Abbildungen der Seite

in 1792, that upon Sunday morning, it was the conftant practice to make a double portion of porridge, one half of which was fet by for the fupper meal, and, to keep warm during fo long a fpace, was put within fide of a bed, and carefully covered up with the clothes; and this was for the general accommodation of the three brothers, who each went to a feparate religious meeting. houfe, and the female domestic to a fourth; fo that, when any one of the family came home, they might find immédiate accommodation, by the meat already dreffed.

These three brothers were men of landed property, had little fociety with mankind, and lived chiefly upon the produce of their own land: they very much depreciated the custom of felling butter, to accommodate folks who indulged in tea, an article which probably none of the three brothers ever tasted. "I wish the buttér may run through

the bottom of their baskets," was their
ufual expreffion. They brewed their
own ale, and were proud to bring a cup
to cheer the heart of a friend, and to
hear their ale praised. Spiritous liquors
were unknown in their manfion. A
couple of fwine, fed and flaughtered by
themselves, fupplied the family the whole
year with flesh-meat, except occasional-
ly fome neighbour might kill a beast for
fale. Conftant attenders upon divine
fervice, they brought home the texts of
the different preachers, and the news of
the foregoing week. The eldest brother
would take an excurfion, generally to
the fair at Manchester, held upon Whit-
Monday. He fauntered through the
market for cattle, looked through the
ftands erected for the difplay of toys for
fale, purchased a pennyworth of ginger-
bread, and regaled himself with a pint
of ale, then returned home, and related
the adventures of the day.
From Reports laid before the Board of


IT was written during the fiege of Newcastle by the Scots, in the reign of Charles I. Taken from the original in the poffeffion of the Riddle family.

SIR THAMAS, BETWEEN me and Gad it maks my heart bleed bleud to fee fic wark gae thro fae trim a gairden as yours. I hae been twa times we my cufin the general, and fae fall I fax times mare afore the wark gae that gate. But (a) gine awe this be dune, Sir Thamas, ye maun mak the twanty punds thretty, and I maun hae the tagg'd tail trooper that ftans in the ftaw (b), and the wee trim gaeing thing (c) that ftans in the newk (d) of the hawe (e), chirping and chirming at the newn tide o' the day, and forty bows (ƒ) of bier to faw (g) the mons with awe.

And as I am a chevalier of fortin, and a lim of the houfe of Rothes, as the muckle (b) main kift in Edinburgh auld

[blocks in formation]

kirk can weel witnefs, for thefe aught hundred years and mair bygaine, nought fhall fkaith (i) your house within or without, to the validome of a twapenny checkin.

I am your humble servant,
Major-general and captain over saxscore
and twa men, and fome mare, crown-
er of Cumberland, Northumberland,
Marryland and Niddifdale, the Merce,
Tiviotdale and Fife, bailie of Kirka-
die, governor of Brunt Eland and the
Bafs, laird of Liberton, Tilly, and
Whooley, filler-tacker of Sterling,
conftable of Leith, and Sir John
Lefsly, Knight, to the bute (k) of
awe that.

(g) To ftrike the bargain. (b) The great
cheft of records in Edinburgh old church.
(i) Hurt or damage. (4) Into the bargain.







From an Effay in the Third Volume of the Tranfactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

WORDS that are precifely equivalent, are rarely, if at all, to be met with in any language. Thofe properly called fynonymous, exhibit one leading circumstance in which they all agree, and one or more acceffory circumftances, in which they differ. When the point of their general coincidence, and the grounds of their particular diverfities, are clearly ascertained, it is then in the power of the writer to use them with propriety. By the affiftance of the grammarian, he knows which to adopt and which to reject, and can reconcile embellishment with accuracy and precifion.

The excellence of any language may, in a great measure, be judged of, by the number of fynonymous terms that belong to it. A multiplicity of them, under skilful management, creates no hurtful redundancy. On the contrary, it enables every author of taste to exhibit his thoughts with energy and luftre. For the most delicate variety of fhades in thought, he is furnished with a corresponding variety in expreffion; and the language in which he conveys his idea, becomes a complete picture of the idea itself.

