« ПредишнаНапред »
protecting some of its unworthy subjects in a trade abhorrent to itself; but that of the Christian government of one of the greatest, most powerful, and most enlightened nations of the earth deliberately entering into the growth, manufacture, and sale of a noxious drug, stimulating its production, complacently gloating over the increasing demand, anxiously watching for new openings, refusing to listen to the pleadings of a pagan emperor and his officials against so ruinous a traffic, demanding with sword and cannon the payment of indemnity for contraband opium righteously destroyed, forcing the legalization of the traffic, and continuing to push the trade with unscrupulous vigor, and to pocket its ungodly revenue for the benefit of its lavish and luxurious Indian Government. Surely the curse of heaven must rest upon this dark and damning traffic and upon its most unholy gains. The Christianity and humanity of England ought to rise up with united voice, and compel the government to cut off all connection with the production of the drug in India, and to assist the Chinese Government in the entire extirpation of the abominable and destructive trade. And the humane and Christian people of all other nations ought to give their united and hearty support to those in England who are battling for the right against heavy odds, in the face of guilty indifference and active opposition.
The consideration of the effects of the trade on the victims of the drug, and on the missionary cause, of Chinese opinion and action on the subject, and of the efforts made for the suppression of the traffic, must be left for a subsequent article.
ART. VII.-LATIN PRONUNCIATION.
MANY teachers and scholars have thought that the pronunciation of Latin was a matter of no importance; that, as it was no longer a living tongue, it would make no difference how it might be uttered. And yet there has been a desire, for several years, on the part of the most eminent Latinists of Europe and America, for a uniform system of orthoepy.
It is evident to every student of language that the English
system never can become universal. Indeed, it is impossible to suppose that any of the nations, besides those that are English-speaking, would ever adopt it in any of its features; for the English sounds are so flat and sharp that they cannot adequately express the rotund and sonorous inflections and intonations that swelled forth in the native tongue of Cicero and Cæsar. No Italian, Spanish, French, or German scholar could be persuaded to adopt the English method; for these languages are more directly from the Latin than the English, and these nations know that the sounds of vowels and consonants which they have heard from infancy must more nearly express the old Latin sounds than any system of AngloSaxon origin.
Indeed, we may venture to assert that no critical English philologist ever expects, or even desires, the general adoption of the English system. And many of the most scholarly men in the United States and in Europe, who have been for years accustomed to this method, are longing for the prevalence of a more rational mode of pronouncing Latin. The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, in his preface to “Homer and the Homeric Age," speaking of several classical matters, makes this incidental reference to the English method of pronouncing Latin and Greek:
I should gladly see the day when, under the authority of scholars, and especially of those who bear rule in places of education, improvement might be effected, not only in the points above mentioned, but also in our solitary and barbarous method of pronouncing both the Greek and Latin languages.
And this I believe to be the general sentiment of those who are conversant with the tongues of Southern Europe, and who are able to imagine what must have been the pronunciation in Italy when Rome was in her power and grandeur.
But can we adopt the Continental method ? If we investigate we shall find that there are several Continental methods. Each nation of Europe may be said to have its own system. And there is little hope that that of the Germans will be adopted in France, or that of the Italians in Spain. For though they all agree, to a great extent, on vowel sounds, they differ on many consonant sounds, and there are national peculiarities belonging to each. So that, if we should seek to introduce, all over the world, any one of these, even that of Italy, we could not hope for general acceptance.
But why should there be such difference of opinion concerning the pronunciation of Latin? The original orthoepy should not be lost; for in the palmy days of Latin literature there were grammarians who wrote extended treatises. In these they discussed the sounds of all the letters, and the variations between the long and short sounds of the vowels. And some of these writers even went so far as to describe the exact position of the organs in uttering each letter. Of late
Of late years the writings of these ancient authors have been hunted up. The eminent Schneider, in his “ Elements of the Latin Language,” gives the results of his elaborate investigations, and makes quotations from fifty different authorities. Thus we can go back to the root of the matter, and know what was the pronunciation of Rome's great orators and sublime philosophers. Thereby the true and original system has been resurrected from the débris of the past, and is brought before us of the nineteenth century as the Roman method. And it seeks to displace all other systems and to find universal acceptance.
Before considering the merits of this system, let us inqnire how it came to be lost. It could not be otherwise than by the gradual corruptions, introduced from time to time, by teachers in the different countries.
