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Even to a mind obscured by "sentiment," this reasoning appears somewhat incomplete. Let us suppose a similar case. A man inherits fifty thousand dollars. He finds that one thousand dollars are in counterfeit bills, while the remainder is genuine. He therefore refuses to accept any part of it, on the plea that, one counterfeit dollar being worthless, forty-nine genuine dollars must be equally worthless. This would be considered as poor evidence of his fitness to construct a syllogism, much less to take the position of leader in a difficult and dubious reform. Only one objection does the article referred to fairly meet and fairly conquer. It must at once be acknowledged that the difficulty of distinguishing words spelled phonetically alike and yet different in meaning would be no greater than that arising from a similar source in ordinary conversation. This objection, never a serious one and never prominently put forward, may be considered as finally disposed of. And these being all the points upon which this writer sees fit to touch, we may leave him here for the present. He has been referred to so frequently because his articles in Scribner are the latest and most complete exposition of the phonetic creed. Let us hope that, when he comes to suggest actual measures for putting his reform in practice, he may prove more fortunate than in these arguments which do not argue and these illustrations which do not convince.

One or two points farther and the praiseworthy patience of the reader who has attended thus far shall be tried no more. It is not sufficient to construct an ingenious theory of phonetic spelling. If a man is more than a mere dreamer, he is called upon for machinery to make it practical. It is assumed throughout that the spelling of the future is to be purely phonetic. Manifestly there can be no middle ground. If we change at all, we must follow the only guide we have left-the articulate sounds of words. Professor W. D. Whitney estimates the number of vocal sounds in the English language at about forty; of those in all languages, about three or four hundred; and of those in theory possible to be uttered by the organs of speech, infinite. Now the uncertainty manifested in the word about and in the theoretic limit of infinity is very suggestive. It shows that the most eminent linguist of our

country if not of the world can only approximately estimate the number of distinct vocal sounds. Yet this must be the new alphabet, and we must tell the child that it contains about forty letters. For, in a scientific system of pure phonetics, each sound must have its representative. The vowel sound in fat is no more like that in far than the sound of b is like that of d. When the Chicago Tribune prints thoro, it is not spelling phonetically; it merely refuses to ride a horse on account of the eccentricities of that animal, and, with much display of wisdom, mounts the playful mule, more irregular in action and less pure in pedigree. No, if we are going into phonetics, let us go into them carefully and consistently; knowing our exact aim, and working toward it in a scientific manner. And, as in the famous recipe, the first thing is to catch your hare, so the first thing here required is a phonetic alphabet-an alphabet where no letter shall be silent, and where every articulate sound shall have a separate, corresponding representative. Just what we are to do with those sounds indicated by the word about, when Professor Whitney says about forty; those fifth or sixth or seventh sounds of the letter a, for instance, concerning whose existence we are as unanimous and as certain as we are of that of the sea-serpent, it is the province of the new school to explain. But until they settle such an initial difficulty as this, their proposal of change seems neither reasonable nor modest.

One other point remains to be suggested for their consideration to our friends of the non-sentimental school. Suppose their system adopted. What would be gained and what lost? Instead of an alphabet of twenty-six letters, we should have one of uncertain length; perhaps scientifically adapted to the vocal organs of each learner. We could discard, they say, the senseless old system of spelling and the labor it entails. Let Evidently the child is to learn only the new system and remain utterly ignorant of the old. If he has that to learn, you have doubled his labor, not lessened it. Hence, he is incapable of reading the literature of the past, except in so far as it is reprinted according to the phonetic method. To take an extreme instance, what would a boy know of a word printed phthisic, when he had always read and written tizzic?

us see.

