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BOOK II.

CHAPTER I.

CONCERNING DEFINITIVES.

What remains of our work is a matter of less difficulty, it being the same here as in some historical picture; when the principal figures are once formed, it is an easy labour to design the rest.

Definitives, the subject of the present chapter, are commonly called by grammarians, “ articles, articuli, &popa. They are of two kinds, either those properly and strictly so called, or else the pronominal articles, such as this, that, any, &c.

We shall first treat of those articles more strictly so denominated, the reason and use of which may be explained as follows.

The visible and individual substances of nature are infinitely more numerous than for each to admit of a particular name. To supply this defect, when any individual occurs which either wants a proper name, or whose proper name is not known, we ascertain it as well as we can by referring it to its species; or if the species be unknown, then at least to some genus. For example: A certain object occurs, with a head and limbs, and appearing to possess the powers of self-motion and sensation. If we know it not as an individual, we refer it to its proper species, and call it dog, or horse, or lion, or the like. If none of these names fit, we go to the genus, and call it animal.

But this is not enough. The thing at which we are looking is neither a species nor a genus. What is it then? An individual. Of what kind? Known or unknown? Seen now for the first time, or seen before, and now remembered ? It is here we shall discover the use of the two articles, a and the : a respects our primary perception, and denotes individuals as unknown; the respects our secondary perception, and denotes individuals as known. To explain by an example : I see an object pass by which I never saw till now. What do I say?" There goes a beggar with a long beard.” The man departs, and returns a week after. What do I say then? “There goes the beggar with the long beard." The article only is changed, the rest remains unaltered.

Yet mark the force of this apparently minute change. The individual once vague, is now recognised as something known, and that merely by the efficacy of this latter article, which tacitly insinuates a kind of previous acquaintance, by referring the present perception to a like perception already past."

a See b. i. c. 5. p. 135.

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The truth is, the articles a and the are both of them definitives, as they circumscribe the latitude of genera and species by reducing them for the most part to denote individuals. The difference, however, between them is this: the article a leaves the individual itself unascertained, whereas the article the ascertains the individual also, and is for that reason the more accurate definitive of the two.

It is perhaps owing to the imperfect manner in which the article a defines, that the Greeks have no article correspondent to it, but supply its place by a negation of their article o. O άνθρωπος έπεσεν, “the man fell,” άνθρωπος έπεσεν, "a man fell,” without any thing prefixed, but only the article withdrawn. Even in English, where the article a cannot be used, as in plurals, its force is expressed by the same negation. “Those are the men,” means those are individuals of which we possess some previous knowledge. “ Those are men,” the article apart, means no more than that they are so many vague and uncertain individuals, just as the phrase a man, in the singular, implies one of the same number.

But though the Greeks have no article correspondent to the article a, yet nothing can be more nearly related than their ó to the article the. O Baoileus, "the king;” dậpov, " the gift,” &c. Nor is this only to be proved by parallel examples, but by the attributes of the Greek article as they are described by Apollonius, one of the earliest and most acute of the old grammarians now remaining.

"Έστιν ουν καθο και έν άλλοις απεφηνάμεθα, ίδιον άρθρων ή αναφορά, ή έστι προκατειλεγμένου προσώπου παραστατική: “Now the peculiar attribute of the article, as we have shewn elsewhere, is that reference which implies some certain person already mentioned.” Again : ryàp onye óvóuata ég aútv αναφοράν παρίστησιν, ει μή συμπαραλάβοιεν το άρθρον, ου εξαίρετός εστιν η αναφορά: « For nouns of themselves imply not reference, unless they take to them the article, whose peculiar character is reference.” Again: åpOpov zrpoübertwoav yvôo u dndoi: “ The article indicates a pre-established acquaint

ance.

their person.

• Τα γαρ αοριστωδώς πότε νοούμενα, ή a review within the mind of something του άρθρου παράθεσις υπό ορισμός του known before the texture of the discourse. . apodárov dyet: “ those things which are at Thus if any one says, dvdpwros ñke, ' man times understood indefinitely, the addition came,' (which is the same as when we say of the article makes to be definite as to in English, 'a man came,') it is not evident

