« PreviousContinue »
going to write.” But the Latins go further, and have a species of verbs, derived from others, which do the duty of these tenses, and are themselves for that reason called inchoatives or inceptives. Thus from Caleo, “I am warm," comes Calesco, “I begin to grow warm;" from Tumeo, “I swell,” comes Tumesco, “I begin to swell.” These inchoative verbs are so peculiarly appropriated to the beginnings of time, that they are defective as to all tenses which denote it in its completion, and therefore have neither perfectum, plusquam-perfectum, or perfect future. There is likewise a species of verbs called in Greek èpetirà, in Latin desiderativa, the desideratives or meditatives, which if they are not strictly inceptives, yet both in Greek and Latin have a near affinity with them. Such are roleunoelo, bellaturio, “I have a desire to make war;” Bpwoelw, esurio, “ I long to eat.' And so much for the inceptive tenses.
The two last orders of tenses which remain, are those we called the middle tenses,” (which express time as extended and passing,) and the perfect or completive, which express its completion or end.
Now for these the authorities are many. They have been acknowledged already in the ingenious accidence of Mr. Hoadly, and explained and confirmed by Dr. Samuel Clarke, in his rational edition of Homer's Iliad. Nay, long before either of these, we find the same scheme in Scaliger, and by him a ascribed to Grocinus," as its author. The learned Gaza (who was himself a Greek, and one of the ablest restorers of that language in the western world) characterizes the tenses in nearly the same manner. What Apollonius hints, is exactly consonant.d
9 As all beginnings have reference to what omavero. Non male, inquam: significat is future, hence we see how properly these enim amavero, amorem futurum et absoverbs are formed, the Greek ones from a lutum iri: amabo perfectionem nullam infuture verb, the Latin from a future parti- dicat. De Caus. Ling. Lat. c. 113. ciple. From πολεμήσω and βρώσω come b His name was William Grocin, an Troeunoelw and Bpwoelw; from bellaturus Englishman, contemporary with Erasmus, and esurus come bellaturio and esurio. See and celebrated for his learning. He went Macrobius, p. 691. ed. Var. où návu gé me to Florence to study under Landin, and vův oh yenaselovta étroinoas yerdoal was professor at Oxford. Spec. Lit. Flor. Plato in Phædone.
? Care must be taken not to confound • The present tense (as this author inthese middle tenses, with the tenses of forms us in his excellent Grammar) denotes those verbs, which bear the same name το ενεστάμενον και ατελές, “ that which is among grammarians.
now instant and incomplete ;" the perfec* Ex his percipimus Grocinum acute ad- tum, το παρεληλυθός άρτι, και εντελές του modum tempora divisisse, sed minus com- éveOTWTOs, that which is now immediately mode. Tria enim constituit, ut nos, sed past, and is the completion of the present;" quæ bifariam secat, perfectum et imperfec- the imperfectum, id rrapateTapevov kal tum: sic, præteritum imperfectum, amabam: åtends toù hapuxnuévov, “ the extended præteritum perfectum, amaveram. Recte and incomplete part of the past;" and the sane. Et præsens imperfectum, amo. Recte plusquam-perfectum, id tapeanauods várang hactenus ; continuat enim amorem, neque και εντελές του παρακειμένου, “ that which absolvit. At præsens perfectum, amavi: is past long ago, and is the completion of quis hoc dicat? De futuro autem ut non the præteritum.” Gram. I. iv. male sentit, ita controversum est. Futurum, d' 'Εντεύθεν δε πειθόμεθα, ότι ου παροinquit, imperfectum, amabo : perfectum, xnuévou OUTé elav onuaiva d tapaketa
Priscian, too, advances the same doctrine from the Stoics, whose authority we esteem greater than all the rest, not only from the more early age when they lived, but from their superior skill in philosophy, and their peculiar attachment to dialectic, which naturally led them to great accuracy in these grammatical speculations.
Before we conclude, we shall add a few miscellaneous observations, which will be more easily intelligible from the hypothesis here advanced, and serve withal to confirm its truth.
And first, the Latins used their præteritum perfectum in some instances after a very peculiar manner, so as to imply the very reverse of the verb in its natural signification. Thus, vixit signified “is dead;" fuit signified “now is not, is no more." It was in this sense that Cicero addressed the people of Rome, when he had put to death the leaders in the Catalinarian conspiracy. He appeared in the forum, and cried out, with a loud voice, Vixerunt.' So Virgil :
& Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens Gloria Dardanidum.
