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JULY 1, 1862.

ART. I.-Lectures on the Science of Language. By MAX MÜLLER, M.A., Fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford, Corresponding Member of the Imperial Institute of France. Third Edition. London: Longman & Co.

THE above Lectures, which the author informs us are only a short abstract of several courses delivered in Oxford, are a healthy sign of the times. The subject deserves more attention than it has hitherto received in this country.

The Science of Language could not, any more than other sciences, become established in popular favour without first passing through the ordeal of adverse criticism. The circle of the sciences regards every new comer as exceedingly presumptuous. It desires to be very select, and gives every fresh aspirant to a share of its honours more trouble to establish his claims than a novus homo had in Rome. The Science of Language, however, has successfully combated many of the prejudices which it at first awakened, and exhibits such credentials as have secured a respectful consideration from a numerous public.

Professor Max Müller shows that every physical science has had to pass through three stages. It first applies itself to the common wants of life. It appeals to the lower interests of society, and endears itself by performing menial services. It is simply practical. It then stirs the feeling of curiosity, and gratifies a love of order. It arranges its stores, and points out the resemblances, contrasts, gradations, by which this arrangement is facilitated and distinguished. And finally it assumes a loftier function. It reasons from the known to the unknown. It endeavours to explain what before it only inspected and put in order.



These three stages in the progress of science the author denominates the Empirical, the Classificatory, and the Theoretical. He adopts the following illustrations.

Botany (the Greek word botané means 'fodder') first busied itself about food for cattle. Geometry began with measuring a garden or a field. The term is derived from the Greek words gé land,' and metron 'a measure.' The first observations upon the stars were made by the sailor to aid him in navigation, and by the farmer to guide him in the successive labours of agriculture. But the great variety of herbs and plants, the multitudinous forms and proportions in which land may be divided, the number of the stars and the changes to which they are subject, led to arrangement and classification, and ultimately to the third stage in the sciences of botany, of geometry, and of astronomy, in which are developed the laws of vegetable growth, the necessary properties of geometrical figures, and the principles by which the motion of the heavenly bodies is determined.

The Science of Language passes through the same phases. In the Empirical stage every one is a linguist. It is not possible to live a human life without speech, and it is equally impossible to speak without learning how. Besides, there are many who require to know more languages than one, in order to travel in foreign lands, or to carry on business with foreign merchants, or to read books in other tongues than their own. The study of languages is also by many considered as a necessary part of a good education. In all these cases the Science of Language is only in the Empirical stage. It is pursued on account of the profit which it yields.

Now and then, even in early times, a student of more than common reflectiveness examined the resemblances in the words of a language, or even noted down how far two or more languages had the same forms, and in what particulars they differed from one another. Such works as the Mithridates' of Vater and Adelung appeared at the beginning of this century, and at length the introduction of Sanskrit literature gave a strong impulse to the Science of Language in the second or Classificatory stage, and made it possible with safety and success to enter upon the third or Theoretical stage. Jacob Grimm's 'German Grammar' began to appear in 1819, and his 'History of 'the German Language' in 1848, both of which embrace the entire range of the Teutonic languages. Franz Bopp's 'Comparative 'Grammar' applied to the principal Indo-European languages, and August Friedrich Pott's 'Etymological Investigations' began to appear in 1833. Karl Wilhelm von Humboldt's work on the Kawi language was posthumously published in 1836. These

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