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in this department of Greek studies by the scholars of the present age.
Such would be the case, if the only obstacle to be overcome were the physical difficulty of collecting and arranging the scattered items of knowledge, and bringing them into harmonious adjustment with the materials already accuinulated. But besides these difficulties, it must be remembered that every improvement is an innovation, and in that character it must somewhat offend every scholar who has an affectionate remembrance of his early guides and helps in the road to learning ; so that error does not stand on its own merits, but is already intrenched in the favorable regards of most of those who have any knowledge of the matter in debate.
The question to be asked, therefore, respecting a new lexicon is not, whether it is defective, or in some respects erroneous; but, first, How extensive is its aim ? And, secondly, Does it embody in a satisfactory degree the learning of the time in regard to the language in question ?
We have before us, in the two works named at the head of this article, the latest results of American and foreign scholarship in the department of Greek lexicography. We congratulate the student of the Greek language, a language whose great claims were never appreciated with a nicer discrimination than at the present time, on this accession to their means of study. Estimating each of the works with regard to its proposed end, they leave comparatively little to be desired. The first named, the lexicon of Mr. Pickering, may with much justice be called an original work, since the author, in the earlier edition of it, issued twenty years ago, was the first to break away from the usage that had before prevailed, and to present the definitions in English ; and in its present form, the work embodies the best results of his whole life, devoted with singular ardor and success to classical and kindred studies. This work, we believe, will be found to be the best Greek lexicon in the English language for the use of schools and colleges. While it does not aim to embrace the whole circle of Greek literature, it is sufficiently extensive for schools and for the usual wants of students in college. Its execution within its prescribed range is singularly faithful and complete.
The larger lexicon, edited by Professor Drisler, from the English work by Messrs. Liddell and Scott, has been already briefly noticed in this Review. We will here only add, that for the mature scholar it forms the proper complement to the work of Mr. Pickering. Though not properly a Thesaurus of the language, 'it is far more extensive and full than any Greek lexicon ever before published, at so low a price as to bring it within the reach of every scholar. In general, we may say that the mature scholar will find here, in all the attractiveness of historical arrangement, whatever he may wish to know in Greek lexicography.
We would not imply, however, that there are not important deficiencies yet to be supplied in this department. The investigations made in lexicography within the last generation, while they have freed the whole subject from much of the confusion in which it formerly lay, and have led the student to recognize a scientific basis for its future treatment, have yet stimulated inquiry rather than satisfied it, and tend to lead the scholar to look to the work yet to be done, more than to any past achievements. At no former period, we believe, would the observation of Coleridge meet with so ready an acceptance among learned men as at the present time ; that the greatest single benefit which learning could bestow on the age would be in the construction of a dictionary of the English language, in which each word should be traced from its root, logically and historically, through all its meanings in the English, and those kindred languages in which it is found. We do not hesitate to say that it is through investigations of this kind, of a wider or narrower extent, that the richest fruits of classical study are to be sought. It is through this intimate communion with the laws of thought and feeling that underlie the conventional usages of languages, that the student becomes an artist, and gains for himself a point of view where he can not only dispense with the aid of critics, but can understand their ignorance.
But before such a work can be done, the ground must be cleared of many, obstructions that now occupy it ; and this part of the task is hardly more important than it is difficult. It is remarkable with what tenacity an error once received will hold its place, in the midst of inquiries that would seem sufficient at any time to annihilate its claims and banish it from the field. It seems very excusable, as well as natural, on a subject like language, to receive a positive statement as accurately true ; it is far easier to accept the dictum of another than to inquire carefully for ourselves ; hence, important errors are left for ages uncorrected, aggravating the student's labor, and obstructing his progress even in the most beaten path.
We propose to illustrate these remarks by reference to a single topic in Greek lexicography, - the treatment of the prepositions. These words are so extensively employed in composition with verbs and other parts of speech, and are so varied in their uses when standing alone, that they claim a large share of the student's attention. The intricacies they present begin to bewilder the young learner at an early stage of his study. He soon becoines weary in his attempts to find any unity in the diversified materials before him ; and so, instead of gaining sound knowledge, he contents himself with storing up such a multitude of arbitrary definitions as his memory can carry for his use in reading. And in his later progress, there is probably no part of the language which the Greek scholar is less able to discuss in an attractive and intelligent way than this. That this portion of the language has not yet received the elucidation which it needs may be seen in the fact, that it forms an important point in the work of each new laborer in the field of lexicography. The result, however, up to the present time, is a collection of idiomatic usages, rather than the progressive development, in the case of each word, of one leading idea.
