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cover these deformities of the body; and let need clothing to hide your diseased distorted us be pleased with a smiling face that hides bodies, and fig leaves to conceal your distem. from our view the diseases of the mind. pered minds. But savages can dispense with
I mentioned before, that our inquisitive dis. garments to shroud their straight and well position and our propensity to reason on every turned limbs, and with deceitful smiles to veil subject have an immediate tendency to render their ingenuous hearts. us unhappy. This opinion I will endeavor to Frank. Well, I see we should never agree on illustrate by' a sublime comparison, and then this subject. If you be disposed to ramble 1 shall have done : "If the sun breed maggots” farther, you may continue your excursion (why do you laugh? the language is Shak. alone. It is a follý to walk without an object in speare's) *If the sun breed maggots in a dead summer ; but the man who will leave a warm dog," these maggots are unconscious of the fire in the winter, unless compelled by necesfilth and abomination in which they are im- sity, and expose himself to the blasts of the mersed; they have no idea of any state supe- north, must be wholly insane. rior to their own, nor of any happiness greater Piomingo. Your will is my guide ;-but than that which they enjoy; consequently they Frank, who was that other foreigner to whom cannot be miserable. But man is cursed with you were disposed to direct my attention ? the ability of perceiving his degraded situation; Frank. Ah, truly, I had totally forgotten. he is able to form ideas of perfection to which For some months past we have witnessed a he can never attain; he feels an inclination to prodigy: From the depths of the wilderness. aspire;- he despises the earth which gave him cautibus horrens ; from amid the howling wild birth, and would ascend to the mansion of the beasts of the desert; from the bosom of one of gods; he would subject the universe to his those barbarous hordes which infest.our fronempire, and partake of delights too sublime tiers, there has issued-ye will not believe it, for his nature—in consequence of which, he is posterity !-there las issued a savage, miserable. Upon the whole I conclude that such an animal as man should not have been Quale portentum neque militaris
Daunia in latis alit esculetis, endowed with perception so acute, and with
Nec Jubæ tellus generat, Jeonum desires so aspiring Diis aliter visum est.
Arida nutrix! Piomingo. You and your furious instructor may prate about the wickedness of the heart A savage, who presumes to instruct the illuas long as you please; but every one must ad. minated, the wise, the polished, the civilized, mit that no one is wicked before the commence. inhabitants of these free sovereign and indement of his existence. And as soon as he ex- pendent states, which are, I say, and of right ists he becomes wax in the hands of society. ought to be, free sovereign and independent His infant mind' takes the color of surrounding states-who, (the savage I mean) not having objects : by education he is exalted to a god; the fear of God before his eyes, nor reverencing by education he is converted to a devil; or, by the majesty of the American people, but being education he is degraded to a brute.
moved thereto by the instigation of the devil, By the customs and institutions of society, hath, daringly, knowingly, wickedly, maliciby the precepts and examples of seniors and ously, malignantly, enviously, feloniously, in. guardiáns, he becomes initiated in wickedness; sidiously, burglariously, barbarously, savagely and, as advancement and prosperity in life de, and of malice aforethought, presumed to in. pend upon the exercise of dissimulation and struct this wonderful people, this nation of cunning, he conceals his vicious thoughts till kings, in the science of morals! Give ear, O they ripen into crimes. Were the mind first heavens ! subjected to salutary impressions, were the Piomingo. What do you mean? : circumstances which influence its earliest de Frank. Do not, I beseech thee, do not intercisions favorable to the production of virtue, rupt me.-Give ear, o heavens! hearken, O there would be no necessity for concealment; earth and the workshop of iniquity, which terrifies Piomingo, What do you mean ! your mind, would never be erected.
Frank. These are savage interruptions, PioYou unfortunately attempted to enforce your mingo. You have ruined a sublime apostro sentiments by a reference to dress. Did it not phe ; you have snapped asunder the chain of occur to you that your civilized institutions iny ideas; you have extinguished my poetical have produced the diseases and deformities of enthusiasm ; and now I must proceed to give the body as well as the errors and vices of the you a dull prosaic detail of circumstances. mind? Did you not reflect upon the pernici. Piomingo. Be as prosaic as you please, but ous consequences of continual labor and brute. not tedious. like drudgery ?— They have degraded the Frank. This sávage, of whom I spake, hava proudest work of nature to a beast of burthen; ing thrown aside his tomabawk, scalping they have extinguished the ethereal spark in knife, and rifle -having divested himself of his breast, and infused into his soul the maç his wampum, brecchclout, blanket, moccasons, lignity of a demon. Did you also forget to and leggins-having laid aside his buck's tail consider the evils produced by intemperance, and feathers, ear rings and nose jewels, half luxury and sloth ? --Alas! it is too true : You moons and bracelets, beads, broaches and gew.
