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from all those who with such infinite labour and erudition have gone before me on this subject; what apology

B.

Oh! make none. When men think modestly, they may be allowed to speak freely. Come-Where will you begin?—Alpha—Go on.

H.

Not with the organical part of language, I assure you. For, though in many respects it has been and is to this moment grossly mistaken, (and the mistakes might, with the help of some of the first principles of natural philosophy and anatomy, be easily corrected,) yet it is an inquiry more of curiosity than immediate usefulness.

B.

You will begin then either with things or ideas: for it is impossible we should ever thoroughly understand the nature of the signs, unless we first properly consider and arrange the things signified. Whose system of philosophy will you build upon

H.

What you say is true. And yet I shall not begin there. Hermes, you know, put out the eyes of Argus:

and I suspect that he has likewise blinded philosophy : and if I had not imagined so, I should never have cast away a thought upon this subject. If therefore Philosophy herself has been misled by Language, how shall she teach us to detect his tricks?

B.

Begin then as you please. Only begin.

ΕΠΕΑ ΠΤΕΡΟΕΝΤΑ,

&c.

PART I.

CHAPTER I.

DIVISION OR DISTRIBUTION OF LANGUAGE.

H.

rpose of Language is to communicate our

B.

not mention this, I hope, as something new, n you differ from others?

H.

e too hasty with me. No. But I mention it inciple, which, being kept singly in contemas misled all those who have reasoned on this

C

Is it not true then?

B.

H.

I think it is. And that on which the whole matter

rests.

B.

And yet the confining themselves to this true principle, upon which the whole matter rests, has misled them!

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Yet I hope to convince you of it. For thus they reasoned- Words are the signs of things. There must therefore be as many sorts of words, or parts of speech, as there are sorts of things*. The earliest inquirers into language proceeded then to settle how many sorts there were of things; and from thence how many sorts of words, or parts of speech. Whilst this method of

* " Dictio rerum nota: pro rerum speciebus partes quotque suas sortietur.”—J. C. Scaliger de Causis L. L.

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