Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

expressed with some vigor. 133: “Thou shalt know the nature of the heavens and all signs that are in the sky, the hidden toils of the pure bright torch of the sun, and whence they aruse, and thou shalt learn the wandering course of the moon and its nature. Thou shalt behold the sky surrounding all, whence it arose, and how necessity directing it chained it so as to serve as a limit to the courses of the stars." The remainder of the poem is as prosaic as is possible even for a scientific treatise.

The third Greek thinker to write in poetry, the only one who really succeeded in the difficult task of uniting philosophic thought with true poetic form, was Empedokles. Philosopher and poet, mystic thinker and thaumaturge, priest and statesman, — the many-sided life of Empedokles is reflected in the variety of l.is writings. Tragedies, an epic poem, and hymns to the gods are referred to him by Diogenes Laertius. We possess fragments only of his great philosophic poem and of that on lustral rites. His predecessors had used daktylic hexameter for their poems; Empedokles, I believe, sought to conform much more closely to the pure epic model. From the study of the fragments that remain to us, we find that he keeps in mind the epic standard, in verse, in language, and in style. He uses the hexameter as it was used in the epic, not as a mere form, but as a form bringing out his thought and emphasis better than it could otherwise be expressed. In language one marks the occurrence of purely epic words, of epic forms, and of epic constructions. The use of epithets is clearly influenced by the epic model,

- epithets are chosen fur picturesque effect rather than for the development of the argument, the same epithets occur with the same nouns, and the epic series of three nuuns having a descriptive epithet with the third is not infrequent. It is certainly a buli idea to make an epic out of the scientific description of the origin of nature, but the breadth of plan and the general mode of treatment point to this. I will cols qu te ore of several similes, to illustrate how scientific description is clothed in epic language, 316 ff.: " And as one with a journey in prospect through a sturmy nigłt prurides himself with a lantern and lights it at the brightshining fire, lanterns that drive back every sort of wind (for they satter the breath of the winis that blow,; and the light darting out, inasmuch as it is finer [than the winis, stines across the threshold with untiring ray; so the elemental fire, sbat up in membranes, it entraps in fine coverings as the round pupil; and the coverings protect it against the deep water which flows about it, but the fire dating forth, inasmuch as it is finer . .,"

The rise of simi; le prose exposition is to be more briefly told. I have already called attention to tre statenent of Diogenes ti.at Anaximenes wrote "plain Ionic," presuma'ls probe. Sme tail a century later we find Mish, a pupil of Parmeniles, using site prise to state again the dutrines of the Elratic school. His proose, still in the Ionic caicct, is labored and confused and can claim no literary merit His ei urt to intryuce a bgical form into the dis ussion of pbilosoptic questions can tardiy be called successful. In his attempts to expound sciertos a'y the idea.istic views of his stri, be only deserves the credit of a bare and crude simpty.

The prose of A:laxagoras stan is on a byter level. His bung residence in Athens, his COLLECTIon with the brainant care gathered by Perrms, has a ged influence of er Euro , and any the foreix,7% of a new era in thought which arpear it kis n y, interest us in Ahavayıras wire than in his predecessors. His writings seem to have met with much favor, as we may infer both from Plato's reference in the Apology to the price of his works, and from the fact that they were preserved long after the writings of so able and learned a scholar as Democritos were lost. Diogenes informs us that Anaxagoras was one of the philosophers who left but a single work, and this, he says, “was written in a lofty and agreeable style.” Allusions to other works seem to be due to misunderstanding or to deliberate forgery. In the fragments of the first book, preserved by Simplicius, he states his philosophic positions in a straightforward way, with only an occasional comment or proof. He is not easy to understand, however, because he is not entirely successful in creating a philosophical vocabulary to meet his needs.

With the Sophists began the new era of philosophic thought, and the development of earlier forms of thought, like the development of the content of philosophic systems, found a partial conclusion in the work of Anaxagoras.

22. Notes on the Function of Modern Languages in Africa, by Professor W. S. Scarborough, of Wilberforce University.

It seems to be a universal law that a conquered people shall forsake its own speech for that of the conquerors, — provided the latter are superior in civilization, culture, and refinement. The Kelts in the time of Cæsar's invasion did so. While, on the other hand, the Germans, who later invaded the same country, forsook their own language for that of the conquered but more civilized race. The French language, like the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, is derived from the popular Latin, — like them it is the “product of the slow development of the common Roman speech.”

