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Inutility of Tontines---Books for Charity-Schools...Ar. Burke. 87 Had the deaths and defaulters been paid, and confess that they have been given separate, it is probable that the grossly deceived by false expectations. latter would have appeared the greater
Feb. 8, 1798.
To the Editor of tbe Monthly Magazine,
SIR, pounds from the poorer lubfcribers, who I the regulacions of which are in many have becomie incapable of continuing their payments, and thus, instead of deriving respects judicious and liberal; but where, any benefit from the scheme, have lost the from time immemorial, the 's Bible” and little fums that, if they had not been
! Church Catechism” are the only books drawn froin them by the hope of improve- which have been used; and I find, upon ment, might have been laid by, and af: enquiry, that this remark will apply to forded thein some relief in a time of want. many other similar foundations, especially, But it is not my object at present to no
such as have been long established. Now, tice, particularly, the immoral tendency though it may be ealy to produce reasons of encouraging hopes of gain from the why there are not the most suitable schooldistresses of others, or to show how delusive books that might be thought of, yet it is and unprofitable most of the Tontine not quite so easy, for those who are not schemes appear, when examined upon the conversant in such matters, to recommend principles on which they pretend to be the most proper substitutes. If, thereformed; the latter was done, at a time fore, any of your intelligent corresponwhen these mischievous projects were very
dents, who have turned their atten. prevalent, in a manner that must have de- tion to the subject, would have the contermined every one, who could be con
descension to suggest a few popular works vinced by demonstration, or biassed by the on religion, morality, natural and civil opinion of acknowledged abilities and history, &c. proper to be adopted in cha
other judgment on the subject*. It is evident, rity-schools; or to communicate any however, that the majority of the suba practical information relative to the ad. i scribers to the different Tontines must ministration of such institutions, they have been ignorant of the very
would, probably, render an effential ferfits they could reasonably expect from vice to the public, and would greatly
M.S. these schemes, and, perhaps, placed too oblige your constant reader, innplicit a confidence in specious proposals,
Lincoln's Inn, Feb. 7, 1798. fanctioned by the names of persons of cha To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. racter, whom they considered better in
SIR, formed than themselves. Such fubfcribers must, by this time, have been indeceived,
Correspondent of your's, in the last
Magazine, is hardy enough to assert, or very soon will be; and it is to prove that the late Mr. Burke was ignorant of te others the necessity of understanding the the Greek alphabet; and knew fo little nature of any speculation, that may be of Latin, as not to be able to translate his proposed to them, before they engage in
own quotations. it, that the following fact is stated :--
The of Mr. Burke's clasical attainments, whole amount of itock purchased with I know nothing from any other sources of the above sum of 81,090l. ss. 8d. is information than those already before the 118,1981. 8s. 4d. in the three per cent public, and Mr. M'CORMICK, in his life consols, which is now to be told, for the of that fingular man, is silent on the subpurpose of making the expected division ject; but I think the public know enough of accumulated capital, interest, and pro- to render the assertion of your corresfits. It fold at the present price of 48, pondent very doubtful; and, as one of it will produce 56,7351. 4s. 1od. which, that public, I will here itate the probable divided among the present members, gives evidence in favour of Mr. Burke's learn them ísl. 195.7d. each. So that, after ing.---Mr. Burke was early devoted to the trouble of making quarterly, or half- classical pursuits, under the direction of a yearly payments, for teven years, the pol- master, who has not been charged with Sbility of having been unable to continue entire ignorance of letters. Mr. Burke the subscription, the risk of loling what fpent some years at college in Dublin, and they had paid, by the death of the no- oblained honours in the college. The miner, and the loss of all interest what whole life of Mr. Burke was spent in liever, they must be content to receive terary pursuits. He was the constant 21. 38. ed. less than they have actually companion of Dr. Johnson, a man as su
Mr. Henry on the External use of Nitric Acid. perstitiously attached to ancient learning valuable medicine, which had been hie as to religion, and in the habit of reproach- therto wholly neglected in its uncombined ing every one (Garrick, for instance) who itate, is added to the Materia Medica. had not a conliderable knowledge of an But as the disagreeable taste which it cient authors; and yet this literary cenfor possesses, and the bulky form in which it always bestowed upon Burke indiscrimi- has been given, have raised objections to nate and unbounded praise.
