Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, October 01, 1879, Page 174, Image 6

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siblc Lot the holders of public places
sco thai ihey musl hold themselves capa
hie of fulfilling the duties of thoir otllocs
in order to ho elected, and not capable of
stooping to the tricks and dodges so coin,
moidy resorted to by politicians of the
present day.
iHE over widening domain of human
knowledge has grown so replete
wilh a wondcrbouring store, lhal the live
Host intellect surely cannot want for
satisfaction, and yet, the restless energy of
Ihoughl, lhal will not be ontcnl wilh the
triumphs of the past, bill turns, like the
daring pioneers from the Ilxcd bounds of
civilization, to wren from the boulcrland
its hitherto unknown wealth, penetrates
ever deeper into the mysteries that altered
our ex'stoncc. While the material world,
the physical lile, the nature, origin, and
destiny of man, have formed the theme ol
innumerable eloquent and spirited discus
sions, the medium by means of which all
knowledge and ideas arc spread abroad
has but recently won attention to its
claims upon the philosophical research
of scholars. The science of language is
one of the latest, if not the latest, born of
the children of knowledge, and while yet
in its infancy, is fostered by scholars
whose claims to our rcspocls are of no
mean order: but, though all are agreed in
ranking their piolcgc among the sciences,
they are divided on one point, which, if
il aflecls not the value of the study, at
least concerns the kind of consideration
which it should receive: it is yet a debat
able question whether comparative phi
lology is entitled to be classed as a physi
cal or a moral science.
Miller, advocating the foimer theory,
claims, that originally language consisted
of a number oi roots, and says thai all
succeeding changes have been thrsc of
forms, und that no new root or radical
has over been invontcd by later genera
tions, as little as any single elemcnl has
over boon added to the material world in
which wo live, and henco argues thai lan
guage is an oiganie growth lhal unfolds
its powers from within. If this be true,
and the argument seems strong, musl il
not be admitted that language controls
the mental development of races? for its
richness corresponds to the amount of in
tellectual activity thai is manifested;
must il not be admitted, thai thought nev
er precedes speech, but follows always in
the track of its unfolding; and thai some
of the grandest conceptions thai awaken
in the mind are duo to the activity occa
sioncd by the budding forth of new ele
ments of speech, and not that they arc
themselves the predecessors and origina
tors of the now words required for their
expression? Does not this iacl of the
limited number of radicals rather argue,
thai the mind of man is constituted on
such a plan, that it admits ol a fixed
range of primary conceptions, and that,
all subsequent knowledge, and ideas, are
so related, and so combined from simple
cognitions that they require for their ex
pressions naught but combinations of rad
ical elements of speech ? and honcc thai
the nature and extent of language are do
tormincd by the nature and requirmonts
of the mind? All natural growths of
which we aio awaie follow laws of order'
bill if language is an organic growth tha
unfolds iis life by unalterable processes
then it would seem that the less conscious
is man's instrumentality, the more nearly
would language pieserve its uniform and
orderly aspect; and yet Miller informs us
in regard to the childieu who are left
alone in North Africa, that, from this in
fiuit Bubcl proceeds a dialect of a host of
mongrel words and phrases, joined logeth
or without rule. Surely the wild blossom
that grows by the wayside never presents
that monstiTUS construction that belongs
to the hybrid of the greenhouse. Those
children who have nothing but the innate
desire of communication, ceitainly do