Abbildungen der Seite

by his native courage, Harold as well as pricked on by his resolved to give battle in per- inborn boldness (the boldness son; and for that purpose he he was born with : ‘fearlessdrew near to the Normans, ness', being negative, could who had removed their camp hardly prick him on '), and fleet to Hastings, where Harold made up his mind they fixed their quarters. to give fight at the head of

his troops (showing himself in the field, to fight with his own band, that he would himself fight); and for that end (therefore) he drew near to the Normans, who had taken

away (flitted) their camp and ships to Hastings, where they took up their

ground (set themselves up). He was so confident of suc- He believed so fully (had so cess, that he sent a message to strong belief, or trust) that the duke, promising him a sum he should win, that he sent of money, if he would depart word to the duke that he the kingdom without effusion would give him a great deal of blood.

(much wealth), if he would leave (go out of) the kingdom

without the shedding of blood. But his offer was rejected But his offer (bid) was with disdain; and William, thrown aside with scorn ; not to be behind his enemy and William, not to be behind in vaunting, sent him a with his foe in boasting, sent message by some monks, re- him word by some monks quiring him either to resign (holy men, men of God) that the kingdom, or to hold it of he must either yield up the him in fealty, or to submit kingdom, or hold the kingtheir cause to the arbitration dom of him as his man, or of the pope, or to fight him leave it with the Head of the in single combat.

Church to say which of them had the better right, or fight him man to man.

Harold replied that the God Harold answered that the of battles would soon be the God of fights would soon arbiter of all their differences. settle all the things that they (Hume.)

were not at one upon.

The next is from De Quincey.

Still, with all this passion Still, with all this (warm) for being despised, which was wish to be scorned (looked so essential to my peace of down upon), which was so mind, I found at times an thoroughly needful to my altitude-a starry altitude (without which I could have in the station of contempt no) peace of mind, I found for me assumed by my bro- at times a height—a starry ther that nettled me.

height - in the station of scorn for me put on by my

brother that nettled me. Sometimes, indeed, themere Sometimes, indeed, the bare necessities of dispute carried needs of dispute (word-strife) me, before I was aware of bore me, before I was aware my own imprudence, so far of my own want of wary up the staircase of Babel, foresight (unwisdom, unwarithat my brother was shaken ness, heedlessness), so far up for a moment in the infinity the stair of Babel, that my of his contempt: and, before brother was shaken for a long, when my superiority twinkling (little time) in the in some bookish accomplish- boundlessness of his (in his ments displayed itself, by endless) scorn: and, before results which could not be long, when I showed myself entirely dissembled, mere better than him in some bookfoolish human nature forced ish knowledge, by results (an me into some trifle of exul- outcome) that could not whol. tation at these retributory ly have another face put upon triumphs.

them (it), silly human nature, and nothing else, drove me into some trifle of boisterous (jumping, frisking,) gladness at these victories whereby I took revenge on him.

But more often I was dis- But more often I was mindposed to grieve over them. ed to sorrow over them.

They tended to shake that They went to shake that solid foundation of utter de strong groundwork of utter spicableness upon which I scorn (-ableness) upon which relied so much for my free- I leaned (to which I trusted) dom from anxiety.

so much for my freedom from painful care.


The simple words of the language-root words, as they are called—are formed into compounds, with new or modified meanings. This is done by joining to themi significant syllables, called prefixes and endings or suffixes, according as their place is at the beginning or at the end.

The chief benefit of the compounding operation is to shorten the expression of meaning. For a 'person making a holiday tour' we say “tourist'; the syllable ist containing the meaning of five words. A man ‘that does not think well what he is doing' is described as “thoughtless'. There are three poems of Wordsworth, entitled, “Yarrow unvisited', * Yarrow visited', “Yarrow revisited'; the small syllables 'un' and 're' being sufficient to express facts circumstantially different.

The number of significant syllables joined to words in this way is very considerable; and as one root word may be compounded with two, three, or even four such syllables, the words of the language may, by means of composition, be multiplied indefinitely.

Certain of the prefixes and endings are of Saxon origin. Others are of classical origin; these, however, do not all equally demand our attention for the purposes of English.

The great matter as regards Derivation is to be regular in the use of such compounding syllables as are significant. They should all have an understood meaning; we ought to see what that meaning is, and, as far as possible, to keep by it. The faults, therefore, coming under Derivation, are, first, using prefixes and endings wrongly; and, secondly, using them without any meaning at all.


The Saxon Prefixes.

The full enumeration of Saxon prefixes reaches nearly thirty; there being several couples spelt alike, although different words originally—a, for, un.

The first a-abed, ablaze, aflame, aside-is a contracted adverbial phrase—'on bed', on blaze ', &c. ; it gives us a certain number of adverbs. Writers consider themselves at liberty to coin new examples ; nevertheless, the whole number in general use is not very considerable.

In a few similar compounds, the 'a' has a different origin: as 'ge-' in 'aware', 'along (of)'; 'of' in • ashamed', athirst', &c. Such instances are of philological, not of practical, importance.

The second a, in 'arise', arouse', is one of the vague prefixes. Perhaps the only difference that we feel now between the simple word and the compound is that the compound gives a fuller sound, and may occasionally be thought more impressive. The prefix has descended to us in about half-a-dozen verbs, and does not enter into new formations. It is not worth while to detain pupils on a prefix that is so rare, undecided, and pithless.

After and all being in use as detached words, their meaning is apparent in composition, and is essentially kept up in the compounds; as ' afterthought', 'Almighty'. The compounds with ' after' are expressive condensations, and may be pointed out as such : “after-crop' is the crop that comes after the first or chief crop of the year,-a second crop.

The preposition by as 'be' makes a few adverbial combinations—besides, before, betimes—which are hardly worth taking to pieces in ordinary parsing. The combination with verbs—become, bestir-has in numerous instances almost ceased to manifest a distinct meaning. The prefix operates to better purpose in combining with nouns (and a few adjectives) to form verbs : bedim, befriend, bewitch. It is used with both Saxon and classical roots.

In nouns, the form by is inuch more common than 'be'; we have belief', 'behest', but also-by-name, by-path, bystander, byword.

The preposition in (also em, en) is an extensively used prefix: and its meaning, as a primary fact of place, is apparent throughout.

For in ' forbid', 'forego', 'forswear', 'forbear', is an energetic negative; and, though it combines with a few classical roots, still more might have been made of it. The effect, however, is marred by confusion with 'fore', in 'foretell', 'forerun’; also, in its way, a useful prefix.

Forth has but two or three compounds : forthcoming, forthgoing, forthwith. Mr. Kington-Oliphant gives 'forthward' as the prior form of 'forward'.

Full, in the verb ‘fulfil', is solitary; it has a few combinations with participles, · full-blown', full-grown'. There is no restriction to such compounds; they express shortly an important circumstance, or else give intensity or emphasis to the action.

Gain implies' against', opposition, in a very few examples: gainsay (compare contradict), gaingiving, gainstand, gainstrive. The first is the only compound in modern use.

Mis is one of the strong, marked, and decided Saxon prefixes; and might be selected as a prominent example in teaching derivation. It signifies, originally, separation; as seen in the verb 'miss', to deviate, or err, and thereby to lose, or cause failure; occurring in many babitual combinations with energetic meanings (misbehave, misdeed, misgive, misshape, misspell, misspend). It may be extended at our pleasure. It is not confined to Saxon words, being too valuable to be withheld from words generally; whence many

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »