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divisions, Ching never lost heart or felt fear, but with his spear, which no one could stand against, (as when a god appears the devils are annihilated), he kept them at bay. The other captain then brought up his archers on all sides, and the arrows flew like rain, unknowing alike which was precious or which was common. Alas! for this valiant nobleman of his country, who this day fell under myriads of darts!

The leader of the left wing soon captured the chariot of Yiuwang, which he plundered and detained. Seeing the robes and gemmed girdle, the chief recognized the king, and with one blow cut him down in the chariot, and slew Peh-fuh with him. Pao-sz' escaped death by her beauty, for she was placed in a light car, and sent off to his felt tent in camp to serve his pleasure. Yin Kiu hid himself in the carriage-box, but was dragged out by the soldiers and killed on the spot.

The whole reign of King Yiu was eleven years. Seeing, therefore, that the seller of mulberry bows and bamboo quivers picked up the elfin girl from the river bank, and fled away to Pao; which girl was Pao-sz', who bewitched the monarch's heart to treat his wife harshly, and brought sorrow on himself; it finally came to pass that on this day his body was hewed in pieces, and his empire broken. The boys' ballad was,

The moon is coming up,

The sun is going down,

Mulberry bows and bamboo quivers;

Chau's realm is well-nigh lost.

It was now fulfilled in all its parts. The decrees of Heaven had been all settled in the days of King Siuen.

Duke Kwoh's corpse lay headless, and Lord Yin was lost,

Ching perished on the day he guarded his king;

All three dying with the house of Chau.

Which of their bleached bones lie fragrant in the wind?


THE cause of English Spelling Reform seems to be coming to the front. Scholars of every grade have been advocating its claims for years past, and now a portion of the press is making a practical movement toward introducing the New Orthography. It does not, then, seem out of place to hazard a few remarks on the conservative side of this question. To some minds it is yet an open one. The acknowledged authority of those who are in favor of a change makes the position of one who is not yet convinced both difficult and dangerous. But before any great portion of the people are committed to the present movement, it is no more than just that its claims receive a full examination. Heretofore they have either been passed over as not likely to become serious, or silently accepted by reason of the eminence of their authors. slight review of the one side and a re-presentation of the other is now manifestly in order. That a reform in spelling may not be practicable or desirable no one will venture to assert. But that the advocates of the new method have not fairly met the objections to their proposed innovation, and that they have utterly overlooked certain practical difficulties connected with the subject, it shall be the object of this Article to demonstrate.


Two articles which have recently appeared in Scribner's Monthly may, from the deservedly high reputations of the author and the magazine, be taken as a fair statement of the position of those who claim to be orthographic in the etymological sense of the word. Yet, with due deference to such authority, it must be said that, if the arguments there advanced are the best the cause can furnish, it is unfortunate.

A system which has not yet been adopted even on probation can scarcely assume with fitness the tone of settled and unassailable custom. To fix the terrible title of "sentimentalist" upon him who dares bring forward objections founded upon the nature of the change required and sustained by sound rea

soning, does nothing to discredit the old cause or to strengthen. the new. Whichever of these can prove itself fittest to survive, will, in the end, prevail. It has become a somewhat lamentable custom in our day, for an acknowledged authority. on any subject, to meet views different from his own with a kind of condescending pity and semi-sarcasm which is very effective with the unreasoning reader. However, neither grans of style nor subtle methods of treatment can be a sufficient substitute for logical reasoning. It has been claimed that this is a scientific question. It should, then, be discussed on both sides according to scientific methods; and one side is as susceptible of such statement as the other. Leaving out of consideration the fictitious issues which have been raised, let us consider purely on its own merits, the question of a new orthography, the objections which have been made to such a change, and the corresponding answers presented as satisfactory and conclusive. It is to be hoped that this can be done soberly, and without any of that railing at those who differ, which is so characteristic of men in haste to be wise.

