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mean not a brave, or even a virtuous man, as the old Latin virtuosus meant, but a man skilled in the fine arts; by a bravo, not a hero, but a brigand or an assassin; and by a cicerone, not a Ciceronian in the choice and utterance of eloquent words, but the glib and gabbling showman who pilots strangers around the relics of their nobler ancestry. One is painfully reminded of those Dead Sea apes, of which Carlyle makes so much use in some of his writings. The French language has a number of such indications of national character. Such words as perfide, roué, beau, belle, hotel, religieuse, chevalier d'industrie, pondre de succession, and the whole vocabulary of mockery in which this language is so rich, give volumes of insight into the interior life of the people whose thoughts are either expressed or concealed by such words. Nor is our English language wanting in such tokens of degeneracy. There are in English history as marked eras of degradation as Hugh Miller has ever discovered in the records of the old red sandstone. We have a number of words that now convey a degrading sense, in the meaning of which there was once nothing at all derogatory. Thus, maudlin is from Magdalene, a weeping penitent; cant from chant, or canticle, a solemn hymn to God; prude once meant only one who was prudent; demure (from des mœurs), one who was regardful of morals; saint and godly had no more lurking sarcasm than their synonymes, holy and godlike; homely once meant simply homelike; gallantry meant only a chivalrous bravery, and had no equivocal sense; resentment, even as late as the time of Bacon, was used in its primitive sense of reflection, from re-sentire, to think again, and had no anger involved in it whatever. A rake once meant only a reckless, and not necessarily a debauched, person; a carlet was only a valet or hireling; a villain, only a villanus, a country labourer or servant; a wench, a young girl; an imp once meant only a descendant. So that Lord Cromwell, in writing to fierce old Henry VIII., could call his sainted son, Edward VI., in a phrase meant to be highly complimentary, "that goodlie imp;' a libertine once was only a liberal or free thinker on religious subjects, and not one whose creed had crept into his life; paraphernalia was originally only a woman's dower, and had no sense of tawdry ornament; and the word tawdry itself only meant originally those ornamental things that were sold at the fair of St Audrey. Thus it has been with many words that once had a primeval innocence of meaning, but, like the race that used them, have had a fall. Many of them may be found changing about the time of the restoration of the Stuarts, recording thus the influx of corruption that came in with the witty and wicked Charles. Indeed, the very process of transition in some cases may be traced in the pages of Dryden,
evincing the mournful degradation that was then occurring in the English character. In the reaction from Puritanism, honour, virtue, religion, and purity, were becoming mere mockeries; all belief in their very existence was dying out among the classes that gave currency to language, and hence, by an obvious process, the names of these qualities became terms of sneering contempt, and now stand as ghastly memorials of the degenerate days of the Restoration.
The mere absence of words in a language often indicates national character most strikingly, for it indicates the absence of the things expressed by those words. How significant a fact is it that only in our English tongue do we find that rich word home, a word so full of the music of household joys and fireside memories! What a striking fact is it that most heathen languages, even so cultivated a one as the Chinese, have no word expressing the name of God; and yet one Australian tribe has a word to express a form of infanticide for which we have not coined a term; while another has four words to express as many different kinds of murder, none of which involves any moral disapprobation, and yet has not one word to express love! Nor is our own language without these ethical indications. What an argument for the Maine law may be found in the opulence of our vocabulary respecting the immoderate use of strong drink! Men speak in the most gingerly
terms of a man as being "in liquor," "the worse for liquor,"
"shot in the neck," "half seas over," 99.66 a brick in the hat," "how came you so," "on a frolic," " on a spree," "disguised," "inebriated," "intoxicated," "funny," "joyful," "muddled," "jolly," corned," "tight," "boozy," "slewed," "fuddled," "high, "sweet," "soaked," "drunk," down to "dead drunk;" and yet the remarkable fact is, that many of these terms are absolutely apologetic, and not one of them implies disapprobation, except the Latin derivative, "intoxicated," from toxicum, poison. But on the other hand, how discouraging are the prospects of the Maine law among a people that have more than two dozen terms to describe getting drunk, and only one to describe staying sober!
We have purposely left untouched some of the profoundest questions of history connected with the study of words. We refer to the ethnological aspects of philology. These are among the most absorbing questions of science in our day. As the geologist may trace the path of a boulder, or the drift of a diluvium, back to the rocky bed from which they were originally torn, though leagues distant, so the comparative philologist is now tracing the relations of different languages, not only in the meaning of particular words, but also in their grammatical structure, and then reaching facts of primeval
history that have no other record on earth. Nations as widely separated as the Ganges and the Rhine are thus found to have a common origin; and grammatical peculiarities that have puzzled the English, Latin, and Greek scholar, are found to be explained by that old and sacred tongue in which the Hindu religion and philosophy have been sealed up for so many centuries. Thus, like the sea-shell that murmurs to the ear of the chiming waves of the far-off ocean home of its earliest life, our western languages are found telling the story of their origin in that ancient homestead of the race, the beautiful valleys of Central Asia.
There are also rich ethical treasures found in words, containing as they do the profoundest moral judgments of the race, the more forcible because undesigned. How emphatic the testimony to the tendency of all passions to make their possessor wretched, that is found in the word passion, which originally meant suffering,-a meaning which we still retain in speaking of "the passion of our Lord;" also, in the word anger, which has the same root with anguish; also, in calling a covetous man a miser, that is, a miserable man; and a penurious or parsimonious man, a man of penury or scarceness, (parcitas,) though he may possess great wealth. By many such words men have thus recorded their own condemnation.
