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winds. You have told us, what indeed is absolutely necessary for your purpose, that your rule always prevails, or, in the words of your correspondent, (page 67) · have boldly declared, not that'expres. sions conformable to it " will indeed grammatically
bear your construction, but that they must and can bear no other. This single passage, therefore, from Deuteronomy, is fatal to your whole scheme.
Thus may any one who does but rely upon the authority of the Port Royal Grammar for the truth of the observation I have quoted above, fairly and fully estimate the value of your notable discovery, and easily detect the fallacy of your boasted rule, without any knowledge of the greek language.
Your correspondent, the 'honest compiler,' who evidently has taken some pains to prove himself a wholesale dealer in greek, has, with great truth, as serted the exact similarity between that language and our own, in this mode of using the article. He says (page 115), that whether the article be prefixed to each of the two nouns, or only to the first, or to neither of them, every one of these forms in greek is to be explained and applied just like our corresponding expressions in english. He therefore can. not possibly avoid the conclusion I have drawn from the english examples, which is so obvious to every one who admits the premises, as he does, that I cannot conceive how he could avoid seeing it of his own accord, but by supposing, what appears pro, bable from other instances, that he had so blinded himself with the dust of fathers and schoolmen, that he could not see an inch before his nose.
But you, Sir, a dealer in greek in the small way, seem to think much more highly of your
stock in trade than those who are more in the wholesale line -no uncommon case and to imagine, as the retail trader often does, that your little commodity contains some secret, mysterious, and extraordinary virtues, not to be found elsewhere, or by those who know more of the article dealt in. In greek, at least, whatever may be the case in english, you seem to suppose that a man may bid defiance to the reason, and common sense, and experience of all mankind, and make out any mystery he has a mind for.
Though therefore I might here close my correspondence, and safely leave the decision of the question to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting; yet, in deference to your prejudices, I will pursue it further; and, that you may not think I have any intention of putting a slight upon you or your small wares, quitting our vulgar tongue, will talk with you,
in my next letter, a little about greek,
Omne ignotum pro magnifico est.Tacitus.
hementer sæpenumero, sive in commentariis, sive in vera
-Bos, Ellips. GRÆC.
SIR, 'N your opinion the greek language possesses a
vast superiority over our own, by means of its article. Had you been better acquainted with that language, you would have known, that the truth lies quite on the other side; and would not have talked, as you have done, ‘ concerning the more ac* curate modes of grammatical distinction in the
greek tongue,' (page 48) and of the superior precision of the greek to the english idiom, in respect to the use of the article, (pages 21, 31, 34, 49, 50). Bishop Lowth, however, who was an able judge of both languages, will inform you of an error which your own knowledge was not sufficient to enable
you to discover.
At the end of a long note, No. [3.], containing some remarks upon the article, in his English Grammar, he
says: “ These remarks may serve to shew “ .....the near affinity there is between the greek ar“ tịcle and the english definite article, and the ex
t cellence of the english language in this respect, “ which, by means of its two articles, docs most pre“ cisely determine the extent of signification of com« mon names: whereas the greek has only one ar6 ticle, and it has puzzled all the grammarians to “ reduce the use of that to any clear and certain “ rules.” So that, according to his opinion, there seems to have been no need of your provisional corps, consisting of “ little transpositions,' (page 21), italics and hooks' (p31), nor of your supplementary proper names (ibid), and “possessive pronouns' (see corrected version, No. 5, in your table of contents), and various other ingenious devices, to accommodate* and help the english idiom,”(. 31).
As to what the bishop says about the grammarians being puzzled to reduce the use of the greek article
certain rules, it was his misfortune that he did not live to witness the publication of your discovery. Whether he would have changed his note, if he had, and whether he would have applied to so great an adept in the mysteries of omitting and inserting the article in the New Testament, to ascertain why it was omitted before yevuntous, in Matt. xi. II. and inserted before sxłpwuciło in i Cor. xv. 8.; why omitted before vexpww in Matt. xvii. 9, and inserted
* "Good phrases surely are, and ever were, very commend. « able. I will maintain the word with my sword, to be a sol4 dier-like word, and a word of exceeding good command. « Acconimodated, that is, when a man is, as they say, accommo.
dated; or when a man is, being whereby he may be thought “ to be accommodated, which is an excellent thing."
before the same word in chap. xxvii. 64, of the same writer ; why in Matt. xx. 3. 6. we have wepo ang τρίτην, and την ενδεκάτην ωραν with articles, but in the 5th verse of the same chapter, τερι εκγην και εννοην ωραν without; why the article is found before waing and pening in Exod. xx. 12. Deut. xxi. 13. Ps. xxvii. 10. Mark v. 40, but not found before the same words. in Genes. XX. 12. xlix. 26. Exod. xxi. 15, 16. Mark : vii. 10.; why it occurs before the words issue and προσευχή
in i Cor. vii. 5, but not in Matt. xvii. 21.; and lastly, whether any deep and hidden mysteries, or sublime doctrines, lurked beneath the omission and insertion of it before the very same word Seasg. in the same verse, Matt. xii. 28. Joh. i. 1. iii. 2. Acts vii. 55. I say, Sir, whether his lordship would have made application to you for the solution of these difficulties, or whether he would have contented himself, even after he had seen your surprising penetration in these matters, with thinking that no great precision was to be expected from the sacred writers in such trifles, and that the truths which they taught mankind, were not of a nature to de. rive either good or harm from any such petty con, siderations, must now be left to conjecture.
Whatever he might have done, I am of opinion, and must continue so, till you, or some other oracle, shall answer the foregoing questions, in a way more satisfactory and less ambiguous than usual, that he had good ground for insinuating, as he seems to dog that it is a very puzzling thing to invent a mecha. nical
power which shall screw down any writer of greek, however precise and formal, more especially