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which has been before the public upwards of forty years, and this statement is "accompanied by illustrations and proofs." But while Professor Richardson thus disclaims all originality of investigation in regard to the fundamental questions which pertain to this subject, the Plea as such, the general considerations by which scholars and teachers are urged to adopt the results of the labors of others, would naturally be his own. Nor is there anything to the contrary said by the author of the Plea. There is no reference, that we can find, to a valuable and interesting article on this subject, which appeared in the year 1849, in the sixty-eighth volume of the North American Review, pp. 436-465; and yet the Plea contains substantially, page after page of this article, only varied a little in its phraseology, which, for want of reference or quotation-marks, the casual reader would have attributed to the mind and pen of Professor Richardson himself. We give our readers a specimen from the Plea and the Review in parallel columns, and we think that they will be struck both with the discrepancies and with the agreements of the phraseology of the two books.
Thus on page 11, Professor Richardson says:
"Although the English is now the most irregular and confused of all the alphabets of Europe, yet no modern tongue entered upon its career as a written language, with better prospects of securing a harmonious system of orthoëpy than the Anglo-Saxon. this language the Roman alphabet was very skillfully adapted. All the sounds which the two languages had in common were represented by characters taken from the Roman alphabet, while those which were wanting in the Latin were indicated by characters newly invented or borrowed from other alphabets.... The unequaled irregularities of English orthoëpy are attributable not to the lack of sagacity and good judgment on the part of our AngloSaxon ancestors, but to the undue influ
And the N. A. Review, p. 436:
"The English alphabet is the most confused and disordered of all. Yet no modern tongue began its career as a written language under better auspices than the Anglo-Saxon. The Roman alphabet was adapted to this language with excellent judgment. The characters of this alphabet were employed to denote the sounds, which the two languages had in common; while to represent those which were wanting in the Latin, characters were invented or were borrowed from other alphabets. The disorder which prevails in the notation of our language is not to be attributed to our Anglo-Saxon ancestors. It is to be ascribed chiefly to the Norman ascendancy in England and to the influence which the superior civilization of the French gave them over the higher
ence of the Norman conquerors of England over its language as well as over its laws and customs."
Again, on page 13:
"At this period of English history very great attention was paid to the study of the Latin. The elementary works employed in the schools abound in warnings, not only against grave errors of pronunciation, but also against minor faults of articulation.
Philology, it its true, was not then understood or cultivated as a science and no special value was set on the importance of preserving the sounds of the language unchanged; but the superiority of euphony to cacophany, of harmony to discord, was fully appreciated, and thus on principles of good taste, though not of philological science, the scholars of that and of the two succeeding centuries sought to preserve unimpaired the purity and beauty of Latin orthoëpy. The most distinguished men of those times took a lively interest in the preservation of this system. In a letter addressed by Cardinal Wolsey to the masters of his school at Ipswich, he exhorts the teachers to give great diligence," &c.
"In like manner, the learned men of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries endeavored to maintain the pure sounds of the language, and remonstrated against the growing corruption of Latin pronunciation, urging, among other considerations, that unless this process of deterioration was arrested, the language would no longer serve as a medium of oral communication between English and continental scholars. Prominent among those who thus censured the increasing barbarity of the
"These citations are from Lily's Grammar, first published in the reign of Henry the Eighth, a period when the study of Latin was highly cultivated in England. Great attention was at that time paid to the pronunciation of this language. In the elementary works, not only is the pupil warned against palpable errors of the kind above referred to, but slight faults of enunciation are pointed out. . . . Philology, as a science, had not then even an existence, and the importance of preserving the sound of root letters was a thing unknown. But the value of pure and harmonious sounds was fully appreciated; and, in all that regarded the euphony of the Latin language, the scholars of that day were careful guardians of its purity. The most eminent men of that time did not disdain to interest themselves in its preservation. We have proof of this in a letter addressed by Cardinal Wolsey to the masters of his school at Ipswich, in which he exhorts the teachers to use great diligence," &c.
"We find scattered through the writ ings of men of letters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, complaints of the deterioration of the pronunciation of Latin, and the inconveniences resulting from it, this language no longer serving as a medium of oral communication between English scholars and those of the continent of Europe.
"From among those who have cen
English mode of pronouncing Latin, stands the majestic and classical Milton."
sured the barbarous pronunciation of Latin among their countrymen, and have desired to reform it, we cannot select a higher authority than that of Milton."
