The claims of the English language: An address delivered before the Phi-Delta and Thalian Societies of Oglethorpe University, Georgia, on Commencement day, November 10, 1852

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printed by I.C. Morgan, 1853 - English language - 36 pages
 

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Page 24 - Many a single word also is itself a concentrated poem, having stores of poetical thought and imagery laid up in it. Examine it, and it will be found to rest on some deep analogy of things natural and things spiritual; bringing those to illustrate and to give an abiding form and body to these.
Page 30 - t, his speech In loftiness of sound was rich, A Babylonish dialect Which learned pedants much affect; It was a parti-colored dress Of patched and piebald languages; Twas English cut on Greek and Latin, Like fustian heretofore on satin; It had an odd promiscuous tone, As if h' had talked three parts in one; Which made some think, when he did gabble, Th' had heard three labourers of Babel, Or Cerberus himself pronounce A leash of languages at once.
Page 34 - ... it gave such an [ascendant to popular principles, as has put the nature of the English constitution beyond all controversy. And it may justly be affirmed, without any danger of exaggeration, that we, in this island, have ever since enjoyed, if not the best system of government, at least the most entire system of liberty that ever was known amongst mankind.
Page 27 - ... power of expression such as never, perhaps, was attained by any human tongue. Its altogether intellectual and singularly happy foundation and development, has arisen from a surprising alliance between the two noblest languages of antiquity, the German and the Romanesque, the relation of which to each other is well known to be such that the former supplies the material foundation, the latter the abstract notions.
Page 24 - ... bringing those to illustrate and to give an abiding form and body to these. The image may have grown trite and ordinary now; perhaps through the help of this very word may have become so entirely the heritage of all, as to seem little better than a commonplace; yet not the less he who first discerned the relation, and devised the new word which should express it, or gave to an old, never before but literally used, this new and figurative sense, this man was in his degree a poet — a maker, that...
Page 17 - We find that the structure of human speech is the perfect reflex or image of what we know of the organization of the mind : the same description, the same arrangement of particulars, the same nomenclature would apply to both, and we might turn a treatise on the philosophy of mind into one on the philosophy of language, by merely supposing that every tiling said in the former of the thoughts as subjective is said again in the latter of the words as objective.
Page 28 - It is this language which has given us names for father, mother, husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, child, home, kindred, friends. It is this which has furnished us with the greater part of those metonymies, and other figurative expressions, by which we represent to the imagination, and that, in a single word, the reciprocal duties and enjoyments, of hospitality, friendship or love. Such are hearth, roof, fireside. The chief emotions...
Page 35 - It is a most significant circumstance that no large society of which the tongue is not Teutonic has ever turned Protestant, and that, wherever a language derived from that of ancient Rome is spoken, the religion of modern Rome to this day prevails.
Page 28 - English grammar is almost exclusively occupied with what is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Our chief peculiarities of structure and of idiom are essentially Anglo-Saxon, while almost all the classes of words, which it is the office of grammar to investigate, are derived from that language.
Page 23 - Since, however, the external sound belongs entirely to the material, and the idea which it represents as exclusively to the immaterial world, the two stand at a distance so remote from each other, that the connection between them has hitherto been a complete res occulta ; and such doubtless it will continue, so long as we shall remain ignorant of the nature of the union existing between the body and the soul. For the present, therefore, we must rest content with the ability to trace the connection...

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