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the idleness and debauchery of the season it could not be answered. The orders being returned to the merchants, were sent, for execution, to other towns; with which, the interconríe, being thus opened, was continued. The high price of labour affixed to some particular articles, at the first invention, though then an encouragement to ingenuity and industry, eventually has operated to the general detriment of trade. It furnished some of the more careful and provident labourers with the means of becoming manufacturers themselves ; and of setting up locms in their own houses: and the number of competitors was greatly multiplied : who, not having capitals, that would enable them to give credit, And to carry on business with ease, were obliged, by abatements on the price, to procare a speedy return for their goods. The value of the articles being thus reduced at market, a reduction of wages necessarily followed. This could not be effected without warni struggles between the different classes of manufacturers : nor, when carried, without bringing on a corruption of the qua. lity of goods, which must sink their estimation in foreign markets. The taste of those markets has also changed; and a preference, at them, is given, to woollen goods of a different kind; or rather to the various articles of the cotton manufactory. But the decline of the Taunton trade must be also ascribed, in a great de. gree, to the advantage which the manufacturers in the north have derived; over us, from the introduction and use of spinning machines : which would have been peculiarly useful here, not only to secure the exact and truc execution of this part of the trade, but to supply the wants of hands for conducting it, which, for a number of years, was very sensibly felt.
• To these causes it is conceived, may be traced the decline of the trade of this town. Some of them, at least, will, sooner or later, affect other places and other manufactories. Whether the wisdom and activity of any spirited persons can do away their ef. fects on Taunton, must be left for time to shew.
It is, however, a pleasure to one who feels an attachment to its interest, to reflect, that, though its woollen manufactories have declined, the town has not wholly lost its weight and importance, as a town of trade. The populousnefs and fertility of the country around it inuit consinue to keep up its markets, and to preserve its internal commerce. And some new sources of trade have also opened in it.'
Mr. Toulmin seems to have conceived a just opinion of the usefulness of local history, and has pursued his idea to the best advantage. Even a person not particulary interested in the town of Taunton, will derive more satisfaction from the present work, than is usual in productions of the kind ; an effect which is owing to a judicious selection of materials, and the connecting the progress of the borough with the public transactions of the kingdom.
Ariftarchus; Aristarchus; or, the Principles of Composition. Containing a min
thodical Arrangement of the Improprieties frequent in Writing and Conversation, with select Rules for attaining to Purity and Elegance of Expression. Second Edition. 800. 6s. 6d.
Boards. Ridgway. 1791. THE author, we apprehend, is beyond the reach of praise
1 or censure ; not to be foothed by the one, nor pained by the other. His motely performance may therefore receive its proper tribute, and the puerility, the absurdity, and the ingenuity of his remarks be freely pointed out. We must not, however, be too copious, and discriminate the value of each page; but give a view of the whole by a careful selection of those parts which will best ascertain the real character of the work.
The Introduction is on the superior excellence of mental acquisitions, and the first section on speech ; the advantages of speaking with elegance and correctness. We wanted not, however, so many authorities. The first part is on accuracy of language, and the various inelegancies and errors of colloquial intercourse, or some occasionally met with in authors of credit. The inftances are, in general, well chosen : Aristarchus, however, is not always, even in this plain path, free from error. He does not, for instance, fee the force of the first 'could' in the eleventh example. I could with him dead, means certainly the provocation is so great as to justify any revenge on my side: I could wish him dead if it were not a crime. Our author, in a subsequent example, does not advert to the difficulty of distinguishing in conversation in't from an't. In a subsequent section, he does not distinguish between the force of the nouns of multitude, which may un. doubtedly be used with a verb either singular or plural. He is equally erroneous in his observation on the force of those nouns, which have no singular: when multitude is not implied in these, the verb may be fingular. In the instance adduced, * the wages of fin is death,' we think to be good English. The subject and the predicate are undoubtedly convertible, in many instances; but a skilful writer will vary his phrase, and not wound the ear. Again': not to believe rashly is the finews of wisdom, is accurate but unpleasing. What answers to the nominative case is singular, and we are only hurt from being sensible that the predicate may change places with the subject. If • foundation' or force' was placed instead of finews the inconvenience would be avoided. When our author opposes the position of Mr. Harris, just mcntioned, he errs against the first rules of logic, by adducing as examples a genus and a species; it was never contended, that in thefe instances, the sub
ject and the predicate were convertible. Of the vulgarisms we shall select an entertaining specimen.
! I got on horseback within ten minutes after I received your letter. When I got to Canterbury, I got a chaise for town. But I got wet through before I got to Canterbury, and I have got such a cold as I shall not be able to get rid of in a hurry. I got to the treasury about noon, but first of all I got shaved and dreft. I soon got into the secret of getting a memorial before the þoard, but I could not get an answer then, however I got intelligence from the messenger that I Mould most likely get one the next morning. As soon as I got back to my Inn, I got my supper, and got to bed, it was not long before I got to sleep. When I got up in the morning, I got my breakfast, and then got myself drest, that I might get out in time, to get an answer to my memorial. As soon as I got it, I got into the chaise, and got to Canterbury by three: and about tea time, I got home. I have got nothing particular for you, and so adieu.
• Every phrase in this extract is in popular and perpetual use; and it is far from my wilh, to deprive the vulgar, and the wealthy illiterate of so convenient an abridgement of terms. On the contrary, I recommend it to the pious care of Dr. to compose a history of the world, on this elegant plan of abbreviation. All the events, from the birth of time to his Majesty's journey to Cheltenham, may be detailed without the aid of a single verb in the English language, the omnipotent-get-excepted.