Apoll. 1. iv. c. 1. See of the of whom he speaks. But if he says, d évsame author, l. i. c. 6, 36. TOLET (TO ápOpov Opwnos ñke, “the man came,' then it is evisc.) s dvarbanou spoeywouévou Toll £v dent; for he speaks of some person known τη συντάξει' οιον ει μεν λέγοι τις, άνθρω- before. And this is what those mean, who πος ηκε, άδηλον τινα άνθρωπον λέγει. ει δε και say that the article is expressive of the first άνθρωπος, δηλον, προεγνωσμένον γάρ τινα and second knowledge together.” Theod. άνθρωπον λέγει. Τούτο δε αυτοβούλονται και Gaze, 1. iv. οι φάσκοντες τ' άρθρον σημαντικών πρώτης Apoll. de Synt. 1. i. c. 6, 7. His acγνώσεως και δευτέρας: “ the article causes count of reference is as follows: '18lwua åra

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His reasoning upon proper names is worth remarking. Proper names (he tells

us) often fall into homonymie, that is, different persons often go by the same name. To solve this ambiguity we have recourse to adjectives or epithets. For example, there were two Grecian chiefs who bore the name of Ajax. It was not, therefore, without reason, that Menestheus uses epithets, when this intent was to distinguish the one of them from the other. 'Αλλά περ οίος ίτω Τελαμώνιος άλκιμος Αίας.

Hom. “ If both Ajaxes (says he) cannot be spared,

at least alone Let mighty Telamonian Ajax come. Apollonius proceeds: even epithets themselves are diffused through various subjects, inasmuch as the same adjective may be referred to many substantives.

In order, therefore, to render both parts of speech equally definite, that is to say, the adjective as well as the substantive, the adjective itself assumes an article before it, that it may indicate a reference to some single person only, uovadan åvapopà, according to the author's own phrase. And thus it is we say, Tpúowy o ypaj patikÒS, “ Trypho the grammarian;" 'Απολλόδωρος ο Κυρηναίος, “Apollodorus the Cyrenean,” &c. The author's conclusion of this section is worth remarking. Δεόντως άρα και κατά το τοιούτον ή πρόσθεσίς έστι του άρθρου, συνιδιάζουσα το επιθετικόν τώ κυρίω ονόματι. “It is with reason, therefore, that the article is here also added, as it brings the adjective to an individuality as precise as the proper name.

We may carry this reasoning further, and shew how by help of the article even common appellatives come to have the force of proper names, and that unassisted by epithets of any kinds. Among the Athenians, Trolov meant “ship;" evdera, “ eleven;" and ăv@pw tros,“

Yet add but the article, and tò mlolov, “the ship," meant that particular ship which they sent annually to Delos; oi čvdeka," the eleven," meant certain officers of justice; and ó áv@pwmos, “the man,” meant their public executioner. So in English, city is a name common to many places; and speaker, a name common to many men, Yet if we prefix the article, the city, means our metropolis; and the speaker, a high officer in the British parliament.

And thus it is by an easy transition that the article, from denoting reference, comes to denote eminence also; that is to say, from implying an ordinary pre-acquaintance, to presume a kind of general and universal notoriety. Thus among the Greeks, ó months, “the poet,” meant Homer; and ó Erayelφοράς προκατειλεγμένου προσώπου δευτέρα See Apoll. l. i. c. 12. where by mistake ywous: “ The peculiar character of refer- Menelaus is put for Menestheus. ence is the second or repeated knowledge of e There are so few exceptions to this some person already mentioned.” Lib. ii. observation, that we may fairly admit it c. 3.

to be generally true. Yet Aristotle twice The same

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man,

putns, “the Stagyrite," meant Aristotle; not that there were not many poets beside Homer, and many Stagyrites beside Aristotle, but none equally illustrious for their poetry and philosophy.

It is on a like principle that Aristotle tells us, it is by no means the same thing to assert είναι την ηδονήν αγαθόν, or, το åyadòv, that “pleasure is a good,” or the good.” The first only makes it a common object of desire, upon a level with many others which daily raise our wishes; the last supposes it that supreme and sovereign good, the ultimate scope of all our actions and endeavours.

But to pursue our subject. It has been said already, that the article has no meaning but when associated to some other word. To what words then may it be associated ? To such as require defining, for it is by nature a definitive. And what words are these? Not those which already are as definite as may be. Nor yet those which, being indefinite, cannot properly be made otherwise. It remains then they must be those which, though indefinite, are yet capable, through the article, of becoming definite.

