Page images
PDF
EPUB

light; hence we cannot be answerable for the numerous contingencies which in some instances may arise, probably to override any doctrine here propounded.

Those desirous of becoming solicitors ought to be endowed with a taste for that profession. It is, however, only proper to observe, that taste is not wholly the gift of nature, nor wholly the effect of art. It depends much on culture, particularly the extent and nature of early education. They ought also to possess acuteness, that is to say, the power of discerning nice distinctions. Energy is also essential, as well as memory; indeed, we are told that

"Memory is the purveyor of Reason.” In fact, there are innumerable legal doctrines that, however legally constructed a mind may be, it is essential that this should be an “inseparable ingredient,” if we may be allowed to use the term. Perhaps no faculty may be more improved or strengthened. Some persons, overlooking the distinction between memory and recollection, are apt to confuse them. Memory retains past ideas without any, or little, effort; recollection implies an effort to recall ideas that are past. There are many ways of improving the memory; but we do not intend to discuss them now. We may perhaps deem it necessary to treat of this subject separately in a future number of this Journal.

It would, of course, be superfluous to remark that a man cannot possess too many abilities. In this instance we regard the word in its double sense-faculties of the mind, and acquired qualifications. Ability must then be of a peculiar nature and applicable to the study or work taken in hand. For instance, when an articled clerk has been in a solicitor's office for at least two or three years, he will be able to decide - from his appreciation of any particular branch of the law and consequent study thereof-whether Conveyancing and Chancery or Common Law will be his forte. It is seldom that a man excels in both. The characteristics of those who conceive a taste for either of these two branches must be well known, so we will offer no remarks on this point.

A solicitor ought to be endowed with an inclination to ferret out points (i. e. not to regard matters collectively), and to be able to do so is as much a gift as an art; for some solicitors have no inclination to thoroughly analyze a case, while there are others - as many barristers will say -- who will work out every conceivable point with amazing ingenuity. Inquisitiveness in a youth, if he possess fair mental qualities, may be regarded as a favourable indication, although such a qualification is by no means to be commended in its rude and uncultivated form.

Allowing for various circumstances of which we have not treated, we believe the following table will bear out our ideas more clearly. Those aspiring to become solicitors ought to be endowed with

1. A taste for that profession.
2. Perseverance.
3. Memory.
4. Energy; and

5. Acuteness. Thus, we have endeavoured, to the best of our ability and in the brief period allowed us after taking our pupils, to answer this most important question. We hope sincerely that no ill-feeling will be created in the minds of some of our readers; and if they should think that our remarks are unfavorably inclined towards them (although we believe that few persons are willing to admit--even to themselves—that they lack a capacity), we may remind them that there may be numerous circumstances in their favor which it is impossible to contemplate when regarding the subject, as we must necessarily, in an abstract manner. We can only hope that every one who desires to become a member of either branch of the law, will think, and think rightly, that he possesses some of those endowments which it has pleased the Creator to bestow on mankind !

TEMPLE, October 24th, 1871.

CHAPTER III.

LECTURES ON LANGUAGE.

The English Language-Part III. It was not our intention to add many particulars to what we have already written on the “ English Language” in previous numbers of this Magazine ; but as we did not anticipate that the preceding chapter would run to such a length, we must be even more brief than we intended.

We deem it expedient to particularize the contents of former chapters on this subject, for the benefit of those who have not perused them; and doubtless it will be useful to some of our younger readers, who we imagine, from experience, cannot always glean the pith of a dissertation or argument, unless it be arranged systematically. Well, in Part I. we noted and gave particulars of the different Germanic invasions of England, and how the dialects of the various tribes, after superseding the British language, became one tongue, viz. Anglo-Saxon. In Part II. we noted and gave examples of Saxon, Latin and Greek prefixes and affixes, and, in addition to other matters, we pointed out that many letters or syllables in words are or were diminutives. Hence it may be seen that we have treated of some of the most prominent features of our language. We take occasion again to urge students—whatever their future aim may be—to pay great attention to the study of the English language.

In our last number we said, that, with the exception of a few additional remarks, we should allow this subject to rest for a while, and this is our present intention ; but how rejoiced shall we be if we are convinced that our weak voice has fully impressed many with the soundness (?) of our remarks.