its use, it is a matter of consequence, that Mr. Burke was the admired companion gentlemen, who are engaged in making of Mr. Fox, whose attic taste is well. trials with it, should have early informaknown.
tion, that there is great probability, that Mr. Burke, in his writings, often refers the Nitric Acid, diluted to the degree at to Grecian literature; and sometimes ap- which it has been given by the mouth, peals, in his late works, for the justice of is, like Mercury, when applied to the skin, his criticisms, to the decision of Mr. Fox. abforbed, and afterwards produces in the
The Latin quotations, in the writings fystem, the same effects that arise from its and speeches of Mr. Burke, (in some of internal use. his speeches, too, conceived and delivered By the last fleet from the East Indies, in haste) are numerous and apposite. I received a letter from Dr. Scott, of
I state these facts, in refutation of the Bombay, the gentleman who first recomaffertion of your correspondent, as what mended, and himself commenced, the inthe public know, and as probable evidence ternal use of the Nitric Acid. Inclosed that Mr. Burke was learned, in the com was a pamphlet, containing, in addition mon acceptation of that term.
to the letters which he had before pubI have an object in view. I ain anxious lished, two additional ones, in which he to know the truth in this particular con- communicates this important informacerning the attainments of Mr. Burke: tion, not founded on conjecture only, but and I wish as well to invite the commu on actual experiment. nications of your correspondents on this In one inveterate case of Syphilis, in subject, as to impress upon the mind of which the relief from Mercury had been Dr. LAWRENCE, the necessity of afford- imperfect and temporary, Dr. Scott aping us exact information on this head, in plied cloths, wet with the Nitric Acid; his life of his illustrious orator and states- with these the legs of his patients were
surrounded, and the cloths were kept mcift Were it known that Mr. Burke was with additional water, for an hour or two ignorant of Latin and Greek, it is to be daily. The relief received was s'emarkafeared, that it would banish Horace and ble: the fymptoms, which were of the Homer from the schools. We must know worst kind, disappeared ; his strength rethe fact.
turned ; and, at the end of three months, I had conceived, and I do conceive, he continued in good health, though, that it is almost impoflible to form an ora- during that period, he used no other remetor and writer, like Mr. Burke, without dy than Nitric bathing. giving him a knowledge of the languages In other cases, Dr. SCOTT caused the of Greece and Rome. I do not mean to legs, and part of the thighs, to be imsay, that a knowledge of Latin and Greek merted for an hour, night and morning, will make any man a fine writer, or a in water, acidulated with Nitric Acid, as Speaker; nor have I forgotten the dry re
far as the skin could bear it without unproof that a man of wit once gave a pe- easiness. This mode was attended with dant in any pretence :---“Sir, I have read equal succefs. And, as a small quantity all the best authors of Greece and Rome.” of acid is sufficient to acidulate a large “ Yes, Sir," was the reply.“ you can portion of water, and as the same aciduboast of attainments that Shakespeare ne
lous water will last for a long time, Dr.' yer knew.”