The author of this effay is abundantly fenfible, that though the Latin tongue prefents many claffes of fynonymous terms, yet to catch the circumstance on which their differences reft, is no eafy matter, and may often leave room for diverfity of opinion. After a careful examination of the claffical writers, he fufpects it will be found, that in the glow of compofition, the strict diftinctions between fuch words have not been always attended to, and that the prest writers have, occafionally, deviated from the ftandard which their general practice had established. Still, however, he apprehends, that there is room for a critical and fcientific difcuffion of the VOL. LVIII.

Latin fynonymous terms. As this is a fubject to which, in the line of his profeffion, he was led to give particular attention, and as he confiders it to be of no fmall importance, to those who wifh to difcriminate the flightest violation of purity in the Roman language, he has made a very large collection of its fynonymous words, with remarks upon them. The following fpecimen, of the inftances he has collected, he submits, with much diffidence, to this learned Society :

Rogare, petere, poftulare, pofcere, ftagitare, agree in denoting the expreffion of a defire to obtain fomething not poffeffed, but differ in refpect to the ur gency with which this defire is announced. They are all diftinguished from the verbs cupere, and optare, which, though not equivalent, fuppofe, like them, the exiflence of defire, but not the expreffion of it, with a view to its being fulfilled,

The power of the verb rogare extends no farther than to the fimple intimation of defire. By means of it, a want is fuggefted to the perfon addreffed, of which he was before ignorant, and both he and his petitioner are fuppofed confcious, that compliance with the requeft must be voluntary, and the effect of goodwill. "Moleftum verbum eft, et onerofum, et demiffo vultu dicendum, rogo."- "Malo emere quam rogare."

He who propofed a law in the Roman comitia, and was then faid rogare legem, prefented his requeft refpectfully, and left it to the aflembly to judge as to the expediency of granting it.

Petere differs from rogare, in fuppof ing a certain difficulty in coming at the object defired, and a greater degree of keennefs, upon the part of the petitioner. "Ad te confugimus, a te opem petimus."-"Cum a me peteret et fumme F


contenderet, ut propinquum fuum defenderem."" Id fibi ut donaret, rogare et vehementer petere cœpit." In the last example, the verbs rogare and petere are evidently contrafted. The latter denotes a degree of zeal upon the part of the person who asks, which the former does not.

The definition now given of petere does not correfpond with that given by Servius. "Petere," fays he, "eft cum aliquid humiliter, et cum precibus, poftulamus." With all the refpect due to fo great a critic, it may be urged, that this power of petere is not to be difcerned in the verb when taken by itfelf, though it may be expreffed by 'words with which it is occafionally accompanied. Thus Cæfar, De Bello Gallico, fays, "Suppliciterque locuti, flentes pacem petiffent."" Pueri mulierefque, paffis manibus, pacem ab Romanis petierunt." Nothing in either of those instances serves to prove, that the keennefs of the petitioner, which marks the verb, may not exift, independently of the manner in which the request is prefented. The manner is, in fact, expreffed by thofe terms that happen to be adjuncts to the verb.

Petere, from the Greek verb Tetw, ferri, volare, fhews its native force in fuch derivatives as impetus and præpes. It feems to have originally expreffed an effort to come at objects not within reach, and to have been transferred from material objects to intellectual conceptions. Its primitive power appears in fuch inftances as the two following: "Sciebam Catilinam non latus aut ventrem, fed caput et collum petere folere." "Malo me Galatea petit, lafciva puella."

The power of petere, thus limited, appears to have been afterwards extended, fo as to exprefs a defire, accompanied with an effort to obtain any object whatever; and thus the original idea of bodily exertion, was loft in that of the eagerness of any purfuit. Candidates for offices at Rome were faid petere magiftratus; and from a fenfe of the value, as well as of the difficulty of

obtaining the object, they were keen in the purfuit of it.

From a paffage in Horace, it fhould feem, that any means for the acquifition of an object, that are lefs than coercive, may be expreffed by the verb petere.

