« TrướcTiếp tục »
ture, once flourishing and extensive. Two men were some years ago executed in Edinburgh for rob bing the Excise Office of twenty-seven pounds; but offenders may be named, who ten thousand times better deserve the gibbet. We have seen that opprefsive statutes, and a method of enforcing them, the most tyrannical, have, in a single year, deprived the revenue of twenty thousand pounds, in one branch only, and have driven a crowd of industrious families out of the country; and then our legislators, to borrow the honest language of George Rouse, esquire, "have the insolence to call this GOVERNMENT."
Such are the glorious consequences of our stupid veneration for a minister, and our absurd submission to his capricious dictates!!
At home Englishmen admire liberty; but abroad,, they have always been barbarous masters. Edward I. conquered Wales and Scotland, and at the distance of five hundred years, his name is yet remembered in both countries with traditionary horror. His annals are fhaded by a degree of infamy uncommon even in the ruffian catalogue of English kings.
The rapacity of the BLACK prince, as he has been emphatically termed, drove him out of France. At this day, there are English writers who pretend to be proud of the unprovoked mafsacres, committed by his father and himself in that country; but on the other hand, Philip de Comines ascribes the civil wars of York and Lancaster, which followed the death of Henry v. to the indignation of divine justice.
Ireland, for many centuries, groaned under the most opprefsive and absurd despotism; till, in defi
ance of all consequences, the immortal Swift, like a nother Ajax,
"Broke the dark phalanx, and let in the light."
He taught his country to understand her importance. At last the resolved to afsert her rights with firmness. The fabric of tyranny fell without a blow; and a short time will extinguish the last vestige of a supremacy, dishonourable and pernicious to both kingdoms.
In the East and West Indies, the conduct of Britain may be fairly contrasted with the murder of Atabaliba, and will prove equally ruinous to the detested conquerors.
While our infatuated politicians exult in the capture of Bangalore, and the mafsacre of the subjects of a prince, at the distance of six thousand leagues, I am convinced from the bottom of my heart, and so will the majority of my countrymen be long before this century has elapsed, that it would be a circumstance, the most auspicious both for Bengal and for Britain, if Cornwallis and all his myrmidons could be at once driven out of India.
But what quarter of the globe has not been convulsed by our ambition, our avarice, and our basenefs? The tribes of the Pacific ocean are polluted by the most loathsome of diseases; our brandy has bruta lized or extirpated the Indians of the western continent; and we have hired by thousands the wretched survivors to the task of bloodshed. On the shores of Africa, we bribe whole nations by drunkenness, to robbery and murder; while in the face of earth and
heaven, our senators afsemble to sanctify the practice.
Our North American colonies were established, defended, and lost, by a succefsion of long and bloody wars, and at a recorded expence of at least two or three hundred millions sterling *. We still retain Canada at an annual charge of six or seven hundred thousand pounds. This sum is raised by an Excise, which revels in the destruction of manufactures, and the beggary of ten thousand honest families t. From the province itself we never raised, nor hope to raise a fhilling of revenue; and the single reason why its inhabitants endure our dominion for a month longer, is, to secure the money we spend among them. TIMOTHY THUNDERPROOF.
30th January 1792.
REMARKS ON GRAMMAR.
Of all the sciences that can engage the attention of man in the ordinary course of studies, that of GRAM MAR is perhaps the most intricate.
When this is
*In the war of 1775, British officers pilfered books from a public library, which had been founded at Philadelphia by an individual more truly estimable than one half of the whole profefsion put together; I need hardly subjoin the name of Franklin.
Look into Kearsely's or Robertson's tax tables: What concise! what tremendous volumes! When our political writers boast of British li❤ berty, they remind us of Smollet's cobler in bedlam bombarding Constantinople. If the victims who groan under our yoke, were acquainted with the confusion and slavery which our avarice or mad ambition have inflicted on ourselves, a very considerable fhare of their abhorrence would be converted into contempt or pity.
Feb. 22. adverted to, we must doubt the propriety of that maxim, so often inculcated in modern times, viz. the necefsity and propriety of initiating young persons in the principles of the grammar of their mother tongue. To give this precept the sanction of sound philosophy and common sense, grammar ought to be considered in two distinct points of view, viz. first as a practical art, and second as a science. As a practical art, it is impofsible to initiate the child too soon into the knowledge of it. This is to be learnt, like other practical arts, by imitation, precept, and example. In this way, if those who have the superintendance of the education of a child, be correct in their language themselves, and attentive to guard against any deviation from it in the pupil, merely by telling him when ever occasion calls for it, " you ought not to say thus; but thus," here putting him right, every person will acquire a facility in the use of language, without having ever once heard of the name of grammar, or knowing how the different parts of speech are called. To give them this facility ought to be the great study of the teachers of youth, and not to make their pupils a set of conceited chatterers, by teaching them to use a great number of hard words, the meaning of which no child can possibly understand; this they must do if they attempt to explain to children the scientific principles of gram
The principles of grammar, which are naturally intricate of themselves, have been much obscured in latter times, by the application of partial rules to one language, that have been adapted merely to another
273 and thus mistaking particular aberrations for general principles. English grammar, in particular, by being thus decked out in a Roman dress, makes a most ridiculous and absurd appearance: Excellencies have been pointed out as defects; and more puerilities have been gravely uttered by learned men on this subject, than perhaps on any other that can be Ramed. The man who should difsipate those clouds which obscure this subject, would perform an important service to society; but where fhall such a man be found? Few have the talents requisite for this task; few have resolution to expose themselves to the obloquy that must be incurred, by opposing, singly, the current of erroneous opinions that have been generally adopted; and fewer still have time and inclination to apply these talents to this use. There is something, however, so beautiful in that simplicity, which is discoverable in nature, when it is perceived that all languages are, and necefsarily must be radically the same; and it affords such a pleasing exercise to a scientific mind to be able distinctly to specify these radical principles of language, and to mark the lefser deflections, omifsions, and variations. of particular languages, which constituted their distinctive peculiarities, that we cannot help wondering that it should have been so long neglected; for as to the few attempts that have been made at this, under the name of grammar, in modern times, these have been all written under the over-ruling imprefsions of a prejudiced education, and by no means answer the intention in any degree, serving only to perplex the subject instead of elucidating it. As an introduction VOL. Vii.