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HE first general division of words (and that which has
been and still is almost universally held by Grammarians) is into Declinable and Indeclinable. All the Indeclinables except the Adverb, we have already considered. And though Mr. Harris has taken away the Adverb from its old station amongst the other Indeclinables, and has, by a singular whim of his own, made it a secondary class of Attributives, or (as he calls them) Attributes of Attributes ; yet neither does he nor any other Grammarian seem to have any clear notion of its nature and character.
B. Johnson and Wallis and all others, I think, seem to confound it with the Prepositions, Conjunctions and In
“ Prepositions are a peculiar kind of Adverbs, and ought to be re« ferred thither,"
B. Johnson's Grammar. 5
terjections. And Servius (to whom learning has great obligations) advances something which almost justifies you for calling this class, what you lately termed it, the common fink and repository of all heterogeneous, unknown corruptions. For, he says," Omnis pars orationis, quando « desinit esse quod est, migrat in Adverbium *."
I think I can translate Servius intelligibly-Every word, quando definit effe quod est, when a Grammarian knows not what to make of it, migrat in Adverbium, he calls an Adverb.
These Adverbs however (which are no more a separate part of speech than the particles we have already considered) shall give us but little trouble, and shall waste no time: for I need not repeat the reasoning which I have already used with the Conjunctions and Prepositions.
“ Interjectio poffet ad Adverbium reduci; fed quia majoribus nostris placuit illam distinguere ; non eft cur in re tam tenui hæreamus.
Caramuel. “ Chez est plutôt dans notre langue un Adverbe, qu’une Particule.”
* « Rectè dictum est ex omni adjectivo fieri adverbium.” Campanella.
All Adverbs ending in Ly (the most prolific branch of the family) are sufficiently understood : the termination (which alone causes them to be denominated Adverbs) being only the word like corrupted; and the corruption so much the more easily and certainly discovered, as the termination remains more pure and distinguishable in the other filter languages, the German, the Dutch, the Danish and the Swedish ; in which it is written lich, lyk, lig, liga. And the Encyclopædia Britannica informs us, that" In 66 Scotland the word Like is at this day frequently used “ instead of the English termination Ly. As, for a goodly 66 figure, the common people say, a goodlike figure.”
Is the past participle Adrifed, Adrifd, Adrift, of the Anglo-saxon verb Dripan, Adriran, to Drive. “ And quhat auenture has the hiddir DRIFFE ?”
Douglas. Booke 3. pag. 79. i. e. Driffed or Driffen.
A GHAST, AGA ST.
May be the past participle Agazed,
« The French exclaim'd--The Devil was in arms.
Agazed may mean, made to gaze : a verb built on the
verb To gaze.
In King Lear (Act 2. Sce. 1.) Edmund says of Edgar,
.“ Gasted by the noise I made, “ Full suddenly he fed.”
Gasted, i. e. made aghast : which is again a verb built on the participle aghaft. This progressive building of verb upon verb is not an uncommon practice in language.
In Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit at several Weapons, (Act 2.) “ Sir Gregory Fopp, a witless lord of land,” says of his clown,
66 If the fellow be not out of his wits, then will I never " have any more wit whilst I live ; either the sight of the “ lady has GASTERED him, or else he's drunk.”
I do not bring this word as an authority, nor do I think it calls for any explanation. It is spoken by a fool of a fool; and may be supposed an ignorantly coined or fantastical cant word; or corruptly used for Gasted.
An objection may certainly be made to this derivation : because the word AGAST always, I believe, denotes a con
fiderable degree of terror; which is not denoted by the verb To Gaze : for we may gaze with delight, with wonder or admiration, without the least degree of fear. If I could have found written (as I doubt not there was in speech) a Gothic verb formed upon the Gothic noun iris, which means Fear and Trembling (the long-fought etymology of our English word Ague *); I Mould have avoided this ob
Junius says" Ague, febris. G. Aigù est acutus. Nihil nempe usi“ tatius eft, quam acutas dicere febres.”
But Skinner, a medical man, was aware of objections to this derivation, which Junius never dreamed of. He therefore says" Fortasse a Fr.
Aigú, acutus. Quia (saltem in paroxysmo) acutus (quodammodo) morbus « est, et acutis doloribus exercet: licet a medicis, durationem magis quam “ vehementiam hujus morbi respicientibus, non inter acutas, sed chronicas
But Skinner's qualifying paroxysmo, quodammodo, acutis doloribus, by which (for want of any other etymology) he endeavours to give a colour to the derivation from Aigu, acutus, will not answer his purpose: for it is not true (and I speak from a tedious experience) that there are any acute pains in any period of the AGUE. Besides, S. Johnson has truly observed, that
.“ The cold fit is, in popular language, more particularly called the “ Ague; and the hot, the fever.” And it is commonly said-—" He has " an Ague and fever.”
I believe our word Ague to be no other than the Gothic word \ris, fear, trembling, shuddering.
1. Because the Anglo-saxons and English, in their adoption of the Gothic substantives, (most of which terminate in s) always drop the terminating s.