We will not continue these extracts, although pages more might be added, which exhibit similar resemblances of thought and language. With regard to this mode of appropriating this Article of the Review, it must be true, either that Professor Richardson undesignedly omitted to give due credit to the learned authoress whose thoughts he uses, or he was willing to have it supposed they were his own. If he admits the latter, he admits an impropriety, for which he would probably discipline the pupils of his University, if they were detected in it. If he claims the former, and urges that it was an oversight, then we say, that a scholar who proposes to the whole world of classical men so great a reform as his book aims at, weakens the force of his plea, if he shows that his own mind is barren of such general considerations of the subject as form the proper substance of his part of the argument.
But the merits of Latin pronunciation do not depend on these questions. They may, it is true, diminish the scholarly authority of the individual who proposes a reform, or they may not. But the proposal itself must stand on its own merits.
Professor Richardson sets forth the following scheme of the vowel sounds:
"A like the English ah, as in dă-bam.
The diphthongs he gives as follows:
"Æ (=AI) like ay, the English adv. of affirmation.
AU like ow in English now.
(01) like oi in English Stoic, or,
oe in English co-equal, if pronounced rapidly, the former as a monosyllable, the latter as a dissyllable. It is nearly, but not quite, equivalent to oi in the English coil." The only consonants, he says, respecting which there is any difference of opinion, are c, g, qu, j, s, and t. He therefore discusses no other. To c he would give invariably the sound of k, to g the hard sound, as in the English get, to qu the sound of k, to j the sound of the English y, thus jam=yam, to 8 always the sound it has in the English sin, and to t invariably the simple t sound, as in the English to. The degree of change which this scheme would make in the ordinary pronunciation of Latin, will be partially illustrated by presenting some familiar sentence in a form which will give the sounds which the scheme requires. And we do it not by any means for the sake of ridicule, for we believe that it comes nearer to the ancient pronunciation than our own, but only to exhibit the greatness of the change. We will take the first sentence of the
Oratio M. T. Ciceronis pro A. L. Archia.
Si quid est in me ingenii, judices, quod sentio quam sit exiguum, aut si qua exercitatio dicendi, in qua me non infitior mediocriter esse versatum, aut si hujusce rei ratio aliqua, &c.
These words are to be pronounced as they are given below, ah representing the sound of a in father, and a simply the sound of a in maker, the sound being prolonged or shortened, in time only, according to quantity. The other sounds will be obvious. We omit the indications of accent and quantity.
Orahteeo M. T. Keekaronees pro Oulo Leekeeneeo Arkeeah. See keed ast een ma eenganeeee, yoodeekas, kod (o as in note) santeco kahm seet axeegoooom, out see kah axarkeetahteeo deekandee, een kah ma non (o as in tone) eenfeeteeor madeeokreetar varsahtoom, out see, hooyooska race rahteeo ahleekah, &c.
It is manifest from this example that a great change is proposed, it may almost be called an entire change of the language as uttered by the living voice,—a change so great that a scholar accustomed only to the ordinary English method of pronoun
cing Latin would probably not recognize the language at all. Nor would a German, or French, or Italian scholar fare much better. In practice it is a new language under the sun; for, except Rochester University and a few schools perhaps which have been convinced by Professor Richardson's Plea, no Institutions on earth, high or low, so far as we know, have adopted this restored "true system of Latin Pronunciation."
And ought we not to consider long and thoroughly, and be sure that this restored system is the true system, well-founded in all its parts, before we adopt it? We think so; and not only because of the great confusion which it would at first occasion among students of Latin, but because it involves, as we think, a gradual revolution in the pronunciation of our own language. For, to speak first of Latin words which we have adopted, how long will Cicero maintain his place in English pronunciation after the rod shall have banished him from the lips of all Anglo-Saxon boys and girls who thumb the little Latin histories of the men of Rome, and shall have substituted the classical Keekaro in his place? How long will Casar stand against Kaisar, Scipio against Skeepeeo, Fabricius against Fahbreekeeoos, Cyrus against Keeroos, Tacitus against Takeetoos, and so on through a long list of proper names which make a familiar part of our English language? We have also quite a group of Latin phrases domesticated in our language, which will have to be transformed. Prima facie evidence will become preemah fahkeea evidence, the quid pro quo, keed pro ko; the genius loci, a ganeeoos lokee; the mens conscia, a mans conskeeah, (o as in cone); scilicet, skeeleekat; vice versa, veeka varsah; et cetera, et katarah. Observe also the changes that must be made in the following every-day expressions:-Anglice, viva voce, per centum, ex officio, concio, ecce homo, ne quid nimis, principia, quantum sufficit, &c.
But all these proper names and Latin phrases are very few, when compared with the English words which preserve in their composition one or more whole syllables taken from the Latin. Can such words long retain their present pronunciation against the united, though perhaps unconscious and involuntary inclination of all the educated men who speak Eng