« ForrigeFortsett »
THE DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY.*
We remember perfectly our boyish is not new, and what is new is not disappointment in first 'making ac- true;" and we now propose to bor. quaintance with the well-known work row, for the demonstration of this of Horne Tooke. From the attrac. proposition, a few pages of Maga, the tions of its title and frontispiece, we invariable friend of truth and simplihad selected it as a sure source of city, and the implacable foe of quackentertainment for a Christmas week; ery and pretension. and dire was our dismay when we We make no high boast of the at. found that the Diversions of Pur- tainments of which we can avail our. ley consisted in discussions upon pre- selves in pursuit of this object. A positions, pronouns, and past parti- very moderate familiarity with Gothic, ciples, even duller and drier than a mere bowing acquaintance with those to which our school studies con- Anglo-Saxon, and less than a schooldemned us. A resentment was thus boy knowledge of the classic tongues, engendered, which stiil lurked in our will be more than sufficient to show minds at a more advanced age, and that nearly the whole details of Horne struggled secretly with the influence of Tooke's discussions are gratuitous or popular opinion and powerful authority incorrect, and that his whole theory is at a time when the doctrines of this presumptuous and unsound. writer were in some quarters revered In a work so extensive and so mi. as important discoveries, and in almost nute as the Diversions of Purley, it all were admired as refined specula- would be endless to review and cortions. The recent publication of a reet the errors of all its propositions ; new and neat edition of the work has particularly when almost every proagain led us to peruse it ; which we position is an error. We shall confine have done in many respects with al- ourselves to its chief points and most tered feelings and extended views ; prominent principles. but it gives us the greatest delight to The attempt which Tooke has made “ feed fat the ancient grudge” we bear to arrest in their career the su FT. it, and to declare, as we now delibe- posvra of rapid discourse, and to quesrately take leave to do, that the tion them as to the places whence Diversions of Purley is one of the they come and whither they are gomost consummate compounds of igno. ing, is worthy at once of a philologer rance and presumption that ever prac- and a philosopher. But the general tised with success upon human credu idea of his work cannot confer upon lity. It is probable that there were him the praise of originality. It was once persons who admired Horne long ago maintained, what in indiviTooke as a great patriot ; and it would dual cases is manifest at a glance, that seem that there are still some who many of the small particles of speech regard him as a great philologer. It are abbreviations or adaptations of is time that the one delusion should significant words of a fixed and more be dispelled as thoroughly as the formal character; and in all languages other. We affirm that the work on it has been always seen that many adwhich his grammatical reputation jectives and substantives are derivable rests, is fanciful and false in every more or less directly from the differthing that is peculiar in its preten- ent parts of corresponding verbs. sions or essential to its character ; Hoogeveen, Wachter, and Ten Kate, and is only accurate and judicious, if on the Continent, and many of our it ever be so, in those matters that own etymologists at home, had, with every body already knew, or might different degrees of ability, illustrated have learned elsewhere. We pro. these doctrinest and left no praise nounce our sentence upon it in the for their successors to earn, but that old formula, that " what is true in it of carrying the same ideas into exe.
* A new edition, revised and corrected, with additional notes, by Richard Taylor, F.S.A. Tegg : 1840.
+ See Todd's note to Johnson's Grammar. Dictionary, 2d edit.
cution with additional discrimination, reference to the writer's own object, ingenuity, and learning. If Tooke, in those cases where the verb preced. therefore, has any merit in this de- ing the conjunction is other than an partment, it must lie in the details of affirmative, such as doubt, disbelieve, his design, or in the mode of its exe- deny. But we ask, in an etymological eution : but we deny that in these re- sense,— Is this a just explanation of the spects he is entitled to any praise at phrase referred to? We affirm that it all.
is not. It proceeds upon an entire Let us examine some of the points ignorance on the writer's part of the on which he seems to have felt most actual history and character of the self-complacency, and which may be conjunction that; an ignorance which taken as fair specimens of his powers places Tooke on the same low level and of his success.
with the etymologists whom he de. The two chief particles of which he nounces, with this additional stigma, has professed to illustrate the history, that he is ignorant of his ignorance. are IF and THAT. These are the The first thing that occurs to us on words on which he principally expa- considering this theory is, that while tiates in his letter to Mr Dunning, Tooke alleges this use of the word to which led to his larger work : they pervade “ All languages," and while are the pillars of the porch which he refers to the Greek and Latin conconducts us to the more ambitious junctions ori and quod as analogous edifice. Let us see if they are built cases, the examples thus given are on a stable foundation.
