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THE present work was originally composed for the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, a publication which was designed to have been produced under the editorial care of the late Samuel Taylor Coleridge. That accomplished scholar, distinguished poet, and profound metaphysician, was unfortunately prevented by ill health, and other adverse circumstances, from carrying the intended editorship into effect. He, however, not only devised the comprehensive plan which was described in the Prospectus of the Encyclopædia, but furnished the original materials for a general introduction, which his friend, my uncle, Sir John Stoddart, undertook, at the desire of the proprietors, to arrange for publication, in the form in which it eventually appeared.

My uncle was led, from this circumstance, to draw up an article on Grammar, which, though hastily executed, in the intervals of a laborious profession, was deemed by Mr. Coleridge not unworthy to occupy a place in the Encyclopædia. The subject was one which had attracted the author's attention at a very early period. He was educated at the school in the Close of Salisbury, an institution attached to the Cathedral, and of which a Minor Canon, Dr. Skinner, was Master, and the Rev. E. Coleridge (an elder brother of the poet), Under Master. Grammar was then taught on the ancient plan of the once

famous WILLIAM LILLY, whose Propria quæ maribus and As in præsenti English boys were, for centuries, compelled to repeat by rote, without the slightest suspicion that they involved anything like a rational principle. Fortunately, however, for my uncle, his godfather, Mr. Benson Earle, was a sound classical scholar, and had been a ward of the celebrated James Harris, the author of Hermes. This book Mr. Earle put into the hands of his godson, then about fourteen years of age, and the young student, on opening it, felt as if his mental eye had been couched, discovering with surprise that the lessons which had appeared to him, of all his scholastic tasks, the driest and most unmeaning, involved many profound speculations of intellectual philosophy. Of course he was not yet in a capacity to judge of the correctness of all Mr. Harris's theories; but he saw enough to convince him that Hermes contained much of that acute investigation, perspicuous explication, and elegance of method for which it had been celebrated by Dr. Lowth. His classical pursuits at Christchurch, Oxford, of which college he was elected a Student, somewhat moderated, though they did not wholly extinguish, his estimation of Mr. Harris's work; and the perusal of Hickes's Thesaurus, in the Bodleian Library, showed him that the northern languages afforded a new field for grammatical research. On his subsequent arrival in London, to follow the study of the law, he found the literary circles of the day much occupied with Mr. Horne Tooke's Diversions of Purley, a work which promised great results from the cultivation of Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, and Old English etymologies. Falling into company with Mr. Porson, he consulted him on its merits. The Professor said, that, on the first appearance of Mr. Tooke's Letter to Dunning, he had been struck with the originality of its views; but though the Diversions of Purley (of which only the first volume had then appeared)

certainly contained some new and curious matter, he did not perceive that it effected much toward the development of the principle set forth in the early pamphlet. This opinion confirmed my uncle in his resolution to investigate the subject for himself. Having chosen the Ecclesiastical and Admiralty Courts for the future scene of his professional exertions, he had some time before him for miscellaneous study; and as he had devoted part of his leisure at Oxford to the Bodleian Library, he employed much more in London among the Anglo-Saxon and Old English manuscripts of the British Museum; until he was called to the Bar in Doctors' Commons, from which period he was for several years too much occupied, first with his professional duties and subsequently with political discussions, to do more towards Philology than add an occasional article to the large mass of notes which he had previously collected. Several of these articles, however, threw no small light on the legal institutions, as well of England as of other countries. For instance, he traced the word cavere from its use in the Twelve Tables, the earliest monument of Roman Legislation, to the Medieval cautio, the Italian cauzione, the Spanish cauçion, the French cautionnement, the Scotch cautioner, the English caveat, and writ cautione admittenda, and numerous other legal terms, ancient and modern, derived from the same source. So he found the vades publicus (a security first given at Rome, as Livy, Book iii. cap. 13, tells us, 460 years before the Christian era) to agree in origin with the Latin vas, vadari, vadimonium; the Medieval vadium-mortuum, gadiator, contragagiamentum; the Italian gaggio, gaggio-morto, ingaggiare; the French gage, gages, engager; the Scotch wad, wadset, wadsetter; the English wed, wedding, wedlock, gage, mortgage, engagement, wages, wager, wager of law, wager of battle, &c. &c. Again, in the Italian subastatore (an auctioneer), he

recognized the Præco, to whose "most bitter voice" (as Cicero says) the goods of the great Pompey were subjected sub hastâ. Many other such investigations kept alive, amidst the more serious occupations of the law, his regard for the study of language; and it was under these circumstances that he was applied to for that treatise on Grammar which appeared in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana. A few years afterwards he was raised to the high station of Chief Justice of Malta; the arduous duties of which office absorbed, for many years, nearly the whole of his time. At length, in 1839, he was relieved from that important charge, and left to close a long life in the otium cum dignitate which he still enjoys.

For the last ten years he has not been an inattentive observer of the very valuable accessions which this branch of literature has received, not only on the Continent but in our own country. Many ages elapsed before Philology ventured beyond the classic circle of the Greek and Roman tongues. The languages of modern Europe were long thought unworthy of the grammarian's attention; and when they were first subjected to rules, it was in the vain endeavour to make them march only in the Greek or Roman step. Some zealous Divines put in a claim for the supremacy of Hebrew, which they essayed to prove was the language of our first parents; but this theory made little impression on the scholastic systems then or since in use. CONRAD GESNER had the merit of first extending philological speculation very far beyond the classical or judaical bounds. In 1555 appeared his Mithridates, a treatise in Latin, "De differentiis linguarum tum veterum tum quæ hodie apud diversas nationes in toto orbe terrarum in usu sunt." His notices of various languages, however, were, as might be expected from the then limited knowledge of the different countries, very slight, and led to little that was con

clusive in point of principle. Nor can anything be more gratifying, in this branch of study, than to observe the vast progress which had been made between the Mithridates of Gesner, in the 16th century, and the Mithridates of Adelung, in the 19th. In the 16th century, too, GOROPIUS BECANUS perceived, though indistinctly, that affinity between the Indian and Teutonic languages, which has, in our day, been so clearly made out by GRIMM, BOPP, SCHLEGEL, EICHHOFF, &c., and recently in our own country by the very learned Dr. BOSWORTH, in his Origin of the English, German, and Scandinavian Languages and Nations.

To these, as well as to the ingenious speculations of Drs. JAMIESON, LATHAM, and PRICHARD, Messrs. JOHNES, WELSFORD, and others, my uncle has paid much attention, and has from time to time availed himself of their learned labours, in correcting and extending his own views, as well of the philosophy as of the history of language. When, therefore, Messrs. Griffin, in the prosecution of their energetic purpose to - reproduce, in an improved shape, both as to matter and form, the Encyclopædia Metropolitana, of which they had become the proprietors, invited my uncle to revise his Treatise on Grammar, desirous of doing full justice to the subject, he resolved not simply on correcting the Treatise as originally printed, and inserting such notes as had since occurred to him, but on entirely reconstructing the work, and dividing the purely Scientific part from the Historical. This, therefore, he did; but as he felt that, at his advanced age, the labour of editing the whole would be more than he could prudently undertake, he devolved that task on me; placing at my disposal all the materials which, in a long course of years, he had ollected, and giving me every facility for the fulfilment of my umble share in the work.

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