Immagini della pagina

worshipful salutation, and having lost all construction, was completely interjectionalised.

• Did they not sometime cry All bayle to me?'

Shakspeare, Richard II. iv. I. The pronunciation is iambic; the All being enclitic, and the stress on hayle, as if the whole were a disyllable. We sometimes hear it otherwise rendered in Matthew xxviii. 9, as if All meant omnes, távtes ; instead of being merely adverbial, omnino, távtws. It does not indeed represent any separate word at all, the original being simply Xaipete. In the Vulgate it is Avete; and this is rendered by Wiclif Heil ze. Tyndal was the first who introduced this All hayle into the English version. The Geneva translators substituted for

it God saue you.

Other instances of the use of this form of greeting in our New Testament are too well known to need quotation. This section shall close with the following example from a dialogue poem of Cowper, good also for its illustration of another interjection :

• Distorted from its use and just design,
To make the pitiful possessor shine,
To purchase, at the fool-frequented fair
Of vanity, a wreath for self to wear,
Is profanation of the basest kind
Proof of a trifling and a worthless mind.

A. HAIL Sternhold, then ; and Hopkins, HAIL. B. AMEN.
If flattery, folly, lust, employ the pen;
If acrimony, slander, and abuse,
Give it a charge to blacken and traduce:
Though Butler's wit, Pope's numbers, Prior's ease,
With all that fancy can invent to please,
Adorn the polish'd periods as they fall

One madrigal of theirs worth them all!' Table Talk. This brings us to the example which holds the most conspicuous historical position, the great congregational interjection of faith, the universal response of the Christian

Church as well as of the Hebrew Synagogue, AMEN. This word, at first in Hebrew a verbal adjective, and thence an affirmative adverb, signifying verily, truly, yea, was used in the earliest times of the Jewish Church (Deut. xxvii. 15; Ps. xli. 14, lxxii. 19, lxxxix. 53) for the people's response : and let all the people say Amen.' It was continued from the first in the Christian community, as we know from 1 Cor. xiv. 16, and is still in use in every body of Christians. For the most part it has been preserved in its original Hebrew form of AMEN; but the French Protestants have substituted for it a translation in the vulgar tongue, and they do not respond with AMEN but with Ainsi-soit-il = So be it 1. They have by this change limited this ancient interjection to one of its several functions. For in this modern form it is only adapted to be a response to prayer, or the expression of some desire.

There are other sorts of assent and affirmation for which AMEN is serviceable, besides that single one of desire or aspiration. In mediæval wills it was put at the head of the document In the name of God AMEN. This was a protestation of earnestness on the part of the testator, and a claim on all whom it might concern to respect his dispositions.

In Jeremiah xxviii. 6 we find one AMEN delivered by the prophet with the wishful meaning only, while there is an ominous reserve of assent.

In the Commination Service, the Amens to the denunciations are not expressions of desire that evil may overtake the wicked, but the solemn acknowledgment of a liability to which they are subject. As the preliminary instruction sets

1 I am informed that the Freemasons have a time-honoured rendering of their own: So mote it be!

forth the intent wherefore 'ye should answer to every sentence, Amen. In this place Amen cannot be rendered by So be it; and the attempt to substitute any grammatical phrase in place of it must rob it of some of its symbolic power. This is the case with all interjections, and it is of the essence of an interjection that it should be so.



PHILOLOGY seeks to penetrate into the Nature of language : Grammar is concerned only with its literary Habits.

Grammatical analysis is the dissection of speech as the instrument of literature. The student may help himself to remember this by observing that grammatice (ypaupatikń) is derived from the Greek word for literature, ypámmata.

The chief result of grammar, the exponent of grammatical analysis, is the doctrine of the Parts of Speech. All the words which combine to make up structural language are classified in this systematic division. But it is important for the philologer to understand that the quality of words, whereby they are so distinguished and divided, is a habit, and not anything innate or grounded in the nature of the words. We shall endeavour to make this plain.

Grammar analyses language in order to ascertain the conditions on which the faculty of expression is dependent, and also to gain more control over that faculty. This object limits the range of grammatical enquiry. The

grammarian makes a certain number of groups to which he can refer any word, and then he forms rules in which he legislates class-wise for the words so grouped. We must here assume that the ordinary grammatical knowledge is already in the possession of the reader.

To be able to designate each word as such or such a part of speech, and to practise the rules for combining parts of speech together, is the ordinary task of grammar. The determination of the part of speech is therefore the barrier beyond which grammar does not (generally speaking) pursue the analysis. And although what is called parsing, or assigning words to their parts, is a juvenile exercise, yet it is nevertheless the surest test of a person's having learnt that which grammar has to teach; especially if he can do it in the English sentence. For it is easier to do in Latin. A boy may be quite ignorant of the meaning of a Latin sentence, and of each word in it; and yet he may be able to answer that navabat, for example, is a verb in the active voice, imperfect tense, indicative mood. He knows this from having learnt the forms of the Latin verb, and he knows the ending -abat for the verbal form of that voice, tense, and mood. Such knowledge is but formal and mechanical. If however, in parsing English, he meets the verb loved, he cannot venture to pronounce what part of the verb it is by a mere look at the form. It may be the indicative, or the subjunctive, or it may be the participle. Which it is he can only tell by understanding the phrase in which it stands.

Throughout the Latin language the words are to a very great extent grammatically ticketed. In the English language the same thing exists, but in a very slight degree. In Latin, the part of speech is most readily determined by regard to the form, and it is only occasionally that attention


« IndietroContinua »