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lish. For we think it must be the tendency of those who become familiar with the proposed pronunciation of Latin, to extend it to English words which are nearly identical in form, with Latin words, and are identical with them in meaning; and the more familiar such persons are with the former, the more inclined will they be to the latter. The word necessity, for instance, must follow the lead of necessitas, (nakasseetahs); civil, civilis, (keeveelees); lucid, lucidus, (lookeedoos); invincible, invincibilis, (eenveenkeebeelees); conscious, conscius, (conskeeoos), and so on through words innumerable.
It may indeed be questioned, by those who are urgent for this reform in Latin pronunciation, whether any such revolutionary results will follow in English the general adoption of their theory and practice in Latin; but is it not one of their own assertions, that nearly, if not substantially, the same result has followed once from the contact of these two languages? Do they not assert that the English language has had the power to warp the Latin far away from all correctness of pronunciation ?-"that a substantially correct Latin pronunciation maintained its ground until a comparatively recent period"?-that its corruption was a process, a process completed about the middle of the last century? Nor does it help the matter any to charge this corruption on the invading Normans. On the contrary, it rather confirms our view, inasmuch as the Normans had a larger Latin element in their language, that very element which, if Professor Richardson's practice is universally adopted, must, we think, either corrupt a second time the pronunciation which he would restore, as the power of a living tongue must lead us to expect, or be in turn corrupted by it, somewhat after the manner indicated above.
We do not, indeed, agree with the statement just referred to, respecting the classical pronunciation of our ancestors two centuries ago; we do not, by any means, think that they at that time pronounced according to the method advocated by Professor Richardson. But that makes no material difference. The Latin language was doubtless spoken once with commendable correctness on the Island of Britain. In the first century of
the Christian era, that most rare and sagacious governor, Agricola, prevailed over the prejudices of the inhabitants against things Roman, so that those who just before declined the Latin tongue altogether, became earnestly desirous of attaining to eloquence in the use of it.* Introduced at that age, and by the earnest efforts of a man of this proconsul's education, we must believe that it was spoken with as pure a pronunciation then as it ever will be again on the same island. For Tacitus tells us in the same connection, that Agricola set the natural endowments of the Britons above the enthusiasm of the Gauls in learning the arts of civilization.
But whatever may have been the period when the Britons learned the Latin language from Roman masters, we know that they had long ago lost the correct pronunciation of it. And if they lost it after the Norman Conquest, is it probable that any influence of learned men will suffice to withstand similar linguistic influences in one of the two directions indicated above? The laws which govern linguistic changes are too subtle to be controlled by any human efforts which are likely ever to be concerted. How often has a low, despised, condemned word, originating nobody knows where, nor how, struggled up in spite of unanimous critics, to an honorable and permanent place in our living language! And how futile, on the other hand, are the efforts of the learned to save an obsolescent word from death! So if a new power, such as this "restored" pronunciation would be, should be set up at the very right hand of the English language-at variance with it, and yet connected with it by countless ties-the result would, we believe, but give us a new illustration of the influence of these subtle laws.
We have, perhaps, dwelt upon this thought too long. But our readers will see its bearing. We have illustrated the greatness of the change which the restored pronunciation would bring upon the Latin language, and have spoken of the probable effect of its successful restoration in practice upon our mother tongue, in order to show the important nature of the proposed reformation. But it is not our de
*Tac. Agric., 21.
sign to urge these considerations as reasons for turning altogether a deaf ear to Professor Richardson's plea. We only wish that all the bearings of the subject be well considered before it is decided to make the proposed change.
Professor Richardson urges his plea on the ground that every question respecting the right pronunciation of Latin words has been settled, and that all that is wanting is the courage to put well-proved theory into practice. Not only is the theory in all its details proved, in his estimation, by external evidence, and reasoning from admitted truths and facts, but also by internal evidence, so conclusive as to have almost rendered the great labors of Schneider himself a work of supererogation, "its beautiful consistency and completeness once clearly apprehended, carry with them so much of the force of an internal demonstration as to need comparatively little corroboration from outward and incidental proofs."