As we have before stated, the English is a composite language, and it is, therefore, compounded of many elements. We have not thought fit to discuss them, for it would not present any particular interest to students, in whose behalf these humble efforts are made. Believing, however, that the Celtic elements will be more interesting we note them. The Celtic elements of the English language fall into five classes. 1. Those that are of late introduction and cannot be called original and constituent parts of the language, as flannel, crowd, &c. 2. Those that are originally common to both the Celtic and Gothic stocks, as brother, mother, &c., in Celtic brathair, mathair; the numerals, &c. 3. Those that have come to us from the Celtic but through the medium of another language ; as druid and bard, &c. 4. Celtic elements of the Anglo-Norman introduced into England after the Conquest. And 5. Those that have been retained from the original Celtic of the island, and which form genuine constituents of our language. The student should not merely read these remarks but consider them. In order to elucidate them we may add that class 5 falls into three sub-divisions. 1. Proper names-generally of geographical localities

-as the Thames, Kent, &c., &c. 2. Common names in the provincial dialects, as gwethall-household stuff; and gwtanen-flannel in Herefordshire. 3. Common names retained in the current language, as basket, button, crockery, dainty, flaw, welt, wire, mop, rug, solder, &c., &c.

It will be interesting to notice, that of the Latin, introduced under the Christianized Saxon sovereigns, many words are in common use. They relate chiefly to ecclesiastical matters, as portic, a porch ; munuc, a monk ; biceop, a bishop; sanct, a saint; profost, a provost; calic, a chalice; candel, a candle; pistel, an epistle, &c., &c.

Candidates preparing for examinations should not overlook those words of foreign origin that retain their original plural suffixes. They are now, however, undergoing a slight change, being assimilated to our mode of forming the plurals of nouns. We mention a few:-Formula, formule (formulas); focus, foci ; genius, genii (geniuses, but differing in meaning); sarcophagus, sarcophagi; datum, data; speculum, specula; stratum, strata; diæresis, diæreses; oasis, oases; calix (sounded calics), calices; radix (sounded radics), radices; and there are many more which we cannot enumerate here.

Concerning the extent to which the Anglo-Norman was used, we are informed by eminent authorities that “ letters, even of a private nature, were written in Latin till the beginning of the reign of Edward I., soon after 1270, when a sudden change brought in the use of French;" also that “conversation between the members of the universities was ordered to be carried on either in Latin or French;” That “the minutes of the corporation of London, recorded in the town clerk's office, were in French, as well as proceedings in parliament and in the courts of justice ;” and that “in grammar schools boys were made to construe their Latin into French.” We then find that the reigns of Edward II. and Richard II. may be said to form a transition from the Old to the Middle ; those of Mary and Elizabeth from the Middle to the New, Recent or Modern English. It is impossible to mark the exact periods when these changes began to take place.

Our endeavour in compiling this lecture is to kindle in the student's mind an appreciation of the study of such an interesting and important subjecthence our reason for passing from one point to another so rapidly. In some instances it may be seen that we make use of “frequent repetition,”—a system we have discovered to be most efficacious.

CHAPTER IV.

SYNOPSIS OF LEADING AUTHORS, STATESMEN, POETS AND PHILOSOPHERS.

[ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.)

Brunswick Period. SIR ISAAC NEWTON: the most distinguished natural philosopher,

mathematician and astronomer of modern times; was born at Woolsthorpe, in Lincolnshire, on Christmas Day, 1642 A.D. He had the learned Isaac Barrow for his tutor. About the year 1664 he made his discovery of the law of gravitation; but it was not till 1667 that the Newtonian system was first published in his great work, the “ Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.” In 1671 he was chosen fellow of the Royal Society, to which learned body he communicated his theory of light and colors, with an account of a new telescope invented by him. In 1703 he was chosen president of the Royal Society, in which station he continued twenty-five years. In 1704 he published his treatise on “Optics." In 1705 he received the honor of knighthood from Queen Anne. He died March 30th, 1727 A.D. On the 28th his body lay in state in the Jerusalem Chamber, whence it was conveyed to Westminster Abbey, the pall being borne by the lord chancellor, two dukes and three earls. The following is Pope's epitaph on this eminent philosopher :

“ Isaacus Newton bic jacet,
Quem immortalem coeli, natura,

Tempus ostendunt,
Mortalem hoc marmor fatetur."
Nature and all her works lay hid in night;

