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which are most effectual, and have astonished candidates themselves. There are times when egotism is pardonable, and shall we be exceeding our duty on this occasion by adding that we have been paid high encomiums for our system of tuition?for while candidates are enabled to pass their Examinations very speedily, they retain a useful knowledge of many subjects.
We are not aware of the existence of any Examination precisely the same as this. For instance, we seldom see in an English grammar paper a question requiring a candidate to state the various meanings which may be applied to “but,” “ to,” “as,” “ before,” or to give the derivation of “ eleven,"
“twelve,” “ both,” &c.; and it is impossible, unless a candidate be previously acquainted with the nature of the questions, to answer them satisfactorily. The ordinary books used in schools are of no use to those who are studying for this Examination.
Our object, however, in issuing this Journal is to give candidates some idea as to how they should answer the questions. We do not think it very likely that they could extend them as far as we have done; indeed, we have endeavoured to make them comprehensive. The Examiners, of course, give credit for a partial answer to a question, although candidates are required to answer as much as they can within the time limited each day. It will be seen that we have set forth the questions in the margin in order that they may be more easily compared with the answers, but we must remind intending candidates not to imitate our example at the Examination.
With the view of giving ourselves some status, and that we may be regarded as competent authorities on the subject of the Preliminary Examination for Solicitors, we may remark that our labors on behalf of candidates for the Preliminary Legal and other Examinations have been known and recognized for many years by a very large number of candidates, as well as by those who have purchased our “ Student's Examination Guide," which is published by Messrs. Butterworth.
We cannot conclude our introductory remarks without adding that we issue our first number with some diffidence, for we are aware that the first number of a journal, like the first edition of a book, is of necessity somewhat tentative, but we shall at all times be most happy to give our best consideration to any suggestions which our readers may feel inclined to offer.
IMPERFECTIONS OF THE ORTHOGRAPHY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
It will readily be seen that the orthography of the English language is imperfect - hence the difficulties which arise in forming rules for the correct spelling of many words. A perfect system of orthography requires that there should be a distinct sound for å separate and appropriate symbol, whereas in English there are no less than two and forty sounds for six and and twenty letters. Until recently the defects in our alphabet could not be accounted for, but many eminent authorities are of opinion that there were originally only sixteen symbols or letters, and that the rest were variations of these.
The imperfections of the orthography may be accounted for in this way :—The alphabet is imperfect, and various expedients have been adopted to remedy the imperfections; words have been derived at different times from various sources, and the spelling common to these languages is retained while the mode of pronouncing the words is changed, and also the pronunciation of many words derived from the Anglo-Saxon and old English has been changed while the original spelling is retained. Etymology will greatly assist the student in ascertaining the correct spelling of words derived from foreign languages, and it will also guide him in the proper application of words. We find that the letter c is very frequently written where s is sounded, as in city, but rather than conceal the original derivation of the word, we prefer retaining the inappropriate symbol.
The deficiencies and redundancies of the alphabet are numerous. mention a few. A, for instance, has four sounds, as in rather (open), mat (short), tall (broad) and tame (long). O is short in rod, but long in road.
It is very often necessary to alter the spelling of words which are derived from the same root, to show their different meanings in our language. For examples we mention check and cheque, steak and stake, draft and draught, brake and break. Some words, however, are derived from entirely different roots, as sun and son, hair and hare, mite and might, &c.
Many words which came to us, through various sources, from Latin and Greek, vary their spelling, and although all the forms are correct, it occasions great perplexity. Independent came direct from the Latin, and dependant through the French. Similarly, authorize and civilization are Greek forms of Latin words; but authorise and civilisation are derived from the French. It is a question whether these words ought to be spelt as in the languages whence they are originally derived, or according to our system of spelling. The present tendency is to represent each sound by an appropriate symbol, and this favors the introduction of z instead of s, as in civilization.
This question was asked at the October (1869) Examination: “Give reasons for and against spelling honor, labor and favor with u?” As most words of this kind are derived from the French, there is a reason for retaining the u; but of over three hundred words only forty now retain it, and no doubt the remaining words will conform to this rule.
There are various expedients for remedying the imperfections of the orthography of the English language. The vowel sounds in many words are distinguished by adding an unsounded e to the word; as, măt, māte; not, note. A consonant, when not final, is frequently doubled to shorten the vowel, as in mărry and cărry. Also words ending in a single consonant double it before a suffix; as, excel, excelled; but the two consonants do not represent a double sound. The letter c now takes k with it, as in almanack and wreck.