The phonetic changes observed in the development or decadence of a language may be attributed in part to the structure of the vocal organs as well as to the difference in race or climate. All of these have their influence. As examples, we note the Langue d'Oil and the Langue d'Oc of north and south Gaul respectively. What is true here is true elsewhere. What is true of Europe, of America, is true of Africa under the same or similar conditions. It is the survival of the fittest whether in the realm of linguistics or of animal life. Civilization is the mighty power that shapes the destiny of language. Dialects crumble before it and diversity of tongues drift toward unity. The stronger will swallow up the weaker until the speech of the dominant people prevails ; jargon at first, perhaps, extinction later.

From an early period, from the time that African ethnology, African linguistics, African folklore, began to attract the attention of ethnologists and philologists to any considerable extent, a scheme of classification of these African speech forms has been a matter of serious study. But in an unexplored field like this, however, difficulties of an insuperable character are wont to arise, making it impossible to arrive at anything definite. A classification of these on a purely scientific basis seems out of the question. Dialects and sub-dialects, the product of ignorance and environment, are so numerous that philologists are baffled to find a startingpoint.

It is not straining a point to declare that the native African is a linguist of no mean sort — that many of them speak several languages and dialects apart from

their own; even the rudest of them seeming to pick up speech wherever they find it. As an example we may mention the Veys and the Deys, the Golahs and the Pessas from the interior, who, from contact with foreign-speaking people, and especially the English, learn the language of their superiors sufficiently to con. verse intelligently with foreign residents. The Krumen may be taken as another example. Both the Kru and the Grebo tribes belong to the agglutinative speaking class. In the language of Cust,“ travelers allude to the jargon of Sierra Leone English, and state that the people of Lagos speak a patois of English which closely approximate to Yariba.”

Clicks form a curious linguistic feature of the Hottentot group. Sayce speaks of an unpronounceable click not otherwise found in the language, as associated with the folk story of a hare, which story in turn is traced from the Bari of Central Africa, through Melagasy, Swahili, Kaffir, Hottentot, back to the Bushmen. It is well to note here that these clicks are found in connection with beast fables of the backward tribes of southern Africa. He resers to them as the bridge that marks the passage of inarticulate cries into articulate speech ; “we may see in them survival of those primeval utterances out of which language was born.” Herodotus says of the Ethiopian Troglodytes (IV. 183): riworav de oudeul ñ ally tapouoinu vevouikaoı ållà Tetpiyaoi kadámep ai vuktepises. These clicks are expiratory sounds, consonantal in their character. I prefer the classification into dentals, palatals, and laterals, of the three out of the four found in the Hottentot speech. These three clicks are also found in Zulu and in the speech of other tribes who seem to have caught them by contagion. I have found natives of the Ama-Xosa, Ba-Suto, Tembu, Zulu, and what is called the Fingo tribe, who spoke English fairly well, using these same clicks - all of which are difficult for a foreigner to incorporate with any readiness into the word he wishes to utter.

C, 9, and x are the characters that the English translator has made use of to represent these clicks. C stands for the dental, q for the palatal, and x for the lateral. The letter c, as found in the word ncapai, is to our ear nearly like the sound produced by a kiss; but it is made by the compression of the tip of the tongue between the teeth and then drawing it back in haste. The sound represented by q is made by placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth and then withdrawing it quickly — the effect being a cracking sound. The letter x, representing the third of these clicks, corresponds to the sound we use in clucking to a horse — the tongue unites with the double teeth as in the pronunciation of the word box. This sound, in common with the others, does not come at the close of the word, but before the vowels as we find it in the tribal name Ama-Xosa. These clicks are never found in the formative part of a word. The fourth sound in the Hottentot speech, referred to above, not a click proper, is guttural, from the bottom of the throat — rough, and made by contracting the throat, while forcibly expelling the breath, and moving the epiglottis so as to modify it tremulously. It seems almost impossible to be made except by natives. These can drop it with seeming ease, so far as I have observed, and substitute the English sounds for c, 9, and x, pronouncing words containing them without hesitancy.

SOME EXAMPLES OF WORD FORMATION. Of all the European people the Portuguese were the first to become established on African soil. Their language soon became fixed and exerted an influence over tre native speech that quickly determined the future of the latter. Piccaninny is Portuguese in its origin, but of African mold. It is what some would call a luan word incorporated into the native speech. It seems to be from picade niño or tequeño niño, a little infant. Sifted through the African speech it comes out piccaninny, a term that is often applied in the Carolinas and on the coast to a negro child. Palaver is Spanish from palabra, and usually denotes idle talk or gossip, but, like piccaninny, it too became an incorporate part of the native speech, taking on the form, accent, and peculiarities of the same in parts where the Spanish is predominant. The terms for knife in the Basque language are all loan woréis so called - e.g. ganibeta, from the French canis, and nabala from the Spanish nabaja (novac ula – Latin).