PYRRHO. Scott observes, that a bath fo large as London, Feb, 18, 1798.
to cover the whole body may be prepared
at a small expence. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. From the marked action of the Nitric SIR,
Acid, on the resinous substance of the THE attention of medical men has bile, Dr. Scott thinks it probable, that
lately been much directed to the bathing in dilute Nitric Acid may be fereffects of the Nitric Acid, exhibited in- viceable in the early ftages of the yellow ternally: and though those effects have fever. I am, Sir, your very humble ferbeen found very different, by different yant,
THOMAS HENRY, practitioners, yet it is evident, from the Manchester, Feb, 22, 1798. whole collective testimony, that a very
Improvement ië Orthography Defended. 90 the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. (even if it were effected by it) cannot be SIR,
of consequence enough to prevent altera YOUR. Correspondent V. 0. V. (vol. tion,
But it does not appear that etymology derstood my letter (p. 195). My purpose wilt, or can be destroyed by a new orwas not to refute objections to a new mode thography, especially if in forming this, of spelling, but to difprove an opinion of no new letters or figns are introduced : the Analytical Reviewers, which seemed for instance, the derivation of very many' to repress attempts at improvement. With words would be as readily discoverable in this view, I endeavoured to thew how Mr. Elphinston's orthography, as in the much fuperior the method proposed by present mode of spelling, and many words, Mr. Elphinston, was to that of Mr.Web- particularly those derived from the French, fter, in adapting orthography to pronun- tives: for as the French have made very
would much more resemble their primi- , ciation.
In this I had nothing to do with the considerable improvements in spelling, and connection of orthography with etymo.. have dropt unnecessary letters in a great logy. I left Messrs. Elphinston and Web- number of words, the adopting the fame fter to examine and refute the objections plan in our language, would, in many which have been advanced against altera. instances, keep us to a right etymology, tion, and contented myself with expressing whereas, at present, we are liable to mifa wllh that such improvements might be take the originals of many words, by wpadopted, as appeared to be necessary. posing them, on account of the spelling, Your Correspondent thinks no change derivatives from the Latin, thought
, in at all adviseable, and offers some argu- fact, they came to us froin the French. ments in proof of his opinion, which he
Such mistaken derivations have formerseems to consider unanswerable. To one ly been made. The earlier etymologists or two of his objections I mean to reply. were chiefly acquainted with the Latin
The one on which he lays moft Itress language ; of French they knew little or is, that an alteration in the method of nothing; no wonder then, that in tracing spelling would destroy all etymology.
etymologies, they overlooked the media Etymology, though an amuling, is by um, through which words were derived no means a necesfary study, it can only be to us from the Latin, and thinking this useful fo far as it aflifts in fixing the last the immediate original, they fremeaning of words ; now it is apparent quently introduced unneceffary letters inthat derivative words bear frequently fo to words, to thew, as they thought, more very different a signification from their effectually their derivations. This is the primitives, that etymology is full as like- reason why we have written, and still conly to millead, as to affitt, in discovering tinue to write, such words as feign, sovetheir meaning. Some examples, taken reign, &c. with the unnecessary g. Some from Mr. Elphinston's work, are fub- etymologist, ignorant of the French feinjoined.
dre, souverain, &c. derived these words English words derived
from fingo, supra regnum, &c. and intro
duced the g to preserve the etymology.
In the Italian language, in which a re-
ther than in any other, the etymology of Voyage A journey.
words is easily discoverable; neither in Plate A dish.
the French is it more difficult to be traced Citron.
than it was two liundred years ago, Citron Citron Lemon.
though a very considerable alteration in These are only a few of the many ex- spelling has likewise taken place in that amples that might be given, to prove the language... In no other European lanvariance of words from their primitive guage, which I have been able to examine, signification, in all of which, a learner has etymology been destroyed; though would be milled by trusting to etymo
in all, the spelling has been considerably logy, the destruction of which, therefore,
But in case a new system of orthograThis word is likewise used in French to phy should deprive us of the means of fignify a person on whom the surgeon is pertracing the derivation of words, still the forming an operation, but never means what old books would be quite sufficient to pre· we mean by the word patient, as attended by serve all necessary information concerning a physician or apothecary.
the etymology of our language. MONTHLY MAG. No, VIII.
