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ment, when the youth of successive generations had been daily translating their bits of Greek into the vernacular Latin.
And although the symbolics in Latin are very effective when understood, yet it must be allowed that they are very hard to understand. This is the reason why a real Latin scholar, one who can command this title among scholars, is such a very rare personage. The symbolical element, which is to the mode of thought the essential element in every phrase in which it is present, did not grow of itself unconsciously and in the open air as in Greece, but it was the product of artificial elaboration and studied adaptation. And it still sits on the Latin like a ceremonious garment. The old native Latin, whose vitality and functionality was all but purely inflectional, springs out of its Greek disguise every now and then, and shows what it can do by its own natural
Look at the muscular collectedness of such a sentence as BEATI MUNDO CORDE, and compare it in respect of the total absence of symbolics, either with the Greek Μακάριοι οι καθαροί τη καρδία, or with the English Blessed are the pure in heart.
There spoke out the native and pre-classic Latin, a truly ancient language, and one in comparison with which we must call the Greek truly modern. For that rich and free outflow of the symbolic which marks the Greek, is the badge and characteristic of modernism in language. On the other hand, that independence of symbolics, and that power of action by complete inflectional machinery, which marks the Latin, is the true characteristic and best perfection of the ancient or pre-symbolic era.
Not that our monuments reach back absolutely to a period when the symbolic element had yet to begin. Already in the Sanskrit, the symbolic verb is, than which nothing can be more purely
symbolic, is in as full maturity as it is in our modern languages. The latter have made more use of it, but the oldest languages of the Aryan race were already in possession of it. We learn from Professor Müller, Lectures, ii. p. 349, that the Sanskrit root is As, which, in all the Aryan languages, has supplied the material for the auxiliary verb. Now, even in Sanskrit, it is true, this root as is completely divested of its material character; it means to be, and nothing else. But there is in Sanskrit a derivative of the root As, namely asu, and in this asu, which means the vital breath, the original meaning of the root as has been preserved. A8, in order to give rise to such a noun as asu, must have meant to breathe, then to live, then to exist, and it must have passed through all these stages before it could have been used as the abstract auxiliary verb which we find not only in Sanskrit but in all Aryan languages.'
But although we cannot pursue our research so far up into antiquity as to arrive at a station where inflections exist without symbolic words, yet we have sufficient ground for treating flexion as an ancient and symbolism as a modern phenomenon. One reason is, that in the foremost languages of the world, flexion is waning while symbolism is waxing. Another consideration is this, that after the growth of the symbolic element, the motive for flexion would no longer exist.
We have every reason to anticipate in the future of the world's history, that symbolic will continue to develope, and that flexion will cease to grow. A widening divergence separates them at their hither end. But if we could take a look into that far distant antiquity in which they had their rise, we might perhaps find their fountains near each other if not absolutely identified in one well-head. I imagine that inflections are simply words which, having made some
progress towards symbolism, and having lost accordingly in specific gravity, have been attracted by, and at length absorbed into, the denser substance of presentive words. This would account for the great start which flexion had over symbolic; and yet we should understand how a marked and prominent symbolic word like is, charged with a singular amount of vitality, should have found the opportunity to make a place for itself even as early as our highest attainable antiquity.
Be this as it may, there are traces of a something which has the air of a family likeness between inflections and symbolic words. With a hint on this feature, we will close the chapter.
The distinction between presentive and symbolic words is, I hope, tolerably clear to the reader. And also this—that presentive words have a tendency to become symbolic. And also this -- that the process which changes them from presentive to symbolic is accompanied (unless other forces interfere) by a relative lightening of the vocal stress laid on them in a properly modulated discourse. To these observations we must add that the symbolic words are marked by a clinging adherent tendency to attach themselves to other words; and as this tendency will often force itself on our attention, we will, for brevity's sake, simply call it symphytism
In the early period of our literature we see the symbolics growing on to their presentives and forming one word with them. In the case of the pronouns with the verbs this was very conspicuous in early English, as it was also in early German. The first personal pronoun I, which was anciently Ic, is found coalescing both before and after its verb. In the latter case the c is generally developed into ch. In the Canterbury Tales, 14362
*Let be, quod he; it schal not be, so theech !' Here theech is the coalition of thee ic, equivalent to the more frequent phrase, so mote I thee; that is to say, 'So may I prosper' (A.S. ÞEON, to flourish, prosper).
In the Owl and Nightingale (A.D. 1250) we find wenestu for wenest þu, weenest thou; wultu, wilt thou ; shaltu, shalt thou; etestu, eatest thou. In Bamford's Dialect of South Lancashire, there is cúdto, couldst thou? cudtono, couldst thou not?
And not only does the pronoun adhere to its verb when it stands as subject to the verb. In the following westcountry sentence the object-pronoun adheres : “Telln, what a payth out, I'll payn agan'—'Tell him, what he pays out, I will pay him again.' Here the n represents the old accusative pronoun hine, which has been absorbed into the verb.
The old negative ne coalesces with its verb; thus-nelt for ne wilt ; navestu for ne havest þu, thou hast not; nam for ne am = am not; Ich nam of-drad, I am not alarmed. The particle a coalesces very often; as
• Awinter warm, asumere cold.' Owl and Nightingale. Two symbolics would run together like two drops of water on a pane of glass. The verb shall is often found making one word with be down as late as the seventeenth century. Thus, Isaiah xl. 4:
Euery valley shalbe exalted, and euery mountaine and hill sbalbe made low.'
In King Lear, iv. 6, where Edgar assumes the character of a rustic, he says chill for I will, and chud for I would or should, it may be doubted which. Here we have to understand that the first pronoun was pronounced as Ich, so that chill is just as natural a coalition of ich will as nill is of ne will. For this reference I am indebted to my friend the
Rev. W. Williamson, of Fairstowe, who has also furnished me with the following:
Chill tell thee what, good vellowe,
Before the vriers went hence,
Was zold vor vourteen pence.
Cham zure they were not voolishe
That made the masse, che trowe :
Percy's Reliques, ii. pp. 324, 325. Cham is for ich am, I am. The same friend, having undertaken to look out for examples of this kind for me, writes to say that he has met with more than two hundred of these agglutinate forms, including such as ichave, hastow, wiltu, dostu, slepestow, sechestu, wenestu, &c.
These examples are enough to prove that there is a disposition in the symbolics to be drawn on to and to coalesce with their presentives, or with one another. The tendency is so decided in that direction that had there not been some great counteracting force it must have gone on happening on so large a scale as to have completely altered the appearance and character of the language. And this counteracting force is nothing more than the natural consequence of literary habits when they are widely diffused. From this cause has arisen a modern reaction in favour of the preservation of all words that are known to have had a separate individuality. This reaction has put a stop to these coalitions, and in some cases dissolved them where they had seemed to be established. In the early prints of Shakspeare the conversational abbreviation for I will is written Ile, but modern usage requires that the separate existence of each word should be kept up, and accordingly we write it I'll. The same movement, overshooting its aim, has, at least in one