gawsw-having washed the paint from his vi. over mountains or creep through the thickets, sage and taken up the pen, produces a weekly to manage a canoe with adroitness or take off phillippic against the blessings and delights of a scalp with dexterity--for such a one to think, à civilized life--but, as your barbarous counte- reflect, compare, is altogether unaccountable ! nance is a picture of your mind, that mind, I
Can he be fashioned on the social plan, see, is considerably agitated. I fear it will not
Or boast a lineage with the race of man? be safe to favor you with my opinions on the conduct of this savage; but I will, if you please, These considerations have induced thein to give you the sentiments of others.
suppose that the account you have given of Piomingo. Do so.
yourself is fictitious: some have even proceeded Frank. Well then, they say (by they you so far as to say you are civilized. are to understand every body, any body, nío
Piomingo. Who said that? body, the wise, the foolish, the world, or any honesty of soul no man shall dispute with imthing you choose) they say—but I forgot to punity. I will immediately have recourse to premise (which would have been a very capital the law. An action will certainly lie? omission) I forgot to premise
Frank. I think not. Piomingo. Frank! your parentheses distract
Piomingo. So, it seems your laws deny me me! By the mingo of the skies, if you proceed the privilege of avenging myself on my enewith your cursed involutions
mies, yet point out no other mode of redress. Frank. Enough, enough, Piomingo. Do not
Is that liberty ? raise the warwhoop, I entreat you. I shall
Frank. Let me consider: The words are not proceed straight forward with my story.
actionable per se. It may be damnum ; but They say, that this savage, having seen our then would be damnum absque injuria. Prove flourishing cities and beautiful fields, having special damage-action per quod. Provocation witnessed the state of our agriculture, com
-tends to a breach-contra pacem. Libellous. merce and manufactures, and all the pleasures let me see—not true—so much the worse. that flow from our salutary institutions, and No hook to hang a quirk on. Headman and having contrasted these blessings with the warrior of the Muscogulgee nation-scanda. miserable enjoyments of the naked, half-starv. lum magnatum. To say of a lord-Cro. Car. ed shivering Indians, he felt the same envious Cro. Jac. Tom. tit. quint. Eliz. malignity in his breast which Satan is said to Piomingo. What is that? have felt when he contemplated the happiness
Frank. Wisdom, Piomingo, profound wisand innocence of our parents in paradise ; and dom; but as you are a barbarian, you cannot he resolved, in imitation of the illustrious per. understand it. It is said that you are an aris. sonage just mentioned, to disturb that felicity, tocrat. which he and his brethren were not destined
Piomingo. So I am: who would not rather to enjoy.
be governed by the best than by the worst of Piomingo. What, to introduce Sin and Death the community? But I am an enemy to hereamong the happy and virtuous inhabitants of ditary aristocracy, and still more opposed to the civilized world? Would to God, that the the aristocracy of wealth : I wish virtue, taarts and refinements, the vices and diseases, of lents and wisdom to assume their proper place the children of Europe had remained forever in society. unknown to the savages you despise! Re
Frank. It is sometimes said, you are a demoverse the picture; and the representation will crat and leveller. not be wholly destitute of truth. But pro- they get wisdom and seek understanding.
Piomingo. I am a friend to the people : may ceed. Frank. They say that this
May they learn to think for themselves, and
savage resem. bles the fox in the fable ; who, finding himself no longer be swayed by the influence of the unfortunately destitute of a tail, endeavored to wealthy, or governed by the cunning of politipersuade the community of foxes that tails cal intriguers. were a useless incumbrance. Now this savage
Frank. They say you are an atheist and a being a barbarian probably indigent
deist. Piomingo. You may dispense with the ap
Piomingo. Curious enough! I would not plication, and proceed with your intelli- fall down to worship the golden image which gence
civilized society has set up, though my disobe. Frank. They say, that your publication, (for dience should cast me in the furnace of adverthou art the man) is a dull and insipid produc- sity heated seven times as hot as ever I have tion; but that among a great deal of rubbish found it. there may sometimes be found a sparkling
Frank. They say you are a fool. idea. Now as they have always conceived it
Piomingo. Folly, I believe is not peculiar impossible for ą savage to think, they find to me : themselves wholly unable to account for the
et mihi dulces thoughts that are scattered through your wri.