Orthography....On Waste Lands. What has been advanced is, I hope, our mode of spelling, if we are agreed, fufficient to thew that we ought not to be there is no need of it.” On the contrary, deterred by the bugbear etymology, from if we are agreed upon our pronunciation, adopting an improved method of spelling, we should endeavour to preserve that proif that can be proved on other accounts nunciation in its present purity; if we neceffary.
are not agreed, the fixing pronunciation It would be highly advantageous to by an exact orthography, would be a very this country that a knowledge of its lun- desirable object, and would tend materia guage should be more widely extended; ally to meliorate the language. but the difficulties of acquiring this Instead of endeavouring to amend cur knowledge, are universally allowed to be spelling, V.0. V. advises to improve the more confiderable in the English than in grammar, which he acknowledges is very almost any European language. Leffen defective;. but, I fear, the time and tathese difficulties, and the study of it will lents of grammarians will be employed to become more general.
little purpose in improving that, till the The want of a proper orthography, or molt efiential part, orthography, is settrue picture of speech, is one principal tied. Grammar depends on this; while difficulty, and the cause of others. Make orthography is confuled, grammar cannot the written language as exact a represen- be clear. tation as poisible of the oral, and this diffi - The Monthly Magazine is too much culte vanishes. To effect this, we must occupied to allow many pages to any one either alter our mode of spelling, and adapt subject ;, I fear I have already intruded it to our present pronunciation: or we too much on them, otherwise it would not must learn to speak as we now write. be difficult to enlarge on the advantages
By the first, the best pronunciation will that would refult from the adoption of a be ascertained, and, as far as possible, se more clear and judicious mode of spellcured from change; by the fecond, the ing; whether this could be more effectubeauty of the language will be destroyed, aliy accomplished by new combinations and some of its most harmonious sounds of the letters we at present possess, or by will be converted into others, barbarous, introducing new figns into the alphabet, uncouth, and fcarcely utterable. This, it is not my business to determine. Mr. indeed, is already, in fome measure, the Elphinston, in his very elaborate work, tase; many of our words being at present has fhewn that much may be effected conftantly mispronounced, in consequence by the letters already in use, and his of having been so long miswritten; and it method has at least this recommendais to be feared, that the pronunciation tion, that it is formed upon system. That of others will soon be vitiated, because improvement may be made in it I am men in general think that they are less willing to allow; but improvement of any likely to be deceived by tearning from kind, 1 despair of seeing, since such forci. books, than from conversation.
ble reasons as the following are represented It is astonishing, that in the spelling of as absolutely conclufive against it! our own language, we are resolved to be “ What necessity is there for altering without a system, though we find the ne our spelling? Do we not fufficiently un. cellity of system in every other branch of derstand one another for all the purposes , learning. We use one combination of let- of cominon life?”' &c. &c. ters to express a sound in one word, yet Jan. 6, 1798. we have ano her combination of letters to express precifely the same found in another word, for instance, in force, coarse,
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. Source---red, lead, &c. yet in other words SIR, we make the same letters represent différ. S it is one of the principal objects of eni founds, as in Jove, love, prove---both, your valuable Miscellany, to comdoth, moth, &c. &c. ad infinitum. All is municate to your readers agricultural in. confusion, all is darkness and difficulty. formation, I imagine that the following
Yet we are told, we must not endeavour remarks upon Waste Lands in Great Brir to regulate this confusion, to enlighten tain, will prove acceptable, and, perhaps, this darkness, to overcome this difficulty! provoke discussion upon this important Why? Becanfe " it would defiroy all subject. etymology, which is cause enough in all We have wastes in England and in conscience for dropping the defign!" Scotland---Do they not demand cultiva.
V.0. V. says, “ If we are not agreed tion ? Are they not capable of it ?--- No upon our propunciation, we cannot alter man can be fo ignorant as to imagine that
it would not be excellent policy to bring in this island. Among the numerous
I have mentioned ilm, be indulged, if its meaning consists that there are many millions of waste acres in the mere language? it is to be deeply