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he hath used the allusion, at least twenty times, in the progress of his work on language ; and seems to be always hunting after extremes, merely for the sake 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 these, the reader hath been amused, while the grammarian hath luckily sheltered his ignorance.
But all ihe while the true nature of the conjunction was left in the dark.
Mr. Tooke hath brought it out of the shade of mystery and nonsense, and given it a proper place and station, not among unmeaning or half- meaning indeclinables, but among words that have both declension and fignification, too.
- He hash given us a table of the conjun&tions, 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 specimen, which will luf. ficiently explain the Author's general idea. 7 Lif
Alesan To dismiss, THOUGH Đan Đarian
To allow, Since in English, and Sifdan in Saxon, is the participle of Seon, to see.
Ir was written Gif by G. Douglas ; and if the conftruction of any sentence where it occurs be resolved, it always fignifies to give.
An hath precisely the same meaning. They are the imperatives of the Şaxon Lifan and Anan, to give and grant.
• An the weather be fair to-morrow I will go abroad;' is the same as if the weather, &c.' and both are only imperatives of the two verbs which signify to give or grant.
Dr. Johnson ftrangely misconceived the original meaning of
UNLESS (formerly spelt with an o) is the Saxon onler, di, mitte, from the verb onleran, dimitto, I dismiss, or fend away.
Let'any sentence be examined where it occurs, and it always bears this meaning.
Lef Less and elfe come from the same common root (Leran), and have the same fignification. They always imply that something is dismissed, excepted, or put out of the way.
The Author traces the etymology of the other English conjunctions with great skill and ingenuity; and establishes his observations by the clearest examples.
Chapter the ninth discusses the nature and signification of the prepositions. Grammarians are much divided anong themselves about the number of the prepositions. The ancient Greek grammarians only admitted eighteen: the ancient Latin grammarians about filiy. The moderns have not settled the point.
Mr. Tooke blames the philosophers more than the lexicographers. As the former bave not defined the nature of the prepolutions, it is no wonder that the latter Mould be lo much divided about their number. If a clear and definite account had been given of them, their precise number would have been certainly known; and their number in all languages would have been al. ways the same.
Our Author lays it down as a rule, that, of different languages, the least corrupt will have the fewest prepositions; and in the same language the best eiymologists will acknowledge the feweft.
He will by no means acknowledge that the preposition is an indeclinable word. It hath a proper meaning of its own. The prepositions, as well as the conjun&ions, are to be found among the other parts of speech. The same fort of corruption, from the same cause, hach disguised both. It is curious to see the diffcrent 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 confusion, and all the contradi&tion into which those writers have fallen, arise merely from their not perceiving chat prepositions are in fact either nouns or verbs in disguise..
"I acknowledge them,' says the Author, to be undoubtedly neces. sary. For, as the necessity of the article (or of some equivalent inyencion) follows from the impossibility of having in language a distinct name or particular term for each particular individual idea ; so does the deceflity of the preposition (or of some equivalent invention) follow from the impossibility of having in language a distinct complex term for each different collection of ideas which we may have occalion to put together in discourse. The addition or subtraction of any one idea to or from a collection, makes it a different collection ; and (if there were degrees of impossibility) it is still more impossible to use in language a different and distinct complex term for each different and distinct collection of idas, than it is to ule 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 preposition employed. By whose aid complex terms are prevented from being in fi. site or too numerous, and are used only for those collections of ideas
“ A House,
which we have most frequently occafion to mention in discourse. And
• 3. A koble with a party.wall.'
• 2. A bouse withour a roof.' • In the first instance, the complex term is deficient: the prepofition directs to add what is wanting. In the second instance, the complex term is redundant: the preposition directs to take away what is superfluous.
• Now confidering it only in this, the mott fimple light, it is abro. lutely necessary, in either case, that the pre position iifeir should have a meaning of its own : for how could we otherwise make known by it our intention, whether of adding to, or retrenching from, the de. ficient or redundant complex term we have employed;
• If to one of our modern grammarians I mould say JOIN,” he would ask me -" JOIN wbar?”-But he would not contend that joix 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 use; and its own meaning is clear to him, though the sentence is not completed. If, instead of join, I should say to him,-“ A house with,” he would Nill ask the same question-“WITH what ?” But if I should discourse with him concerning the word WITH, he would tell me that it was a proposition, 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 same as join*. And the only difference between the
two • WITH is also sometimes the imperative of pyndan, 10 be. Mr. Tyrwhit, in bis glossary (art. BUT) has observed truly, that• BY and with are often synonymous.”—They are always so, when WITH is the imperative of pyrdan; for By is the imperative of Beon, To be.
