Page images
[merged small][graphic]



CHAP. I ENGLISH language and grammar

Reading and speaking Cuap. U. Writing

Inks, short-hand and telegraph

Writing letters, forms, memorials, &c.;
Cuap. 01. Arithmetic

Proportion or Rule of Three
Fractions vulgar


Extraction of roots
CHAP. IV. Algebra
CHAP. V. Logarithms
CHAP. VI. Book-keeping

Bills of exchange, banks, &c.

Mercantile terms, subsidiary books, &c.
CHAP. VII. Geometry

Cuap. VIII. Practical geometry
CHAP. IX. Mensuration of surfaces

-artificer's work

CHAP. X. Gauging
Chap. XI. Land-surveying
Cuap. XII. Navigation, charts, maps, &c.

&c. CILAP, XIII. Geography

Latitudes and longitutes of places
Tides and tide-tables
Winds, light, &c.
Heights of mountains

1 36 43 51 57 07 10L 115 125 132 137 142 153 159 196 200 216 227 237 245 258 263 271 275 285 294 314 323 333 335 338 341 347 352 358


[ocr errors]

Denmark and Norway
The Netherlands
Turkey in Asia
Asiatic Islands
African Islands
Uuited States
West India Islands

South America
Cuap. XIV. Astronomy

Chronology and tables CHAP. XV. Drawing, perspective, &c.

363 364 365 361 368 369 372 373 375 378 379 382 388 389 390 390 390 391 391 392 394 396 396 397 398 399 402 408 406 425 434

[ocr errors]






By language in general we are enabled to communicate one to another our ideas and feelings, either in conversation or by writing. Conversation furnishes us with information in the order and rapidity with which conceptions are formed in the mind of the speaker; and writing lays open to us the treasures of learning, science, and experience; the opinions, discoveries and transactions of the most distant ages and the most remote situations. It is in fact by language that man is chiefly distinguished from all other animals. These, indeed, have each their peculiar mode of expressing their sensations, by which they are understood among themselves : but this kind of language seems to be confined entirely to the expression of the passions; whereas in man, speech, as the organ of reason, conveys a boundless variety of expression, adapted to the various powers and faculties of the buman frame. So much is this the case, that in proportion as the language of a nation is enlarged, reficed, and polished, that nation is justly considered to be exalted above others, in the scale of civilization and improvement of understanding

The student who confines his attention entirely to the study of his native tongue alone, will scarcely be able to arrive at a perfect knowledge of it, or to ascertain with precision its riches or its poverty, its beauties or its defects. He, on the other hand, who, together with his own language, cultivates those of other countries and of other times, acquires new views to increase his stock of ideas, and discovers new paths opened to him, to lead him to knowledge.

Various schemes have been formed to account for the origin of language or speech : but all, however ingenious, have failed in giving satisfaction. The only rational method of accounting for it is to refer speech, like all the other faculties of the human frame, to the


will and the operation of the great Author of our being. It is not, however, on this account necessary to suppose that the first parents of mankind were inspired with any particular set of terms, or any primitive language; but that they were made sensible of the power they possessed to form distinct articulate sounds; at the same time that, in the application of each sound to any particular object around them, they were left to the exercise of their own discretion. To their own ingenuity it was left to multiply terms and names, as new objects arose to their observation; and their language gradually advanced, in process of time, to the different degrees of accurary, copiousness, and refin ment, which it has now reached, among t'e various nations of the lobe.

Language kept pac: with the progress of invention; and the culture of the mind urged mankind to the increase and the improvement of the sounds by which its suggestions were mutually communicated to the ear. When men bad formed names for the objects which presented themselves to their external senses—when they had invented sounds to denote the sun, the moon, the ground on which they stood, the tree from which they drew their food, the crystal brook which allayed their thirst-they proceeded to form expressions for the instruments and the operations of art, for the flights of fancy, for the processes and results of reasoning, for the conclusions drawn from observation and experience. In this manner may be traced the advancement of poetry, of philosophy, and of history. Thus speech, the offspring of necessity, became the parent of ornament; and words, originally the rude dress of ideas, were improved, as society advanced in refinement, into their most splendid and most beautiful decorations.


To fix the fleeting sounds as soon as they are breathed from the lips, and to represent them faithfully to the eye, by certain determinate characters or inarks—these are the wonderful properties of letters. Those to whom books have from their childhood been familiar, and who view literature only in its present improved state, are utterly unable to formed a just estimate of the difficulties which must have attended the original application of literal signs or marke to the expression of ideas in the mind.

The great excellence of letters above every other kind of representative for sounds, consists in their simplicity, and in the facility and precision with which they can be put together, so as to express every separate thought. By their aid in carrying on written correspondence, the warm effusions of affection and friendship are conveyed to the most remote corners of the world; and the constant intercourse of commerce, of science, of literature and learning is maintained, in defiance of all the obstacles of distance and intervening difficulties. Letters cons:itute the light, the glory, and the ornament of man; and when the voice çf the poet, of the philosopher, and of the scholar, whenever the sacred words of the divine Author of our religion himself ceased to be heard, letters recorded the bright

« EelmineJätka »