Ignoscent, si quid peccavero stultus. amici : tings. For å savage whoso brain, or whose
Inque vicem, illorum patiar delicta libenter. mind, is a tabula rasa—for'a savage, whose Frank. The profound and sagacious editor brutal instinct merely enables him to ramble of a political and literary journal has treated
your Savage with rudeness and severity: and, advocates and defenders. Among these conas you have taken no notice of this caustic and flicting claims,what better plan can we pursue witty production, it is supposed that you are than to lay it down as the golden rule in prounable to answer it.
nunciation, that the most elegant speakers are Piomingo. Astàs uvías ó Ingsús. The those who deviate least from the written words. Frenchman and his criticism are equally un.
Multitudes of spelling books and grammars worthy of attention.
have appeared in the United States; and in the Frank. Do you deal in proverbs ?
most, if not all of these, are exhibited long ta. Piomingo. Not much. Savage as I am, I bles of words spelled in one inanner, and di. bow to the opinion of Lord Chesterfield con. rected to be pronounced in another. Somecerning the use of vulgar English proverbs ; times a letter is said to be silent, when it might but as I have in my possession a collection with the utmost propriety be sounded; again, Μιχαηλος Αποστολια Παροιμιών, I believe I we are gravely informed that one letter usurps will fill a few pages of the Savage with them the power of another, when we can see no occasionally: they are equal to the best of reason why it is not content with its own. poor Richard's, and excel the wisest apoph. Some words, though they have long since be. thegms of Spain.
come a part of our language, are said to be Frank. Very right: and sprinkle your pages
French: and we are obliged to torture our or. hereafter with Greek. We always love what gans for the sake of producing an outlandish, we do not understand. The hour of dinner guttural or nasal twang; which being found approaches . May the mingo of the clouds pro- which is neither English nor French, but a
utterly impracticable, we generate a word tect you from evil !
ridiculous fabrication of our own. What con. Piomingo. May the mammon of unrighte. ousness be propitious to your prayers !
temptible servility is this ! Must there be a
numerous class of words which the great body Punctuation : from Crito.
of the people, who understand no language but
their own are utterly unable to pronounce ? Doctor Johnson, with his usual good sense, Why should aid-de-camp, envelope, environs, has remarked that “most writers of English connoisseur, instead of being pronounced grammar have given long tables of words pro- agreeably to the powers of the letters in the nounced otherwise than they are written; and English language, be converted into ade-de. seem not sufficiently to have considered, that, cawng, ongvelope, ongveerons, connossare,which of English, as of all living tongues, there is a are neither French, English, nor good high double pronunciation : one cursory and collo. Dutch ? quial; the other regalar and solemn. The It must be acknowledged, that since the apcursory pronunciation is always vague and pearance of orthoepical dictionaries, the solemn uncertain, being made different, in different pronunciation, noticed by Johnson, has greatly mouths, by negligence, unskilfulness, or affec- declined : however solemn the style, however tation. The solemn pronunciation, though by important the subject, the polité orator has no means immutable and permanent, is yet adopted the flippant and cursory pronunciation; always less remote from the orthography, and and minces and aspirates agreeably to the di. less liable to capricious innovation. They rections of Sheridan and Walker. How long have, however, generally formed their tables will our lawyers, divines, and legislating oraaccording to the cursory speech of those with tors, who boast so much of their independence, whom they happen to converse and concluding regulate their pronunciation according to the that the whole nation combines to vitiate lan. caprices of the vulgar, great and small, of the guage in one manner, have often established city of London ? Our universities, colleges, the jargon of the lowest of the people as the and public speakers, should appoint agents to model of speech. For pronunciation, the best reside continually in the metropolis of the general rule is, to consider those as the most British empire for the purpose of transmitting elegant speakers who deviate least from the without delay, to the wilds of America, the written words."
