« ZurückWeiter »
rightly understood by his annotator, throws out with insidious gravity a sarcasm of no very delicate sort, the Bishop holds out the naked truth in a plain and unepiscopal shape. He (Jermyn) was kept by the Queen.' For these services, Lord Jermyn, a little before the Restoration, was raised by Charles II. (as Lord Clarendon informs us), ' at the desire of his mother,' to the wellearned dignity of Earl of St Albans. *
ART. II. 1. The Gospel of St John, in Latin, adapted to the
Hamiltonian System, by an Analytical and Interlineary Translation. Executed under the immediate direction of JAMES
HAMILTON. London, 1824. 2. The Gospel of St John, adapted to the Hamiltonian System,
by an Analytical and Interlineary Translation from the Italian, with full Instructions for its Use, even by those who are wholly iynor ant of the Language. For the Use of Schools. By JAMES HAMILTON, Author of the Hamiltonian System. London, 1825.
E have nothing whatever to do with Mr Hamilton person
ally. He may be the wisest or the weakest of men; most dexterous or most unsuccessful in the exhibition of his system ; modest and proper, or prurient and preposterous in its commen
The following curious note of Lord Dartmouth in the new edition of Burnett, vol i. p. 63, will show the constancy of Henrietta's attachment for twenty years to the wrong man.
• Before the civil war, the Queen had a very particular aversion to the Duke of Hamilton, which he perceiving, prevailed with • Mrs Seymour, who attended upon her in her bed-chamber, to • let him into the Queen's private apartment at Somerset House,
(the usual place for her retirement), where he surprised the Queen • in great familiarities with Harry Jermyn; after which, she never durst • refuse the Duke any thing he desired of her. This, Sir J. Compton • told me he had from his mother the Countess of Northampton, wlio
was very intimately acquainted with Mrs Seymour, that was after• wards drowned in shooting London bridge.
The Court of Charles I., as it appears in the general representations of historians, might be thought a model of decorum and gravity; but wherever chance throws up a little corner of the curtain, we catch a glimpse of a very
different scene. In the Sydney Papers (vol. ii. p. 472), to which our attention has lately been recalled by the curious addition made to them in Mr Blencowe's publication, we have an account of a conversation of that Prince with Lady Lei.
dation ;--by none of these considerations is his system itself affected.
The proprietor of Ching's Lozenges must necessarily have recourse to a newspaper, to rescue from oblivion the merit of his vermifuge medicines. In the same manner, the Amboyna toothpowder must depend upon the Herald and the Morning Post. Unfortunately, the system of Mr Hamilton has been introduced to the world by the same means, and has exposed itself to those suspicions which hover over splendid discoveries of genius, detailed in the daily papers, and sold in sealed boxes at an infinite diversity of prices, ---but with a perpetual inclusion of the stamp, and with an equitable discount for undelayed payment.
It may have been necessary for Mr Hamilton to have had recourse to these means of making known his discoveries, since he may not have had friends whose names and authority might have attracted the notice of the public; but it is a misfortune to which his system has been subjected, and a difficulty which it has still to overcome.
There is also a singular and somewhat ludicrous condition of giving warranted lessons ; by which is meant, we presume, that the money is to be returned, if the progress is not made. We should be curious to know, how poor Mr Hamilton would protect himself from some swindling scholar, who, having really learnt all that the master professed to teach, should counterfeit the grossest ignorance of the Gospel of St John, and refuse to construe a single verse, or to pay a farthing?
Whether Mr Hamilton's translations are good or bad, is not the question. The point to determine is, whether very close interlineal translations are helps in learning a language ? not whether Mr Hamilton has executed these translations faithfully and judiciously. Whether Mr Hamilton is or is not the inventor of the system which bears his name, and what his claims to originality may be, are also questions of very second-rate importance; but they merit a few observations. That man is not the discoverer of any art who first says the thing; but he who says it so long, and so loud, and so clearly, that he compels
cester, in presence of his Court, which shows an ungracious combination of his own reserved and embarrassed manners with the loose. ness and grossness of the age. A single instance of such scurvy jests, addressed by a king to a lady of the highest rank, in the presence of bis court, and amidst their laughter, is sufficient to show that the King and the Royalists differed as widely from the Puritans, in their feelings of delicacy and refinement, as in their principles of religion and government.
mankind to hear him—the man who is so deeply impressed with the importance of the discovery that he will take no denial, but, at the risk of fortune and fame, pushes through all opposition, and is determined that what he thinks he has discovered shall not perish for want of a fair trial. Other persons had noticed the effect of coal-gas in producing light; but Winsor worried the town with bad English for three winters before he could attract any serious attention to his views. Many persons broke stone before Macadam, but Macadam felt the discovery more strongly, stated it more clearly, persevered in it with greater tenacity, wielded his hammer, in short, with greater force than other men, and finally succeeded in bringing his plan into general use.
