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consequence of this that we are once more invited, and now for the last time, to consider some Flexional forms as holding a middle place between the Flat and the Phrasal. This is the natural arrangement; for we may speak generally and say:-Flexion occupies the middle zone of the whole sphere of human language as it is historically known to us.
Here we make two groups. The first, of compounds retaining traces of flexion in the first member, as beadsman, bondsman, craftsman, daysman, draftsman, guardsman, headsman, helmsman, herdsman, kinsman, kinsfolk, landsman, marksman, pointsman, salesman, seedsman, spokesman, sportsman, swordsman, tradesman, tradespeople, wealsmen Sh. In Saxon this was syntactic, as ‘se scyres man Leofric,’ the shires man Leofric, Cod. Dipl. 929: and even in Chaucer ‘no craftys men’ Canterbury Tales 1899.
To an offer of money, such an one replies—“Oh I don't like that sort of thing’; but nevertheless he does not object to money's-worth.-Herbert Spencer, The Morals of Trade.
The second group consists of those in which the connection of the parts of the compound is indicated by flexion of the final member. Many compounds have terminal flexion without belonging to this group, as far-seeing. It is when the inflection is applied in such a manner as to belong only to the combination and not to either part by itself, that we have a compound which is distinctly flexional. In the above example, seeing is equally an inflected word whether it be in or out of the compound, and the -ing has no more special relation to the compound than the -sul has in the compound all-powerful. But if we take long-legged, this is a flexional compound. It is not a combination of long and !egged, but rather of long and leg or legs, which are clamped together into one formation by the participial inflection.
Such are the following, of which the less common are marked with the initials of Milton or Tennyson:—
arrow-wounded (T) meek-eyed (M)
I was bred a blacksmith, and knew my art as well as eler a blackthumb'd, leathern-apron'd, swart-faced knave of that noble mystery.— Walter Scott, Kenilworth, xi.
608. This group of compounds is seen in its highest perfection in the Greek language, and the authors who have used this form of speech with the greatest effect and in the most opposite ways are AEschylus and Aristophanes. What was a trumpet to the former was employed as a bauble by the latter. Our modern poets are great performers upon this instrument. Keats handled it very effectively. In his
Endymion we read of “yellow-girted bees’; also subslecadenced 219; lidless-eyed. Whereat, methought, the lidless-eyed train Of planets all were in the blue again.
609. In such instances the inflection reacts on the whole compound with a consolidating force. Several words may thus be strung together. When the last member of a linked composite has an inflection, it seems to shoot back pervadingly through the others, locking the whole together with a bolt of coherence. We do not use this power so freely as the Germans do. Where we read “O thou of little faith’ in Matthew xiv. 31, Luther has C bu R[eingläubijer. Richard Rothe said of his student life at Heidelberg, that it was ein poetists-religiöğ-missendjaftside3 Štoss.
In the following quotation, though it is not so printed, yet the word old is a member of the compound and a partner in the services of the termination :
The author having settled within himself the most direct mode of securing the ear of his readers, throws himself upon their favour with an air of trustfulness and old friend-ish-ness, which cannot fail to secure him welcome and audience.—Quarterly Review, vol. cxxviii. p. 545.
Here also seem to belong those instances in which the last member is a present participle, governing the first part of the compound:
As a tool-and-weapon-using being, man stands alone. —E. T. Stevens, Flint Chips, Preface.
The lonely wand'rer under other skies
Horace Smith, Alma Mater, 1860. 610. The Compounds of the First and Second Orders are for the most part the offspring of an early and undeveloped Syntax. They are the natural instruments for saying a great deal in brief compass, and with all the entailed, conSequences of inexplicitness. Among these consequences may be reckoned advantages as well as disadvantages. It is sometimes a disadvantage that the meaning is clouded, but then this turns to advantage in certain aspects, as when illusion is sought by the poet. Thus,
sea-path sunset-paved; Aubrey de Vere, Legends of Saint Patrick, 1872; p. 48.
As an example of the uncertainty attending on compounds we may cite the famous Greek compound in Zuke vi. 1, which literally rendered in English is ‘secondfirst.’ Our version gives it ‘second sabbath after the first’; another explanation is ‘second of the principal sabbaths,” and a third ‘first sabbath after the second day of the Passover.’ So this compound ‘second-first has suggested three distinct interpretations:–second after first, second among first, first after second. This will serve to indicate the liability of compounds to vagueness.
The logical faculty loves an explicit syntax, but the imagination has an affection for compounds, and especially for those of the first and second order. That logical language, the French, is stronger in syntax than in compounds, as it is also more excellent in prose than in poetry.
3. CoMPOUNDs of THE THIRD ORDER.
611. Here belong all those compounds which are formed by an accentual union of phrases wherein the syntactical connection is entirely or mainly symbolic. There was a mediaeval English expression for vain regret, which was made up of the words “had I wist,’ that is to say, ‘Oh, if I had only known what the consequence would be.’ It was variously written, and the variations depend on the degree of accentual intensification:—
And kepe pe well from hadde-y-wiste.
The chief symbol which threads together the Compounds of this Order is the preposition ‘of, as coat-of-arms, willo'-the-wisp, cal-o'-nine-tails, man-of-war, light-o'-love, ticketof-leave.
The distinction between compounds and constructs is a delicate one, so much so that two persons of like birth and education may be found to differ upon it. When however we see the of abraded to o', or when we hear it in speech, as we often hear man-o’-war, then there is no doubt of the compound state of that expression.
612. This class of compounds is essentially French, and it is from our neighbours that we have caught the art of making them. Thus, we say after them:
But the instances in which we make use of it are far
less numerous than those in which we keep to our natural compound, that of the First Order. It is only necessary to offer a few examples by which it will appear how very far we are from overtaking the French in the use of their compound:—