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and so on.
The mark of elision is only set over such words as Siloa's 1. 11, Gazu's 465, Ely's 595, Rhea's 513. So, in his Minor Poems, over Cynthia's, Ida's, Jehovah's, Hebe's, Pluto's, the shallow cuccoo's bill. Thus even in the first folio we read “ Violets dim, but sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes, Or Cytherea's breath ;” though in other cases no difference is made between the genitive and the plural. In these words, as in do's for does, the apostrophe took the place of an e that had been left out: for Spenser, who seldom uses such marks, wrote Plutoes 1. 1. 37, Unaes 1. 3. 2, Junoes 1. 4. 17, Sansfoyes, 1. 4. 51, Duessaes 1. 3, 27, Archimagoes 1. 6. 2, Cupidoes 11. 6. 35: and for the same reason we find the nominative plural written heroe's in P. L. 1. 552, idea's by Osborn p. 20, juncto's p. 70, comma's p. 150, punctilio's p. 168, dilemma's hy Fuller, Holy State p. 66, Penelope's by Cartwright,, Lady Errant 1. 3:
“'Cause they eat their sweetmeats
And this accords with the practice of the Germans, who write Grimaldi's, Sebastiani's, equally for the genitive singular and the nominative plural; as they do Shakspeare's, Sterne's, Kotzebue's, to indicate that ihe e before the s belongs to the name, and is not the e of the genitive, which is omitted. Spenser however has Caseiopeias 1. 3. 16, Phedrias 11. 6. 38, Maias iv. 3. 42, being restrained by the preceding vowel from inserting the e, as well as Phebes iv.5. 14, Niobes iv. 7. 30, and since we in our days should never dream of inserting the vowel, the note of its being left out is quite useless. Other words should be written like its and whose, which are never it's or who'se. Indeed nothing but the mistake about his could have led us to commemorate the omission of a letter, which in most words has not been inserted these three hundred years, and in many, such as time's, nature's, never existed. “ The genitive singular (says Johnson) is always written with a mark of clision, according to an opinion long received that s is a contraction of his." And the same account of its origin is given by Wallis : “ qui autem arbitrantur illud s loco vocis his adjunctum esse, ideoque apostrophi notam semper vel pingendam esse vel saltem subintelligendam, omnino errant.' It seems to have been in the
of Charles II, that this practice first became general; when the language, which always sympathizes with, and thereby becomes symptomatical of, the moral condition of a people, was in a state of general deterioration, which Dryden was hardly able to check, and the effects of which Swift found it difficult to crush ; and when our very printers, who in early times, and even under Elizabeth, were mostly painstaking, reacht the highest degree of slovenliness.
Still more absurd is the mark of elision after the genitive plural. Milton wrote parents tears, P. L. 1. 393: the sheurers feast, Lyc. 817: which his editors print parents' tears, the shearers' feast. Now what in this instance has been left out? what does 'stand for? Or is it the purpose of a mark of elision to shew that nothing has been elided ? It is well to have some reason for what we do, even in trifles." Wallis indeed asserts that the s of the plural is blended with that of the possessive, or that for the sake of euphony the former is elided, as the Lords's House for the Lord's House, the Common's House for the Commons's House : as if such words as Lords's, Commons's, had ever existed at any period of our language. It is only by an erroneous assimilation to the genitive singular that such plural genitives as mens, womens, brethrens, have been formed; for the Saxon genitive plural did not end in s. Still the corruption never went so far as to append an s to a plural in s. The authority of Wallis however led many writers in Queen Anne's time to spell the genitive plural in the same way as the singular : Gay’s masterpiece for instance was at first called The Beggar's Opera. The present fashion of placing the apostrophe after the s is scarcely of a hundred years standing. In the first edition of Pope's lliad, publisht in 1715, we find,
Of all the Kings, the Gods distinguished Care : 1. 229 :
The Gods Complaints, and Juno's fierce Alarms: 1. 673 : Johnson too says, “ Plurals ending in s have no genitives : but we say womens excellencies, and Pope writes
Weigh the mens wits against the ladies hairs." So that at the time when he publisht his dictionary this mode of writing had not become current. Surely then there ought to be no scruple about getting rid of so modern and totally groundless an absurdity.