polite and fashionable modes of torturing words Some have been inclined to dispute the jus. practised by gamesters, fops and fools at the tice of these observations : but, to me, they head quarters of refinement and corruption. appear correct and judicious. There are so Yet, notwithstanding the ridiculous affecta, many capricious varieties in the current pro. tion of our fashionable speakers, it may still be nunciation of a living language, that an at. observed that when the emphasis is placed on tempt to establish a uniforın standard of or., a word the unaccented vowels receive a sound thoepy by any one man's ideas of propriety different from that which they have when the must be regarded as a hopeless undertaking word is not emphatical : how is this variation One pronunciation prevails at the theatre ; to be noted by the modest orthoepist, who another is sanctioned by the gentlemen of the would regulate our pronunciation by that of bar; and a third is favored by divines. The the circle in which he has moved ? south and the north, the east and the west, Mr. Walker appears to have been so sensible have their respective peculiarities of sound : of the difficulties of the task he had undertaken, and all these unfortunate localities have their that he candidly acknowledges, " the imper
ceptible glances of colloquial pronunciation are cing dictionaries is the horrible manner in not to be caught and described by the pen;" which they deform the orthography of the lanbut he pleases himself with the reflection, that, guage. It is found to be a matter of no little if “he cannot point out the precise sound of difficulty to acquire the art of spelling with unaccented syllables, he may at least give propriety. I do not believe that one person in those sounds which approach the nearest, and a hundred can write twenty lines without mis. by this means become a little more useful than spelling some of the words. And if, before the those who so liberally leave every thing to the appearance of pronouncing dictionaries, it was ear and taste of the speaker.” I should so hard to attain a competent knowledge of conceive that an erroneous guide is worse than orthography, how much more difficult will it no guide at all : we may as well preserve our prove when we cannot open a dictionary with original errors as to discard them for the pur- out encountering those horrible clusters of con. pose of adopting others.
sonants, which orthoepists have collected to. But even admitting the possibility of con. gether for the sake of perpetuating sounds. veying to the eye those delicate tones and Thus it has happened that these erudite proevanescent sounds which are perceptible by ductions have not only unsettled our pronunthe ear, whom shall we take as our guide ? ciation, but have given our language a barbar. There are not only many hundred incidental ous appearance, and rendered it more difficult differences ; but whole classes of words are than ever for our children to become acquainted subjected to the various rules of our standard with orthography. writers. One author informs us that the final I would not have it thought that I am opy in wisely, justly, nobly, truly, and all words posed to all dictionaries designed as helps in of that description, has the sound of long e, as pronunciation : these may be useful in regu. in me; others give it the sound of a in face; lating the accentuation of words, and displayand others, again, acknowledge that it has an ing the analogies of language. I will even obscure sound of its own. We are told by admit that it may be desirable, in' a work of some that the e in me, and the i in mill, have this nature, to have some ingenious system of precisely the same sound; others contend that notation, for the purpose of showing the tone they are widely different. Doctor Ash informs and quantity of the vowels; but, I will boldly us that the e in the, hero, rebuild, adhesion, &e. pronounce that the practice of deforming the has a sound peculiar to itself; but quite dis- orthography has been, and will continue to be, tinct from the e in thee, me, &c. Others as. productive of consequences pernicious to the sert that this is the height of absurdity. But, purity of language. I would rather, Piomingo, Quicquid delirant reges plectuntur Achivi:
encounter a file of your countrymen among
the Alleghanian mountains, than be stared in While the leaders contend for superiority, we the face by words so tremendous, so horrible, are led astray by their errors.
as, tshooturidzh, tshootelidzh, tshoonable, tshooI know a young man who was particularly mult, ungtshoous, spirittshoous, nattshooral ? attentive to pronunciation : on every doubtful Yet these monstra vocabulorum horrenda are occasion, he had immediate recourse to the not half as barbarous as some that may be dictionary that happened to be in vogue; and found in Sheridan and Walker.-Would any having discovered an odd or curious pronun. one suppose these congregations of letters were ciation, he rejoiced exceedingly, and took care designed to instruct us in the pronunciation of to introduce the word into every conversation. tutorage, tutelage, lunable, tumult, unctuous, But by the time he had made himself perfectly spirituous, natural ? Yet such is the fact. familiar with his favorite sonnd, behold! We have, in the established orthography, another dictionary appeared, more fashionable
, strange assemblages of words; but this is per. more orthodox, than the last; and infinitely plexing error, and rendering confusion still superior to every other in existence. He now more grievously confounded. found it necessary to change a pronunciation It is but justice to take notice of the many which had become habitual, and learn anew and highly valuable philological remarks with the pronunciation of his fathers, or acquire, which Mr. Walker has enriched his dictionary, with no little pains, one totally different from and the judicious rules he has given for deterboth. He informed me that he changed the mining the place of the accent; but I hope sound of the o in. bosom four several times in the pronunciation of the people of the United compliance with the precepts of different or. States will never be regulated by his authority. thoepists : and, at last, after having sailed I shall hereafter take opportunities to point round the world of changes, he found himself out what I conceive to be errors into which he at the place whence he started. From his has fallen, partly from his mistaken notions of nurse he learned to say bosom; from his school- analogy, and partly from his servile deference master, buzzum ; from Sheridan, boozum, to the fashionable corrupters of language in sounding the oo as u in full ; from Walker, the city of London. boozum, sounding the oo as in too; and, finally, Mr. Webster has displayed more learning a profound critic convinced him the first pro- and ingenuity in his works than any other nunciation was the best.
