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We saw the beginning of the process of assimilation of languages when our army in Mexico sent home among the worthless spoils of war, such words as vamos, ranchos, fillibuster, and the like. This process however goes on most rapidly in countries conquered and occupied by strangers. The strangers usually impose even their language upon the natives. Greece was conquered and occupied for ages by Romans, by barbarians, by French, by Venitians, by Turks, and each left as bad legacies, broken bits of speech, until the colloquial language of the country became a curious mosaic, of which the ground work, however, was still the old Greek.

Space permits not mention of all the causes which have saved the language from utter loss. The main ones are, first, the strong nationality of the race which repelled social intercourse, and checked intermarriage; and which demanded and obtained for the people the right of administering their own municipal affairs. Even under the Turks, many a Greek village elected its own Auμoyeрovres,-its Selectmen, who collected the tribute from the Pashas, and who had considerable power. Many villages especially in the mountain regions, had never been entered by the conqueror.

Second, the preservation of the Greek Church. This with all its mummeries, and its absurdities, has been of immense advantage. In the quiet and secluded monastaries, was many a copy of the old classics, and many a monk to pore over them; while the priests repeated the church ritual, and the prayers in good Greek, century after century, in thousands of little chapels; for even while the crescent shone over every large town, and upon every fortress wall, the cross stood meekly in the villages and hamlets of the plains, and up in the green nooks among the mountains.

By these, and other means, a knowledge of, and even familiarity with the old Greek was kept up in Greece. The standard still existed.

Early in this century, and long before the revolt of the country against Turkey, there was a manifest revival of Greek literature, which was fostered by the Greek merchants who had settled and grown rich in Europe, especially in the southern part of Russia. Several presses were established, and books were printed in the modern Greek language. Their authors aimed at elevating the style, and bringing back the language toward its old type. Prominent among these was Corais, whose singular merit and virtues did not escape the eagle eye of Napoleon. Encouraged and aided by the French government, he established himself at Paris, and not only issued many valuable

works written in a style which still serves as a model, but he greatly encouraged native Greek writers elsewhere.

When the political revolution was effected, the Greeks with singular unanimity, turned their attention to the preservation of all the relics of their glorious ancestry. Among the first laws passed was one erecting a national museum of antiquities, to be kept in the temple of Theseus, and one forbidding the exportation of statuary.

But the most wonderful and lasting monument which the ancient Greeks builded, was their language. We all have a general idea of its richness, sweetness, and flexibility; but scholars only know its graceful beauty, and wondrous strength. This monument has withstood the assaults of time better even than the Parthenon; for though there remains so much of that magnificent temple that with moderate means it may be restored to its old beauty of form and outline, yet no money can replace its treasures of painting and sculpture, for no living man hath the genius to re-create them. But of the old language no parts have been utterly lost, they have only fallen into disuse.

Even the popular speech has ever been substantially genuine Greek. The principal changes in the structure of the language have been in the mode of using verbs and nouns. Instead of expressing the tenses by mere changes in the form of the root, auxiliary verbs have been introduced; and instead of expressing cases of nouns by changes in the termination, prepositions have come into use, thus conforming to other modern languages.

It was an easy matter to get rid of the foreign rubbish; but it was a serious one to attempt to restore the ancient structure. There were some enthusiastic enough to propose this, but other councils prevailed, and by general consent, the radical form of the modern Greek was to be retained, while all foreign words were to be rooted


It is very curious to note how eagerly the people seconded the scholars. Not only did the writers of newspapers, periodicals, and school-books, carefully eschew all foreign idioms, but the common people threw over the words which their former tyrants had left, as eagerly as though they had been the very bodies of Turks and Italians. As we, when our attention is directed to it, drop such corruptions as daddy and mammy, and return to father and mother, so the Greeks rejected such corruptions Μάννα, Πάππας and returned to Harp, up, and the like. But the Greeks did more than we can be induced to do, for our people cling to vest, pants, and other vulgarism, leaving our good English waistcoat and trousers; while they

eagerly substituted pure Greek words for the foreign ones as fast as they were pointed out,

The sailors and soldiers vied with civilians, and though such words as Capitani, Generale Presidente, had been very common; they immediately substituted the old Greek titles and saluted their leaders as ναύαρχος, στρατηγος, and πρόεδρος.

But not to dwell upon particulars, the result may be stated in a few words. There is now perfect freedom of the press in Greece. There are over thirty newspapers, several periodicals, regularly published, and there are many presses at work throwing off great numbers of works, especially school books. It is stated on good authority, that one single publishing house,- that of Koromelas,—in Athens, published in the last year, over a half million copies of textbooks for the University, the Gymnasia, and the common schools.

These are, for the most part, written in a style so nearly approachng the old language that any good Greek scholar can read them after a very little attention to the difference in form of inflexions.

