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PRESSURE OF WORK.

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of doubt now and then come over me. It is a blessed thing to know and remember as men, Quid sumus et quidnam victuri gignimus : ordo quis datus, &c., and to go on quietly doing what stands next to one to be done, but a horrid thing when we get anxious (as some of us do by constitution and others by circumstances) to know for one's own self,

Quem te Deus esse
Jussit, et humana qua parte locatus es in re.'

However, the die is cast, and, thank God! I have no abiding feeling of hesitation, or one that ever touches my heart of hearts. It is only when I feel myself dragged captive by outward things and undoubted present calls for my exertions, that any uncomfortable emotions come upon me. Then I have to feel just what you may imagine a man must feel when a great (to him) and difficult object lies before him, while what is immediately round him, by a thousand packthread ties, keeps him from doing anything towards it, and not only so, but by its peculiar nature restrains him from any feeling of inward power. But I do not think that any good can come to me or pleasure to you from thus talking about myself, so I shall dismiss the subject. There will be in the next Educational' a long

' letter of Niebuhr's to a young man who was going to give himself to the study of Philology. It is a glorious production. Near the end, where he says something like “if you give yourself up to falsehood, it will make me very unhappy,' in the original it stands it will indeed be a fall in Paradise.'

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not an odd expression ? Maurice thought it would offend, and so altered it. The letter was translated by Julius Hare, whose style you will recognise in it; though I think in it, as in all his later productions, he has been less distinguishable as relates to his lesser crotchets. By the way, have you read his papers on

, grammar, which have been printed but not published ? I wish he would write an English grammar, not because I esteem him as the best man for such a work that could possibly exist, but because I believe he has observed and thought more than any generally right-minded man living on grammar, technically considered. We have no grammar that aspires 'to critical eminence except Crombie's, which if I am not mistaken is a very poor thing, or at the best a mixture of clever and acute observations with some very stupid and crude. The general arrangement for learners of our beautiful verb (which is in its flexibility and precision the most perfect organ of expression in any language) is sadly disfigured by all grammarians. We particularly need some things to be decided, if only by dogmatical authority. No one seems to me to be at ease in regard to certain forms, especially the passivifying of the participle in ing. Maurice never knows whether he ought to use it or not. Old Crombie declares as he is wont, with all the confidence of one just come down from the Intermundia with a message from Jupiter, that active and passive are not applicable to participles, but only past and present. He brings as an example Domus ædificatur—the house is building. It is tolerable in this case and convenient to say so, and we may also say the goose is roasting;

ENGLISH GRAMMAR.

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but in a great number of verbs it would be intolerable -in all certainly which express emotions, love, hate, scorn, &c., &c., and several other classes. And even in the first class, it might be a most inconveniently ambiguous phrase in New Zealand to say, my servant is roasting ; and we express two different things when we say a man is dressing (even when we add helped by his valet) or being dressed (ab) by his valet. On the other hand, it is at times very ugly and, though not capable of being misunderstood (of misunderstanding according to Crombie), not perhaps strictly correct to say being —ed, as the house is being builded. I see that Carlyle sometimes adopts the old form a ingthe house is a building. This might be very useful, if our ears would bear it and if it could be kept to the passive use of the participle. But I doubt, when it was used, whether it was so restricted ; and I am not certain whether the Hampshire phrase, in which a is inserted in the present active, was then a vulgarism or not. We want some man to write a grammar of our living tongue, a man who sees that there are living powers in language. Such a man has

. never set his hand to the work. Most of them have set about the task as if they were cutting up a mummy for purposes of demonstration : "Now, gentlemen, this is a hand, and this is an arm, and this a leg.' Not a word do we hear about its life, nor can we distinguish its living form. Anatomists, physiologists, and even butchers may each have a proper and necessary part to act in treating a language; but these mummy carvers, who kill and dry language for the purposes of demonstration, are a monstrous class of

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creatures.-Believe me, my dear Strachey, yours very sincerely,

S. CLARK.

P.S. Are you not very sorry that we are disturbing the Chinese? I have a great regard for them, and though they are so stupid and misjudging on some points, I feel very conservative towards them. A people who have lived and in a manner thrived upon one idea (Honour thy Father and thy Mother, &c.) for thirty or forty centuries are surely a most venerable object. The consequent feline subsistence of their national life, as shown in their quarrels with the Tartars, is one of the most striking things in history, and an awful fulfilment of the conditional promise, that thy days may be long in the land.' Their crabbed, letter-bound intellectuality, their obstinate materialism, their enmity to ladies' feet, and all sorts of improvement, and their having possessed for above 300 years longer than we, the three most potent practical contrivances that have ever been (printing, gunpowder, and the compass), without making any use of them in furtherance of general cultivation, do but emboss more strongly their one principle of strength upon their national character. I could imagine that the principle will one day form a noble stock for Christianity to be graffed upon, when it shall please God to let the light shine upon this most ancient των εθνων.I wish this latter word had never been translated Gentiles, which conveys to most Englishmen a notion of a class of persons, instead of à recognised collection of nations. To unthoughtful

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Greeks Ovn must, unconsciously, have conveyed a very different conception from what the word Gentiles does to unthoughtful Englishmen. I cannot think how th word came be devised I do not see shadow of a reason for it in any age of the Latiu tongue.

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