American philologist; but he appears resoOne great objection to most of our pronoun. lutely determined to maintain all the New
England peculiarities of speech. We might Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico permit him to say danger,stranger, angel, &c. Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit, because in these he is favored by analogy ;
Callidus excusso populum suspendere naso. but we can never allow the true pronunciation —but here the titlepage appears as a rod susof propitiate, annunciate, associate, officiate, &c. pended in terrorem, not to deter us from evil, to be propishate, annunshate,assoshate, offishate, but to frighten us from reading the book. The &c. "These words may, for any thing I know author is too generous to attack us unawares : to the contrary, be shortened in this manner he wears hay on his horn. Keep at a distance, by that gentleman's friends in Connecticut; ye timorous! as for me, I will venture to apbut I have never heard them so pronounced by proach him; •and if I perish, I perish.'' any well educated American. I have always We read several minutes very attentively, supposed that in the words, christian, bastion, and then continued our observations. “The mixtion, fustian, &c. the i had exactly the danger was rather imaginary than real. The sound of y; but Mr. Webster informs us that author might have been as modest as Horace, these words are to be pronounced, chrischun, and given his satires the name of sermones. baschun, mixchun, fuschun, &c.
I have not had an opportunity of paying Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu ? much attention to this author's dictionary; But here are notes ! Ah, these will point out but I am confident that his spelling book,which the latent beauties of the work ; these will has a very extensive circulation, has contribu- elucidate what is obscure, and explain the ted greatly to viciate the pronunciation of the mysterious allusions of the author.-But why youth in the United Stutes. It is much to be should a poem that was published yesterday regretted that he is so tenacious of his errors, be burtbened to day with explanatory notes ? as otherwise we might culculate on his labors In perusing the works of the ancients we may being very beneficial to his country.
sumetimes derive advantage from the labors of
the scholiast; but the manners and customs of Satire.
the world have not, since this work made its
appearance, undergone any changes of conseDoes there not appear to be some impropri. quence. Why then should our attention be ety in the conduct of an author who informs diverted from the poem itself to the lucubra. us, in the titlepage of his book, that he has tions of a commentator ? Any one who is dewritten a satirical poem? Would he nnt act sirous of displaying his erudition in this way more judiciously by selecting some plain and has nothing else to do thun publish a new edi. inoffensive title and allowing his satire to be tion of Shakspeare enriched with additional discovered by the reader? The word satire annotations. It is true, that it will not be easy in English conveys a very different idea from to find any word of the original to which he the satira of the Romans: which was merely may append observations of his own; but this the name of a miscellaneous composition in should not operate as a discouragement on the verse. When an author boldly and dexterously mind of the commentator: for it inust be a con. lashes the vices of the world, he is accounted a solatory reflection to him, that there may be satirist; when he uses ingenious ridicule as such a thing as a note on a note, a wheel within the means of making men ashamed of their a wheel; and that five hundred notes may yet follies, he is said to be satirical ; when in a be written concerning old Vice with his dagger strain of delicate irony he laughs at the errors of lath. of his species, the productions of his pen are But these notes (may I believe it?) were justly denominated satires;--but we can hardly written by the author of the poem! Lame suppose that verses, merely because they are poetry indeed, that must hobble on crutches of ill natured, merely because they declare war prose! Has it not been an axiom as old as against the vices and follies of men, are enti- criticism itself that a poem should be comtled to the appellation of satire.
plete ? that it should have a beginning a mid" What is this you appear to have been dle and an end ? that there should be nothing reading ? A satirical poem. Well I must deficient or redundant? give it a perusal. Doubtless I shall find a The notes may be learned, ingenious, progreat display of imagination and genius, since found; so but this was no place for these the writer was so confident of the merit and things.” Every poem, we are told, should pungency of his remarks as to think them be worthy of the epithet satirical. Yes: every
- simplex duntaxat et ungm. line will sparkle with the scintillations of wit, No man should make allusions in a poem, and every sentence be pointed with the sting which cannot be understood without explana. of an epigram. However, it seems a little sin- tory notes; or write verses which he finds it gular for an author to have a label in his fore- 'necessary to piece out with patches of prose. head with this inscription " I am a fellow of Must not a poem be very imperfect which infinite jest, of most excellent fancy :" he stands in need of the scholia of the author, beshould leave that, methinks, to be said by fore it makes its appearance in the world? another. What was the character which a Was he afraid that we would not feel the Roman satirist gave of his predecessor ? weight of his poetical remarks, and has there.