In the course of thirteen centuries it does not seem unreasonable to suppose that many changes might be made by those teachers who thought they might improve the Latin, or assim. ilate it to their native tongue, and thus give what, in their opinion, was a more natural pronunciation. The scholar of Berlin or of Paris is amused at the corruptions made by the American or the Englishman in his pronunciation of German and French. And we, in turn, laugh at the brogue of the German and the Frenchman; and yet we are willing to anglicize the Latin without any hesitation, and expect to be regarded as scholars even when we do this. How inconsistent and unscholarly is such a practice !
By examining into the history of this matter we find that the old pronunciation of Latin, introduced into England long before the Norinan conquest, was retained for several hundred years, and substantially existed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and that about this time there was an effort made to corrupt it which was deplored and denounced by many of the Latinists of England.
Milton, the most eminent classical scholar of his day, the Latin secretary to the council, in a letter to Mr. Hartlib on the subject of education, makes some suggestions to him about teaching the scholars of his model school:
Their speech is to be fashioned to a distinct and clear pronunciation, as near as possible, to the Italian, especially in vowels. For we Englishmen, being far northerly, do not open our mouths in the cold air wide enough to grace a Southern tongue, but are observed by all other nations to speak exceeding close and inward; 80 that to smatter Latin with an English tongue is as ill a bearing as low French.
Mr. Phillips, the tutor to several of the princes royal, and one of the ablest scholars of the eighteenth century, in his work on “Methods of Teaching,” published in 1750, complains of the “very faulty and unpleasant manner in which the Englishmen were beginning to pronounce Latin.” Dr. Foster, contemporaneous with the latter, in his “ Essay on Accent and Quantity,” complains of the “violence done to the quantity of the ancient languages by the English pronunciation.” Mitford, in his “ Inquiry into the Principles and Harmony of Language," published at the close of the eighteenth century, points out the “absurdity of introducing into Latin the eccentric pronunciation of the English.” He represents its incompatibility with the true quantity of syllables, and proposes the restoration of the ancient sounds of the vowels as in the Italian. But it is only of late years that any special effort has been made to re-introduce the old system. The advantages claimed for the Roman method are substantially as follows: First, it is the true system, and hence in perfect harmony with the genius and structure of the language. Second, it is the only one that we may expect will ever be generally adopted, because it is not mixed and corrupted with other nationalities, but stands out alone and unique. And all can adopt it without compromising any national peculiarities. Third, it always distinguishes words of different orthography and signification by their sounds, while the English very often does not. Take, for example, the following words: Censeo, censio, and sentio; or cervus and servus ;
or cicer and siser; cella and sella ; citus and situs ; scis, and sis, and cis; amici and amisi; or circulus and surculus. By the Roman method every one of the preceding words are uttered with an individual pronunciation, so that when you say censeo it cannot be misunderstood for censio or sentio. And when you speak of a servus it cannot be thought to be a
And certainly this is an advantage in any language. Fourth, this system throws much light on the subject of Latin versification, and is the only one on which Latin poetry can be correctly read. As well might we undertake to recite the poems of Shakespeare and Milton, Bryant and Longfellow, according to French principles of pronunciation, as to read the Odes of Horace or the Eclogues of Virgil with purely Anglo-Saxon sounds. Let some French scholar try this, and he will see how he would thus spoil, yes, ruin, English poetry. Why, then, shall we persist in butchering the Latin poets? Fifth, it facilitates the study of comparative philology. The corruption of Latin pronunciation has isolated the Latin from its kindred languages. To see this plainly, let us compare the Latin and Greek. Various words in the two languages are substantially the same in spelling and in meaning. Take, for instance, the following Latin words, with their English pro nunciation, and compare them with the corresponding Greek words: Acætis (a-see-tis) aKOLTiS.
Cicero (sis-ser-o) Kikepwv.
Scipio (sip-i-o) EKUTWV.
Oceanus (0-shee-a-nus) Sneavos.
Cilicia (sil-ish-i-a) Kinkia. All the above Latin words, pronounced by the Roman method, would be recognized by the Greek scholar as of kindred origin with the Greek word on the same line. In fact, all the vowels, diphthongs, and consonants in the above words are, by the Roman method, uttered just the same in both languages.
But let us inquire into the Roman method more particularly. Many of the consonants have the same sounds as in English. There are, however, some peculiarities. No consonant has more than one sound. The digraph qu has the sound of k in king ; c and k always have the same sound as k in king; g is uttered as in get; j as y in yet ; & as s in son ; t as t in time, and