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prisover; the reception given to the stravger ; the May God enable us to remember these as coming clothes bestowed on the poor :-such deeds® are as from Himself, whom to know and love iu Christ is immortal as the love to Jesus from which they the one mercy which includes all others! spring. It will be a grand thing to see the mani- Another year has begun! What events are to fold proofs afforded by the past of the reality of the happen to us ere it euds? All is dark! Whether Christian life-that it was no empty talk, no hypo- we are to live or die; be in health or ju sickness ; critical profession, but that it fought such battles endure the heaviest storms of life, or sail along on a with sin, and gained such triumphs over it, was smooth sea :---on events like these we have no light. such a calm putting forth of energy, such real self- So God has willed, and He ever wills what is best dedial, such genuine affection, as evidenced it to be for us. One thing only is certain, that we can bave different in kind from any other life without the perfect peace in Him, come what may. In the spirit and grace of God.
world we may have tribulation, but in Him we can
have peace;—peace in life and in death, in joy and A year has just closed with all its sins ! May in sorrow- -the same kind of peace which dwelt in God in his mercy grant us all a true sense and a the heart of the Man of Sorrows while on earth, hearty repentance of them, so that, through faith and which He left us as his best legacy on the in Him whose blood was shed as a propitiation for night in which He was betrayed into the hand of the sins of the world, we may be forgiven-and sin siuners—“the peace of God which passeth all unno more!
derstanding !" • Thou wilt keep bim in perfect A year has closed with all its trials, sorrows, peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he cares, and perplexities! May God impress on our trusteth in Thee." hearts what lessons He may have taught us of the May we begin the year with confidence in the blessedness of trusting Him; of the peace which Lord Jesus Christ-confidence in his constant preHe can bestow amidst trouble; of the difficulties sence with us, and his unchangeable love to us; which he can remove, making a way of escape when confidence in his wisdom to direct our path and to we could see none !
arrange all our ways; in his strength to uphold us A year has closed with all its mercies ! Mercies in every duty, to keep us from falling, and to preto soul and body; mercies temporal and spiritual; sent us faultless in his presence at his coming with mercies to beloved friends; the mercies of many exceeding joy. Lord, increase our faith! We gifts and talents, and of means for doing and re- believe-help our unbelief! ( Thou who hast ceiving good ; mercies more than can be numbered, helped us during the past, iuto Thy hands we comDew every morning and evening, and bestowed mit ourselves, and all that concerns us, for the upon us who are unworthy of the least of them. future, and until time shall be no more!
MORE ABOUT THE QUEEN'S ENGLISH.
BY THE DEAN OF CANTERBURY.
A Supplementary Lecture, delivered to the Church of England Young Men's Association, in St. George's Hall,
Canterbury, November 5, 1866. When your excellent secretary requested me to I am asked whether an expression which I had open your course of lectures for this season, I natu- used, “the first foundation of an institution,” can rally went to a shelf where papers await future be right, seeing that an institution can have but use, to see whether the Queen's English corre- one foundation? The reply is to be sought in the spondence was ample enough to warrant another general use of expletive, i.e., superabundant words, lecture on that subject. I found upwards of fifty together with others which already express the letters on questions of more or less interest, and a meaning required. Thus we have, “() that they lair amount of cuttings from newspapers, and would consider their latter end,” when “their end” memoranda picked up in society and in solitude. would, strictly speaking, have been sufficient. Thus
I therefore determined to announce “More About also we say, “the utmost end of the earth,” “the the Queen's English,” as my subject, and to go first beginning of creation”; the expletive prefix in through my file of letters and memoranda, thus each case tending to give precision and emphasis, forming a supplementary lecture, which might, in and showing that it is on the fact reasserted by it, the next edition of my little book, either be worked that the stress of the sentence is laid. in among its paragrapbs, or be printed entire as an A notable and very solemu instance of this usage appendix at the end.