There may not be quite so strong reasons against our manner of writing the genitive of proper names ending in s; but it is a very objectionable practice, which produces such hideous unpronounceable words as Venus's, as if the very sound of her name were to betoken that she was of the seed of the serpent. Tyrwhitt in bis Glossary to Chaucer, on the word Markis, has justly reprehended this practice, which was then a recent innovation, and he remarks that, if Venus's is to be pronounced as a trisyllable, we ought not to cut out the e of the old genitive, but to write at full Venuses. Landor indeed and others have preferred the form Venusis. This form of the genitive in is occurs in Gawin Douglas; but it is a Scoticism, like his plurals, birdis, ilandis, fieldis, and his third person of verbs, rollis, upstertis, apperis. The vowel of the genitive in the Anglosaxon was e; so was it in Chaucer's time, as appears from the very title of the l’nightes Tale, or, to take a couple of instances, from
That Cristes gospel trewely wolde preche; C. T. 483 :
And thanked him with all hir hertes might: 1878. If in Wiclif we find i perpetually substituted for e, and that not only in the genitive Cristis, in plurals, -as Gal. v. 19," the werkis of the fleisch ben witchecraftis, strivyngis, wraththis, chidyngis, sectis, manslaughtris, drunkenessis, unmeasurable etyngis, and thingis lik to these"-but in such words as undir, fadir, britheren, himsilf, and many more, this is probably owing to his northern extraction. In the standard English the e kept its ground. In Cranmer's Bible the genitives Goddes, Christes occur frequently; so do such genitives as Asaes; which accord with those quoted above from Spenser; and though the genitive of proper names ending in s is mostly the same as the nominative, Maundevile, p. 111, writes Cayphases hows. Spenser in like manner says of Duessa, i. 8. 48," she growing had behind a foxes taile.” In Osborn we find, “ through the churches dependance," p. 194 ; in Congreves's translation of Ovid's Art of Love, “Beauty is the gift of gods, the sexes pride;" in his translation of the Homeric hymn to Venus, " Delight of human kind, thy sexes pride.”. In our pronunciation too we make no difference between the genitive singular and the nominative plural: and that the pronunciation in ancient times was the same, is pretty clear, because in most of the instances in which we find the genitive written with his it is after names ending in 8. The ordinary usage, however, of all our
old writers agrees with that of Spenser and Milton, who write Fair Venus sonne, Like Phæbus lampe, Morpheus train, Pelops line, without any mark of elision. In Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, iii. 5, we read : “ So we say that Ciceros stile and Salusts were not one, nor Cesars and Livies, nor Homers and Hesiodus, nor Herodotus and Theucidides, nor Euripides and Aristophones, nor Erasmus and Budeus stiles.” The apostrophe, which in our days is usually placed over such genitives, is so modern an innovation that it is never mentioned either by Wallis or Johnson in their Grammars. Our ancient practiee moreover accords with that of the Germans in similar words, who, since they have given up the use of the Latin cases, regard names ending in 8 as indeclirable, and almost uniformly write Atreus Enkel, Tantalus Sohn, Eschylos Agamemnon, Priamos Feind. It is singular that so learned a philologer as Wolf should have allowed himself to be deluded by the English practice into writing Aristophanes' Wolken, Horatius' Satiren.
Hence we perceive that, according to the usage of earlier times, we have two forms for the genitive of nouns ending in s; one in which it is the same with the nominative, as may be further seen in the phrases, for goodness sake, for righteousness sake,-and in the similar one, for conscience sake, which from the resemblance of sound follows the same rule,-in all which the use of an apostrophe is a mere modern corruption ; the other in which es is added to it. Of these two the latter, as agreeing with our mode of pronouncing such words, is clearly the preferable one: and for this reason we should do well if it were to be generally adopted. It might be objected indeed that, when a vowel stands before a single s, it is mostly pronounced long: but the same objection would apply to the nominative plural : if we write geniuses, crocuses, Brutuses, Charleses, for the latter, we may do so likewise for the genitive : nor is the above principle by any means universal, as may be seen from such words as promises, purposes, metamorphoses, garrison, comparison, prophesy, hypocrisy, disappear, misapply. That arrant absurdity too, the apostrophe subjoined to the genitive plural, ought to be immediately and utterly rejected. These two steps, as they relate to points which are not of very frequent occurrence, I have deemed it safe and advisable to take. With regard to the genitive singular, though there also it is desirable that the apostrophe should be left out, I have been withheld from omitting it by an unwillingness to innovate too far at once.