-Cæfar, qui cogere poffet,

Si peteret per amicitiam patris atque fuam,


Quidquam proficerct,

Nothing more is fuggefted here by petere, than Cæfar's keennefs to hear this musician perform. It were abfurd to fuppofe, that the Emperor, who poffeffed the power of compulfion, would ever ftoop to beg the favour, according to Servius, "humiliter et cum precibus."

Poftulare differs from petere, in as far as it fuggefts neither keennefs nor difficulty in the acquifition of the object. Belides the fentiment of defire, which is common to all the five verbs compared, the idea of claim, which is manifeftly not inherent in either of the two former, is effential to poftulare. Upon a proper limitation of this claim, however, a due apprehenfion of the power of the verb depends.

The diftinctive character of poflulare, feems to reft on the acknowledged reasonableness of that which is demanded. "Geometræ folent non omnia docere, fed poftulare ut quædam fibi concedantur, quo facilius quæ velint explicent." When geometers require. any conceffion of thofe they are about to inftruct, they appeal to their reafon, and tacitly bind themfelves to allow the validity of that which they require. The axiom again, which is an undeniable principle, carrying with itfelf its own proof, is not to be confounded with the poftulate or entreated maxim. Other philofophers, as well as mathematicians, establish poftulates, though often in terms lefs definite, and, of course, more readily mistaken. “M. Dafne igitur hoc, Pomponi, deorum immortalium vi, natura, ratione, naturam cam regi ? A. Do fane fi poftulas."

Cicero ules the expreffion," Impu


[ocr errors]

denter rogare, impudentiffime poftulare," and thus intimates, that the indecency which was culpable in the bare fuggeftion of a defire, as implied in the former verb, rofe in a fuperlative degree, when to this was fuperadded the idea of a claim, as implied in the latter.

It appears from Quintus Curtius, that the infolence of Darius, after a fevere defeat, provoked Alexander. He not only took to himfelf the appellation of king, without giving it to his conqueror, but prefented his requefts in terms that became not his fituation. The hiftorian of Alexander accordingly fays," Poftulabat autem magis quam petebat."

Pofcere agrees with poftulare, in fuppofing, that the petitioner has a claim to have his request granted; but it befides denotes, that he himself is entitled to judge as to the validity of that claim, without regard to the opinion of the perfon requested, or to the acknowledged equity of the demand. Thus Cicero, fays, "Nemo tam audax qui pofceret, nemo tam impudens qui poftularet." The pointed oppofition made here, by the orator, between the two verbs, fhews clearly the meaning affixed by him to each. Impudence, he tells us in the last claufe, or a contempt for the opinion of the world, who would judge as to the propriety of the demand, is all that would be needful for enabling the petitioner to prefent it in the form denoted by poftulare. With regard to pofcere, however, the cafe is different.

A fentiment of courage is fuppofed needful, when a petition,' implying the violation of fome private right, was to be prefented. A matter of favour would, with an unbecoming boldness, have been held forth as a matter of right, fo that the perfon requested might reject the petition, as being an infult to himself.

The definition given by Varro, of pofcere, feems perfectly juft, except only in as far as a compound is prepofteroufly taken to ftate the power of the verb itself. "Pofcere," fays he, "est quoties aliquid pro merito noftro depofcimus." Had the critic taken the trouble, previously, to define "depofcere," we should have been at no lofs to understand his account of the fimple verb. His definition appears to be, in other refpects, complete, as he fuppofes the petitioner poffeffed of the power of meafuring the extent of what he ftyles," meritum."

The different ufes of the verb pofcere, may be all reconciled with the definition now given, when it is applied to the intercourfe that takes place between man and man. In its application, however, to thofe petitions that were presented by the ancients to their gods, its power becomes more myfterious. The idea of right is not eafily reconciled with that of fupplication; fo that, according to the definition given of the verb, thofe who were faid pofcere deos veniam, might well be accufed of profaneness.

(To be concluded in our next.)



CEYLON, one of the most delightful lands in the Indian Ocean, is fituated between 79 and 82° of eaft longitude, and 6 and 10° of north latitude. Its northern extremity, Point Pedro, is feparated from Point Calymere, on the continent of India, by a ftrait called Palk's Paffage, which is not more than fifteen leagues acrofs. It is about 250 miles in length from north to fouth, and near 100 broad from east to west.