is found in the title, “the most Highest,” given to This being so, I shall not aim at arrangement or the Almighty in the Prayer-book version of the classification, but sball simply discuss the matters psalms (Ps. ix. 2; xiii. 6; xxi. 7 ; etc.). In the presented by my correspondents, and the me- Bible version the expression seems not to occur, moranda, as they come before me.
the “Most High," or, “the Highest," being its
equivalent. But we have a reduplication of the “ Will you be so good as tell us in your next edition same kind in Acts xxvi. 5 ; “After the most whether the Russian or the Frenchman was right, and
whether you approve of my ruling. straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
“Your obedient servant, In this place, it is difficult to account for it, as it
* W. F." represents only the simple superlative in the original text. King James's translators seem merely It was somewhat curious that the Russian should to have retained it from the older English versions, have blamed us for inconsistency : for surely my Tyndale's, Cranmer's, and the Geneva Bible. elder brother" must mean “the elder brother of
It may be hard to assign exactly the difference me,” just as my better half” means, “the better between “oldest” and “eldest.” Whatever it may half of me.” We may also hereby illustrate what be, it is clearly matter of idiomatic usage, and not was just now said about “oldest” and “eldest": derivable from any distinction in the words them.“my eldest brother” could never be said by selves. But that there is a difference, may in a the first-born of a family, seeing that the title moment be shown. “We cannot say, “Methuselah belongs to him alone : whereas when “my oldest was the eldest man that ever lived ”; we must say, brother” is said, he excludes himself, and indicates “the oldest man that ever lived.” Again, it would the brother next to him in age. hardly be natural to say, “his father's oldest horn," I am asked why we say “dependent on," but if we were speaking of the first-born. If we were “independent of" ? The answer is surely not to say of a father, “He was succeeded by his difficult. When we make “dependent” into “inoldest son,” we should convey the impression that dependent,” we not only deny that which “depenthat son was not the eldest, but the oldest surviving dent” asserts, but we construct a different word; after the loss of the eldest. And these examples different in its reference and its government. The seem to bring us to a kind of insight into the idio- , "on,” which we use after “dependent," implies matic difference. “ Eldest” implies not only more attachment and sequence ;, as in “hanging on," years, but also priority of right; nay, it might "waiting on": the “of,” which we use after “indesometimes even be independent of actual duration pendent,” expresses merely the relation of the thing of life. A first-born who died an infant was yet following, as when we say “inclusive of,” “exclusive the eldest son. If all mankind were assembled, of.” In this case, the variation of prepositions might Methuselah would be the oldest: but Adam would be still further exemplified; we say pendent be the eldest, of men. Whether any other account from," “dependent on,” “independent of." A is to be given of this than the caprice of usage, I somewhat similar instance may be found in “with cannot say, but must leave the question to those respect to," and "irrespective of.” who are better versed in the comparison of lan- The same correspondent who proposed the last giages. My object is to describe the current coin, question also asks, why we say “contemporary rather than to inquire into the archæology of the with,” but “a contemporary of”? The answer to coinage.
