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"Nor is it mere strength that the short word boasts;
It serves of more than fight or storm to tell,
The roar of waves that clash on rock-bound coasts,
The crash of tall trees when the wild winds swell,
The roar of guns, the groans of men that die

On blood-stained fields. It has a voice as well
For them that far off on their sick beds lie:

For them that weep, for them that mourn the dead;
For them that laugh and dance, and clap the hand;
To joy's quick step, as well as grief's slow tread,
The sweet plain words we learnt at first keep time;
And though the theme be sad, or gay, or grand,
With each, with all, these may be made to chime,
In thought, or speech, or song, or prose, or rhyme."

In the above remarkable production, consisting of two hundred and eighty syllables, each being a word, one hundred and sixty-six different words are employed, the most of them occurring only once. This serves to show the great power of the monosyllabic part of our language.

It does not at all detract from the force of the composition that, while nearly all of the words are of Anglo-Saxon, or at least Teutonic origin, some are Celtic, and some are Latin, and some Greek. A child never asks the origin of a word that he hears; but if it is short, and expresses a thought of frequent occurrence, it is easily remembered. Brief, round, press, strange, force, mere, serves, stain, voice, chime, prose, are from the Latin, phrase and theme are from the Greek; but they are as forcible as strength, help, speak, and the others of Anglo-Saxon origin.

Many of the most highly esteemed writers of the English language employ mostly short, simple, and ex



pressive words. We give another brief specimen to illustrate the power of words of this kind.


"Venerable men! You have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives that you might behold this joyous day. You are now where you stood fifty years ago, this very hour, with your brothers and your neighbors, shoulder to shoulder, in the strife for your country. Behold, how altered! The same heavens are indeed over your heads; the same ocean rolls at your feet; but all else, how changed!"

The simplicity and appropriateness of the language of this address will be appreciated and admired by all persons of good taste.

Without caricaturing the opposite kind of style, we will translate the above into language such as many more pompous but feeble speakers would have employed, in order that the superior merits of the simple style, at least for such an occasion as called forth the above, may be observed.

"Venerable gentlemen! You have descended to us from an antecedent generation. Heaven has bounteously prolonged your career, that your vision might embrace this exultant epoch. You are now where you stood half a century ago, at this very instant, with your fraternal associates and intimate acquaintances, shoulder to shoulder, in the contest for your nation. Behold, how transformed! The same firmament is indeed over your heads; the same ocean rolls at your feet; but all other things, how transformed!"

The weakness and flatness of these long words, compared with the nervous original, none can fail to


15. Abundant Thought requisite to render a simple Style agreeable.-At the same time it should not be forgotten that one quality is essential to a style in which

these short and familiar words abound, to make the production impressive and valuable, and that is, abun dance of thought and feeling, or both. Without this, the production is not only uninteresting but puerile. It is only writers who abound in thought that can safely employ a simple style.

16. Scientific Productions in Popular Language.-Scientific productions usually employ technical terms, but many of late have been written in popular language. Professor Agassiz, though his native language is French, employs a style in English, that may be regarded as a model of simplicity, perspicuity, and force. We give a brief specimen :

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"Before the year 1800, men had never suspected that their home had been tenanted in past times by a set of beings totally different from those that inhabit it now; still farther was it from their thought to imagine that creation after creation had followed each other in successive ages, every one stamped with a character peculiarly its own. It was Cuvier who, aroused to new labors by the hint he received from Montmartre, to which all his vast knowledge of living animals gave him no clue, established, by means of most laborious investigations, the astounding conclusion that, prior to the existence of the animals and plants now living, this globe had been the theatre of another set of beings, every trace of whom had vanished from the surface of the earth. * * *The solid crust of the earth gave up its dead, and from the snows of Siberia, from the soil of Italy, from caves of Central Europe, from mines, from the rent sides of mountains and from their highest peaks, from the coral-beds of ancient oceans, the varied animals that had possessed the earth ages before man was created spoke to us of the past."

The basis of the above style consists of plain and purely English words, while those of later origin, and derived from the Latin and other languages, are sparingly used, when precision and elegance seem to require them.

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17. BESIDES the shorter and, on the average, most expressive words, there are many longer ones which have been introduced from the Latin, Greek, and other languages. These constitute about one-fourth of the terms found in English dictionaries, but very seldom reach so high a proportion in the language of any author. Some of them are the only single terms in the language to express the thoughts for which they stand, and therefore must be used when those thoughts are to be expressed; others bear nearly the same meaning as older and shorter words, but are generally esteemed as more elegant or sonorous, or indicative of higher culture, and are therefore often preferred.

The Anglo-Saxon language was converted into the English language, largely by receiving words from the Norman French, which were originally Latin. These words were often shortened and otherwise changed. Subsequently, also, English writers introduced many words, with more or less change of form, directly from the Latin. It was positively necessary either that they should introduce such words, or that they should combine the familiar Anglo-Saxon words into new com

pound terms, for new ideas were awakened which the old simple words would not express. Many compound words were formed, and many were transferred to our language from the Latin, and subsequently from the Greek, and from other languages.

Both as a description, and, to some extent an illustration, of this practice, the following extract from a work of Lord Bacon is given, entitled "The Proficience and Advancement of Learning," published first in 1605:

"Thereof grew again a delight in this manner of style and phrase, and an admiration of that kind of writing which was much furthered and precipitated by the enmity and opposition that the propounders of those primitive, but seeming new opinions, had against the schoolmen, who were generally of the contrary part, and whose writings were altogether in a different style and form, taking liberty to coin and frame new terms of art to express their own sense, and to avoid circuit of speech, without regard to the pureness, pleasantness, and, as I may call it, lawfulness, of the phrase or word. And again, because the great labor then was with the people, for the winning and persuading of them, there grew of necessity, in chief price and request, eloquence and variety of discourse, as the fittest and forciblest access into the capacity of the vulgar sort; so that these four causes concurring, the admiration of ancient authors, the hate of the school-men, the exact study of languages, and the efficacy of preaching, did bring in an affected study of eloquence and copia of speech which then begun to flourish."

Afterward, on this same subject, Bacon adds:

"How is it possible but this should have an operation to discredit learning, even with vulgar capacities, when they see learned men's works, like the first letter of a patent or limned book, which, though it hath large flourishes, yet it is but a letter? It seems to me that Pygmalion's frenzy* is a good emblem or portraiture of their variety;

*Pygmalion, a character described in Grecian story, who is said to have made a statue and fallen in love with it after it was endowed with life.

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