materially at variance with the explanAll English etymologists must have ation which they are employed to seen from the first that there was some illustrate. The conjunctions quod connexion between the conjunction and ori are not equivalent expressions that and the pronoun of the same to that, in the way in which Tooke sound and aspect, a connexion which explains the English word. Those subsists in all or most of the Teutonic conjunctions in the learned languages languages. The nature of that con- agree in form with the relative pronexion, it is probable, many were noun, not with the demonstrative, with unable to see. Was Tooke in any which Tooke identifies our vernacular better situation than his neighbours particle. They are thus truly conor predecessors? That he saw there junctions, interlacing one part of a was a connexion is true : but did he sentence with another in a way diffisee what the connexion was? He cult to be fully developed, but obviously certainly thought he saw it; but this much more subtle and refined than circumstance will be no advantage in the abrupt and disjointed manner in his favour, nay, it will in fact be which, according to Tooke's doctrine, against him, if, thinking he saw it, he the English idiom brings together two did not see it correctly. Here is the separate and independent propositions. statement of his views.
According to the analogy of Tooke's
view, the Latin language should not “ In my opinion, (he says, in support use quod for a conjunction, but id or of a most sophistical legal argument,) the istud, as corresponding to that. Take word THAT (call it as you please, either a sentence of Terence: “ Scio jam article, or pronoun, or conjunction) re.
filius quod amet meus hanc meretri. tains always one and the same significa
cem," “ I know that my son is in tion."
love with this girl.” To make the “ Suppose,” he continues, “ we examine
Latin correspond to the English, it some, instances, and, still keeping the
should be “ Scio jam filius istud amet same signification of the sentences, try whether we cannot, by a resolution of their meus,” &c., and should be resolvable construction, discover what we want.
into two independent propositions : “ Example.— I wish you to believe
“ My son is in love ; I know that,". that I would not wilfully hurt a fly.'
“ Filius amet meus—scio jam istud." “ Resolution.-' I would not wilfully
But here again the nicety of the Latin hurt a fly; I wish you to believe that subjunctive would be wholly done [assertion].””—Diversions, Edition 1840, away with. We feel at once, from p. 43-44.
the true Latin phrase, that it is not so
easy to take to pieces the divine meWe shall not stop to expose the ab- chanism of human speech as Mr surdity of this theory, particularly in Tooke would teach us; and that there
are contrivances for dovetailing the Tooke's fashion, but indissolubly artifiner combinations of thought that are culated together by means of a word, not dreamed of in his carpentry. which, whatever be its name or nature
The very analogies, therefore, to otherwise, is truly a conjunctive, as which Tooke refers should have led him being of a relative or secondary charto distrust his own clumsy analysis; acter, and pointing to some primary and if he had really known, what he or antecedent. chiefly affects to know, the language The English conjunction that is of our Gothic ancestors, he would have historically the Gothic THAT-EI been less dogmatical and more cor- abridged. Its origin would be anomarect.
lous on any other footing ; and we see The conjunction that is in truth in that the English pronoun that has, in English precisely analogous to the another case, undergone the same curLatin quod and the Greek éto. What- tailment, and is used also as a relative, ever may be the exact relation of though properly a demonstrative. The those words to the relative pronoun, use of the demonstrative pronoun that that same relation subsists in our own as a relative is traceable to the Gotongue. The conjunction that is thic, which converted the one into the not a form or representation of the other, by the addition of the particle demonstrative pronoun, as Tooke EI, THATA, istud, THAT-EI asserts. It corresponds not with the quod. The English retrenches the demonstrative, but with the relative. suffix and uses one form, that, for A little explanation is here necessary both of those Gothic words, and for to make this matter clear.
the conjunction as well as for the two In the Gothic language there is a pronouns. little particle EI,* of which the origin The phrase, therefore, “ I wish you is obscure and the use peculiar. It is to believe THAT I would not hurt a possibly some obsolete inflexion of the hy,” is truly the same as if it had pronoun IS-he, which corresponds to been “ I wish you to believe WHICH the Latin is.
But, without enquiring I would not hurt a fly.” Harsh and nicely how it came there, we shall obscure as this may appear, it is the take it as we find it, and consider its certain history of every such phrase. import or effect. It is by means of It is probably explainable by the fol. this little word that the Gothic lan- lowing, or some similar amplification: guage forms its relatives, whether in “ I wish you to believe [some opinion the class of pronouns or of particles. according to] which I would not hurt The relatives are formed from the a fly.” But whatever is the explasimple or demonstrative forms, by the nation of the classical adverbs quod addition of this EI as a termination. and óti, the same also is the explana. Thus IS is he, IZ-EI is who or he tion of the Teutonic that. who, THATA is that, THAT-EI It thus appears, that while Horne is which, THAR is there, THAR. Tooke saw the connexion wbich every EI is where, &c.