This fine ifland is faid, by fome, to

bè the Taprobane of the ancients, mentioned by Strabo and Ovid; and by others it has been fuppofed to be the Ophir of Holy Writ. Thus Dyer: Ceylon's gray peaks, from whose volcanos


Dark smoke and ruddy flame, and glaring


Blue cliffs afcend, and aromatic groves,
Darting in air aloft; around whose feet
In various profpect; Ceylon alfo deem'd
The ancient Ophir.

F 2

Ceylon was discovered, in the year 1506, by the Portuguese, who, when they landed here, found it a very populous ifland, inhabited by two diftin&t nations, widely differing from each other in their manners, government, and religion. The northern part is now thinly inhabited by a nation called the Bedas or Weddas, and is much less fertile than the country fouthward, which is poffeffed by a numerous and powerful people called the Cinglaffes. In the middle part of the island is the kingdom of Candy, whofe late capital is of the fame name, and whofe fovereign has abfolute power over the lives and properties of his fubjects.

In 1602, Ceylon began to be vifited by the Dutch, who, encouraged and affifted by the natives, fucceffively feized all the forts poffeffed by the Portuguese, whom they expelled from the island in 1657, by the reduction of Colombo, the handsomest and strongest town of Ceylon, on the weft fide of which it is fituated. In 1672, the French attempted to fet tle on this ifland, and the king of Candy, defirous of employing them against the Dutch, as he had formerly employed the Dutch against the Portuguefe, ceded to them by treaty the part of Gottiar, fituate at the bottom of the bay of Trincomale, on the eaft of the island; but the enterprise failing, the Dutch remained fole mafters of the coaft, and of the cinnamon trade: they were ftill, however, on bad terms with the natives, who continually reproached them with their knavery, and would place no confidence in them. The Dutch, on their fide, were inceffantly bent on oppreffing and enflaving the natives. At laft, in 1761, their repeated cruelties caufed the natives to rife, a great flaughter of the Dutch enfued; and most of their plantations were destroyed. The latter, how ever, have fince regained the afcendency, and a war, which had proved equally destructive on both fides, was terminated, in 1766, by a formal peace, from which great advantages were derived by the Dutch colonifts. Their fovereignty over the districts of the island in their

poffeffion was acknowledged by the king of Candy, who had before recognized them only by the title of "Guardians of his Coast." The Dutch commiffaries, moreover, were authorized to extend their trade to all parts of the ifland, without reftriction; and it was ftipulated, that the natives fhould carry on no foreign commerce with any other nation. In return for all these effential advantages, the Dutch agreed to pay annually to the king the value of the produce of the ceded coafts, and to fupply the Cinglaffes, gratis, with a quantity of falt fufficient for their own confumption. The famous M. de Bougainville, who visited Ceylon in 1768, has ftated thefe particulars; and from him Abbe Raynal has derived his information.

The monfoons and feafons are the fame in Ceylon as on the adjacent continent; for the rains begin to fall much fooner on the coaft of Malabar than on that of Coromandel; which probably proceeds from the fame caufe, Ceylon, as well as the great peninfula of Hindostan, being divided by exceedingly high mountains. The northern part of the ifland is fubject to great droughts, of very long continuance; an affliction, which is the more fenfibly felt, as there are fcarce any rivers or springs in that part of the inland, and the inhabitants are obliged to be fupplied with water, as well as food, from the fouth.-There are, however, feveral rivers on the island which fall down from the mountains, but are generally fo rapid and full of rocks, as not to be navigable. The largeft is that of Mavillagonga, which has its fource in a mountain called Adam's Peak, and, running north-eaft, falls into the Indian Ocean.

The country, for the most part, is covered with fragrant woods and groves; and between the mountains are little fertile vallies watered by fine fprings. In the fouthern part, about twenty leagues from the fea, is a vaft plain, in the middle of which is the abovementioned mountain, covered with a fine turf. It rifes a rugged rock, of a pyra



« ZurückWeiter »