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the word; and no doubt a very simple living language might be written quite intelligibly to the natives without any vowel sounds marked at all. The words would be traditionally and conventionally recognized as in short hand — thus — Gd crtd th Hồn nd th Rth. I wish I understood Arabic; and yet I doubt whether to the European philosopher or scholar it is worth while to undergo the immense labour of acquiring that or any other Oriental tongue, except Hebrew.

August 23. 1833.


The distinction between accent and quantity is clear, and was, no doubt, observed by the ancients in the recitation of verse. But I believe such recitation to have been always an artificial thing, and that the common conversation was entirely regulated by ac

cent. I do not think it possible to talk any language without confounding the quantity of syllables with their high or low tones *;

* This opinion, I need not say, is in direct opposition to the conclusion of Foster and Mitford, and scarcely reconcilable with the apparent meaning of the authorities from the old critics and grammarians. Foster's opponent was for rejecting the accents and attending only to the syllabic quantity; – Mr. C. would, in prose, attend to the accents only as indicators of the quantity, being unable to conceive any practical distinction between time and tone in common speech. Yet how can we deal with the authority of Dionysius of Halicarnassus alone, who, on the one hand, discriminates quantity so exquisitely as to make four degrees of shortness in the penultimates of ódós, pódos, Tpóros and otpópoc, and this expressly év Xóyous filois, or plain prose, as well as in verse; and on the other hand declares, according to the evidently correct interpretation of the passage, that the difference between music and ordinary speech consists in the number only, and not in the quality of tones : — TĄ Ilocao διαλλάττουσα της εν ωδαίς και οργάνοις, και ουχί τη Ilocq. (IIepi Evv. c. 11.?) The extreme sensibility of the Athenian ear to the accent in prose is, indeed, proved by numerous anecdotes, one of the most amusing of which, though, perhaps, not the best authenticated as a fact, is that of Demosthenes in the Speech for the Crown, asking, “ Whether, O Athenians, does Æschines appear to you to be the mercenary (uco wròs) of

although you may sing or recitative the difference well enough. Why should the marks of accent have been considered exclusively necessary for teaching the pronunciation to the Asiatic or African Hellenist, if the knowledge of the acuted syllable did not also carry the stress of time with it? If @v@pwtos was to be pronounced in common conversation with a perceptible distinction of the

Alexander, or his guest or friend (Elvos)?” It is said that he pronounced uiolwròs with a false accent on the antepenultima, as uioOwtos, and that upon the audience immediately crying out, by way of correction, pLoOutòs, with an emphasis, the orator continued coolly, - å koúsiç å Xéyovol-“You yourself hear what they say !” Demosthenes is also said, whether affectedly, or in ignorance, to have sworn in some speech by Aoklýtios, throwing the accent falsely on the antepenultima, and that, upon being interrupted for it, he declared, in his justification, that the pronunciation was proper, for that the divinity was ýtrlos, mild. The expressions in Plutarch are very striking: “ Oópubov škívyoev, ūuvve kai tòv Aokin Tiòv, apoπαροξύνων 'Ασκληπιον, και παρεδείκνυεν αυτόν ορθώς λέγοντας είναι γάρ τον θεόν ήπιον και επί τούτω πολλάκις {lopuknon." Dec. Orat. - ED.

length of the penultima as well as of the elevation of the antepenultima, why was not that long quantity also marked ? It was surely as important an ingredient in the pronunciation as the accent. And although the letter omega might in such a word show the quantity, yet what do you say to such words as derbyxari, TÚward, and the like — the quantity of the penultima of which is not marked to the eye at all? Besides, can we altogether disregard the practice of the modern Greeks? Their confusion of accent and quantity in verse is of course a barbarism, though a very old one, as the versus politici of John Tzetzes * in the twelfth century and

* See his Chiliads. The sort of verses to which Mr. Coleridge alluded are the following, which those who consider the scansion to be accentual, take for tetrameter catalectic iambics, like — (ώς ηδύ και η νοις πράγμασιν | και δεξιούς | ομιλείν -)

οπόσον δύ | ναιτο λαβείν | εκέλευε | χρυσίον.
Κροίσον κινέι πρός γέλωτα βαδίσει και τη θέα.

OAprakápas Baouleus Opvyias tñs meyains.
Ηρόδοτος τον Γύγην δε ποιμένα μεν ου λέγει.

the Anacreontics prefixed to Proclus will show; but these very examples prove a fortiori what the common pronunciation in prose then was.

Η 'Ερεχθέως Πρόκρις τε και Πραξιθέας κόρη.
'Avvibas, ús Alódwpos ypápel kaì Aiwv äua.

Chil. I.
I'll climb the frost | y mountains highs, and there

I'll coin the weather; I'll tear the rain | bow from the sky, and tie both

ends | together. Some critics, however, maintain these verses to be trochaics, although very loose and faulty. See Foster, p. 113. A curious instance of the early confusion of accent and quantity may be seen in Prudentius, who shortens the penultima in eremus and idola, from špnuos and čidwla.

Cui jejuna eremi saxa loquacibus
Exundant scatebris, &c.

Cathemer. V. 89. - cognatumque malum, pigmenta, Camænas, Idola, conflavit fallendi trina potestas.

Cont. Symm. 47.- Ed.

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