If this were all beyond question, it would have very great weight, and would make the proposition presented to classical men one of great comparative simplicity. But here we are compelled to disagree with Professor Richardson. We deny that, in the minds of those who have "investigated the subject," these questions are settled according to the theories of the "restored pronunciation." And without referring to the differences of opinion among those who would pronounce according to quantity, already alluded to, or to the difficulty in the way of discovering the true quantity of many Latin syllables, which are by no means unimportant points, we go to questions which are fundamental, and deny the alleged agreement concerning the sounds of the letters. Now it is plain that there must be agreement here, if anywhere; for if scholars disagree respecting the sound to be given to a single one of the twentyone letters of the Ciceronian alphabet, standing by itself, that disagreement is, of course, liable to appear in a large part of all the syllables of the language. And if the leading men in the classical world are not agreed and well settled in their opinion on such elementary points, it is idle to expect any unanimity among educated men, in returning to "the true system of Roman pronunciation."
At this point we beg leave to introduce the work of Pro
fessor Corssen of Pforta, the title of which is given at the head of our Article. It is the most important work on the pronunciation of the Latin language which has appeared since Schneider published his Elementarlehre, in 1819. It was called out by the offer, from the Berlin Academy of Sciences, of a prize of honor for the best investigation and discussion of this general subject. The prize was offered in July, 1854. The essay was finished early in 1857, and, after a delay of several months, the Academy, one of the most eminent learned societies in the world, as our readers are well aware, assigned the offered prize to its author. The subject proposed by the Academy is thus set forth:
"After the author has discussed more or less fully, at his discretion, the ancient pronunciation of the vowels and consonants, and their combinations, and the subject of Roman accent, he shall inquire what peculiarities of pronunciation have occurred,-especially what contractions and abbreviations in certain wordforms, and in particular words, either in general or in the language of common life, and particularly in the language of the lower ranks of the common people. He shall bring to his aid Etymology, the testimony of the ancients themselves, the various modes of writing in inscriptions and manuscripts, the forms which Latin words took in passing into the Greek, the Old-Italian dialects and the modern languages of Latin descent, and, finally, the Old-Roman poetry particularly, and, of this, more especially the comedy. Accent and quantity are also to be considered. And inasmuch as the final decision respecting pronunciation depends in part on the usage of the poets, and may vary greatly according to the different metrical theories which may be adopted as the basis, and as, on the other hand, the judgment respecting metrical laws varies in many cases on presupposing a different theory of pronunciation, he must therefore investigate the metrical system which is the basis of the Old-Roman poetry, and he must in particular discuss the question whether accent had any influence on the Old-Roman versification, and, if so, how much.
"Finally, the conclusions derived from the whole investigation are to be set forth for the philological and critical handling of the Old-Roman poetry. A comprehensive and very systematic arrangement of the whole subject-matter is expected."
The very terms used by this learned Society in proposing their subject are interesting and instructive. One thing at least is apparent,-that the most eminent association of learned men in Germany did not consider the subject of Latin pronunciation entirely settled in the year 1854, and that they, three years later, awarded a prize to Professor Corssen for the
new light he had shed upon it by his thorough and able investigations and discussions.
The testimony of the Academy to the value of his work is sufficient to give it authority, nor do we believe that any one who carefully follows him through the whole or any of the subdivisions of his treatise, will fail to gain instruction from it.
He divides his work into three parts, suggested by the program of the Academy;-first, the pronunciation of Latin; second, the Roman system of accent; third, the principles of Old-Roman versification.
For our present discussion we have occasion to refer only to the first of these divisions of Professor Corssen's work. Indeed we need only report the single fact, that the author disagrees with the system advocated by Professor Richardson and others in many important particulars. We will however briefly illustrate.
Professor Richardson says that c has invariably the sound of k. Professor Corssen, on the other hand, shows conclusively, as we think, that e before i, followed by a vowel, was sibilated. Professor Richardson's system admits no doubt whatever respecting the letter d, assigning it the sound which it has in the English do. Professor Corssen says that it is evident that the Roman ear and the Roman tongue did not clearly distinguish final d from final t, and that at a later period it was sibilated before followed by a vowel. Professor Richardson assigns to t invariably the sound which it has in the English to. Professor Corssen maintains that, like e and d, it is sibilated beforei followed by a vowel. Professor Richardson says that "there is not the slightest doubt that in the classical times QU represents the simple guttural or K sound." Professor Corssen, on the other hand, concludes a thorough discussion of QU, by saying that the u is neither a full vowel nor a consonant, but a vowel-labial after-sound (nachklang) which before a and o sounded like an indistinct (stumm) u, before ae, e and i like an indistinct v, and before u vanished into a simple u. Professor Richardson says that "s is always a sharp sibilant and is sounded as in the English sin." Professor Corssen says, that while initial s, both before vowels and consonants, has the sharp sibilant sound, it had a softer sound in the middle of a