Upon these principles we see the reason, why it is absurd to say, ó éyò, “the 1,” or é où, “the thou,” because nothing can make those pronouns more definite than they are. may be asserted of proper names: and though the Greeks say, ο Σωκράτης, η Ξάνθιππη, and the like, yet the article is a mere pleonasm, unless perhaps it serve to distinguish sexes. By the same rule we cannot say in Greek oi åupotépoi, or in English, “the both,” because these words in their own nature are each of them perfectly defined, so that to define them further would be quite superfluous. Thus, if it be said, “ I have read both poets," this plainly indicates a definite pair, of whom some mention has been made already; dvàs éyvoouévn, “a known duad," as Apollonius expresses himself," when he speaks of this subject. On the contrary, if it be said, “I have read two poets,” this may mean any pair out of all that ever existed. And hence this numeral, being in this sense indefinite, (as indeed are all others, as well as itself,) is forced to assume the article, whenever it would become definite. And thus it is, the two in English, and oi dvò denotes Euripides by the phrase d months, the article doth not associate." I. ii. c. 5. once at the end of the seventh book of his So Gaza, speaking of pronouns, trávtn 8èNicomachian Ethics, and again in his Phy- OUK & ÉXOvtal Šppov. l. iv. Priscian says sics, l. ii. 2. Plato, also, in his tenth book the same : Jure igitur apud Græcos prima of Laws, (p. 901. edit. Serr.) denotes Hesiod et secunda persona pronominum, quæ sine after the same manner.

dubio demonstrativæ sunt, articulis adjungi Analyt. Prior. 1. i. c. 40.

non possunt; nec tertia, quando demonstra* Apollonius makes it part of the pro- tiva est. l. xii. p. 938. In the beginning noun's definition, to refuse coalescence with of the same book, he gives the true reason the article. 'Excivo oủv Avtwvuula, td of this : Supra omnes alias partes orationis μετά δείξεως και αναφοράς αντονομαζόμενον, fnit personas pronomen. δου σύνεστι το άρθρον: «That therefore h Apollon. I. i. c. 16. is a pronoun, which with indication or re- i This explains Servius on Æneid. xii. ference is put for a noun, and with which 511, where he tells us that duorum is put for

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in Greek, mean nearly the same thing as both or åupotépoi. Hence also it is, that as two, when taken alone, has reference to some primary and indefinite perception, while the article the, has reference to some secondary and definite;k hence, I say, the reason why it is bad Greek to say dvò oi ảvopónoi, and bad English to say two the men. Such syntax is in fact a blending of incompatibles; that is to say, of a defined substantive with an undefined attributive. On the contrary, to say in Greek, ámpoTépou oi áv pátrol, or in English, both the men, is good and allowable, because the substantive cannot possibly be less apt, by being defined, to coalesce with an attributive, which is defined as well as itself. So, likewise, it is correct to say, oi dvò åv@pórol, the two men,” because here the article, being placed in the beginning, extends its power as well through substantive as attributive, and equally contributes to define them both.

As some of the words above admit of no article, because they are by nature as definite as may be, so there are others which adınit it not, because they are not to be defined at all. Of this sort are all interrogatives. If we question about substances, we cannot say, ó tis oŮtos, “the who is this ;” but Tis oŮTOS, “who is this?' The same as to qualities and both kinds of quantity. We say without an article, ποιός, ποσοι, πήλικος ; in English, “what sort of, how many, how great?" The reason is, that the articles ó and the, respect beings already known; interrogatives respect beings about which we are ignorant; for as to what we know, interrogation is superfluous.

In a word, the natural associators with articles are all those common appellatives which denote the several genera and species of beings. It is these, which, by assuming a different article, serve either to explain an individual upon its first being perceived, or else to indicate, upon its return, a recognition, or repeated knowledge."

We shall here subjoin a few instances of the peculiar power of articles.

Every proposition consists of a subject and a predicate. In English these are distinguished by their position, the subject standing first, the predicate last. “Happiness is pleasure:” here, amborum. In English or Greek, the article requires, “ of the two persons," that is to would have done the business, for “the say, of Amycus and Diores. Now this by two," or Toîv dvoiv, are equivalent to “both” amborum would have been expressed proor åupotépwv; but not so duorum, because perly, as amborum means “ the two ;" by the Latins have no articles to prefix. duorum is expressed improperly, as it means

The passage in Virgil of which Servius only “tuo indefinitely." here speaks, is a description of Turnus's * Sup. p. 179. killing two brothers, Amycus and Diores; 1 Apollonius calls τις, έναντιώτατον των after which, the poet says of him,

ápBpwv, a part of speech, “most contrary, . curru abscissa duorum

most averse to articles." 1. iv. c, 1. Suspendit capita .

m What is here said respects the two This, literally translated, is, “he hung articles which we have in English. In up on his chariot the heads of two persons, Greek, the article does no more than imply which were cut off;" whereas the sense a recognition. See before, p. 180.

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