body else saw, his speculations have Now the Gothic conjunction cor- not enlightened but misled us in our responding to the English that, is search as to the true nature and origin never THATA, istud, but THAT- of that connexion. EI, or THATA-EI, quod, or orig Let us see if the philologer of Pur-6,7. A Gothic phrase expressed by ley is more sound or successful in the this conjunction could never be re- other leading example which he has solved, as Hornė Tooke proposes, by given. He thus promulgates his exseparating it into independent positive planation in the letter to Mr Dunning: affirmations. If the conjunction that is
“ The truth of the matter is, that IF truly a pronoun, as its appearance indicates, it is the relative and not the
is merely a verb. It is merely the impe
rative mood of the Gothic and Anglodemonstrative; and thus there are not two substantive sentences in every such languages, as well as in the English, for
Saxon verbs GIFAN, gifan; and in those phrase, but one sentence only, incap- nierly this supposed conjunction was proable of being taken to pieces after nounced and written as the common im
* We print the Gothic words in this article with Italic capital letters, and use the English Y to represent the Gothic letter which corresponds in sound, and which the Germans represent by J.
perative, purely GIF, gif, gif.”-“ Ac- new edition of Tooke now before us, cordingly, our corrupted IF has always and who has too often suffered his the signification of the present English own judgment and intelligence to be imperative GIVE, and no other." overmastered by a timid respect for There are some facts here to be exa
his author, * has noticed this fallacy, mined before we proceed to theories. and we shall here transcribe his cor
1. It is not true that the English rection of it. We only premise that conjunction has always the sense of GIBAN is the Gothic verb to give, give. Allowing that it sometimes may and that its imperative is GIB, or rabe explained as meaning supposition ther GIF. It has nearly the same or concession, it has often also the form in all the other Teutonic lansignification of pure uncertainty, and guages; and it will be observed how is synonymous with whether, in which completely in all of them, except the cases it would be preposterous to con- Anglo-Saxon, the form of the convert it into give. “ I doubt IF it be junction keeps aloof from that of the
“ Uncertain IF by augury or verb, with which it has been so rashly chance." - She doubts IF two and identified. two make four.” Diversity of con
“ The derivation of IF, from the imjecture, or alternative possibility, is the idea in these expressions, and not perative give, seems very plausible, so long supposition or assumption. The ques. of the word, especially as taken in con
as we limit our view to the English form tion is, whether the notion of dubiety nexion with the Scotch GIN, supposed is not the prevailing idea in all the
to be the participle given. But we canuses of the conjunction IF.
not arrive at a correct opinion, without 2. It is not true, as Tooke says, that viewing the word in the forms in which it in the Gothic and Anglo-Saxon lan- appears in the cognate dialects, and which guages, the conjunction and impera- do not seem at all referable to the verb tive GIF were written in the same to give. way. In the Gothic language there 66 Thus in Icelandic we have ēf, si, is no such conjunction as GIF, and modo, with the verb efa, ifa, dubitare; so there can be no identity with the and the substantive efi
, dubium, and its imperative of the verb.
derivatives. See Ihre, v. Ief, dubium. 3. In Anglo-Saxon, the correspon- In old German it is ibu, ipu, ube, oha, dence of two words by means of the yef, &c.; and in modern German ob, in letter G is always equivocal, and re- the sense only of an, num,--all of which quires confirmation from other sources,
must surely be identified with the Gothic that letter being employed in the IBA, IBAI, and YABAI, which latdouble capacity of expressing the
ter Grimm (Deutsche Grammatik, vol, jii. radically different sounds of the pro
p. 284,) considers as a compound of per G, and the semivowel Y. From
YA and IBAI, and supposes that the a resemblance of the conjunction gif, word, and that IBAI may be the dative
sense of doubt is included in the Gothic and the verb gif, in Anglo-Saxon, we cannot conclude that the words are
of a substantive IBA, dubium, with which
also he conjectures some adverbs may be the same, but must look to the cog
connected, (ib. p. 110.) In old German, nate languages to see if the agreement he remarks, the substantive iba, dubium, is also found there.