Nor is it a mere matter of reading. The Greeks are fast developing their natural resources. They are the most active, intelligent, and successful traders in the East. Their superiority in point of physical organization, and their actual advantages in point of education, will soon give them great influence among the motley races which make up the Turkish empire, if not the actual mastery. The popular speech of this rising people is, [as we have said] in the main, genuine Greek. It is surely then most desirable that our youth who are studying the Greek language, should study it in connection with that modification of it so extensively used. It is in order to enable them to do this that Professor Felton has prepared with great care and ability the work at the head of this article; and we commend it heartily to all who are engaged in the study of ancient Greek.



A NEW theory in reference to the early accentuation of Latin has lately been suggested by Dr. A. Dietrich, of Pforte, in Saxony. It is given in Aufrecht and Kuhn's Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung, Band I. Heft 6. Berlin, 1852. According to the tradition of Latin grammarians, the accent, in words of more than one syllable, is placed either on the penult, or else on the antepenult, and this point is regulated or determined by the quantity of the penult syllable. According to the new theory, the accent in Latin was originally placed on the radical syllable of the word, even if it came before the antepenult; and in words with prefixes, and in compound words, the accent was placed on the preposition, or on the first part of the compound; the usual Latin accentuation having arisen at a later period.

This theory rests, it is curious to observe, on no direct or positive evidence. It is inferred merely from its effects, that is, it is deduced from certain phenomena observable in the language.

1. The abridged forms, junior, ditior, poblicus, amasti, are more easily explained, if derived from ju'venior, di'vitior, po'pulicus, am'avisti, with the accent on the radical syllable, than if derived from juve'nior, divi'tior, popu'licus, amavis'ti, with the accent on the syllable fallen out; for such accent would naturally tend to preserve the syllable.

2. The derivative forms, velabrum, candelabrum, salubris, lugubris, for velaberum, condelaberum, saluberis, luguberis, (the suf fix being supposed to be derived from Lat. fero,) are more easily explained by supposing an accent on the first or radical syllable, than by supposing an accent on any subsequent syllable. The earlier the accent is in the word, the more liable is the vowel in question to fall out.

3. The forms agnitus, dejero, nihilum, shortened from agnatus, dejuro, nihilum, are more easily explained by supposing an accent on the preposition or the first part of the compound, than by an accent on the penult according to the usual laws of Latin prosody.

4. But the most numerous and important class of words, whose

form is explained by the theory before us, is the attenuation of the radical vowel in words compounded with prepositions; as, ascendo from scando, compingo from pango, colligo from lego, illico from loco, concido from caedo, insulto from salto, includo from claudo, obedio from audio. The cause of this attenuation has not before been so satisfactorily explained, as by this theory.


It was an original trait of the whole Indo-European stock of languages, that many inanimate objects, and even abstract actions, qualities, and attributes, were regarded as having life and personality, and even as endued with sex. This was a sort of personification, and is to be ascribed to the lively imagination of the first language-makers.

This remarkable peculiarity, it is well known, continued to exist in its full vigor, in Anglo-Saxon and Latin, the languages whence the English is mainly derived.

Although this peculiarity has yielded in ordinary English to a more natural and logical view of gender, yet in some words it is still retained in poetry and elevated prose.

This usage, in English, is often called the rhetorical or poetical gender, and is generally regarded as arising from a direct and new personification at the time; but, in my view, it is more philosophical and more consonant with fact, to consider it as a continuance of the ancient gender, and to deduce it from the original languages above named.

In accordance with this principle, we shall find that the substantive thus personified, as a general rule, has the gender of the original word whence it is derived.

1. Many names of inanimate objects which are found used as masculine in English poets and other writers, are masculine in the original languages; as, April, (comp. Lat. mensis, m.) comet, (Lat. cometes, m.) dandelion, (Fr. dent de lion, m.) elm, (Anglo-Sax. ellm, perhaps m. comp Fr. orme, m.) flood, (Anglo-Sax. flód, n. but comp. Old Sax. flod, m. Fr. flot, m.) hill, (Anglo-Sax. hill, m.) mountain, (Lat. mons, m.) northeast, (comp. Anglo-Sax. wind, m. Lat. ventus, m.) sea, (Anglo-Sax. sæ, f. but comp. Old Sax. seo, m.) star, (Anglo-Sax. steorra, m.) sun, (Anglo-Sax. sunne, f. but. comp. Lat. sol, m.) Tartarus, (Lat. Tartarus, m.) thunder, (Anglo-Sax. thuner, m.) tower, (Anglo-Sax. torr, m.) winter, (Anglo-Sax. winter, m.) etc.

2. Many names of inanimate objects which are found used as feminine in English poets and other writers, are feminine in the original languages; as, Etna, (Lat. Aetna, f.) air, (Lat. aer, m. but comp. Gr. ang, f. Anglo-Sax. lyft, f.) bark, (Fr. barque, f.) church, (Anglo-Sax.

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