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THE first general division of words (and that which has been and still is almost universally held by Grammarians) is into Declinable and Indeclinable. All the Indeclinables except the Adverb, we have already considered. And though Mr. Harris has taken away the Adverb from its old station amongst the other Indecli nables, and has, by a singular whim of his own, made it a secondary class of Attributives, or (as he calls them) Attributes of Attributes; yet neither does he nor any other Grammarian seem to have any clear notion of its nature and character.

B. Jonson and Wallis and all others, I think, seem

*" Prepositions are a peculiar kind of Adverbs, and ought to be referred thither."-B. Jonson's Grammar.

"Interjectio posset ad Adverbium reduci; sed quia majori

to confound it with the Prepositions, Conjunctions and Interjections. And Servius (to whom learning has great obligations) advances something which almost justifies you for calling this class, what you lately termed it, the common sink and repository of all heterogeneous, unknown corruptions. For, he says,-" Omnis pars orationis, quando desinit esse quod est, migrat in Adverbium*."


I think I can translate Servius intelligibly-Every word, quando desinit esse quod est, when a Grammarian knows not what to make of it, migrat in Adverbium, he calls an Adverb.

These Adverbs however (which are no more a separate part of speech than the particles we have already considered) shall give us but little trouble, and shall waste no time: for I need not repeat the reasoning which I have already used with the Conjunctions and Prepositions.

All Adverbs ending in Ly (the most prolific branch

bus nostris placuit illam distinguere; non est cur in re tam tenvi hæreamus."-Caramuel.

"CHEZ est plutôt dans notre langue un Adverbe qu'une Particule."-De Brosses.

* "Recte dictum est ex omni adjectivo fieri adverbium.”Campanella.

of the family) are sufficiently understood: the termination (which alone causes them to be denominated Adverbs) being only the word LIKE corrupted; and the corruption so much the more easily and certainly discovered, as the termination remains more pure and distinguishable in the other sister languages, the German, the Dutch, the Danish, and the Swedish; in which it is written lich, lyk, lig, liga. And the Encyclopædia Britannica informs us, that-" In Scotland the word Like is at this day frequently used instead of the English termination Ly. As, for a goodly figure, the common people say, a goodlike figure."


is the past participle Adrifed, Adrif'd, Adrift, of the Anglo-Saxon verb Dɲifan, Adɲifan, to Drive.

"And 'quhat auenture has the hiddir DRIFFE?"

i. e. Driffed or Driffen.

Douglas, booke 3. pag. 79.


may be the past participle Agazed.

"The French exclaim'd-The Devil was in arms.
All the whole army stood AGAZED on him."

First part of Henry 6, act 1, sce. 1.

Agazed may mean, made to gaze: a verb built on the verb To gaze.

In King Lear (act 2. sce. 1.) Edmund says of Edgar,

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Gasted, i. e. made aghast: which is again a verb built on the participle aghast. This progressive building of verb upon verb is not an uncommon practice in language.

In Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit at several Weapons, (act 2.)" Sir Gregory Fopp, a witless lord of land,” says of his clown,

"If the fellow be not out of his wits, then will I never have any more wit whilst I live; either the sight of the lady has GASTERED him, or else he's drunk."

I do not bring this word as an authority, nor do I think it calls for any explanation. It is spoken by a fool of a fool; and may be supposed an ignorantly coined or fantastical cant word; or corruptly used for Gasted.

An objection may certainly be made to this derivation: because the word AGAST always, I believe, denotes a considerable degree of terror; which is not denoted by the verb To Gaze: for we may gaze with delight, with wonder or admiration, without the least degree of fear. If I could have found written (as I doubt not there was in speech) a Gothic verb formed upon the

Gothic noun ArIS, which means Fear and Trembling (the long-sought etymology of our English word Ague*);

* Junius says—“ AGUE, febris. G. Aigu est acutus. Nihil nempe usitatius est quam acutas dicere febres."

But Skinner, a medical man, was aware of objections to this derivation, which Junius never dreamed of. He therefore says -"Fortasse a Fr. Aigu, acutus. Quia (saltem in paroxysmo) acutus (quodammodo) morbus est, et acutis doloribus exercet: licet a medicis, durationem magis quam vehementiam hujus morbi respicientibus, non inter acutas, sed chronicas febres numeretur."

But Skinner's qualifying paroxysmo, quodammodo, acutis doloribus, by which (for want of any other etymology) he endeavours to give a colour to the derivation from Aigu, acutus, will not answer his purpose: for it is not true (and I speak from a tedious experience) that there are any acute pains in any period of the AGUE. Besides, S. Johnson has truly observed, that "The cold fit is, in popular language, more particularly called the AGUE; and the hot, the fever." And it is commonly said "He has an AGUE and fever."

I believe our word AGUE to be no other than the Gothic word ARIS, fear, trembling, shuddering :

1. Because the Anglo-Saxons and English, in their adoption of the Gothic substantives (most of which terminate in s), always drop the terminating s.

2. Because, though the English word is written AGUE, the common people and the country people always pronounce it AGHY, or AGUY.

3. Because the distinguishing mark of this complaint is the trembling or shuddering; and from that distinguishing circumstance it would naturally take its name.

4. Because the French, from whom the term Aigu is sup

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