Literal translations are not only not used in our public schools, but are generally discountenanced in them. A literal translation, or any translation of a school-book, is a contraband article in English schools, which a schoolmaster would instantly seize, as a customhouse officer would a barrel of gin. Mr Hamilton, on the other hand maintains, by books and lectures, that all boys ought to be allowed to work with literal translations, and that it is by far the best method of learning a language. If Mr Hamilton's system is just, it is sad trifling to deny his claim to originality, by stating that Mr Locke has said the same thing, or that others have said the same thing a century earlier than Hamilton. They have all said it so feebly, that their observations have passed sub silcntio; and if Mr Hamilton succeeds in being heard and followed, to him be the glory,--because from him have proceeded the utility and the advantage.
The works upon this subject on this plan, published before the time of Mr Hamilton, are Montanus's Edition of the Bible, with Pignini's interlineary Latin version ; Lubin's New Testament having the Greek interlined with Latin and German; Abbé L'Oliver's Pensées de Ciceron; and a French Work by the Abbé Radonvilliers, Paris 1768,-and Locke upon Education.
One of the first principles of Mr Hamilton is, to introduce very strict literal, interlinear translations, as aids to lexicons and dictionaries, and to make so much use of them as that the dictionary or lexicon will be for a long time little required. We will suppose the language to be the Italian, and the book selected to be the Gospel of St John. Of this Gospel Mr Hamilton has published a key, of which the following is an extract. Nel principio
il Verbo, il Verbo
Word appresso Dio,
il Verbo era Dio. near to God, and the Word was God. VOL. XLIV. NO. 87.
Questo era nel principio appresso Dio.
This was in the beginning near to God.
By means of him all the things were made : and without of lui nulla fu fatto di ciò, che è stato fatto. him nothing was made of that, which is been made.
In lui era la vita, e la vita era la luce degli uomini 4
In him was the life, and the life was the light of the
le ( 5 And the light shines
darknesses, and the tenebrę hanno non ammessa la. darknesses have not admitted her. Vi fu un uomo mandato da Dio che
si 66 There was
sent by God who did name himself Giovanni. John.
Questi venne qual testimone, affin di rendere
to render testimonianza alla luce, onde
di lui tutti testimony to the light, whence by
of him all credessero.
In this way Mr Hamilton contends (and appears to us to contend justly), that the language may be acquired with much greater ease and despatch, than by the ancient method of beginning with grammar, and proceeding with the dictionary. We will presume at present, that the only object is to read, not to write, or speak Italian, and that the pupil instructs himself from the Key without a master, and is not taught in a class. We wish to compare the plan of finding the English word in such a literal translation, to that of finding it in dictionaries--and the method of ending with grammar, or of taking the grammar at an advanced period of knowledge in the language, rather than at the beginning. Every one will admit, that of all the disgusting labours of life, the labour of lexicon and dictionary is the most intolerable. Nor is there a greater object of compassion than a fine boy, full of animal spirits, set down in a bright sunny day, with an heap of unknown words before him, to be turned into English, before supper, by the help of a ponderous dictionary alone. The object in looking into a dictionary can only be, to exchange an unknown sound for one that is known. Now, it seems indisputable, that the sooner this exchange is made the better. The greater the number of such exchanges which can be made in a given time, the greater is the progress, the more abundant the copia verborum obtained by the scholar. Would it not be
of advantage if the dictionary at once opened at the required page, and if a self-moving index at once pointed to the requisite word? Is any advantage gained to the world by the time employed first in finding the letter P, and then in finding the three guiding letters P RI? This appears to us to be pure loss of time, justifiable only if it is inevitable; And even after this is done, what an infinite multitude of difficulties are heaped at once upon the wretched beginner! Instead of being reserved for his greater skill and maturity in the language, he must employ himself in discovering in which of many senses which his dictionary presents the word is to be used; in considering the case of the substantive, and the syntaxical arrangement in which it is to be placed, and the relation it bears to other words. The loss of time in the merely mechanical part of the old plan is immense. We doubt very much, if an average boy, between ten and fourteen, will look out or find more than sixty words in an hour; we say nothing at presentof the time employed in thinking of the meaning of each word when he has found it, but of the mere naked discovery of the word in the lexicon or dictionary. It must be remembered, we say an average boy,—not what Master Evans, the show-boy, can do, nor what Master Macarthy, the boy who is whipt every day, can do, but some boy between Macarthy and Evans; and not what this medium boy can do, while his mastigophorous superior is frowning over him ; but what he actually does, when left in the midst of noisy boys, and with a recollection, that, by sending to the neighbouring shop, he can obtain any quantity of ripe gooseberries upon credit. Now, if this statement be true, and if there are 10,000 words in the Gospel of St John, here are 160 hours employed in the mere digital process of turning over leaves ! But, in much less time than this, any boy of average quickness might learn, by the Hamiltonian method, to construe the whole four Gospels, with the greatest accuracy, and the most scrupulous correctness. The interlineal translation of course spares the trouble and time of this mechanical labour. Immediately under the Italian word is placed the English word. The unknown sound therefore is instantly exchanged for one that is known. The labour here spared is of the most irksome nature; and it is spared at a time of life the most averse to such labour: and so painful is this labour to many boys, that it forms an insuperable obstacle to their
progress. They prefer to be flogged, or to be sent to sea. It is useless to say of any medicine that it is valuable, if it is so nauseous that the patient Alings it away. You must give me, not the best medicine you have in your shop, but the best you can get me to take.