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And I admire more than ever your favourite maxim of....rex, rex loquens ; rex, rex mutus. I acknowledge the senses he has given us....the experience of those senses....and reason (the effect and result of those senses and that experience)....to be the assured testimony of God : against which no human testimony ever can prevail. And I think I can discover, by the help of this etymology, a shorter method of determining disputes between well-meaning men, concerning questions of RIGHT : for, if Right and just mean ordered and commanded, we must at once refer to the order and command; and to the authority which ordered and commanded.
But I wish at present for a different sort of information. Is this manner of explaining RIGHT and JUST and LAW and DROIT and DRITTO, peculiarly applicable to those words only, or will it apply to others? Will it enable us to account for what is called abstraction, and for abstract ideas, whose existence you deny ?
H. I think it will : and, if it must have a name, it should rather be called subaudition than abstraction; though I mean not to quarrel about a title.
The terms you speak of, however denominated in construction, are generally (I say generally) participles or adjectives, used without any substantive to which they can be joined: and are therefore, in construction, considered as substantives. An Act,
(aliquid) Act-um. A Fact,
(aliquid) Fact-um. A Debt,
(aliquid) Debit-um. Rent,
(aliquid) Rendit-um, redditum.
Tribute, (aliquid) Tribut-um.
(aliquid) Expans-um, &c. (k): Such words compose the bulk of every language. In English, those which are borrowed from the Latin, French, and Italian, are easily recognized ; because those languages are sufficiently familiar to us, and not so familiar as our own : those from the Greek are more striking; because more unusual : but those which are original in our own language have been almost wholly overlooked, and are quite unsuspected.
These words, these participles and adjectives, not understood as such, have caused a metaphysical jargon and a false morality, which can only be dissipated by etymology: and, when they come to be examined, you will find that the ridicule which Dr. Conyers Middleton has justly bestowed upon the papists for their absurd coinage of saints, is equally applicable to ourselves, and to all other metaphysicians; whose moral deities, moral causes, and moral qualities, are not less ridiculously coined and imposed upon their followers. Fate,
(k) It will easily be perceived, that we adopt the whole Latin word, omitting only the sequent Latin article ; because we use a precedent article of our own. For a similar reason we properly say.... The Koran, and not the Al-koran.
Fault, &c. &c. as well as JUST, RIGHT, and WRONG, are all merely participles poetically embodied, and substantiated by those who use them.
So Church, for instance, (Dominicum, aliq is an adjective; and formerly a most wicked one; whose misinterpretation caused more slaughter and pillage of mankind than all the other cheats to gether.
F. Something of this sort I can easily perceive; but not to the extent you carry it. I see that those sham deities FATE and DESTINY....aliquid fatum, quelque chose destinée.... are merely the past participles of fari and destiner.
That CHANCE(') (“ high arbiter”(m) as Milton calls him) and his twin brother ACCIDENT, are merely the participles of escheoir, cheoir, and cadere. And that to say...." It befell me by chance or by
ACCIDENT,”....is absurdly saying...." It fell by
(1) CHANCE.... Escheance.)
6 The daie is go, the nightes CHAUNCE “ Hath derked all the bright sonne.”
Gower, lib. 8, fol. 179, pag. 1, col. 2. (m) .......“ Next him, high arbiter “ CHANCE governs all.”
Paradise Lost, book 2.
“ falling.” And that an INCIDENT, a CASE, an ESCHEAT, decay, are likewise participles of the same verb. I agree with
you that PROVIDENCE, PRUDENCE, INNOCENCE, SUBSTANCE, and all the rest of that tribe of qualities (in ence and ance) are merely the neuter plurals of the present participles of videre, nocere, stare, &c. &c.
That ANGEL, SAINT, SPIRIT are the past participles of anger desv, sanciri, spirare, &c.(")
I see besides that ADULT) APT,(") and ADEPT are the past participles of adoleo and apio.
(n) In the same manner animus, anima, llysypes, and vuxna are participles. “ Anima est ab animus. Animus vero est a “ Græco Avelos, quod dici volunt quasi Aeros, ab Aw, sive Aeria “ quod est Ilvɛw: et Latinis a spirando, sfriritus. Imo et tuxn “ est a Yuxw, quod Hesychius exponit livew.
« Animam pro vento accipit Horat.
“ Impellunt Animæ lintea Thraciæ.” “ Pro Halitu accipit Titinius;
« Interea fætida Anima nasum oppugnat.” “ Et Plautus.... Asin. Act. 5, Sce. 11.
“ Dic, amabo, an fætet Anima uxoris tuæ. “ A posteriori hac significatione interdum bene maleve animatus 6 dicitur, cui anima bene maleve olet. Sic sane interpretantur « quidam illud Varronis, Bimargo:
“ Avi et Atavi nostri, cum allium ac cæpe eorum verba « olerent, tamen optime animati erant."
Vossii, Etym. Lat. ( “ Adolere proprie est crescere, ut scribit Servius ad Ecl. 16 viii. Unde et adult um pro adoltum, sive adolitum.”
Vossii, Etym. Lat. (P) Afrio, sive ano, antiquis erat adliyo, sive vinculo comprehendo: prout scribit Festus in apex. Servius ad x Æn. Isidorus, lib. xix. cap. xxx. Confirmat et Glossarium Arabico-Latinum ;
That CANT, CHAUNT, ACCENT, CANTO, CANTATA, are the past participles of canere, cantare, and chanter.
That the Italian cucolo, a cuckow, gives us the verb to cucol, (without the terminating D,) as the common people rightly pronounce it, and as the verb was formerly and should still be written. « I am cuckolled and fool'd to boot too."
B. and Fletcher, Women pleas'd. “ If he be married, may he dream he's cuckold.”
B. and Fletcher, Loyal Subject. To cucol, is, to do as the cuckow does: and cucol-ed, cucold, cucold, its past participle, means cuckow-ed, i. e. served as the cuckow serves other birds. (?) ubi legas....Apio, ligo. Ab apio quoque, festo teste, aptus is dicitur, qui convenienter alicui junctus est, &c.
Ab apio est apiscor: nam quæ apimus, id est, comprehendimus, ea apiscimur. Ab apisci, adipisci, &c. Vossii, Etym. Lat.
(9) Nothing can be more unsatisfactory and insipid than the labours (for they laboured it) of Du Cange, Mezerai, Spelman, and Menage concerning this word. Chaucer's bantering etymology is far preferable.
.......“ that opprobrous name COKOLD :
“ As of one cause to gyue very iudgement
“ Eche letter an hole worde dothe represent, PART II.