clear and definite account had been given of them, their precife number would have been certainly known; and their number in all languages would have been always the fame.
Our Author lays it down as a rule, that, of different languages, the leaft corrupt will have the fewest prepofitions; and in the fame language the bef etymologists will acknowledge the fewest.
He will by no means acknowledge that the prepofition is an indeclinable word. It hath a proper meaning of its own. The prepofitions, as well as the conjuntions, are to be found among the other parts of fpeech. The fame fort of corruption, from the fame caufe, hath difguifed both. It is curious to fee the different accounts that have been given of them by different grammarians; and the hard shifts that have been made to account. for their origin and application. All the confufion, and all the contradiction into which thofe writers have fallen, arife merely from their not perceiving that prepofitions are in fact either nouns or verbs in difguife.
I acknowledge them,' fays the Author, to be undoubtedly neceffary. For, as the neceffity of the article (or of fome equivalent invention) follows from the impoffibility of having in language a diftinct name or particular term for each particular individual idea; fo does the neceffity of the prepofition (or of fome equivalent invention) follow from the impoffibility of having in language a distinct complex term for each different collection of ideas which we may have occafion to put together in difcourfe. The addition or fubtraction of any one idea to or from a collection, makes it a different collection; and (if there were degrees of impoffibility) it is ftill more impoffible to ufe in language a different and diftinct complex term for each different and diftinct collection of ideas, than it is to ufe a diftin&t particular term for each particular and individual idea. To fupply, therefore, the place of the complex terms which are wanting in a language, is the prepofition employed. By whofe aid complex terms are prevented from being infi nite or too numerous, and are used only for thofe collections of ideas
which we have moft frequently occafion to mention in difcourfe. And this end is obtained in the moft fimple manner in the world. For having occation in communication to mention a collection of ideas, for which there is no one fingle complex term in the language, we either take that complex term which includes the greatcft number, though not all, of the ideas we would communicate; or else we take that complex term which includes all, and the fewest ideas more than thofe we would communicate: and then by the help of the prepofi-. tion, we either make up the deficiency in the one cafe, or retrench the fuperfuity in the other.
• For inftance,
1. A boufe WITH a party wall.'
In the first instance, the complex term is deficient: the prepofition directs to add what is wanting. In the fecond inftance, the complex term is redundant: the prepofition directs to take away what is fuperfluous.
Now confidering it only in this, the mott fimple light, it is abfolutely neceffary, in either cafe, that the prepofition itself should have a meaning of its own for how could we otherwife make known by it our intention, whether of adding to, or retrenching from, the deficient or redundant complex term we have employed
• If to one of our modern grammarians I fhould fay "A House, JOIN," he would afk me-" JOIN what ?"-But he would not contend that JOIN is an indeclinable word, and has no meaning of its own: because he knows that it is the imperative of the verb, the other parts of which are fill in ufe; and its own meaning is clear to him, though the fentence is not completed. If, instead of join, I fhould fay to him," A house wITH," he would still afk the fame queftion- WITH what?" But if I fhould difcourfe with him concerning the word WITH, he would tell me that it was a prepofition, an indeclinable word, and that it had no meaning of its own, but only a connotation or confignification. And yet it would be evident by his question, that he felt it had a meaning of its own; which is indeed the fame as JOIN *. And the only difference between the
WITH is alfo fometimes the imperative of pyndan, to be. Mr. Tyrwhit, in his gloffary (art. BUT) has obferved truly, thatBY and WITH are often fynonymous."-They are always fo, when WITH is the imperative of pyndan; for BY is the imperative of Beon, To be.