Let it be understood that this Article does not undertake to defend what are acknowledged by all to be the difficulties, the inconsistencies, and the absurdities of the present method of spelling. Let it be stated once for all that our system is very faulty in almost every respect. Yet, surely, the man who admits so much retains the right to protest against a change which, at best, is but a change of evils, and which he thinks will prove, if adopted, a veritable white elephant to its supporters. If it is better to "bear the ills we have than flee to others that we know not of," then the burden of proof lies with the members of the new school. They assert, through the writer of the above-mentioned articles, that the arbitrary methods of phonetic spelling would introduce no more confusion than will ultimately result from the present utter divorce of sound and symbol; that ultimately we shall "write one language and speak another." The logic of this statement provokes a smile. It assumes that pronunciation will remain fixed while spelling change in a ratio entirely unlike anything in the known history of our or any other tongue. It assumes that pronunciation is governed by rules as well ascertained

and as definitely agreed upon and laid down as those of spelling. Cut the two asunder and it will soon appear how fallacious is this statement. While it is admitted that the exceptions to orthographic rules are provokingly and uselessly numerous, it is no less true that we have a definite standard. It is laid down in all our books and it is obeyed. While the organs of hearing and of articulation differ in different individuals, we can have no such fixed standard of a phonetic system. Differences of pronunciation, which are now merely the subjects for good-natured banter, would necessarily fix themselves in our speech, when they came to be phonetically written. Each authority would have his own followers; and, instead of a merciful oblivion for an obstinate theorist, his pet theories would be fossilized, and become a daily increasing source of confusion and uncertainty. Since our language crystallized into its modern form, the changes in spelling have been comparatively few and unimportant. The dropping of a u in words like honor, an in words like traveler, a final k in such words as music, and a few others of equally easy classification, comprise nearly all of them. These can certainly be counterbalanced by phonetic changes. The printing-press was at hand to fix the variations of the one; but, unhappily, the phonograph had not yet been called into existence to record the changes in the other. The pronunciation of certain words is largely a matter of fashion, and it is doubtful if the dropping of a silent letter in any single word would be as difficult a matter to accomplish, as to bring into phonetic accord the devotees of ether and ither, or of kwinin and kenen. Fanueil Hall would become a rival of Shakespeare in suggesting possible changes in spelling, and the helpless youth be left a prey to the wiles of the eager reformer who should first secure his attention. Aside from mere provincialisms, let any person of middle age call to mind the pronunciation which he heard in youth from cultivated persons, and he will be convinced that the language is at least as variable in this respect as in any other. With the most liberal admissions, then, we should gain nothing by a change to the phonetic system. Both standards are variable, and we should escape one tyrant only to fall into bondage to a despot equally severe. But this is not all. It is

more than a mere choice of evils. We now come to the first great objection to the proposed change. It makes necessary another formative period in the history of our language. A tongue does not spring into existence like Minerva from the head of Jupiter. No one is ignorant of the fact that our own language and our own orthography are not matters of spontaneous creation, but of growth. Suppose the phonetic system to be adopted. Whether introduced suddenly or gradually, it would be a source of inextricable confusion. Being a matter beyond the reach of law, a universal standard and universal obedience could not be at once secured. We should have to surmount the obstacles which Chaucer and his contemporaries found in an unformed and chaotic tongue; we should have no authority to decide when doctors disagree; and this confusion would be worse confounded by the millions of printed. sheets daily sent forth by the press, some clinging to the old system, some going to the extreme limits of the new, and some gracefully occupying the position of the modern politician when parties are evenly divided. To repeat, we should inevitably be subject to a period of transition, with all its disadvantages so multiplied by the immense productiveness of the press, that centuries must elapse before our speech settled. once more into a permanent and universal form. It is so

much easier to pull down than to build, that the mere statement of the first difficulty seems a sufficient warning to those desirous of something new, to temper their zeal with a measure of discretion.

The writer in Scribner has a curious rebuke for those who assert that the etymology of words is frequently so wrapped up in their form that you cannot strike at the one without fatally injuring the other. His argument is, that since there are some words whose spelling gives no clue to their etymology, if it be not altogether misleading, therefore we should destroy the connection when it does exist, and refuse to follow when it leads aright. To use his own illustration, the witness of the Roman occupation of Britain, as seen in the termination of Cirencester, is of no value because it is not seen in like manner in Exeter. That is to say, because one proof of an interesting fact is destroyed, therefore let us destroy all the

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