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H. And do you imagine there ever was such a thing as a deponent verb; except for the purpose of translation, or of concealing our ignorance of the original meaning of the verb? The doctrine of deponents is not for men, but for children ; who, at the beginning, must learn implicitly, and not be disturbed or bewildered with a reason for every thing: which reason they would not understand, even if the teacher was always able to give it. You do not call think a deponent. And yet it is as much a deponent as reor. Remember, were we now say, I think, the antient expression was....me thinketh, i. e. me thingeth, it thingeth me.
“ Where shall we sojourne till our coronation ?
Richard 3d. fragm. 186. For observe, the terminating k org is the only difference (and that little enough) between think and thing. Is not that circumstance worth some consideration here? Perhaps you will find that the common vulgar pronunciation of nothink, instead of nothing, is not so very absurd as our contrary fashion makes it appear.
Bishop Hooper so wrote it. “ Mens yeyes be obedient unto the creatour, that they may se on think, and yet not another.” A declaracion of Christe, by Iohan Hoper, cap. 8.
But your question has almost betrayed me unaware into a subject prematurely; which will be more in its place, when, in some future conversation, we inquire into the nature of the verb; and especially of the verb substantive (as it is called) to
be, esse, existere, extare, &c. Where we must necessarily canvass the meaning of the words thing, essence, substance, being, real, &c(). And thither I desire to refer it.
In the mean time, if you reject my explanation of true; find out, if you can, some other possible meaning of the word : or content yourself, with Johnson, by saying that true is....“ not false.” And FALSE is....“ not true.” For so he explains the words.
F. Be it so. But you have not answered my original question. I asked the meaning of the
(e) Mr. Locke, in the second book of his essay, chap. xxxii. treats of true and false ideas : and is much distressed throughout the whole chapter ; because he had not in his mind any determinate meaning of the word TRUE.
In section 2, he says..... Both ideas and words may be said 6 to be true in a metal hysical sense of the word TRUTH: as all « other things, that any way EXIST, are said to be true; i. e. “ REALLY TO BE such as they EXIST.”
In section 26, he says......“ Upon the whole matter, I think " that our ideas, as they are considered by the mind, either in “ reference to the proper signification of their names, or in " reference to the REALITY of THINGS, may very fitly be callid “ RIGHT or WRONG ideas. But if any one had rather call them
TRUE OR FALSE, 'tis fit he use a liberty, which every one has, " to call things by those names he thinks best."
If that excellent man had himself followed here the advice which, in the ninth chapter of his third book, sect. 16, he gave to his disputing friends concerning the word liquor : If he had followed his own rule, previously to writing about TRUE and FALSE ideas; and had determined what meaning he applied to TRUE, BEING, THING, REAL, RIGHT, WRONG; he could not have written the above quoted sentences: which exceedingly distress the reader, who searches for a meaning where there is none to be found.
abstract TRUTH: and you have attempted to explain the concrete TRUE. IS TRUTH also a participle?
H. No. Like north (which I mentioned before) it is the third person singular of the indicative Trow. It was formerly written troweth, trowth, trouth, and troth. And it means.... (aliquid, any thing, something) that which one TROWETH. i. e. thinketh, or firmly believeth().
F. Here then is another source of what has been called abstract terms; or rather (as you say) another method of shortening communication by artificial substantives: for in this case one single word stands for a whole sentence. But is this frequently employed ?
H. Yes. Very frequently. . So, besides north and truth, we have.
GIRTH....that which girdeth, gird'th, girth.
FILTH....whatsoever fileth; antiently used where we now say defileth. See before youL.
• Quhat hard mischance Filit so thy plesand face?
Douglas, booke 2, pag. 48.
Douglas, booke 2, pag. 57. Tilti....Any manner of operation which tilleth, i. e. lifteth, or turneth up, or raiseth the earth. See before TILT.
« For he fonde of his owne wit
Gower, lib. 5, fol. 90, pag. 1, col. 2.
(f) If Mr. Wollaston had first settled the meaning of the word, he would not have made TRUTH the basis of his system.
i. e. The craft, of lifting up the earth with a plough.
WEALTH.... That which enricheth; the third person singular of Pelegian, locupletare, &c.
HEALTH.... That which healeth, or maketh one to be hale, or WHOLE.
See before HALE. Dearth.... The third person singular of the English (from the Anglo-Saxon verb derian, nocere, lædere) to dere. It means, some, or any, season, weather, or other cause, which DERETH, i. e. maketh dear, hurteth or doth mischief.
The English verb to dere was formerly in common use. “ No deuil shal you dere, ne fere you in your doing.”
Vis. f P. Ploughman fiass. 8, fol. 36, pag. 2. « Shal no deuyl at his deaths daye dere him a mite."
Vis. of P. Ploughman, pass. 8, fol. 37, pag. 1. “ Shal neuer deuil you dere, ne death in soule grene."
Vis. of P. Pl ughman, pass. 18, jol. 91, pag. 2. “ No dynte shal him dere.”
Id. pass. 19, fol. 97, pag. I.
Gower, lib. I, fl. 13, pag. 2, col. 2.
Gewer, lib. !, fol. 23, pag. 1, col. 2.
Gower, lib. 5, fol. 103, pag. 2, col. 2.
Gower, lib. 6, fol. 135, pag. 2, col. 2.
« His good kynge so well addresseth,
Gower, lib. 7, fol. 164, pag. 1, col. 2.
Gower, lib. 8, fol. 19, pag. 1, col. 1.
shall both anon unto me swere
Knightes Tale, fol. 5, pag. 2, cche le
Squiers Tule, fol. 25, pag. 2, col. 2.
Monkes Tale, fol. 83, pag. 2, col. 2. “ No thynge shall dere them ne dysease them.”
Diues and Pauper, 3d comm. cap. 13. “ The womans synne was lesse greuous than “ Adams synne and lesse dered mankynde.”
Diues and Pauper, 6th comm. cap. 10. Shakespear, in the Tempest, act 2, sce. 1, says, 6 We haue lost your son, &c.
The fault's your owne,
« Our hope in him is dead: let us returne,
« In our deere peril.” Part II.