this is to be sought from a different source,
In Connected with this inquiry about “oldest” and “contemporary with,” the “ with” simply carries “eldest” is the subject of a letter which I will give on the force of the preposition “con," or
си т, with which the adjective is compounded. But
when that adjective is made into a substantive, it “Sir,- When I came on deck the other morning in ' then must be connected with other substantives by the Red Sea (very near the place at which Moses and the Israelites are supposed to have crossed), I was seized by the customary preposition “of,” indicating posthree fellow-passengers—a Russian, a Frenchman, and a session or relation. Swiss-who, nolentem volentem, constituted me umpire A somewhat similar change takes place when in a dispute which they were carrying on upon a point substantives which may be used predicatively, are of English grammar, The Russian, it seems, was his father's eldest son, and he had four brothers, all, ex used indicatively. Thus we say “neighbour to necessitate, younger than himself. In speaking of the, him,” but, “a neighbour of him," or, as we comoldest of these four, ho called liim “my elder brother'; monly express it, “of his.” If we keep the same on which the Frenchman said, “I thought you were your father's eldest son.' * So I am, he replied, but I spoke preposition in the two cases, the phrase does not of the elder of my brothers. I am not one of my own retain the same meaning. “He is neighbour to brotbers, and therefore when I speak of my elder brother, I don't include myself
. Ile I spoke of is the oldest of him,” means, “ He lives near him”: but “ He is a my brothers, not the oldest of my father's sons.' To neighbour to him," means “ He behaves to him in this I replied by quoting Milton Adam the goodliest a neighbourly manner.” of his sons since born, the fairest of her daughters, Eve.' That, however, we agreed was only justitied by poets'
The question at the end of our Lord's parable of lie nec. Finally, I ruled that though my Russian friend the Good Samaritan, “Which of these three, thinkest was strictly and grammatically correct, yet, according to thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the common usage, the expression employed by him
was thieves ?” forms not an exception to the rule first calculated to mislead. He seemed to think it rather
For the hard that the English people, having constructed a mentioned, but rather an example of it. grammar, should not conform to its rules; and hinted | conclusion to be drawn from the parable is, that that in Russia no such liberty of the subject would be the real claim to the title of neighbour is his who permitted--that when laws were made, people were expected to obey them; and that a man who talked bad acts in a neighbourly manner. So that the question grammar would be in danger of the knout.
does not mean, which of these three acted in a
neighbourly manner to him ?- but which of these
case, “Excuse me from attendance"; but in the three had a right to be called his neighbour-neigh- other, “Excuse me for non-attendance." bour to hina? Then the answer naturally comes, A correspondent asks whether the expression " He that showed mercy on him.”
"very pleased” is admissible. Undoubtedly, the This correspondent also points out the curious ordinary usage before a participle is “very much”: difference which is made in the meaning of one and “I was very much pleased.” No one would think of the same word in a sentence, when variously saying, “I was very cheated in the transaction.” introduced by other words. Thus, if I say of one But on the other hand we all say “very tired," in India, “He will return for two years," I am “very ailing,” “very contented," "very disconrightly understood as meaning that the length of tented.” Where then is the distinction ? The his stay at home will be two years. But if I say, account to be given seems to be this : If the par** He will not return for two years,” then I do not, ticiple describe only the action or the suffering by the insertion of the negative, reverse the former implied in its verb, in other words, if it continue a proposition, i.e., mean that the length of his stay at verb, very” alone will not serve to qualify it. home will not be two years, but I imply something “Very” simply intensifies. And it must have quite different : viz., that two years will elapse some quality to intensify. You cannot intensify a before his return. By the insertion of the “not," mere event. In other words, if “very” alone be the preposition " for,” retaining its meaning of used, it must be followed by an adjective, or by "during,” “ for the space of,” ceases to belong to something equivalent to an adjective. “Tired” is the length of time during which he will “come,” equivalent to “weary”: is a participle used as an and belongs to the length of time during which he adjective: therefore we may say “very tired": will " not come.”
“ailing” is equivalent to “poorly”: both “conMy correspondent offers another example, which tented” and “discontented” are qualities and was originally given by the writer of the article on tempers, not merely records of an event which has my little book in the Edinburgh Review for June, happened. Judging then “very pleased” by this 1864. " Jack was very respectful to Tom, and rule, it is admissible. “Pleased” is a state of always took off his hat when he met him.” “Jack mind, carried on beyond the mere occasion which was very rude to Tom, and always knocked off his gave rise to it. Introduce marked reference to the hat when he met him." You will see that "his occasion, and “very” becomes inappropriate. You hat” in the former sentence is Jack's, but in the cannot say “very flattered,” but must say, “very latter sentence it is Tom's. There is absolutely much flattered.” I own I prefer “very much nothing to indicate this but the context. “Will pleased,” as more conformable to usage. any one pretend,” says the Reviewer, “that either A difficulty arises as to the proper number of the of these sentences is ambiguous in meaning, or verb substantive, when it couples a singular nomiunidiomatic in expression ? Yet critics of the class native case to a plural one. Two correspondents now before us, [i.e., those who proceed on the have written on this matter. One cites from a assumption that no sentence is correct, unless the newspaper, “More curates are what we want,” and mere syntactical arrangement of the words, irre- asks whether “are” is correct. The other is a spective of their meaning, is such that they are printer, and relates that on this sentence being sent incapable of having a double aspect,] are bound to for press,-—" A special feature of the Reformatory contend that Jack showed his respect by taking off Exhibition were the work-shops and work-rooms," the Tom's hat, or else that he showed his rudeness by "Reader" in the office corrected “were” to “was"; krocking off his own.”