In like manner, every example brought forward in ridicule of our present method of spelling becomes an argument to prove that, were the change once made, the language of the present would be utterly unintelligible to the learner of the future. Hence it may be asked, in conclusion, what are we to do with the vast mass of literature which is the pride of our race and the storehouse from which we draw our highest culture? Text-books and works of reference, to a limited extent, would be reprinted so as to be made intelligible; but the vast mass of the works which now fill our libraries would be literally a closed book, unless the student learned the old method as well as the new; and then the question recurs-why double his labor and pretend that you are doing it in the name of science or comfort or common sense? An opinion prevails extensively and is fortified by observed results, that one of the best Ineans of cultivating the mind of youth is to throw open to him the classic treasures of our mother tongue and let him range at will. A healthy natural instinct will reject the injurious and assimilate whatever can aid in mental development. In this way even the very young can often choose more judiciously and gain more permanent benefit than from the wisest direction; and often from sources entirely unsuspected and unforeseen. It is not too much to say that often the whole intellectual bent is determined by the reading of some work in childhood, which produced results utterly disproportionate to its position in the literary world. From such sources of stimulating and improving pleasure the learner under the new system would be in great measure cut off. If any one say that all useful works would be reprinted, the answer is that, in the first place, no one can decide what may or may not be useful to the mind of inquiring youth; and, in the second place, that such wholesale reproduction is impossible. Our presses groan with the ever-increasing labor of each day. He who would undertake to re-edit and reprint the literature of the English-speaking world would need to be a Hercules in order to escape the imputation of extreme simplicity. It is not possible: and, if it were, the vast destruction of accumu lated wealth in the shape of books rendered obsolete; and the burden laid upon productive labor in replacing them with new

phonetic aud hieroglyphic volumes, for the sake of a fine-spun theory, would deter any one except a scientific reformer, destitute of a knowledge of the elementary principles of Political Economy.

The endeavor has been made to review, as briefly as the limits of such an article permit, the claims of Spelling Reform from the conservative stand-point. Those on this side of the question, though not averse to change, in itself considered, yet think that any far-reaching innovation should, before adoption, make good its claims. They are inclined to count the cost of iconoclasm; and, when they go forth to slay a dragon, assure themselves first that the monster is not the creature of their own imagination, and that their weapons will not recoil with deadly effect upon themselves. Such contend that the apathy of the people in the great Spelling Reform cause is not the result of ignorance, or a dread lest the "Spelling Bee," dear to the rural heart, should perish from the land. They consider it rather an evidence of that popular distrust which, though sometimes unreasonable and always unreasoning, is yet a sort of instinct, and is frequently the servitor and complement of the highest wisdom. They are convinced that the first requisite for a change so sweeping is to prove it possible; the second, to prove it desirable; and the third, to prove it practical. Until at least one of these points is established, they are well content to worship their old gods with the unpronounceable names; not very much alarmed at the showy advance of articulate heresy; and, so far, certainly able to give a reason for the faith that is in them.




IT was in May, 1186, as has been said, that Giraldus came back to England. Once there he seems to have devoted himself, so far as the distractions of court-life would permit, to the business of completing his work describing the country he had left behind. For this, while in Ireland, he had spared sufficient time from his quarrels to collect materials; and the next year or two after his return were given to the task of putting them into proper shape. It was as early, certainly, as March, 1188, that the Topographia Hibernica was finished, at least in its original and shortest form. This always remained a favorite production of the author. Up nearly to the time of his death. he was at work upon it, and with such results that his latest editor is disposed to look upon the existing manuscripts of it as belonging to at least three and possibly five editions. His regard for it seems to have been largely based upon the fact that he had succeeded in writing a long treatise purporting to describe a country which though near at hand was still little known, and had been enabled to refrain almost wholly from pandering to a depraved taste seeking for secular knowledge, by communicating the least possible amount of information. The proportion of valuable matter contained in the work be came constantly smaller with every new revision; though it is hardly proper to speak of anything that Giraldus ever composed as having undergone any such process as revision. For whatever had once been written by him seemed to him thereafter incapable of improvement, at least from the literary point of view. He added constantly; but he never altered, and he never struck out, unless from personal or political considerations.

*The first and second Articles of this series appeared in the numbers for November, 1878, and January, 1879, respectively. Owing to unexpected circumstances the third has been delayed till the present time.

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