Nor indeed is it so offensive here, provided it be universally recognised that the final s of the genitive has nothing to do with his. For as no errour, however petty or insignificant, can be allowed to take root and run to seed, but a crop of noxious weeds is sure some time or other 10 sprout up from it, so this very mistake about the nature of our genitives has been in no slight degree injurious to the elegance of our style. There can be little doubt that this very mistake has, latently at least, been the main reason why, with the exception of proper names, and of words designating human beings, the use of the genitive bas of late been almost confined 10 our poets: indeed many eminent of the present day stiffen and encumber their style by avoiding it even in such. Sir James Mackintoshes History of England for instance, or, as according to his practice I should have called it, the History of England of Sir James Mackintosh, would be very much improved by the insertion of a few thousand genitives. Many persons nowadays write, the Paradise Lost of Milton, the Macbeth of Shakspeare, the Principia of Newton, the Note of Porson on the Orestes, the marriage of Henry: though everybody would say, Milton's Paradise Lost, Shakspeare's Macbeth, Newton's Principia, Porson's Note on the Orestes, Henry's marriage. Yet it is impossible to tell what is gained by a supernumerary article and preposition in a language already overbirthened with them : and as an idiomatical is always an easy and graceful style, so every departure from idiom, every attempt to staylace the language of polisht conversation, renders our phraseology inelegant and clumsy.
J. C, H,
ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.
No. IV. Ir is of no slight advantage to be taught to bear the discipline of correction before the will becomes strong, and the pride towering. If this sort of submission is not very early inculcated, there springs up in some minds a strange intolerance of any sort of punishment, even the slightest. The self-esteem becomes sensitive to a degree almost amounting to disease ; and the will, where a strong check has not been put upon it, and in good time too, positively rages against restraint, like a wild animal that dashes itself almost to death against the bars of its den. The adversaries of corporal punishment will sometimes represent it as causing this sort of desperation. The revolt, however, is not so much against this or that kind of punishment, as against the idea of punishment altogether : a brief confinement has been followed by suicide; nay, even in the lower classes, where circumstances have been the least calculated to foster pride, we not unfrequently meet with cases where self-destruction has been the consequence of a merely verbal rebuke. Almost all must indeed have been reproved at one time or other during their childhood, but unless they have been taught to bear something stronger than reproof, or even a timid and hesitating punishment, the time will come when even a rebuke will appear an intolerable degradation, or will be magnified by a too tender spirit into a monstrous evil.
But it is usual, by a disingenuous change of terms, to call a subdued will, a broken spirit. Truly the English of the present day have much reason to complain of the broken spirit of their ancestors (who, or at least, by far the greater number of them, were brought up on the old-fashioned system), unless to persevere, to conquer, and to obey, be the marks of this whip-branded slavishness of soul. The examples of those continental students who for the most part have, we believe, been trained with milder appliances, and who have ever been in the van of popular revolt, whether such revolt has been reasonable or unreasonable—these, we say, do not leave us much reason to regret our ancient code of educational discipline. If younger England is to be trained on a fresh one, we hope its results may not give us reason to be sorry for the change.
But corporal punishment hardens and brutalizes. This is a charge of a very different kind; and, as it would appear, equally unjust. For mercy in war towards others, for charity in peace towards her own children, for pity to the captive, England stands proudly forward in a position not to be gainsaid ; and yet, they would tell us that the bulk of the last generation of Englishmen were miserably injured by the dishonouring outrage of the cane. The reader may smile at the obsoleteness of a reference to Solomon, but we firmly believe, that if the effect of moderate corporal puuishment were, by one and the same heavy pressure, to break down all the elevations of the heart; at once to humiliate, and to harden; to rupture all the finer fibres of character, and, through the boy, to debase the man-Solomon would not repeatedly have enjoined it. Nor perhaps is it too much to say, that if such were the necessarily attendant evils, the idea of bodily castigation would scarcely have received the countenance which a frequent reference to it by the inspired writers in the way of metaphor appears to give it. Some have been bold enough to say, that Solomon's language when he speaks of stripes is purely metaphorical, that he means no more than the “ verbera linguæ,” the “ bastinado with the tongue ; but one and the same text both disproves any such interpretation, and proves at the same time that (to speak reverently, the sacred writer took no exaggerated view of the subject; that he did not coarsely overlook the muchvaunted moral influences ; but, that with a full knowledge that corporal punishment was not always a speedily acting nostrum for sloth or obstinacy—that to the docile a hint might go further than a blow; he, nevertheless, frequently recommended the latter. The text we refer to is this : “A reproof enters into a wise man more than a hundred stripes into a fool.'
Another objection often alleged against corporal punishment is, that boys become physically hardened, and that thus the chastisement is daily losing its effect. This notion is boastfully and politically encouraged by boys themselves ; but it is an extremely fallacious one. Boys may indeed, for the sake of bravado, and by a certain preparation of the mind, bear punishment with more or less fortitude, according to their natural sensitiveness, or the estimate they may happen to have formed of the honour of endurance. Some boys of the Spartan breed will not give the smallest sign of suffering.
“Effigies lassum Steropen Brontenque reliquit;"*
* Statius, Sylv. I.