Rich gems of poetry are also embedded in language, especially in the more impassioned languages of the East. How full of poetry is our word fall, that echoes with the rustling of the falling leaf, compared with autumn, which tells only of the auctum, the adding or increase then given to the fruits of the earth! How beautiful is the German morgen-land, (morning-land,) applied to the east; fader-land, (father-land,) to one's native country; and our mother tongue, as applied to the language that we learn from the lips of a mother. How full of poetry, also, is our word cemetery, literally sleepingplace, applied to the last resting-place of the dead; a Christian thought rises still higher in its range of poetic imagery in the beautiful Saxon name, God's acre, by which was designated the hallowed spot where the dust of dear ones was laid in hope.
There is also music in words. Indeed, much of the melody of poetry is in the music that is contained in the words.
But all these and other topics must be omitted. Our object has been mainly to induce those whose attention has never been directed to these studies, to turn it thitherward, and to show how richly our noble English tongue has come down to us laden with the treasures of an undated past, and what glorious promise is thus given of its future. Indeed, the very
composite character that has been often urged as one of its defects, is one of the very attributes that seem to mark it as yet destined to be the universal language of the earth. It descends to us like some magnificent army of occupation, gleaming with the armour and banners of every race that has been mightiest on earth. Central in its solid columns do we see the stalwart forms of the Angle, and the Saxon, and the Jute, whose brawny muscles have gathered thew in the dark forests of the North. Glittering on one of its wings we see the nodding plumes and prancing steeds of the Norman Frank, as he links his fiery chivalry with the serried squadrons of the Anglo-Saxon; on the other we descry the stately maniples of Rome, the compact phalanxes of Greece, the stern and solemn tribes of the Hebrew, and the gorgeous array of the Orientals. All these mighty and magnificent elements we see moving in steady, calm, and unbroken march along the plains of Europe, the continent of America, and the colonial occupations of Asia, Africa, and Australia, carrying, as we believe, by a more resistless might than that of armies and navies, AngloSaxon literature, Anglo-Saxon science, Anglo-Saxon civilization, and Anglo-Saxon religion, to the destined conquest of the world.
Since writing these pages, we have seen another of Mr Trench's admirable books, in which some of our previous remarks have been anticipated; but as our obligations to him have already been so great, we have not thought it needful to make any change in what is written, even at the risk of making those obligations seem greater than they really are.
ART. VI.-1. The Life of Jesus Critically Examined. By Dr FRIEDRICH STRAUSS. Translated from the 4th German edition. By MARIAN EVANS. New York: Calvin Blanchard.
2. The Essence of Christianity. By LUDWIG FEUERBACH. Translated from the 2d German edition. By MARIAN EVANS. New York: C. Blanchard. 1855.
3. Cours de Philosophie Positive (Systeme de Philosophie Positive.) Par AUGUSTE COMTE. 6 vols. Paris. 1842.
4. The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. Freely translated and condensed. By HARRIET MARTINEAU. 2 vols. New York and London. 1853.
5. Comte's Philosophy of the Sciences. Being an Exposition of the Principles of the Cours de Philosophie Positive of AUGUSTE COMTE. By G. H. LEWES. Bohn's Library.
6. Systeme de Politique Positive; ou, Traité de Sociologie. Instituant la Religion de l'Humanité. Par AUGUSTE COMTE. 3 vols. Paris. 1851, 1853.
DOUBT is not necessarily infidelity. In its essence it is negative and temporary. It may be only the cloud upon the pure azure of the soul. It is compatible, under peculiar circumstances, with a certain amount of faith. "Lord, I believe," said one of old, with a singular self-knowledge, "help thou mine unbelief." Doubt, indeed, is nearly always the transitional discipline through which vigorous, independent minds pass to a stable faith. "He that never doubted," says Cowper, "never believed." Never, indeed, in this life of half knowledge and imperfection, where we "see through a glass darkly," does doubt leave certain minds. It is the dark shadow which accompanies them all the way to glory. It leaves them only when, in the effulgence of heaven, they see "face to face." It is true that doubt may be the beginning of infidelity. If not thoroughly understood and resisted, it will necessarily increase. Above all, cherished, it will deepen and deepen into the night of infidelity. Faith is positive, and must be dominant in the soul, in order to live. Doubt may attend it as its shadow, but doubt must never take the place of faith. Else, the shadow becomes the substance; the cloud is condensed into the poison of death, in which faith instantly expires.
It will thus be seen that we regard infidelity as possessing a positive character. Infinitely diversified in form, it is one in essence; and for this simple reason, that it is a negation of all that is distinctive in Christianity, and by implication, as we shall presently show, of all that is distinctive in religion. It is under the control of a specific law, and must thence, in the long run, find a specific issue. Like attracts like the world over. All things, in fact, have their affinities. They thus attract or repel each other. This truth holds in the domain of mind. Thought and feeling are under law, and find their natural issues. Every soul, like Judas, "goes to its own place," finds its own sphere, tends to its own doom. A good soul ascends; a bad one descends. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." "The natural (animal or unspiritual, or as we understand it, unregenerate) mind is enmity to God, and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Hence, Christianity, embodying in its most perfect form the idea of God, of righteousness, and immortality, attracts