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PROGRESS AND DESTINY

OF THE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

AND

LITERATURE.

BY

JOHN A. WEISSE, M.D.

4

"The other nations of Europe may esteem themselves fortunate, that the English have
not made the discovery of the suitableness of their language for universal adoption."

-Dr. K. M. Rapp's “ Physiologie der Sprache,Vol. III. p. 157.

NEW YORK:
J. W. BOUTON, 706 BROADWAY.

1879.

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"Language is an art, and a glorious one, whose influence extends over all others, and in which all science whatever must center; but an art springing from necessity, and originally invented by artless men.”

-HORNE TOOKE's “ Diversions of Purley." Vol. I., p. 317, L. E.

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PREFACE:

"The science of language is a modern one, as much so as geology and chemistry; it belongs, like them, to the nineteenth century.”—Prof. W. D. WHITNEY.

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Our new method of analyzing the English language was suggested by the term Anglo-Saxon, used by enthusiasts as a national and linguistic pedigree. The people of England seemed to us as much mixed as any nation in Europe ; the people of the United States more than any European nation, and the English idiom more Greco-Latin than Anglo-Saxon. A strict analysis of Anglo-Saxon and English literature, from King Ethelbert, A.D. 597, to Queen Victoria, realized our opinion, not only historically and philologically, but numerically.

Our book is no eulogy on the virtues of the ninety English-speaking millions, nor is it a satire on their vices; but an essay on what they have achieved in language, which contains the thought and wisdom of the nation. We analyzed about one hundred and fifty Anglo-Saxon, English and American writings and authors, from A.D. 597 to our day ; their ultimate percentages will show the origin of the English language.

Prof. Draper tells us, in the preface of his excellent work, entitled “Intellectual Development of Europe : “ We gain a more just and thorough appreciation of the thoughts

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