This verb is of Saxon origin; arrival at the place of deftination, the primitive idea; hence acquisition ; and hence possession. With the latter idea, the illiterate use it in construction with-have
I have got ; in other words, I have kave. E. g.
For obvious reasons, I have got a father must be reftri&ted to -I pollejs; consequently, it is absurd to prefix-bave- bave peless !!
It may, therefore, be advanced as a general rule, -—when pofJellion is implied, it is vulgar to use-have-in construction with got.
Permit me to add, our ancestors have furnished us with innu. • merable terms to express all the ideas which the vulgar affix tq their Fac totum-got.
.! Are you in quest of any thing? Do not exclaim with the illi. ferate“I have got it. But say, I have found it, or I bave it Here it is, &c.
• Again. I mounted my horse, or I was on horseback within ten minutes after I received your letter : as soon as I arrived at Canterbury, I engaged (or hired) (or fept into) a poft chaise for town. I was wet through before ! reached Canterbury, and !
bave (or I bave taken) such a cold as I shall not easily remove (or care.)
"I arrived at the treasury about noon, being previously hav. ed and dreft. I foon discovered the secret of introducing a memorial to the board; I could not, however, obtain an immediate answer ; but the messenger told me, that I probably should receive one, next morning. I returned to my Inn, jupt, went to bed, and feept well, I refe early, and dreft immediately after breakfast that I might be in time for the answer to my memorial. As soon as I received it, I took post chaise, reached Canterbury by three, and my home a. bout tea time. I have nothing particular to add. Adieu.'
• It was not my design to paraphrase the extract in terms of elegance : I only wished to prove, that men of common education might express the usual occurrences of life, without the aid of -get--and got - and I have got, &c.'
The general sense of get, or that neareit to its original fignification, is to obtain, and this idea will be found to pervade every part of the example. "Do you see' is another vulgarism, which our author does not ridicule with equal success. Will and shall, so often misplaced by our neighbours, and the numerous inelegancies of Dr. Blair, which we formerly noticed, in our review of his Lectures, furnish copious subjects of pleasantry and remark to Aristarchus. We are surprised that he should not have adverted to the Latin idiom, when he notices the impropriety of the term enjoy bad health. The signification of gaudeo is very extensive, and it pervades, we say not with how much propriety, many parts of our language. Expect is a word that Aristarchus might have noticed, as applied often very inaccurately: lord Barrington, for instance, is said to have replied to an officer, who during the American war applied for leave of absence: it is impossible, fir-I expect the French to land every minute.
The principal part of our author's work relates to the analysis of founds, and the formation of language. In this, as we have already remarked, he mixes errors and absurdities, with ingenious remarks and just reflections. He is very unjustly severe on lord Monboddo, whose work on the Origin and Progress of Language, though disgraced by many faults, is, on the whole, an excellent one. The great error of Aristarchus, which pervades all his reasoning, is his idea that the forms of letters are explicable on philosophical principles, and that the cyphers are of a very early date, beyond probably written records.
« The art of Speaking I conceive to be coeval with man.
« The art of writing, I mean the present mode of writing, originated in the symbols of the Chaldean priesthood,
• It is not an unreasonable postulate that Noah himself posfellied the art of recording events, and of communicating instructions by symbols. But we have no satisfactory evidence of the fact, and it is inconsistent with my system of reasoning to deduce arguments from gratuitous assumptions.
" It is also probable, a priori, that religious disputes soon arose among Noah's descendants.
* This probability is realized by the sacred historian; for in the days of Nimrod, that powerful enemy to the transmitted creed of the faithful, the people were distracted with heresies; and the ancient symbols confounded.
. By the intolerant spirit of Nimrod, multidudes were dis. persed in every direction. They carried with them such symbols as they approved, and superadded such as were necessary to complete the credenda of the sect.'
This is tracing the subject too far; nor is Aristarchus more · correct in his theory of the early invention of smbolical speech,
for he considers children in a Itate of nature, and then supposes them to frame founds for abstract ideas, before they have attained sensible ones. Symbolical speech could never be applied in the infancy of cultivation to the first expressions, for they would be either arbitrary, or imitative sounds; and these, to be sufficiently expressive, are always accompanied, in the savage state, by action. The primitive letters are, in our author's opinion, fourteen, and he is ‘fully persuaded, (we could wish the foundation of his persuasion had been adduced) that they were in use before the deluge. They are A, B, C, D, E, I, L, M, N, O, R, S, U. From B are derived P, F, V, from C-G,K, O, X. From D-T, and the Greek . From E, Eta, and H. The O, Circle, or Cypher is, according to Aristarchus, the mark of 10. and the one before it only means one ten, in opposition to 2, 3, or 4 tens. But, in this subject, he confounds the ideas of numerical notation with multiplication and addition. We shall return co the letters, and select a cuious instance from our author's account of the conversion of letters.
• C--Symbolical. G-K-Q-Derivatives.
- Soon after the Trojan war, the Greeks began to regulate their alphabet by the prevailing diftin&tion in sounds. i and r were appointed to succeed C in the beginning of words; and C .confined to the middle, cither alone as in AHMOCOENHC, or combined with the Sigma, as in actas.
• The Gothic and the Saxon alphabets have the esercial form Ofmb-in pe:fccion.