A great many words exhibit imperfections of orthography:-es and s are frequently written where z is sounded, as in dogs and wolves; ed is written where t is sounded, as in slipped and learned; ti, si and ci, when followed by a vowel, are sounded as sh, as donation, fusion and pronunciation. These words exhibit greater defects, comb, sign, lamb, mnemonics, philosophy (sound of f), nephew (sound of v), wring, isle, pleasure (sound of z), fruit, knowledge, guard, boat, fashion, four, gaol, &c., &c.
Although it is evident that the orthography of our language is full of defects, perhaps no other language furnishes the orator or writer with a greater resource of words.
SYNOPSIS OF LEADING AUTHORS, STATESMEN, POETS AND PHILOSOPHERS.
Anglo-Saxon Period. GILDAS (lived in the sixth century): was the first British historian;
wrote a History of the Conquest of Britain in Latin; died 570 A.D. CAEDMON: the most ancient English poet; wrote sacred poetry; earliest
writer in Anglo-Saxon; died 680 A.D. ST. ALDHELM: Bishop of Sherborne; a poet and Latin scholar; born in
656 A.D., died 709 A.D. BEDE (called Venerable): ecclesiastical historian; born 672 A.D., and died
735 A.D.; wrote about forty-three works. ALCUIN: born at York 735 A.D. ; educated by Bede; he taught the
Emperor Charlemagne ; wrote poetry and theology; died 804 A.D. ALFRED (King of England): translator of Bede's History, Æsop's Fables,
&c., into Anglo-Saxon; born 871 A.D., died 901 A.D. ASSER (a monk): was the tutor, friend and biographer of Alfred the
Great; born 837 A.D., died 910 A.D. ST. DUNSTAN: born at Glastonbury in 925 A.D.; Archbishop of Canter
bury ; one of the greatest ecclesiastical statesmen ; favorite at the court of Athelstan; he was buried in Canterbury Cathedral in
988 A.D. ÆLFRIC (Archbishop of Canterbury): author of a work on Saxon and
Latin Vocabulary; wrote several other works, besides eighty sermons in Anglo-Saxon; died 1005 A.D.
Norman Period. INGULF (or INGULPHUS): supposed to have been Abbot of Croyland ;
secretary to William of Normandy when the latter visited Edward the Confessor ; went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; born
1030 A.D., died 1109 A.D. ANSELM : born 1033 A.D. at Aosta in Piedmont; Archbishop of Canter
bury in the reigns of William Rufus and Henry I.; he was a very great philosophical writer and theologian, and was canonized in the
reign of Henry VII.; died 1109 A.D. LANFRANC: born at Pavia in 1005 A.D.; very learned prelate ; was
made prior of the Abbey of Bec and strongly opposed transubstantiation; he was an able politician; rebuilt Canterbury Cathedral
and founded two hospitals in the neighbourhood; died 1089 A.D. ODO: Bishop of Bayeux, (half-brother of William the Conqueror,) and
Fitzosbern, were appointed Regents of England during the visit of
William to Normandy; died 1097 A.D. FLAMBARD, RALPH (surnamed the Torch): was Bishop of Durham
in the reign of William II., and was that monarch's chief extor
tioner; he devised the plan of keeping abbeys and bishoprics vacant that the king might receive their revenues; born 1099 A.D., died
1128 A.D. GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH: he was Archdeacon of Monmouth,
and afterwards raised to the See of St. Asaph ; British historian;
contributed to the Latin Chronicles; died 1130 A.D. WILLIAM OF MALMESBURY: born in Somersetshire in 1067 A.D.,
and educated at Oxford ; his chief works are “De Gestis Regum Anglorum” and “Historiæ,” “De Gestis Pontificum,” &c.; also "
& wrote a chronicle of the Kings of England; died 1143 A.D. HENRY OF HUNTINGDON: composed a general History of England,
from the earliest times to the reign of Stephen ; he died 1163 A.D.