He has alfo in his gloffary (Art. WITH) faid truly, that-" WITH mefchance. WITH mifaventure. WITH forwe. 5316. 7797. 6916. 4410. 5890. 5922. are to be confidered as parenthetical curfes.". For the literal meaning of thofe phrafes, is (not God yeve, but)—BE mifchance, BE mifadventure, Be jorrow, to him or them concerning whom thefe words are fpoken. But Mr. Tyrwhit is mistaken, when he fuppofes" WITH evil prefe. 5829. WITH barde grace. 7810. WITH fory grace. 12810."-to have the fame meaning for in thofe three inftances, WITH is the imperative of IAN; nor is any. parenthetical curfe or wifh contained in either of thofe inftances.
two words WITH and JOIN, is, that the other parts of the verb VIHAN, piðan, to join (of which WITH is the imperative) have ceafed to be employed in the language. So that my instances stand thus:
1. A house join a party-wall.'
And indeed fo far has always been plainly perceived, that wITH and WITHOUT are directly oppofite and contradictory. Wilkins, without knowing what the words really were, has yet well expreffed their meaning, where he fays that WITH is a prepofition" relating to the notion of focial or circumftance of Society affirmed; and that WITHOUT is a prepofition relating to the fame notion of social, or circumstance of fociety denied."
And it would puzzle the wifeft philofopher to discover oppofition and contradiction in two words, where neither of them had any fig
The Author obferves, that BUT and WITHOUT have precisely the fame meaning, though the one is called a conjunction and the other a prepofition. When, for inftance, we fay-" All but one," we mean juft the fame as if we had faid-“ All without one." And both are exactly the fame as-" All, one BEOUT." For but is derived from Be-utan, which is the imperative of the verb Beon-uzan, and fignifies to be out.
Thus fans in French fimply means abfence. The Greek χωρίς is the corrupted imperative of χωρίζειν, to fever or disjoine The Latin fine is fit ne, be not; and the Spanish fin is from the Latin fine.
The English prepofition thorough, thorow, through, and thro', is no other than the Gothic fubftantive dauro, or the Teutonic fubftantive thuruh, and like them means door, gate, passage.
FROM means merely BEGINNING; and is timply the AngloSaxon and Gothic noun Frum, origin, fource, author. When we fay
"Figs came FROM Turkey,
AS WITH means JOIN, fo the correfpondent French prepofition, AVEC, means-And have that, or, Have that also. And it was for. merly written avecque, i. e. avezque. So Boileau, Satire 1.
"Quittons donc pour jamais une ville importune;
"Mais qui m'affurera, qu'en ce long cercle d'ans,
the prepofition bears precifely the fame meaning, though Mr. Harris produces thefe examples to fhew that its meaning may be totally altered by its application.
Mr. Tooke very juftly obferves that came is a complex term for one fpecies of motion, and falls for another fpecies of motion. Hangs is a complex term for a fpecies of attachment. For, if we have occafion to communicate or mention the COMMENCEMENT OF BEGINNING of thofe motions and of this attachment; and the PLACE where thefe motions and this attachment commence or begin, it is impoffible to have complex terms for each occafion of this fort. What more natural then, or more fimple, than to add the figns of thofe ideas, viz. the word BEGINNING (which will remain always the fame), and the name of the place (which will perpetually vary)?
"Figs came-BEGINNING Turkey.
"Turkey the place of BEGINNING to come.
FROM, then, relates to every thing to which BEGINNING relates; and to nothing elfe; and is referable to time as well as to motion.
Dr. Johnson has numbered twenty different meanings of this prepofition; and to thefe he adds twenty-two other manners of ufing it; and hath accompanied each with a variety of examples by way of proof and illuftration: and yet in all his inftances (which are above feventy) FROM continues to retain invariably one and the fame fingle meaning.
The oppofition to the prepofition FROM refides fingly in the prepofition To. The Author thinks that if it hath not precifely the fignification (which perhaps it may) pf end or termination, yet that it hath a meaning that is equivalent. The prepofition TO (in Dutch written TOE and TOT, which is a little nearer to the original) is the Gothic fubftantive TAUS or TAUHTS, i. e. aƐt̃, effect, refult, confummation. After this derivation, it will not appear in the leaft wonderful that we should, in a peculiar manner in English, prefix the fame word To to the infinitive of our verbs; for the verbs in English not being diftinguished, as in other languages, by a peculiar termination, this word To (i. e. act) became neceffary to be prefixed, in order to diftinguish them from nouns, and to invest them with the verbal character.
Our Author is of opinion, that the Latin prepofition AD has a fimilar origin, as well as a fimilar meaning, to the English To.