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The news from Spain in the middle of April, 1869, is rendered as follows in the English papers:— “It is said that Senor Figuerola, the Minister of Finance, proposes to unify the public debt by allowing the next half-yearly interest, due in June, to accumulate and be added to the capital.’ The verbal formative -ate is from the Latin participle passive of the first conjugation: as amatus, loved; aestimatus, valued. Examples:—calculate, captivate, decimate, eradicate, estimate, exculpate, expostulate, indicate, invalidate, liquidate, mitigate, nominate, operate, postulate, venerate. The above formatives are of great standing in the language; but that which we have now to mention, the formative -ize, is comparatively modern. It occurs in Shakspeare, as tyrannize in King John, v. 7. 47; partialize in King Richard II, i. I. I 20; monarchize, Id. iii. 2. 165, but was not in general use until the time of the living generation. This is a formative which we have copied from the Greek verbs ending in -ićew. Examples:—adversize, anathematize, anatomize, cauterize, christianize, deodorize, evangelize, fraternize, generalize, mesmerize, monopolize, patronize, philosophize, soliloquize, subsidize, symbolize, sympathize, systematize, utilize. These verbs have been multiplied indefinitely in our day, partly in consequence of their utility for scientific expression, and partly from the fact that about twenty years ago it became a toy of University-men to make verbs in -ize about all manner of things. A walk for the sake of bodily exercise having been called ‘a constitutional, the verb constitutionalize was soon formed thereupon. It was then caught up in country homes, and young ladies who helped the parson in any way were said to parochialize. A. H. Clough, when engaged on his edition of Plutarch's Lives in English, used to report progress to his correspondents by saying that he devoted so much of his time to Plutarchizing.
Mr. Liddon has adopted transcendentalize :—
‘It has been suggested that the Apostles confused the spiritual Resurrection of an idea with the bodily Resurrection of its Author. But a confusion of thought which may seem natural to the transcendentalized brain of a modern, would never have occurred in that of a Jew nineteen centuries ago, for the simple reason that its very materials did not exist.”—The Power of Christ's Resurrection, St. Paul's, Easter Day, 1869. Mr. Matthew Arnold, in a recent paper, endeavouring to distinguish the local elements in the writings of St. Paul from that which is essential and permanent, has found it expedient to fashion or adapt to his purpose three verbs, and they are all of this type, Hebraize, Orientalize, Judaize. A large number of these verbs are more commonly written with -ise than with -ize. That is to say, we are met here, as in so many other passages of our language, with that quiet unnoticed French influence. Here it will probably prove stronger than Greek, as in numerous cases it has modified the Latin forms. This form is here regarded as Greek, in compliance with the view that has been established and consciously acted upon for a long time past. But though it has now acquired a right to be called a Greek form, it does not follow that the first suggestion of it was due to the Greek language. On the contrary, reason will be given in the next chapter for supposing that it had its beginning in the verbification of a French substantive. The English verbs present so great a variety of age and featuring, that they may as a whole be compared to a venerable pile of buildings, which have grown by successive additions through a series of centuries. One spirit and purpose threads the whole, and gives a sort of unity in the midst of the more striking diversity. The later additions are crude and harsh as compared with the more ancient—a fact which is partly due to the mellowing effect of age, and partly also to the admission of strange models. In our speech, as well as in our architecture, we are now sated with the classic element, and we are turning our eyes back with curiosity and interest to what was in use before the revival of letters, and before the renaissance of classic art. Except that the verbs require not their hundreds, but their thousands of years, to be told off when we take count of their development, we might offer this as a fitting similitude. They are indeed variously featured, and bearing the characters of widely differing ages, and they are united only in a oneness of purpose; and by reason of these characters I have used the collective expression which is at the head of this chapter, and designated them as The Verbal Group.
THE NOUN - GROUP.
WE are now come to the backbone of our subject. The relation of the verb to the noun may be figured not unaptly by calling the verb the head-piece, and the noun the backbone.
When we say the noun, we mean a group of words which comprise no less than the whole essential presentives of the language. In grammars these are ordinarily divided into three groups, the substantive, the adjective, and the adverb. We call these the presentives, and they will be found precisely co-extensive with that term. It is true that many verbs are presentive, and this may seem a difficulty. More verbs are presentive than are not. But it is no part of the quality of a verb to be presentive; if it is presentive, that circumstance is a mere accident of its condition. But all which we shall include in the noun-group are essentially presentive, and they constitute the store of presentive words of the language. When verbs are presentive, they are so precisely in proportion to the amount of nounal stuff that is mixed up in their constitution.
To know a verb from a noun is perhaps the most elementary step in the elements of grammar. We assume that the reader has not only mastered this distinction, but that he has so thoroughly accreted it and assimilated it to his habits of mind, that it will not be liable to dislodgement under the rude shock which philology must inflict upon partial conceptions. Not that there is anything wrong in this grammatical distinction, or anything that has to be unlearnt. The distinction itself is good as a practical statement. But in philology we seek an explanation of these relations in their nature and origin. And, philologically speaking, the presentive verb is only a noun raised to a verbal power. As a ready illustration of this, we may easily form an alphabetical list of words which are nouns if they have a or am, and verbs if they have to prefixed: ape, bat, cap, dart, eye, fight, garden, house, ink, knight, land, mark, number, order, pair, question, range, sail, time, usher, vaunt, wing, yell.
As soon indeed as you put to any one of these the sign of a noun or of a verb, a great difference ensues—a difference hardly less than that between the gunpowder to which you have put the match and that over which you have snapped the pouch's mouth. Little by little, external marks of distinction gather around that word which the mind has promoted to the highest order. Pronunciation first, and orthography at a slower distance, seek gradually to give a form to that which a flash of thought has instantaneously created. Pronunciation takes advantage of its few opportunities, while orthography contends with its many obstacles. We make a distinction in pronunciation between a house and to house, between a use and to use between a record and to record. But these distinctions of sound are as yet unwritten. In other cases orthography has added its mark of distinction also. We distinguish both by sound and writing a gap from to gape, an advice from to advise, and a prophecy from to prophesy.