Plantagenet Period. LAYAMON : poet; he wrote a Saxon-English translation of the “Brut
d'Angleterre" of Wace, also a rhyming chronicle. WILLIAM FITZSTEPHEN: a monk; the friend of Thomas à Becket
(Archbishop of Canterbury), whose life he wrote; also writer of the first “History of London and of the Manners and Customs of
its Inhabitants." STEPHEN LANGTON: born in Lincolnshire 1151 A.D. ; educated in
France; visited Rome, and appointed by Pope Innocent III. to the See of Canterbury. John, King of England, refused to acknowledge this appointment, hence the Interdict (1208-14). Langton divided the Bible into chapters and verses; he was one of the leading authors
of the Magna Charta. PEMBROKE (EARL OF): assisted the barons in compelling John to sign
Magna Charta ; he was Marshal of England, and on the death of
and was afterwards appointed Regent; died 1219 A.D. ROBERT OF GLOUCESTER (1230 A.D. – 1285 A.D.): lived in the reign
of Henry III.; and wrote a metrical chronicle of England from
Brute the Trojan to the year 1271 A.D. ROGER BACON: a celebrated philosopher; was born near Ilchester in
1214 A.D. ; he studied at Oxford, and afterwards enjoyed the friendship of Robert Grostete, Bishop of Lincoln, and acquired a great reputation for his scientific attainments. About 1267 A.D. Bacon sent his “ Opus Majus” with the “Opus Minus” and “Opus Tertium” to Pope Clement III., who desired to see his writings; he suggested the reformation of the Calendar; had some idea of the
telescope and camera obscura ; died 1292 A.D. JOHN WYCLIFFE: born in Yorkshire 1324 A.D.; he was educated at
Oxford; and in 1375 was presented to the rectory of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire; wrote the “ Last Age of the Church.”. In 1377 he was charged with disseminating heretical doctrines. Translator of the Bible ; earliest English reformer. In 1414 the council of Con
stance condemned his doctrines, and ordered his body to be disinterred and burnt, and the ashes to be thrown into the Severn;
died 1384 A.D. JOHN BARBOUR (1316 A.D.-1395 A.D.): was Archdeacon of Aber
deen; Scottish poet and historian ; he wrote a poem on the “Life and Achievements of Robert Bruce,” which, on account of its his
torical value, has been frequently republished. WILLIAM COURTNEY (1341 A.D.-1396 A.D.): Archbishop of Canter
bury and Lord High Chancellor A.D. 1381 ; he persecuted the
supporters of Wycliffe, and supported the Romish Church. GEOFFREY CHAUCER: born in London 1328 A.D. ; the first great
English poet; in the reign of Edward III. he was employed on various affairs of state, and sent as ambassador to Genoa, Milan and France; he is called the “Father of English poetry;" his elegant productions are obscured to modern readers; principal poem, the “Canterbury Tales ;" also “Troilus and Cresseide," "Legend of Good Women,'
,” “ The Court of Love,” &c.; died 1400 A.D. BASTON: was a Carmelite monk; poet; brought by Edward III. to
Scotland to celebrate his victories; taken by the Scots and made
to sing the victory of Bannockburn. JOHN GOWER: believed to have been born in Yorkshire, 1320 A.D. ;
poet; he was a member of the Inner Temple; wrote three poems, entitled Speculum Meditantis,” “ Vox Člamantis," “ Confessio Amantis,” and other works; died 1402 A.D.
Houses of Lancaster and York. JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND (1406–37): born 1394 A.D., died 1437 A.D;
imprisoned by the English for eighteen years ; liberated in 1424, and afterwards murdered in his bed; studied Chaucer, and wrote several works, the only remaining work being “ The King's Quhair” or
Book. HUMPHREY OF GLOUCESTER: brother of Henry V.; appointed
Regent on the death of this monarch. In 1421 he married Jocqueline of Bavaria, and claimed a large portion of the Netherlands as her inheritance, and was opposed by the Duke of Brabant, who claimed to be the husband of this Princess; he opposed Cardinal Beaufort, who caused him to be arrested and imprisoned ; died
1447 A.D. HENRY BEAUFORT: was born in 1370 A.D., and died in 1447 A.D.;
studied at Oxford ; was Bishop of Lincoln, and made chancellor in 1405 A.D.; created cardinal in 1429; was opposed by the Duke of
Gloucester. SOMERSET (DUKE OF): chief minister of Henry VI.; killed at the first
battle of St. Albans, 1455 A.D. JOHN LYDGATE: poet; born about 1375 A.D., died 1460 A.D.; he was
a Benedictine monk of Bury St. Edmunds; educated at Oxford ; chief works, “History of Thebes” and “ Siege of Troy,” which are very scarce.