upon which the Author corrected “was” back again And this is important, as showing how utterly to “were." A dispute arose in the office, some impossible it is for every reference of every pronoun siding with the Reader, some with the Author. to be unmistakeably pointed out by the form of the The former were the majority : aud the minority, Sentence. Hearers and readers are supposed to be though they thought “were” correct, yet acknowin possession of their common sense and their powers ledged that would sound better. of discrimination: and it is to these that writers and And I believe that they were thus not only making speakers must be content to address themselves. an ingenuous confession, but giving the key to the
“How is it," asks still the same correspondent, whole question. In most cases of this kind, that " that excuse my writing more,' and 'excuse my which sounds right, is right. And that which tot writing more,' mean the same thing?" We sounds right is generally, in the examples before may answer, that the verb to “excuse” has two us, that the verb should take the number, be it different senses; one being to dispense with, and singular or plural, of the preceding nominative the other to pardon. When a school is called over,
"More curates are what we want." But the master may excuse (dispense with) a certain invert the proposition, and we must say, “What boy's attendance: or he may excuse (pardoa) his we want is, more curates."
So in the other case, Dod-attendance. This will be at once seen, if we "a special feature of the exhibition was, the work. put, 28 we properly ought, the person as the object shops, and work-rooms”: but, “the work-shops and w the verb “excuse," as in, “I pray thee have me work-rooms were a special feature of the exhibiexcused :" the sentence will then stand in the one tion."
Still, this rule does not seem to have been always in height, as we see the concrete subjects of pum. followed by our best writers. In the English Bible, bers do. The ascent is from 1 to 10, 10 to 100, Prov. xii. 8, we have, “The ransom of a man's life 100 to 1000, and so on; and no one would dream are his riches”: and in Prov. xvi. 25, “There is a of upwards of a thousand meaning anything else way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end but more than a thousand. thereof are the ways of death.” The translators' Attention has been directed to the erroneous use rule seems to have been always to use the plural of adjectives belonging to one bodily sense, with verb-substantive, when either of the nominatives substantives belonging to another. We are told was plural. We have in one and the same sentence, that "a conspicuous voice” is a not uncommon Prov. xvii. 6, “Children's children are the crown of expression. I can testify to having frequently old men: and the glory of children are their fathers”: | heard “a beautiful smell,” and “a beautiful air.” where it is plain that the occurrence of one plural, Now of course all such expressions will not bear and not the order of the substantives, has ruled the strict investigation : but are they therefore not number of the verb.
allowable? Every one speaks of “beautiful music": Every schoolboy will remember “ Amantium iræ why may we not say, a beautiful odour”? amoris integratio est”; in reference to which we The distinction seems to be this. Any word may may notice, that the Latin possesses the advantage be used in that which is called a metaphorical of being able so to arrange the sentence, that the sense : i.e., may be transferred from a material verb shall stand close to, and take the number of, to a mental meaning. Thus "beautiful,” being the more important of the two nominative cases. originally a word belonging to the sense of sight,
A correspondent is about to dedicate a book to a may be transferred to the inward sight, and things Royal patroness. He wishes to express gratitude may be called beautiful which are apprehended by for “ many kindnesses”: but feeling uncomfortable the mind, with or without the aid of sense. Thus as to the correctness of the expression, is afraid he we recognise Beauty in art. Poetry, Painting, shall have to write “much kindness,” which does Music, are arts : the first apprehended by the eye, not so well express his meaning, —“kinduess shown the ear, and the thought, -the second by the eye on many occasions."