HEVOS, Thy ye univ evertway: "Hence we Si enim ad finem perveniat inceptum, statim are persuaded that the perfectum doth not utimur præterito perfecto ; continuo enim, signify the completion of the past, but pre- scripto ad finem versu, dico, scripsi versum. sent completion.” Apollon. 1. iii. c. 6. The And soon after, speaking of the Latin reason which persuaded him to this opinion, perfectum, he says, Sciendum tamen, quod was the application and use of the particle Romani præterito perfecto non solum in re wy, of which he was then treating, and modo completa utuntur, (in quo vim habet which, as it denoted potentiality or con- ejus, qui apud Græcos napakeluevos, vocatingence, would assort (he says) with any tur, quem Stoici TÉAELov" éveotâra nomiof the passing, extended, and incomplete naverunt) sed etiam pro koplotou accitenses, but never with this perfectum, be- pitur, &c. Lib. viii. p. 812, 813, 814. cause this implied such a complete and in- "So among the Romans, when in a defeasible existence, as never to be qualified cause all the pleaders had spoken, the cryer into the nature of a contingent.
used to proclaim Direrunt, i. e. “they have * By these philosophers the vulgar pre- done speaking.” Ascon. Pæd. in Verr. ii. sent tense was called the imperfect present, & So Tibullus, speaking of certain prodiand the vulgar præteritum, the perfect pre- gies and evil omens: sent, than which nothing can be more con- Hæc fuerint olim. Sed tu, jam mitis, sonant to the system that we favour. But Apollo, let us hear Priscian, from whom we learn Prodigia indomitis merge sub æquorithese facts. Præsens tempus proprie dici- bus.
Eleg. ii. 5. ver. 19. tur, cujus pars jam præteriit, pars futura “Let these events have been in days of est. Cum enim tempus, fluvii more, insta- old ;" by implication therefore, but hencebili volvatur cursu, vix punctum habere forth let them be no more.” potest in præsenti, hoc est, in instanti. So Æneas in Virgil prays to Phæbus : Maxima igitur pars ejus (sicut dictum est) Hac Trojana tenus fuerit fortuna secuta. vel præteriit vel futura est. Unde Stoici "Let Trojan fortune (that is, adverse, jure hoc tempus presens etiam imperfectum like that of Troy and its inhabitants) vocabant (ut dictum est) eo quod prior ejus have so far followed us." By implication, pars, quæ præteriit, transacta est, deest therefore, “but let it follow us no further." autem sequens, id est, futura. Ut si in “Here let it end,” Hic sit finis, as Servius medio versu dicam, scribo versum, priore well observes in the place. ejus parte scripta ; cui adhuc deest extrema In which instances, by the way, mark pars, præsenti utor verbo, dicendo, scribo not only the force of the tense, but of the Tersum : sed imperfectum est, quod deest mood, the precative or imperative, not in adhuc versui, quod scribatur. Ex eodem the future but in the past. See next igitur præsenti nascitur etiam perfectum. chapter.
Locus Ardea quondam
Æn. vii. The reason of these significations is derived from the completive power of the tense here mer ned. We see that the periods of nature, and of human affairs, are maintained by the reciprocal succession of contraries. It is thus with calm and tempest, with day and night, with prosperity and adversity, with glory and ignominy, with life and death. Hence, then, in the instances above, the completion of one contrary is put for the commencement of the other, and to say, hath lived, or hath been, has the same meaning with is dead, or is no more.
It is remarkable in Virgil,' that he frequently joins in the same sentence this complete and perfect present with the extended and passing present; which proves that he considered the two, as belonging to the same species of time, and therefore naturally formed to coincide with each other.
Tibi jam brachia contrahit ardens
Illa noto citius, volucrique sagitta,
Æn. v. In the same manner he joins the same two modifications of time in the past ; that is to say, the complete and perfect past with the extended and passing. Inruerant Danai, et tectum omne tenebant.
b Certus in hospitibus non est amor; errat, supposes the scorpion so desirous of admitut ipsi :
ting Augustus among the heavenly signs, Cumque nihil speres firmius esse, fuit. that though he has already made him more
Epist. Ovid. Helen. Paridi. ver. 190. than room enough, yet he still continues to Sive erimus, seu nos futa fuisse volent. be making him more. Here then we have
Tibull. iii. 5. 32. two acts, one perfect, the other pending, See also Spencer's Fairy Queen, book i. and hence the use of the two different c. 3. st. 19; c. 3. st. 39; c. 8. st. 9.
tenses. Some editions read relinquit; but He hath his shield redeemd, and forth his reliquit has the authority of the celebrated sword he draws.
Medicean manuscript. j The intention of Virgil may be better Ila noto citius, volucrique sagitta, seen, in rendering one or two of the above Ad terram fugit, et portu se condidit alto. passages into English.