whose regular dative is ibu, was preserved Now, it has been shown by Jamie
in the phrases mit ibo, dne iba, (p. 150, son and other writers, that a reference 157.) Wachter gives the same account, both to the Gothic and the other Teu
and adds, 'Hæc particula apud Francos tonic tongues, is destructive of the eleganter transit in substantivum iba,' and alleged identity we are now consider- tunc dubium significat,' &c. In the ing. Mr Taylor, the editor of the Anglo-Saxon gif, Grimm considers the g
may observe, however, that Mr Taylor is not always himself quite correct, and would instance one example in which he is wrong while endeavouring to correct others. He says (Additional Notes, p. 36) that loose and lose “ have come down to us as representatives of two quite distinct families ; and I see no evidence of their com-. mon parentage." It is true that LAUSYAN, to loose, and LIUS-AN, to lose, are different Gothic verbs, but their connexion is obvious, LIUS-AN, perdere, amittere, makes in the preterite LAUS, perdidi; which is undoubtedly connected with the adjective LAUS, liber, vacuus, loose or empty, and with the causal verb LAUSYAN, liberare, to loosen, or make loose. The mistake is, however, of no great moment to any argument involved in it.
prefixed, as representing the Gothic Y in quite different from thicgan, to take or YABAI; and the old Frisic has ief, gef, taste. ieftu, inf, which Wiarda considers the 3. None of the verbs mentioned by same with the Francicoba and iba."
Tooke could, with all his confusion, Taylor's Tooke, Additional Notes, p. 11, be brought to give the pronoun that
It is well known, as acknowledged as a past participle. All of them are by himself in the Diversions, that strong verbs, that is, verbs which
Tooke had found this conjecture as to make the past participle in n in. the conjunction if, in the Etymologicon stead of d, a subject on which Tooke of Skinner, who was a clever though has himself dilated sufficiently to not a learned man. The hint thus make his ignorance or disregard of derived seems to have fairly run off it inexcusable. The past participle with him. Mounted upon this bor. of thicgan, (Anglo-Saxon,) to take, is rowed horse of Skinner's, which now, thigen, or thegen. Will this give the too, turns out to be broken-kneed, Anglo-Saxon that or thæt? The past Tooke rode on with that recklessness participle of the Gothic THEIHAN, and with that result which is generally to grow or thrive, is THAIHANS. the fate of those who have no business Will this afford us the Gothic THA. to ride at all. Out-skinnering Skin
TA? ner, he saw imperatives in every
4. No reasonably well-informed thing, when in fact they had no exist
man can doubt that the English proence whatever in the form and for the noun is the legitimate descendant of purposes to which he was applying a long line of ancestors that have been them. It would be endless to expose pronouns from the earliest antiquity, his various forced and fallacious ex
and that would scorn the brand of planations of other conjunctions, in the bar sinister thus attached to them all of which he might be demolished by Tooke, who would make them a in the same way as in the examples we
sort of by-blows from the cadets of a have now enlarged upon.
family of verbs. According to the We should not dismiss the two lead- regular law of interchange from tening assumptions from which the theory_ues into aspirates, and medials into starts, without noticing the etymolo- tenues, we recognise the English that gical explanation with which Mr in the last syllable of the Latin is-tud, Tooke has favoured us of the pronoun and in the Sanscrit tad or tat, the that.
Zend tat, and in the mutilated form of
the Greek Tu, all words of similar im. “THAT (in the Anglo-Saxon thaet, port and character, through all the i.e. thead, theat) means taken, assumed; Indo-Teutonic languages. The wide being merely the past participle of the diffusion of a pronominal root characAnglo-Saxon verb thean, thegan, thion, terised by the dental consonants, wheTHIHAN, (Goth.,) thicgan, thigian; ther t, th, or d, according to the ge. sumere, assumere, accipere ; to. THE, nius of the different dialects, is too to get, to take, to assume."-P. 344.
obvious to require more than suggesThere is to be found in this passage tion. about as much error and absurdity as The absurdity of the conjecture of could well be contained in so small a Tooke's, which we have now exposed, space.
is equalled by many others in his 1. If any thing be certain in etymo- book, and among the rest by the analogy, it is that the English demonstra. logous discovery that the pronoun it, tive that is identical with the Gothic or hit, is “ merely the past participle THATA, the neuter of the article. .of the verb HAITAN (Gothic), hatan Mr Tooke, in acknowledging the in- (Anglo-Saxon), nominare!" As far fluence and supremacy of the Gothic, as the Gothic is concerned, the matter has fortunately supplied us with as is easily disposed of. The neuter excellent a stick for belabouring his pronoun there, as in English, wants own shoulders as hand could desire. the aspirate, and appears as ITA:
2. Mr Tooke in the passage quoted while the past participle of HAITAN, confounds together two or three Saxon to call, is HAITANS. Nothing but verbs that are essentially distinct. the most leaden ignorance and the If we do not greatly mistake, theon, most brazen presumption could have to thee, thrive, or grow, though it has hazarded a conjecture like this of itself two forms, is in each of them Tooke's. The genealogy of ITA is