and the thought, -the third by the ear and the It is a very easy matter to calm his apprehension, thought. In all these the mental vision sees and allow him the full expression of his gratitude. Beauty: we may have beautiful poetry, beautiful Nothing is commoner than the making of abstract painting, beautiful music. But smell is not an art : nouns into concrete in this manner. I trust we all the mere enjoyment of wholesome air is not an art : remember the verse in the Lamentations of Jeremiah, in neither is there any scope for Beauty, and consech. iii. 22, “ It is of the Lord's mercies that we are quently of neither must “beautiful” be said. not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” conspicuous voice” is even worse : it is an absolute In the same chapter we read of “all their imagina- defiance of correctness : a torturiug of the machinery tions agaiust me." And in Ps. lxxxix. 49, we have of one sense into the grooves of another. the very word in question ; “Lord, where are thy This torturing of words may sometimes be perpeformer loving-kindnesses, which Thou swarest unto trated where people little suspect it. The AmeriDavid in thy truth?”
canism “proclivities” is sometimes a convenient In all these examples, the word which originally word. It is used as equivalent to “tendencies." signified an attribute, is taken to indicate an instance But, in reality, it does only half the work of the of the exercise of that attribute. “Loving kind. English term. Clivus being Latin for a hill, pronesses” are, instances of loving-kindness.
clivis is an adjective signifying down-hill, while A curious case of this licence in speech may be acclivis signifies up-hill. We have the terin "acseen at present on the walls of our railway stations, clivity" in English, meaning an upward slope. So where an agent announces that he has upwards that when we use “proclivities,” we must take of 500 “ businesses” to dispose of.
care that we confine it to its proper meaning. To One expression in this last sentence reminds me speak, as the “Record” did last week, of a statesthat a correspondent at Leighton-Buzzard asks the man having “High Church proclivities," is to make following question: "Does upwards of a thousand" a blunder in terms. A proclivity can never carry a mean “more than," "above," “ in excess of,” a man up on high. The achievement of the man who thousand, or, as some persons here, of good educatiov, used to walk up an inclined plane on a rolling globe maintain, “less than," nearly approaching,” a would be far surpassed by him who through any thousand ? “I,” adds my correspondent, “cannot manner of proclivities should attain to High Churchsee any other answer than the first: to me it is manship. I would venture to suggest that as the self-evident. Your valuable opinion hereon would American term has this defect, it would be better greatly oblige.” I am afraid that either good edu- to discard it and employ the English one. cation must have sunk rather low at Leighton- I mentioned in one of my former lectures, that Blizzard, which is hardly probable, or that my “ used to was” and “used to could ” were reported correspondent must be somewhat bard of hearing, as said in some parts of England. I have a conand must have mistaken his neighbours. Our prac- firmation of this in a letter from Derby. My tice is always to regard abstract numbers as rising correspondent says both expressions are very com
mon there. “I have even,” he says, “heard 'used because he may not live till next Tuesday; 80 Pat to did.' Perhaps," he adds, "the following example puts on the reserve, and applies it to the dead, who may be new to you. A young man speaks who has is beyond the reach of uncertainty. married in haste, and is repenting at leisure :
Answers to invitations are set thick with traps " • And when I think on what I am,
for the careless and the illiterate. Sometimes, inAnd what I used to was,
stead of “invitation,” we find a noun unknown to I feel I've throwed myself away
our language introduced, and the writer is happy to Without sufficient cause.'”