“ The ship, quicker than the wind, or a Tibi jam brachia contrahit ardens swift arrow, continues flying to land, and is Scorpius, et cæli justa plus parte reliquit. hid within the lofty harbour.” We may “For thee the scorpion is now contracting suppose this harbour (like many others) his claws, and hath already left thee more to have been surrounded with high land. than a just portion of heaven.” The poet, Hence the vessel, immediately on entering from a high strain of poetic adulation, it, was completely hid from those specta: quam natura eorum. Quod enim præteriit, Inruerant Danai, et tectum omne tenebant. prius est, quam quod est, itaque primo loco “ The Greeks had entered and were then debere poni videbatur. Verum, quod primo possessing the whole house;" as much as quoque tempore offertur nobis, id creat to say, “they had entered, and that was primas species in animo: quamobrem præover," but their possession continued still. sens tempus primum locum occupavit ; est
As to the imperfectum, it is sometimes employed to denote what is usual and customary. Thus surgebat and scribebat signify, not only “ he was rising, he was writing,” but upon occasion they signify" he used to rise, he used to write.” The reason of this is, that whatever is customary, must be something which has been frequently repeated. But what has been frequently repeated, must needs require an extension of time past, and thus we fall insensibly into the tense here mentioned.
Again, we are told by Pliny (whose authority likewise is confirmed by many gems and marbles still extant) that the ancient painters and sculptors, when they fixed their names to their works, did it pendenti titulo, “in a suspensive kind of inscription,” and employed for that purpose the tense here mentioned. It was 'Απελλής επoίει, Apelles faciebat, Πολύκλειτος επoίει, Polycletus faciebat, and never étroinge or fecit. By this they imagined that they avoided the shew of arrogance, and had in case of censure an apology (as it were) prepared, since it appeared from the work itself that it was once indeed in hand, but no pretension that it was ever finished.”
It is remarkable that the very manner in which the Latins derive these tenses from one another, shews a plain reference to the system here advanced. From the passing present come the passing past and future: Scribo, scribebam, scribam. From the perfect present come the perfect past and future: Scripsi, scripseram, scripsero. And so in all instances, even where the verbs are irregular, as from fero come ferebam and feram ; from tuli come tuleram and tulero.
We shall conclude by observing, that the order of the tenses, as they stand ranged by the old grammarians, is not a fortuitous order, but is consonant to our perceptions in the recognition of time, according to what we have explained already.' Hence it is that the present tense stands first; then the past tenses; and lastly the future.
And now having seen what authorities there are for aorists, or those tenses which denote time indefinitely, and what for tors, who had gone out to see the ship-race, observation upon this occasion is elegant. but yet might still continue sailing towards Ordo autem (temporum scil.) aliter est, the shore within.
* Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. i. The first printers, enim commune omnibus animalibus. Præ(who were most of them scholars and critics,) teritum autem iis tantum, quæ memoria in imitation of the ancient artists, used the prædita sunt. Futurum vero etiam pauciosame tense. Excudebat H. Stephanus. Ex- ribus, quippe quibus datum est prudentiæ cudebat Guil. Morelius. Absolvebat Joan. officium. De Caus. Ling. Lat. c. 113. See Benenatus, which has been followed by Dr. also Senecæ Epist. 124. Mutum animal Taylor in his late valuable edition of De- sensu comprehendit præsentia ; præteritomosthenes.
1 See before, pages 148—150. Scaliger's
those tenses opposed to aorists, which mark it definitely, (such as the inceptive, the middle, and the completive,) we here finish the subject of time and tenses, and proceed to consider the verb in other attributes, which it will be necessary to deduce from other principles.
We have observed already," that the soul's leading powers are those of perception and those of volition, which words we have taken in their most comprehensive acceptation. We have observed also, that all speech or discourse is a publishing or exhibiting some part of our soul, either a certain perception or a certain volition. Hence then, according as we exhibit it either in a different part or after a different manner, hence, I say, the variety of modes or moods."
If we simply declare or indicate something to be or not to be, (whether a perception or volition, it is equally the same,) this constitutes that mode called the declarative or indicative.
Virg. Æn. vi.
Ovid. Metam. i. If we do not strictly assert, as of something absolute and certain, but as of something possible only, and in the number of contingents, this makes that mode which grammarians call the potential, and which becomes on such occasions the leading mode of the sentence.
Sed tacitus pasci si posset corvus, haberet
Hor. Yet sometimes it is not the leading mode, but only subjoined to the indicative. In such case it is mostly used to denote the end, or final cause; which end, as in human life it is always a contingent, and may never perhaps happen, in despite of all our
m See chapter ii.
verbs, hence it is Apollonius observes, tois η Gaza defines a mode exactly consonant ρήμασιν εξαιρέτως παράκειται η ψυχική διάto this doctrine. He says it is Bobanuan Deous: “ the soul's disposition is in an είτ' ουν πάθημα ψυχής, διά φωνής σημαινό- eminent degree attached to verbs." De uevov, “a volition or affection of the soul, Synt. 1. iï. c. 13. Thus, too, Priscian: signified through some voice, or sound arti- Modi sunt diversæ inclinationes animi, quas culate.” Gram. I. iv. As therefore this is varia consequitur declinatio verbi. Lib. viii. the nature of modes, and modes belong to p. 821.