To show to what extent this topic is treated in an arbitrary manner, and how little there is of logical deduction in defining the prepositions, we will take for illustration the first that occurs in the lexicon, the preposition ává. The primary meaning of åvá is up. This is its original signification as a designation in space; the signification, therefore, from which, if there is any logical deduction in the case, the other meanings of the word may be traced. How far this is done in our Greek lexicons may be seen by observing how far they furnish answers to the following inquiries. 1. How does the preposition ảvá contribute to the meaning of the following words : ávarropetouai = to journey, or march, from the sea-coast into the interior ; ivan.éw = to sail from port to sea ; åvoiyw = to open, as a door ; åvaretávvoll = to unroll, as a sail, which unrolls downward, and not up; also, to flow down, as the hair when unbound from the head ? 2. Why does åvá in composition with many verbs give the signification of beginning to the action they express, as åvaraíw = to kindle, åvaháutw = to take fire, åvaklaio = to set up a lamentation ? 3. How does it follow from the meaning of avá, that the verbs with which it is compounded are, to a remarkable extent, used intransitively? 4. How is it that ává compounded with certain words expressses opposition, or resistance, as ávarpoúw = to thrust back, check, as a horse, to put back a ship, sternwards, by reversing the action of the oars ? 5. Why, in a large class of verbs, does åvá give the force of repetition to the action of the verb ?
Before proceeding farther, it may be well to consider an objection that may possibly be made to this method of inquiry. It may be said, that provided the significations of a word are known, it is of no importance to the student what the logical connection between them is. Let him be content to know the facts, and leave the connection between them as a matter of useless speculation.
It is no credit to our classical culture that such an objection is ever heard ; still, it is sometimes made, even by those whose opportunities seem to entitle their opinion to some weight. The answer to the objection is simple. Either language is a product of the rational mind, and hence bears in every feature the impress of reason, or it is a mere chance collection of arbitrary signs, with no rational bond to unite them. If the latter is the true view, then the toilsome and expensive training of our youth in the ancient classical languages, we say, is an immense waste of time and power ; if the former view is just, then it is the student's duty at every step of his study of a language to search, by the aid of reason, for the impress of that same reason employed in the production of the language.
And this is not a matter of duty only ; it is the student's instinctive desire. The objector has the natural feelings of every learner opposed to him. The learner seeks a reason for every fact, and when he fails to find it, he feels not only that he is a loser, but that he is wronged. He has not found what he knows he has a right to; he has asked for bread, and received a stone. At this point, to meet him with the assertion that there is no reason, such as he is in quest of, is adding insult to injury.
We do not forget the difficulties that may be found in the way of the mode of investigation which is bere advocated ;
that in many cases the thread is lost that would guide to the arcana of thought, and after our most diligent search, we must rest satisfied with facts whose connection with each other is not seen. This, however, should only make us more highly prize those rays of light which a careful and rigorous analysis may shed on the rational interpretation of language.
To render the point of our inquiry more distinct respecting the Greek prepositions, we will select another, the opposite of avá, and, by a similar set of inquiries to those just gone through, will show the arbitrary manner in which it is usually treated. The primary signification of katá is down. It is from this original meaning that all the other significations of the word, if logically deduced, must be derived. In this connection the following questions present themselves. 1. How does kará contribute to the peculiar meanings of καταπλέω = to sail to port ; κατακλείω = to shut ; καταπορεύομαι = to come back ; katapéutw = to send from the inland to the sea-coast? 2. What is the force of katá in the words Karatéuva = to cut up, or cut in pieces ; kategdiw = to eat up, devour (the signification of Kará in this word is not down, as we shall show)? See also many other compounds of kará whose meanings are similarly modified. 3. What is the force of κατά in καταφυγή = α place of refuge και κατάλαμψις = a reflection of light; and why does kará, more than drá, give a transitive force to the words with which it is compounded ?
We have carefully avoided, in the foregoing examples, using any word in which the preposition has its primitive signification. It may be thought that the word karanéutw is an exception, as the preposition does designate what is in some degree true in going from the interior of a country to the coast ; but we shall show that Kará has a derived, and not its primary, signification here ; and it is obvious, a priori, that to give it its primary meaning would give a feeble and unsatisfactory interpretation to the word. The idea of descent in going from the interior of a country to the sea-coast is not sufficiently prominent to have suggested this preposition to be employed in the descriptive word. The signification of the preposition in each of the preceding examples is derived ; and our next object will be to show, by logical deduction, the strict connection that subsists between the primary meaning of the preposition and the secondary means