• He has also in his glossary ( Art. with) said truly, that _" WITH mesebance. With mijaventure. With forwe. 5316. 7797. 6916. 4410. 5890. 5922. are to be considered as parenthetical curses." For the literal meaning of those phrases, is (not God yeve, but)-BE mischance, be misadventure, Be jorrow, to him or them concerning whom these words are spoken. But Mr. Tyrwhit is mistaken, when he fupposes -" WITH evil prefe. 5829. with barde grace. 7810. WITH jory grace. 12810.”- to have the same meaning : for in those three inttances, with is the imperative of yoon; nor is any parenthetical curse or will contained in either of those instances.
two words with and join, is, that the other parts of the verb Pidin , piðan, to join (of which with is the imperative) have ceased to be employed in the language. So that my instances stand chus :
• 1. A boufe JOIN a party-wall.'
• 2. A house Be-out a roofi' And indeed so far has always been plainly perceived, that WITH and without are direaly opposite and contradictory. Wilkins, without knowing what the words really were, has yet well expres ed their meaning, where he says that with is a preposition— relating to the notion of social or circumstance of society affirmed; and chat WITHOUT is a preposition relating to the same notion of social, or circumstance of society denied.”
* And it would puzzle the wiseft philosopher to discover opposition and contradiction in two words, where neither of them had any fig. nificacion.'
The Author observes, that BUT and WITHOUT have precisely the same meaning, though the one is called a conjunction and the other a preposicion. When, for intance, we say—“ All but one,” we mean juft the same as if we had said " All with. out one.” And both are exactly the same as—“ All, one beout.” For but is derived from Be-utan, which is the inperative of the verb Beon-utan, and fignifies to be out.
Thus fans in French fimply means absence. The Greek xwpis is the corrupted imperative of xwpišev, to sever or disjoin, The Latin fine is fit- ne, be not; and the Spanilh son is from the Latin fine.
The English preposition thorough, thorow, through, and thro', is no other than the Gothic subftantive dauro, or the Teutonic fubftantive thuruh, and like them means door, gate, palage.
From means merely BEGINNING; and is timply the AngloSaxon and Gothic noun frum; origin, source, author. When we say
“ Figs came FROM Turkey,
“ Lamp hangs FROM Cieling," • As with means join, so the correspondent French preposition, AVEC, means - And have that, or, Have that also. And it was for. merly written avecque, i. e. avezque. So Boileau, Satire i.
“ Quittons donc pour jamais une ville importune;
Où l'honneur eft en guerre AVECQUE la fortune."
A leurs fameux epoux vos ayeules fidelles
the preposition bears precisely the same meaning, though Mr. Harris produces these examples to thew that its meaning may be totally altered by its application.
Mr. Tooke very juftly observes that came is a complex term for one species of motion, and falls for another species of mo. cion. Hangs is a complex term for a species of attachment. For, jf we have occasion to communicate or mention the commenceMent or BEGINNING of those motions and of this at:achment; and the PLACE where these motions and this attachment commence or begin, it is impossible to have complex terms for each occasion of this sort. What more natural then, or more simple, than to add the signs of those ideas, viz. the word BEGINNING (which will remain always the same), and the name of the place (which will perpetually vary) ?
Cieling the place of BEGINNING to fall.
“ Cieling the place of BEGINNING to hang.” Fron1, then, relates to every thing to which BEGINNING relates; and to nothing else ; and is referable to time as well as to motion.
Dr. Johnson has numbered twenty different meanings of this prepofition; and to these he adds twenty-two other manners of using it; and hath accompanied each with a variety of examples by way of proof and illustration : and yet in all his instances (which are above seventy) FROM continues to retain invariably one and the same single meaning.
The opposition to the preposicion FROM resides singly in the preposition to. The Author thinks that if it hath not precisely the signification (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 substantive Taus or TAUHTS, i, e. aft, effill, refult, consummation. After this derivation, it will not appear in the least wonderful that we should, in a peculiar manner in English, prefix the same word to'to the infinitive of our verbs; for the verbs in English not being distinguished, as in other languages, by a peculiar termination, this word to (i. e. act) became necessary to be prefixed, in order to distinguish them from nouns, and to invest them with the verbal charačer.
Our Author is of opinion, that the Latin preposition Ad has a fimilar origin, as well as a similar meaning, to the English to.