God said, let Newton be, and all was light.
FRANCIS ATTERBURY: a prelate and preacher of consummate abili-

ties; was born in 1662 A.D. at Milton Keynes, near Newport Pagnell. In 1693 he was made chaplain in ordinary to the king. He was successively made preacher at the Rolls Chapel, a canon of Exeter, dean of Christchurch, bishop of Rochester and dean of Westminster. His high church principles were well known during the reign of

George I. He died 1731 A.D. DANIEL DEFOE: a celebrated political and miscellaneous writer, author

of “Robinson Crusoe;" was born at London in 1663 A.D. For his work, “ The Short Way with the Dissenters,” the drift of which was mistaken by both churchmen and dissenters, he was arrested, set in the pillory and imprisoned. During his imprisonment he wrote “Hymn to the Pillory.” Released in 1704, he began the publication of “ The Review,” which he continued for nine years. His well-known work, “Robinson Crusoe," appeared in 1719, and obtained the popularity which it has never lost. This excellent book had been preceded by the “Family Instructor,” “Religious Courtship," and was followed by “ History of the Plague” and a ”

” host of other works. He wrote several books on ghosts. Died 1731 A.D.

а

"

[ocr errors]

DR. JONATHAN SWIFT: dean of St. Patrick's; a celebrated political,

satirical and miscellaneous writer; was born at Dublin in 1667 A.D. His father died before he was born, and his uncle sent him to the school of Kilkenny and next to Trinity College, Dublin, where, applying himself to history and poetry, to the neglect of academical pursuits, especially mathematics, he was at the end of four years refused the degree of B.A., and even at the end of seven years he was only admitted speciali gratiâ. He published anonymously his humorous “ Tale of a Tub” and the “Battle of the Books.” In 1711 he published a “Proposal for correcting, improving and ascertaining the English Tongue.” About the year 1724 he wrote his admirable « Gulliver's Travels." He sank into absolute idiotcy, and after

three years' mental suffering died in 1745 A.D., aged 77. WILLIAM CONGREVE: an eminent dramatist; was born near Leeds

in 1670 A.D. He entered the Middle Temple, but abandoned the law for literature. In 1687 he wrote a romance entitled “ Incognita, or Love and Duty Reconciled.” In 1693 he wrote his first comedy, “ The Old Bachelor.” He wrote also “ Love for Love,” “ The Double Dealer,” “ The Mourning Bride,” “ The Way of the World,”

an opera, and some poems. Died 1729 A.D. SIR RICHARD STEELE: a celebrated essayist and dramatic writer ;

was born at Dublin in 1671 A.D. He obtained an ensigncy in the Guards, and while in that service wrote “ The Christian Hero." In 1702 he commenced as a dramatic writer in his comedy of “ The Funeral ; or, Grief à-la-Mode.” This was followed by “ The Tender Husband” and “The Lying Lover.” In 1709, under the name of Isaac Bickerstaff, he established “ The Tatler," &c. In 1722 his play of “The Conscious Lovers” was acted with great success.

Died 1729 A.D. HENRY ST. JOHN (VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE): a distinguished states

man and political writer ; was born at Battersea in 1672 A.D. He entered parliament in 1700, became secretary of war in 1704. In 1710 he was created Viscount Bolingbroke. He was the intimate friend of Pope, Swift, and other eminent authors of the time, and his own writings rank amongst the most eloquent and polished in

style in the English language. He died in 1751 A.D. JAMES STANHOPE (EARL): a celebrated statesman and soldier ; was

born in Herefordshire, in 1673 A.D. He distinguished himself by much bravery at the siege of Namur in 1695. He entered parliament in 1702. In 1705 he served as a brigadier-general, under the Earl of Peterborough, at the siege of Barcelona. In 1708 he took port Mahon, and thus reduced Minorca. He contributed to the victories of Almanara and Saragossa. On his return to England he was made secretary of state in 1714, and became prime minister in 1717. He was soon after raised to the peerage as Viscount Stanhope

of Mahon. Died 1721 A.D. CHARLES SPENCER (EARL OF SUNDERLAND): prime minister of

England; was born in 1674 A.D. He was returned to parliament as member for Tiverton in 1695, and succeeded his father in the

« PreviousContinue »