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mon opinion, concerning the words which you have distinguished as necessary to the communication of our thoughts. Those you call necessary, I suppose you allow to be the signs of different sorts of Ideas, or of different operations of the mind.

H.

Indeed I do not. The business of the mind, as far as it concerns Language, appears to me to be very simple. It extends no further than to receive impressions, that is, to have Sensations or Feelings. What are called its operations, are merely the operations of Language. A consideration of Ideas, or of the Mind, or of Things (relative to the Parts of Speech), will lead us no further than to Nouns i. e. the signs of those impressions, or names of ideas. The other Part of Speech, the Verb, must be accounted for from the necessary use of it in communication. It is in fact the communication itself: and therefore well denominated Pnua, Dictum. For the Verb is QUOD loquimur* ; the Noun, DE QUO.

B.

Let us proceed then regularly; and hear what you have to say on each of your two necessary Parts of Speech.

*"Alterum est quod loquimur ; alterum de quo loquimur." Quinctil. lib. 1. cap. 4.

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ΕΠΕΑ ΠΤΕΡΟΕΝΤΑ,

&c.

CHAPTER IV.

OF THE NOUN.

H.

OF the first Part of Speech-the Noun,-it being the best understood, and therefore the most spoken of by others, I shall need at present to say little more than that it is the simple or complex, the particular or general sign or name of one or more Ideas.

I shall only remind you, that at this stage of our inquiry concerning Language, comes in most properly the consideration of the force of Terms: which is the whole business of Mr. Locke's Essay; to which I re

fer

you. And I imagine that Mr. Locke's intention of confining himself to the consideration of the Mind only, was the reason that he went no further than to the Force of Terms; and did not meddle with their Manner of signification, to which the Mind alone could never lead him.

B.

Do you say nothing of the Declension, Number, Case and Gender of Nouns ?

H.

At present nothing. There is no pains-worthy difficulty nor dispute about them.

B.

Surely there is about the Gender. And Mr. Harris particularly has thought it worth his while to treat at large of what others have slightly hinted concerning it*: and has supported his reasoning by a long list of poetical authorities. What think you of that part of his book?

H.

That, with the rest of it, he had much better have let it alone. And as for his poetical authorities; the

* Pythagorici sexum in cunctis agnoscunt, &c. Agens, Mas; Patiens, Fœmina. Quapropter Deus dicunt masculine; Terra, fœminine et Ignis, masculine; et Aqua, fœminine: quoniam in his Actio, in istis Passio relucebat."-Campanella.

"In rebus inveniuntur duæ proprietates generales, scilicet proprietas Agentis, et proprietas Patientis. Genus est modus significandi nominis sumptus a proprietate activa vel passiva. Genus masculinum est modus significandi rem sub proprietate agentis: Genus femininum est modus significandi rem sub proprietate patientis."-Scotus Gram. Spec. cap. 16.

Muses (as I have heard Mrs. Peachum say of her own sex in cases of murder) are bitter bad judges in matters of philosophy. Besides that Reason is an arrant Despot; who, in his own dominions, admits of no authority but his own. And Mr. Harris is particularly unfortunate in the very outset of that-" subtle kind of reasoning (as he calls it) which discerns even in things without sex, a distant analogy to that great natural distinction." For his very first instances,—the SUN and the MOON,-destroy the whole subtilty of this kind of reasoning *. For Mr. Harris ought to have known, that in many Asiatic Languages, and in all the northern Languages of this part of the globe which we inhabit, and particularly in our Mother-language the Anglo-Saxon (from which SUN and MOON are immediately derived to us), SUN is Feminine, and MOON is Masculine t. So feminine is the Sun, [" that fair hot

* It can only have been Mr. Harris's authority, and the illfounded praises lavished on his performance, that could mislead Dr. Priestley, in his thirteenth lecture, hastily and without examination to say" Thus, for example, the SUN having a stronger, and the MOON a weaker influence over the world, and there being but two celestial bodies so remarkable; All nations, I believe, that use genders, have ascribed to the Sun the gender of the Male, and to the Moon that of the Female." In the Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, German, Dutch, Danish and Swedish, SUN is feminine: In modern Russian it is neuter. "Apud Saxones, Luna, Mona. Mona autem Germanis superioribus Mon, alias Man; a Mon, alias Man veterrimo ipso

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