As the result of these mixed speech forms we note the jargon of the negro of the Danish West Indies. It is a specimen of broken Danish and is sometimes called Creolese. It seems to have neither gender, number, declension, nor conjugation. Another example is found in the negro-English Dutch, which includes also words from the Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

Thus it will be seen that in the changes resulting from blending all these tongues, the speech forms of the more intelligent survive, though the process of development is slow.

Adjourned at 9.10 P.M.

MORNING SESSION.

PROVIDENCE, July 9, 1896. The meeting was called to order at 9.30 A.M. The reading of papers was begun at once.

23. The Satirical Element in Ennius, by Professor E. M. Pease, of Leland Stanford Jr. University.

Writers on the history of Latin literature are accustomed to speak of the Saturae of Ennius as “a collection of miscellaneous poems of a didactic nature, written in different metres," and to refer to Lucilius as the author in whom the elements of satire, in the modern sense of the word, first occur. It was the aim of this paper to question this established view, and to suggest presumptive evidence in favor of the genuine satirical spirit in Ennius.

The thoughtful study of literature, which traces step by step the influences bearing upon each author and notes the causes producing each new feature, shows that there are no great breaks in the line of development, but on the other hand that there is a regular and steady growth, as truly conformable to the law of evolution as the growth in the physical world. The supposition that satire burst out in full bloom in Lucilius was shown to be due in part to his misinterpretation of certain passages in Latin, and to have no sufficient basis.

The apparent contradiction of Horace in speaking of Lucilius as the inventor of Roman satire (Sat. I. 10. 48), and of Ennius as the rules et Graecis intacti carminis auctor (Sat. I. 10. 66) is wrongly explained by the supposition that Horace had reference to the satirical spirit in speaking of Lucilius and to the form in the case of Ennius. The same unwarranted inference that the satirical spirit did not exist in the Saturae of Ennius has been drawn from the description of satire in Diomedes (p. 485, Keil), whose whole statement may be somewhat discredited on account of his manifestly extravagant description of Horace and Persius. In the other references to satire in Latin literature there is nothing to prevent one from assuming the elements of satire in Ennius.

In attempting to show an organic relation between the Saturae of Ennius and the old dramatic Saturae we must first notice the origin and characteristics of the latter. According to Livy's condensed and somewhat confused account (7. 2), it would seem that the Romans were indebted to Etruria for certain elements of the Satura. At the celebration of the harvest-home and other rural festivals the light-hearted merry people of Latium had long been accustomed to the jovial banter of the Fescennine verses — an entertainment consisting of dialogues of coarse jokes and personal abuse in metrical form, perhaps enlivened by the exhilarating tones of the pipe or by the beating of time with the feet. In 364 B.C. the magistrates invited a band of Etrurian actors to Rome in the hope of staying the ravages of a terrible pestilence. These actors danced a sort of pantomime to the accompaniment of regularly composed music, and so pleased the people with their performance that Roman youths — the same ones no doubt whose quick wit and dramatic power had made them the leaders in the merriment of their native entertainments — began to imitate the Etruscan actors, and to combine the elements of the musical pantomime with the metrical dialogue of the Fescennine raillery, to which they applied the name Satura, “ medley,” from its composite nature.' Cf. Ital. farsa, Fr. farce, Arabic Quasside as applied to poetry, and Juvenal's term farrago for his satires. As the Satura developed under the control of the Roman youths, and the acting became more and more an art, it finally passed into the hands of professional actors, and the young Romans contented themselves with the less exacting performances of after-plays — exodia, to which the Atellanae also were reduced after the introduction of the regular drama. As the versus Fescennini were superseded by the Satura as a dramatic entertainment, but lived on in the scurrilous verses of the marriage celebration and triumphal songs; so the Satura supplanted by the fabula Atellana and the regular drama passed into that branch of poetry known as the literary satire.

It is a fair inference from Livy 7. 2. 8. that Andronicus, qui ab saturis ausus est primus argumento fabulam serere, had been in the habit of writing Saturae before he turned to the regular drama; and in all probability the Satura of Naevius mentioned by Festus 257 (M) is one of the last examples of the old dramatic Satura, rather than the beginning of the new literary Satura. The conservative spirit of Naevius, his plebeian sympathies, and his adherence to the old

It is pleasant to find Mr. Tyrrell presenting this explanation of Satura in his Latin Poetry, p. 217, thus confirming the view I had previously advanced in lectures.

« ПредишнаНапред »