accept the kind "invite” of his host. Sometimes, The same correspondent says, “I should once have when the invitation is declined, the poor tenses of sided with your opponents as to the three first verbs are mangled in the most ruthless manner. Gospels : ' but I am convinced by your arguments.” Take a few forms at random : “I should be It will be remembered that I defended this ex- happy to come, but- “I should have been pression as equally correct with “the first three happy to come, but- .” “I should have been Gospels.” “I think, however,” he continues, "you happy to have come, butwould not defend what we often hear from the I believe all these are in use, one about as often pulpit, or even more commonly from the clerk's as another. Let us examine them one by one. desk. 'In the third chapter of St. John, the three “I should be happy to come, but I am prelast verses, are these words :'Or, ‘Let us sing the engaged." There seems, and I believe there is, no three first and the three last verses of the 92nd error here. The form of accepting would be, “I Psalm.'"
shall be happy to come, as I am dis-engaged ;” and To this I answer, Why not? The “ three first " "should” is the strict conditional correlative of Ferses are, the three verses whose place, with shall. reference to the rest, is first. It is only a short “I should have been happy to come, but I am way of saying, the three verses which come first: pre-engaged.” This is wrong, and for the following and so of the "three last.” Look at our daily reason : “should have been” is conditional, reprocession into church. What is the order ? The latively to something that is past. “I should have Choristers are first : First, is a quality which may been in Devonshire last Christmas, but I was ill." be predicated of them just as being in white sur. And the thing which the writer of the note is plices may be : they are the twelve first in order : speaking of, is future, not past. Had the writer or more briefly, they are " the twelve first,” said, “I should have been happy to accept your Then come the Lay Clerks, the twelve next in invitation, but I am pre-engaged,” all would have order, or in brief, " the twelve next." Then come been right: because the act of accepting or nonthe clergy, the four, or seven, or twelve last. accepting will have belonged to the past, before the
Hardly any good English expression gets so much host receives the letter. wrath expended on it as this “three first," or “I should have been happy to have come, but I " three last.” It was but the other day that the am pre-engaged.” This is doubly wrong. The present writer had a whole vial of scorn poured “should have been ” is wrong, as we have just over him because he has used it in his edition of the seen : and “to have come” has really no sense at Greek Testament: the Reviewer being of course all. Turn it into an acceptance. What can "I not aware that this is done of malice prepense, and shall be happy to have come,” mean? Nothing because it is believed to be right.
surely, if not this, “I shall be rejoiced when the A curious mistake is often made in accepting visit is over,” which is a poor compliment to one's invitations. In full half the notes of this kind friend. which are sent, we see, “I shall be very happy to It is astonishivg what different things people accept your invitation for the 9th.” But the ac- sometimes say from those which they intended to ceptance is not a thing future : the acceptance is say. There was a letter a short time since, in one conveyed by that very note, and your friend, when of the London papers, concerning a matter which she gets it, will put you down as having accepted. the writer believed to be no credit to the Church. The sentence is written in confusion between “I In his opening sentence he intended to announce shall be very happy to come,” and “I am very this. But he made a very comical mistake. He happy to accept,” or “I accept with pleasure.” asked the editor of the paper to allow him to make And so the former half of the first sentence gets a statement which was no credit to the Church. wedded to the latter half of the second.
And having done this, he signed himself “A Priest This kind of confusion sometimes produces comi- of the Province of Canterbury.” So that as far as cal results. “Pat, does Mr. Flanagan live here?" appeared from the letter, a clergyman had made a “Yes, yer honour, he does, but he's dead.” “Why, discreditable statement. It was the old story, when did he die?” “Well, yer honour, if he'd of one going out to commit murder, and committing lived till next Tuesday, he'd be dead a fortnight.” | suicide by mistake. What the man means is tolerably clear. He would An odious form of speech has lately crept into say, “He'll have been dead a fortnight come next our newspapers : “The death is announced of Tuesday," But in the case of a living man, any “The suspensiou is reported of —” And someassertion of this class must be made with reserve, 1 times we have the sentence still further divaricated